I celebrated yet another birthday last week. Thank you all for the Facebook messages, Tweets, texts, sky writing and other well-wishes! One email that I received seemed to stand out from all the others, though. It came from my buddy, Ken Davis. Fans of the show may remember that Ken got me and several of our comedian friends lost in the woods a couple months ago. Now, Ken just turned 70, so that may explain his birthday salutation, but nevertheless, this is how it read:
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear ___________.
Happy birthday to you!
I wanted to make this more personable, but I couldn’t remember your name. I only remember that you mean a lot to me for some reason. I also remember that you got us lost. I hope that this is a spectacular year for whoever you are.
Your Acquaintance of Some Kind,
Next, my pal Dustin Nickerson calls into the show. With a hint of holiday nostalgia, Dustin reflects on the blessings of Christmas morning. Kids get to open gifts. They receive presents from their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and Santa.
Their parents, on the other hand, get woken at the crack of dawn – on their day off, no less! Then, within mere minutes, Mom and Dad have a living room completely filled with trash!! Tack on the upcoming angry garbage man the following weekday, and the scales are definitely tilted away from the parent’s benefit.
Fittingly, the only thing a parent can do is turn to Jesus for help!
Dustin has hit the “level of tired” that only parents can really understand… the one where you look with envy upon someone suffering from a coma. He found himself negotiating with God,
“Lord, I’m not asking for anything long-term. I only ask that you bless me with a good week of ‘catch-up coma.’”
But, admittedly, the one nice thing about having kids is the perspective that it grants us. I have four boys and Dustin has three kids of his own. And having as many kids as we do, we understand what is really important. By the time you parent three or four kids, you begin to experience what Dustin has labeled Third Kid Chill.
For instance, one afternoon, Dustin received a picture message from his wife depicting his third child eating a Sharpie permanent marker. Now, think about that… this means that she took the time to take out her phone, open her camera app, check lighting and focus and snap at least one photo of the child before removing the poisonous ink from her child’s mouth.
That’s Third Kid Chill.
And finally, funnyman Stephen B joins the show! And, as Stephen describes, the comedy climate has greatly changed over the years. Once upon a time, guys like us who didn’t cuss or “went blue” with our material were a breath of fresh air. But, too often these days, clean comedy is actually offensive to some – especially if what we say happens to go against their worldview, especially at American universities with their safe spaces and snowflake student bodies.
What these kids don’t realize is that there is a really difficult world just waiting for them in the years to come. If hearing words from a comedian that go against their opinions offends them to the point that they emotionally, psychologically, and physically shut down, there is no way they will be able to handle parenthood!
Now, in addition to making people laugh all across the country, Stephen has recently been working on behalf of Compassion, International. This all began with a shift of perspective. Instead of pursuing fame and fortune in his career, Stephen realized several years ago that God has given him the gift to make people laugh, and bring them happiness. So, instead of seeking riches, he has been seeking to use his gift however God wants him to.
Then, when he was introduced to Compassion while performing at Spirit West Coast, and began sponsoring a child, he realized that there was an opportunity for him to work as an ambassador for them in their fight to protect children across the globe!
You see, Compassion helps spread the work and word of God throughout the world, feeds impoverished villages and towns, and sets up schools in third world countries. And let’s face it – simply because we are living in the United States (and yes… even Canada) we are more wealthy than 90% of the world’s population. So, Stephen helps spread the message that, through Compassion, we have an opportunity to help raise a generation up out of their poverty, give them an education, and share the Gospel with them. Through child sponsorship, we can truly change lives – even if it’s just one child at a time.