Why I liked the Dodge Super Bowl commercial best…

Did you see the Super Bowl commercial from Dodge on Sunday? They gathered a bunch of 100-year-olds and had them talk about wisdom.

Here it is if you missed it:

Though the Budweiser commercial was a close second (because PUPPY!), this one won my heart.

I love old folks. I take care of them all the time–many nearing and a few at or even over 100–in my work as a nurse. And you know what?

They are wise.

My grandpa–Joe–was wise, too…a month shy of 95 when he passed away in February, 2012…driving the month prior. He frowned on girls wearing jeans. He told the same stories over and over and over again. He was particular and peculiar and kind as can be. He was larger than life and stubborn as hell. He owned too many guns and never caught enough fish. He collected rocks and carved rocks and went to rock shows. He was gentle and a giant, set in his ways and still in love with my grandma, who died nearly thirty years before he did. He took his last breath the day before Valentine’s Day, February 13, 2012, and I like to think he did that on purpose so he could kiss his Mary Jane firm on the lips just outside the grand gates of Heaven.

Grandpa Joe was one of the inspirations behind my second novel, Then Sings My Soul, which releases March 1. (You can pre-order it from your favorite book store now.)

Then Sings My Soul features a nonagenarian named Jakob. You can read more about him here. He could’ve held his own in that Dodge commercial, and then some. And I can’t wait until you read his story.

What about you?

You may not be 100, but what wisdom would you share if you were on this commercial?

Do you have a favorite person who lived or is still living near 100? 

searchin’ for the felt board Jesus. a poem.

i don’t claim to have the smarts of a

seminarian but i do know somethin’

about the priesthood. loving

Jesus since i could walk makes me one of

those folks Saint Peter

talked about bein’ priestly,

only i’m burned out pro’ly

on account of my grays but also

pro’ly ’cause capitalism gets all mixed

up with theology

and the little girl singin’ Jesus loves me

finds herself

lost in the latest dog and pony show


if the little clapboard churches mostly

abandoned are the only ones

who got it right. but like i said

i’m no seminarian.

just a girl searching for the felt board


and his friends.



Come close, dear one, and tell me: what will you call Him this year?

I have a friend who’s an amazing poet who says this Advent has felt much more like Lent.

I don’t know about you, but I feel the same way.

I’ve been overwhelmed this season with the number of friends who are suffering…who have lost friends and family…who are struggling with sickness and despair.

I’m overwhelmed when I see the lonely in hospital rooms…the bruised tormented…the broken crying for relief…the voiceless told to hush.

I struggle because I fear I cannot write about joy without writing about pain. I don’t know if I know how to have one without the other…

…but maybe that’s the point.

What is joy except for the release of despair? What is pain but the reaching for hope? What is loneliness but for the cry for embrace?

What is Christmas but at once the spectacular arrival of a promise and the anguished gift of an only son to a dying world, sent to feel our pain, to hear our loneliness, to drink our despair, to embrace us in the exhale of his last breath?

And so on this Christmas Eve I don’t have answers. I only have a question:

What will you dare call Him?

If you’re happy will you call Him Lord?

If you’re lonely will you call Him Emmanuel?

If you’re desperate, will you call Him Savior?

If you’re a child, will you call Him Friend?

If you’re downcast, will you call Him Hope?

If your life is one battle after another, will you call Him Prince of Peace?

If you’re confused, will you call Him Counselor?

If you’re chained, will you call Him Freedom?

If you’re wandering in darkness, will you call Him Light?

If you’re silent, will you call Him a Song?

If you’re weak, will you call Him Mighty?

If you’ve been broken, will you call Him Justice?

If you’re weak, will you call Him Warrior?

If you’re dying, will you call Him Life?

He is all these things and more, dear friend. My gift to you this Christmas is a prayer…I pray that Jesus Christ meets you in the place in your soul that has no name, no words, no hope. I pray you call on Him, whatever you want to call Him most. He is and can be your Everything.

Listen close, past the bells and choirs.

Look far, past the lights and sparkle.

He is here.


God with us.


Merry Christmas, friends.


“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever…The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel,and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders…For a child is born to us,a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.”
Isaiah 9:1-7 (NLT)