Tag Archives: Top Ten

Podcast – Top Ten Funny Life Events

It’s the tenth of the month, so on my 2nd podcast, I am sharing 10 funny things I did in life that makes me laugh at myself. Like Carl Reiner said … Inviting people to laugh with you while you are laughing at yourself;f is a good thing to do. You may be a fool but you’re the fool in charge. Just enjoy today’s way of keeping me humble.

Click the graphic to open the player … 6min20sec

Podcast #2

Mid-Week Takeaways

The Democratic National Convention is under way. I can’t turn the TV on, skim social media, or look at news alerts without seeing takeaways. But this is not that. Not that politics isn’t important, but life seems to carry on no matter what the DNC and RNC are doing.

So what are some takeaways from your past week? Here are a few takeaways of my week …

Just eight take away

  • Families are dealing with the emotional angst of sending their kids back to school. Whether first time to preschool, or sending off to college, these moments tug our hearts and bring deep memories to the surface. Thank God we have phone cameras and social media to record these moments.
  • Covid is not going away anytime soon. Our church has had our first few cases of active members. College kids are being sent back home because hundreds of coeds are testing positive. This is not the tests college kids should desire to past.
  • Losing internet isn’t too bad. It made me reopen books, get my dvd/blue ray collection dusted off (binged Alien trilogy over the weekend) , and turn off the iPad a little.
  • There’s very little duck tape and zip ties can’t fix. Yep, I reattached my grill on the car. Duck tape and zip ties.
  • My son is still learning at 30. “Marriage is hard work” … “being an adult is draining” and more. I just want to say “duh!” And I thank a God he’s got a great wife to share his adult world with.

A little rain is good, a lot of rain can be bad. I was caught driving in a flash flood. Rerouted multiple times. Saw bridges and roads flooded over. And lost my temper a little. but this all made me turn my eyes back to the Lord. Hey, I could be in Texas with my son where it’s over 100.

  • Isolation sucks. My mother lives in a home where no one can visit. She is mentally slipping and hallucinating. It’s been almost five months. The phone calls help her, but even those slip away.
  • There’s a power in corporate worship. I watch worship online. I love sitting in a comfy chair and taking it all in. I know some desire the safety of no crowds. But, there’s something about the energy, the warmth, the fellowship, and more of not forsaking the assembling together. I leave so tired yet so refreshed at the same time.
  • I love my wife more this week than last week. Not that last week was bad or anything. But every week is a blessing.
  • God is still on control. Always has been. Always will be.

That’s my Top Ten take aways for my week. I hope you had a good one too.

It’s Top Ten Day … And It’s All About The Joker

Every once in a while, on the 10th of the month, I do a top ten. And this month, in honor of Joaquin Phoenix winning the Oscar last night for his role as the Joker, this one is for all the Jokers.

This is the second Oscar for an actor playing the Joker, and both JP and Heath Ledger did superb jobs. Growing up on Adam West, and seeing the comical rendition by Cesar Romero, it has been an unsettling journey to watch this character go deeper and deeper into the darkness of man. This latest version is a whole movie to exploring the darker side. And though Ledger’s performance was hard to top, Phoenix was well up to the task. The sad twist might be that this darkness being highlighted is due to society on a whole being darker. We are not in a Leave It To Beaver world anymore.

Here are few quotes given by Jokers over the years. It’s not really a top ten, for I haven’t see all the Jokers in all the venues (Suicide Squad, animated versions, etc.) but these quotes speak volumes about the Joker and about society …

Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?

Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?

The Joker

This could be about the character or about society. Washington’s division, morality being flipped, political fringes, random violence, Coronavirus, and the addiction to social media … crazy.

But even in the craziness, I know God is still in control.

And so many are hurting, suffering, caught in captivity … on the inside. Maybe we should spend more time helping others than criticizing them.

And I don’t want to be the same as others either. I desire to go against the flow, to walk the path God has set before me, not the path of the world. Life would be boring if we were all the same.

I close with this. And this has two parts. It is true, yet sad. Many can only be their real self if they think there are no consequences, no repercussions, and no judgements by others. The mask frees them from any responsible limitations – such was the lesson from The Invisible Man.

But there is a reverse to this too. Many put on mask so people won’t see the real person inside. They are afraid of the judgement, the consequences, the fallout. So we mask ourselves, our hurts, our pains, our fears.

But let me start your week with a positive truth … God knows your flaws, your failures, your hang ups, your fears. God sees the mess you’ve made and the madness you live with. God sees all that, knows all that, and does not turn away. God still loves you.

And God is the One who never walks away from His children never leaves nor abandons. God is the One who embraces you, muddy mess and all, and He is wise and merciful enough not to leave us that way. Imagine what the character of the Joker would’ve been like if they saw and experienced the transforming love of Christ.

That’s bigger than any award. So let’s show people that love. Let’s be God’s instrument of grace in a crazy world. And let’s do for His glory not mans.

Needing a Reset … Get Back In Sync

It was a dark and stormy night. The thunder and lightning went pop. And the power was gone. So the story began. But the point is what took place after the storm. And with that, most of the clocks were out of power and thus reset to midnight. Newer ones fixed themselves once power was restored, but there is that older one next to the bed that dates back a bit – and it can be a pain to reset. My wife kept telling the clock’s correct time, “I want you back.”

For two nights, it had the wrong time. My girlfriend (who is also my wife) struggled to reset it, so I figured it’s gonna be me who had to to take care of it. I grabbed the clock, played with the buttons, and wallah – time is back to were it should be.

Sometimes our inner clock gets off after a stormy time in our lives. The struggles and pains keep tearin’ up my heart. And because of that, we need to know what to do. This I promise you, if you do nothing – you will continue to be all out of whack. So take time to get back in sync.

God loves you. He desires for us to be in right relationship with Him. And if you think you’ve messed up too much; well, just don’t tell me that – for we’ve never gone beyond the limits of His grace. His love comes with no strings attached.

So get back to Him and take time to reset your lives.

So for now, Bye Bye Bye


I hope you got the point and the underlining concept – enjoy this top ten list

Top 10 – Movies about the Afterlife

To say that I have seen a lot of movies would be an understatement. I haven’t seen all movies, nor most movies ever made, but I do enjoy a good popcorn flick that will help me escape and relax for a few hours. Having moved to Appomattox, I’ve had to adjust the frequency of my movie going habit, But I still try to make it to Lynchburg or Farmville to see some of the latest products out of Hollywood.

Since this is the 10th of the month, I decided to do a top 10 list of movies I’ve seen that deal with the subject of the afterlife. This is not a complete list, nor does it cover even some of the greatest movies about life after death. But what it does cover are 10 movies that I’ve seen that are potential conversation starters.

They are in no particular order …

  • The Sixth Sense … this is the movie that made the line famous, I see dead people. The only problem with this movie is, you can only see it once with a sense of expectancy and wonder. Once you know the ending you can never see the movie the same again.
  • Beetlejuice … Michael Keaton said this was the most original movie he ever made. The Tim Burton classic is one that should never be remade. Don’t say his name three times.
  • What Dreams May Come … Robin Williams does a great job, but the strength of this movie is the artistic imagination. It won an Oscar for best visual effects.
  • Every zombie movie ever made – they’re all the same, mostly
  • Flatliners … The original obviously. Some movies shouldn’t be remade.
  • Heart and Soul/Chances Are … I count these two movies starring Robert Downey Jr. as one. They are the same story with their own unique twist. The soundtracks are great too.
  • Meet Joe Black
  • Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey … and to think, they are getting back together for a new movie in this franchise.
  • The Seventh Seal … the classic scene of playing chess with the Grim Reaper is part of movie history!
  • Ghost … what really happens when you die?

And of course – every work about Jesus, and these should be at the top of every list about what really happens. I mean, if you want to know, then talk to somebody who’s been there and come back.

This subject may seem unusual; but be honest, you’ve thought about it.



Top Ten … Sibling Snippets

It’s a day late … for both top ten and for siblings. But yesterday (4.10.19) was national sibling day. I’ve got three and I am blessed. So here are top ten snippets from my noggin of moments that impacted me on my journey. Yes, most memories are with Jon, but he is closest in birth order, so I understand that.

I will not share the moments when they got in trouble and I was not … great memories, but way tooooo many memories that prove why I am the favorite, so I’ll let them try to erase those moments from their grey matter. (Me, I will always remember, bwohaha)

These are not in order of importance, just random.

1 … Kristi, who was first born, highly intelligent (almost as much as me, lol), was pretty much checked out by the time I started collecting memories. But there was a time we fought and I hit her elbow with the telephone … I regretted it immediately, but also saw her for the first time as a sister, not one of the brothers that always roughed me up.

2 … Speaking of roughing up. Jon pretty much made a habit, if not a lifetime of letting me know he could knock me out anytime he wanted (not abuse mind you, just big brother using me as punching bag). But there was one time I remember when he had just came home from the hospital having had nose surgery. I asked if it hurt and he said not really, so I punched him in the nose. Three things happened … one was blood, lots of it, two was I ran, quickly, and three was he went back to doctor. I don’t even remember getting in trouble – favorite, remember.

3 … But Jon and I could be friends too, when need be. We were fighting, again, and I picked up the broom and threw it like a spear. It missed but it stuck in the wall. Instant friends to fix the hole before mother got home. She saw it right away. I learned a few things … Jon and I can be best buds for self preservation, I have been general repair work challenged for life (no sheet rock or patching by me), and mom sees everything.

4 … Andy, the first son, kind of lived in his own world. Very passionate and caring for people, but he too threatened me some. But I have two key memories of him … the first is his first sermon. It lasted 7 minutes. But from his call, he has always shown a great preacher and student of the Word.

5 … I also remember his advice he gave before I married Lisa. I was rambling, and asked how do you know if she’s the one. He said, “You don’t know. But once you say ‘I Do’, she is the one.”

6 … There are memories of all of us together. The best was when we went to North Baptist in Wilmington, DE for our father’s retirement. The joy, camaraderie, and the delight I saw in father watching his four kids together in such a positive way. We weren’t the fam that always did reunions, spent lots of time together after we left the roost, or get together for holidays. But I think each of us know, we have each other’s back if need be. The next time all four gathered was for Father’s funeral.

7 … One time all the brothers got together was for mother’s wedding with Blandy. Andy gave her away, Jon started the ceremony, and I finished it.

8 … We siblings also spent time at Grandparents together. I’ll lump these together, from hiking to the ‘big rock’ on the hill behind the house, picking blackberries, stringing green beans, or exploring Roy’s antique shop – how I miss those Mayberry days (literally, it was Mayberry/Mount Airy).

9 … We took few family vacations, but we did have one long trek from northern Virginia to Orlando … to have the Disney World experience (mid 70s) – four kids in the back seat of a Crown Vic – getting there wasn’t half the fun. But it was great. Still have the artistic rendering of me.

10 … How do you end a list that has formed over a lifetime? I will do one I am not sure if it really happened. When we lived in a house near the Chesapeake Bay, all three brothers shared a room (much smaller than I remember on a visit back last year). But it was on the second floor and I remember skiing down the stairway. Cardboard? Mattress? A movie scene in my mind that I pretend happened in my childhood? Do not know. But it brings joy to think we did.

We are all pretty independent. We live apart – and all are pretty more attached to our spouses’ families than the Estes clan. But that’s okay. Father taught that – a bond to spouse and to kids. But we do love and care. We might never do a cruise together, but we are a call away.

How I am so thankful for these three —

I appreciate Kristi for her steadfast love for mother – nightly calls, attention, and more. Her compassion and servant heart for the people of Memphis.

Andy – a father to four girls, something he does with grace and wisdom. I can’t imagine how he does it, for one son has me on my knees a lot. His patience and passion are admirable. As is his recent move to be closer to mother.

Jon – ever the preacher, the evangelist, the adventurer. Also like me, kind of a rolling stone – but we’ve found a niche in our present roles – his in Dubai (population over 2 million) and me in Appomattox (population under 2 thousand).

There is a point we know all of this is temporary in regards to the eternity we spend together.

Thank you Lord, for my siblings.

To Calvin … I am sorry that we gave you no siblings for such a day as national sibling day. But this guarantee you are mom’s favorite.



It is Top Ten Day

Yeah, Yeah – another insert and delay to Renew Your Mind. But it is the 10th – so it’s Top Ten Day – which I’ve missed the past couple of months. In honor of Walter, I am doing top ten Christian songs. I know many have their own favorites and you might not even like some of the ones I choose – but this is my list, so here it goes …

In no specific order …

It Is Well (any version)
A Mighty Fortress (Boswell’s version)
Calvary (Hillsong)
White Flag (Passion)
You Are Holy (Smitty)
Always (Stanfill)
Open Up the Heavens (Vertical)
Holy Holy Holy (GateWay)
Revelation Song (Jobe)
The Wonderful Cross
Take Me Back (Camp)
What, that’s 11? I guess I never learned to count correctly!

Honorable Mentions …
Ever Be, Praise the Lord (Imperials), Forever, Somewhere in the World (Every parent needs to hear this song), How Great is Our God, Touch of the Master’s Hand, You Are My King, When God Ran, Step by Step, Amazing Grace – My Chains Are Gone

What are yours?