World Cup Soccer Names Quiz (answers in Bold)

An oft-neglected story to the World Cup is the learning of interesting names of players, coaches and FIFA officials every 4 years.  I have inserted one fake name for each question, can you guess the invented name among the real names?

1.  Which is fake?

Ber Van Marwijk
Sepp Blatter
Sunil Gulati
Okpow Ombow

2.  Which is fake?

David James

3.  Which is fake?

Yaya Toure
Kevin Prince Boateng
Prince Tagoe
Prince Albert in a Can

4.  Which is fake?

Didier Zokora
Didier Drogba
P. Didier Combs
Obafemi Martins

5.  True or False?

Prince Tagoe and Kevin Prince Boateng are truly Princes.–False

6.  Which is fake?


7.  Which is fake?

Chuck Blazer
Senes Erzik
Hany Abo Rida
Mohamed Bin Osama

8.  Which is fake?

Suad Filekovic
Salmo Hayeko
Gokhan Inler
Xherdan Shaqiri

9.  Guess which National Team each plays for:

All play for the Swiss (Switzerland)

Marco Padalino

Steve Von Bergen

Diego Benaglio

Johnny Leoni

Gelson Fernandes

Alexander Frei

Tranquillo Barnetta

Stephan Lichtsteiner


Kids say the …

Our 6 year old hasn’t been sleeping well lately.  Since before school ended (he is a Kindergarten graduate now) he was up later and later.  He has been scared often and wakes up and comes to our bed in the middle of the night.

Sometimes, we are conscious enough to go lay down in his bed with him.  Usually we just let him crawl in, which means one of two things:  either we (usually me) sleep very uncomfortably with a little boy next to us and no space, or we (usually me) try to sleep on the couch or his bed.  The final result is a poor night’s sleep.

He is scared of the big robot at the end of the Incredibles cartoon movie.  We haven’t watched it in a long time but he thinks it is real and is going to get him.  We keep wondering if there isn’t some latent fear about 1st grade or something else involved.  But for now, it’s just giant, almost-indestructible robots.

I offered $100 for toys if he actually sees one and he cowered and almost began to cry.  Totally denying its existence doesn’t work and apparently even pretending to entertain the idea that it might exist is an even worse idea.

We pray with him or get him to think about happy/fun things, such as Chuck E. Cheese, but usually end up in the room with him for awhile.

Hopefully, it is just a passing phase.  Otherwise we will need a bigger bed when he hits the teen years.


Our 4 year old girl had her first bout of skepticism concerning God.  She was talking about being scared (the same routine cited above occurs with her, but less often-and with her it is usually alligators) and I told her to pray when she is scared.

She blurted out in frustration, “I don’t believe in God.  I prayed for fireflies and didn’t see any!”  Ouch!  That was hard to hear.

Unanswered prayers get many of us.  We all struggle with that.  Why keep praying?  Is God really there.

We explained that God answers prayers at the right time.  And she was okay with it after she finally saw some fireflies.  She had started praying for them back in spring and we knew it would be awhile.


Because of the boy’s fear, one of us often sits and reads in or near his bedroom at night till he falls asleep.  It has provided time for some interesting conversation.

He asked his mother, “why did you decide to marry our daddy?”

Marisa explained being friends and stuff and ask him if he wanted to marry someone.

He replied, “Yes, but Frankie said NO!”  She is going to a different elementary school (the kindergarten is consolidated) and according to her, they can’t get married for that reason.

He also talks about dying and heaven occasionally.

He said, “After you die and I die we will both be in Heaven together.”

That made me smile.  I was proud.  He also said he is excited about heaven.

One of the reasons,…..”Dr. Seuss will be there.”

“The Gospel-Filled Wallet” A Review

I have always enjoyed Jeff Weddle’s blog.  I love his challenging and straightforward style.  But when I was first offered the opportunity to review his new book, “The Gospel-Filled Wallet: What the Bible Really Says about Money,” I hesitated only because of committing the time.  I was afraid I might not get around to doing it.

Then I went and read the first chapter online, “I Think I Hate God.”  I immediately agreed and requested my copy and read the short book in a brief amount of time.

Jesus’ teachings on money, wealth, and greed seem to be the first ones we try to explain away, rationalize, dilute.  Jeff doesn’t do any of that.  He gives examples of Christian writings on money that do that but mainly allows God’s Word to speak for itself.

The fact that we are so repulsed by some of these teachings and immediately try to justify our contrary practices should be evidence enough that we need to re-read the Bible with fresh eyes and Jeff helps us do just that.

This book is less than a hundred pages.  It is easy to read yet painful at the same time.  The same prophetic, counter-cultural voice that I enjoy from his blog is everywhere in this book.

I have heard professors and authors often say that it’s not the hard-to-understand passages in scripture that cause us problems, it’s the easy to understand yet hard to live scriptures that truly trouble us.

We need to be troubled.  We are the “comfortable who need to be afflicted.”

Even though I was encouraged by author and publisher to be honest–they were not asking for a positive review, just a review–I can in good conscience, maybe in stricken-conscience, recommend this book.  A paper copy is inexpensive and you can even download a free copy.

I pray for a change in our churches concerning greed and materialism.  We have baptized our idols and need to hear what the Lord says.  I thank Jeff for this book, which can be of great help and blessing.

Things I like About Soccer

(Go read Tim Archer’s article today as well. )

No Time-outs or Commercials.

If I may propose a corporate American conspiracy, one major reason Soccer will never catch on in the USA is because there are few opportunities for advertising dollars.

Football, Baseball, and Basketball need occasional timeouts, but because of TV dollars, many unnecessary ones have been added.  People complain about the length of games, you know pretty much what time frame you get with a soccer match.

Imagine if a game 7 between the Celtics-Lakers only had breaks between quarters!  Wouldn’t that ramp up the intensity even more?

Low-Scoring is anti-Capitalism

I am not suggesting it’s communist or socialist, but I LOVE it!  Of course if I am at the ballpark for a baseball game, I would enjoy a pitchers’ duel between Tim Lincecum vs Roy Halladay.

1-run games in baseball and 3 pt games in football are so exciting, so why do we mock and complain about soccer?

Consider our idol of abundance.  American was founded with plenty of land for everyone (unless you were a Native American).  We are a nation of storage facilities to hold all our stuff that won’t fit in our large homes with garages full of junk.  We believe John 10:10 is talking about our economy. We have had more booms than busts. Sports created here are high scoring.

When supply decreases, value increases.  Sure, soccer is low-scoring but each goal counts more, means more, is celebrated more than any first half score in football or basketball.

A first half goal in soccer is sometimes equivalent to a last-second shot in basketball.

I love that.  I love that each goal is precious.  We care about stats, long-term accumulation of yards, TDs, HRs,Ks etc.  Soccer is more about the win and the game.

Other thoughts:

I like the yellow/red card system.  Wouldn’t that be great in the NBA?

I like that teams kick the ball out of bounds when there is an injury, then the other team gives up back when play resumes.

I like the celebrations, even though I think most NFL celebrations are lame.

I like the crowds, the cheers, songs.  A regular season rivalry game is as intense as a playoff game in American sports.

I like that the regular season matters, which means sometimes even a tie can help you win a championship.

Go check out Letterman’s Top 10 on why Americans don’t like Soccer. It’s good. Also has a funny interruption.

“It’s like being in Vegas for the weekend. We are glad to be here.  We know we’re going home Monday…we know we’re going home empty-handed.”

What do you like about Soccer?

Git Yer Headlines Here!

Elephants tie up U.S. team’s bus trip (
Elephants hired by Fabio Capello and David Beckham, no doubt.

Clashes erupt in Iran as night falls (
Which only leaves one question for Iranians, “Should I stay or should I go now?”

Krygyzstan declares state of emergency (
What is that silly Borat up to now? Another Headline says, “Catastrophe in Krygyzstan,” I wonder if that was a pun and cats are somehow involved in the mess.  I like cats but you really can’t trust them.

Country Music Legend Jimmy Dean Dies
Why would a musician take the stage name of a sausage biscuit?

(or if you prefer)
Mr. Dean will be laid to rest between two flaky halves of a giant biscuit.

Titans QB cited in assault at strip club
I know what you are thinking, “What has Kerry Collins done now?”  Good grief.  The man needs to grow up.