A Marriage that is Beyond Ordinary

Doing something a little different on the blog today in support of my friends Justin and Trisha and the book they co-wrote together.

The book is called Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough, and it makes for a funny, compelling, and thought-provoking read.

You want drama? It has drama. Justin had an affair with someone his wife knew very well.

You want laughs? You will laugh. Their writing is honest and open. If you’ve ever been in an argument with your spouse, you’ll grin your way through much of the book.

You want a better marriage? I hope so…even if you think yours is already pretty good. The book doesn’t read like a self-help book, but I guarantee you will learn principles to make your relationship better.

Here’s a 15-minute interview a did with Justin and Trisha talking about the book.

Like I said earlier, I know this is different from the typical fare here, but I believe so much in their message that I’m happy to share this with you today. Give the first five minutes of the video a listen to see what they’re all about.

Oh, and you can pick up a copy of the book here: Beyond Ordinary. (affiliate link)

Help Alexis & Taylor for World Give Day

You guys know I rarely do this on my blog, but because tomorrow is World Give Day I’m asking you all to hear the story of some dear friends of ours, Jon and Lauren Giunta.

Here’s their story in Lauren’s own words, please take 3 minutes to read it:


We have 3 beautiful girls. Our oldest, Julianna, is our beautiful, healthy 5 year old. Alexis Grace, our second baby, was born June 7, 2007. Allie was born with a very rare genetic disorder called ML-II or I-Cell disease. In 2008, we were surprised by another pregnancy. We found out we were pregnant with another girl. We named her Taylor Faith. She was born June 4, 2009. Taylor Faith was also born with I-cell disease.

Continue reading Help Alexis & Taylor for World Give Day

Seeing Rob Bell in Nashville: A Guest Post by Jeff Goins

Today’s guest post is from my friend Jeff Goins. He lives in Nashville and recently had the chance to hear Rob Bell speak. He did not rush the stage to hug him or give him a purple nurple. Here’s his guest post.

I saw Christian pastor Rob Bell speak at Belmont University on his controversial book Love Wins last night. I’m sorry to say it, but I was really disappointed with how he presented himself.

Because he was wearing contacts.

What’s the deal, Rob?

You’re, like, known for your iconic, unisex, plastic-rimmed glasses. And then you go and stiff us? What do you stand for these days?!

In all seriousness, the truth is that Rob shared a challenging message about a God of ridiculous love and message of scandalous grace that I think we can all benefit from. Even if you’re not a Christian, you have to admit that this idea is compelling: If there is a God and he is on your side, that’s empowering.

Continue reading Seeing Rob Bell in Nashville: A Guest Post by Jeff Goins

Jesus and the Zombie-Pirates: A Guest Post by Cole Schneider

This is a guest post from my friend Cole Schneider. Cole is a fan of the Orlando Magic, but let’s all promise not to hold that against him, okay?


Jesus and the Zombie-Pirates

Once upon a time, Jesus said the following to a bunch of people:

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better to lose one of your members than your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than your whole body go to hell.”

As I was reading these verses recently I wondered what a typical 12-year old would think of Jesus’ statement if left to his or her own understanding. I wondered how many of them would picture a bunch of people walking around with only 5 fingers and 1 eye; an army of obedient zombie-pirates.

Continue reading Jesus and the Zombie-Pirates: A Guest Post by Cole Schneider

On Dropped Passes and Giving Credit

Plenty of athletes thank God after a good performance, but it’s usually in a vague way that doesn’t say “Thank you God for the skills, talents, and opportunity to play this game”. It’s more like, “We won, so I better acknowledge God.”

Then there was Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills this week, who after dropping a game-winning touchdown infamously tweeted:


I’m not gonna rip Steve for that tweet, even though replays did not show the hand of God breaking up the pass. He was being honest and passionate, and even if it was misguided, it almost had a Psalms-like quality to it, didn’t it? (Did I just compare Steve Johnson to David? Hecks yeah.)

The whole thing got me thinking about blame and credit.

Continue reading On Dropped Passes and Giving Credit

I Will Make You Laugh AND

93% of you come to this site to laugh, and for that I am so humbled and thankful. Making people laugh has always been one of my favorite things in the world.

I understand, however, why I don’t get booked for many speaking gigs. If I’m “the funny guy”, then why else would you bring me in other than to tell jokes? Since, I’m not a comedian, there seems to be a disconnect. So…how do i fix this?

Well, the short answer is that I am working on it. (And the long answer is too long to type.)

But here’s a few things I want you, my amazing readers, to know:

5 Things You Should Know About Me

1. Over the past 18 months I’ve spoken to groups as big as 800 and as small as 2. Well, the group of 2 was a lecture to my kids, but I really connected with them, you should have seen it.

2. I can speak on any day of the week! I spoke to a college chapel on a Monday and Tuesday, I spoke to my church on a Wednesday, and I’ve spoken to a few groups of high school students on Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday. Yes, I realize Thursday is a glaring omission. It’s because I fast the English language on Thursday and instead communicate with grunts and body movements.

3. I’m not a comedian, but I will still make you laugh. I know there’s a disconnect here because I mostly tell jokes on my blog, so you might want me to come to your church and do that. Truth is, I don’t have a 20 minute set of bits that I work on. But every talk I prepare is always loaded with humorous personal stories and decent one-liners. I try to be just as funny in person. And if, I’m not, you can laugh at me for trying.

4. I’m a good public speaker. “Wow, how prideful!” you say. No…prideful would be calling myself “an amazing orator”. I’m still getting better every time and have a ways to go, but when I get up there I do know what I’m doing. You don’t have to worry about bringing me in and watching me stumble my way through my notes while you sit there like GOB Bluth and think, “I’ve made a huge mistake”.

5. I connect really well with younger people. Even though I’ll be 34 here soon (crazy), for some reason I am still able to connect really well with high schoolers and young adults. I’m pretty sure it’s because in my head I’m still in my early 20s. Or maybe it’s my juvenile sense of humor and ability to drop my maturity level to that of a 14-year old at will. Either way, if you’re having trouble finding someone to connect with 16-30 year olds, I’d love to take a stab at it. And I’d love to stab them if they don’t think I’m funny.

You can read more about all this on my speaking page. I’m in the process now of getting quotes from the people who have brought me in to speak because they’ve all seemed to think it was a success, so now I’m gonna make them put that crap on paper and make them sign it.

If you’re wondering what I would speak on, I have messages prepared based around a few of my more popular faith-related blog posts (as well as a bunch of others I’ve prepared at someone’s request – something I could do for you too):

Bottom Line is, if you’re looking to bring in someone who’s not your typical speaker, someone who’s an Engineer by day and humor blogger by passion, someone with a big nose who can connect with an audience and make them laugh while sharing truth, and someone who can write a run-on sentence, I might be your guy.

Hit me up at bryanallain(at)gmail.com and we can talk.

Thanks for letting me riff on this, more funny next week.

How I'm Like Crazy Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson is absolutely nuts.

That’s the conclusion I came to after listening to the recorded phone calls of him acting like a monster while talking to the mother of one of his kids, Oksana Russianlastname.

If you haven’t heard the recordings, I’m not so sure you should go out of your way to find them. The Cliff Notes version is that Mel calls her every filthy name in the book, demands that he deserves sexual favors, tells her he owns her, uses racial slurs, threatens to burn down her house, tells her she deserved to be hit (there are allegations that he knocked 2 of her teeth out while she was holding their baby), and at one point screams “YOU DON’T COUNT!”

Like I said, absolutely nuts.

The whole thing made me wonder, “How does someone get to that point?” … How do you get to the point where you can tell someone that they don’t count and actually believe it?

The short answer is: I don’t know. I don’t know about all the demons in Mel’s life. The substance abuse, the media scrutiny, the years and years of being coddled and treated like a star on a royal pedestal. It’s got to be hard not to think you’re the most important thing out there when people keep treating you like you are.

But there is one thing I think I do know. I think I know where it all starts. I think this type of behavior starts when we begin to think our needs are more important than the needs of other people.

The problem I have is that this is EXACTLY the way I’m wired. In fact, I think most of us are. When we wake up, the person we’re most concerned with is ourselves. That’s the default setting.

For me, it takes effort and intentionality to think about others’ needs. If I’m not careful, I can manipulate relationships to try and get the most out of them for myself. Instead of thinking “what can I do for my buddy Tim?” or “How can I help my wife Erica have an amazing day today?”, I find myself angling for the best possible outcome for me. “How can they make my life easier and  make me feel better about me?”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not malicious or psychopathic behavior like Mel Gibson was demonstrating. But it’s still unhealthy, and it’s in direct opposition to the advice God gives us in Phillipians 2, which says “…in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

So here’s the challenge I’m giving myself, and I’m giving you too if you’re up for it. Let’s be more intentional about how we treat others. From our closest loved ones to our weakest friendships, let’s call ourselves out on the selfish tendencies we wake up with every morning, and try to get better – little by little – at truly placing other’s needs above our own.

I’m not saying we’re all on the verge of lunacy, but I do think the mindset that started Mel on the path to Wackoland is the same mindset that can creep into our lives if we’re not careful.

So let’s be careful.

The next time you see a Mel Gibson headline or hear someone talking about how looney the guy is, let it be a reminder to you to treat others well.

Other people DO count. They count MORE than you, actually. So let’s start living like that.

The Reason it's a Good Friday

When i saw this video at church on Sunday I KNEW it was going to be what I blogged about today. But then Jon Acuff posted it on SCL. And a few days later Matthew Paul Turner posted it too. I thought, “maybe I’m not supposed to post it after all.”

Not to mention the fact it hadn’t changed me like I wanted it to.

You see, when I saw this video on Sunday, it moved me. It shifted my priorities. It changed my perspective. And I thought, I hoped, that it would alter how I looked at my life.

But then Monday came, and things weren’t much different. By Wednesday I was in a funk. I felt sorry for myself all day because things haven’t been happening with my writing projects the way I want them to happen. I compared myself to my peers and wallowed in the fact that every one of them seem to be achieving my goals.

Then I remembered this video and I wanted to punch myself in the face with brass knuckles made of unobtanium.

Funny thing happened Wednesday night though. I got an email from a friend with a few words of encouragement, a friend whose opinion on writing I respect more than anyone else. This friend doesn’t email me often, and he was merely responding to a random email I had sent him a week earlier. But the timing was impeccable…perhaps divine.

Was it God’s way of saying “Bryan, please don’t be miserable”? No, I don’t think so. I think God doesn’t mind us being miserable every now and again, especially when he’s trying to change us and teach us something.

I think it was God’s way of reminding me, “I know you better than you know you, and I know exactly what you need, when you need it. And if I want to, I can make sure you get a random email from the right person with the right words just when it helps the most. So stop pouting and feeling sorry for yourself and trust me with the big stuff too.”

To be honest, I don’t know if God had anything to do with that email or not, but I thanked Him anyway. I thanked my friend too, and if he’s reading this I hope he’s not too freaked out that I think God controls his emails, because I don’t. Okay, maybe just a little.

So, what’s the reason that this is a Good Friday? It’s a Good Friday because we have a God who knows us and loves us. It’s Good Friday because Jesus did the thing that no one before him did and lived after he died, validating everything he said while He was alive. It’s a Good Friday because there’s grace and hope for everyone: from the self-absorbed whiners to the people who really need it.

But don’t take my word for it. I’m just one of those whiners who can’t seem to stop thinking about himself.

Take Zac’s word for it. Despite having cancer and every reason in the world to pout, get angry, and feel sorry for himself, he’s come to the same conclusion I have.

It’s a Good Friday because God is good.

(click here if the video doesn’t show up in your reader)

Live passionately and with purpose this Easter weekend!

And pray for Zac and his family…life is good, but so fleeting.