5 Reasons I’m Growing a Duck Dynasty Beard

by Larry Hehn on February 8, 2013

Duck Dynasty beardI’ve been sporting facial hair since I grew a moustache at 18. My beard has come and gone over the years. The goatee has been around for the last 10 years or so.

I’ve now had more years with facial hair than without.

But I’ve never had a Duck Dynasty beard.

For those who aren’t familiar, Duck Dynasty is a reality TV series that follows the Robertson family and their duck call business, Duck Commander. The Robertson men are known for their robust beards.

If you’ve ever wondered what you’d look like with a Duck Dynasty beard, follow this link to the Duck Dynasty Beard Yourself Facebook app. I’ve shared my handiwork above.

Yep, that picture up there? Not my real beard.


See, I’ve decided to grow myself a Duck Dynasty beard. I figure it’ll take about a year, maybe a bit longer.

It’s been 12 days so far, and all is well.

It’s amazing how polarizing the topic of beards can be. People (especially ladies) seem to either love them or hate them. So why, you ask, would I suddenly decide to grow a Duck Dynasty beard?

  1. My company is hosting a rock ‘n’ roll theme party in January 2014 and I want to go as a member of ZZ Top.
  2. My wife has been asking me to grow my hair long for years. The beard has been included in the dare. Happy wife, happy life!
  3. It’s a bit of a “social experiment” to see how differently people react to me with long hair and a bushy beard.
  4. I figure it will help me look more the part of a “Christian in the Rough”. Kinda like the anti-Joel Osteen. Same muscular build and pasty white complexion, with the head of a Robertson instead of an Osmond.
  5. I’m hoping to one day be included in The Bearded Idealist‘s Beard of the Month feature, which is not only a lot of fun, but also helps raise money for a great cause.

Check in for regular updates on the beard’s progress. Use the app to beard yourself and post the link. Or guys, why not join me and grow your own Duck Dynasty beard?

How do you feel about beards?

P.S. For an update, check out 5 More Reasons Why I’m Growing My Beard.


Part of This Balanced Breakfast

by Larry Hehn on January 30, 2013

breakfastAs a youngster I remember seeing dozens of cereal commercials on TV. Some had to get pretty creative to make their product sound nutritious.

“They’re a source of food energy!” (So are sticks of deep-fried butter.)

“One ounce of ________ with four ounces of milk is a good source of protein.” (So is four ounces of milk.)

“A drug-free way to promote regularity.” (In other words, it helps you poop.)

But my all-time favorite was when the camera panned across a breakfast table laden with fruit, eggs, milk, grains, yogurt, and a tiny bowl of cereal. And we heard those five magic words, “Part of this balanced breakfast.”

Which was a clever way of saying, “Your breakfast will actually be nutritious if you eat all this other stuff along with our cereal.”

I think it was the same PR firm that came up with the idea of Al Gore having a “neutral carbon footprint”.

It’s like the old joke about two actuaries who go duck hunting. Both shoot at a duck that flies overhead. One’s shot misses 20 feet to the left. The other’s shot misses 20 feet to the right. They give each other high fives, because on average they shot it. (My brother-in-law works with actuaries. He loves that joke.)

There’s something not quite right about this whole “balanced” thing.

But we do it all the time, don’t we?

Not just with breakfast. With our overall behavior. Making up for – even justifying – our unhealthy habits by trying to do enough “good” stuff to balance things out. Always keeping score. Spinning plates.

It can be downright exhausting.

I don’t want a “balanced” breakfast. I want a healthy breakfast.

Maybe it’s time to lose the Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs…

Dear Mister Language Person: I am curious about the expression, “Part of this complete breakfast.” The way it comes up is, my 5-year-old will be watching TV cartoon shows in the morning, and they’ll show a commercial for a children’s compressed  breakfast compound such as “Froot Loops” or “Lucky Charms”, and they always show it sitting on a table next to a some actual food such as eggs, and the announcer always says: “Part of this complete breakfast.” Don’t they really mean, “Adjacent to this  complete breakfast,” or “On the same table as this complete breakfast”? And couldn’t they make essentially the same claim if, instead of Froot Loops, they put a can of shaving cream there, or a dead bat?

A. Yes.

– Dave Barry
What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
Where do you find yourself doing the “balancing” act?


The Best Christians are Mudders

by Larry Hehn on January 9, 2013

Mud RunI’m no daredevil, but I enjoy things that push me beyond my comfort zone. Physically. Mentally. Even spiritually. That’s why I’m a fan of Tough Mudder.

As their website describes, “Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.”

With obstacle names like Kiss of Mud, Fire Walker, Arctic Enema and Electric Shock Therapy, Tough Mudder is no stroll in the park.

But it’s not the challenges that impress me the most about Tough Mudder. It’s their approach that I love – an approach that, in my mind, parallels what Christianity was meant to be.

“Tough Mudder is more than an event, it’s a way of thinking.” –

Tough Mudder participants are known as Mudders.

For starters, Mudders don’t take themselves too seriously. Yes, the courses are hardcore, but Mudders are met at the end with a beer, some laughs, and an upbeat live band. Organizers advise, “…please don’t show up at a Tough Mudder without a sense of humor.”

Mudders run as a team.

“To get through mud, fire, ice-water, and 10,000 volts of electricity you’ll need teammates to pick you up when your spirits dip. To get over 12 foot walls and through underground mud tunnels, you’ll need teammates to give you a boost and a push. Tough Mudders are team players who make sure no one gets left behind.” –

Mudders recite this pledge before each event:

  • I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.
  • I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.
  • I do not whine – kids whine.
  • I help my fellow mudders complete the course.
  • I overcome all fears.

The best Christians I’ve known don’t take themselves too seriously. They recognize that life is a team event, not solo. They encourage and build others up. They look out for each other. They stretch themselves, and help others stretch in the process.

Yep. The best Christians are Mudders.

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another… – Hebrews 10:24-25

If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. – Galatians 6:3

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. – Galatians 6:9-10

I’m so impressed with Tough Mudder, I’m actually thinking about signing up for their upcoming Toronto event on September 28 and 29, 2013. Who’s with me?

Who are some Christian “Mudders” you know? How have you been influenced by their example?