Tag Archives: photo in need of a caption

photo in need of a caption, hoopin’ j-man edition

i opened my blog this morning and thought, “today feels like a photo in need of a caption day.” maybe that was a prompting from the holy spirit; or maybe it was the carnitas i had for dinner last night.

either way: this gem is begging for captioning. best caption wins your choice of 6 new products The Youth Cartel is releasing in the next couple weeks:

whatcha got?

one on one with the lord


Jesus Christ Superstar

Bethany Butterfield
Cleveland says, “Nevermind, LeBron.”

Jesus’ biggest foe on the court is Peter. Every time he drives to the hole, he gets DENIED!

close call between cash and bethany; but the scales just barely tipped to bethany. nice one, mrs. butterfield. i’ll contact you about your prize!

photo in need of a caption, kidmin edition

yeah, we need a photo in need of a caption this week, i think. it’s been a while. and you guys (well, those who bother to enter!) make me laugh.

this time around, i’m gonna give away a complete set of The Youth Cartel’s newest downloadable curriculum Viva: Known. these four sessions focus on learning about the character and mission of Jesus through his conversations with those around him.

ok — plenty of youth workers have some responsibility for children’s ministry also. so let’s call this the kidmin edition of photo in need of a caption. whatcha got?

ride the lobster

CONTENDERS (the best of the best!)

Stop playing with your food.

Anybody got another quarter?

Chris Wyatt
Ten years before her first pot. Ten minutes before his last.

Kevin I
Tryin’ to catch me ridin Nephropidirty

Diane Jones
Let us pray for the new youth leaders.

Richard C Mobbs
Thanks, mom. Couldn’t pop 25 cents for the ride outside the supermarket.

Chad Inman
The next Sea World controversy…


once again, a tough call and a close race. but the one that actually made me LOL, literally, was Diane Jones’ “Let us pray for the new youth leaders.”

congrats, diane! you win!

photo in need of a caption

ok, i’ve been a good boy and posted a bunch of meatier blog content in the last two weeks. so it’s time for some frivolity.

with spring strongly present here in san diego, and my friends in other parts of the country still dealing with late spring snow storms, let’s go with this little fella.

best caption gets a download of The Youth Cartel resource of your choice!

standing cat


many others made me smile; but these are the official runners-up:

Eric A
Even now, as an adult with a family of his own, Morris still looks for his lost mittens…

Todd Tolson
The snow is always whiter on the other side…

e. sutter
The Cat replied:
“when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”

Andrew White
Having mastered standing on his hind legs mittens was now preparing to write his name in the snow for the very first time.

and the winner is…
tough call, but i like that todd didn’t even reference the stupid cat. so i’m calling Todd Tolson the winner, for “The snow is always whiter on the other side…”

Todd, you win a download of The Youth Cartel product of your choice! email me.

photo in need of a caption

hey, it’s summer! we need to have some fun! so, yes, a photo in need of a caption is certainly in order.

let’s see — i want to offer a prize.

how about this? the winner gets to choose between these three prizes:

  1. a $50 discount off a single registration for the Middle School Ministry Campference (for which the price goes up $30 after sunday — so win, and use it before sunday, and you get $80 off! holy cow, have i lost my mind!?).
  2. a $25 discount off a single registration for The Summit.
  3. the respect and admiration of The Youth Cartel (all of us).

ooh! at least two of those are pretty good!

so, here we go. make me laugh!


Geoff Snook
Sometimes even Matt McGill has to catch the bus.
(marko comment: so extremely youth ministry blog-world insider-ish, and yet so funny!)

When’s the last time you saw people wearing ponchos? Weird.

Stevie Pointon
“…sure hope I make it to that ark in time or else my buddy will have a lonely ride!”

Mark Bushor
(Lyrics to Singing in the Rain…..maybe)

I know we need to protect the rain forests. But barbwire? Really?

brian aaby
“Now that it’s raining more than ever, know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella, You can stand under my umbrella, Ella ella, ay ay ay.”

That awkward moment when your blind date turns out to be a pocket monster.

you think he would’ve gone to a different bus stop after escaping the chia pet zoo

Joe Iovino
If that Goonie gets wet, we’re all in big trouble!

NO! I did not just escape from those woods.

No, YOU, tell her she’s violating the leash law.

where the wild things aren’t

Princess Kate’s attempt to not be seen by the photographers doesn’t seem to be working.


a few of these really cracked me up. had a hard time picking one.

i’m going to give an honorable mention to Gman for “Princess Kate’s attempt to not be seen by the photographers doesn’t seem to be working.” really funny. Gman, as a consolation prize, you get #3 of the prizes.

and, i’m awarding the grand prize to stephen, for his succinct, unique, and witty “where the wild things aren’t.” let me know what prize you want, stephen! (comment, or email me: [email protected])

photo in need of a caption

yeah, let’s do this thing. time for a summer-y photo, man.

and how about a prize for the winner? yup. the best caption gets (ready for this?) a 20% discount for either the Middle School Ministry Campference, or The Summit, two of the events hosted by The Youth Cartel this fall. that’s kind of a big-deal prize (so i’m gonna have to say it’s ‘non-transferable’)!

whatcha got?


Lee Barnes
Eat mor fish…

Cindy Z
The day Sonshine Church decided to rethink “VBS Happy Trails.”
marko comment: fantastic!

No, I swear I’m innocent! It was the other half! He was mooning people! You gotta believe me!!!

e. sutter
E! True Hollywood Story: Seabiscuit, Derby to Darkness
marko comment: that’s a good one

Scott Pittman
Why such the long face?

adam mclane
Lindsay Lohan arrest again.
marko comment: not eligible to win, but dang funny

what’s Sarah Jessica Parker doing at the beach?
marko comment: omg, that’s hilarious

Kevin Libick
War Horse 2: Shore Leave Gone Bad

the locals never have liked visitors from the valley


i narrowed it to two, and couldn’t make up my mind; so i’m giving out two awards! Cindy Z, for “The day Sonshine Church decided to rethink ‘VBS Happy Trails.'”, and Angie, for “what’s Sarah Jessica Parker doing at the beach?”

so completely different, but both so funny! Cindy Z and Angie — you both win a 20% discount for either the MSMC or The Summit. shoot me an email ([email protected]).

photo in need of a caption

later this week, my family is heading up to washington state for a nice vacation, mostly at a timeshare on lake chelan. but the reason we’re heading to WA is because some of our best family friends are there, a family we lived across the street from years ago in sierra madre, california. it’s one of those rare friendships where the adults all get along and the kids all get along (in fact, it was my kids’ idea that we vacation up there with these friends). but i have this one particular memory that popped to mind, that always makes me laugh. the husband of this family, when our kids were little, had to climb up to the top of a playplace tower at a burger king (with me laughing my butt off at him) to retrieve his crying son (who was very young at the time). it was one of those switchback things where he had to wiggle back and forth across and up about 5 or 6 levels to reach the top, then do the whole thing again to get back down. just fantastic.

so, this photo made me think of that.

and, i could easily see having done this at some point. but, that doesn’t mean we can’t mock this guy with a good solid round of “photo in need of a caption” hilarity! and, let’s do a prize this time. best caption wins a copy of brian berry’s excellent new book, As For Me and My (Crazy) House (the publisher sent me a couple copies, and i’m keeping one of ’em!).

bring it!

CONTENDERS at the end of day 1:

lots of good ones, but these are the best of the best, so far, in my subjective opinion…


As Dr. Vaseline surveyed the situation his nephew Clancey had gotten himself into, he was struck with an idea…

Kevin I
The Extended Adolescence trap claims another victim.

Tim Falk
“Now repeat after me: I admit that I’m a sinner. I accept your son into my life. Please don’t let me go to hell, but let me live with you in heaven. Amen.”

ken macdonald
Now… open your eyes.

“Dude, we can still see you!”

kolby milton
The new youth pastor showing off his awesome skills.

Andrew Seely
As part of the rigorous sommelier training, joe was instructed to “be the cork”.

and the winner is…

andrew seely’s late entry was good. and i almost went with kevin i’s witty bit about extended adolescence (way to play to the judge). but in honor of manipulative youth ministries everywhere, i’m going with the very dark humor of tim falk’s forced lord’s prayer. shoot, it’s more cynical commentary than outright humor. but the judge likes that.

tim, shoot me an email ([email protected]) to claim your prize!

photo in need of a caption

once again, thanks to kevin winningham for sending me this beauty. oh, so many possibilities here!

a free copy of my new book for parents (which releases in december), understanding your young teen, goes to the winner!


laughed out loud at some of these.

Jeff Simpson
It was a rough start to the What Would Jesus Drive? campaign.

Justin Roberts
…Jesus wrecked…shortest verse in the Bible

Shane Mullin
This is my van, broken for you…

the most awkward part is the tow truck driver is an atheist.

Looking back: The David Crowder Band – the Early Years.

Tow truck driver: Wow, this is totally metaphorical.
Jesus Rodriguez: Que?

For some reason Jesus van would always lose power when he entered his hometown!

The Christian version of “Scooby Doo” just didn’t do as well as the makers of “Fireproof” expected.

And lo on the third day, the garage door was rolled away like a stone, and two mechanics in white greeted the women. “Your van is not here. It has risen! Come, see the place where it lay!”

Dangit Jim, Im a carpenter, not a mechanic.

Sadly, Judas, who was a lover of money, spent all that the disciples had on some SICK rims, leaving no money for gas.

Tim Falk
If you REALLY are the Van of God…tow yourself!

this was tough this time! i’m here at the middle school ministry campference, doing some final prep with kurt johnston and scott rubin, and we all voted. we came up with a top three:

third place honorable mention:
The Christian version of “Scooby Doo” just didn’t do as well as the makers of “Fireproof” expected.

runner-up (so dang funny!):
Tow truck driver: Wow, this is totally metaphorical.
Jesus Rodriguez: Que?

taking the prize (brilliant):
Shane Mullin
This is my van, broken for you…

shoot me an email, shane, so i can keep it in my inbox and remember to send you the prize when it comes out in december!

photo in need of a caption (spongebob version)

ok, here’s what was actually going down in this photo, sent to me by my friend, fellow riptide small group leader (my son’s small group leader!), and former ys co-worker ian robertson. but, as ian said in his email to me: perfect photo in need of a caption.

please, humor me. in fact, i’ll even throw in a prize this time: a copy of my new book for parents, Understanding Your Young Teen, when it releases in december.


adam mclane
TMZ reports children’s television hero squished by double decker bus. His last words were reportedly, “Squidward, I will always love you.”

Jake Manne
Mr Crabs, I think we are going to need a bigger spatula.

It’s nice that the rookies get to start with the easy chalk outlines and work their way up.

CSI: Bikini Bottom

Dave Wollan
In the end, it was beauty that killed the sponge

The all-too-common demise of another childhood actor…

Dave Wollan
A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the sponge, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite…

Stressed out mom, hearing the Sponge Bob theme song for the milllionth time, finally took her over the edge….

and the winner is…

my first inclination was to call a tie between jeff’s “CSI: Bikini Bottom” and dave wollan’s “A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the sponge, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite…”

but, i realized just in time that would mean i’d have to ship out TWO books for the winners! and i’m too cheap for that. so, Jeff gets an honorable mention, and… Dave Wollan, you are the grand prize winner!! woo-hoo!! (dave, shoot me an email with your address at some point, and i’ll send you a copy of the book when it comes out in december.)

photo in need of a caption

between a long speaking engagement in NC and a wonderful 9 day vacation on cape cod, i’ve been a lousy blogger for a few weeks. other priorities, and all. and i don’t have time to write a post today; but i thought i’d toss up this photo in need of a caption, sent to me by kevin winningham. whatcha got!?


Tim Falk
However, if you see someone on fire….stop, drop and ROTFL.

lol . . . I’m drowning in bacon.

Tim Gleason
The professor couldn’t believe that no one showed up for the first day of Drowning 101.

Tony Roos
I throw my hands up in the air sometimes singing ay-oh gotta let go.

and the winner is…
give it up for Tim Falk and “However, if you see someone on fire….stop, drop and ROTFL.”

i raise a saturday morning cup of coffee in your honor, tim!

photo in need of a caption

i’ve had this photo in need of a caption sitting in the bottom of my drafts since april of 2009. seriously. it was originally sent to me by tyler hagan (i only know that because i’d written that much of the post back in 2009!). now, well fermented and aged in oak barrels, it’s ready for the light of day. bring on the captions. best one gets your choice of prizes:

a. a big attaboy (or attagirl)
b. a complimentary space in the youth ministry coaching program (program fee not included)
c. lunch with me, my treat (transportation, accommodations and all other expenses, save for the actual food, not included)



Eric Carter
Years of rolling barrels and stealing princesses leaves a once famous Donkey Kong immobilized and alone.

Brian Pengelly
Proof that not all youth pastors become senior pastors by 40!

Planet of the Apes the golden years.

another Twitter photo of Anthony Weiner surfaces…

scooter rides with Scopes at the Unitarian VBS.

Eric Smith
Like many child stars before him, curious George bares the damage of years of wild living with little or no parental guidance.

Chris Saulnier

The Fast and The Curious

and the weiner is…

this was a tough call. a few made me snort or laugh out loud. rob’s “scooter rides with scopes at the unitarian VBS” was hilarious. but for sheer brilliance, i’m going to give it to matt and his “The Fast and The Curious”. that’s some intelligent wit there, matt. props to you. pick your prize!