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Thursday, March 10, 2022

Ericast 325 - Seventeen Years Young

I don't want to sound sappy but the Ericast is now 17 years old. What's that mean for us? I'm not sure. Want to help figure it out? Here's your show.

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The Ericast was born on March 6, 2005 and somehow the way math works, calendars line up every so often, so this really is numerologically the same week as when the Ericast started. So, now what?

A lot has changed in 17 years and a lot is exactly the same. I had a 128MB iRiver. I now have a 128GB iPhone which, in addition to holding podcasts, is a magic piece of glass streaming video from the planet. 

Here's my newly slimmed-down list of podcasts for 2022 that I'm listening to on that magic piece of podcatching glass:

Questions? Comments? Celebratory remarks? Call 701-645-3742 (a.k.a. 701-645-ERIC) or reach out to me through any variety of social media channels including the old-fashioned email of me (eric) at

Monday, November 01, 2021

Ericast 324 - Who's Mr. Erzman?

After last week's fairly dark episode, we need something to lighten up the podcast, so I'm talking about a question that bothered me for ages. Here's your show.

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I spent my "formative teen years" in a little town called Cornucopia, Wisconsin. That's a long story but among its mere 50 year-round residents was a kind but somewhat mysterious old man named Albon Overgard who moved there after we did. Cornucopia was founded in 1902, although after we left they celebrated its centennial in 2003 and I have a feeling that's because they forgot about it in 2002 and so they just changed the year. But, anyway, Dr. Overgard was born a year or two later in 1904, so when I refer to him as an "old man" that's just a fact - he was closing in on 90, lived to age 92, and with the advent of the Internet we can find that he was a doctor who specialized in the digestive system...

Everyone has a story.

So that's why I was wondering who Khalid was singing about in Benny Blanco's song Eastside. It didn't seem to make much sense, but maybe Mr. Old Erzman was a really memorable, lovable figure in the narrator's life, like Dr. Overgard was?

The more I listened to it, the more endearing it became... but, it really didn't make sense.

Then a few months ago I looked up the lyrics...

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Ericast 323 - Well... Maybe Not

I had a great plan for a series in August... and then September... and then October. Want to know about a series you're not going to hear? Here's your show.

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This episode isn't lighthearted. Here's a key takeaway for you: If you're in a community, organization, business, family, or political fellowship that you value and appreciate... and someone has an objection to it... you should listen to that objection.  You don't need to agree with it.  But if you dismiss it out of hand, you do that at your own peril.

If you know anything about me, and if you don't then you're about to learn, you'll realize that in college I came to identify as "Christian" and that my particular denomination or "flavor" was "Evangelical". In the past couple years, I've realized more and more that there are some things that are extremely broken in the "Evangelical church".

  • I've got friends who say, "Yeah, obviously, that's why I'm not a Christian!"
  • I've got friends who say, "Yeah, it's really sad, and I do what I can to make the church a better representation of what Jesus told us to do."
  • And I've got friends who have now chosen to leave my life and make themselves former friends who say, "Nuh-huh! No, there aren't problems! That's just what Satan wants you to believe. We are SO persecuted!"

That's what I was going to talk about.  But, I'm not going to -- at least not in the four-part series I had in mind -- because it's just too depressing a place to put myself into.

But I am, on occasion, going to use this podcast to do a little bit of "awareness raising".  Because I've got friends somewhere between that second and third category who are truly, sincerely, oblivious to the harm that's happening inside their churches.  Because I'm not in their church, I can see it. They can't. Jesus is known for a phrase that has always sounded odd to me "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Like, who doesn't have ears? Well, I guess we all have ears... but I've found that not everybody hears with them.

I'll close with an example. And I have to give a trigger warning to my listeners with a heart for the LGBT community, that this clip is painful and hurtful to them. But that's not why I'm sharing it, because that's no surprise - if you know anything about "evangelical theology" you know that "tolerance" is a stretch, let alone love and affirmation. (And I know that there are some who, with a few extra words to make it flowery, would say that intolerance is actually loving, and we're not going to go there right now.)

Instead, I want you to listen very, very carefully to this clip from a youth ministry program. Remember it's not a random, off-the-cuff conversation -- these are prepared remarks which were then edited and produced and distributed. This is intentional doctrine, recorded in 2021 and shared with teenagers as part of a program answering the question "Is it a sin to be gay?" Trust me, this is an accurate representation of what you'll hear talking to the average person in this church. Put yourself in the shoes of a typical teenager as they list off examples of the "sins" that people struggle with.

And hence the title of the podcast episode that I'm not going to do: "Is Depression Sinful."  If you weren't listening carefully, replay the last few seconds.  We've established that in this worldview, it's a sin to be attracted to someone of the same sex. Now, it's not a sin to be "attracted" to someone of the opposite sex because that's God's design, but if it's "lustful" attraction, that's sinful. And deceit is a sin. But what's tucked in the middle of that list.  Depression.

If forced to confront it, you can say, "No, Eric, they don't mean that depression is sinful, just that it's a challenge that teenagers face?"  And if you truly, sincerely insist on believing that, there's nothing I can do to change your mind. All I can tell you is... No.  That's not what they're teaching. They're teaching that "depression" is a sin -- maybe it's self-indulgence, maybe it's for attention, maybe it's because you've been deceived by the world, but the solution is to "get right with God."

I have a problem with that.  In fact, teaching that depression is a sin might bump up against that other sin of "deceit" that they mentioned.

I don't have any power to change the hearts and minds of people who believe things like this. But I do have a chance at pointing it out to people who deny it happens in their church.  Trust me, it happens. And when it does, and you hear someone like me point it out, and you see the response that people like me get in return... maybe say, "hey, should we listen to what he has to say?"

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Ericast 322 - Defining 'Work Performance'

Have you ever used a phrase for years and then one day you looked at it and realized it could mean something totally different?

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I've listened to an old episode or two with the "life updates" at the front and I've thought to myself, "self, just get to the point!" so I'll keep things short to explain how I don't even think I'm on a "quarterly" schedule anymore.

Does the listener feedback line work still work? How do you say "root" and "bag"...?  Do I have Windows 11?  What great questions!


1. an act of staging or presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment.
"Don Giovanni had its first performance in 1787"
Similar: show, production, showing, presentation, entertainment, staging, act, concert, recital, house, gig

2. the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function.
"the continual performance of a single task reduces a man to the level of a machine"
Similar: carrying out, execution, discharge, conducting, conduct, effecting, accomplishment, achievement, completion, fulfillment, dispatch, implementation, effectuation

Definitions from Oxford Languages

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Ericast 321 - That Was Unexpected

Let's try a notes-free, link-free version for our 16th birthday?

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Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment