The Daren Streblow Comedy Show Mini-Cast 139: Emoticons, Lisa Mills & Chonda Pierce

The Daren Streblow Comedy Show Mini-Cast 139: Emoticons, Lisa Mills & Chonda Pierce April 25, 2016

Daren Streblow

I have a college degree in Communications. And, one of the unchanging facts in communicating with people is that emotion cannot be accurately conveyed through textual (versus verbal) interaction.

Then came emoticons.

Emoticons are important in today’s text messaging society. Now, emotions can be effectively communicated, such as:

I hope you lose all your money and end up in a cardboard box =)

See how the smiley face softens the blow of the preceding comment?

Unfortunately for me, the emoticons on my iPhone are too small, and they’re all grouped together tightly on my touchscreen. Since they’re so much smaller than my fingers, I often mistakenly hit the wrong emoticon.

I am so sorry to hear about your great-grandma. =P

What kind of horrible person would send a text message like that? I feel like such a monster. It almost makes me yearn for the days when all we had were acronyms such as LOL, BRB, IHATSOR (I’ll have a tuna sandwich on rye).

Image: Andrew King
Image: Andrew King

Though, as my buddy Riley Armstrong points out, 95% of the times that people typed LOL into their text, that person wasn’t really laughing out loud… which is just disingenuous.

I’ll do the same thing even today – I’ll send a smiley face even when I’m not actually smiling. They say it takes more facial muscles to frown than to smile, but it takes literally zero facial muscles to send a smiley face emoji.

Next, my dear friend Lisa Mills calls into the show for the first time. As she says, the only reason she called was to take a break from homeschooling her kids. Though, she’s not your “typical homeschool mom”. She doesn’t make her own soap; she doesn’t warn her sons away from any woman who wears red lipstick; nor does she make her kids sew their own clothing out of recycled drapes.Lisa Mills

People ask her all the time why she chooses to homeschool. Is it because she wants her kids to be able to pray in school? Is it to avoid school violence? It’s actually a much more serious reason than any of that. Lisa homeschools because she hates fundraisers. Seeing her kids farmed out like little Amway salespeople sent her over the edge.

Lisa enrolled her son in a four-day-a-week Christian homeschooling co-op. Although, she thinks it may actually be a scam. It appears to run more like a homeschool recovery program. She’s not absolutely certain, but she’s going to wait until after her son gets his 30-day chip before making any decisions.

One nice thing Lisa has found about homeschooling is the amazingly low budget needed to educate at home. Teachers in your typical public schools are always complaining about not having enough resources for proper pens, pencils, paper, etc. But, all Lisa has to do is tell her husband what they need and he steals it from his work’s office supply room.

Problem solved.

Finally, the one and only Chonda Pierce joins me. Chonda is an Emmy nominated talent, one of the top ticket-selling acts in the country, and new host of the Dove channel’s brand new series Stand-Up For Families.Chonda Pierce

Now, almost two years ago, Chonda tragically lost her husband from a massive stroke which followed a long, terrible alcohol addiction struggle. Sadly, Chonda is all too familiar with dealing with grief. Her book Laughing In The Dark (the inspiration for her first full-length documentary of the same name) chronicles the loss of her mother, the estrangement of her daughter, the death of her husband and her struggle with clinical depression.

Over the years, Chonda has learned that sometimes, when you are having a very tough day and sadness seems to be all around… sometimes the best thing to do is just sit in it and wrestle with it. This doesn’t make life any easier, but by walking through the grief head-on, you can avoid it coming back ten-fold when you are the least ready for it. The truth is that all of us simply need to walk through the stages of grief, not avoid or deflect them.

For Chonda, the toughest thing she ever had to endure was losing her husband. But, what brings her comfort is a passage from the Bible – James 1:27, which tells the Church:

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress

The truth is that thousands of years ago, when James wrote those words, God knew that Chonda would be in this “club”. God also knows that being a widow – as well as an orphan – is such a difficult road that he specifically told His people to care for them. God could have told the Church to take care of the lepers. He could have instructed to take care of the men of the world because they are such idiots. But, instead, he specifically told His people to care for the widows.

Today, you can “care” for Chonda by checking out her new show. The Dove Channel offers entertainment for the whole family and is available on your mobile device as well as Roku. Chonda makes you laugh, even while she inspires you with her stories of dealing with tragedy. Check out everything that she has going on at!

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