Bad Luck Bananas

During a recent fishing trip, my son and husband told me I brought bad luck to the boat because I had some Mike & Ikes in my bag that were banana flavored.  They said it could cause them to not catch any fish, for someone to fall overboard, or even for the motor to quit working.  I thought they were joking with me. 

No.  Apparently they were not joking around.  Apparently in the world of anglers, it’s bad luck to have a banana on board.  Being the social historian that I am, I dug in to research the origins of this fishing superstition.  

Some believe the superstition originated in the 1700s because bananas would float to the surface of a ship wreck. Others argue that bananas, which are quick to ripen, ferment, and rot, would cause fires in the boats of the 1700s and 1800s. Another thought is that bananas are a delicacy to both spiders and termites, which anglers would not want on their fishing vessels (especially in the early years of primarily wooden boats).  Some even believe it’s just because they become super smelly or the peels become a slipping hazard.

Regardless of how it came to be a superstition, it’s a real thing.  So much so that some boat owners won’t even allow Banana Boat sunscreen on their property…or even banana flavored chewy candies!!!

It made me start to think about how completely routine driven and superstitious fishermen are in 2022…and if they were that superstitions during the time Jesus walked the earth.  

Fishing during New Testament times was labor intensive and did not involve the rod, reel and lures we know today.  Rather, they would have cast nets from the boat or the shoreline (see Matthew 17:24-27). Cast, Cast, Cast, Repeatedly.  Until they caught enough fish.  By today’s CrossFit standards, that would be quite the shoulder workout!

Any given superstition is a belief that actions, which are not related to another task, could be altered by an action, belief, or object.  It’s thought to change our luck in some regard.  And in Biblical times, they would probably have had some superstitions.  They likely had a preferred day or method to mend the nets.  Maybe they had a favored side of the boat to throw the nets off or maybe they had thoughts on how many people could be on a boat on any given day. 

The Bible cautions us about superstitious behavior as a means of idolatry.  For instance, in 1 Kings 18:20-40, Elijah diligently explores the foolishness of superstitious beliefs.  Furthermore, he challenges the priests of Baal to articulate the realness of their god verses the One True God.  Paul also cautioned against superstitious behavior with “little g gods” lest the audience become confused about what our Lord was requiring of us in followership.  

Clearly these are two examples dealing with worship of idols and ultimately where one would spend eternity, which is much more serious than if a boat motor would quit or one wouldn’t catch fish for the day.  The superstitions are real…but one is very serious…and the other seems more jovial.  

I’d urge the readers on the Iron Porch to use discernment this week about superstitions.  Are they playing a serious role in your life?  A fun-loving jovial role in your life? Or no role at all?  

And for goodness sake…don’t plan on bringing banana bread on your next fishing expedition!


Fishing Obsessions

On our first date, my husband told me that he loves to fish.

That may go down as the biggest understatement that he (or anyone in the history of the world) has ever said.  

Eight years after that first date, I would argue he doesn’t just love fishing…he’s obsessed with it.

I’d also contend that he’s really, really, really smart about fishing. He knows all sorts of nuances about line strength, reading water, colors of lures, how to make replica eggs for bait, predicting fish behavior, and how to tie flies.  

He works for a fishing related company. He owns a fishing related business.  He owns multiple boats for different aspects of fishing…freshwater, saltwater, lake, river, pond, or brush pile building. There is a ginormous barn/shop on our property dedicated to the art of fishing.  Not a week goes by where there aren’t at least 3-4 nights that fishing consumes the dinner table chatter.  

He fishes morning, noon, or night (*Well, not technically noon…if you are the wife of a fisherman, you know high noon and mid-afternoon are not good times to go fishing).  He can fish with a fly rod…fish with bait…fish with with custom rods…fish with a center pin reel…and the list goes on and on.   

I’ll go with him occasionally, but I’m more obsessed with reading, hiking, or hanging with friends. In the last few months, I’ve been trying to increase my memorization skills for Bible verses.  For most of my life I’ve struggled with memorization of anything, but especially scripture. I’m now employing some new techniques in memorization and attempting to master an entire chapter of Bible.

A few days ago, I read an article about the importance of scripture memorization. A notation at the middle of the article captured my attention. In my own words, it said something to the effect of we memorize or remember what we make most important to us.  If you can memorize lines from a movie, or sing along with your favorite song, then you don’t struggle with memorization.  You struggle with what is a priority for your memorization.  

Talk about getting my toes stepped on.  Ouch.  That’s me.  I can insert movie lines or the chorus of all kinds of songs into just about any conversation.  And yet, I’m telling myself that I’ve got this block about memorizing verses. 

That gut punch reminded me that I need to make Bible verse memorization a priority.  I need it to be the most (or at least one of the most) important things to me…so that I can be successful at placing those verses in my heart.  

I essentially want to take my husband’s approach to fishing and apply it to my own understanding of scripture. 

I want to be a subject matter expert.  I want to know it inside and out. I want to recall information instantaneously.  And I want to have confidence in my own abilities to appropriately handle the Gospel and scripture.  

I love that my husband has a fishing obsession.  I want to have a scripture obsession.

Come to the porch this week and let us know how you are making the scripture a priority in your life.


“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16 (NIV)

Time of Their Lives

On the end of the fishing pier, there were about 20 adolescent boys fishing their hearts out.  There was no talk of school projects or grades.  No talk of girls.  No talk of parents or problems at home.  Just teenage boys razzing each other and slinging fishing rods over the Atlantic Ocean. Every day for the entire summer they were planning to meet at this pier at sunrise and wait for parents to pick them up at sunset.  They were having the time of their lives.

When was the last time you had the time of your life?  Hanging out with friends?  No cares in the world? When was the last time you had the time of your life in your Christian walk?

While in High School, I had the time of my life every summer for a week at church camp. Started the mornings with a nature walk chat with God and prayer time in small groups followed by group Bible Studies in between playing in the pool during the days, ending with worship songs and smores around a campfire in the evenings.  Learning the Word and praising God, while hanging out with my closest friends in the foothills of Mt. Hood, Oregon.

When we’re having the time of our lives, do we even recognize it? Do we know we’re in a moment that won’t ever be recreated? Do those boys know that they are living their best lives getting tan and fishing with one another every day of the summer? Did I know that I was having the time of my life at a summer church camp?

In the months leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, did the disciples know that they were in a space of time with Christ that could never be recreated? Did they recognize the miracles, the travel, the teachings, even the rebuking for what it was? It was the time of their lives.

They may have missed it.  Just like the boys on the fishing pier this summer.  Just like me at summer camp.

As summer becomes fuller with activities, I’m praying that you are taking a moment to recognize what is happening around you. Are you living in a moment where you are having the time of your life?



Fishing Practice

It does not matter how many times my husband shouts “Ten and Two” while we are fly fishing, I’m still going to mess it up. I get the line tangled in the branches behind me.  I lose the fly or leader.  I’m still unsteady on moss covered rocks thigh deep in moving water, so I slip on the rocks and end up with freezing cold water inside my waders.

For whatever reason, I have a hard time casting the fly rod.  My husband on the other hand is graceful and fruitful with a fly rod.  I’ve been fly fishing about half a dozen times annually for the last 5 years and often get frustrated with the sport.  He’s been fly fishing every day for the last 30 years and adores it above all other forms of fishing.

The reason I’m having a hard time casting the fly rod?  Probably because I’m not practicing enough.  The reason my husband is amazing at it?  Probably because he practices every day.

Here, sweet friends, is where I struggle spiritually. I’m not practicing all the time.  I go through seasons where I feel much closer to the Lord than other times. There are times that I’m faithful to a strong prayer life and there are other times that I wean away from prayer.  I have seasons where I’m immersed in the word daily…and other times where my Bible is opened only on Sunday.

I frankly don’t practice enough.

If you are feeling the same way, I’d like to offer encouragement.  I think each of us has room to practice more in our relationship with God.  Each of us could improve some aspect of our spiritual walk.  None of us, on this side of heaven, has perfected our faith life.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:9 “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.”

From childhood many of us have heard the phrase “practice makes perfect.”  While I may not agree with the “perfect” portion of that phrase, I do agree that practice certainly brings better performance.

Just as fall has arrived in the South, I now have an opportunity to practice fly fishing more.  And in the next weeks, I’m going to focus on prayer as a place I need to practice more faithfully in order to draw closer to God.

What do you want to start practicing more?


Fly Fishing2