Thursday, December 11, 2008

3 Degrees from 3rd World

This morning, my "Facebook Status" read...
"Timothy Is going to meet a really cool guy for breakfast at a place where the average age of the patrons tops the national debt."

Well, That's just the beginning of the story!
I visit my local "Al-a-Carte" cafeteria about once a month to once every couple of months, and ONLY when I am meeting a good friend who happens to like the food selection (and prices). Well this morning, there I was, My friend (which I did not know at this moment) was at home sick with a stomach bug.... I was sitting outside waiting and watching...

You see, I really do like just watching people. Not only does it give me lots to blog about, but gives me a deeper insight into the human condition, if you will.

So I decide I am getting hungry and figured something came up... so I head on in.
What do my wandering hungry eyes feast upon first in line........


Not just Prunes, as in plums that forgot to wear their sunscreen and keep cool in the pool, but STEWED PRUNES!!!!!!!

Why oh why would ANYONE want to stew something that truly should have been thrown away 10 years ago when the expiration date hit???

Ok, so getting through the line.... asked the short order cook.... "Do you have any breakfast specials"?

Her answer.... in completion... "Yeah... a couple"!
.... that's it.... no more.... so like a confused non octogenarian I asked....
"and they are??"
Following this question I received an answer.... not too sure what the exact words were but I got the gist.... it was....
"You should know... but since you don't it's basically the same breakfast special that we have had since our grand opening in 1612!"

Strike 2!!!

Make my way through the line, got my receipt, made it to the table.... sat down and began to eat. By this time I was doing pretty good. Having had a stomach bug a couple of day's ago, this is the first real meal that I have had in a while and believe it or not was actually looking forward to it!

All of a sudden... it hit me!
The wall, the offensive wall, like falling off from a roof into a pile of manure.... took my breath away.... but not like that song from top gun, but the opposite way.... I about lost by food (for the second time this week).
It was..... Dun Dun Daaaaahhhhhh!!!!! (dramatic music)

Horrific, painful, and quite unnerving.... a smell that unfortunately I had smelled before....
All of a sudden here I am in a restaurant having flashbacks of being stuck on a very very small elevator in Kiev, Ukraine with a couple of "Locals" one of whom hadn't ever shaved.... and believe me... she should have.....
Hit by the smell of B.O. covered with some funky, musky french perfume that you get for free on your hotel bed (like we get candy).

Then I realized
The epiphany of all epiphanies....

Deodorant, good food, and manners....
without it...
we are 3 degree's from being a 3rd world civilization

how weird is that!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Another Day!

This past week, I have been spending most of my time re-setting everything from last weekend with the Carrs - which coincidentally was an AMAZING time! During this time, I have kind of been in brain-dead mode mostly due to the extensive amount of time spent last week, as well as technology isn't personally interactive.

I am realizing the need more and more to be on my guard during these times. Sometimes it is GREAT to get away from the norm, and shut the brain down to recharge for a while, and sometimes if you aren't careful, this can be detrimental.

I was going to stay home this morning and get some work done around the house, but realized that I really missed being around people... only 3-4 days of it and I miss it. I have grown accustomed to being around people every day that if I go for a long time without it, I start to feel like everything is out of order... How weird is that! Even in my relationship with God, if I isolate myself from everyone around me all the time I can really miss some great opportunities.... In fact just this morning, because I came up to PCJ (shipyard office) I was able to meet a lady, through another acquaintance that is working with a project called Outside the Walls, designed to get churches to help be a part of community volunteering events outside the walls of their own churches... AWESOME!!!

I don't think this post has much of a point other than some personal thoughts, but its what I got!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

TO: Our New President

Congratulations Obama!

I didn't personally vote for you because I didn't think you were best for the job. However I just wanted to let you know that regardless of my personal, religious, or political opinions, you have been elected as our new president. BECAUSE OF THIS, I salute you.

We are a part of a great system in which we can each individually voice our opinions and beliefs, and can openly disagree with each other. Now that the process has been won, I now stand behind you as an American, and a Christian in support of you our soon to be leader and in prayer. I promise that I will lift you up in prayer, and not criticize every decision you make. I promise to pray for you and your family for the sole purpose of encouragement and wisdom. I promise not to pray against you or pray anyway manipulative against you... You are our soon to be elected leader, and for that I stand behind you!

I also pray that at this time in our life that God would protect us and lead and guide us all closer to Him.

Congratulations Obama and family, I support you!

That's all I have to say about that!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dogs don't get DST

DST - Daylight Savings Time, it's like the FDIC for the Sun!

I learned a very interesting thing this morning, it's that Dogs, really don't get DST. Why? Well probably has something to do with the fact that 1. they don't work for a living (except at being cute), 2. they don't have an alarm clock (other than my really loud one) and 3. DST is a man-made boundary used to help us (being all farmers that we are) have a more productive day-cycle.

This morning at @ 5:45 our littlest, strider, starts a whining... Whatever could be wrong??? Well He had to perform his usual early morning ritual.... you know the same one we all perform every morning-- A cup of coffee and readin the morning paper [;o)

So I went ahead and got up to let him out (to go get the paper) and started getting ready myself. On the way to MY usual ritual (Which really did involve a cup of coffee this time) I started thinking about DST, and the effect on dogs.... which is what brings us here.

In my thinking I realized that Dogs are not bound by the pressures of our lives. Sure they have their own problems to deal with... like should I stay laying here, or go bark at a bug in the window sill... or which squeaky toy will be the best for the mood i am in at this moment, was that a car??(yes i think my dogs are as add as I am)But they don't deal with the stress that we all put ourselves under every day. They are pretty easy to adapt, given a little time, and are pretty good about doing the same things over and over and over.

If I were to look for a spiritual point in all of this it would be this (to paraphrase in the Tim H style)

Matthew 6:26 (loose) Look at the Chihuahua's and terriers, they don't work for a living trading stocks, and building things with their hands, yet when their food bowls are empty, are they not shortly thereafter filled again? We take care of them, does not our heavenly father also take care of us?

Point being, I think sometimes we need to slow down a bit and jump up into air daddy's laps and wag our tails (you get what i mean) We just need to enjoy God, not spend so much time worrying about being on time to that meeting that you really don't have to be at but you really do want to impress your boss so you might get noticed and get a bigger piece of cake at the next office birthday party (and YES I have worked in a cubicle). Enjoy GOD!

I think if we can learn to do that, then when the urges come to help others, or spend time with those in need we will be ready!

that's my thoughts and I'm stickin to em!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Power of the Servant

Here lately I have been working on a night of appreciation for all of our volunteers at the church. One thing I have realized more and more, is that volunteers have more power than they realize, because they are a unified group.

let me explain.
Take any organization that utilizes volunteers as a part of its infrastructure.... like for instance.... a church. On any given Sunday, who do people (either guests, or regular attenders) talk with the most? Who do they spend the most time with? The pastor? Well maybe one or two people get to dominate the pastors time, but what about everyone else??
Let's say, for example, that the newly formed "Federation of planets" has upset some distant planet of cockroach like inhabitants... and let's say they have just produced a new form of biological weapon targeting the DNA of people who serve as volunteers... and let's say that they are so outraged by the comments made from the "Federation" in relation to them and a particular kind of motel that you can check into, but can't check out, that they decide to use said weapon on us. (if you are still with me, then you are either really curious as to how I could possibly end this, or totally A.D.D., in either case, I salute you )
So here we are, No volunteers... now what?? What does the church on Sunday morning look like??
Could you imagine a pastor trying to hand out bulletins, turn on the sound system, start coffee, lead worship, run overheads, preach, watch the kids, change dirty diapers, read a story to the toddlers, all in an hour and a half???
Now I know that there may be some who read this that say... Hey, When i started the church that's pretty much what I did... and to that I say... YEP... but not for long. You see in order to have a thriving ministry that is effective, it requires a lot of people. As the ministry grows, so does the number needed to make things happen at any given time. Setup, Tear-down, Counseling, Life Groups, Children, Youth, Sound / AV, Toilet Plunging.... you name it! Point is that WE (as in pastors) NEED People, without the volunteers, our job would be impossible. SO having said that, and with the power vested in me by Life Community Church, I say

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Flowers - God's way of "Helpin a brother out"

Last night, on my way home (late) i was tasked with stopping in and grabbing dinner for Eliza and I. Eliza (my wife) has got to be the most intelligent, most beautiful, and most creative woman I have ever met, to this end, I find myself always in a difficult place when trying to get her something to bless her when she if feelin down..... or sick..... or whatever. She is a chemist, so anytime I think about getting her some super intelligent gift (like a new space shuttle) we usually can't afford it. She makes jewelry ( BTW she is now selling jewelry here.... you really need to check it out) so when I go and look to buy her jewelry, all i can think about is how much prettier her stuff is (unless it is diamonds, but I am saving that for when I become independently wealthy). Then there's the practical things, like a new pan.... nothing says lovin like ....*think Sherman Helmsly - here you go, now get in there and make me some dinner woman!
I thought about a new band saw, or drill press, but again that wouldn't be used by her often.... OH and you can't forget about chocolate.... but that too is not for just her.... here's some chocolate babe... yes I know there is a piece missing, I mean c'mon it's chocolate.

Which brings me to flowers..... God's way of "helpin a brother out"!! You see, unlike those other things, MOST guys, although having no problems appreciating the beauty of flowers, especially in this context, don't personally benefit from flowers directly. Flowers say... "This is for you - not me, I was thinking about you - Not me". That's why they are so important, it is God's way of helping us guys understand that a gift/thought should have NOTHING to do with the person giving it. YES I Know that it is a nice "Surprise" when you realize that your wife doesn't really want to use that new arc-welder you just bought her, and has no problem with you using it to your heart's content.... But... Gifts like that aren't gifts....
When I give my wife something that is from the heart, it says this is for you and I have absolutely NO benefit from it, because of this I get the benefit of blessing you and hopefully brightening your day!

One of my favorite gifts I found for Eliza that demonstrates this perfectly was a bath pillow that had written across it "Leave Me Alone".
This is for her and her alone!

Thanks God for the little reminders that true love is about others, not symbiosis!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ignorance is WORK, Not Bliss!!!!

It's interesting the things you will hear sitting at your local coffee hot spot, talk of 2 of the most prominent non "Public Discussion" topics abound like nowhere else.... I of course am referring to Religion, and politics

It seems like every discussion centers around one of these two thoughts, but why?? Is it because of the oppression of the people for so many years to refrain from speaking on these topics??? or is it because the "Man" has put a secret neurotoxin in the coffee that causes us to uncontrollably speak every thought that comes through our head (which is then recorded by the microchips implanted in the napkins), Or even because of a "Higher Power" compelling us to join together for the benefit of mankind and form these coffee laden splinter-cells of change for the good of all mankind??????

The last couple of times I have been at our "Shipyard Office" (stop by but call me first as my hours at this office are sporadic ) I have seen this one particular gentleman one would consider to be "Wise in Years". This gentleman.... let's call him BOB for ease of use..... Bob is not very soft spoken, either because e took some shrapnel to the ear in the Revolutionary War, or because his hearing aid battery is low... either way, I was able to enjoy his many colorful rantings..... here's some things I found out from his "Wisdom"

  1. If you hear it on a commercial that follows the Today's Show.... it MUST be True!
  2. If there has been absolutely NO proof of any particular government conspiracy in 80 years that means It's not conspiracy theory, it's conspiracy FACT!
  3. Because it happened to me, means that I am the expert and it will happen to everyone GUARANTEED!!!

Let me expound, but I will start in reverse.... it's more fun for me that way

BOB, was sitting with 3 other people which seemed to be friends, they were all older, and you could tell they were enjoying yelling stories, and memories to each other. Well, BOB started talking about riding a motorcycle... so NATURALLY my ears perked up. Well he made the comment that

"It is a PROVEN FACT that where you look is where you are going to go, that's why you have to look into the turn not at the road, otherwise you will drive in a straight line right off the road"

Now mind you, in all of the years riding, I will agree that it is a GREAT Idea to look ahead and know where you are going, however, if - say - your main tank is out of gas and you need to switch over to the reserve tank, and you glance down to make sure that you don't grab the searing hot engine, and - say - you happen to be in the middle of a long curve.... my advice... DON"T MOVE YOUR STEERING HAND WHEN YOU MOVE YOUR HEAD!!! It is possible, may not be safe... but I wouldn't use that as grounds to say it is a "Proven Fact", It is a proven fact, however, that if you don't pay attention, watch the road, and be smart on a motorcycle, eventually you will be a part of a HUGE grease spot on the highway! - nuff said

Number 2 - BOB, at another point in my auditory interaction with him, began talking about the all seeing eye on the dollar bill. Now, mind you, I don't doubt that there are a lot of things that the government doesn't want us to know about... either for our safety, or to keep us from interfering with their plans for world domination.... either way, I'm good with it. But BOB began spouting off what sounded to me like a mix of all of the "Conspiracy Theory Type" movies out there.... his explanations didn't even make any since, he would use examples from WWII and Vietnam, to prove that the all seeing eye is a part of the Illuminati ???? WHAT THE??? Are you joking??? absolutely no proof, and to this date, I have NEVER heard anyone, even the most Conspiracy Nut talk about stuff like this.... so it must be true!!!

Last, would be point number 1.

BOB sat there and started quoting "Facts" about John McCain, and Obama...

Now, I am not one for much political discussion or debate, but lately I have been listening allot... there is so much to be said, and to be honest, I don't know what is true and what isn't..... now before you start telling me what is true, know this.... It doesn't matter!!! I like the guy I like, for the reasons I believe are important.... all that matters...

but as BOB was discussing the finer points of the flaws of McCain, I started thinking.... wow.... this sounds really familiar.... then it hit me.... He was quoting verbatim a commercial that I had heard that morning after the today show from the Obama campaign and against John McCain. Interesting thing about it is he was adding in front of the key points the words..."Its a Fact that..."

That's when it really sunk in, it really takes a lot of work to try to convince people that your personal opinion (or others) is fact

Ignorance.... it's Work, NOT Bliss!!!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend In Review! (for Tim B.)

This weekend at LifeCC Was AWESOME!!!
Just to recap (For those that were not there, or out of town... say in the mountains of western NC or something like that)

Sunday Morning (this morning) was a GREAT Success. Everyone was there ready to go with smiles on! Worship was good, and the teaching this week by Dick Teed (listen online)was RIGHT On Target and Much needed for today!
Thanks to all who made it and all who served today. Such a joy to be a part of a team that works, worships, and plays together!!! YOU GUYS ROCK!!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Interesting thought for the day.....
I was on my way to work today, stressed about an issue I am having with some computer problems... didn't sleep much last night (as usual) as I am working through a problem. When I got to work, I realized that my stomach was all a fizz over this stress, and it hit me....

My priorities are NOT In the right place. I remember lying in bed this morning with the news going on and on about the financial crisis etc. so on and so forth...... and all I can think about is this computer issue.

I have had quite a few conversations surrounding this financial situation, and all of them involve me saying that there is nothing to really stress about. We have been through a recession before and besides that, I KNOW that God will take care of us, because he has seen us through some pretty wicked times already.... we will snap back, but until then we just need to relax and trust God . - And Here I am .... The Pot calling the Kettle "Cast Iron". Am I stressed about the financial situation and the state of the global economy.... NO instead I am stressed about 3lbs of Metal that would make a GREAT Paperweight one day, WHAT's That about???
Instead of focusing on God, I traded one stressful situation for another!

So all that to say.... I gotta get and keep my priorities straight!! God First, Wife and Dogs Second, Ministry Third... and Computers and the Economy LAST!!!

nuff said, time to walk it!

I'm Out

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


A bit dreary and cold today.... so I have been able to catch up on my blogging.
I was excited to see that things seemed to go well Sunday. I miss everyone, but am very grateful for the time away from everything.... very refreshing!


Tuesday Morning


Now that's experience talking!!

Monday afternoon, there was a bit of drama around the ole vacation stead... My father in law desperately wanted to open a bottle of wine, but as catastrophes go, there was no corkscrew available in the condo... What to do, What to do???
We knew there was a possibility of a friend coming to visit, so I frantically sent an email telling them to bring a corkscrew.... but we continued to look. Later we found out that the friend wasn't coming till Tuesday night.... that's when things got interesting... and a bit desperate. We decided to leave the condo in search of the elusive corkscrew.

We began our search outside of the domicile, at the first store we could find, it was the something something something pier, bait shop and restaurant. I know it sounds like the kind of place you would be able to find anything you could ever dream of.... but not.

We (my father in law and I ) were looking through the shelves to no avail when we decided to ask for assistance. When we asked for a corkscrew we received (to my amazement) a response we weren't prepared for. One of the "Locals" (and this I know b/c he was sitting in the store, with his feet propped up on the counter, drinking a beer and watching that most holy of redneck sports... nascar) spouted off to our query.... "Just take a screw and screw it into the cork and yank it out with a hammer".

NOT exactly what we had in mind, ignoring his suggestion we pressed on. The owner (I presume) in his stained overalls and well worn ball-cap informed us they should have a whole bunch... he remembered seeing at least 3. I realized at this point that a corkscrew is probably not purchased often in this particular establishment if 3 is definitive as "a whole bunch" .... but a hammer and screw, maybe. As we continued looking another of these "Locals" pops off the same advice as the first.... screw, and yank it out with a hammer.....

At this point I start thinking.... what type of state would you need to be to require that type of ingenuity to open a wine bottle?? As we kept searching, the wisdom that was being presented before us once again, came to full conversational status when, what appeared to be the owner's wife, stated "All you need to do is take a screw and screw it into the cork and yank it out with a hammer....... I've done that before".
And THERE IT WAS.... wisdom had made itself clear! This was not just a half-brained crazy idea come up with by a race fan in a half-drunken stupor in need of a top-off..... this was experience talking..... I've done that before, she said. True Experience.... who am I to argue with that?

So we politely went to food lion and found a corkscrew for $4.99. But I guarantee I will NEVER forget the words of Wisdom formed from experience

I've done that before!


The view on Monday morning!

Such a treat, so close to the ocean, and very few people in sight!! How relaxing!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

WEDDING’s Over, the VACATION Begins

The wedding was a beautiful success!!!

Of course, I feel kind of bad that the hottest girl at the wedding was my wife…. But whatcha gonna do???

And now for the vacation!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

So It Begins!!!

This weekend has already been such an event filled time. Last night I went through the wedding rehearsal for the wedding I will be performing this afternoon. It's amazing that in the middle of hurricane season, and the temperature being in the 80/90's last week TODAY is so beautiful, and cool…. It is going to be a PERFECT day for a wedding, or in the words of Billy Idol


It's a NICE day for a ….

White Wedding!!



So for now I say an early congrats to Kevin and Carey!

Tomorrow…. The vacation begins.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This Month ... (not) In Pictures

I want to beat my posts from last month, so I figured I would start now (cause the month is burnnin and i am a bit slow)

What this month holds.....
I am really looking forward to this month, the rest of it that is...

  1. I get to give away some responsibility and oversight to some other people... always fun
  2. I get to go on a honest-to-goodness vacation!!! First vacation since my homeymoon that is not going to see relatives (although they will be there)... we are actually renting a condo for a whole week!!!! WOO HOO!!!!
  3. Growth and Next Steps - (because of the first point) I get to begin the next steps of my responsibility at the church.... planning for a new member class.
  4. COFFEE!!!!!! At the end of this month Eliza and I will begin our HighSchool Coffee House LifeGroup!!! FREAKIN AWESOME!!! I can't Wait!

What a fun month!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Going for the Gold!

Even the best runner knows that the winner always gets the Gold....
But, what happens when you already have the gold.... what then? Who are you going against then??

YOURSELF! The best competitors are not only trying to beat everyone else, but they are also trying to beat their own best scores....

The whole time you are reading this, waiting for me to get to the deep theological views in this particular blog, I have just beaten my own record!

Last Month 5 Blog posts....
This Month....


Growing - The Conclusion part4

To Wrap up this particular discussion, I want to recap a few questions asked

  1. What does a "Healthy" church Look Like?
  2. What does a "Growing Church" look like?
  3. What does an "Effective" church look like?

In MY opinion, knowing that's all it ever is (an opinion)

A Healthy church is one that is always pointing people to Christ. Looks for opportunities to serve within their means and genuinely wants people to come to know Christ, their motivation for ministry is NOT the numbers, the bottom dollar, or how "Everyone Else" is doing it, but based on the call of God for that particular ministry.

A Growing Church, is typically defined by the numbers, and allot of emphasis is spent on parking, and crowd control if you will in relation to just moving the large numbers through the system. Most systems in this type of church seem to be focused on the event and not necessarily the people.... just by virtue of numbers there will always be a large crowd at any event... Although these are not all bad things, where it can be bad is when "The Event" is all there is.

An Effective church is one that has a mission, a purpose and a goal and will accomplish that weather or not anyone shows up to help. These types of churches are generally characterized by their Programs, and their focus on a few direct projects.

So what does it all mean here???

What type of church are you?? what type of church are we??

Ultimately I think it is important to constantly evaluate and find a balance between all three types of churches

I want us to be a Healthy, Growing, and Effective church!!! And that's what we are!!!!!

I'm just sayin!!!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still Growing....... part 3

As I continue, since my last post I have had no less than 5 conversations specifically surrounding this topic. I am amazed at how much emphasis is on this topic, and how little true direction can be found in the bible regarding church growth.
Let me expound on a few things if I could.
The bible says in Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.
It also says in Acts 2:47
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
Act 2:47 ...praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Unless I'm wrong, which, you know, I'm not... The focus throughout the word of God was never on the number of people.... instead the focus was on the heart of the people and their actions toward others....
a few examples -
  1. David and Goliath, the masses against the children of Israel, saved by one man with a heart toward God
  2. Isaiah (1:13) Phophesied, the incense of the children of Israel was an abomination to God, because their HEARTS weren't there
  3. Never once did Jesus ask peter if he had met His "Fish" quota, nor how many "Fish" he had caught

These are just a few other examples.... many many more, but I won't continue, because - even though God didn't expressly talk about numbers doesn't mean that we are foolish if we do! We are each responsible for what God has given us, to some it is a multitude, to others it's just a few loaves and a couple of fish. The important thing is that we are pointing others to the important thing----- GOD and Him Alone.

So what does that mean????

To take my clues from (yet again) the "WORD" - "To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.

How many talents have you/I been given, and what are we going to do with it? Add to it, do the best we can with what we got? or do we look at the person that has more talents and strive to be like them???

Last thought for now (I will have more later) Romans 9:21 - does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Growing Boy .... part 2

Yesterday, I left you with this thought;

How good, or how healthy you are has absolutely NOTHING to do with what tools you have to work with, or how much of something you have.

To continue.....

Over the last couple of years, I have been faced with numerous personal, and professional questions related to church growth. I had a friend of mine state "You cannot have an effective, relational church with more than 1000 people". This has always bothered me. I have never been one to focus on the numbers in church, but have always liked and wanted to be a part of a large thriving church.... which is where this blog comes from. As I have been searching, watching and asking.... a couple of questions have come to my mind

1. What does a "Healthy" church Look Like?
2. What does a "Growing Church" look like?
3. What does an "Effective" church look like?

I have spent a lot of time talking with friends in ministry about the differences in different churches and their individual ministry styles. Most of the discussion revolves around the juxtaposition of the "Seeker" (SE) and "Spirit-Led"(SL) church models. I have always been apart of the "Spirit-Led" model. One of the most talked about points, which I will expound on, is the issue of "The Numbers" i.e, how many people are attending the church in question.

I have heard ministers in the "SL" model talk about numbers from the perspective of ... "It's not about the numbers.... but how effective you are at ministry that counts"
At the same time ministries from the "SE" model say "We are healthy, and therefore can reach more people effectively"

Please be aware, that Our church, though leaning more toward the "SL" side of ministry, is still growing very well, and is no way the reason I am discussing this topic

Let me start by saying this..... Bigger doesn't mean better, nor does smaller mean more "Relational".

As I look at this discussion, I see that it is more or less like debating the health benefits of Pepsi vs. a piece of chocolate cake.... pointless. Ministry is and should be about one thing and one thing ONLY. Bringing people to a better understanding of Christ! How do you do that??? The options are endless, but that is not what this particular blog is about.

I think it's time the church stop looking at numbers to justify how well they are doing, and look at the heart of the ministry....
Are people coming to a better understanding of Christ?? YES?? Then you are doing well!!! The rest is just details.
But while I am on it, let's talk about the details for a moment.

1. Size - Say you aren't growing in numbers.... does that mean you have stagnated? well maybe... but I think a better question to ask would be.... why aren't people coming? your particular theology? Style? "Relational-ness" or lack thereof? If you can seriously ask these questions... and hear the answer (Weather or not you agree with it) I believe it will speak volumes as to your health as a ministry and effectiveness.

At the same time... If you are growing in leaps and bounds, are you healthy??
well... again, I think the same questions need to be asked.... Just because people are flocking to you, doesn't necessarily mean you are healthy.... you may just be more popular! Why are people flocking? Because you have a great band, great theology? or because it is easy and non-confrontational? or because it feels good??

No matter what size you are, or what state of growth, you need to ask these type of questions so you can really know if you are healthy. Growing up, I was a BIG Kid, and it wasn't till later in life I found out I was NOT Healthy... just big! Now I am trying to get healthy

That's all for today.... more to follow

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Let Em have another piece of cake... he's a growing boy!

I used to LOVE going to grandma and grandpa's house when I was a kid. It was phrases like "He's a Growing Boy" that would allow me to indulge and get pretty much whatever I wanted out of my grandparents. Unfortunately, it also led to the whole overweight and food allergy problem. Not that it was their (or anyone but mine) fault.... but what I was learning was that Growth was based on getting. I remember getting ready to go into the sixth grade. My sister had been playing the flute for two years, and I wanted to join the band.... My parents didn't have much money at the time, so they gave me a trumpet that had been sitting in storage for about 20 years.

Before I go too far, let me tell you about this trumpet..... When I got the trumpet, I remember the first thing I noticed was the smell. It was fairly pungent and had sort of an acrid overtone.... later I was to learn that is what happens when you mix brass and mold-- ie not pretty! The tuning slide had not been moved or oiled in at least the 20 years it had been sitting around, and had magically welded itself in place (Something else i learned WAS possible without a welder). The case was brown with a brown leather trim on the edges and the inside looked like orange velvet (that used to be red). I was NEVER Prouder in my LIFE!!! This was MY trumpet.... I had my own instrument, and was beginning to walk down the path to be my own person, with my own unique identity (and a crappy fallin apart trumpet that you couldn't tune if your life depended on it.... luckily we didn't live in jersey and weren't related to the mafia... but I digress).

I began the sixth grade ready to succeed with the words of my parents ringing in my ears.... "We give him 2 weeks and he will quit". What motivation! They weren't expecting me to fail, but up till that point in life, I hadn't showed real interest in much of anything.Let me tell you though... I was PROUD of my trumpet! I began band learning all I needed to know to succeed. Everyone else in the band was in the same place as I was... just beginning.... most of the other kids had rental horns, or hand me downs..... until...... DUN DUN Dahhhh (Dramatic music).... HERBIE!
Herbie, was a good friend, we hung out and goofed around in class. When He started in band he was playing the rented horn.... not a big deal. We were all learning the basics, technique, what it means to have "Tone" etc.etc. I was rapidly excelling and at this point in the game, I had learned how to tune my trumpet just by how I played (I had no other options unfortunately) and was doing very well. Ended up in first chair by the end of the first semester, and stayed there till I stopped taking band in the 11th grade. About halfway through the first year, Herbie came into class with an unusually large grin on his face.... something had changed..... he put his case down, and put on white gloves.....?????? What???? We were all confused, thinking he may have just joined a cult..... opened up his case and pulled out his trumpet...... WOW!!!! A Bright light hit us all and nearly blinded us in the glory that was Herbie's SILVER Trumpet!!!!!

Now This was not just any silver trumpet.... but a BACH Stradivarius.... $1500 piece or shiny trumpet! I just KNEW that at that moment... I had lost first chair... Herbie just won! He had the prettiest trumpet I had ever seen.... not only did all of his valves and slides work, and work well, but I had NEVER seen a trumpet without a dent. He even had a little leather valve guard.... man he had it all!!! I would had been jealous, but I was so confused as to how it was possible to have such a machine! Then Herbie began to play........

Herbie, if you happen across this post, please don't think ill of me.....

Herbie wasn't first chair, but at the same time Herbie wasn't last chair either. I think the guy that was last chair didn't even come to the school.... we always saw him on days there was a special event or field trip.... and I think he was 35 repeating the 6th grade.... not sure though. Herbie sat next to that guy. He was usually 3rd or 4th trumpet, and at one point when there was a lice epidemic going around I think Herbie made it all the way up to second chair next to me. As he began to play, I was amazed yet again. I didn't know that it was possible for a trumpet so beautiful that it brought a tear to your eye just looking at it, could sound so bad that it would make a goose fly north for the winter just to put itself out of its misery!!!

(This is the part of the blog where I get to the point)
I learned a very valuable lesson that day.... How good you are has absolutely NOTHING to do with what tools you have to work with, or how much of something you have. This is something that I wish I had to put to practice a bit more growing up... but a good revelation none-the-less.
This lesson has come full circle in the last few years, to be one of the most powerfull guiding line for my life and ministry... in my next post, I will go into more detail as to how and why.... but for now I leave you with this....

How good, or how healthy you are has absolutely NOTHING to do with what tools you have to work with, or how much of something you have.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The bikers guide to the secret handshake.

Every society, weather it be secret or not, has a certain expected ritual in which individuals identify themselves with that particular society. In the office world, it has a form of "Casual Fridays", In the Party School Fraternity, it looks more like a upside-down beer chugging contest. Whatever society you are a part of, there are rituals, regardless if you know it or not!

Bikers beware, what I am about to share has been passed down from generation to generation, unknowingly through time. It is a truth that will awaken the realization to others that bikers, although they work hard to communicate their solidarity, are actually one of "Them"... A part of the "In" crowd (please don't egg my house or throw rotten fish at my windows, you know that its true).

Just like the frat boys of old, or the Illuminati... The secrets in the handshake (or beer guzzle if you prefer).

It begins at about 100 meters out, the recognition of another biker heading your way. Any further than 100 meters makes it more difficult to distinguish if it is a "True" motorcycle, or a set of motorized wheels that an 8 year old would get for Christmas, or a last attempt mode of transportation for someone who can't keep a license if their liver depends on it (and in most cases it does).
At this point the handshake truly begins....

step 1. Recognition - I see them, do they see me?
step 2. Loyalty? - What kind of bike are they riding? Harley, Harley Wannabe, Crotch Rocket? and will they respond if I initiate?
step 3. Execute - The Most Vital of Steps!
step 4. The Return
step 5. The George Lucas!

Steps 1&2 are fairly self explanatory, yet critical to the "Brotherhood". It's not a pretty site when you let slip a brotherhood tradition, to someone who is driving a metal frame powered by a lawnmower!

Step 3 - The Most important, is the execution of the "Secret Handshake".
The execution begins from the neck. As you are riding (regardless of what type of bike you may be on) at the point of execution the bottom of your chin should be parallel to the gas tank on which you sit. The neck should be limber, but still firm in that you don't want a sudden gust of wind to ruin all that you are preparing for.

At this point, the chin should be lifted heavenward no more than 15-20 degrees at which point the chin should stop moving and begin its return to its resting place parallel to the tank. This movement should take precisely 1.5 seconds to complete from start to finish. Any faster, and you risk looking like you are having a spasm, any slower and the people driving next to you will begin looking for the piece of sky that is falling. This move should not exceed more than 15-20 degrees, any more than this and you risk whiplash, and a good sound laughing from your passing brother

This is the tricky part.... As soon as the chin has begun to move, the left arm should also move... out away from the body turning only at the shoulder, elbow locked in the same position as you were driving. The arm should move out so the left hand is facing the opposite street ready to greet the passing driver. Now not everyone sees the importance of the hand shape as I do. Let me explain.

Some bikers prefer to extend the first 2 fingers out as the "Peace" sign... This is perfectly acceptable, however discouraged by me because of its insinuation that you are a part of another crowd... the hippies.

Others see it as just sticking your hand out fully extended.... here's the problem with that;
1. it looks like you are trying to fly-- please, for the love of all that is holy... don't flap
2. If your arm is raised too high, you can be mistaken for a white supremacist, or one of the Luftwaffe.

My preferred method is sort of a mixed approach - first two fingers go lazily out the other fingers stay in roughly the same shape as while riding. This speaks volumes... it says, Hey man, what's happnin.... your cool, I'm cool --- but not too cool, ya dig??

Now at this point you have completed the execution!

Step 4. The return. If you have judged carefully, and the other driver has seen you then as soon as your arm has been extended you should see the return "Handshake" from the other driver.

If there is no return, don't worry... You may not have completely botched the execution.... It may be that the other driver has misjudged and assumed you wouldn't "Shake" because of bike breed type, or other factor. However it may still be your fault so try every time you see another biker (of course there could be other environmental factors, wind, water, sun, etc.)

Step 5. The George Lucas, Affectionately called this, by me, based on his use of sunsets as a metaphor for change... At this stage of the "handshake" there is nothing left to do but to ride off into the sunset, hoping for another opportunity to prove your mettel in the brotherhood that is the biker!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Knowing Fear

I have never been much of a "Dreamer" when it comes to sleep. Growing up I can remember a handful of times where I even remember dreaming, and most of them had some sort of personal meaning. I found out a couple of years ago, this was due to having a form of sleep apnea caused by a small trachea and a condition called "momentary leg movements". All that means is that my body was waking me up once every 5min at night when I was trying to sleep.

Anyway... I have since rectified these issues and now have a breathing machine that helps me sleep... But, I still don't dream often. Now probably dream (or at least remember dreaming) 1-2x a week not much else. Last night, before bed, I was working on re-constructing a raid array so I could retrieve some files. I have a tendency at night, when I do dream, to work on puzzles of a sort. Usually my dreams involve working through logic puzzles, coding, and any "Technical" issues I may encounter during the week. I remember beginning to dream last night, in my dream I was re-constructing a raid array so I could retrieve some files (sound familiar), when all I remember is a wash of fear over me and bolting straight out of bed to the sound of our fire alarm.

10seconds doesn't seem like a very long time, unless you are in the middle of a crisis. I remember in that short, very short amount of time from becoming alert to the time I stood up a whole slew of emotions and thoughts. First, was fear. Not the kind of fear where you can see what is happening but can't do anything about it-- like the dreams where you stand in front of a class in your underwear but can't do anything about it. This was a different kind of fear... one I don't every want to experience again.

The fear of the unknown!
This fear I experienced was of the unknown.
  1. I had NO Clue as to why I bolted straight out of bed
  2. I had No idea what the sound was that I was hearing so quickly
  3. I had no idea what to do or how to act in this situation
I felt completely helpless, and utterly defeated in a mater of a few seconds

The second Thing I realized was, I couldn't talk. I tried to call out to my wife, but I couldn't make words form... I could barely make any noise. Talk about freaky! Everything had happened so fast, my body hadn't had time to respond yet... but my brain was going full blast!

Mind you at this point my adrenaline had kicked into overdrive... ready to act, and to respond... but my brain didn't know what to respond to and my body was still taking a ciesta.

FINALLY after about 10-15 seconds, I was able to mouth the words to my wife... IT's OK, It's OK! Of all the things to say, why that??? How about What in the world is going on??
Thinking back on it, I realize that my brain had already determined that we were in no immediate danger. How Strange! I got out of bed and headed through the house to check on everything, by the time I stepped out into the living room, I felt like I was going to throw up! I felt like I had run for 40 miles (or in my case 1mile straight). I walked through the house and made sure everything was ok, and got the ladder out to "FIX" the Malfunctioning Alarm. I had to lay back down just to catch my breath and keep from puking it was so nerve-wracking. Once that was done and Eliza had gone back to bed I went into my office to sit and think a bit. I started thinking through what had just transpired, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.... I HAVE GOD ON MY SIDE!!! You see, I know this, and have for years... but these situations bring you closer to knowing who you trust than anything else! I spent some time praying and "re-centering" my self before I went back to bed.

I have God... what does that mean to me?? It means that in every unknown situation and circumstance, there is someone on my side that can see around the corner. Ipso-facto Nothing is unknown... just not experienced!

Does this mean I shouldn't be afraid.... well yes, I shouldn't.... however God also created me with certain innate reactions, like flinching when I touch a hot stove. Fear, Panic, and Terror, are most times reactions of the body to given stimulus, or an expectation of stimulus. Take MONK for example... even His fears, as irrational as they may seem to you and me, are caused by stimulus, or an expectation of stimulus.... germs, paper cuts, bad milk etc. (ok so I still can't figure out the crack thing unless it goes with the "Break your mothers back" thing).

Point is this...
Fear is natural, How you respond to fear.... give in and allow it to control you, or walk with wisdom and trust in God... is what matters most.

C.S.Lewis said, in "The Inner Ring"

Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain.

If you give into the fear, it will be all you are left with in the end... fear
But if you conquer fear, through Christ, you will be victorious

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Would Jesus vote for Ross Perot???... An Introspective

(Yes it is a LONG Post... sorry)

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity of sitting outside of the Wilmington International Airport, waiting for my parents to arrive on the obligatorily late flight into our po-dunk (smells like something died outside because we decided in all of our wisdom to put the flight entrance to our city right across the street from our solid waste disposal plant and laughingly secured prison so you will know what we really think of you as our guest) airport.

As I was sitting there (at 12:30 am... yes as in morning and not even the birds are awake) I decided to listen to christian radio... something I don't do often for reasons I may eventually blog about. As I was sitting there the "Point of View" radio Broadcast came on.

Never having been one who follows the Fundamental Evangelical Viewpoints, weather on TV or otherwise... I was curious as to their particular beliefs on the topic of the night--- Abortion

The views written here on my blog do not reflect the views of anyone but me, If you have a problem with what I am saying, please respond... but remember at the end of the day they are still MY beliefs!

I have always had pretty strong views on abortion - against
But, in my years growing up and learning about the things of God, I have had some experiences that would tell me that we(as in Christians) don't always communicate our beliefs in the best way. I think there is a tendency in the world for Christians (as well as other religions) to treat others that don't believe exactly the same, and use the same verbiage, as a blight on society, and an affront to Christ Himself.

I believe as a christian that my life and my principles should be molded from the bible. The way I live my life, the way I view situations that affect me, and the way I present myself to others. I also believe, just as the apostle Paul taught, that there are different responsibilities to the "Law" under which you were born.

I was born under the law of "freedom from death" and Jesus Fulfilled the law for me because there is NO WAY I could have.

Jews are born under the law of "Abraham" and are still responsible to uphold it to this day

Those that are neither Jew, or christian... what law are they born under? What rules must they adhere to??

I submit, that they(for the most part... unless they are a part of another religion) are under the law of self preservation and self fulfillment (see worshippers of Baal) - You see this law is a lot different... it states that I am to look out for myself first, and no one else... it states that I am responsible for my own destiny... that I am my own God and I make my own rules... say what I want because I am not responsible for anyone or anything else!
NOW comes the hard question that I have often asked myself -
What am I accountable for?
Am I responsible to make sure everyone follows the law that I am under?

My responsibility is this-- to simply live in a way that glorifies God, to love God with all of my heart mind and soul, and to love my neighbor as myself-- PERIOD

In this, I have full freedom to encourage others around me to follow a different path, but no requirement for them to do so.

As I was listening to the radio, I realized that they were using a very questionable tactic to communicate their point.

I have always heard the 2 viewpoints of abortion expressed as
Pro-Life and Pro-Choice (emphasis on the individuals right to choose)

Here they were communicating Pro-Life And Pro-Abortion(emphasis on death)

What's the big deal you ask?
This is a very backhanded way of saying that if you aren't behind one group all the way then you are a murderer-- THIS IS SO NOT TRUE!!!

I DO NOT believe that abortion is right or a good thing, but I DO believe that it is NOT MY place to determine someone else path that they have to walk. Each person has to be accountable for their own decisions.

In this same discussion they also said that (bit of a paraphrase for time)
"states that are normally liberal are becoming more conservative, and that is largely because of the liberals views on abortion--- they are aborting not re-producing"

That's when it hit me!!!
These groups are not focused on loving those around them to a knowledge of Christ... they are focused on Politics-- Plain and simple! Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) A marketing tactic used for years to get people to believe a certain thing, or to buy a certain product. It is not designed to Love, or present a view of Love, but to manipulate others so they will vote a certain way-----

So I must ask myself - Do I represent a view that is calloused against others with different views? or do I really LOVE my neighbor, regardless of what their views are or what actions they take in their own walk f life????

.... just thinkin ....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Wilmington Milestone

This past week, Tim Blevins and myself had the opportunity to go spend a little time at PC3.
Without going into too much detail, let me just say, I was overwhelmed when I walked into their new sanctuary.

You see, I have lived in this town for many years, and most of my ministry experience and expectations have been built around this town. At my last church, when it was younger I spent a lot of time learning about church growth, and planning, and being a part of vision-casting sessions... and durring it all, I had this sense that there must be more. There MUST be a way to have a church over 1000 people that is thriving, growing and healthy. This week, I realized that PC3 has Broken the mold!

Sure there are other churches that have more than 1000 total members, but MOST of them are based on a doctrinal draw...

PC3 started from scratch, and this weekend are having the first service in their own building!

All I have to say is

GREAT JOB PC3!!!! You guys have set a standard for wilmington, that will hopefully NEVER go back!!

I am so thrilled to be in a town that can and will support such a thriving ministry!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Process

So for the last couple of months, I have been walking out my new role as Connections Pastor here at LifeCC.

Here's the update
  1. I am amazed every day, how much God likes to stretch me. some evenings I get home and squish into the recliner and feel like Mr. Incredible after getting hit by a boulder and re-solidifying--- I wouldn't change it for the world!
  2. I find out every day just how much I don't know and how much I have to learn about people and what makes them tick.
  3. People like green T-Shirts
  4. Guests to a church all have their own language and expectations... if you can meet them at the door and say "We are trying to meet your expectations"(or communicate to your expectations) at the front door, they will be generally more at ease the rest of the time(till you bring out the bag of snakes.... just kidding... SERIOUSLY!).
  5. You can "Lead" culture - The past couple of Sundays with the new T-shirts, I have seen more of a buzz created for relationship... last week we had quite a few "Core" people gone and you could see the buzz kept going, the relationships were still active and being formed with guests!! AWESOME!!!
  6. I need to Blog More!

Based on #6, I will attempt to chronicle our process, and my growth as we get better at our processes and flow, and bring people closer to God, and each other!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The TRUE cost of Deoderizer

In the interest of fairness and possible legal implications, I will tell you a story that recently happened to be, but WITHOUT using the company names. I will refer to them as company A and company POO (you will see why later)

A few days ago, I was on a mission... Shopping for church supplies. As any normal shopping trip would be it was a time filled with fun, laughter, song (you get the picture... it was shopping)
When suddenly a dark cloud began to descend upon me... more specifically on my bowels (at this point I will say, YES it is more information than you need to know, so I will stop there).

As the storm began to rage, I began to look for a place of safety and refuge from the storm (Do you see where I am going with this??). I stopped by "company POO" because they were the closest, in hopes that they would provide a safe shelter from the approaching storm. As I went into the shelter, I was OVERCOME by the grossest, most foul smell I have ever smelled in a public place. I began looking for a seat in the shelter (stall for those that still don't get it) but everyone I saw had "Stuff" on it.... weather that "Stuff" be "Rain" from a previous storm, or "Other" debris (Yes I am serious... why i call it company POO). Never have I been in so nasty of a shelter... even the local parks and rec "Shelters" are better maintained. I kid you NOT, I felt like I was going to throw-up if I stayed in there another second.

The storm was getting closer, the sky's swirling with rage.... I frantically began looking for a new shelter, and I came a cross "company A". I went into the shelter, and was immediately amazed by how well maintained it was... and the smell... oh wow.... almost a sweet smell of citrus, it vaguely reminded me of those orange Flintstones push pops I used to get as a kid. Each of the seats in the shelter were maintained, and clean, it appeared as if the "Grounds keeper" had maintained after every storm... so I felt safe.

The rains came, the thunder rolled, and the storm subsided.

As I began to leave I started thinking

What is the true cost of deodorizer?

--- The true cost of deodorizer, is a potential customer!

In the case of company POO
This was a major bookseller and a store chain, had I felt safe in their "Shelter" I would have browsed around when the storm subsided, possibly seeing some book or other trinket that I absolutely could NOT live without. Instead, their lack of cleanliness and deodorizer sent a potential customer "Running"out the front door. I also know now from that experience that if I ever am in need of a shelter from another storm, I won't even check there.... I will avoid it like the plague (or like I might catch a plague if I go in there again).

In the case of company A
My hat's off to you, and because of your excellent cleanliness, and wonderful smell in your "Shelter" I will promote you---
Company A was "Chic-Fil-A"! An American Icon of cleanliness and non-interactive customer service. Their cost for their deodorizer was not only more advertising via my blog, but continued loyalty from a customer.... who knows if I EVER need shelter from a storm, they are there, safe, clean, and they smell good!!!

Did you get that .... a new phrase I think I just made up??

Non-interactive customer service
JUST as important as the interactive customer service.... but I will blog about that later


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

But, I don't want to be deleted!!!

Blogging is such an interesting event. Someone (in this case me) taking time out of his/her day to jot down their thoughts on any given subject for the whole world to read. I enjoy thinking, and I'm sure most who know me know I enjoy telling others what I think! Here's the problem...

Yesterday, my pastor told me he was about to delete me from his main page for lack of blogs.

What has this world come to???? Now I am motivated more than ever to make sure I take some time to process.... because... I don't know about you but...


Ok, I know this is a bit extreme, but there is some interesting truth to my statement... let me explain - no - take too long let me sum up.

This past weekend we went through the "Boundaries" Seminar again with Chip Judd
POWERFUL Teaching!!!
One of the greatest things I have learned over the years is that I really don't NEED you to like me, I would like it, and I will strive to be a pleasant person in my interaction, but deep down, I don't NEED you to like me to be satisfied with who I am. The Blog world has opened up a new, and very strange symbiotic relationship that revolves around thought... not connection, not action, not coffee (I know right, how weird), but around thought. I have had many conversations with Associate Pastors, Youth pastors, Senior pastors, Friends, Families, dogs, cats, etc. etc. that all revolve around someone Else's thoughts.


Well, I will say that I too am intrigued by other's thoughts on life/love/and general well being, and will continue to blog surf, as well as post (Although I will try to post more frequently).... But, for my 2 faithful readers (you know who you are) I don't NEED you to read my thoughts.... but I sure do like it, and for the love of all that's holy...
PLEASE DON'T DELETE MY THOUGHTS..... There all I have some days [;o)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Questions I've never asked

I am on a journey. I have recently begun a new process at the church of moving into a role that would oversee and facilitate the visitors and newcomers getting integrated into the church.

My vision is to create a dynamic process in the church that will facilitate loving, energetic, and fully involved ministry for the whole body. A place where people can release the dreams God has given them and get new dreams if they've never had them!

I want this ministry to be so well run and smooth that it would be a model for other churches to use to integrate people into their individual ministries.

Having said all of that here are some questions that I have never asked, but should be asked... and answered.

1. How do I (or you, or a new visitor/guest) feel valued in church/ministry... what does that look like from a healthy perspective?
2. How is Church "Worth" my Time and Energy
3. What are My expectations out of church
4. What "Should Be" my/your/others expectations out of Church?

Just a starting place, but I would LOVE to hear anyone else's oppinions on these questions...

Any Takers???

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lots of hobbies

Here's yet another hobbyish project I enjoy... video editing

I did this for our church... it should speak for itself.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A New Day

Ok, here's my thought.... I am SO Glad that God thinks enough of me to let me start over every day...
It's not like baseball where once you are out... that's it. I get to start a new game every day, and if I mess up, or miss it in the course of that day's game, well, guess what... I can start over. It's like the unlimited revolving mulligan! Now do I want to play just so I can take a mulligan.... absolutely NOT!!! I still want to win, but now there's a lot less pressure to get it perfect!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Sheep says........

First off, let me give a shout out to my Peeps® ...
Brandy- I hear ya, and I just appreciate that you are happy I am excited!! YOU ROCK!!! (btw your people and my people need to get together soon and hang!)

Now back to the show...

I recently had a discussion with my pastor that I thought was very note-worthy. It started with a question... What does it mean to be a good Pastor?

Across america we in the "Religious" community are unknowingly faced with this question on a daily, weekly, or in some cases seasonal basis (christmas, and easter).

If I were a dull sort of person, I may take this opportunity to prove just how much greek I know (or at least how much I can copy from other websites) and explain the root of the word, english words that are derived from it, and just how many people can say peter piper picked a ...... oh wait... scratch that last one, but I think you get my drift.

Here's a point... every day, we decide what we expect others around us to act like, think like, speak like, dress like, and how much if any cream should go in there coffee. (lots for me)
In this decision, we weigh in what we hear in the news, what we read in a book, or what color the sky is that day... all pointless!!

If I were to lister to everyone and everything around me that is bold enought o tell me an answer for a question I didn't even ask, this is what they/it would say... A PASTOR IS>>>

Someone who should be able to operate, manage, create, and turn over all control to anyone who wants it, a multi-million dollar corporation (and it's subsidiaries), while making the salary of a elementary school teacher.

They should drive a nice car, and wear nice clothes as to reach a certain "Financially stable" segment of the population... but the car can't be classified as "Luxury" b/c that would be culturally insensitive.

They should come to my house at my beckon call, watch my kids (and raise them while you are at it) do my dishes, laundry, take my kids to soccer, and come see me in the hospital when I am done with my 10th cosmetic surgery to get that beauty mole placed in "Just the right spot".

Basically, they should be everything you expect them to be... and if they miss one point, well.... I guess they are just human too!!!

(hopefully at this point in my rant, you can hear the sarcasm... if not, I will pray for you... seriously)

That is culture.... The pastor should be the "Burger King" --- My way!

*** Wiki ***
Around 400 AD, Saint Augustine, a famous North African bishop, described a pastor's job:
Disturbers are to be rebuked, the low-spirited to be encouraged, the infirm to be supported, objectors confuted, the treacherous guarded against, the unskilled taught, the lazy aroused, the contentious restrained, the haughty repressed, litigants pacified, the poor relieved, the oppressed liberated, the good approved, the evil borne with, and all are to be loved.[1]
*** END Wiki ***

Interestingly enough is the thought that a pastor should instead of being all things... should minister to all people helping them all to grow closer to God and even when it means being bold to people who need it... or "Tellin it like it is" ... all are to be loved!

Even when I look at the true definition of a pastor (as well as the Greek root) I don't see the words "A Timeless Visionary" or even "Fortune 500's top 5 sexiest men alive" or anything but a focus on leading people to Christ... PERIOD!

Now before you get out your torch and pitchforks on me, I do understand that each pastor has strengths, and that there are many many ways to reach and push people closer to God...
BUT... In my opinion, if a pastor can't set up a time to talk with you b/c he is always busy with the Business of church... then (and again in my opinion) it is more a business than it is a church.
The business of church can be an all encompassing thing, and in some denominations, can stop true pastors from ever caring for the flock.... you know a shepherd, without sheep...
wait... wouldn't that just be someone out for a walk in a pasture? Or a superintendent of an empty building?

HIRE A MANAGER!!!!! There I fixed all of the churches in America's problems with one phrase.
Let the people who are good at business... do business, and let the people who are good at being shepherds be with the sheep...

nuff said!

(I love everyone who made it to the bottom of this post!)

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Now, before I get swarmed by the CDC... busting down my door with little white suits, putting my little dogs in little surgical masks and little plastic booties (what an image)...

Let me explain

I Have Terabyte!!!!
Ok, so it doesn't sound as exciting as I think it should, but I thought everyone who doesn't really care should know. Last weekend I created my first +terabyte storage server.

The purpose??? Does it matter??? Point is, growing up, learning computers in my teens I had always heard about this "Magical term". Now mind you, this was when a Gigabyte was still theorhetical, and "Google" was a 1 followed by 100 "0's"(googol).
Now my intention with having this "machine" was for the main purpose of file backups and storage for My wife and I as well as for some clients and projects... I got tired of lugging around 20 protable storage drives, having 30 coppies of each backup just to make sure everything was safe, only to drop a hard drive and wipe out the last 6 months of backups in one fell swoop.
Hopefully I have fixed all of those problems, and solved a few I wasn't originally intending on solving.

Here's where normal people can stop reading (i'm gonna get a bit techie)

What I did...

4 - 500GB Hard drives (480+- actual ... you know binary)
1 - Roswell SATA Raid Card (supports raid 5 - mui importante)... and Yes I bought a second as a backup
1 - HP MediaCenter PC

Pretty simple really, and somewhat painless... hardest part is going to be transferring all of my files from my other drives... not looking forward to that.

Total Storage space 1.3+ TB WOO HOO!!!!!
(for those of you that know math but not Raid)
Raid 5 is the key for me.... Parity, uses the equivilant space of 1 HD to create recovery info so in the event of a drive failure, the data can be re-written, and not lost

So that's my story,
I feel like I have reached a milestone known as the future....
Up next ...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

We Doubt by Faith

Ok, so I know that the title of this blog will probably make my fellow Rhema alumni grab their torch and pitch forks....
this is a very important topic that has been on my mind for a while, so please bear with me while I get my thoughts out there.

Doubt, is one of those things that has been preached on and fussed at for years and years. As I was driving down the road the other day it hit me... Doubt isn't the problem... it is walking out your fears, and working past your / my insecurities! Jesus never yelled at them for doubting.... that wasn't the issue... he chastised people for walking in fear and allowing that fear, and doubt to dominate their actions! Too many times I hear Christians getting on to each other about having doubts, instead of asking... what is causing that doubt?


I have my own company.... and my own debt. I have found myself at times doubting weather or not I would be able to make a payment for the month... NOW, I know that God said that he would take care of me, and I know that HE has not led me out in the middle of nowhere to leave me alone.... but, get this, HE didn't put ME into debt! God has been so good to me over the years, but I am the one that got myself into debt, having said that.... let's examine the doubt for a moment.

I don't doubt that God is faithful to me, nor do I doubt that God could help me out of this tight situation.... what I doubt is that I will be able to be faithful to what is necessary to accomplish the goal at hand. Will I be able to have enough work in this next month to cover the cost of bills?

Here's where Faith comes in--- Doubt is an opportunity to learn, just like the man that said to Jesus; I believe.... Help my unbelief!
I have a great opportunity in this situation... I can ask for help! I can run to God because of mu doubt.... it will push me to God IF I am honest about what the doubt actually is! At that point I can turn my doubt into faith, by asking God to help, believing and relying on Him to help me through any hard times!!!! Now THAT's Good!!!

Think about that for a second... If I were to deny my doubt and say I'm trusting God, here's what would happen;
1. I would be saying I am trusting God, without ever knowing the source
2. I will be communicating that God is helping me through something that I have not even asked Him to help me through! (and yes I know in spite of ourselves God still comes through)
3. I will eliminate an opportunity to learn, and an opportunity for God to really come through in my life!

You see, sometimes God's plans are not ours (most of the time), and unless we communicate to/with God and try to listen, we will never really know what God wants out of us in this time(and yes I do know that he has given us the bible as a guide).

These are my thoughts.... Don't run from doubt, but look for the cause and grow from there!