I Stand Corrected

Yesterday I said that the Snuggie is the dumbest invention ever. I stand corrected.

This is the Laptop Body Sweater Wool Privacy Curtain. That's right. When you're in the airport or the Starbucks or anywhere you don't want someone looking at your screen, this is what you can use to keep private. So, the Snuggie is dumb but this is dumber.

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The Dumbest Invention Ever

So I just ran across the dumbest thing I have ever seen so, of course I had to share it. The following video is what happens when people call the number at the bottom of those late night "Are you an inventor?" commercials. Totally ridiculous.

Really!? I'm going to wear this to a sporting event. I would love to see someone wear that to a Raiders' game. O, no black...well sage green should be just fine for the Black Hole. Really!? Maybe if its a light saber fight an I'm planning on disappearing when Darth strikes me. Really!? Do I want to get beat up by an MIT graduate for being to big of a nerd. Really!?

First of all, this is totally unoriginal. You may recall Friar Tuck wearing the exact same thing in Disney's Robin Hood.

Yes, that's the one.

Secondly, I have an idea if you want to stay warm and still use your hands...two ideas in fact: a SWEATSHIRT or a JACKET! Who is sitting under a blanket thinking, if only these hands were free. This is ridiculous. And to add to the ridiculousness, I think the first few lines in the commercial rhyme. Then, mysteriously they decided to stop rhyming. I can imagine someone sitting in the marketing meeting saying "I'm not sure they'll take us seriously if the whole thing rhymes." AAHH! I thought culture and technology were supposed to progress. Well my friends this is a giant step backwards. If you already have a SNUGGIE I apologize...to anyone who was ever attracted to you physically because you just bought the blanket equivalent of a moo moo. If I ever see anyone outside in the garden with one of these on I will stop where I am and listen for a trumpet in the East because SNUGGIE's my friends, are the mark of the beast...AAHH I'm rhyming now.

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A Non-Christmassy Christmas Eve Post

Just wanted to take time on this fun day to congratulate my fantasy football team on their victory in the Bay Hill's Tithers Fantasy Football League Championship. With guys like Drew Brees, and Ladanian Tomlinson the season started with high hopes but we did go through some lean times. After surviving a cross country move, we slipped into the playoffs and then dominated. We really pulled together as a team and had some key play from normally unsung heroes. Its been a great season and with this congratulations, I'd like to announce my retirement from the Bay Hill's Tithers League. You were all good...I was just better.

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Blog Break for the Holidays

Our family will be leaving town today for a week of family visiting. We'll be heading first to Georgia to visit Beth's brother and his family, then on to Alabama where we'll visit my sister and her family and then be joined by my parents. We'll be back next week and Beth's parents will fly in for the holidays. Its going to be a busy week with a lot of traveling. Keep us in your prayers and have a Merry Christmas.

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There Are No Penguins At the North Pole

Something has been on my mind the past few weeks and I just can't hold it in any longer. As the Christmas season is upon us, I have noticed a disturbing trend. Its Penguins. They are everywhere I look. Huge inflatable penguins wearing Santa hats. They so cute, cuddly, and WRONG!

Now I've never been to the North Pole but I am a frequent viewer of nature programing and an avid reader of science books (that one was for my family), and I do know one thing about the North Pole. THERE ARE NO PENGUINS AT THE NORTH POLE! So then, I ask you, why do people insist on including penguins in their Christmas decorations?

Its a ridiculous thing and it makes me angry. My hatred for inflatable Christmas decorations notwithstanding, its just an outright slap in the face of geography and nature. Penguins only live in the Southern Hemisphere. There are penguins in Antarctica, South America, South Africa, and a lot of warm places that would make you say "WHAAAT?" But go to the north pole, look around, any little birds waddling around in tuxedos? I think not.

So, lets end the madness! Enough with the penguins already.

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Well I Was Close

I guess it was the other former Auburn D-Coordinator who went to Texas.

Iowa State's Chizik to take over at Auburn

Tom Dienhart
Rivals.com College Football Senior Writer

MORE: Coaching carousel

Iowa State's Gene Chizik will be the next Auburn coach, Rivals.com has learned.

Gene Chizik is the new coach at Auburn.
Chizik has been the coach of the Cyclones the last two years, compiling a 5-19 record. Iowa State finished 2-10 (0-8 in the Big 12) in 2008. Chizik was defensive coordinator at Auburn from 2002-04, helping the Tigers go 13-0, win the SEC championship and finish ranked No. 2 in the nation. That year, he won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach.

Auburn is replacing Tommy Tuberville, who coached the Tigers for 10 seasons. Tuberville compiled an 85-40 mark (52-30 in the SEC) with four SEC West championships and an SEC title in 2004. But the Tigers slumped to 5-7 in 2008 and missed the postseason for first time since Tuberville's debut campaign in 1999.

Prior to taking over Iowa State, Chizik was defensive coordinator at Texas from 2005-06, helping the Longhorns forge a 12-0 record in 2005 en route to winning the national championship.

From 1998-2001, Chizik was defensive coordinator at Central Florida. He also has served on staffs at Stephen F. Austin (1992-97) and Middle Tennessee State (1990-91).

Chizik, 46, is a native of Clearwater, Fla., and a 1985 graduate of Florida - where he played linebacker.

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Wellspring Podcasts Now Available

The ball is really rolling now at Wellspring. If you would like to hear about what's going on and literally sit in with our launch team as we cast vision and follow God's lead you can on the Wellspring Podcast.

Come listen to weekly messages and a couple of messages Pastor Trey delivered at Keystone church as well. Subscribe to the podcast and you will have a weekly update in your iTunes podcast folder. Enjoy.

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Muschamp to Auburn: Most of You Don't Care But I Do

Muschamp most likely to

Last Edited: Thursday, 11 Dec 2008, 10:30 PM CST
Created On: Thursday, 11 Dec 2008, 9:41 PM CST

* Joe Emer
* Charissa Cowart

- FOX10 News sources have told us Auburn will name Will Muschamp its new Head Coach sometime Friday. Muschamp was Auburn's Defensive Coordinator two years ago.

This season he was on the sidelines as the Defensive Coordinator for the Texas Longhorns. He was also named as the Longhorns Head Coach in waiting.

According to our source, Auburn will hold a press conference sometime Friday to make the announcement.

We will continue to update this story as it develops here on Fox10tv.com.

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God Always Provides

So, as some of you have seen in the past couple of days I am in major need of a new desk. Currently I am working in the guest room on an old sewing machine table that is meant to be a side table. I am sitting in a red and white toille chair that Beth's mom picked up off of the side of the road and Beth recovered (which is a huge improvement from the step stool I was sitting on yesterday). Anyway, Beth and I were talking and she really wanted to buy me a desk but money's a bit tight so I was willing to make do. Well this afternoon we received a card from a family at our former church Bayhills and what was in it but a little bit of cash. Enough to really help out with buying a small desk. It never ceases to amaze me how God provides right when you need it. All glory and honor to Him!

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I Need Some Rock Songs

As many of you know, a couple of weeks ago I tried out for real life rock band to the lead singer. Well, everything went well and I am the only person (so far) that they have asked back. Part of this deal is that I would be the one choosing the songs we would cover. Eventually we would write our own stuff but would begin with covers. Now the genre of this band is straight up rock, not pop, not alternative. My problem is that I don't really listen to rock all that much. So, as Dora the Explorer would say, I need your help. Respond with some of your favorite "Radio Rock" songs, preferably from the last 3 years or so. Also, be in prayer that this band works out, they are really good and there's a decent chance this could be my only 2nd job. Wouldn't that be nice. Looking forward to hearing from you guys.

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Online Giving For Wellspring Church Now Available

If your sitting around wondering what to do with all of that extra money you've got stashed away, please allow me to make a suggestion. Wellspring now has online giving available. So, for those of you are are committed to giving to Wellspring or to my family your life has now been made easier. If you are just thinking about giving, try it out...its a lot of fun.

To give, click the "Online Giving" image on the right hand side of this blog. This will take you to a third party link and prompt you to set up an account. After a few easy steps you can schedule your giving and link it with your bank account or a credit card. This will save you the hassle of having to write a check and send it every month plus don't forget the 42 cents you will save on stamps.

Seriously though, we appreciate any and all contributions and are so honored that you would even consider supporting us and this ministry. Happy Giving!

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Wow, Where Have I Been

Its funny, at no time in my life have I had more time on my hands and yet I haven't written many blog posts lately. Well I was thinking about one thing in particular so I thought I would share. If you follow my Twitter you know that I am considering no longer telling people that I am a pastor here to plant a church and just telling them that I'm a singer/musician/songwriter. This obviously sounds much cooler, not that I'm saying it is (it is) but it has another effect as well. Generally when I tell people what I do, their mood changes immediately. It doesn't matter if they are church going types or party going types. No matter their background, mine is always a buzz kill.

So the big question is, "is this misleading or lying?" Would you be upset if someone did this to you?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not ashamed of what I do or why I do it. But I have a friend in California (who shall remain nameless) who does testing on animals. Seriously, that's what she does (its for cardiac research so a good cause). She's not ashamed of it but she never comes right out and says, I cut of rats tails or anything like that. She says, "I'm a research assistant." Is this something I should do to be able to have a real relationship with people? If someone knows what I do, I have to spend weeks if not months breaking down the walls that just saying "I'm a pastor" builds. Its an interesting thing.

Let me know what you guys think. Hopefully we'll have some interesting discussion.

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Happy Birthday Big Sister

I am blessed to have known my best friend in all of the world (besides my wife) for 28 years 1 month and 30 days. My sister and I have always been close even when she was throwing crap at me or dating (and eventually marrying) my friends...she only married one friend, which looks a lot better now than when they were just dating.

Today is a big day in her life: the BIG 3-0 and I just wanted to mention how much I love her and look up to her and Jared her husband. They have both been two of the biggest influences in my life. They are two very courageous people and had a big role in my leaving the stability and family at Bay Hills to step into the unknown that is Wellspring after they left a great job to go into missions. Sarah, thanks for everything you've done for me whether dragging me along with you and your friends, or just keeping a watchful eye on me while I acted like an idiot. I love you very much.

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This Could Be The Best 10 Minutes of Your Day

So I was reading ESPN The Magazine and in the Bill Simmons column "The Sports Guy" wrote about his favorite YouTube Clip. This clip has everything including Mr. Kotter, Wonder Woman, two academy award winning directors celebrating a little too much and one Robert Conrad who takes himself a little too seriously. Also, this is the first real slow instant replay was utilized. Check it out, but make sure you have enough time to watch the whole thing.

Nice. Go Kotter, go!

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5 Things I've Learned the 1st Week in South Carolina

So its been a little over a week here and these are some of the things I've learned while in South Carolina.

#1: Money isn't going to fall from the sky. Beth keeps reminding me of this and we are having to do a few things because of this fact. That includes the ever-uncomfortable calling and asking people to support us. As uncomfortable as it is, we know that God has ordained this ministry and that He wants us to extend the opportunity to others to join in what He is doing.

#2: Job hunting is weird for a pastor trying to get a secular job. My resume is filled with ministry jobs with the occasional odd job (Tire Technician, newspaper delivery guy, stamp maker, etc.). I think I know how ministry translates to the secular world but I'm not sure the employers will.

#3: Staying home all day throws me off. I've had a hard time with the whole working at home thing. Admittedly and per Trey's orders I have spent most of my time on getting my family settled but when I have worked, its been difficult to get into a routine what with the kids and the TV and the absence of Dan Patrick.

#4: I am within driving distance of a lot of great ministries. This past weekend we drove down to Charleston to drop off Beth's mom at the airport and we went to Seacoast Church. It was really great. We got a chance to speak with the pastor Greg Surratt and the Experiences Pastor Shawn Wood. I can't wait to visit some of the other great ministries and probably visit Seacoast again.

#5: I really love having different seasons. The Bay Area is one of the most beautiful places in the world but there aren't seasons. Its either cool or super hot. Here in Myrtle Beach we have experienced some Fall (its been cold) and are looking forward to Winter, Spring, and Summer. Still won't get snow here except on the rare occasion, but seasonal change is nice.

I'm sure this is not the end of what I've learned but I need to go get my kid up from his nap so the list stops at five. I'm looking forward to what God is going to do here. Keep praying for our family.

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What's Going On

Well its been a while since my last post. Its been a crazy few weeks with packing driving across the country and moving into our new house in Myrtle Beach. Things are finally starting to settle down a bit so I thought I'd take a little time to blog.

What has been amazing is seeing God already begin to work and provide for Beth and I as we have been here. Continue to pray for that because we will need it. I am very excited about what God is doing at Wellspring as well. I really feel like God is going to bless everything we do if we continue to follow his call. Its gonna be unbelievable.

Hopefully next week I can post something smart and thought provoking but recently all of the paint fumes have made me stupid.

I do have a question that I would love for you guys to answer. Yesterday at the DMV the lady taking pictures thought Beth looked like Mariah Carey. She did, however guess that Beth used to teach. I asked her what I looked like and she said "I see a lab coat...a pharmacist." I'm not sure how to take this but I'm wondering what you think. Looking at me, what do you think my job is?

I'm looking forward to your answers.

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Who I'm Voting For

I guess everyone is writing about this so I will too. I hope I get to vote. I'm not sure I will because we are leaving very early on Tuesday and if the polling places aren't open, I won't be able to vote. That stinks because I'm into politics but I only have myself to blame for not doing absentee and the state of California for not having early voting. Maybe we'll still be able to vote.

However, I will explain to you who I am voting for. I am not a one issue voter. If you are, that's fine because you're you not me (but if you were me then I'd be you and I'd use your body to not be a one issue voter). Sorry about that. I have always believed in looking at all of the issue and then going with the candidate who is most aligned with my views. This has taken me to both sides of the aisle in past elections and I think that is healthy. I am not willing to pledge my support to any one party because I do not always believe what they believe and it strikes me as a bit anti-democracy. It actually reminds me of West Side Story...without all of the silly dancing.

Because of my belief in voting for the best candidate FOR PRESIDENT (notice I didn't say spriritual leader, father figure, law maker, or most popular), I will always vote for the best candidate. So that's who I'm voting for...the person I believe to be the best candidate and you should too. I always go back to a quote I heard on Jason Boyett's blog, "If I had a family member in need of life-saving surgery, I wouldn't choose my doctor based on whether he was Pro-life or Pro-Choice (pro-welfare or anti-welfare, pro-gay marriage or anti-gay marriage), I would chose the best surgeon." That's how I will (or won't) vote this year.

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Go Vote

I heard a quote today from Mark Beeson at Granger Community Church in Indiana. He told his staff, "I don't care who you vote for... but if you value your position on staff, you'll want to vote." That's good leadership. I hope everyone out there is planning to vote even if its for Ralph Nader. This will likely be one of the largest voter turnouts in history. Don't be that guy (or girl) who missed out. Check out this video from some very rich people. By the way, to "The Donald," there may be a few more important things to do but voting is important.

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Its Really Happening

As I look around my house at the bare, patched walls and the boxes in every room its really starting to hit me that this is my last week at Bay Hills, and possibly in Norther California. Sure, we'll come back to visit but they always see, "if you leave California, you can never afford to come back." I'm not sure if this is true because we never really could afford to live here in the first place but I get what they mean. We are packing up and hitting the road a week from today to head to Myrtle Beach by way of Vegas, the Grand Canyon, probably somewhere in New Mexico, Fort Worth, Rayville, LA, Montgomery, AL, and Atlanta. How's that for a road trip. The total mileage will be somewhere in the 3,000 range so we'll get oil changes for both cars before we leave and then as soon as we get there. Its going to be sad to leave all of our friends here at Bay Hills. We've grown up so much and I've really learned a lot about how to do ministry here. I've had a great team of volunteers for setup, sound, media, lighting, and our worship team. Bay Hills has truly been blessed with a lot of talent. Most of all we will miss the friendships. Those who have come alongside us to make the fact that we're 2000 miles away from any family much easier to bear.

We are also very excited about what God is going to do in and through us in Myrtle Beach. I know that God has huge plans for Wellspring Church and that things are ready to take off. I'm excited about the new friends we'll make and the new experiences we will have. I'm excited to build a church around the awesome vision that God has given Pastor Trey and that I have wholeheartedly bought into. There is no doubt in my mind that as long as we are faithful to our calling, God will be faithful to his promise.

So be in prayer for us this week as the stress of packing up our lives and moving them across the country will be great. As my parents fly in to "roadtrip-it" with us and as Beth's my flies back to Fort Worth with our two crazy kids. Pray that as we drive across this beautiful country we will enjoy God's creation each others' company. Most of all, pray that our hearts will be prepared and expectant for the great things God WILL do at Wellspring and in Myrtle Beach. Now, its coffee time.

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Amazon mp3 Store

Well its been such a busy week and I haven't been able to blog much but I definitely wanted to blog today about something I have recently discovered. I might be the last one to figure this out but if you are not using the Amazon mp3 store to buy your digital music you are throwing your money away. Generally I go with Apple on anything they put out but in this instance, the iTunes store is ripping you off. Amazon has most of its albums for $8.99 or less and always has great deals. Example, the day I discovered that Amazon was far superior was when I downloaded the new Keane album for $1.99. That's right 2 bucks. It was a "deal of the day" thing but they have great albums for low, low prices everyday. So, stop using the iTunes store. If you have iTunes, Amazon's download program (you will have to install this, takes about 30 seconds) will automatically add all of your Amazon downloads to iTunes. You have nothing to lose.

I'll take my check now Amazon.

Have a great weekend.

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Today is The Day

Well, its been out for a while but I just got the one I pre-ordered (a lot of good that did) so I'm going to right about it now. Today is the Day is the new album out by Lincoln Brewster. This CD is definitely Lincoln's best to date. The variety of styles and sounds on this is different than anything he's released yet. I actually talked to a mutual friend (that's right Lincoln and I have a mutual friend) and asked if he'd been listening to some John Mayer because there are definitely some Mayeresque moments on this album. He said he absolutely did, on purpose. I'm totally fine with this because I want to be just like John Mayer or Lincoln Brewster (musically).

If you don't have this CD yet, go ahead and buy it today. You won't be sorry.

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Hey Joe the Plumber, Can I Borrow Some Money?

So I'm reading and hearing all about old "Joe the Plumber," oddly enough his real name is Samuel Wurzelbacher (Joe is his middle name), and I'm wondering if this is the final confirmation we need to show us that politicians are completely out of touch with reality. "Joe" was the entire focus of the debate on Wednesday night. John McCain was obviously concerned about his financial well being and Barack Obama actually addressed him directly.

Here's the problem I have with this. McCain is right, Joe will have his taxes raised if he buys his plumbing company...if his personal income exceeds 200,000 dollars. Hello, did you read that? 200 large! Not only is it ridiculous that we're worrying about a guy with a 200K income but he lives in Ohio, one of the most affordable states in the country. These politicians have lost touch with the "average Joe." Maybe we should shift our focus to normal people who can't even think about buying their business because they have to pay their power bill.

I may not say this ever again but I'm with Sarah Palin on this one when she said "Don't make me say Joe the Plumber, please, in any speeches." I don't want to hear about the problems of a guy who's income is $160,000 higher than the average American (that figure is for people who are 64 years old, 25 year olds only make $28K).

So to you guys in Virginia with your plungers and "I Am Joe the Plumber" shirts I say, YOU WISH!

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Fact Check on Debate Number 3

I thought the debate was pretty good last night.  There was definitely some thought-provoking things said but also some misleading things said.  So, here is the fact check for last nights debates brought to you by FactCheck.org. 

Sorting out fact and fiction in the presidential candidates' final debate.
Spin and hype were apparent, once again, at the third and final debate between McCain and Obama:

  • McCain claimed the liberal
    group ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the
    greatest frauds in voter history ...
    maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”
    In fact, a Republican prosecutor said of the first and biggest ACORN
    fraud case: “[T]his scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting.”
    He said $8-an-hour workers turned in made-up voter registration forms
    rather than doing what ACORN paid them to do.

  • McCain said “Joe the plumber”
    faced “much higher taxes” under Obama’s tax plan and would pay a fine
    under Obama’s health care plan if he failed to provide coverage for his
    workers. But Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher would pay higher taxes only
    if the business he says he wants to buy puts his income over $200,000 a
    year, and his small business would be exempt from Obama’s requirement
    to provide coverage for workers.

  • Obama repeated a dubious claim
    that his health care plan will cut the average family’s premiums by
    $2,500 a year. Experts have found that figure to be overly optimistic.

  • McCain claimed that Obama’s
    real “object” is a government-run, single-payer health insurance system
    like those in Canada or England. The McCain campaign points to a quote
    from five years ago, when Obama told a labor gathering that he was “a
    proponent of a single-payer health care program.” But Obama has since
    qualified his enthusiasm for Canadian-style health care, and his
    current proposal is nothing like that.

  • Obama incorrectly claimed all
    of McCain’s ads had been “negative.” That was true for one recent week,
    but not over the entire campaign. And at times Obama has run a higher
    percentage of attack ads than McCain.

  • McCain
    described Colombia as the "largest agricultural importer of our
    products." Actually, Canada imports the most U.S. farm products, and
    Colombia is far down the list.

  • Obama strained to portray
    himself as willing to break ranks with fellow Democrats. His prime
    example was his vote for a bill that was supported by 18 Democrats and
    opposed by 26. Congressional Quarterly rates him as voting with his
    party 97 percent of the time since becoming a U.S. senator.

For details on these and other misleading claims, please read on to the Analysis section.

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Fantasy Football Is Unspiritual

Yesterday, I got one of the funniest emails I've gotten in a long time. It came from a good friend of mine who is involved in our "Bay Hills Tithers" fantasy football league. It brought me to the conclusion that Fantasy Football is unspiritual. Read this, and you will come to the same conclusion.

As some of you are aware, I have been on a long personal journey to clarify my beliefs in the Lord. Some of you reading this note have assisted me, including suggestions of people I should speak to, books I should read, sermons I should listen to, etc. I have also been told I should specifically seek out some fellow parishioners to observe how they have been able to interpret the facts of the Bible, the stories of Jesus' trials & His followers descriptions, & come to the conclusions that have made them strong believers.

Encouragingly, I was also invited to join this fantasy league, which includes none other than, the Lead Pastor, the Worship Pastor, the Youth Pastor, a Worship Band member, an Elder, and other high-ranking Bay Hills loud-mouths. Surely, I should be able to learn from this gathering of unwavering, sensable Christians.

Alas.... this same group took the following facts...

He has won 5 in a row...
...eight in a row dating back to last season.
He has won 14 of 16 going back to last year.
He is the two-time defending champ.
Pastor Dave is in 1st Place this season.
He is the overall points leader this season.


If half of my spiritual mentors can look at the facts, decifer the trends, then predict the odds so mistakenly, then I can only come to one conclusion myself.... POKER AT MY HOUSE THIS SATURDAY!!! BRING CASH

This is absolutely true but my defense for my vote is that I had faith that God would make Dave (Fasold: our lead pastor) lose if I believed. The way to show I believed was voting against him. It literally took miraculously terrible play from Eli Manning and Brandon Jacobs for Dave to win. So, apparently our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts. I think I read that somewhere at some point.

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Big Things Ahead

We are excited to finally be able to share our Big News about things to come in the Goff family. We will be joining with our friends Trey and Danielle Kelly in planting Wellspring Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. You can check out Trey's blog to learn more about who he is. This is not a decision we came upon lightly but after much prayer and consulting with those we trust the most, we made the decision to leave the life we love here in the Bay Area at the church we love, Bay Hills, to move 2700 miles across the country to follow the clear call of God to make Jesus more famous in Myrtle Beach.

We will be leaving the Bay Area on November 2nd and making our way across the country and eventually to Myrtle Beach. We are sad to leave our church and our friends here in the Bay Area but are so excited about what God is going to do in Myrtle Beach. We know that God is moving in our lives and we are willing to do whatever it takes to follow wherever He leads us.

This will absolutely mean sacrifice. We will be raising support for Wellspring because as of right now counting my family of four and Trey's family of four we have eight members. We will be developing a leadership team in Myrtle Beach as well as challenging our friends and family to make a sacrifice to join what God is doing at Wellspring. That may mean a one time gift, a regular gift, or even packing up and moving to Myrtle Beach to get in on the ground floor of this awesome movement. For more information check out our Wellspring Partners Blog.

We ask that you please join us in praying for Myrtle Beach and Wellspring Church as we chase after this great vision God has given us. We know that "the One who has called us is faithful, and HE WILL DO IT."

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Letter To Bay Hills

Below is the letter that I sent out to all who attend Bay Hills.

Dear Church Family and Friends,
It is with a heavy heart that I am writing that Beth, the kids and I will be leaving Bay Hills Community Church. Quite honestly this is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. Nothing in this world could ever drag us away from Bay Hills but God saw fit to call us to start a brand new church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Both Beth and I have sensed the unmistakable call of God in our lives to go join our close friend from Seminary, Pastor Trey Kelly and his family in planting Wellspring Church.
We will be leaving for this new adventure on November 2nd and covet your prayers as we are leaving everything here to start completely over. I assure you that there is nothing about the staff, people, or any other aspect of Bay Hills that has pushed us into this decision. If we had our selfish way, we would stay at Bay Hills. However, when Beth and I decided to give our lives to Jesus Christ and serve in full time ministry, we gave up our right to determine where we would be. We will be moving to a state in which neither Beth or I ever imagined living and for the first year will likely be living off of the support of our friends and family. We will be developing a team in Myrtle Beach with which to launch the church. We will likely begin meeting in houses and then hopefully be able to move into a temporary facility.
I have truly treasured the three plus years I have been able to spend getting to know many of you, developing friendships, watching people grow both physically and spiritually, and watch Bay Hills grow into one of the most influential and effective ministries in the Bay Area. I will always look back fondly on my experience and can easily point to the growth that I have experienced while being a part of Bay Hills. This will not be an easy thing for our family or Bay Hills on any level so I ask that you be in prayer for our family as well as for those who will be going through the process of finding a new Worship Pastor.
Dave, the elders, staff, and I have been in close contact over the past few weeks shoring up all of the areas that I am coordinating and have developed a plan that Dave will share with you. One thing is certain, God’s hand is on Dave, the staff, elders, and congregation of Bay Hills and He has great things in store for the Bay Area as this church continues its mission of “Radically Reaching the Unchurched in the Bay Area for Christ…”

TJ Goff

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We Have a Winner

Well, another successful book giveaway has come and gone. We have a winner and it is Jessica Herbert. Its always nice when the winner lives in the same area and goes to the same church because it saves me shipping cost.

Keep on the lookout for more book reviews and giveaway contests. Also, we will be making a fairly big announcement next week on all of our blogs.

On a side note, thanks to Matthew Paul Turner at JesusNeedsNewPR.com for the link on his blog. I had my first international visitor today. They were visiting from the Netherlands. I would just like to say that I love Robin Van Persie and love watching the Netherlands national soccer team play. Those guys are good.

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Churched: Be the Fifth Comment and Win a Free Copy

Have you ever read a book and felt like the person writing it could be writing about You. That's how I felt when I read Churched: One Kids Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess by Matthew Paul Turner.

This book really is a fun and insightful read about what its like growing up fundamentalist. Now I will admit I didn't have it nearly as bad as he did...I was only a Southern Baptist...but I remember hearing a lot of the same things and having a lot of the same questions as he describes in this book.

Matthew does a great job of pointing out the weirdness of being a fundamentalist without necessarily lampooning his subject matter. It is obvious that his experience helped to shape his spiritual life as my experience shaped mine. Sometimes that showed up as rebellion but other times it showed up as a new way to view a situation.

If you grew up "churched" or if you know people who did, this is a great way to really understand what you or those you know experience and why you or they are the way they are. I think the best aspect of this book is that it gives people like me, who are involved in the ministry, a better understanding of what some of our congregation has experience, and also can help us to better see some of the things that we are doing as a church that maybe are more about us feeling good about ourselves than us giving glory to God.

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Fact Check for Last Night's Debate

Just want to make sure we know when politicians lie...and they ALL DO! Don't think they don't know that what they are saying isn't completely true.

FactChecking Debate No. 2
October 8, 2008
Nonsense in Nashville

McCain and Obama debated for the second time, in Nashville. We noted some misleading statements and mangled facts:

* McCain proposed to write down the amount owed by over-mortgaged homeowners and claimed the idea as his own: “It’s my proposal, it's not Sen. Obama's proposal, it's not President Bush's proposal.” But the idea isn’t new. Obama had endorsed something similar two weeks earlier, and authority for the treasury secretary to grant such relief was included in the recently passed $700 billion financial rescue package.

* Both candidates oversimplified the causes of the financial crisis. McCain blamed it on Democrats who resisted tighter regulation of federal mortgage agencies. Obama blamed it on financial deregulation backed by Republicans. We find both are right, with plenty of blame left over for others, from home buyers to the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

* Obama said his health care plan would lower insurance premiums by up to $2,500 a year. Experts we’ve consulted see little evidence such savings would materialize.

* McCain misstated his own health care plan, saying he’d give a $5,000 tax credit to “every American” His plan actually would provide only $2,500 per individual, or $5,000 for couples and families. He also misstated Obama’s health care plan, claiming it would levy fines on “small businesses” that fail to provide health insurance. Actually, Obama’s plan exempts “small businesses.”

* McCain lamented that the U.S. was forced to “withdraw in humiliation” from Somalia in 1994, but he failed to note that he once proposed to cut off funding for troops to force a faster withdrawal.

* Obama said, “I favor nuclear power.” That’s a stronger statement than we've heard him make before. As recently as last December, he said, “I am not a nuclear energy proponent.”

* McCain claimed “1.3 million people in America make their living off eBay.” Actually, only 724,000 persons in the U.S. have income from eBay, and only some of them rely on it as their primary source.

For full details, and additional quibbles, please read our Analysis section.

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Another Free Book: Churched

Just finished the book Churched on a plane yesterday. I will be doing a book review on my blog about the book which will be released next week. If you comment on that particular blog you may have a chance to win a copy of that book. More to come on that soon.

Today is my birthday so I won't spend a lot of time blogging. I will likely post a Fact Check on last nights debates later today. Don't forget to look for the Churched review.

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Your Twitter Influence

So after being on Twitter for a couple of months I have come to a very profound realization. You can measure how influential you are by your ratio of followers to those you are following. If you are like me you are following more people than follow you. That means you are able to see "what they are doing" but they don't necessarily care to see what you are doing. There are people who have ridiculous follower to following ratios. Generally these people are some sort of celebrity type in their field. There are also people who have a very low ratio. You will see this a lot with what basically amounts to a spammer.

I have become fairly conscious of of this as some people (who I am friends with) still do not follow me even after I have begun to follow them. This can be disappointing but I generally try to check out their number of updates and then make a judgment. If someone doesn't update very often or only when their blog updates, you can assume they have automatically set that up and don't actually check Twitter very often. I call these people Quasi-Tweets (in a Minnesota accent, in honor of Sarah Palin).

My ratio currently is about 2 to 3, meaning for every 3 people I follow, two follow me. That's okay but my much more popular and cool friend Bill Jones has a little better than a 1 to 1 ratio so I need to work on it.

Finally, I have figured out that sometimes people follow you based on who else follows you. There are some "Christian Semi-Celebrities" who follow me just because they are cool guys and follow us regular folk. I believe it is because of this that I have people I have never met or even spoken to following me. There is no way they follow me for any other reason than they saw a few people they look up to were following me. I've done the same thing.

So, that's your lesson on the politics of Twitter. Now go out there and Tweet away...and follow me while your at it. I need to get that ratio up.

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I Love My Wife

Well it was this day six years ago that Beth and I were married. It doesn't seem like that long ago but I guess it was.

I have the best wife. Smart, funny, great mom, selfless, and beautiful. She's a five tool player (only baseball fans will understand that one). I remember the first time I noticed her (I had seen her before just wasn't trying to notice other girls at the time). I told my fried Jeff Huey to "hook me up." He did, we did, and here we are 6 years thousands of miles, 4 homes, a dog and two kids later. Thanks God. You did a great job.

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Who's With Me on This: This is for the Keystoners

My friend from Keystone Church and a fellow Auburn University grad, Rob Patterson, is to Peter Patrelli what Sarah Palin is to Tina Fey. Anyone else notice this? There's a good chance Rob plays Peter Patrelli on TV.

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Fact Checking the Debate

Well, last nights debate was pretty good. I think both candidates represented themselves fairly well and neither made the fatal slip some thought they would. However, what we have to understand is that at their core, both of these people are politicians and politicians tend to bend the truth. The problem is, most people will not try to figure out what the truth is, they will just believe whatever candidate they have sworn their allegiance to. This is what I call Yellow-dogging it. Just like anything else, we have to seek out information for ourselves to make a good decision. If we choose not to, we will be surprised by the consequences. So, here are the corrections from FactCheck.org from last nights debate.

FactChecking Biden-Palin Debate
October 3, 2008
The candidates were not 100 percent accurate. To say the least.
Biden and Palin debated, and both mangled some facts.

* Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.

* Biden incorrectly said “John McCain voted the exact same way” as Obama on a controversial troop funding bill. The two were actually on opposite sides.

* Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount, but a family of four would not have been affected unless they made at least $90,000 a year.

* Biden wrongly claimed that McCain “voted the exact same way” as Obama on the budget bill that contained an increase on singles making as little as $42,000 a year. McCain voted against it. Biden was referring to an amendment that didn't address taxes at that income level.

* Palin claimed McCain’s health care plan would be “budget neutral,” costing the government nothing. Independent budget experts estimate McCain's plan would cost tens of billions each year, though details are too fuzzy to allow for exact estimates.

* Biden wrongly claimed that McCain had said "he wouldn't even sit down" with the government of Spain. Actually, McCain didn't reject a meeting, but simply refused to commit himself one way or the other during an interview.

* Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.

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A Pet Peeve of Mine

So I was watching the debate last night and I thought my head might explode. It reminded me of the story (maybe true, maybe not) of how people in Spain began pronouncing words with a lisp. Basically they had a king with a lisp and so in order to make him feel better about it, everyone began to pronounce words with a lisp. This is what has happened with the word NUCLEAR.

I'm sorry but the word is N-U-C-L-E-A-R not N-U-C-U-L-A-R. Let's get this right people. It drives me nuts and I had to hear it last night and many times before from politicians, and even from Jack Bauer on 24. Let's get this right. Let's say the word the way it is spelled. Here is a dictionary listing. Let's all practice it.


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Just Had a Panic Moment

I just had a bit of a panic moment. Will the debate tonight be on cable only? Is it going to interfere with my Thursday night TV viewing?

Now let me explain myself. I will watch the debate (thanks DirecTV DVR) but I will also watch The Office, 30 Rock, My Name is Earl, etc. Also, there are baseball games on tonight. Two will be over by the time the its prime time here on the left coast but it will make for some interesting channel surfing and most likely more than one TV on in the house all night.

I know what you're thinking, doesn't TJ have anything better to do than worry about TV viewing but I'll have you know that Beth and I are going out of town this weekend and I'm not leading at church on Sunday so that's about a day of planning and preparing I don't have to do. I'm pretty much caught up to Christmas with my graphics and can't think of much more to do. I'm sure there's more to do but I can't think of it.

If only there was a magazine, website, or channel where I could find out what comes on tonight. Someone should invent that. We'll call it TVMap.

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New Life Worship Counting on God

Just got a new CD that I am really excited about. Its from New Life Worship. Counting on God is another live CD from this great church. You may remember hearing about New Life Church in the news over the past few years. New Life is the former church of Ted Haggard and also the site of last years church shootings.

What really amazes me is that after all of that, New Life Church is still thriving. I really admire their worship pastor Ross Parsley who oddly enough shared the billing in an article featuring me a few years back. What amazing leadership it must take for him to keep the momentum at New Life Church going. Inside the CD Jacket there is a great message from Ross about the past few years and how the church has persevered.

If you like great music, you will love New Life Worship but this CD is also a testimony to the fact that God will work with us or in spite of us but either way He is going to get His Will done. That's what he's doing in Colorado Springs at New Life Church.

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I Guess You Really Can't Make this Stuff Up

I have never seen anything like this and apparently neither has Wolf Blitzer. I think Tina Fey is brilliant but talk about tossing someone a softball, check out this video.

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A Few Corrections for Last Nights Debates

You think these guys would go ahead and make sure what they are saying is correct but hey, its just a Presidential Debate, right? Here are some corrections from last nights debate thanks to my new favorite website FactCheck.org.

FactChecking Debate No. 1
September 27, 2008

Facts muddled in Mississippi McCain-Obama meeting.


McCain and Obama contradicted each other repeatedly during their first debate, and each volunteered some factual misstatements as well. Here’s how we sort them out:

Obama said McCain adviser Henry Kissinger backs talks with Iran “without preconditions,” but McCain disputed that. In fact, Kissinger did recently call for “high level” talks with Iran starting at the secretary of state level and said, “I do not believe that we can make conditions.” After the debate the McCain campaign issued a statement quoting Kissinger as saying he didn’t favor presidential talks with Iran.

Obama denied voting for a bill that called for increased taxes on “people” making as little as $42,000 a year, as McCain accused him of doing. McCain was right, though only for single taxpayers. A married couple would have had to make $83,000 to be affected by the vote, and anyway no such increase is in Obama’s tax plan.

McCain and Obama contradicted each other on what Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said about troop withdrawals. Mullen said a time line for withdrawal could be “very dangerous” but was not talking specifically about “Obama’s plan,” as McCain maintained.

McCain tripped up on one of his signature issues – special appropriation “earmarks.” He said they had “tripled in the last five years,” when in fact they have decreased sharply.

Obama claimed Iraq “has” a $79 billion surplus. It once was projected to be as high as that. It’s now down to less than $60 billion.

McCain repeated his overstated claim that the U.S. pays $700 billion a year for oil to hostile nations. Imports are running at about $536 billion this year, and a third of it comes from Canada, Mexico and the U.K.

Obama said 95 percent of “the American people” would see a tax cut under his proposal. The actual figure is 81 percent of households.

Obama mischaracterized an aspect of McCain’s health care plan, saying “employers” would be taxed on the value of health benefits provided to workers. Employers wouldn’t, but the workers would. McCain also would grant workers up to a $5,000 tax credit per family to cover health insurance.

McCain misrepresented Obama's plan by claiming he'd be "handing the health care system over to the federal government." Obama would expand some government programs but would allow people to keep their current plans or chose from private ones, as well.

McCain claimed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had drafted a letter of resignation from the Army to be sent in case the 1944 D-Day landing at Normandy turned out to be a failure. Ike prepared a letter taking responsibility, but he didn’t mention resigning.
For full details, as well as other dubious claims and statements, please read our full Analysis section.

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I Really Like this Website

This is a long video but it will give you a taste of what FactCheck.org is all about. I believe that my conservative friends will think its liberal and my liberal friends will think its conservative. That's why I like it. Its just the facts, free of politics. Just imagine what would happen if people would actually find out the facts before making judgments about things. Wow, what would that look like?

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Fun Size...Really?

Just ate a fun size Snickers. Who was the meat-head who came up with the idea of naming the smallest size of candy bar the fun size. This is stupid. The most fun is to be had by eating the King Size. This reminds me of people who say "I liked our church better when it was smaller." What? You like it better when we weren't reaching as many people for Christ...when our church was less effective...when people in our area were walking around with no idea that they were lost? Yeah, I can see that.

Fun size is the size that you can eat, put away and eat later if you want not the size that just makes you want another seven. The fun size church is the one that is thriving, reaching the community, and helping to create fully devoted followers of Christ.

So, get rid of the "Fun Size" moniker on the candy bar and as I heard Perry Noble say in a sermon a couple of weeks ago "Satan wants churches to stay small, not Jesus."

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Great Weekend at TMS and then @ Bay Hills

Wow, went a whole week without posting. I had a very busy week and then it was off to the Thriving Musician Summit. We had a really great weekend (with the exception of the Auburn v. LSU game on Saturday night). I got to take 4 good friends out to Bayside Church in Roseville, CA (aka the Northern California Bible Belt) and hang out with some great musicians etc., and learn as much as we could. We all came back excited about what we had learned in regards to working together as a band, engaging the audience, Mic technique etc.

More than that though, these trips are always really nice to grow closer together as a group and talk about what God is doing in our lives and in our church. God has big plans for Bay Hills and it will be great to see them unfold. However, if you think our worship rocks now, just wait a few weeks.

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More on the Future of Bay Hills Worship

I'm doing a little vision casting today. This is more on the future of Bay Hills Worship. Brace yourself. I hijacked this from JesusNeedsNewPR.com and after this I agree with that website name.

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Embracing Today's Community

Every couple of months, Bay Hills hosts a meeting of area EFCA pastors led by Dr. Gil Stieglitz in which we discuss leadership, struggles, and church in general. Yesterday we had a great discussion on Commitment and Community. It was interesting to hear the different perspectives from pastors of all ages (of course I was the youngest), church sizes, and backgrounds.

One thing that we really landed on was adjusting our expectations for commitment and community. The brutal truth is that things have changed. The church is no longer the center of the Universe for church people. With so much going on in people's life good church attendance has changed from every week (with the exception of a vacation here or there) to 2-3 weeks per month. Along with this, the definition of community has changed as well.

The new communities are getting smaller and larger at the same time. Communities are getting smaller in that people have a small circle of close friends to hang out with face to face and generally seem to keep the same people in their inner circle. However, our casual relationships are getting much larger but they aren't face to face. The new (not that new but churches are always behind) casual communities are found on Facebook, Twitter, and through blogs like this one. I actually had a conversation with a friend of mine, Amir, from my high school soccer team. We hadn't talked since I graduated in '99 but we were talking smack about football and soccer like we saw each other yesterday. My wife, Beth has huge amounts of people who keep up with our kids through her blog. Every time we see people in person who follow her blog they say I feel like I've known Karoline and Anderson their whole lives. Many churches have started online campuses with full services, chat rooms, etc. to reach out to people who normally wouldn't step foot in a church.

"These are the things the church has to embrace" was the point I tried to make. Some objections were that its not "real" community and face to face is what it takes to really be a church. However right these objections may be, the fact is that we can either embrace this new community or give up on them. I don't like giving up.

More churches and pastors have to embrace technology. Every church has to have podcasts (probably every ministry within a church). Every pastor has to blog (and not just in their free time but as an outreach tool everyday). And if your church isn't actively pursuing relationships on Facebook, MySpace, whatever, you are missing out on a huge outreach opportunity.

All this being said, I could be wrong. But trust me, I'm not.

I'll talk more about commitment lately.

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Let's All Step Up

Hey guys. It seems as though we have missed the fact that Hurricane Gustav pretty much ravaged Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Its not our fault really, the media doesn't seem to think its as important as New Orleans but its not good down there right now. Check out this video and send a tarp (or a few tarps) if you can.

Hurricane Torn Baton Rouge Needs Our Help!!! from Catalyst on Vimeo.

1. Buy one (or more) tarps at TarpsPlus.com.
2. Send the tarps to:
* Healing Place Church
19202 Highland Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
3. Spread the Word! Post this on any blogs you read or write.

You may see a post like this many times today. Trust me, the Lord wants you to send a tarp.

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Ever Get the Feeling Most People Are Full of...

Watched this video last night. You may have already seen it but it pretty much goes to show you that most people are full of you know what and many of them make it onto Fox News Channel. Sorry all of my Republican friends but this is ridiculous.

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The Future of Bay Hills Worship

Hold on to your seats folks. I have seen the future of Worship at Bay Hills. I have seen this video on multiple blogs and had to share it with all of you.

Jesus is my friend by "Sonseed" from Peleg Top on Vimeo.

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Interesting Discussion I Thought I'd Share

An interesting thing is happening among Bay Hills' Youth Group (Elevate Student Ministries). A discussion has ensued on the discussion board about why students "hate" church. I had to share some thoughts on it today and thought I might go ahead and share it with everyone on this blog. To join the conversation CLICK HERE.

Well I have to say something. As a "pastor" and I use that term loosely, I know exactly why students and adults "hate" church. Its because they don't know the church. A famous atheist (his name escapes me, which makes my quote kind of worthless but I'll share it anyway) once said to Charles Spurgeon (an old English preacher, also famous), "if I believed what you (Christians) believe, that Heaven was a real place and that Hell was a real place, I would crawl on my hands and knees on broken glass through the streets of London to tell people." We aren't nearly that radical and that's why people find our message hard to believe. We aren't willing to love enough. We don't grasp the urgency of loving people to Jesus. I'm not talking about tracts or door to door evangelism. There is a time and place for that. I'm talking about stepping outside of our Christian bubble and loving people the way Jesus did.

Guys, the church is not a building or an institution. That's what people hate. The hate the establishment that calls for boycotts of Disney, McDonald's, and The Golden Compass. They hate the establishment that organizes anti-gay protests with signs that say "God hates fags." They hate the institution that spends millions upon millions on political ads. That is what they hate. We (the real church), have a message that can turn this world upside down but we don't share it and if we do its often about chalking another one up not about loving people. We sit by while people around us are hungry, homeless, sick and dying, but we don't help them.

Some of the same polls that show how much people hate the church also show that in general people really like Jesus. His life and teachings are influencing Christians and non-Christians alike. However, people aren't connecting with church because it has become a social club with weekly pep-rallies. Its become tame and insulated from the outside world, whereas Jesus was wild and always engaging the culture. We have to be Jesus to the world. We have to stop condemning people (that's the Holy Spirit's Job), we have to stop worrying so much about politics, we have to stop attacking those we deem to not have conservative value. I've never understood why it is we expect people who don't have Jesus to live like they do. They're not Christians, why should they act like one. Let's introduce them to Jesus and let Him take care of changing their ways. Most of all we have to end the idea that church is about us. Its not, its all about our Savior but we've made it into something its not.

This is literally a life and death situation for many but I'll tell you one thing, arguing about it won't solve the problem, that's what the Pharisees did and Jesus called them a "brood of vipers" among other things. We have to decide to go be Jesus to others, to love them, and the introduce them to the one who can change their life.

One more thing. Let's allow people to be anonymous on this discussion forum if they want to. Sometimes that allows some of the less outgoing to have a voice and to really speak their mind. That being said, it might be a good idea to moderate all comments as well.

Let's stop talking and start being.

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I'm A Goatee Guy

So I told you I would let you know what my actual score was on my "How Metrosexual is Your Worship Pastor" quiz. Well, you guys seemed to be pretty good hovering around the same area. When I graded myself I got a 23. That's right, some of you may be surprised but I guess I'm quite the man's man. I'm thinking about growing my hair over my eye though so that could bump me up. According to the scoring system, that makes me a "Goatee Guy." Check out the scoring system. Its pretty funny. Feel free to test this out on other people. How about a certain pastor with new fancy glasses and "long" hair.

Check out more Stuff Christians Like Here

The Score Sheet for the Metrosexual Worship Leader
If you didn't read post "#269. Understanding how metrosexual your worship leader is," this won't make a lot of sense. But after posting, some readers pointed out that I needed a score system to interpret what the results of my metro guide meant. For instance, let's say you score a 22, what does that mean? What's a 43? Great point.

So here it is. My hope is that everyone will post comments and confess which category they fit in. I scored a 35 by the way.

0 - 10 points = Hymnal Hero
You my friend are what is known in the industry as a "Hymnal Hero." (the industry of sarcasm by the way) You're not metro in the least bit. You don't like fruit flavored chapstick and think that songs that were written in this century, or the last one for that matter, are "too new." If married, your wife tries to get you to wear hip jeans but you're not into it. When my hymnal cologne comes out, you will buy a case.

11 - 20 points = Tomlin Curious
Oh, well hello there, you're Tomlin Curious. I am of course referring to Chris Tomlin, one of the founding fathers of metrosexual worship leading. You're currently dipping a toe, pedicured even, into the idea of all of this. You still rock the occasional hymnal but recently you saw a wide leather bracelet at the mall and thought about getting it. When you sleep at night you can hear voices calling you, "come style your hair, come frost your tips."

21 - 40 points = Goatee Guy
Right now, you're wearing Pumas and drinking a coffee that has fourteen words in its name. It's cool, I have Pumas on too. You've gone over to the Salmon side. (This is the side where instead of saying "pink" you say things are "salmon" or "melon" or "coral.") You rarely play a hymn and style yourself after Jeremy Camp. For breakfast you had something with "wheat grass" in it.

41 - 60 points = Girl Jeans Gambler
I've never personally rocked the girls jeans because they make my legs look really skinny. Oh, and I'm also a boy. But you're thinking about it. I mean you're not ready to do the Chris Daughtry eyeliner thing, he's a bit more rock than metro anyway, but when you shop for clothes you get a little tempted. You've never sung a hymn and think Chris Tomlin is "too traditional."

61+ points = The Carlos
My friend Carlos of Ragamuffinsoul.com, who works at North Point, is perhaps the most metro worship guy I have ever met. He's also one of the coolest too, but that's beside the point. Not only does he have a tattoo of Paul's conversion, he was featured on the show "LA Ink" getting it. He has a cool nickname, "Los" and hangs out with creative types like photographers a lot. He's really funny but can bust out an instant, "I'm a serious rockstar worship leader" face for his photos and was sent to Africa by Compassion International because his blog is so big. He is the Michael Jordan of Metrosexual Worship Leaders. If you reach this level then you are on another planet my friend, the Carlos planet.

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Why Hurricanes Are So Dangerous

For those of you who don't or have never lived in a area affected by hurricanes, allow me to explain to you why they are so dangerous. Of course we know all about the the wind, storm surge, and flooding, but that's not what makes them so dangerous. For those growing up on the East Coast and especially the Gulf Coast where I am from, we have a few of these things threaten every year. All I can remember of hurricanes was sitting around watching the Weather Channel. You couldn't go anywhere or do anything so you just sit, wait, and sit some more. You can only watch Jim Cantore (sp?) so many times before you asking for a tree to fall on you.

The problem is that generally hurricane warnings are so mundane, so boring, and span such a large area that you ride them out and nothing happens. This is what happened with Katrina. Everyone thought it was just another hurricane but it wasn't. No one had any sense of urgency and they got caught napping. For those of you who live here in California, imagine if there was a way to give an Earthquake Warning. They would tell you 10-15 times a year that an Earthquake was coming and like most of our earthquakes they'd be little tremors (like what they felt in the Midwest earlier this year and totally freaked) or would hit 60 miles away and all you would hear was the news report. If that happened we would be bored with Earthquake warnings and wouldn't worry about it.

Imagine the scene in Austin Powers where the guy is in front of the steam roller but doesn't move out of the way. Hurricanes move painfully slow and most people don't get out of the way, but when they hit you, they flatten you. How about that for an extended metaphor?

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How Metrosexual is Your Worship Pastor?

This was pretty funny. A friend of mine sent me this and it was eye opening. This is a quiz to see "How Metrosexual Your Worship Pastor Is." I took the quiz. I would like for you to take it for me and comment what you scored me as. I'll reveal the actual score later on.

Monday, June 2, 2008
#269. Understanding how metrosexual your worship leader is. (A handy guide)
There are really only two reasons I wanted to write this post:

1. The first post was just an appetizer.
I wrote about this subject a few months ago when 12 people were reading the site but I just barely touched on it. I didn't do it justice and people have reminded me that there is more to be said on this pivotal subject. So this is like the Timbaland Remix.

2. No one has quantified this phenomenon
There are some things in life that are concrete and true. For instance, it is a fact that "You're all I want for Christmas" by Mariah Carey and "Christmas in Hollis" by Run DMC are fantastic songs. No argument there. But when you tell someone about your church, there's not a standard system to describe the degree of metrosexuality your worship leader possesses. Wouldn't it be awesome to say, "You'll love my church and the music. Our worship leader scored a 78 on the SCL Metro Test."

Don't answer that last question. It was rhetorical. As a service to churches around the world, here is an easy rating system by which to analyze to what degree your worship leader is a metrosexual.

1. Has a faux hawk hair style = +1

2. Has more product in his hair than your wife = +1

3. Has Rob Bell, black rimmed glasses = +1

4. They are not prescription, but just for effect = +2

5. Attends the Catalyst Conference = +3

6. Performs at the Catalyst Conference = +10

7. Owns Puma, Vans or Diesel sneakers = +2 per each pair

8. Wears jeans on stage = +1

9. Wears designer jeans on stage = +2

10. Wears Wrangler or Rustler jeans on stage = -3

11. Has a goatee = +2

12. Wears one of those Castro revolution looking hats = +2

13. Drinks coffee on stage = +1

14. Drinks some kind of coffee you did not know existed = +2

15. Brings a French Press on stage and makes his own coffee during service = +5

16. Has a handlebar mustache = -3

17. Good at Frisbee but hates getting all "sweaty" = +1

18. Has a haircut that covers one of his eyes while singing = +1

19. Owns a white belt = +2

20. Owns suspenders = -3

21. Wears a scarf with a t-shirt = +1

22. Wears a winter knit hat even in the summer = +2

23. You think he covered a My Chemical Romance song last week = +3

24. Drives an Audi or VW, silver of course = +2

25. Uses the words, "postmodern, relevant" or "emergent" nonstop = +2

26. Cringes a little when people say the "H word." (Hymnal) = +3

27. Has ever said some form of the phrase, "That song is so 1990s" = +1

28. Owns a Grizzly Adams red and black flannel shirt = -2

29. Named his kid after a color or a number = +2

30. References Norwegian punk bands you've never heard of = +2

31. Wears a tie = -1

32. Wears a tie as a belt = +2

33. Looks as if he might exfoliate = +2

34. Has a man bag or European Carry All = +2

35. Brings said bag on stage with him = +2

36. Has a tattoo = +2

37. Has a visible tattoo = +4

38. Wife accompanies him on stage and plays tambourine = -4

39. Was formerly in a punk new wave band = +2

40. Knows the names of all the people on the scripted MTV show, "the Hills" = +3

41. Refuses to drink anything but Vitamin Water = +2

42. Your wife ever says, "he needs a barrette for his hair." = +2

43. Has a nickname with "the" in it, as in "the edge," = +2

44. Owns every Nooma video = +2

45. Has a soul patch = +3

46. Won't play barefoot on stage until he gets a pedicure = +2

47. Refers to California as "the left coast" = +2

48. Currently subscribes to Dwell or Details magazine = +2

49. Owns a pair of lady jeans = +2

50. Twitters you from his iPhone = +2

51. His toddler dresses cooler than you = +2

52. He wears graphic t-shirts over button down, long sleeve shirts = +2

53. Ever says "we got a hot mic here" = -4

54. Shops at the Gap = 0

55. Shops at Urban Outfitters = +2

I scored one of the worship leaders at North Point and he did pretty well. At some point I will do a lady version, but for right now, I feel like a 55 item list of analyzing worship leaders is enough to earn me a new batch of "you are weird" emails, and at the end of the day, that's all I can ask for.

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Which One is the Republican Nominee for VP?

I'm not sure about McCain's choice for VP. If people thought Obama was overcompensating, what do they say for McCain? I mean 30 Rock is a great show but I'm not sure it has the wide-spread appeal that McCain is looking for. Although, Tina Fey's diatribe on Saturday Night Live about Hillary was pretty stirring.

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Thriving Musician Summit

The name is kind of an oxymoron but I am totally excited about this year's Thriving Musicians Summit at Bayside Church September 19th and 20th. This will be my teams second year to go and it was a great time to grow as a team and see where we are going. Check out the promo video. Its not to late to sign up.

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What is Your Price

I was thinking about this the other night and it might sound a little cynical but I believe that everyone has a price. Everyone has a limit to what the will do and how much they will sacrifice or accept to do something. I believe this is a fundamental flaw for us and leads us into sin. The only person who didn't have a price was Jesus Christ, who sacrificed it all not only while on the cross but remember "he had no home," and lived off of other charity.

I think part of really knowing who you are is knowing your price. Not necessarily how much you make but what it would take for you to step outside of God's plan for your life. Some people's price is very low and thus they have a shallow or non-existent relationship with Christ. Other people have a very high price so they have a much deeper relationship with Christ.

However deep or shallow your relationship, however high or low your price, there's no denying that you still have a price. What is your price.

Let's take the focus off of money or what you will receive and ask ourselves this question, "What am I willing to give up for God." Are you willing to give up the comforts of life such as housing, television, extra income. Are you willing to give up living in a safe area if God calls you to the slums. Are you willing to give up indoor plumbing because God has called you to the mission field. Where do you draw the line.

I asked this question of Beth the other night and she started listing what we "need." With her permission I'm sharing her list with you.

#1 Telephone, #2 Internet, #3 Satellite TV, #4 Food,...

Seriously that was her list. I busted out laughing and asked her if she realized she listed food 4th to telephone, Internet, and TV. She laughed too.

Many of us have our priorities skewed and need to get them back in order. However, to do that, we have to figure out what our price is and then work to make it less. Once you have identified your hangups, what keeps you from moving to that next level with Jesus, you and God can work on it. Until then, He's not the Lord of your life, He's just the Lord of what you let Him be.

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For An Encore

Since our Olympic adventures were so popular, Beth and I decided to give you a little encore. Actually this is what my brother-in-law does while other adults are working. Enjoy!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

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Beth and I In the Olympic Spirit (Our Home Video?)

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Sure I've gained a little weight but check out the agility. I'll take agile over skinny any day.

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Funny Thing About The Internet

So, I've been complaining about the Internet at my office for a good month now. Well today they decided to finally get it checked out. Guess what? We were running a slow dial-up speed. Hey, didn't I...never mind. Anyway, they won't be able to fix it for a couple of days so the kitchen table is where I'll be. Its not so bad while the kids are asleep, a little bit harder when they're awake. I'm still not sure Beth knows exactly what I do. She keeps accusing me of playing. She doesn't realize that my job is basically revolving around my computer(s) and the Internet these days. That's why its been so hard to work well with dial-up speed. It was so 1995 (he says with a "valley girl" accent).

By the way, anyone know why spell check makes me capitalize Internet?

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What Go-Karting Taught Me About Life

Last night Beth and I went out Go-Karting (I'm not sure why its spelled with a K but it is) with some friends for a birthday party. It was great. I really enjoyed going as fast as I could around the track and literally riding on the edge of control (I almost lost it once) at about 40mph, on an indoor track. This was especially exciting for me because I am a big racing fan. I watch NASCAR every week and even watch some Indy Car and Formula One racing. What I didn't expect, though, was to learn a pretty cool little life lesson from the experience.

I was the first car on the track...the 8 car, if you know me and know racing you know I wasn't super-psyched about that. The first couple of laps were warm-up yellow flag laps. I got going to what I thought was a pretty decent pace. Once the green flag dropped I went a little faster. Then all of the sudden I got passed by another guy. I didn't realize I could go that fast so I floored it and spent the rest of the time chasing that guy and eventually passing him...along with passing Beth and all of the girls (not that all girls are slow, just these girls) on the track 7 or 8 times. The rest of the story is, I was eventually black flagged for using too much brake (even though I was the fastest on the track!?) and lost a couple of laps and finished second.

However, the little life-lesson was pretty profound I thought. Proverbs tells us that "without vision, the people perish." If you don't know where you're going, how to get there, or how fast you can go, you'll never make it. I had no idea how fast I could go on that track. What I thought was pushing it actually turned out to be a rather pedestrian pace. It took someone who had been there before to show me how to do it. So I followed him around for a few laps and then when I felt comfortable passed him and went on my way.

So often we try to set out to do things on our own and we fail. What we don't realize is that "nothing is new under the sun." There are so many people who have gone before us, who have blazed trails and made all of the mistakes for us. They have cast the vision and all we need to do is follow in their tracks. What you have to do is decide if you are the trailblazer or the follower. I think we have to play both roles to be successful. You should follow for a while, accomplishing another person's God-given vision and then when you're ready, start blazing a trail of your own and lead others in accomplishing what God has put on your heart.

We are not meant to be the Lone Ranger of whatever it is we're called to do. We are meant to live, learn, and succeed in community with others. Find someone to lead you or find someone whom you can show the way. We'll get so much more done.

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We Have a Winner

Due to his five comments, Joseph Lyman has won the free copy of Wild Goose Chase. That's good because I won't have to ship it. However, the rest of you (in the words of my brother-in-law) are "busters" for not commenting. You should definitely get the book. Its great. Also check out Mark Batterson's first book "In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day." It will make you want to go out and do something really daring.

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What Shouldn't be in the Olympics

Well, I've mentioned this to a few people and today someone asked me if I was going to blog about it, an the answer is yes. I have really, really enjoyed the Olympics this year. I thought that once the swimming was over, I would lose some interest and then I watched Usain Bolt (he makes the all-time name list) celebrate for the last 20 meters of the 100 meter dash and still shatter the world record and now I'm pulled into track and field.

However, there are some things I am not super excited about. There are some sports that just should not be in the Olympics. My basic idea is that if the Olympics is not the biggest achievement in your sport, it should not be in the Olympics. I applaud the IOC for removing baseball (I question removing softball), I wish we could lose such sports as basketball where the NBA championship is the pinnacle of the sport...for now, and tennis in the Olympics will never reach the level of any of the majors and besides, does anyone watch Olympic tennis? Finally soccer, they already have the world cup, Euro, the Champions League, not to mention all of the European and African League championships. Did I forget MLS championship? No, I didn't forget.

The Olympics was made for the sports that people don't gather around on a weekly basis to watch but they'll gather around every four years. I enjoyed watching the badminton finals and mens' team sabre more than I enjoyed watching the Redeem Team thrash Spain, as much as I can't stand Spain.

Let's get the major sports outta there. Its a waste of time and money and if we don't have those in the Olympics maybe we can figure out a way to get Equestrian closer to the host city than 1231 miles away...that's right 1231 miles, or quite the horse ride.

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Video Pulled

Well maybe someone at Focus on the Family figured it out. They pulled the "praying for rain" video from YouTube. Not so good for my blog but good for posterity. Trust me, it was stupid.

Don't forget to comment on the Wild Goose Chase blog to get a free book.

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I love focus on the family. They are so creative and funny. Well, not really funny. Check out this video that focus on the family made. I'm sure that many lost people will come to Christ based on this video.

I don't care what your politcal view, this is just stupid...and its not even funny!

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