I've been thinking a lot about the purpose of my blog lately and I have come up with some ideas about what I want to do with it. Yesterday I installed a new feature called "Intense Debate." This allows those who comment to track other comments and even reply to other people's comments (Ya down with O.P.C., yeah you know me.) Sorry.

My hope is that on this site we can start having more conversations about different topics and create a community. Because of the diversity of readership on this blog and my inclination to make hasty, generalized, and controversial statements, we could really have some good discussion. The blog posts won't change much, I might sometimes write a one sentence question to spark discussion, but I hope you'll participate.

So so come on, I don't expect this to be the RagamuffinSoul Blog but let's have a little interaction.


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I Got A Little Bored


I got a little bored for a few minutes this afternoon. This is the result.


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Who Has Your Back?


In the past few months God has really been teaching me a lot about how to be a good Worship Pastor, Church Planter, Employee, Husband, and Friend. I think when you boil it all down, there is one quality that will ensure you will be successful in a relationship no matter what it is. LOYALTY.

In the end what's really important in a friend, employee, husband, etc. is this: do they have your back? If they do, keep them as close as you can, if not lose them (unless you're married to them in which case GO TO COUNSELING). Loyalty is probably the most important quality you will ever find in a person aside from their relationship with Jesus Christ, and I personally believe that those things go hand in hand.

Allow me to explain what I mean by loyalty. No matter what, if you want to be a good husband, friend, whatever, you have to be loyal. That person has to know that you will do anything for them short of sin to protect them, help them, save them... It is my job to make sure that I do whatever I can to protect my wife from people who may not have her best interest at heart, from those who want to hurt her, from situations that are not safe or will not benefit her in any way. That is what God called us to do as husbands and wives and what most of us promised to do in our vows. As an employee I have a similar charge. God calls us to honor those in positions of authority over us (whether we like it or not). It is my job to protect Trey from the same type of stuff I protect my wife from. Think of David's "Mighty Men" risking their lives, literally, to get him a drink. When you serve under someone in a position of influence, especially when they're a pastor, people are going to attack them and try to bring them down. As an employee, its your job to make sure that doesn't happen. If you have a boss (or a wife for that matter) that you don't necessarily get along with, the quickest way to mend that relationship is to let them know that you have their back.

This brings me to my final example. When I was at my last church I would occasionally get complaints on our commitment cards: the music was too loud, too many guitars, you don't do this song enough. This is pretty much standard for all worship pastors and I'm sure I'll get more in the future. One of the best things I decided to do when these really started to get me down was to have our office manager censor them. She would look through them, check who was saying it (anonymous always went in the trash), and if it was a common complaint or just a random one. Then she would decide what I should see and not see. She had my back. She made sure that I wasn't being overloaded with negative comments unless they were real problems. In your relationships, THIS IS YOUR JOB. If you hear negative things about your friend/boss that you know to be unfounded and/or untrue, you stop it right there. You correct whoever is being negative and you end it. You don't tell your friend/boss "I heard this" or "Joe Blow is saying that." You protect them from the heartache that comes from knowing people are talking behind their back. If its a true problem that you also feel they could work on, you bring it to them but don't put it on others. Take responsibility and say "I've noticed this may be a problem and maybe its something you should think about..." Don't hide behind the fact that others might think the same thing. Real friends can be honest with one another and if its a problem, honesty will always be appreciated.

So, I challenge you to be loyal in all of your relationships. Protect your friends, family, and co-workers. And also take time to evaluate who has your back. Once you figure that out you may have fewer "friends" but you'll have real friends and not be disappointed with those who aren't real friends when they are disloyal.


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Hilarious Video

If you aren't Twittering, you probably won't after watching this video. Its very funny and is a little bit true. I saw it on many other blogs I read but want to make sure everyone sees it. Check it out.


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Its Coming

This video is long and the graphics kinda stink but its pretty amazing to think about what it says. Check it out and then we all better get to work.



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Realistic but Disappointed


Disclaimer: The beginning of this is about NCAA basketball but I promise if you push through you'll get to the good part.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed last night when the Auburn men's' basketball team didn't make it into the NCAA Tournament. I felt like Auburn was one of the hottest teams in the country and that winning 11 or their last 14 games should have been rewarded. Other teams that got in (Arizona and Michigan to name two) had good early seasons but tanked at the end of the year. I was bolstered by the fact that Bobby Knight agreed with me as did the NIT selection committee who made Auburn a #1 Seed in their tournament.

However, I also will not complain about Auburn's lot. The fact is that they lost games against Xavier, Dayton, Kentucky and Florida that they should have one and had some bad losses (Mercer?! Come ON!). I also am pretty sure had they made it to the tournament, they wouldn't have won the whole thing. In my opinion, if you aren't good enough to win it all, you don't have a reason to complain.

But now its Auburn's job to prove that they belong. If you lose in the NIT, you lose all credibility. You need to prove that you belonged with the big boys by beating all of the little boys.

I try not to do this much but this applies to life also. I get sick of people complaining about where they are in a job, in a relationship, physically, or in life when they are not doing their best in their current situation. Here is a personal example. I really want to be in good shape. I live at the beach and people will be looking at me whether they want to or not. I don't want them to say "that guy needs to hit the gym" but right now, that's what they'll say. My excuse: I don't have time to work out. The reality: I watch a lot of TV, don't wake up particularly early, and don't manage my time as well as I could. I don't have an excuse for not being in shape other than its not that important to me. Auburn doesn't have an excuse for not making it to the tournament other than not doing as well as they can every season. So, no matter where you're at in life, do your best there. God will honor that and eventually move you on to bigger and better things. I promise.


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A Note To All Conferences


Go To Unleash and Take Notes.

This week Trey and I headed over to Anderson (where?), South Carolina and attended the Unleash Conference. I gotta say of the conferences I've been to that are put on by churches, this was probably the best. I'm pretty sure that Catalyst is the best conference I've ever been to but Catalyst is its own entity with its own staff and offices so they better be good.

Unleash is put on by Newspring Church. Many times conferences put on by churches aren't done as well because they are also running a church at the same time. Unleash didn't seem that way at all. I hope church doesn't stink at Newspring this week...I'm sure it won't. The conference was only one day but recharged me like a 3 day conference should.

The best part of Unleash was the large group meetings. Perry Noble did a great job and really challenged us to do what God has put us in Myrtle Beach to do and not play games. The music was also incredible. They did a great job of leading us into the presence of God and not killing the moment with announcements, promotions, or other fluff that generally throw a wet cloth on the whole thing.

For pastors, in my opinion, the most important thing a conference can do is allow them to reconnect with God by being able to engage in worship. We don't get the full effect of our own gatherings very often because of the burden of providing a great "God Experience" for others. We need a conference to allow us to experience Him like our congregations do every week.

So, thanks to the guys and girls at Newspring for providing a great experience for all of the attendees at Unleash. I will be back again next year.


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No More Oatmeal?

Some people say that Christian music isn't always top quality. I disagree and here is my proof. Enjoy this video.


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Wellsprinchurch.tv


I am excited to announce that today Wellspring Church officially has a website. You can check it out here at wellspringchurch.tv. It has been a while coming but I think you will be pleased with the cool stuff you find there. One of my favorite things on our site is the Media page. If you click on the sermon it will load in one of the coolest players you have ever seen. While you listen to the message, you can take notes right there in the player and then print them or even email them to yourself. I think that will be a great tool for those of you who are supporters and out of towners who want to know what's going on at each of our Launch Team meetings. We also have a place for those who want to join what we're doing to get involved, for those who want to help support Wellspring to sign up for Online Giving, and for you to send out Evites to your friends to invite them to join us at Wellspring Church. So, check it out and let us know what you think. Enjoy.


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Another Reason I Love Twitter


Today I was reminded of another reason I love Twitter. People who are much more important than I am will take time to talk with me on Twitter. This morning I messaged a guy who is in charge of what is, in my opinion, the best Leadership Conference in the country, to find some information for a friend of mine. Needless to say, this guy is way beyond me in importance and stature. However, despite the disparity he responded to me immediately over Twitter.

I feel like Twitter tends to be an equalizer. If I'm on Twitter people who I may never get a phone conversation much less a face to face with will take a couple of minutes out of their day to talk with me. The reason is because it is so convenient. In the same way, I will generally respond over Twitter much faster than phone, texting, or email.

So, if you aren't on Twitter, I would definitely look into it. Maybe you don't want everyone to know what you are doing at all times but you can be as discriminating as you want to be. If you decide to sign up, be sure to follow me HERE.


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