Thursday, May 27, 2010


Starting next Tuesday, I will have 3 posts concentrating on mentoring. My ideas have been generated and/or taken from The Slow Fade by Joiner, Bomar & Smith. For today, the focus will be on getting you to think about the topic and why you should be mentored and/or mentor someone else.


• To join God in the work He is already doing in someone’s life.
• When we discover who we are in God, we discover our purpose and find meaning.
• Teach them they can never outrun the arm of grace!
• Mutual transformation; God transforms you, not just the mentoree!

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Thoughts on LOST

Lost ended in a way that was characteristic of every other ending the show had ever had in its 6 year history, unanswered questions. These questions though were not specific to the island, the man in black, or who won – those were clearly answered. The island remained, everything you saw was real, Jack killed the man in black, the light (although out briefly out) persevered. Good beat evil, evil was contained, and free will wins out (Hurley chose to protect the island, Jack chose to die, Kate chose to leave).

But… there are lingering questions, 2 main ones to be exact. Were they dead all along? This was one of the main theories throughout the show. That the island was some sort of purgatory mean to hold them and there was a battle (good verse evil) that needed to be fought. In the closing scene Jack sees and embraces his dead father, his father reveals that Jack is like him, dead. The question comes in his father’s answer, “we all die at some point, some before and some long after.” So, when did Jack die? Was he dead from the final scene on the island or was this some sort of Sixth Sense existence we have been watching?

The other main question has to do with how they all ended up in the church. On one of the closing island scenes with Hurley and Benjamin, Ben indicates that Hurley can change the rules from what Jacob had done, adding that the new rules could be “better.” The closing moments heading into the church indicated that Hurley and Ben had been working together for quite some time, as they complemented each other’s work. Thus, the question presents itself; did the two of them orchestrate this reunion in order to help the survivors of the Oceanic flight in order to “help” them? It is an odd question for a great yet odd show.

Whatever the answers are, I don’t care, it does not matter, it was all make belief anyway. I am glad the show is over and that it is an hour of my week I no longer feel compelled to watch Lost. I though, am admittedly not a diehard fan of the show, so it makes it easier for me. I was one who saw the pilot, loved the show and for the first two years barely missed an episode or even part of an episode. Then it just got stupid. Time travel was lost on me, and I hardly watched any of seasons 3-5. I did catch the season 5 finale, and watched all of season 6.

Anyway, the reason for this post is to give it my 5 minutes of thought (compared to jack’s 5 seconds of fear), and then be done with it. The irony for me personally is found in reading a book about the show, a terrible book where my thought was, “this guy (the author) watches way too much television, I hope I never watch this much TV…” My fear is that I watch too much TV!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Favorite Household Tools

This post is all about my favorite things I use around the house. To my surprise, they are all Black & Decker products. Surprise, because I was not really aware my favorite things were even that brand.

I was responsible for taking care of my family’s yard, and I HATED having to use the electric plug in edgers/weed eaters. When we purchased our home, I immediately bought a gas weed eater too (to show my father) and was excited to use it… but that excitement did not last long.

Getting it started was a pain, maintenance was not enjoyable, and the line/string was also a pain. Once the starter line tore I purchased the Black & Decker 18-Volt Cordless Grasshog Trimmer/Edger, and it changed my yard working life. It’s a great product, easy to use, easy to maintain, NO GAS or CORDS, and did I mention it was easy to use.

It comes with 2 batteries that you simple swap out when one goes dead. The reason I trusted this product is because I originally took a chance on the cordless broom, which in reality is more like a blower (Black & Decker 18 Volt Cordless Broom Hard Surface Sweeper). Keep in mind that my yard is not that big and I am able to get the job done with the batteries I have – 2 per each product (4 total).

I also love my dustbuster (Black & Decker Energy Star 18-V. Cordless Pivoting Hand Vacuum), but this is not like any other dustbuster I have ever used – it holds a charge and last well beyond the typical 15 seconds every other one I used has. My in-laws introduced me to it as I had to clean up a mess from a road trip to visit them last year. Not only did it clean up the snack, it held a charge and had significant power to vacuum up the whole vehicle, with time to spare. Last Christmas it was the only thing I asked for from them (they got me a new one, not theirs), and it has been awesome to use ever since.

Anyway, these are 3 products I love and 3 things you should consider buying!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book Review: The Slow Fade by Joiner, Bomar & Smith

This is another book I picked up at Drive Conference 2010. My initial thought was that The Slow Fade by Joiner, Bomar & Smith would serve as a good resource in connecting with college students for our Ignite Worship Service geared at reaching young adults. Instead, I discovered that I picked up a guide to mentoring. Although not explicitly stated, this book provided all the resources necessary to starting a mentoring ministry.

Chapter 4, “Mentoring Redefined,” presented a detailed description of the role of a mentor – again there is no list, but I did come up with 6 key roles from this chapter. Chapter 5, “A New Bread of Leader,” described 8 things a mentor should be intentional about doing. Appendix A “A Note To Ministry Leaders,” gave Chuck Bomar’s mentoring ministry strategy.

Overall, this is by far the best book I have read on “How To” mentor. While the premise for this book deals with this subject, the title and subtitle do not, which is the only knock on it. If you work with college students (the intended target of this book) or young adults, you really need to read through this book. I am already excited to equip some of our mentors with the tools learned from reading this book… and not being able to sleep (tonight) finally paid dividends!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Today I had the opportunity to meet with Richard Carver, Owner and Senior Art Director for Little Mountain Productions. While we meeting to discuss design and themes for our new children and preschool areas, he introduced me to something new, something awesome, something I have to have… the iPulpit! Basically, you insert your iPad into the pulpit and preach from it directly. The good news for all the tree huggers is that it will eliminate the need to print on paper. For those who are easily distracted by the flipping of notes, that is gone too. For those who love technology, it allows us to maximize what is out there while having a crystal clear screen to read from.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Review: Choosing To Cheat by Andy Stanley

Choosing To Cheat is not what it sounds like initially, it is about “who wins when family and work collide.” Throughout the book, Andy Stanley tackles the number one challenge in my life, which is also the greatest challenge in most men’s life: balancing our work-life and home-life, career and family, professional verse parental/spousal. The beauty of this book is that he does not merely address the issue, he gives easy to follow advice for how to deal with these steps.

While there are many helpful points, some are found is addressing the balance between work and family before it spirals out of control. Chapter Four (Picking Up The Pieces) provides a healthy barometer along with quality questions to ask your children to gauge how you are truly doing with your family.

Section 2 is the practical part of the book that provides a roadmap for how to make family your family your top priority. Through the life and dedication of Daniel, Stanley provides 3 simple steps to follow: Make up your mind, come up with a plan, and set up a trial. For me, chapter seven was the most helpful chapter. One of my favorite quotes came from that chapter on page 86, “Reprioritizing your world around your family is not just a good idea. It is a God idea. As a Christian, I don’t think I have any option when it comes to establishing my priorities.”

My reason for purchasing this book and reading it is a direct result of listening to Andy Stanley give the Pastors’ Q & A at his Drive 2010 Conference last week. He said this book was the most important one he has ever written. After completing it, I think he is correct. The only real critique I have of it is what he addresses as the book’s main problem in the introduction, the book’s title. Once he sets up the idea it does make sense, because every man is going to cheat on his job (for his family) or cheat on his family (for his job).

To be clear, I would recommend every father and husband take a couple hours to read this book, then spend your life altering it to do be the man at home only you can be!

Related Post: Family-Ministry Balance

Monday, May 10, 2010

How To Burnout In 5 Easy Steps

From Serving Strong:

Staying strong is overrated. All this talk about avoiding the wall? Hooey. You were born to burnout. You were meant for serving weak. Want a quick way to burnout in ministry leadership? Here are 5 easy steps:

1. Seek Unforgiveness. Someone hurt you lately? Cool. Here's what you do: Hold a grudge. That's right. Don't give in to the temptation to be the weaker one. Keep steady. Better yet, give them the silent treatment. Yeah! It will teach them a lesson and you'll be well on your way to burning out.

2. Pursue Passionlessness. Ask yourself this question: "What ministry fuels my passion?" Got your answer? Good. Now do something (anything) that is the opposite of your answer. Do the thing that is a total drag for you. Give it your all. Seek the boredom. Revel in the difficulty. It will annoy those around you and you'll be well on your way to burning out.

3. Engage In Prayerlessness. Got prayer concerns? Want to touch the heart of God? Want to seek and sense His will for your life? Forget it. You're looking to burnout, right? Good. Then cut ALL prayer from your routine. Don't pray in the morning. Don't pray when you're stressed or sad. And don't pray when things are going well. Think of the time you'll save. It will grieve the Holy Spirit and you'll be well on your way to burning out.

4. Be An Impostor. Are you introverted by nature? Be extroverted. Are you methodical? Be spontaneous. Are you a people person? Then be a recluse. You have to understand that being yourself is simply going to keep you from burning out. So don't be yourself. Better yet, try to be just like someone else. It will irritate your loved ones and you'll be well on your way to burning out.

5. Over-identify. In your work with others, you will feel their pain. This is good. Dwell on it. Identify it so deeply that you begin to feel responsible for it. This will give you ownership of their pain, as though you were the cause. You will sink in the quicksand of their misery. You won't be able to help them because you'll be so depressed yourself. This will help others become co-dependent and you'll be well on your way to burning out.

So you see, if you are interested in burning out, it's quite simple really. Just follow these 5 easy steps and we'll see you in rehab!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Book Review: You Were Made For More by Cymbala

You Were Made For More is classic Cymbala. It is not enough for him to tell you a spiritual truth, he uses real stories of the power of God he is describing to illustrate that truth. As I read through this book, I felt as though it was the sequel to “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire.” The main reason for that assumption is that he referenced that book and stories from it throughout this work. My two favorite stories in the book were of Fernie (page 56) and Vanessa (page 69).

While it is difficult for me to narrow down one particular best part, I found his Chapter 8, “What’s Up With This,” to be very helpful. The gist of this chapter was that God uses our problems to develop us into what He wants us to be. For those who buy into the “name it claim” or “prosperity gospel” or “word of faith movement,” this chapter will serve as an awakening to how God has worked throughout time in order to draw us closer to Him while making us more like Jesus.

I would advise that people who doubt if God wants to use them to read this book. If you know of someone who sits on the sidelines and fails to serve in their local church family, give them this book. If you have a friend who doubts if God could shine through them to reveal His love and salvation to others, this is the book for them… because You Were Made For More.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Book Review: The Gospel According to Lost

The whole time I read this book (The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay) I kept thinking, "this dude watches way too much TV, I hope I never watch this much TV." I blame my accountability partner for picking this book and will not allow him to do so again for quite some time. The whole book is a reach for me personally.

That being said, my guess is that Pastor Chris Seay is quite good at using modern interest to influence people for the cause of Christ... I am just not sure this book was as successful as I have heard he is as a pastor. It was not all bad though, chapter 16 was good (albeit 1 of 17 chapters).

The 2 best quotes of the book were on page 168, "God deserves better than what we have to offer, but he chooses us. And he gladly accepts us. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God holds us," and on page 174, "Nothing can stand between us and the love of the living God: not our fear or reluctance, not the disapproval of others, nothing. And even then, for as long as it takes for us to accept it, his love will bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. Love never fails."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Albert Pujols' Testimony

I do not like the St. Louis Cardinals, but I do like Albert Pujols. Here is his testimony: