Sunday, August 31, 2008

What is Hulu?

We recently got rid of our full cable package, cutting back to "basic." Me and my boys are grateful we still get the Discovery Channel!

I got the recommendation from a friend on Twitter. Not sure we need full cable. With sites like not sure we ever need to get a TIVO. Web 2.0 is pretty cool. Check it out ...

I do not endorse or recommend everything on

Any cool sites you know of?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Top 3 Benefits

I asked about 30 people that I know in ministry to give me their Top 3 Benefits of being in the ministry. The group of people are in various roles and stages in ministry. Some just a few years, some with 30 plus years of experience, and everywhere in between.

Some things can't be measured but only felt. This straw poll is in no way scientific but it was heartfelt. I wanted to hear the whys, feelings, and thoughts of those who, given the specific challenges (as with every responsibility), sacrifice yet continually are motivated to pursue and fulfill their calling.

Most enjoyed being involved with or around people's lives. This was a common denominator. Flexibility of time, working on a team, and knowing there was obedience to God all motivated some in their calling.

Thanks to all 25 who were able to participate.

For a complete list click here!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


It's quiet in my house. I can hear faintly the iPod playing in my boys room . . . I just went and turned it down. The air-conditioning just clicked off. David Letterman just concluded.

I sit in quiet. I can't remember when I last did this. As you read this, there may be something going on around you making noise - music, kids, coworker, TV - something.

Life can get loud these days. I think I turn it up too, so I can't just sit and be.

Not sure why but I am going to sit here for a bit ... and listen.

When is the last time you were quiet, alone with your thoughts?

Psalm 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God..."

Working on it!

There's been a lot of buzz on FOR WHAT IT's WORTH regarding my recent post where I listed several stats regarding pastors, etc. I asked for and received a comment|feedback yesterday from Anne Jackson. I asked her for her three benefits (keep reading), which she shared, but also shed light on the statistics.

Her comment was, "what is encouraging is...even though these stats are from reliable sources, they're not scientific." In doing the research for her book, she tackled the allure of these stats especially to those in the ministry. I must confess ... I am guilty of Info. Porn! Check this article out when you get a chance - which she references some of the same stats. I know that is her opinion, and I agree with it regarding this stuff.

By the way, Anne's new book Mad Church Disease drops in February of 2009. I am looking forward to the read regarding overcoming the burnout epidemic.

I mentioned at the end of the Pastor Stats post that I was thinking about blogging about the top three joys / benefits of being in the ministry. I started by emailing a bunch of my friends who are in the ministry and have received some great input.

Although the results of my straw poll will not be scientific, my hope is that we can shed light on some of the good that ministers enounter doing what they do. I am collecting and decifering the info. and my hope is to post something on Friday.

The bottom line for me with all this is to raise awareness that we all need each other. It's when we isolate and conceal that some of those stats (scientific or not) can become a reality in our own lives.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ferrell "imitating" Tiger!

I was reminded of this video today. Funny stuff!

"What can I say, I am the best!" Will Ferrell accepting an award for Tiger Woods.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Olympics: Recap

Over the last two weeks I blogged about the Olympics a few times - Seven to be exact! Here are a few of my thoughts as a recap of 2008 Summer Olympiad:

*I talked about the overall medal count here. It bothered me that, in reality, most don't care about silver and bronze. I think the USA makes a big deal with the overall medal count to make us fell like "WE WON."
*Interesting fact from here: China won 27 gold medals in judged sports. The United States won 4 gold medals in judged sports.
*Michael Phelps' performance was incredible. The 100 m Butterfly Final was unbelievable. The relay where Jason Lezak came from behind was another favorite moment.
*Gymnast Shawn Johnson is cute as a button.
*The hand motions on the balance beam bug me.
*Both US 4x100 m relay teams dropping the baton was disappointing.
*Usain Bolt's wins | records were ... jaw dropping! What makes them more incredible is that he's 21!
*The Opening Ceremonies amazed me in two ways: 1. the organization and precision of so many involved. 2. Li Ning's touch lighting sky walk. (It would be good if all other host cities leave Beijing alone and not try to duplicate what they did). It was what it was.
*I'd like to see more handball.
*Beach volleyball (volleyball in general) seemed like it got the most coverage ... to me!
*I'm a huge basketball fan but really didn't get into the "REDEEM TEAM." I am glad they won, and glad they were respectable ... just wasn't into them. Not sure why.
*Leona Lewis and Jimmy Page were closing ceremony highlights for me.

What were your highlights?

Pastor Stats

I am kind of blown away by these stats. I began thinking of all the people I know connected to ministry that have gone through a divorce. Also, I am not surprised by percent who feel unqualified. It seems (my guess) that some of these stats may be the same in the marketplace work force|society.

50% of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce (Same as US national average)
80% of seminary graduates will leave ministry in the first 5 years
70% of pastors are grossly underpaid (compared to the amount of work they do)
80% of pastors’ spouses believe their spouse is overworked
50% of pastors feel unable to meet the needs of the job
80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with their family
56% of pastors’ spouses have no close friends
80% of pastors’ kids seek professional help for depression
80% of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors
50% of pastors are so discouraged they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
85% of pastors said their greatest problem is they are sick and tired of dealing with problem people.
90% of pastors said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people
95% of pastors do not regularly pray with their spouses
70% of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant or mentor
66% of pastors and their families feel pressure to model the ideal family to their congregations and communities
5 years - the average tenure of a pastor at a church

1500 pastors leave ministry each month due to moral failure, burnout or contention in their churches

Pastors who work fewer than 50 hours a week are 35% more likely to be terminated

The average church member expects the pastor to be able to juggle 16 major tasks

Approximately 4,000 new churches begin each year while more than 7,000 churches close down each year.

Pastors at Greater Risk, H B London, Jr., and Neil B Wiseman, Regal Books, © 2003
These statistics came from across denomination lines, and have been gleaned from various reliable sources such as Pastor to Pastor, Focus on the Family, Ministries Today, Charisma Magazine, TNT Ministries, Campus Crusade for Christ and the Global Pastors Network.

I am thinking of blogging about the joys of being a pastor. May have to do some straw polling.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dancing Matt Dude

I saw this dude on Kimmel. Maybe you've seen his dancing vids - His second video has been watched 10,871,835 times on YouTube! Matt Harding traveled the world, after leaving his video game profession, and dances in countless countries around the world.

If you haven't seen it ... I think it's pretty cool.

from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fun Stuff

I enjoy hanging with my family. We've been doing a lot of fun stuff together lately. One thing is lots of swimming. We play a "homemade" game called creatively "WaterBall." At least I thought it was. You can see a quick sample of how we play this the fast paced, high scoring, make it take it, rough-housing game here.

For board games . . . we do the classic Scrabble (count it as homeschool - haha) and a killer award-winning game called Blokus. It has it's own website! If you have a family and don't have this one - it's a goodie!

There are a couple of websites we frequent for games and such.
Fancy Pants - cool little underground game!
Launchball - we count this as science too! It really challenge the thinking.

Did I mention the Wii & Wii Fit?- Good times!

Not sure what happened?

I think my dates are a little off with my blog thsese days! I am checking to see what the issue is.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do you have AAADD?

Why do I relate to this?

I have recently been diagnosed with A. A. A. D. D.
(Advanced Absentminded Attention Deficit Disorder)

This is how it goes:

I decide to wash the car; I start toward the garage and notice
the mail on the table.

OK, I'm going to wash the car, but first I'm going to go through
the mail.

I lay the car keys down on the desk, discard the junk mail, and
notice the trashcan is full.

OK, I'll just put the bills on my desk and take the trashcan
out, but since I'm going to be near the mailbox anyway, I'll pay
these few bills first.

Now, where is my checkbook?
Oops, there's only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk.
Oh, there's the coke I was drinking.
I'm going to look for those checks.
But first I have to put my coke further away from the computer,
or maybe I'll pop it into the fridge to keep it cold for awhile.

I head towards the kitchen and my flowers catch my eye; they
need some water.

I set the coke on the counter, and uh oh.
There are my glasses. I was looking for them all morning.
I'd better put them away first.

I fill a container with water and head for the flower pots.

Uh oh.....someone left the TV remote in the kitchen.
We'll never think to look in the kitchen tonight when we want to
watch television, so I'd better put it back in the family room
where it belongs.

I splash some water into the pots and onto the floor, I throw
the remote onto a soft cushion on the sofa and I head back down
the hall trying to figure out what it was I was going to do?

End of the Day: The car isn't washed, the bills are unpaid, the
coke is sitting on the kitchen counter, the flowers are half-
watered, the checkbook still only has one check in it and I
can't seem to find my car keys.

When I try to figure out how come nothing got done today, I'm
baffled because I KNOW I WAS BUSY ALL DAY LONG!!!!!

I realize this is a serious condition and I'll get help, but
first I think I'll check my email...
Do you?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Anne Jackson is good at asking questions. Today (Aug. 19) she asked: What makes the Church different?

We offer HOPE. I think God that I wake up with HOPE. Things aren't perfect - far from it. But HOPE is the anchor in my heart that my existence is not about taking up space.

HOPE is a powerful force that goes way beyond wishing! It's an expectation that secures belief when everything around screams "give up!" Here are a few thoughts of inspiration:

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Ephesians 2:12
remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.\

Ephesians 4:4
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—

1 Timothy 4:10
(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

Hebrews 6:19
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Psalm 42:11
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Ephesians 1:18
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Going for Gold

I blogged about if one had a choice between one gold medal (one time) or 2 bronze and 4 an Olympic games, which would you choose. I asked several people the same question in conversations the last week and the overwhelming response was GOLD BABY!

In light of that...if Gold medal are what matter to us, why such a big deal about overall medal count. As of today the USA lead in overall medal count 79 to 76 over China. Click on Gold medal count ... it's China 43 to USA's 26.

I ask...if all that matters to most is Gold does this mean that China has better athletes then the USA? Do we (the media) keep an overall count to make the USA look better?

What do you think?

Monday, August 18, 2008


My friend Dan first showed me how these worked. Then I saw them here and here. I thought it would be cool to see what words popped up in my blog. Here you go...

Check it out yourself.


How many times have you been in a restaurant or store and saw a kid meltdown only to have the parent follow suit, jerking their arm here and there, screaming at the kid for disrespect, etc. If only, I had always acted correctly in every meltdown situation. When a kid disobeys their parent, it's easy for the parent to become emotionally wrapped up in the situation, taking personally and such. Guilty!

I read a daily email of ScreamFree Parenting by Hal Runkel. Today Hal addresses some of this in today's email:

This is one of the hardest things about parenting, in my mind. And it seems like I'm not alone. We get emails every day from exasperated parents who are fed up with their children's lack of respect. Here's the truth: You can't control whether or not your kids show you respect. What you can control is whether or not you show it to your kids and whether or not you act respect-worthy – even when they don't.

As with most parenting issues, this has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you. Be the grown up in every situation and then be confident enough to allow your child's immature attempts at disrespect to fall off of you like the tiny arrows of the Lilliputians in Gulliver's Travels. After all, their barbs cannot hurt you without your permission.

So, instead of huffing and puffing with intimidation when they act disrespectfully, smile to yourself and remember that you don't need their affirmation to know that you are a good parent. Set simple and clear cut consequences and follow up without taking it all personally. You'll be showing them what real respect looks like and you just might even earn some along the way.

Hal Runkel, LMFT, author of ScreamFree Parenting:
Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool. He's a regular on NBC's Today Show. Click here to view segments.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Olympics on the head!

The Summer Olympics only come around every four years. They only last for two weeks and then it's another four years.

Now I know some may be thinking, don't you have anything better to blog about than the olympics (especially since 4 of my last 6 have been Olympic related). Well my answer is yes I do have other things to blog about:

** I had a great day at church today. It was the first weekend in the last month that I didn't feel preoccupied with Tech related issues.
** I really enjoyed our birthday party for my son Jackson today. It was well rounded, organized and lots of fun! Matched his personality.
** I have a somewhat busy week. I am going to simplify it (only do what is ABSOLUTELY necessary - Man I wish I finished the 4-Hour Work Week book.
** I get to have lunch with a college roommate - Jeff Roberts. He's fun to hang with.
** Looking forward to speaking this next weekend.

How's that for non-olympic blogging! BTW - as I type, I am seeing a Chinese girl cry after a bad performance. You see it all in the olympics - in the words of wide world of sports - "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Seinfeld on Olympics

You've probably heard this before but with all the close races in the Olympics, it's so relevant ... and funny!

I tried to find the video of this. Here is an audio clip.

Seven for Seven

Michael Phelps continues to amaze with his most unbelievable win. I think his win in the 100m Butterfly will be the most talked about coming back from behind winning by .01 second. (.01 SECOND!)

Made me think about how giving something extra when you don't think you have it ... makes a difference. There are other "life lessons" in there I am sure. Watch race here!

What was your take on Phelp's 100m Butterfly win?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stitches out ...

With a tender knee, Melissa, with some protest, legitimately had to use a motorized grocery cart today.  She was zipping in and out of the aisles like Jeff Gordon by the end of our shopping.  I don't think she need to again, but it was fun while it lasted!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Six for Six with Six

Michael Phelps just won his sixth gold medal in six tries with six world records.  Phe - nom - e - nal!

What if in one of the last two races he finishes second going, say 7-1 Golds vs. No Golds?  Will he lose any appeal if he doesn't go all the way?  Aren't we an all or nothing nation - especially when we expect it from someone?


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Survey Says .... The Stats!

This past weekend we surveyed The Crossroads regarding groups / service / specific demographic information we requested to better serve. We will run the survey / signup sheet for the next couple of weeks. Here are a few of the results of the first weekend (of 90+ surveys turned in):

**36% are not currently in a group, but want to be.
**71% mentioned Balanced Biblical Teaching as the or one of the reasons they attend The Crossroads.
**52% were in the 25-45 age group.
**57% want to know more about discipleship.
**47% were currently serving in some capacity, 27% wanted to find their place in serving some way.

I am looking forward to the follow up with this information. Any advice

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What would you choose?

Olympic thought:

Would you rather have 2 bronze and 3 silvers .... or one gold?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Survey Says?

This past weekend at The Crossroads, we included a survey in each bulletin. The purpose of the survey was to get an idea of where the attendees were in relation to Growth Groups, Volunteering, other ways we could more effective minister.

We got a great response this weekend. Here is the survey ... (click on the picture to see larger image).

Any thoughts?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Crossroads messages now online!

Can you hear me now? 

Listen to a great sermon on the importance of grouping/accountability in our lives (will be posted on Monday).  Click here to subscribe in iTunes (you won't see the logo on this page - FYI).

What other podcast you subscribe to?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Movie Font!

I ran across this on my cyberfriend - Brad Riggles blog. Funny!

If you can't see the vid - Click here!

Fall Programming

This weekend at The Crossroads we continue our series on "DIY -You can do it, He can help." We will be talking about the importance of community and accountability in our lives.

This weekend begins signups for our 2|42 Growth Groups for the fall.  My hope is that people don't add this to their lives but replace it with something.  We are already busy and our lives are complicated.  The purpose of being involved in a group helps with growth both socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

What are your thoughts about being in a group?  Anything that would keep you from meeting with a group on a weekly basis?

Friday, August 08, 2008

My favorite blogs

Here are a few blogs that I follow. Some make me think. Some make me laugh.

**Carlos Whittaker (He is a blog master) - Ragamuffin Soul
**Seth Godin (marketing Guru and author) - Blog
**Stuff Christians Like (Prodigal John is a cleaver author, with an interesting perspective on all stuff Christian. No sacred cows here!)
**Anne Jackson (genuine, authentic, passionate) -
**Deadly Viper (Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite) - Radical grace and radical integrity all wrapped up in the Asian warrior motif.

Happy 08:08:08! Once a century!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Olympics are here!

I am getting excited about the Olympics.  Why?

*The opening ceremonies are pretty cool - for the first hour and half ...
*They only come around every four years.  
*The competition.
*The stories of those who participate and how some have overcome great challenges.
*Bob Costas - he's the best
*This Olympics, in China, has a special tie to our family.  We've traveled there and it will be good to see some of  the places we've seen.  Of course this does not endorse any human rights violations, political stance, or religious beliefs - not sure why I feel I have to clarify that!
*Swimming, Hoops, Track & Field are some of my favorites. 
*Gymnastics is a guilty pleasure .... Strength and grace together!

What are your favorite events at the olympics?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

GMA Chapman Family Interview

I watched this on GMA this morning and my heart continues to go out to them - even more then before. Not sure why, but it hit me hard this morning.

They still need our prayers, as one could imagine. What courage. What Faith in the midst of questions!

GMA interview with the Chapman Family (Aug. 6, 2008)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Junky Car Club

The president of the JCC (Mike Foster) was on Dave Ramsey's TV program this week. The interview describes the origin of the club and it's purpose. I joined a couple of months ago with my 1998 Mazda MPV with 185,000 miles! Running great!

I like the mantra: Living with less, to give more! I also subscribe to Deadly Viper's Blog - Living life with Radical integrity & Radical Grace

The video is about 8 minutes long.

Dave Ramsey: Junky Car Club Interview w Mike Foster from Deadly Viper on Vimeo.

Would you join something like this? Why or why not?

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Crossroads messages now available

It's been a long time coming but I am glad to announce that steps have been made to now listen to the Sunday messages from The Crossroads.

Click here to listen now! We will soon be connected with iTunes podcasts. Stay tuned for that!

New Pics

Today, we were privileged to meet Julie Belle and Daley Hake and have them in our home. We met them via internet social networking (blogs, facebook, and the like). Daley and Julie are genuine, likable, and talented in many ways.

If you need photography or a guitarist (especially in/around SoCal) contact him! If you need a pianist/singer/songwriter contact her (She made our piano feel loved and filled our house with beautiful music!) You can see more of Daley's work here.

If you get a chance to hang with them, do so ... it was a great day.