Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I get forwarded emails from people all the time. I delete most of them. But occasionally there will be a keeper...this is one of them.

Q&A from a doctor who wants to clear up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!!... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Monday, September 25, 2006

whatchootalkinbout, Jesus?

My parents are vacationing with some friends in Ireland right now…a trip of a lifetime. Daddy has always wanted to go to Ireland because of his Irish heritage. And because of his love for golf, they arranged to attend the Ryder Cup while in Ireland.

Mom called last week and said they stuck out like sore thumbs at the tournament. Earth to Mom! When you wear matching American flag shirts and flag visors in a foreign country, you are going to draw attention to yourselves. My dad and his friend were even interviewed by a local radio show. Daddy, don’t get too excited…they wanted you on the show so they can make fun of your southern accent. Please tell me you didn’t say, “How ‘bout them Dawgs!!!

I got to thinking…How are we as Christ-followers supposed to stand out in a crowd? Should we be standing on the street corners with our Christian tracts in one hand and a bullhorn in the other, shouting “Turn or burn!”? Or do we behave the opposite way by staying in our “holy huddles”, isolating ourselves from those we are called to witness to? The answer is clear in Matthew 22:36-40, "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Whatchootalkinbout, Jesus?

Two simply stated commandments, although not easy ones. What is simple is not always easy. And if they were natural for us to do, Jesus wouldn’t have had to tell us, point blank, to do them. Loving God means obeying Him. Loving others means accepting them and serving them. It’s not the Christian t-shirts or bumper stickers that make us stand out. It’s not about judging or condemning others. It’s all about the love. Period.

Friday, September 22, 2006

do what?

Over two years ago, my family decided to help start a church in North Augusta. All I knew was that it would be contemporary in style and focused on unchurched people. We traveled with a small group of people for five weeks to visit other churches that were similar to what we had envisioned. One of those weeks we travelled to NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC. When we left I said, "That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!" NewSpring soon became a major role model for TrueNorth Church.

NewSpring is pastored by a goofball by the name of Perry Noble. He is a self-proclaimed redneck. But his passion for Jesus and for people is contagious throughout his congregation and perhaps that is why NewSpring is very close to outgrowing their new worship facility that was just completed this year.

I read several church leader blogs every day...one of them is Perry's. I have learned that the Innovative Church Conference was held at Granger Community Church in Indiana this week. And according to Mark Batterson's blog (I dont know him or why I added him to my favorites) it appears that Perry was speaking and was in rare form. According to Mark's blog, here are some of the quotes from Perry that only Perry can get away with:

"Pastors, I have a word from the Lord. Get rid of the preacher hair."

"I was pagan of the year eight years running."

"Church ought to be the most engaging place on the planet. If the tomb is really empty we ought to act like it."

"Get out of the box or let God out of His. He wants to move."

"I've been accused of lots of things, but I've never been accused of being deep."

"We lose steeple people all the time."

"If you target the people nobody else wants you won't be able to stop growing."

"Be more concerned about who is coming in the door than those who are going out the door."

"A church is not effective when a pastor ministers to the people. A church is effective when the body ministers to the body."

"People will sit on their blessed assurance as long as you let them."

And the prayer that the New Spring staff prays: "Dear Jesus, Yes. Amen."

You gotta love this guy!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I'm hooked.

John Mayer's new CD, Continuum, is about the best and most mature piece of music I've heard in a very long time. His R&B/Blues/Clapton/Hendrix/Gaye sound definitely screams who his influences are. It is obvious now that John's previous works, Room for Squares and Heavier Things, were attempts to please a record label. He is clearly not selling out to anyone on Continuum. This CD showcases his strengths. Well, that would be everything...guitar, vocals, and songwriting.

If you haven't picked this up yet, buy it, download it, borrow it..whatever you do, just get it.

You'll be hooked too.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

dude ain't no lady

There ain’t nothin’ girlie about my man!

I call my hubby at work and invite him to lunch…just us, no kids. I tell him I’ve been wanting to try out a new café in town and then I say we can go to Lowe’s afterward and look at ceiling fans. His voice perks up when he hears the word Lowe’s.

Ok…so I am a little late getting there due to a slow check-out line at Walmart. Alan has been hanging around the gift shop part of the cafe while waiting. Not a good thing…and a bad way for me to start off our lunch date.

We enter the café area, where there are about six tables in a very small room. Pastel tablecloths and lots of feminine details accent this room. Alan says that he is very uncomfortable here. This place is way too girlie for him. I go into a trance because I hear the two ladies behind me say the words ProTools, band, and Jesusfest. I want to turn around and see who they are because I’m nosy like that. Alan realizes I am eavesdropping and rolls his eyes.

When the waitress comes over to our table, I ask her to tell him that lots of men come in here for lunch. She says she can’t tell him that because they don’t. Apparently the last man that came in here said he had to leave because there was WAY too much estrogen in here for him. Wimp.

I know I am in trouble when I taste the tea. It has a fruity taste. FRUITY. The eyes are rolling again. Alan plays it safe and orders a tuna salad sandwich. Of course it is on a croissant and there are no chips or manly french fries, only fruit garnish. FRUIT.

We make it through our lunch date and Alan looks at his watch and says he might have time to run through McDonalds before he goes back to work. I apologize repeatedly.

Next time, I’m taking a girlie girl with me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

we got it started

TrueNorth Church got it started yesterday as we launched our new services in the North Augusta High School Gymnasium. It took an incredible amount of man/womanpower to create an intimate environment for people to worship. I can’t take credit for any of it, because I just showed up with my keyboard. But my friends who were physically involved, said there was an amazing amount of love in that place as people were hoisting poles and trusses, putting up curtains, setting up chairs, building the stage, and even decorating the bathrooms.

And no one was complaining!

Someone told me yesterday that they felt like a first time visitor…in a good way! Speaking of first time visitors, there were a lot of them at both services. Our people are doing a great job inviting their friends to encounter a life-changing experience!

Steve’s message was about maintaining a personal relationship with Jesus. We get so caught up in our busyness that we sometimes forget about where our main focus should be. Steve was so fired up during his message that I’m not sure he even came up for air.

Also…about 20-something people got dunk’d for Jesus. I congratulated a man afterwards and he said, “For what?” Obviously he wasn’t the man that I thought got dunk’d.

Lack of sleep=Lack of brains.

I love being a part of this church…every time we plan something, God’s plan is always bigger than ours! We're just hanging on for the ride!

And by the way…white people CAN do hip hop in church...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

give it away now!

What did you do with your dollar?

This summer, during our parable series at TrueNorth Church, we explored the Parable of the Talents. Steve challenged everyone at church by giving them a dollar bill, with the direction to use the money to further the kingdom of God. This would result in hundreds of witnessing and mission opportunities by getting everyone involved.

This challenge really got people buzzing. You couldn’t run into someone from TrueNorth without being asked, “What did you do with your dollar?” I heard one guy say that he is more worried about what he is going to do with his one dollar than what he will do with his next paycheck.

I have to admit that I had big plans for my dollar. While searching for resources, I couldn't find a book about turning your dollar into a thousand in thirty days. I wanted to be like the guy who started trading with one red paper clip and ended up with a house. I didn’t get anywhere with that idea. Then I enlisted my Journey Team to combine dollars, but then we had ten different ideas about what to do with the money. That didn’t work either. So I just prayed that God would show me what HE wanted me to do with my dollar.

And He did.

I had to go to a lab for some blood work last week and while I was waiting on the clerk to complete my paperwork, I noticed an advertisement on the wall for the Light the Night Walk, a fundraiser for leukemia and lymphoma. They were asking for $1 donations. One dollar. That $1 just leaped off the page at me, but I didn’t do anything.

Once I was taken to the blood-sucking room, I was trying to take my focus off the big needle that was coming my way. So I made a dumb comment to the girl about what a nice big window she had in her room. Well, that opened the door for her to tell me about the homemade lamps that were sitting on her windowsill. And wouldn’t you know she made those lamps to raise money for the Light the Night Walk. She told me about a relative who had lymphoma and was cured and I told her about my friend, Jenny Lou, who had a bone marrow transplant and has been cancer-free for over ten years. My heart was racing and I knew what God wanted me to do. So I gave her my dollar and Alan’s dollar as a donation.

The creative team at TNC decided to spend some time in September sharing the dollar stories. If you would like to share your story, send an email to payitforward@truenorthchurch.com. And if you are one of the hundreds who are participating in the dollar challenge, do not feel like your story has to be the best in town. Don’t feel like what you do with your dollar will not make a difference. Just go ahead and give it away...you will be blessed.