Wednesday, January 31, 2007

superbowl poll

I started a poll last week because the professional bloggers out there say that it is a way to make your blog more interactive. People don't tend to post comments because they want to remain anonymous and just stalk your blog. And I admit to being a stalker too.

Based on the number of visitors to my blog since I started my poll, about 10% of the hits resulted in a poll response, compared to only 1% of the hits resulting in a posted comment.

So did the poll make my site more interactive? Yes. Big whoop.

Check out my new poll of the week...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

it's going around

Well, I knew it was coming...just didn’t know which family member it would be. Matthew woke up with a fever this morning and we have been snuggling all day.

When one of my kids are sick, they pretty much call the shots and get whatever they want. Which is how I ended up watching Star Wars with Matthew. I asked him which one we were watching and he said, “The one where Luke is big”. After that he asked me if we could go take a nap together.

I love letting them get their way! ;)

My friend Kelly had a similar day and you can read about it here.

deep do-do

I heard this passage on a podcast last night and I could totally relate because have you ever tried to get your point across the way Paul did in these verses from Romans? Deep stuff...

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

fix you

Wow! I have been pushing for us to do "Fix You" by Coldplay at TNC one of these days. Check out this YouTube heart is about to beat out of my chest after watching is GOOD! No instruments either!

Make sure you watch the whole thing.

I am going to watch it again now.

Friday, January 26, 2007

out with the gold, in with the new!

I am dangerous with a can of black spray paint.

Over the last six months I have slowly been updating a few things in my house. Not big projects though, because that would be complicating my life instead of simplifying. I am talking about small projects that make a big impact. For example, in my den, I have lots of 5 x 7 pictures of my family....the pictures are inside GOLD frames. That is SO 90's! And I'm just not in the mood to spend the money to replace them with black ones, just because of the color. So I pull out the $4 can of flat black spray paint, spread out my newspapers in the yard, line up my shiny frames on the paper, and spray away! Sometimes I am heavy-handed with the paint and other times I use a light touch, which creates a whole different look. It's an art form that takes time to master, but the end result is quite impressive.

Another project that I tackled was some natural-colored wicker furniture that now looks showroom fresh due to my black spray painting. This type of project is for the advanced artist since primer should be applied. My next victims will be a gold-finish plate rack on my wall and some green wrought iron end tables.

So I told Alan how much money I saved him with my low-cost spray painting technique. He just thinks I have gone crazy and wants to know if I am going to spray paint him next!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

see you at the poll?

I am taking a poll based off the Simplify series at TrueNorth Church.

I'm thinking that my blog readers don't see it on my site.

It's right over there.

To the right.

The gray box.


Please just humor me and vote!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

my baby gurl is 18

Happy 18th Birthday, Kacie! You were wonderfully made!

I hope you like your present... for you...

...and one for ME!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

what we do for a wii

Check out this story from the Associated Press:

"A Sacramento area morning radio show has been pulled off the air indefinitely after a mother of three died last week following a water-drinking contest at the show's studios.

Executives of KDND-FM, posted a note on the station's Web site on Monday saying the "Morning Rave" show would remain off the air while the station investigates the circumstances surrounding the death of 28-year-old Jennifer Lea Strange.

Strange was one of about 18 participants on the "Morning Rave" who tried to win a Nintendo Wii gaming console early Friday by seeing how much water they could drink without going to the bathroom. The show's DJs called the contest "Hold your Wee for a Wii."

Strange was found dead several hours later. The Sacramento County coroner said preliminary autopsy findings indicated she died of water intoxication.

During the contest, participants were given two minutes to drink an 8-ounce bottle of water and then given another bottle to drink after a 10-minute break.
Fellow contestant James Ybarra said he quit drinking after imbibing eight bottles, but Strange, who placed second, and others kept going even after they were handed even larger containers.Strange showed other participants photographs of her two sons and daughter, for whom she was hoping to win the Nintendo Wii, Ybarra said."

Monday, January 15, 2007

diggin' it

We went to Hilton Head this weekend for a little 'R and R'. Did you know that it's not really January in Hilton Head? No, I think it might be April or May with blue skies, 75 degrees, and my baby boy digging in the sand with his shovel. Notice Matthew's Power Ranger tattoo on his right arm. He has had it on since Christmas Day!

Friday, January 12, 2007

all things southern

NewSpring Church in Anderson typically hires from within unless there is a dynamic leader from elsewhere whose passion and vision lines up with theirs...and this is a rare thing. Well, Perry has hit the jackpot and Tony Morgan is coming on staff at NewSpring all the way from Granger, Indiana. I don't know Tony, but I read his blog, and this is what I want him to know about being a Southerner:

If you're Southern, you'll know...

1. The difference between a hissie fit and a conniption.

2. What general direction cattywumpus is.

3. That "gimme sugar" don't mean pass the sugar.

4. The differences between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and trailer trash.

5. Never to assume that the other car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

6. It is not a shopping cart; it is a buggy.

7. Fixinto is one word.

8. Ice tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two.

9. A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola or's a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor. Example: "What kinda coke you want?"

10.Thou shalt not put sugar or syrup on thy Grits.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

more is less

I have been very aware lately of the many choices that are available to me each and every day. For instance, there are 198 channels on my Sirius satellite radio and I usually only listen to nine. Comcast offers me 448 channels of viewing pleasure. Have you looked at Ruby Tuesday’s menu? There are 18 varieties of Handcrafted Burgers from The Classic to The Bacon Avocado Turkey Burger. And the last time I tried to upgrade my wireless plan, I was so overwhelmed with choices, I just said never mind, I’ll keep the one I have.

There is a story about a lady who sold preserves at a Farmer's market. She had five flavors and sold more than she thought in just an hour. Wow, she thought. If I offer fifteen kinds of preserves, I'll clean up. So, she came back with fifteen flavors. It took her longer to sell less product. The Farmer's market customers, it seems, were just confused by all the choices and moved on to the bread table instead.

Too many choices leave people dissatisfied and frustrated...resulting in them choosing nothing at all! Studies show that when people are faced with fewer decisions, they feel more confident to make a decision. Could this be why people move away from the church...because they want simplicity instead of complication? Being all things to all people, with programs and ministries that have drifted away from the original vision will create a church of chaos. That is why TrueNorth Church is exploring the concept of simplicity in the current series, 'Simplify'. Come check it out as we encounter simplicity together and seek God's will for our lives and our church.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

what's up dawg?

Kacie shared this with me, compliments of The Office. How many times have you tried to pull off this joke?

Monday, January 08, 2007

night at the museum

We took our kids to see ‘Night at the Museum’ last week. It is a silly movie. And we loved it! I went to the theater without any expectations because I had not even heard of the movie. And I was pleasantly surprised at the entertainment value. Even if you don’t have kids, it is worth seeing. The language is clean except for one word and there is some adult humor that goes over the kids’ heads. There are a couple of loose ends that didn’t get tied up, but I’ll get over it!

the year of the boys

I will always remember 2006 as the 'year of the boys'.

Our church and town experienced two back-to-back tragedies this time last year. In one situation, a father who was bitter over his wife seeking a separation tried to get revenge on her by killing himself and their two young sons. Exactly one week later, a teenage boy who played guitar in our youth band, was killed in a car accident with another boy from our town.

TrueNorth Church was rocked by these tragedies due to the families involved and our pastor conducting funerals for four boys in less than two weeks.

Those were dark days. And trying to see some light in all that darkness was not easy. The song “Marvelous Light” took on a whole new meaning for me. And I get a big lump in my throat every time the band plays it at church. I can see those boys running toward the marvelous light, lifting their hands and spinning around.

I once was fatherless
A stranger with no hope
Your kindness wakened me
Awakened me, from my sleep.

Your love it beckons deeply
A call to come and die.
By grace now I will come
And take this life, take your life.

Sin has lost it's power
death has lost it's sting.
From the grave you've risen

Into marvelous light I'm running
Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross you are the truth
You are the life, you are the way

My dead heart now is beating
My deepest stains now clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs.
Now I'm free. Now I'm free!

Lift my hands and spin around
See the light that I have found.
Oh the marvelous light
Marvelous light

Saturday, January 06, 2007

indescribable new years eve

TrueNorth Church held a communion service at the Imperial Theatre in Augusta on New Years Eve 2006. I am proud to be part of a church that would put itself in a downtown area, right in the middle of the party on the party-enest night of the year...with doors wide open.

Friday, January 05, 2007

church growth

I read this here, and that blogger read it here. Interesting stuff from Hartford about growing churches across America:

Congregations that change worship format and style are more likely to grow. More than half the congregations that use contemporary styles of worship have experienced substantial growth since 2000. Frequency is important as well: The more worship services a congregation holds, the more likely it is to have grown.

Congregations located in new suburbs are more likely to experience growth. But surprisingly the second best area for growth is the downtown of metropolitan areas.

Congregations that have experienced major conflict are quite likely to have declined in attendance. The strongest correlate of growth is the absence of serious conflict.

Congregations that have started or maintained a website in the past year are most likely to grow. The effort to have a website indicates that the congregation is outward looking and willing to change by non-traditional means.

While most congregations in America are composed of a single racial/ethnic group, those that are multi-racial are most likely to have experienced strong growth in worship attendance.

More important than theological orientation is the religious character of the congregation and clarity of mission and purpose. Growing churches are clear about why they exist and about what they are to be doing – “purpose-driven growth.”

Congregations that involve children in worship are more likely to experience significant growth. Also, important to growth is the ability of congregations to attract young adults and children.

Almost all congregations say they want to grow, but it takes intentionality and action for growth to occur. Congregations that developed a plan to recruit members in the last year were more likely to grow than congregations that had not. Particularly helpful in achieving growth are sponsorship of a program or event to attract non-members or the existence of support groups.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

my resolutions for 2007

Some call them resolutions, some call them goals.
Whatever they are, this is them:

10. To organize/delete the 757 emails in my inbox.

9. To locate and return the DVD I checked out from the library.

8. Get more consistent exercise. Running on the elliptical machine once every four months is not enough.

7. Try to stop crunching ice.

6. To finish the song McKenna and I have been writing. We've been working on it for a couple of years and it’s about 20 minutes long now.

5. Learn to play the accordion.

4. Purchase a Wii.

3. Just once…to go through the drive-thru and say, “This is to go!”

2. To NOT get so nervous after I press “publish”.

and, seriously...

1. To put God first in all things.