Monday, July 06, 2009

check out the vox blog

Check out recent and future blog posts at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

losing innocence

Matthew almost made it through first grade without getting into any major trouble at school. Almost. His sweet first grade teacher had the unpleasant task of sending me an email today, explaining that Matthew can I say this?.....dropped the F-bomb on the playground. Of course, he said that he heard it from another child on the playground. He certainly didn't hear it at home!

He said he didn't know that it was a 'guss' word and didn't even know what it meant. Of course not. His spelling and vocabulary words don't consist of guss words. They aren't part of any curriculum that I am aware of. So, how would he know? Someone would have to introduce it to him. In this case, it was a conversation under the slide that would take my son one step away from his innocence. And that is the saddest part.

Although I gave him the what-for, I couldn't be angry at him. He was so ashamed and confused and remorseful. I forgave him before I even heard his side of the story. It's easy to forgive someone when you love them so much. Isn't it?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

keep the main thing the main thing

I know it must seem that I am obsessed with Chick-fil-a, considering the numerous times I have mentioned it on this blog. But they have the most clever marketing in the world, in my opinion. And I can't help but talk about it.

Tonight, I saw the above card on my table. Check it out: It is a memo from the boss, with a list of the company's agenda. Funny thing that the list ends at number 1...You eat chikin stripz.

What is so great about this is that the company's LEADER shares the VISION and keeps the MAIN THING the MAIN THING... to get people to eat chicken. There is no top ten list. No cheesy acronyms. Just a short, concise statement of purpose. Period.

How about your workplace? If your boss presented the company's one point agenda, what would it be?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

cancer sucks...can i say that?

My family and some friends went to the Augusta Relay for Life last night to support our friend Melanie, who is a cancer survivor. Yesterday she received results from medical testing that her cancer has returned, so we had to go hug on her. She has a positive outlook and said that with friends like us, she doesn't have to worry because we will do it for her.

Relay for Life is just an incredible event, full of community, laughter and tears, victory and remembrance. The survivor walk is very humbling as an army of people of all ages walk together to celebrate life!

When we got home, I watched Farrah's Story...a two hour documentary of Farrah Fawcett's struggle with cancer. And as I was trying to go to sleep, I had an image in my mind of Melanie's button she was wearing on her survivor t-shirt last night. Two words...CANCER SUCKS.

That pretty much sums it up.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

the hot seat with matt ames

Ever wonder who is the face behind the Facebook group for TrueNorth Church? Matt Ames is no stranger to social networking. He is Mr. Facebook, he is a Twitterer and a super blogger! Check out his mad blogging skillz at

Matt, how do you think Facebook is enhancing the community of TrueNorth Church?
Like social media as a whole, it gives people a place to express their thoughts and get further connected. It makes news and announcements more dialogue than monologue. When a status update or story is posted, it shows up in people's news feeds with the opportunity for instant feedback, or to find what others think. That's hard to do in an organization of any size, so it's been great watching people take to it.

What do you think about your MOM having a Facebook account? I see that she is trying to hook you up.
HA! Moms are good like that. I'm okay with it. Not only has more family joined Facebook, but it also gives us a chance to learn more about each other. I think when I say something on Facebook, she can see how much it is a part of my life. It helps eliminate that "Geeze, Mom! Take an interest!" feel. The other good thing is we can chat from the other room. It cuts back on that whole getting up and walking thing. What's the deal with that anyway?

By following your Facebook statuses, it appears that you sleep all day while we work all day. What kind of job do you have that keeps you up all night?
I get the sun ready to come out in the mornings. I'm usually pretty spent from that by dawn, so I go right to sleep. Actually, I work overnights doing production work for radio stations. Although that isn't the same as getting the sun ready, I do make sure people are ready to wake up to some of their favorite morning shows and get their day started. In that sense, I suppose you can call me a radio barista. I don't make their coffee, but I do give them a double-shot of their favorite personalities. Yeah, that might have been a little corny. That's why they put me in a building by myself most of the night!

What are the challenges you face with blogging?
I try to blog at least once every weekday. A challenge I face with that sometimes is keeping things fresh. It's also more difficult for me to get as much feedback on a blog versus writing a "note" on Facebook. However, these are small in comparison to the biggest challenge of taking yourself too seriously. Personal blogs should be enjoyable and not another task on the agenda. Write every day. Write once a week. Write twice a year even. Write your thoughts on God, or your thoughts on dogs. Just be you. That's who your were designed to be. People will catch on to that.

Do you Twitter? Convince me that I should Twitter too.
Yes. I Twitter. I'm on my second account, actually. The first time I was on Twitter, I left because it just wasn't clicking. I decided it was worth another shot, and it turns out I took to it more the second time around. Should you Twitter? That's up to you. It's funny. I read a lot on the Internet about how people should Twitter, should blog, should this, should that. Dude, it's the Internet. Aside from returning your boss' emails, the only thing you should be doing is having fun with it. And if you're wanting to use the Internet to reach people, do it in a way that works for you. Just because something's the hot new thing doesn't mean it's your recipe for success.

Can I get up now? This chair is starting to burn!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

it's ridiculous

Once again I have become a victim of identity theft. Someone has apparently had a spending spree, compliments of my debit card, which has not left my possession. My debit card hasn't had this much fun in a long time! My bank will file the claims and I have already gotten my money back. But the absolute worst part of the whole deal is that I have to wait for a new debit card.


My first thoughts were "What if I have to get gas?" and "How am I going to pay for groceries?" Somebody has swiped my swiper and I am actually going to have to WRITE CHECKS or use CASH? This is SOOO inconvenient!

Isn't it ridiculous how spoiled we can be?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

don't miss this!

Plans were being made in early March for the current series, What Might Jesus Say, at TrueNorth Church. Each week we will be addressing what Jesus might say to specific influencers of modern day culture. In the initial planning, it was a challenge to identify exactly which media figure we would use. We wanted to make sure we stayed current by not using someone whose influence may fizzle during the course of the planning and the timespan of the series. What if, in the next month or so, someone should hit the spotlight and inspire a life-changing message?

Someone did.

Carrie Prejean, the current Miss California and the first runner up in the recent Miss USA pageant, will be the inspiration for Steve's message this Sunday. Read about her story here. We have had to do some creative rescheduling to make room for this amazing testimony of faith by Miss California.

This is just another reminder that you can't plan a move of God. But you better be ready for it. We had to change our plans this week so God could change some hearts in His perfect timing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

this blesses my heart

Check out this group of 9, 11 and 12 year olds jamming out to Separate Ways by Journey. Don't miss the guitar solo a little over halfway. They make me smile!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

i knew it would happen

I knew it would happen. There was once a time when he couldn't get enough of me, now he will barely touch me. I have felt him slipping away for a while now. After seven wonderful years, our relationship has officially transitioned and someone else has taken my place.

I am talking about my seven year old son, Matthew.

Me: Matthew, have you given your mama a hug today? (I pull him toward me.)
Matthew: Stop! You're embarrassing me.

I knew it would happen. The day would arrive when my son would resist my affection and cling to his dad. Since the day he was born, I knew I would have to let him go. First to his dad, and then to his future wife.

And I don't like it one bit.

However, in order for Matthew to have healthy relationships as an adult, I have to encourage him to become a man and to be independent of me.

I am not giving up on showing my affection to him. I just have to find creative ways to love him without embarrassing him now!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

salvation is here

This week, our community has been shaken by the untimely death of an eighth grade boy while at school. Autopsy reports indicate that he had an irregular heartbeat and enlarged heart.

Allison is in seventh grade and attends the same school as Cody. Although she didn't personally know him, the tragedy surrounding it has affected her. The school days continue as normal, but there are lots of tears from students and faculty, counselors are counseling, and school just doesn't feel the same for now.

Allison has had trouble sleeping the past two nights. As she was struggling to sleep last night, Alan went into her room and said, "Allison, I heard today that Cody accepted Christ a month ago".

"Oh, good. I feel much better now". She went to sleep and we didn't hear a peep from her the rest of the night.

I am so proud of Allison's involvement in Element Student Ministries and that on a regular basis, she learns how important it is to reach out to her classmates and to care about their salvation. Cody's death reminds us all of the urgency to help others know Christ. How can any of us sleep knowing that someone does not believe because they were not told?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

go ahead...ask

A recent survey reports that people are more likely to attend a church if they have been invited by someone. This morning at TrueNorth Church, Steve asked in each service for those in attendance to stand if they were at TNC because someone invited them. I was amazed at the massive amount of people who stood in response.

After second service, I felt a tap on my shoulder. As I turned around I was greeted by a friend from my old neighborhood. He thanked me for inviting him and his wife to TNC five years ago because it was home to them now.

I remember how nervous I was, inviting them to this new church that would challenge their perception of what church should look like. I knew they did not have a church home and I wanted them to experience what we had been experiencing. But would they think we were weirdos? Would they start avoiding us if they didn't like it? Could it change their lives forever?

Is there someone in your life who is waiting for an invitation? They have probably seen a difference in your life and they want it too. All you have to do is ask and God will do the rest.

What are YOU waiting for?

Friday, March 27, 2009

"C" is for cutbacks

Once upon a time, "C" stood for cookie. These days, "C" stands for cutbacks. Even the most beloved street in the world is not immune to the current economic woes. Sesame Street announced this month they would lay off 20 percent of their workforce. I would hate to be the person to decide if Cookie Monster or Elmo got the ax. Or if it was finally time to split up Ernie and Bert.

I bet the sunny days have been a little cloudier behind the scenes at Sesame Street lately.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

facedown - april 5

TrueNorth Church will be celebrating a Facedown service on April 5th in each of the morning services in North Augusta and Columbia County. Facedown is a unique worship experience as we participate in communion as a church family. We have a special service planned to commemorate the week leading up to Easter Sunday. If you are going out of town for spring break, you might want to wait until after the Facedown service on April 5th!

Monday, March 23, 2009

the hot seat with tucker

I am resurrecting The Hot Seat with a special guest appearance by our boxer, Tucker Napoleon Owings.

1. Tuck, what is your favorite thing to do during the day?
Scratch my own back underneath the cypress trees.

2. Do you know why we haven't let you come inside lately?
Does it have anything to do with hiking my leg on the wall?

3. When are you going to learn that trampolines aren't for dogs?
They're not?

4. What is your favorite thing to play with?
A Shrek slipper.

5. Do you by any chance know how the seat on the golf cart got ripped to pieces?

Tucker, our family would be incomplete without you!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

yard sale

We have a couple of future business entrepreneurs in our family. Matthew and his cousin Maddie decided to host their own table at our yard sale this morning. Instead of following their initial idea of running a lemonade stand, they decided that at 7am in freezing weather, customers would be more willing to buy hot chocolate. So with a little help and financial backing from their moms, the duo made two dollars and made some early bird shoppers smile using their various marketing schemes. Songs. Antics. Megaphones. Spy gear. All for two dollars. I don't have the heart to tell them that it's not "profit" until costs are covered!

Friday, March 20, 2009

sushi for dummies

Kacie and I have a new tradition of going to eat sushi when she is home from Clemson. We have both been anticipating our lunch date today at Takosushi. It took me 41 years to try sushi and now that I know I like it, it is my new craving. I have started out very basic, of course, with the rolls. My favorite is the Cary Roll at Takosushi. It is lightly breaded with white sauce drizzled on top. I have not ventured out much because of not knowing exactly what I am eating. I prefer trying something that has been recommended to me.

Since I am an uneducated sushi beginner, I am seeking the advice of sushi experts. If you know of a sushi place that I should not miss in the Augusta area or a particular type of sushi that I should try next, let me know. I am ready for a sushi adventure!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

things that make you go hmmm

Dunkin' Donuts is preparing to launch a $10 million campaign that would shift consumers' focus back to their basics....the fact that they sell DOUGHNUTS! Ummm...Duh? It appears that the company ventured off into the fancy breakfast sandwich business, but has now decided to return to its first love.

What if Chick-fil-a added beef items to their menu? Or if Dollar Tree items cost more than a dollar? What if MTV stopped showing music videos? (Which they did for the most part.) And what if the church began shifting its focus away from Jesus? When a successful business gets too far away from its core values, it runs the risk of dying or it will eventually come back around full circle.

I am happy about Dunkin' Donuts reassessment of their values. I would hate for them to go under, because I think their coffee tastes better than Starbucks. Yeah, I just said that!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

aunt betty

My Aunt Betty is dying of cancer. Unless God decides to whip out a miracle, Sunday may be her last birthday celebration. The family has asked everyone they know to send her a birthday card, even if they don't know her. They want her mailbox to be filled with cards, especially lighthearted and humorous ones, because she has not lost her sense of humor.

So I was at Walmart yesterday, trying to pick out a card for Aunt Betty. It is difficult to find a funny card that isn't crude or suggestive. It is even more difficult to find a funny card for someone who is dying. It is like the pink elephant in the room. You pretend it is not there, but how could you ignore something that big?

What could have taken five minutes, took twenty. I finally found a card that said something about her trying to be the center of attention. I can hear her chuckling right now.

If you feel like touching someone's life in a simple way, please pray for Aunt Betty and her family. And if you would like to go a step further, send her a birthday card telling her you prayed for her. It would make her birthday.

Betty Davis, 416 Heathwood Drive, Aiken, SC 29803

Monday, March 16, 2009

jeans, bathing suits, and bras

What do these three things have in common? Most women would agree that shopping for these items qualifies as stress-induced shopping. So many choices. So little patience. Trying on jeans, bathing suits, and bras should not be attempted all on the same day. One category at a time is enough torture. Considering how we view our bodies and the way the mirrors and terrible lighting highlight our flaws, dressing rooms can become drama rooms.

Here are some things I do to make the stressful less stressful:

1. I take a female with me who will give honest feedback. When I ask "Does this make my _____ look _____?", I need to hear the truth. My personal shopper is my 12-year-old, Allison. She tells me when something looks bad and when something looks great. I trust her opinion, because she wants her mom to look good.

2. I know when to give up. When I feel like I have approached the point of frustration, I stop. Just because I go shopping, doesn't mean I have to buy something.

3. Don't take myself too seriously. I am not defined by my outward imperfections, but by my inner beauty. Right? Right?

4. I treat myself afterward. Starbucks, anyone? After all...I survived the drama even if I leave empty-handed. Besides, there is always next time...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

dream on

We have approached the midway point in our "Supernatural" dream series at TrueNorth Church. The band in North Augusta nailed Aerosmith's Dream On. It is such a difficult song musically and vocally, but they pulled it off with excellence. I love the fact that I go to a church that can take a secular song and bring out the spiritual meaning in it. Looks like I'm going to have that song in my head for the next few days!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

sharing the bad news

One of the most dreaded parts of my job is breaking the news to someone that their work needs tweaking. Or that we had to make some changes to a service, therefore eliminating something they contributed. I am definitely getting more comfortable in sharing what could be perceived as bad news since I have had so much practice these past couple of weeks. The last time I had to break some sensitive news, I was thinking about how much this stinks. I began realizing that God probably wants me to see it as a privilege to be the bearer of bad news. Then I wrote down this quote from the Unleash conference: Jesus called you to hurt somebody's feelings. But Jesus also called somebody else to hurt my feelings. I just hope I receive it in the same manner that I want others to receive it from me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

what had happened was....

Well I messed up my 40 Days of Blogging streak by not posting yesterday, but I'm still going to finish it out. See, what had happened was...I spent all day Thursday at the NewSpring Unleash conference in Anderson with the TNC staff. It was a very long and inspiring day and I was wiped out by the time I got home last night. Blogging was not an option.

I took tons of notes and I am excited about the possibility of implementing some ideas that I feel would help us work smarter and not necessarily harder at TNC. As I look through the notes from various sessions, I thought I might share a few that jumped out at me:

If you tell certain people they can't come to your church, you've just told God he can't come.
People who get mad about teaching finances at church probably aren't giving anyway.
Are you manufacturing energy for anything in your church?
If ministry is drudgery, you are either overworked or just slack.
The Holy Spirit is not limited by our preparations.
Pastors carry a weight you could never imagine.
We are in ministry only by the mercy of God.

I also learned a lot about the people that I serve with at TrueNorth. It is amazing what can be experienced in a 15 hour day together.

But what happens at Unleash, must stay at Unleash!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

i smell abercrombie from here

I could smell it from the mall parking lot....the smell of Abercrombie and Fitch. The smell of clothing and wood fixtures and money. The most common marketing strategy of clothing focuses on appealing to the sense of sight, some visual stimulation if you will. And A&F has quite the reputation for stimulating the eyes. The sense of sound cannot be ignored based on the loud, obnoxious music coming from within:

Employee: Hey, how's it goin?
Me: Huh?
Employee: Hey, how's it goin?
Employee: Hey, how's it goin?

The store has kicked up the competition a notch by using the sense of smell as a temptation for customers to follow their nose right into the store. The employees are spraying A&F products directly onto the clothing and probably into the air system as well.

Aside from the controversy surrounding the scantily clad models in their ads, I think the A&F multi-sensory marketing scheme is brilliant.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

unleash 2009

I'm looking forward to attending the NewSpring Unleash conference this Thursday with a handful of TNC staffers. I attended a couple of years ago and blogged about it here. No doubt that we will all be inspired as leaders and treated like royalty. Those Buckle-wearing NewSpringers put on a great conference!

Monday, March 09, 2009

mannequins are people too?

Have you seen the quirky, new Old Navy ad campaign featuring the Supermodelquins? The commercials showcase the Supermodelquins "talking" about their clothes and interacting with each other. There is also a comical behind-the-scenes documentary about them that "models" itself after Real Celeb Stories. I have seen the Supermodelquins in the stores and it's kind of creepy that I know their names and their backgrounds because of the marketing. They don't make me want to buy more clothes, but they do make me smile!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

crisis and opportunity

I went to Newspring Church with Kacie this morning. They kicked off a financial series entitled Where's My Bailout?. Many times people complain when a church teaches about money. "Here they go again. They want my money". But in these tough economic times, I believe people are more willing to hear about God's desire for their finances. Why? Because that is what they are thinking about. Money...particularly the lack of it!

During the message I began thinking about President Obama's recent challenge to “discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis.” I don't know what his exact motivation was behind that statement, but we can all use this advice and find ways to honor God with our money. We can look for opportunities to give generously. Re-evaluating our budgets is a great opportunity to begin spending wisely. But the greatest opportunity we have right now is showing God's love to others. It is free and it is priceless.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

barbeque barn

Friday, March 06, 2009

countdown to 180 weekend

In about two hours, over 100 students have the opportunity for a life-changing experience this weekend at Element Student Ministries' 180 weekend. I have seen the leadership team behind the scenes...crunching numbers, detailing, dreaming, organizing, sweating, more detailing, and lots of praying. Host homes are preparing for an invasion. Bands are practicing. Counselors are arriving in town. Students are anticipating. It's going to be an amazing weekend where middle and high school students have an opportunity to connect with each other and connect with God in their own unique way. As the name 180 weekend implies, they will arrive headed in one direction and will leave in another. They could come home changed forever!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

ironing for jesus? part two

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

So you're working on a project and you are putting your heart and soul into it. You have a great attitude, while striving for excellence. The law of Murphy steps in and everything falls apart. The efforts of your work don't appear so excellent now. And by the looks on the faces of those around you, they ain't too happy about it.

It is difficult to please others, because sometimes your best isn't enough. But your best is always good enough for God, even when it is mediocre in the eyes of man. When you strive to please God instead of man, you will never be disappointed in the response. His grace is much more abundant and satisfying than the praises of man.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

ironing for jesus? part one

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

This scripture caught my attention recently and it has caused me to take a close look at my motives and attitude as I go about my day. My mother-in-law gave me a cookbook a long time ago and inside the cover she wrote a short note that said "Always cook with love." Since then, not one day has passed that I have cooked for my family without love in my heart. Now... sometimes I get frustrated because I can't think of anything to cook and there are times when my cooking isn't all that great. But I can honestly say that I have "always cooked with love".

Too bad my mother-in-law didn't give me a new iron with a note saying "Always iron with love." Because I always iron with hate and a bad attitude! I usually set up the ironing board in my bedroom and it takes me a week or more of starting and stopping to get a stack of clothes ironed. I am convinced that ironing is of the devil.

Is it difficult for you to find enthusiasm in the tasks that you just don't like? At home? At your job? Of course there will be times when we work at "whatever" with ALL our heart, and the results aren't ideal. But that's where grace comes in. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

free stuff

Bruster's will be giving away free single scoop waffle cones this Saturday, March 7. The only catch is that in order to claim your free cone, you must be wearing your pajamas. One free cone per person. On our fake "snow" day this week, I took the kids to Bruster's for ice cream and I got the Graham Central Station and I have been thinking about it ever since. Yep, I'll be wearing my pajamas around town for some free Bruster's this Saturday. See you there?

Monday, March 02, 2009

things that make you go @#!*

A 15 year old boy in Los Angeles is trying to get a proclamation passed that would make the first week in March NO CUSSING WEEK in Los Angeles County. He is hoping that this will ignite cuss-free campaigns across the nation and worldwide. What caught my attention when I read this story in our local newspaper was that it was under the heading "Odd News". I don't think it is odd, I think it is cool that this kid is wanting people to be more respectful. And by the way, I am not implying that I am completely innocent in this manner. When my heart is ugly, ugliness has been known to leak out on occasion.

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

Sunday, March 01, 2009

no line on the horizon

I wonder how many worship leaders are anticipating the release of U2's twelfth album ,"No Line on the Horizon", on March 3. Churches that program mainstream music in their services have oftentimes counted on U2 to bring some goods. After glancing at the titles of the songs on the upcoming CD, I am anticipating some thought-provoking songs about love, hope, and redemption that can be brought into a worship environment.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

truenorth up north

So I posted the wrong article from this weekend's Decatur newspaper. This is the one I really meant to share:

A new stage: Forsyth's TrueNorth Church brings worship to movie theater

By SHEILA SMITH - FORSYTH - Pastor Steve Davis sat inside the large theater in Hickory Point Cinemas.

He wasn't there to watch a blockbuster movie on the giant screen. Instead, the pastor from North Augusta, S.C., was making sure everything was in place to launch his new church, TrueNorth, inside the theater.

The first public worship service will begin at 9:33 a.m. Sunday.

"My wife and I recognized the need for the style of church that we created - one that is seeker-friendly, not as many barriers with clothes and stained glass windows, and have an environment for people that was easy to come into," said Davis, 44, who launched his nondenominational church inside a South Carolina high school in 2004.

He started out with a handful of couples and has since seen the church grow to 600 members. He opened a second TrueNorth church campus in Augusta, Ga.

Instead of the traditional church building and hymns, you'll hear secular music playing at the beginning of worship, such as "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi or "All You Need Is Love" by the Beatles, Davis said.

TrueNorth Church in Forsyth will be Davis' third launch but the first in a theater.

Renting space at theaters is a growing trend nationwide.

One major chain, National CineMedia, which manages 1,400 theaters nationwide, said it rents space to about 200 churches.

"These are multimillion dollar buildings, and it's great for the churches because of the low cost," said Barry Brown, director of worship services for National CineMedia.

Brown observed that most theaters sit empty on Sunday mornings, and he said there's an increase every year in the number of churches renting them.

Carmike Cinemas, which owns Hickory Point Cinemas in Forsyth and Strand 10 Cinemas in Decatur, also has been in the business of renting space to churches.

Last November, the Rev. B.K. Smith started Harvest Bible Chapel at the Strand 10 Cinemas.

That first Sunday service brought out 150 people to the movie theater, Smith said, and since then, an average of 110 people have come to worship.

"I didn't know what to expect, but now people know we are there. One lady came up to me and said she felt safe coming to the theater. She told me how she felt uncomfortable going inside a church," he said.

Smith said it's not about a building but winning souls and bringing the unchurched to God.

"If you are an unbeliever and never went to a church, it's like you need to know some secret handshake, but we get rid of all that. Now what used to be unbelievers are coming and inviting their unbeliever friends."

TrueNorth's Davis said he found that offering a different church setting tended to draw in more of the unchurched.

Because his church sites are portable, with no debt or mortgage payments, there is flexibility to open up more sites in the near future.

National CineMedia's Brown called this the multisite movement, with some churches choosing to be in multiple locations across the country.

Davis grew up in Mount Zion, and he finally has the opportunity to open up a church in his home state.

His sermons will be recorded and, through a digital stream, downloaded on the Internet and played on the big screen at the Forsyth theater.

His brother, Shane Davis, will be leading the worship service, which includes a live praise band.

Shane Davis, 38, is the former youth pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church.

He admitted he is pumped and excited about using the Hickory Point theater to serve God.

"I will be the pastor of this church, doing all the pastoral duties on site. And Steve will teach and bring the message," he said.

Both brothers agree it's not about where a person worships but who they worship.

"Jesus said you come to worship me in spirit and truth. And the theater becomes our sanctuary, it becomes a place where God's people come together, and as we worship him, his spirit presides," Steve Davis said.

"It's a beautiful thing."

Friday, February 27, 2009

a pain in my neck

So I survived my thyroid biopsy today. During the procedure, as the doctor punctured my neck with a needle three times, I found a spot on the ceiling and focused on it. I tried to think of something to take my mind off the needle and my neck, but all I could think of were the vampires from the Twilight series.

My discharge papers indicated the following instructions. I added my own interpretations:

1. Rest quietly for the remainder of the day
Translation: I must take a very loooong nap.

2. DO NOT operate appliances.
Translation: I must not do any cooking, laundry, or vacuuming the floors. I must order take-out.

3. DO NOT make any legal decisions today.
Translation: I should not respond when someone yells "MOM! They pushed me!"

4. You may resume your normal diet after the procedure.
Translation: I must drink milkshakes all day long. No fruits or vegetables allowed.

Maybe biopsies aren't so bad after all.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

philippians 4:6-7

On Friday morning I will be having a biopsy on a "thing" on my thyroid gland. My doctor wants to find out if this "thing" is a good "thing" or a bad "thing". I am definitely not looking forward to having a needle-stabbing in my neck. But surprisingly I am not very nervous at all about the procedure or the outcome. Maybe because my Googling has taught me that the odds are on my side even if this "thing" is bad. I think my peace has come mostly from the prayers of my friends and family. I know that someone, somewhere, has prayed specifically that I would have "the peace of God that surpasses all understanding". I just know it. That can be the only explanation why I'm not freaking out over this like I normally would.

Have you ever had an experience when you could actually feel prayers on your behalf? It's better than any anxiety pill on the market.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

got my shimmy on

I tried something new this morning. Although I had a sneak peek at belly dancing during a women's retreat this past weekend, an hour-long Belly Rok class was a whole different story. The instructor, Nanani, makes belly dancing look so easy and sensual. I make it look awkward. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of it, I caught a glimpse of myself in the wall-length mirror and realized I had a long way to go. But just like everything else, practice makes perfect! I will not give up on it because it is a great hips and abs workout...and the coin skirts are just too darn cute!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

i dare ya

Not only am I blogging for 40 consecutive days, Alan and I are also reading the Love Dare devotional guide for married couples. We are being challenged for 40 days with a daily "dare" that is scripture-based. For us it is a marriage reinforcement, for others it could be the tool that puts their troubled marriage back on track.

The Love Dare book was birthed out of the movie Fireproof, which we watched with our journey team a couple of weeks ago and is the subject of our group study for six weeks. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked the movie. It had a great storyline with some surprising twists. My heart went out to the husband (Kirk Cameron) as he decided to stop fighting WITH his wife and to fight FOR her. He decided to do things for her that went against his human desire. But it wasn't until he accepted Christ in the midst of the struggle that he had what it took to win her back.

If you're looking for a movie to put in your Blockbuster or Netflix queue, go ahead and add Fireproof. I dare ya! Make it a date night. You might need some tissue to go with that popcorn, but in the end isn't your marriage worth it?

Monday, February 23, 2009

40 days of blogging

I have totally ignored my blog for quite some time. I appreciate the comments I have received from friends telling me to get back on the blogging wagon. Besides being super-busy, another thing that has distracted me from writing and reading other blogs is Facebook. If I have the urge to say something, I can just throw out a one-line status update instead of taking the time to blog. But I have missed it big time! That is why I have decided to start a 40 Days of Blogging spree. Thanks to Alan Jones for giving me the idea. I am going to post at least once each day for 40 days. I don't like making commitments like this, but I see it as a challenge. There is no telling what is going to come out of this. But I hope it will open my eyes back up to the stories and thoughts God puts in front of me each day!

Hang on for the ride! 39 days left!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

junie b. jones is "a hoot i tell you!"

One of my favorite things to do is to read with Matthew at bedtime. He has become especially interested in the Junie B. Jones series, of which we have the complete 27 book set since we have been through this with Allison already. These books have been enormously popular with many 5-8 year olds and their teachers.

The series by Barbara Park chronicles Junie B's experiences as a kindergartner and a first-grader. Since the books are written in first person, the grammar reflects that of a typical six year old. She uses words improperly and invents her own words like grumpity and smuggy. She sometimes thinks out of the box, which gets her into trouble. Junie B. always gets reprimanded, so she doesn't get away with her mischievous acts. No, she doesn't talk like the Queen of England and yes, she makes mistakes. But she is real and kids and parents can relate to her.

There has been a lot of criticism about the Junie B. series because of the grammar and behavior. But the writing is so genius that it could be a teaching point for a parent and child. We have used some of her situations to have meaningful, lighthearted discussions with Matthew about what Junie B. could have done differently....but that's only after we have stopped laughing out loud!

Alan and I read these books with Matthew because of the entertainment value, the lessons that can be taught, the quality time with our son, and because we just can't wait to see what happens next!

I wish Barbara Park would hurry up and release the next book. It has been so long that Junie B. is probably in middle school by now. Until then, we will start reading Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime. I wonder who her secret admirer will be?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

mom jeans?

Stories are leaking from the fashion industry that Mom jeans are making a comeback. I am a mother of three and unless I absolutely have to, I refuse to wear Mom jeans. Even though I think I wore them before I was a mom. What is Jessica Simpson thinking? Daisy Duke would be very disappointed!

Check out this SNL video spoof about Mom jeans...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

things that make you go hmmm

It was the late 80's/early 90's and we were rockin' Olan Mills studio. You gotta love those matching herringbone necklaces!

Check out these other Olan Mills treasures that I found on the 'net. I can't take credit for any of this:

You’d think Pearle Vision would throw in another two pairs for free.

Bobbi isn’t the first waitress to fall for her manager, but she and Dale both got fired from Shoney’s.

Olan Mills backdrop #4: Bucolic Meadow with Split Rail Fence. And is that an animal carcass behind her?

Thoughtful Lance. Mirthful Lance. Two sides of a delightful coin.

That guy wore a tie for nothing!

The Library might be more believable if the shelves weren't sloping downhill!

OK...where's your picture? You know you have one!

Friday, January 16, 2009

notable quotables...the series

Alan: I love sad movies.

Matthew: Simon Birch is a sad movie.

Alan: Yes, Simon Birch is a terribly good sad movie.

I don't enjoy sad movies. I can deal with sentimental movies, just not the tear-jearking ones. I get tired of pretending that something is in my eye. We watched the movie Stepmom as a family once and I couldn't hide my sniffling anymore, so I just blurted out "I NEED A TISSUE!" Everyone was shocked to find out that "Mom's crying?"

If you like sad movies, I would love to know why. Maybe you can convince me to take my kids to see Marley and Me.

Monday, January 05, 2009

unbalancing act

So Santa gave our family a Wii Fit for Christmas. And about three days later, I finally got my turn at it. I had to take a preliminary Body Test as a benchmark for my weight and BMI. I passed with flying colors. It wasn't long after I began the training module that the Wii Fit told me that I was "unbalanced." It said that the balance test was obviously not my forte and then suggested that "you probably find yourself tripping when you walk".

Oh no you didn't!

Well that made me go after it harder. I repeated every 'unbalanced' activity until I scored in the top three. Then over the next few days, I went to a yogalates class at the Family Y, got on the treadmill and took my kids skating so that I could work on my balance. According to the Wii Fit, my center of balance has improved and sometimes it even calls me a Fitness Enthusiast!

See...I told ya!

Now I feel silly trying to prove to a computer that I am a balanced person. I'm just glad the Wii Fit didn't see me get out of my car yesterday with my just-bought Starbucks drink and drop the whole thing in the church parking lot.

So maybe I am a little unbalanced.