Follow me here...

Our middle school mission trip will leave tomorrow after church. You can follow our week here. I'll continue to post on the OSM trip blog until we return.



After being tagged by Todd, here we go; my fives.

1. Enjoying a holiday weekend with out working.
2. Living in Nacogdoches.
3. Working with at risk youth
4. Worrying about things other than my weight
5. Starting children's church at our church in Nacogdoches.

1. Sort tools for UMARMY
2. Return phone calls left yesterday (my day of...in theory)
3. Walk the dog
4. Take a nap.
5. Best of all, spend time with my wife!

1. Throw my financial weight around to fix some things up in here!
2. Cease working a "for pay" job and live life like Dr. David Banner.
3. Build a great outdoor venue just outside of Lufkin.
4. Endow some programs that I have loved for years.
5. Something totally impractical yet to be determined.

1. Procrastinating
2. Relying on my wife to know where everything in the house is located.
3. Failing to make time to invest in relationships, for the sake of relationships.
4. Organizing in piles.
5. Failing to call my mom often enough.

1. College Station, TX
2. Jacksonville, TX
3. Georgetown, TX
4. Hemphill, TX
5. Nacogdoches, TX

1. Summer Nature Camp Counselor
2. AM Oldies DJ
3. Direct Care staff for Adults with head injuries
4. College Admissions Counselor
5. 911 System Coordinator

1. Chris- He made the mistake of telling me he's blogging again.
2. Romack- I always appreciate his perspective and currently i'm drawing a great deal of encouragment from him.
3. Angela- Same as above...plus: her blog never fails me
4. Jeremy- cause I love there is a United Methodist in ministry geekier than I
5. Los- cause I'm not afraid to step to the big boys.


This is a straight repost from Church Marketing Sucks. I could not have improved on it.

Have you seen this news story? The Church of St. Joseph, a Catholic church in Bertha, Minn., has filed a restraining order against 13-year-old Adam Race, a severely autistic boy, in an attempt to keep Race from disrupting services and endangering parishioners. The mother was threatened with arrest if she went to church and the whole story has prompted a debate about how to accommodate people with autism.
The story has made the national news circuit and has quickly turned into a 'he said/she said' battle, with the church giving its story of the 6-foot-tall, 225-pound Race being disruptive, sexually aggressive, nearly knocking over parishioners and needing to be restrained--tied down and sat on by his parents. The parents, meanwhile, give a different view of things, explaining soothing techniques they use and pointing out that the church hasn't responded to requests to help the situation.
However you see this story, whether the parents need to be more respectful of others in church and find a way to keep Adam from being a danger to others or the church needs to be more understanding of autism and come up with a solution that isn't court ordered, I think the whole thing is kind of silly.
Thanks to our media's news cycle that focuses on repetition rather than detail, and the fact that St. Joseph's has no web presence that I can find, it's hard to know what's true and what's being sensationalized. But here are a few things that are true:

Work It Out If you've got a conflict in your church, work it out. Taking it to court doesn't go well for anybody (I think that's in the Bible somewhere). Find a way to solve the issue without turning it into a public spectacle. Because it will be a public spectacle.
Don't Send the Wrong MessageUsing a court order to keep people from your church is generally a bad idea. You want people to come to your church, you shouldn't be putting your efforts into barring them. Aside from the complications this causes for the initial conflict, using a court order on your own church member sends the worst possible message.

Be Full of Love If you do get dragged into a mess like this, you better hope you covered your butt with lots and lots of love. The only way a church can come out of a situation like this without looking like jerks is if it's obvious to anyone that the church bent over backwards to resolve the situation. A visit from the pastor followed by a letter asking someone not to come to church doesn't seem like you tried everything you could. Love, love and love some more. I think that's what your sermon was about, right?

Tell Your Story The best way to deal with a public relations nightmare like this is to tell the whole truth, honestly and sincerely. St. Joseph's needs to tell their story. Hopefully it's a good story to tell (see points above), or else it won't help you much. But get out there and explain yourself. Dispel the image of your church the media is currently painting. And you better show a ton of love, since that's currently lacking in your public perception.
These are the kind of stories that make churches look bad. Sometimes they're hard to avoid, but it's how we react that can determine whether we project an image of love and acceptance, or misunderstanding and reaction.

Unashamedly stolen from: Kevin D. Hendricks

I'm not dead...

...thought you might like to know.


running away...

Ever have the feeling that you want to run away?
I know I do.
Every now and then I just want to runaway.
Most often, I'm mentally set on running away to Mexico.
I don't know why.
It just seems right.
But then I realize, that even if I run away, I'd want to be home for dinner.
I took fifteen minutes after this morning services and a special lunch we were having and I ran away to Mexico.
I hopped in my igooglemobile and googledrove to Mexico.
It wasn't the fastest route.
But it was direct.
59 to 35 to Mexico.
Voila! (Should that be AquĆ­!)

You can see form the satellite view of the crossing, not many headed into Mexico.
Lots headed out of Mexico.
I should remember this for my drive home.

I'll be home for dinner.

my visit to the white house...

I finally received the security clearance I needed to visit the White House, not A white house, THE White House.
Okay, so it might be more a virtual clearance.
And an even more virtual visit.
But it went something like this:
I picked up my yellow rental car.
Hauled on over to Pennsylvania Ave at T1 speeds.
I did donuts on the south lawn and parked my car on the front steps.
All thanks to googleDrive, phatfusion's flash application that allows you to drive on google maps.It's my new obsession.
Where will you drive?


too close for comfort...

Church transforms into coffee chain

DENVER — Connection Metro Church, which used its foyer coffee bars to attract visitors to its eight satellite churches in the Denver area, has decided to abandon ministry altogether to focus on coffee. "People liked the coffee a lot better than the ministry, according to congregational surveys, so we’re practicing what we preached and focusing on our strengths," says former teaching pastor and now chief marketing officer, Peter Brown. Many in the congregation seem downright relieved. "The sermons were okay, but the vanilla frappes were dynamite," says one woman who regularly attended the church for two years so she could enjoy the special brews. "I even brought my Jewish neighbors and they loved them." The staff of Connection Metro Church began noticing last year that more money was coming in through the coffee bar than in the offering. "People complimented us about the pastries and mochas but didn’t really mention the teaching," says Brown. "After feeling disappointed, we got pragmatic about it and realized God was telling us where to put our efforts." The church renovated each of its locations into Connection Coffee Houses and removed most traces of its spiritual past. Now crowds are up and many former members are flourishing. "Who knew I was so gifted at making foam?" says the former head usher, now the head barista, as he makes a heart-shaped design on a cappuccino. The church’s small groups have been turned into neighborhood reading clubs, with some reading Christian titles and others following Oprah’s recommendations. The only visible remnants of the coffee house’s past are the offering bucket which serves as a tip jar, and the greeters stationed at the door to give a more welcoming feel than the nearby Starbucks. Some former members were stunned to arrive at church Sunday morning to find the sanctuary transformed into a seating area with newspaper racks and coffee-themed gift items. "I guess we’ll go back to the Methodist place," said one father who had brought his family. "But only after we try those delicious looking chocolate cream-filled croissants." People in the surrounding neighborhoods say they are far more likely to stop by now. One man who came occasionally says he feels less guilty standing around the coffee counter now that there is no service taking place. "Before, we had to sit through the service and pay our dues," he says. "Now we go right to the good stuff — the double espressos." The staff also feels liberated now that the pressure of ministry is off. "The best way to be relevant is to give people what they want," says Brown. "In our case, that’s coffee drrinks."

i may grow tired of the word transformation...

I may grow tired of the word transformation, but I'm excited about this instance. On Tuesday, the United Methodist Church at General Conference changed the mission of the church.

Here's the previous text:
The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Here's the new text:
The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

I love that we now acknowledge that our discipleship leads us to act. We are not just about getting people into heaven. We are also to be about getting heaven into people and this world.