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200 wins

was at the braves game last night for the pitching duel between john smoltz and tom glavine - masterful game by both guys (ok, smoltz was a little better because we won!)...

anyway, last night was his 200th win as a mlb pitcher - what a milestone! glavine is approaching the 300 benchmark and both guys will surely end up in cooperstown...

was thinking about it...200 wins, 300 wins - big difference - but when do the # of wins start to really determine your legacy and the mark that you leave behind...here's what i think...

i think the 'next' win is what determines your legacy and the mark you leave behind - ultimately, it's the 'next' win that matters because it's the culmination of a life of 'next wins' that propel you forward - which, btw, is where we always need to be focused...

i think if you asked either guy, they'd be thankful for the opportunities they've had, but ultimately, it's not the 200 or the 300, it's what they do in the next outing...

that's the way life is for us, we need to determine to win the next outing, the next day, the next obstacle...life is full of 'wins' and 'losses' - choose to focus on the 'next win' and quickly forget the 'last loss'

dedicated to my sweetheart

i know what you're thinking, sweetheart must be my wife - well, she is, of course!

but along with my wife i also inherited a new family (some call them, 'the in-laws'...mine are family!)...when my wife and i met, her mom (whom i've always called 'mama') was pregnant with her 3rd daughter. well, tonight she graduates from high-school and will soon begin a new season of life in college (right now as a middle-grades education major...must run in the family, all 3 girls are/will be teachers).

i just want to say how proud i am of her - she's a beautiful young lady that loves God with all of her heart and all of her life - the beauty begins inside of her with her relationship (meant to be spelled that way) with God and emanates outward...she's like a sister to me and i'm like a brother...i was the first one like a brother, now she has 2 since both of her sisters are married.

just a shout out to say that we believe in you, we love you and we're always here for you...and yes, you're still me sweetheart!

a blur...

so much going on right now, when i have time i'll do a blog by bullet to download it all...in the meantime,

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

Eph - The Message (from chapter 4)

jott

i mentioned a few days ago the new, FREE, tech that i've been messing with...let me give an update...first, joost is ok - it's basically internet tv and i still haven't had a lot of time to devote to it, but i want to - just so much going on - the little i've watched has been soccer and it's cool

second, jott rocks! i love this! have it set as a speed dial on my cell, when i think of something important, i call it, record the message and it appears in my inbox (email) - how cool...some practical uses: sermon thoughts, illustrations, stupid church signs (i can't stand church signs that have a marquee with ridiculous sayings on them...like, sign broken, message inside...ok, let's just lie!...sorry for the rant there), back to uses: song ideas, songs heard, people to call or email, project ideas, etc, etc, etc - if you need something to be able to organize your thoughts or a way to download info as you think of it, check out jott - really great tool!

safe!!!

i love to see a play at home that's a close call and hear the ump yell SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
especially love it when it's the braves and the go-ahead run is scored...
know what?

that's the last thing we need to hear when it comes to church...perry made this comment in his post about church planters and i wanted to spring board off of it in regard to church in general (not COTN alone) - perry says, 'there's a safe place for Christians - it's called heaven' - so true!

the world in which we live is not safe! just a couple of days ago my wife and son were in a parking lot and evidently a teenager was behind the wheel of a car that should NOT have been - she put the car in gear (stick shift), the car jumped and smashed the car in front of it - THEN, she proceeded to do it AGAIN - after that she turned the car off and jumped in the back seat (where she should have started!) - it frightened my wife and especially my son - they didn't know if it was road rage or domestic violence or what - they were just scared! know what? it's not a safe place out there...there are no safe places out there.

but that's what we look for in church and in our walk with Christ - one quick glimpse into church history will reveal that the early church (think Acts 2 and first century) KNEW it wasn't safe, EXPECTED it not to be safe and EMBRACED the FACT that following Christ meant giving it all, risking everything and NOT playing it safe -

let's leave the shout..."SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!" for the ballpark!

play hurt!

know what i love about pro sports and most college sports? they play hurt! and, they're not afraid when they do! they know that the team, the game, the moment depends on them making their contribution - there are the guys that play hurt and literally the team is riding on their shoulders (thinking Jordan...'97 game 5 of the finals and he turns in a 38-point performance with a ridiculous fever!) - but there are also guys that don't have the team riding on their shoulders - they are simply PART of the team - thus, the play hurt! they don't get the press, they don't get the accolade, instead, they get the point! they realize that they are just a PART of something bigger than themselves.

i just read a post by a pastor that launched a church just over a year ago...in 2 weeks they've baptized 388 people at the close of service - they didn't even have 388 people in their church last year...he get the point! he plays hurt!

i remember several months ago when one of our guitarists had his hand in a cast (strum hand, not chording hand) and he showed up and played - he played hurt! he gets the point - he's PART of something bigger than himself.

i've know volunteers that didn't need to be here because their family needed them, their kids needed them, or whatever - but they were here and they were serving because they got the point! they were PART of something bigger than themselves - and, they played hurt!

it hasn't been that long ago that i was a part of a volunteer staff...i was the worship pastor, i was driving an hour to church (one way), plus working a 40+ and coaching soccer...i know what it's like...it's hard and it's a challenge...and, it's worth it! what i realize is that the people that are faithful and committed to the vision of COTN (or any church) get it! they get the fact that it's not about them (sure, there's some residual benefit in it...i won't deny that), but they know that they are just a PART of the team, they realize that sure life is tough and we all have the week from hell occasionally, but in the end, they've learned to play hurt! i'm thankful COTN has such a group of people - are they all like that - no - not in any church in america - doesn't matter - many have learned to play hurt and that's what they do because they are a PART of the team (please understand, in my book, they are a BIG part)!


thanks for playing hurt!

Tagged: a word about our volunteers

travis has tagged me with a suggestion that we: 1) say something awesome about our volunteers; and, 2.) tag five others and encourage them to do the same...

so, here goes, i thought about saying something like, 'our volunteers' can beat up your volunteers' but then i re-thought the entire deal...i recently posted about it just a few days ago, but it was lengthy, so this afternoon i'll boil it down and pass it own

'get it' - that's the phrase that i'll use in regard to our volunteers...our volunteers simply get it! i was thinking about them as i was out cutting grass and cutting down trees today - they work a 40 (or more!), then they show up on sunday and/or wednesday (or some other day) and POUR themselves out...for what? because they get it! because they realize that COTN is not about reaching the homogeneous white, middle class people in america - that it's about reaching the NATIONS - the people that share a: common language (like bikers or boarders), a common need (like single moms) and a common culture (like Chinese or Philippine) - bottom line: they realize it's not about them, it's about others - thank you COTN volunteers! you guys ROCK!

i now challenge these next 5 to pass along some love to your volunteers...
  1. Jeff
  2. Todd
  3. Larry
  4. Jessi
  5. Shawna

thoughts on being a dad

this one will probably be a sentimental post - tomorrow morning my daughter graduates from kindergarten - man, time flies...seems like just last year she was born, i went to second shift, stayed at home with her during the day and mom had her at night - that was a long few months - i missed my son and my wife, but i spent the first few months of her life with her - it was great...today, she spent the day with me, she wanted to be checked out early, so i did it - got to take EVERY chance you get as a dad because one day i won't be around her as much...i'm making deposits into her life every chance i get so that she grows up loving God and living for Him.

same goes for josh - he'll be heading into 7th grade and it's tough to swallow that pill - where did these years go - how'd they get by me SO quickly. still remember being the one to get him to the daycare or babysitter when he was an infant and a toddler, i remember the time taking him to the babysitter in west virginia and my car began sliding all over the mountain road on a sheet of ice - obviously, didn't care about the car, just the kid. in just a few short years i'll be taking him out to learn to navigate the roadways for himself...it'll be here sooner than i want! he's growing, becoming a young man, experiencing so much, learning so much, asking a lot of questions - i'm just really thankful that patrice and i have built a culture of communication

well, time to get some rest, going to be a long day tomorrow - i love my kids!

dads, if you're reading this and your a dad, there's perhaps no greater opportunity to make disciples than with your children - teach them to love the Lord your God with all their heart - read and re-read Deut. 6:1-9 - there's a ton that STILL applies to us dads...if you need to be encouraged, if you need prayer in this area, if you just need someone to bounce off of or vent to, please, don't hesitate to drop me an "e" or call... rickwomack[at]gmail[dot]com

purity

Ps. 24:3-5  Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul
to an idol or swear by what is false.
He will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God his Savior.

Ps. 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop,
and I will be clean; wash me,
and I will be whiter than snow.

Mat. 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Phi. 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable--if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy--
think about such things.

preparation

the following will be a series of posts in preparation for this coming Sunday - our Solemn Assembly at COTN - as you have time, pray through the following verses:

  • "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-5)
  • "The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8)

  • "'No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me, declares the LORD" (Isa. 54:17)

  • "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold" (Ps. 18:2)

  • “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)

  • "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord'" (Luke 4:17-19)

  • "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7)

  • “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord. Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not;

    Lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations and will resettle the desolate cities.” (Is. 54:1-3)




check it out

just want to give a shout out to todd who has a great post on being reactive vs. being proactive - read it!

oh what a night

late december back 62 (or whatever year it was, it was before my time...i think)

sitting in my office, the church is quite now, the doors (most) are locked, the lights are off and i'm thinking about the last 2 1/2 hours - its all a blur for the most part. conversations to have, needs to check up on, places to be, things to do - know what? i'm tired, but that doesn't really matter right now - tonight, we impacted adults and children with the hope of Christ - we taught men how to be stronger, more Christ-like men, we challenged women to live lives that we're full of God's Word and we taught children that Christ is real, a relationship with Him is needed and that we CARE about them!

when i think about the shear number of volunteers on any given wednesday night or sunday morning - i'm blown away! we have SO MUCH to be thankful for - these guys and gals pour themselves out - most, week after week - and what they get in return seems so minimal - the fact that they'll be doing it again next week most likely - but here's the deal, it's the changed lives, the smile on the kids faces, the men that are SHOWING UP on WEDNESDAY night that normally would NEVER do that that makes it ALL worth it - there are several other bloggers that offer a 'freak of the week' and highlight a volunteer or couple - i haven't gone that route (yet) - but i am tonight - our freaks of the week are those that are dedicated and determined to make an impact on people on wednesday nights and sunday mornings - you guys ROCK! - i'm so humbled at how you arrive early, stay late, pick up one another's slack and simply care about what you're doing - THANKS!

you know, the church is the ONLY organization that exists not for the members, but for others - that's a tall order when it comes to recruiting people to serve - they have to have the passion and see the vision - our people get that! they get the fact that it's all about other people (i know, it's all about Jesus, right?) - wrong! it's about other people - Jesus came not for His own sake, but so that He could RESCUE others - the same thing we're doing - i love our volunteers and the grit they serve with - they get dealt a bad hand, they get up, they roll with the punches and they move on and minister - they care! they get the fact that it's about other people...

i had two conversations tonight that let me know that they got it - both were simply amazing - i saw the love of Christ in these volunteers and it's humbling - thanks!

now, it's really late, it's really quiet, i've unloaded these thoughts into the digital spectrum and i'm going to go get me a cookies and cream shake from chick-fil-a! good night - and God bless to all our COTN volunteers, i'll say it again - you guys ROCK!

time to clean house

been reading and re-reading these posts lately...

GREAT series of posts by craig groeschel regarding leadership:
  • 1st post deals with how to find leaders - bottom line: you don't, you develop them!
  • 2nd post deals with leadership culture - bottom line: it starts with you (or me) - not someone else!
  • 3rd post deals with leadership qualities - bottom line: gotta gave relationship!
tony morgan has a great post about self-leadership - something i'm realizing more and more the importance of - great leaders lead themselves in great ways before attempting to lead others

travis johnson challenges in this post - i just about want to cut and paste it all into this post because it's so stinkin good - but i won't, here's a tidbit - GO read the rest - "I would never personally pick a fight with someone smaller than me but, I support the right of others to do so."

because i'm now the pastoral staff person responsible the overall direction of the children's ministries, i'm doing more blog reading of other children's pastors and leaders - this post by elevation church is great and got me thinking...

this post by kem from gcc was one of the most 'in my face' posts i've read - i can identify with some of her statements here - i'm not sure where this church was, but i think i've been there - if you read nothing else, read this one! we have GOT to be allowed to be challenged in the way we see things, do things, think things, etc - familiarity in any setting can be the most lethal weapon used against us - familiarity in a marriage causes people to take advantage of each other and assume for each other (dangerous stuff!) - familiarity in a church can paralyze a person from seeing things as a guest does or someone that God is bringing for you to reach out to - here's a snippet from kem - "Dear Pastors, Church leaders and Ministry servants. Do not fear the wrath of the members. Fear the thought of people who will live an eternity without experiencing Christ." gotcha thinking?


everybody's a critic-update

is it just me or does it seem that since american idol is around everybody's a critic when it comes to music now? seems like we've all become little simons...

that was random!

update: btw, this post was created as my and my wife sat in the living room laughing at how we had both become little critics when we watch AI...heck, even i've rambled on about who i thought should go home on certain weeks on this site - for what it's worth, i think jordin goes home this week - she blew it last night - melinda blew it out of the box (had to sound like randy there) - she actually entertained and as one good friend says, she wasn't as painful to watch last night - blake did awesome on the maroon 5 song

splainin going on...

just a quick shout out to debbie crawford as she joins the blogosphere - check her post out, she's got some splainin goin' on...

new tech on the scene

i'm a self-professed early adopter when it comes to technology...

well, almost, dave won't allow me to be...so, i still don't have an ipod (although i want one, or a zune), i also want a tomtom and in a few months i'll want an iphone - except that i can't afford all of these things.

but, when it comes to FREE technology, i'm on board. so i've been messing around with some things lately in my spare time - one is fun, one is helpful - both are free! (dave would be proud)

  • joost is cool because it has soccer available. joost is free tv on the internet. there is a small download that's needed and then you can watch all sorts of tv channels - such as: the recipe channel, the comedy channel (not advised necessarily), the soccer channel, the USSoccer Channel, WB, National Geographic and a host of others - i'm still learning about it and have only spent about 30-40 minutes goofing around with it - really like the soccer channel though - real cool! you have to be invited to download it...this is the fun, free tech
  • jott is my newest productivity tool - ever been somewhere and had a thought, remembered you needed to do something, say something, etc? - well, jott gives you a toll free number to call, then it sends a message to yourself (text or email) with the note you leave - it transcribes the note and it's in your inbox within minutes - really cool - another useful tool is that you can download your contacts and have it send messages to your contacts, from your phone. since i have about a 35 minute commute to work each day and back home, it's a great device - i've preprogrammed it as a speed dial on my cell so that no matter where i am i can: call, tell it to whom to send the message, record it, then FORGET about it - the only thing is that you need to be a regular user of email or text messaging in order for it to remind you and be a helpful tool - still a lot to discover about this - think it's a great tool - it's in beta testing now and available for FREE - no invite needed like the other
check these out...let me know what you think...

sunday night download...mom's day!

mom's day is just about in the books, so many things on my mind...going to bullet point this post mostly so i can get it all out and sleep tonight!

  • i lost a post yesterday after my devotional...here were my thoughts in a nutshell...Jesus asked peter, who do men say that i am? - he responded with some of the public opinion - then Jesus moved on to the crux of the matter - "who do YOU say that I am?" - ultimately, public perception is of little use compared to private realization and revelation - when peter said, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" - he was challenged to keep it quiet because word would have spread quickly and Jesus wasn't here to establish an earthly kingdom, but a spiritual Kingdom! - wonder how many times we miss this? Jesus cares about your opinion of Him - not what others say, ultimately, when peter said, some say Elijah, etc., he was saying, the OTHERS are wrong - know what? sometimes others ARE wrong - who do you say that He is? You need to answer that for yourself - what is the realization and revelation that you have of Him?
  • on to mom's day - we kept it simple this year because we're vacationing soon and we want to make dave proud! so, muffins for mom on mom's day, cards, and lots of love and help throughout the day was on tap - think it was a great day. i have the most incredible woman that God brought into my life...i'm amazed at her beauty that begins on the inside and radiates out for all to see! patrice is an incredible person, a fantastic mom and a beautiful woman of God! sorry guys, you all missed out on the best - must be tough having to settle for second best!
  • also, have to give a shout out to my mom - she's always been a strong person and much of the determination and outlook that i have on life is due to her. she always believed in me and challenged me to greater heights - thanks mom - i love you.
  • service was quick this morning! wow! didn't seem like it, but on the way to my awesome mother-in-law's house (really, she's incredible, like a second mom - in fact, i call her momma and ALWAYS have since the first day we met!), anyway, i digress, on the way there i freaked out when i realize we were half way there and it was only 12:15 - how did that happen? good service today - we were down in attendance but we always are on mother's day.
  • spent the day with the family - fun!
  • tomorrow's a parent's vs. kids soccer scrimmage - we're going to put it on them! - then we'll all need wheelchairs to get around because we'll be so sore!
  • some awesome things happening in other churches - if you have time, read this post by perry - love what newspring is doing - some criticize 'seeker' churches (which is a phrase i despise and ticks me off) - know what? they are getting it done! i love that - check it out!
  • about the phrase 'seeker' - coming from the pentecostal flavor of the Body of Christ, it frustrates me that we seek to separate ourselves and somehow elevate ourselves above others - ticks me off! (i know i said that!) - anyway, its about the kingdom and reaching lost people - have we so focused on our speaking in tongues and sanctification as a 'second work of grace' that we've forgotten the Hope of the world is Christ - i long for the day when our pentecostal churches are like those in the book of acts where people were saved AND filled with the Holy Spirit on the same day - that's God's design - let's work on it!
  • chilling right now with watercolors on xm radio - smooooooth!
  • project go is just a few short weeks away - can't wait!
  • mega sports camp is just a few short weeks away!
  • we'll be in our new worship facility and nursery/preschool soon!
  • all these things mean we're going to be tired at the end of summer!
  • school's almost over this year - my daughter is no longer going to be a kindergartner :(
  • school's almost ovre this year - my son will be headed to 7th grade - that means he's almost half way through middle school - which means he's really close to high-school - God, please help us to raise him in these last few influential years in the way of Christ - as a radical, sold-out, committed follower of Christ - who knows Who Jesus is when asked (like Peter) - btw, Josh has a relationship with him already, just want it to be fresh and real every day
  • jefferson has a starbucks - sbux for short - is this a good thing? dave's not pleased now...had my first triple shot white chocolate mocha today - GOOD! jefferson also now has a kroger that has fresh sushi - i know God's no pleased with that - NO, i can't eat sushi and i won't try - guess i'm closed minded about that - fresh, raw veggies are a stretch for me, fish is definitely out!
  • going to go take care of laundry for my wonderful wife now - have a great night - and happy mom's day to all of you wonderful ladies that are moms - you're amazing!

who are you talking to?

was sitting in the chair a couple of days getting my haircut...my son was with me...the lady (casey) and josh were talking...she asked him if 'he got the memo?' about something...he said, 'what?'...then it hit me - he doesn't know what a 'memo' is...he has no idea what that phrase means...

had she said, 'did you get the email?' he might have understood, but then again, that's so my generation...had she said, 'did you get my text' and he would've known immediately what she meant...or, did you get my myspace or facebook?

made me think, just how much of what we communicate is relative to my generation and not the next? how much of what i communicate is phrased around my comfort zone of me rather than the listener - it's an easy thing to do...we just forget sometimes

regarding the gospel...the message is timeless, the method and the verbiage is not...think about it...let me know what you think...what else do you say that most 11-13 year olds wouldn't understand?

hell & orange

catchy title...know what, you can boil down youth ministry and most ministry in this quote from reggie joiner at the orange conference (thanks to jonathan for this post)


four styles of students ministry (a thought from reggie joiner)
1) keep students from going to hell
2) stop students from raising hell
3) scare the hell out of students
4) give students the weapons to charge hell & rescue people from hell


there are some other great posts from about the conference...check 'em out:
corey
judy

quick spiddy review

went to see spiderman 3 on the imax last night - over the top in the sensory overload department - but i'd do it again in a heartbeat!

this movie is GREAT for taking your older children to and engaging them in some meaningful conversation afterward - the topics that you can touch on are: anger, sin, rebellion, forgiveness, the cross and probably several others - just don't forget to talk about the cool things such as special effects and action as well - they were all great.

one of the key scenes takes place in a church with an opening shot of the cross - history (i know spiddy's not real) revolves around this event - the Cross of Christ - interesting that hollywood is aware of that and used this as a pivot point for the movie - got to go see it.

great time hanging out with my son, went to BK beforehand to eat supper and mickey d's following for an evening snack - great when you can eat and snack for under $10 - get the baked apple pies - 2 for a buck, plus a glass of water - dave would be proud!

monday night download

just wanted to dump a bunch of things in my analog mind into the digital world...
  • first, serious props to our youth who did their thing on sunday morning - 100% Revolution was incredible - so great to see the older generation rocking their heads to the beatles ..."so you say you want a revolution" then segue into kirk franklin's revolution (woop, woop) - pastor anthony did a great job of preparing the youth, leading them, having them step up to the plate - hard to pick out a favorite - it was ALL so good - very powerful, like the fact that they totally changed the order of service, our youth are incredible!
  • our new facilities are really taking shape - so cool to see what was once a parking lot become a sanctuary - in just a couple of months, that'll be home and in 6 months or so it'll seem so 'old' and normal to us - hope the gospel never gets that way...
  • so thankful my daughter's allergy tests came back negative - mucho thanks to our Father.
  • also, so proud of her for maxing out on all the AR points that she could this year - this week she'll: have lunch with the principle (which is a good thing to an elementary student, not in middle school though); eat popcorn and watch a movie at 8:45am; eat a banana split out of a gutter - what can i say, i'm a proud dad!
  • still watching 24, but i've basically mailed it in for this year - i think the end of this year's going to be a set up for next year - interesting article here
  • looking forward to uga beating ga.tech this wednesday night - should be about 80 or so cotn people there - fun!
  • hoping to get an invite to joost - check it out...if you've got any invites, let me know - thanks.
  • josh had a vision at church yesterday - i think that it's really cool that this passage is being fulfilled - let me say this...when God gives His Holy Spirit, it's the full meal deal - regardless of age, there's no 'junior version' of the Holy Spirit

cinco_de_mayo


had mexican for supper tonight...for those that know me, that's nothing new - i love mexican food! i told the family we were going out to celebrate our heritage - i know, we're not from mexico and have no hispanic heritage, but we eat enough mexican food that i felt like we should be there...really, it was just another excuse...

anyway, there's finally a decent restaurant nearby that we enjoy going to every now and again - they had the cinco de mayo celebration ready to go - we were early, i imagine it gets really festive later on - there were pinatas everywhere, banners everywhere and they gave us a 'happy cinco de mayo' shirt - how cool...and, great customer service!

don't miss this...




i've been reading and re-reading a couple of blogs for more than a few days lately, i blogged about the first one in this post (3rd bullet down), tonight, i'm thinking about this one...i've included a teaser from it, you've got to click the link and check out the rest - this is appropriate for ANYone that is a leader...

If you are going to accomplish something significant, you need help. You can’t do it alone. You can’t pay your people enough to give you their hearts. Nor can you frighten them into it. Instead, you and I must become inspirational leaders—leaders who can inspire others to give their best efforts for the sake of a great cause.

In my experience, inspirational leaders share four characteristics in common.

i ask you, is there a greater cause than the Gospel?

another reason to like google

let me just say that i'm really glad i made the move a couple of weeks ago to:
  1. secure my own domain name
  2. move over to blogger
  3. use google analytics (not sure if you wordpressers can or not)
the number of reports available are amazing...i'm pretty sure granger uses this for their site - i've read blogs that alluded to that, i'll take clarification from any grangerites if i'm wrong

know who you're NOT




some things in life frustrate me...like...car repairs, home repairs, gardening, carpentry, general handyman stuff...

some things in life bring me great joy...like...ideation (design, creativity, planning, strategy), publicly presenting (whether acting, playing music, teaching, or preaching), worship, privately serving others, being a husband and a father...

i'm learning more and more who i'm not and who i am - what about you?

linked together

going through my blogs this morning that i read through daily and two of them are almost identical in purpose...

first, todd - who leads our first impressions ministry here at cotn - writes about 'getting it right' and what does 'right' look like. todd brings a bunch of management and retail experience together with a bunch of ministry experience (he's been a youth pastor and associate pastor). if you're involved in church ministry, business, management, customer service or just dealing with people that 'consume' then you should check out his post. let me just say that when i know todd is in charge of something, i know it gets done with excellence. todd and i had the opportunity last year to train about 70 pastors and lay leaders from A/G churches all over georgia and let me just say he's passionate about the experience and the excellence it takes.

next, gary writes about his recent trip down to disney and the excellence which they 'bring it' with. i've always said i much rather go to disney than 6flags here in the ATL - the attitude, the atmosphere, the excellence - everything - is so way over the top comparatively speaking. anyway, i'm headed down that way in a few weeks and i'll keep this post in mind as i experience the magic of the magic kingdom once again (having grown up in florida, this will probably be my 15th or 20th time going).

here's a closing thought...our biggest competition on sunday morning is not another church or a braves game - its the comfortable pillow someone is sleeping on - as well, the other biggest competitor could quite possibly be ourselves - by that i mean, are we doing everything we can to make going to church something people want to do? thoughts...

idol week #6

gotta say that tonight phil rocked it big time - his cover of 'blaze of glory' was incredible! felt bad for all the ladies, bon jovi songs are tough songs for ladies to sing - they were really at a disadvantage tonight. also, thought blake's cover of 'you give love a bad name' was really cool - not as cool as the original, but the dude's a genius and definitely has a career ahead of him - great arrangement that he put together - bottom line, phil was the strongest tonight - simon wouldn't know a rock song if it hit him between the eyes.

funny fish






had dinner recently with some friends at logans in athens - this was the fish, er, steak that they brought to to my wife - hilarious...

new decorations

added a few new features to the site - this thing really is a work in process - much like we are as we grow in Christ...

  • added the ability to sub by email (in case my site is blocked by a filter...dunno why, but it is at my wife's school - really dumb...) anyway, you can sub by email and that makes it easier - however, i'm not sure if pics come through so you may want to check back every now and then...
  • added some new blogs to the blogrolls...i'm tracking about 65 blogs right now - some are just occasional bloggers - these that i added are the ones i really enjoy reading and am challenged by - check 'em out to the right
  • added some technorati stuff at the bottom - just for fun, my old blog - www.valuetheprocess.wordpress.com is still in the low 100-thousands in terms of ranking, this one, because it's new, is in the low 2-millions - oh well...
  • added a couple new posts...

rss, aggregators, newsreader

just came across this post from a new blog that i've added to my must-read blogs from tim - if you're not using a newsreader (aggregator), you need to watch this and sign up for one - i use bloglines, tried googles but i'm used to bloglines now...

click here, then click the video to watch...

dirty, dying, dead and the future...



as i continue to grow in Christ, its the simple things i find that matter most - spent some time this morning reading and praying about these few verses...

John 12:24-26 - I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

i've read this passage many times and have even taught and preached from it before...i guess the thing that strikes me the most this morning is that Jesus says that I must follow Him and where He is, that's where i'll be - except, i left out one thing...He says, 'my servant' also will be - get that? it's not just enough to be where Jesus is, i have to be who he wants me to be - which is to say He wants me to be a servant - in fact, i can't get where He is unless i am first a servant - how does that happen? it happens by not loving my life...it happens by allowing that kernel of wheat to fall to the ground and die so that there's more that comes forth...

as i approach another decade of life this year, the thought that's crossed my mind the past couple of days is 'what will be my legacy?' - i've been thinking about that...one of my legacies, if i embrace it and truly do all that God wants me to do - will be that of a husband and father - bottom line, and i've always said this, if i loose my family, i've lost it all. my ministry begins with my family. another legacy that i pray will come about will be adding value to the church and to others that follow Christ - that's a tall order and not one that i've always done a good job - but, that's ok, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Jesus warned us that a kernel of wheat (a seed) cannot produce 'many seeds' unless it falls to the ground and dies! that means, in order to leave a legacy, in order to see 'many seeds' i've first got to be willing to go to the place where it's possible that i may get stepped on...i've got to be willing to go to the place where i will get dirty...i've got to be willing to go to the place where obscurity is probable...and significance and platitudes are of no concern. i've got to be willing to 'fall to the ground and die' - that means i've got to be willing to let the soil of life sometimes fall on me so that i can learn what it means to push through that soil (as a seed does) so that new life can come forth...

one final thought...in the next verse (vs. 27) Jesus says that his heart is troubled - He knows the time of His death is approaching...i like that Jesus is very 'real' in this passage - my heart's been troubled before as well (although not to the magnitude that His was in that moment). Jesus asks a hypothetical question - 'what shall is say? Father save me from this hour' - that was His statement - His answer to his hypothetical question...'no, it was for this very reason that i came to this hour' - i love the determination, passion and understanding of His purpose - it was for this VERY REASON that he came to THIS hour...think about it - would love to hear your comments...