Thursday, November 30, 2006


A couple posts ago I was talking about how humans really haven't made much progress, my new blog friend Howie had some good things to say, so I'd like to revist that. But for now let me offer this evidence for my case against strictly human efforts:

Today I heard an ad. on the radio for "Plastic Night" at a bar, women can win a free breast augmentation.

*slaps forhead in disgust*

Monday, November 27, 2006

Yuletide Carols

This post could either be late, or timely depending on your answer to the question:

When do you start listening to Christmas music? (for a more overtly theological question, head over to Adam's blog)

This question is really representative of a much larger issue...Thanksgiving being devoured by the Christmas monster. I suspect there is a strong correlation between your views on Christmas music and the sanctity of Thanksgiving. Personally, I think Thanksgiving is awesome. But lets face it, it's pretty much Christmas pre-game. Thus, I stand in support of pre-Thanksgiving Christmas music. Further thusly lumping Thanksgiving into "the holidays". So to bring us full circle, I think you should be able to listen to Christmas music any time after Halloween. There it is.

Recently i've heard a new term out there called "Christmas Creep". This is what we're talking about at Youth on Sunday, so i'm sure i'll recycle some of my material and post it to the blog! So some interesting segways here. But, back to the issue at hand.

The Ultimate Christmas Song Playlist. Or what I like to title it...A Very Mustoe Christmas. Here's the criteria:

1. A mix of classics, newer songs, and newer remakes of classics. This can be tough, and you definately want to avoid a lot of 80's renditions of carols of old.

2. Some unconvetional songs. A nice mix of songs will include some selections with wintery themes that will surprise the listener as they're familiar with the song, but never in a festive context.

3. No repeats. You can only take so much _______________________ (fill in song here). One is enough.

4. No Manheim steamroller. Sorry. Might be cool to see them live, but not on my list baby.

5. Put some tounge in cheek selections in there. "Feliz Navidad" is actually a pretty annoying why not embrace it the way you still love that abrasive relative?

Without further adu (adieu?) here's my best of the best playlist- A Very Mustoe Christmas. The order can be debated, depending on what mood you're going for.

O Christmas Tree- Aretha Franklin
Christmas- Blues Traveler
*Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays- N*Sync.
(Say what you want. I don't care, it's a great song.)
Santa Clause Is Comin to Town- Bruce Springsteen
Let It Snow- Frank Sinatra
This Christmas- Chicago
Long December- Counting Crows
The 12 Days of Christmas- John Denver and the Muppets
O Come All Ye Faithful- Luther Vandross
All I Want for Christmas is You- Mariah Carey
Holly Jolly Christmas- Martin Sexton
Next Year- Jamie Cullum
*The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole
*This Time of the Year- Ray Charles
Winter Wonderland- Tony Bennet
*Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Chris Martin or James Taylor. It's a tossup.
*God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings- Sarah McLachlin and Barenaked Ladies
Rudolph- Jack Johnson
St. Patricks Day- John Mayer
Carol of the Bells- The choir from the Home Alone soundtrack
*=top choices

So, let the debate begin: How early do you listen to Christmas music, and what's on your playlist?

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Here's some lyrics from a cool song "Thank You"

Thank you Lord, thank you Lord
I know i've fallen short, I know i've fallen short
Thank you Lord, thank you Lord
I know i've fallen short so thank you, thank you, thank you

I don't say it enough, I don't say it enough
Though I have known your love, thought I have known your love
So thank you, thank you, thank you.

On some related side notes: I'm back in the KC with my family and Sarah, it's a blast, and all the food's free! Goin to the Chiefs game tonight, which will be awesome. Also, played a little Nintendo Wii with my cuz, also sweet.

Probably the highlight so far has been the downloading of Aaron Neville's Christmas Album. Seriously, go get it. Thus begins Christmas Music season. Many posts to come on this subject.

Peace and thanks!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dirty Dishes

One thing that sucks about following Christ is, we have to want to wash the dishes.

Allow me to qualify that statement.

I never saw the movie "The Break Up" but one scene really stuck with me. Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston's characters are argueing as couples do, and you can really tell the nature of the arguement from Vince's one line: "YOU WANT ME TO WANT TO WASH THE DISHES!?!? WHY WOULD I WANT TO WASH THE DISHES!?!?!?" (paraphrased, I never actually saw the movie sorry.)

A lot of times i'll do things because "it's the right thing to do". Giving money to the Salvation Army ringer, being nice to people I really don't like, using my turn signal...etc.

But "doing" is a lot different than "being". I can do all sorts of nice things, but the reasons behind those things are just as (if more?) important than the things themselves. I believe this is what Jesus talks about in Matthew 23: 25-26 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will also be clean."


So I can't just do the right thing but stay the same inside?


In Matthew 19 Jesus breaks it down again for us. Not murdering is not enough. You can't harbor anger inside either. Not sleeping with another woman isn't enough- the way you view women can also be adultery inside. You can follow all the commandments but still love your stuff too much.

It goes further than getting the job done, you have to want to wash the dishes.

More later.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Well, we did it. I sent out an emergency facebook message and 6 youth, a family of 4, and my musical friend Mike came last night. We gathered at the church at 9 to prepare the items, then headed out to Best Buy for the delivery of love to the PS3 folks waiting in line. We hooked it up with hot chocolate, pizza, cosmic brownies, and blow pops. The latter two didn't go over as well as the first two.

Upon arrival, we saw that most everyone (about 30 people) were gathered around a fire in a grill, good idea! So we roll up in a mini van like, right next to the crowd and got some strange looks. I shouted "Wassup! We got somethin for ya" then busted out the table o' pizza love. The next crew came a couple minutes later with the hot chocolate. We were very well recieved!

The stories were crazy. Some people had been living in a tent since Tuesday. One dude was selling his spot in line once it came out this morning. Pretty much everyone was planning on selling theirs on eBay for a riciculous amount of money. The cool part was people were astounded that we would just do this. They kept saying "Where are you guys from?" and "Why are you here?" We told them we all went to the same church and that it was cool to just show some love, that we respected their dedication.

It was a good time and we got to meet some new people and bring a little warmth to the cold Best Buy parking lot.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Chocolate Love

So all the technology oriented folks out there will know that tonight at midnight the PS3 is released. My buddy works at a local best buy, and YESTERDAY people were already camping out. We anticipate there will be many more tonight. SO as a symbol of love me and some kids are going to bring them hot cocoa and brownies tonight. We'll see how it goes. Whenever we've done something kind of crazy for people they usually think we're wierdos, but i'm thinkin if we show the nerds some love, they'll appreciate it. Wish us luck! I'll have a full report soon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sign of the times/I told you so!

First of all, I totally ripped this off from the relevant magazine website. So, there it is.

Check out this article about KFC constructing a giant 87,000 sq. foot logo that you can LITERALLY see from space!

How ridiculous to think that people would be motivated to eat at KFC by a giant sign being built. Hhhmmm.....where have we talked about this before?

People don't eat at KFC because their logo needs updating. People don't eat at KFC because they legally can't refer to chicken in the restaurant as the meat they serve is a turkey/chicken hybrid.

THE-CHURCH-TRYS-THIS-SAME-THING. It's the same. It is. Come eat our chicken=come sit in our worship service. Col. Sanders=Whatever we plaster up outside our building to get people in the door. It's madness!

Although, being able to see a sign from space is a lot cooler than "Don't make me come down there."-God.

The Emerging Church

I literally just finished Dan Kimball's "The Emerging Church". Also, to make me feel really cool i'll also add in that I recently attended a workshop tought by Mr. Kimball, and got to chat with him briefly. He's a cool guy, who handles critisicm VERY graciously as I saw folks taking issue with him in his own workshop.

To put it shortly, Kimball is addressing the cultural, phiosophical, and theological (plus many other words that end in "al") issues that "emerging generations" are facing. Or more accurately, the issues that the church is facing in dealing with these new generations.

I think he makes lots of great points, highlighting "modern" approaches just don't satisfy people like they used to; as America has moved past a largely judeo-christian worldview into a more pluaralist and individually motivated worldview. So things like 5 point sermons with all the answers won't cut it for folks, especially when they don't want to set foot in a church at all. To paraphrase David Crowder, people are tired of neat solutions to sloppy questions.

So, lots of great stuff. But I also feel like it's too complicated. Suggestions for layouts of services, lighting, incorporation of experiential elements into worship services, getting outside the building of a church, etc. Lots of things he talks about are great!

But I find some irony here. For instance, he asserts that emerging generations are put off by organized religion...then explains how to organize your religion emergently.

I'm really oversimplifying things here, but the more I think about stuff the more I realize that people haven't really changed in thousands of years, and really...ever. The Hebrews argued about the same things 20th century Christians argued about. Thomas a' Kempis talked about how men couldn't sit still...and in the 15th century they didn't even have cell phones or iPods or ritalin. To me it's sad yet comforting that people are still dealing with the same crap we always have. There is no progress. We can just distract ourselves more efficiantly, have more faster access to information, more convienient travel, and our capacity to inflict pain is wider and more devastating (laser guided bombs, etc).

So I will definately rip off/steal plenty of things from Dan Kimball's book! But also, we can dress up or name human needs all we want (adding "post" infront of words, etc). I have noticed and felt some of the shifts he's talking about myself. As the church lets work to address culture all of its ebbing and flowing states in creative and meaningful ways. But I think that human needs haven't changed a bit, we're just finding different ways (or going back to more 'vintage' as Kimball might say) to meet them. To pepper this blog with another Rob Bell might say- if it's true than it isn't new.

That being said, he brings up some great points to get us to think why the church does certain things. Anybody know what the letters "IHS" stand for on so many crosses on our alters? I don't. There's just one little symbol that probably goes un-noticed, definately goes unexplained. How many other things do we do that are just mindless tradition to the familar and foriegn ritual to the rookie?

Having read this thought provoking book, i'm going to try and get at the question "Why" in ministry a lot more. A good but dangerous thing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

At Long Last...

Here's an ode to a certain cell phone company that rhymes with "Bingular".

RIP Motorolla V557.

Props to Steve who pretty much did the whole thing. Do people say "props" still? Oh well, either way. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Grace, Faith, Deeds continued.

In this post a good conversation was started, and I want to continue that with some more thoughts I had to some great thoughts from the youth of EUMC.

I'm going to try and explain my thoughts in a quasi-lame analogy, as I often do.

Grace- will be defined as unconditional love.
Faith- (which some might call belief) is the "being sure of what we do not see", a response to grace which you have experienced. what you think about things.
Works- what you do about it.

So, here we go...

It's no secret that I am overweight. One problem is that it doesn't bother me too much, but that's another story altogether. My lovely girlfriend Sarah, loves me in spite of my phsyical shortcomings, or more accurately largegoings if you will.

In my state of chubbyness, let's say hypathetically that I subscribe to all the running magazines, own a nordic-track, wear those cool Nike shoes that connect to an iPod, sport the tight windsuit outfit, and always am telling people how much of a runner I am.

But people will see that I obviously am not THAT much of a runner because of my perpetual roundness. They'll think "How much does this dude really run? He's got all the gear, knows all the scientific health benefits, but still doesn't look in shape!"

So, i've experienced grace through my loving girlfriend. I'm professing faith by aquiring knowledge and the proper tools, but neither grace or faith is fully realized until I actually get out and run! Furthermore, grace and faith are more fully revealed when I bear witness to them by actually running, and my body's phsyical shape will reflect what I know and what i've done.

How's that?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Faith in Action pt 3

Behold, The Tither. With powers to give 11% and sit through endless sermons on stewardship.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Article here:

If you guys haven't heard all the news about Ted Haggard you can read the article, or turn on your TV.

Lots of issues to go through here. FIRST we need to remember that this is a man with a family and a congregation. Those folks are hurting deeply i'm sure.

But i've been thinking about the church and modeling the forgiveness of God. Our world certainly doesn't. I mean, this story is a story because of who this man was; President of the National Association of Evangelicals, condemner of homosexuality now admits to "sexual immorality" and although all the specifics are not ALL out in the open, they don't need to be. It's not looking good.

Matthew 18: 21-35. I gotta tell ya, this is probably the hardest chunk of Jesus' teachings for me.

So, what should be the response from God's people when stuff like this goes down? Are WE very forgiving? What does forgiveness look like in a situation like Ted Haggard's?

Certainly our knee-jerk reaction is, that dude's gotta be outta there. Even the allegations themselves might be enough for a lot of people. Often pastor's must lead a lifestyle that is "beyond reproach". This is professionally shrewd, but ultimately impossible.

I guess i'm sitting here thinking, would I want every one of my sins plastered over the news for my congregation to see? It wouldn't be pretty.

So do we knowingly differentiate (sp?) between God's forgiveness and ours because what Jesus talked about is "just not practical"? Or is it appropriate to "usurp" a pastor who has committed one type of sin? Where do we draw the line? What about a pastor who takes 2 dollars out of the plate? Buying a 6-pack at the grocery? Taking kids to an R-rated movie? Would this be as big of a deal if he had an affair with another woman?

I dunno. I think this is all very sad. Formost, the parties involved but I also know that this just helps shapes people's view of Christianity and fuel the antagonistic fires.

I don't know the answers to these questions, just some of the things I've been thinking about. I definately know that Dr. Pepper is the best soda ever, and that our church praise band recorded a CD tonight. That was fun! Those were very irrelevant to the serious subject at hand. We actually play a lot of the songs that the band at New Life Church has written. We'll all float on.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Why I Suck

Sorry if the title offends anyone. But I have a great example of me being dumb.

Like most people, i'm often tired. Yawning in the middle of the day, slow motor reflexes, just plain sleepy a lot. So this past Saturday night should've been a glorious opportunity to catch up on some sleep. We got an extra hour right! What do I do? I figure I can just stay up an hour later. Which is what I did. Next morning i'm just as tired as before.

Most of the problems in my life have come because of my lack of discipline. Finances, "spiritual life" (i'm not sure I like the terminology, but whatever for now), and my health all suffer because I suck at being disciplined.

Just throwin that out there.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mullet Man Rides Again

Here's the second in our "Superheros of the Pews" series. Behold, Mullet Man. With his unmistakable presence and encyclopedic knowledge of how ministry was done in the 80's, MulletMan is the greatest church attender of all time!