Great commercial for Discovery Channel

I preached yesterday for the 1st time...

Yesterday I had the honor of preaching to the amazing people of Four Corners while Ben preached next door at Zion Global. I ended up going LONG but felt pretty good about my 2nd service talk. I chatted about re-discovering the Bible and the critical nature of asking ourselves first "What DID it mean?" then we ask "What DOES it mean?". We walked through the parable of the sower in Mark 4:1-20 as an example of these practical questions in action.

If you want to take a listen...click HERE.


Find your role, shut your hole

"Right people in the right roles will do the right thing in the right timing." -- Brian Tome (from 'War Room' podcast)



I've given my Twitter account something to live for by finally using it! I'm using a Twitter client app called TWhirl and so far so good. The idea of micro-blogging is fascinating to me...simple and quick ways to know what's going on. Get Twitterfied today!


Garage Band unleashed!

I have thought about doing a podcast for awhile and finally I did it yesterday in Garage Band...and it rocks! I was able to not only record but add sweet and high quality jingles and sound effects. I sent the podcast to all my Life Group Coaches this morning.

I had an absolute blast doing it and am looking forward to doing it again...here's a sample of my first episode.



"Isn’t an agnostic just an atheist without balls?"
Stephen Colbert


What to make of "The Shack"

A good friend of mine recently finished "The Shack" by William P. Young and had high praise for it. The book currently in number 11 on Amazon's "Top Sellers" List and number 9 on USA Today's Book List. So he's not the only one finding it an interesting read.

Although I have yet to read it (it's now on my to-read list), I have heard much about it...some say it's an epiphany and others say it's blasphemy. Regardless, the author took the idea of the Trinity and fictionalized a conversation between man and "it"...a brave endeavor. Leadership Journal has a great conversation currently going on about the book.

Our children are our measuring sticks

Nolan turned 4 just a few days ago and we had a huge water party for him this past weekend. It was amazing to look how he has changed and become such a big boy. There's joy in watching children relish in water fights and slip 'n slides. Check out photos from the party HERE.

God and the Gay Issue

Today thousands of gay and lesbian couples are getting married in the state of California after the State Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to ban gay marriage. This issue causes immense passion and fervor on both sides and is much more complex than soundbites or protesting placards. I'm often angered by the proclivity of either side to oversimplify the issue.

"...we have got so much rhetoric flying to and fro and we lack a sustained, careful discussion, which we really need to have. That’s actually an underlying theme of so many issues today, that we have forgotten how to do reasoned, wise discourse." - NT Wright

Take a moment to read Relevant magazine's forum with esteemed Christian thinkers on the issue in their newest issue dealing with hot button issues...it's worth a read.


Father's Day and my sons

As I write this I find myself reflective of the small moments of yesterday and even this morning. I was at the church until 2:30pm and came home wiped out. (BTW...some men enjoyed the 6lbs fillet migon steaks they won in our first ever Man Bingo with the likes of Chuck Norris and Tiger Woods) I walked in the door and not 30 seconds later one of my son runs in from the backyard begging me to come play in the water. I trudge upstairs half-heartedly, looking at my bed and dreaming of the napping that will NOT be occurring, put on my swimsuit (depressing a bit since my metabolism has slowed considerably since I was younger) and went outside.

Needless to say, it was a great time. Nolan laughed and couldn't stop talking about our time out there for the rest of the night. He "made" me ride the bouncy water slide, which I flipped over and about broke my neck on...all the while he's laughing, of course. Then Jill's family came over for steak...good times. At dinner Jill asked Nolan, "What do you like most about daddy?" To which he replied, "That he plays water with me!" I couldn't help but smile ear to ear.

Then as I woke this morning and watched Luke Russert talk on the "Today Show" about the tragic and sudden death of his father, I was struck by his deep and welling love of his dad. His dad had told him and shown him absolute love and strength, and it was that strength which made it possible for Luke to move through his grief and talk with great clarity about his dad. I went upstairs to finish getting to go to the office and saw Nolan getting out of bed. I went to him and helped him change and told him I loved him. Then Soren stirred and I grabbed him from his crib with a huge kiss to the forehead...Father's Day was one to remember!


I almost died on the trail!

I used to be an avid backpacker until I had kids; so when I went out this past weekend for a strenuous hike in Tennessee with some friends I tried to channel the spirit of my youth. Mistake. I hiked almost 14 miles in one day in 96º weather up and down ridge after ridge.

We left around 7:30pm from the trail head to hike into our campsite about 2 miles in and within minutes I was sweating like a pig. We get to the campsite after dark and try to settle in for the night BUT sleeping in a sleeping bag in 80º heat is not ideal...actually it's like sleeping in a small slice of hell. Then add on the fact that one of the guys with me finds a black widow in his sleeping bag and you have a recipe for almost NO sleep (90 minutes for me, thank you very much)

The next morning we hiked through crazy trails overgrown with stickers and poison ivy (my legs look like I've been attacked by a cat), and as we moved slowly and sweatily toward our car on the other end we heard from several hikers that "it's not too far". Yeah...we thought :(

Two of us broke off to grab the cars and meet everyone ahead BUT thought we wouldn't need to water up because the hikers told us "it's not too far". THREE miles later I had almost literally collapsed of complete dehydration and heat exhaustion...marching through boulder fields, hill upon hill begging (and cussing) at the trail.

When I finally found the car, my hiking partner said I looked horrible, and we rushed to the nearest gas station to get liquid. I drank over 100 oz. of liquid in 30 minutes and didn't pee (sorry...) for hours. It was crazy! My wife asked me when I got home how I thought what I did was fun...I smiled and said, "It all makes for great stories and that's what I love!"

The future is MOBILE...get used to it

I just finished watching Apple's Keynote address about the iPhone 2.0 at the WWDC Conference in San Francisco and I'm floored. The SDK applications that will be available and have the potential to be available are unreal. We're seeing the merging of different apps into one unified app such as Flickr meets Twitter meets Google Maps meets Blog...say hello to Loopt. Some of the other apps for everything from the medical field to gaming are just mind blowing!

As a church we're starting to see mobile and web-based communications as the future of the way we can more effectively communicate with our leaders and volunteers. We did this video training for our Road Trip event and almost had 100% viewership! It's not as if we had something ahead of the curve (we're actually behind most of the digital world) but the church is just starting to take advantage of mobile/on-demand communication instead of meeting people to death.

The future is mobile and I want to be there!


When your voice is taken...friends need to speak up

I've been listening to Katie Reider since I was in college. She's a Cincinnati native who's produced some great music. And, in the small world we all live in, her brother is our worship leader. Just a little bit ago she was diagnosed with rare tumor that spread to her sinuses and jaw. Needless to say, treatment of this is extensive, invasive and expensive...

So some of her friends have setup a website to help with expenses for Katie and her family. They are trying to get 500,000 visits in one year and have each person by an album by Katie for $1. An amazing offer to listen to great music and help an amazing voice sing again...thanks!


The "Road Trip" that could redefine church!

I have been noticeably absent from blogging as of late mainly due to what I'm about to tell you. When things get crazy, blogging drops to the backburner BUT it's always awesome to tell you on the flip side what happened.

Yesterday, Four Corners Church went on a "Road Trip" instead of usual church. Yes, people showed up to church as they normally would, but we offered NO Kid's ministry, NO Middle School and, in fact, had everyone cram into the auditorium for the last week of our series "The Church Has Left the Building". In this series we have been talking about the critical nature of deep relationships and the essential part of Jesus' message..."They will know you're my disciples if you love another."

Then the band performed the classic "Life is a Highway" with a BMW motorcycle and Vespa Scooter illuminated on stage. We sang one worship song together, Ben talked for 8 minutes...the EVERYTHING people thought they were getting at church changed. We pulled a HUGE surprise!

People were asked to go live out community and loving one another rather than hearing another message about it. The church was told to leave the building. We had tables arranged around the room with maps to over 24 host families all across Cincinnati, a devotional CD, and our Summer "Road Trip" t-shirt...and people experienced church and community all over the city.

Hosts provided lunch, some intentional conversation and, most importantly, a friendly and safe place for relationships to grow. But instead of me tell you anymore...head to the ROAD TRIP website and see it for yourself.

Apple's Genius Bar is genius...

Today I headed in to my local Apple Store to try and find out why my Bluetooth Mighty Mouse wasn't pairing with my laptop any longer. I left with a huge smile and increased loyalty.

First, I love making an appointment for service and having the system work. My appointment was at 11:20am and I showed at 11:10am with my kids in tow. Within minutes (while my boys were enjoying the kids area) they called me up.

Second, Genius Bar is exactly what I needed (and have needed many times before). A piece of equipment isn't performing as purchased and they fix it...FREE of charge. I'm sure they charge for parts and other what not, but all the times I've gone there I've never been charged. I love that! I pay top dollar for a top performing machine and they bring me top service. That generates loyalty!

Finally, my Mighty Mouse finally paired but the scroll wheel wasn't working. So the Genius guy gets me a new one to replace it FREE of charge! I was smiling ear to ear.

Thanks Apple for a great customer service experience time and time again!