Month: November 2007

I’d appreciate your prayers

Having this blog has been a great tool for connecting with like-minded people from around the world. I’d like to take advantage of this virtual network and ask for your prayers. Almost a month ago my Grandmother who lives in Georgia fell and banged up her head pretty bad. She had bleeding on the brain which kept her in the hospital for over a week. Recovery has been slow but steady. Unfortunately her injury kept her from coming out to see us (and her great grandchild Titus for the first time). We’re only a week or so from all of us (or at least Sara and Titus) going to Georgia for the holidays. Unfortunately, she fell again this weekend and both banged her head again and broke her hip. Currently the prognosis is not very good and I’m in a mad dash to get my 5 month old to Georgia. Titus and I leave on a 9:00 flight out of Dallas tonight (arriving at midnight). Please pray for the following things: That the bleeding on my grandmother’s brain will subside, which is the most important thing. That the Lord’s presence is felt by my family who is struggling with all of this right now. That Sara does okay without her husband and little boy (she’s preparing for her whole family who will be arriving in just a few days...

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Keystone Church: Making a big impact in Keller, Texas

This last weekend I had the privilege of attending another church which I wrote about here. Keystone Church is an awesome church that is experience the pains of explosive growth. They began just 3 years ago in the pastor’s home, expanded into a school and just a year ago moved into a leased building. The building was a furniture store that I was very curious to see how they would convert the building. Supposedly this church has seen 80% growth in the last 18 months and is already at 3 services in their new location. If I remember right, they have about 600 people attending on a regular basis. Not bad for a church plant, huh? An old friend of mine is their ministry intern and basically runs the elementary program on the weekends, and it was great to see him in action. I must say that I was very impressed with what they’ve done with the building. It’s so clean, crisp and a great use of space. It definitely has a modern/classy seeker-friendly look. I was even more impressed with the children’s area. There shouldn’t be any excuse for any church, small or large to have a ugly looking space. This church, which many wouldn’t consider a large church, has done a phenomenal job of creating a beautiful and fun environment without spending a fortune. take a look at...

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A History of the Iconic Mario

 I didn’t post anything yesterday yet I had said that I would post one more tribute to the greatest gaming icon of all time. For you Mario-heads, below is a play by play history of Mario, from his humble beginnings to the most recent release of Super Mario Galaxy. For those who are interested, the article tell the back story of Mario’s creator and all that went into designing this character, why he wears a hat and overalls (and it’s not just becasue he was a plumber). For those of you not interested, never mind and it won’t happen again… at least for a little while. Read the article...

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A Review of Super Mario Galaxy

To continue my tribute to Super Mario Galaxy, here is a fantastic review from GameZone. Read the quote below for the summary of the review: “The can’t-miss Wii game of the year. Super Mario Galaxy is a pure, unimaginable joy. I have never walked away from a Mario game feeling satisfied. I always wanted more. Yeah, I still don’t know how could I not want another Galaxy? Still, I’m satisfied. And I don’t want another Mario game, no matter how long it takes, until this one can be topped.” Okay, only one more tribute and I’ll move on from silly video...

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I was a visitor, the first time in over 10 years

I was on vacation last week, so I didn’t actually attend church (unless you count Bedside Baptist with Rev. Sheets). Since my weekend was open this week, I decided that I would go check out someone else this weekend. I actually wanted to visit a church just 4 miles down the road that I’ve seen and heard a lot about over the years. It was a 3 year old church plant that’s been growing like crazy. I have a friend who is a ministry intern there and and I had seen pictures of their new facility. I had seen some pictures and from the looks of it, this church plant had an incredible looking environment for kids (without having to spend a fortune on Wacky World or something at that level). I decided to go to the 11:00 service on Sunday. It was the first time in my entire life that I’ve ever gone to church that late on a Sunday (when I wasn’t on vacation). Titus (my son) woke up at about 7:45, so I fed him. While feeding him, I put a movie on. I watched the entire movie and then last week’s episode of the office. Then I took a shower and went to church. This felt sooooo strange. Sunday’s for me are always early morning days of getting things ready, getting things set up, my...

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Will laptops change the world?

In developing countries it could? I’ve been hearing about this project for the past 3-4 months on my favorite technology podcast Buzz Out Loud. It’s an initiative by the One Laptop Per Child organization to get laptops into the hands of children in developing countries. They’re inexpensive laptops that are rugged and durable. They have no moving parts (1 GB flash memory) a high resolution screen, peer to peer networking and I think a video cam. The idea is to get as many of these into the hands of kids. Right now this organization is offering a unique deal. for $399, you can get one for yourself and one for a child in a developing country will get one. Sure, you could get a pretty cool PC laptop for just a little more money, but I ask you… can you power that laptop with a foot pump? Oh, and I just saw this on their main site. If you buy one of these laptops, T-Mobile will give you free WiFi access for a year. That alone is almost $350 a year and you can use any laptop or mobile device to take advantage of this. That’s internet at Starbucks folks! Get more info here. Why is this a good idea? I remember my economics professor in college talking about this very thing (yes I still remember my economics lectures…...

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Super Mario Galaxy is here!

Mario is a good friend of mine. When I was in the 6th grade got a NES for Christmas and that was when I met my friend Mario. He and I spent a lot of time together. Actually over the next several years I enjoyed getting to know him better in Super Mario 2 and 3. I think I was in the 9th grade when the Super Nintendo came out. I got it on the very first day of release and dove right into Super Mario World. I was a Freshman in College when Mario 64 released and I got a late start as I didn’t get it until 5-6 months after release (this was my favorite Mario of all). I bought the GameCube only because of Mario. I actually bought it the day it came out (I camped out at Wal-Mart of 6 hours) and must say both  the Cube and Mario Sunshine was a disappointment to me. However, Galaxy is expected to be the follow-up to Mario 64 that Sunshine failed to be. If you haven’t see anything about Galaxy, then check out this video. Why do I care so much?I don’t even own a Wii (although I’ve actually bought 4) so I won’t get to play it anytime soon. Too many times I have to dig around, research and ask questions about what kids are currently...

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Letting go of good people

It’s funny how God works. Okay, sometimes it really isn’t. I guess it’s one of those things that become funny after some time goes by… sometimes a lot of time. I’ve had a draft of this post saved for over a month now. Over the past several years, I’ve had to let go of many volunteers for one  reason or another… something that is easier said than done. I’ve also let go of some part-time staff, sometimes because of restructuring and other times because of performance. This summer I had to let go of two staff members. One was a full time team member and another was a part-time person. Both of them are phenomenal people and it was so incredibly hard to do. But that’s not what this post is going to be about today. Maybe a little later I’ll write about the lessons I learned from letting staff go. This post is quite a bit more personal as just 6 days ago I found myself at the other end the table. I’ve been at Cross Timbers for two years now and was a part of a church that merged into Cross Timbers. We’ve been experiencing phenomenal growth over the past several years, being on Outreach Magazines’ 100 Fastest Growing Church list for the last three years. Attendance has been up; however, giving has been down. Anyone who’s...

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Handling Criticism

Unfortunately, as a Children’s Minister, criticism comes with the job. I learned a great lesson early in my career about handling criticism that has helped me through many tough times. I like to think that there are two types of criticism. Criticism that comes from source we value and criticism that comes from a source we don’t. So in reality, criticism is the same, it just the source that makes the difference. Let me explain. I might go to a friend or parent I respect and ask for their advice on some aspect of ministry. Whatever criticism I receive I consider constructive and helpful since I value them as a source. There are times when a parent who isn’t invested in the ministry or church pull me aside to chew me out for one reason or another. This too is criticism, even though I certainly didn’t like the way I’m getting it. I know for me it is easy to receive criticism from those who we trust and from those who we ask, but none of us like the uninvited criticism that comes from someone who seems to be “out to get me.” It’s easy to dismiss the latter thinking, “They’re coming at this from a negative point of view” or “They don’t really understand what we’re trying to do.” However, criticism is criticism… regardless of the source. Criticism...

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Halloween = Satan?

Okay, I’m totally late on this, so you’ll just have to forgive me. My wife have been having a debate for the last several years (not the kind where we’re actually mad at each other) about Halloween. (Fellow bloggers Matt McKee and Sam Luce had great posts on this very same topic) We both grew up in families and churches where we avoided Halloween like the plague. If you decided to stay home, we turned off the lights and hid in the basement and prayed (mild exaggeration). Typically we all went to the church for the annual Hallelujah Party. Actually it was always a fun night, but let’s be honest… we were hiding! It was a “safe” place for families who wanted to protect their kids from this evil night. First of all, I’m thankful for parents and a church that was looking out to protect my innocence. I don’t have any regrets that I didn’t get to dress up as Batman and troll the streets. Really, I’m fine. However, now that I’m a father I’ve been asking myself the question, “How will I present this holiday to my kids?” I absolutely agree that Halloween is not a completely “wholesome” and “family” holiday. There’s a lot of evil associated with this night. However, I don’t think my fellow neighbors are practicing ancient forms of druid worship by dressing up...

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