Archive for January, 2009

My Twitter turned Orange

Posted on 30. Jan, 2009 by .

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Okay, so maybe it won’t. I reluctantly started using Twittter about a year ago. Honestly, I was giving into peer pressure. Everyone else was doing it.

I didn’t get it. What’s the point. From a distance I was watching people experiment with it to better connect with volunteer or parents. It didn’t seem to be working. However, it didn’t go away. I continued to hear people talk about it and blog about it. I figured I’d give it a shot. I signed up for an account and started writing about what I was doing. Yawn. My family would poke fun at me a little. “Who cares that you’re running to the movie store to pick up a movie.”

Then I went to the Orange Conference. That was my turning point. First I went to Buckhead Church a few days before the conference. While sitting in the audience with my iPod touch in hand, I watched as Los Whit and others sent out tweets between songs. I was amazed. I was experiencing a well planned and beautiful worship set all while getting to “listen in” on the direction happening behind the scenes. A few days later I was at Orange and using my cell phone to send tweets. I didn’t have internet access, but when I was back in my room I’d see all the conversations that were happening around me. I was just seeing what Twitter could be.

Last year I went to Orange. I’d been blogging a little over a year and using Twitter for a little over a month. I’d made a few connections and I was excited as I knew two or three people who were going to be at Orange, people I had met through the blogosphere or Twitter. It was unreal to meet these two or three people.… Read the rest

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Orange Conference 2009

Posted on 27. Jan, 2009 by .

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I got this in my email today. I’m taking my Children’s staff to Orange this year. Actually I’m registering on Thursday. Let me know if you’re going to be there, it will be great to connect with a few new faces!

I just wanted to remind everyone that you have two more days to take advantage of the discounted registration rate for Orange Conference. The last day to sign up at the current rate is Thursday, January 29.

To get your tickets secured before the price increase, simply head over to www.TheOrangeConference.com and click on “Register” near the top of the page.
(Note: The increased price takes effect at 12:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, Friday, January 30, 2009.)

If you’re on the fence about whether or not you will be joining us this year, here are a few little known facts that just might make your decision a little easier:
– We are offering over 60 NEW breakout topics this year – never-heard-before material.
– You’ll have the opportunity to check out either the Family Production Showcase, the first- ever demonstration of Preschool Party, or the Student Ministry Forum all offered on Thursday evening.

If you bring a group of 10 or more people to Orange 2009, you can choose a free gift*:

Three months FREE of the reThink curriculum of your choice
One free 12-month subscription to our upcoming release of OrangeLeaders.com
One free 12-month subscription to AmberSkyRecords.com
50 percent off the registration fees for any Orange Tour 09 Event
* See the conference Web site for more details.

If you bring a group of 15 or more people to Orange 2009, you’ll be able to send someone from your group to attend a special lunch with Francis Chan during the conference.

Nancy Beach, Perry Noble, Francis Chan, Sue Miller, Reggie Joiner, Chap Clark, Dan Webster, Jeanne Stevens, Craig Jutila, Jim Wideman, Sherry Surratt, Stuart Hall, Jared Herd, Steve Fee, Phil Whickham – do we need to say much more?

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Farwell George W. Bush

Posted on 18. Jan, 2009 by .

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Well, tomorrow is a historic day for the United States of America as Barak Obama becomes President of the United States.

However, today is the end of the eight year presidency of George W. Bush. I figured that since this is his last day, I’d honor him.

Thank you Mr. President for your leadership and service to the United States.

To be honest, I don’t stay as up-to date in politics to win any arguments for or against this man. There is no doubt that being the president is an incredibly difficult job. Not a job I’d be eager to have. The President has made plenty of mistakes. However, he’s done a lot of good as well. We could sit around and talk about all the things that could have been if different decisions had been made, but we’d be wasting our breath.

  • I’m thankful he was my president during the 9/11 attacks.
  • I’m thankful for some of the court appointments he made during his tenure.
  • Although it may have been unpopular, I’m thankful he carried through with decisions and didn’t waver based on public opinion.

I came across this site yesterday as a tribute to President Bush. Here is another great article reflecting on his tenure. There were many great things this man did that I didn’t know about.

So, farewell Mr. President. I’m not exactly sure how history remember will remember you, but I thank you for leading this nation through a dynamic time in our nation’s history. Take it easy and try to get a little rest. :)Read the rest

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I am fly

Posted on 18. Jan, 2009 by .

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happy-every-day

I subscribe to the engrish blog that posts pictures of signs and such in other countries where something gets messed up in the translation to English. To be honest, I’ve not seen anything amazingly amusing in a while, and then this came out. I’d pay good money for this shirt. Is that a dog on the kite?

Love it!… Read the rest

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Are you in full time minisry? Do you like throwing your money away?

Posted on 16. Jan, 2009 by .

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Okay, I admit it, that was one of those shocking titles meant just to get you to read this post. :)

I’m writing this post for two reasons.

  1. Today the IRS opened for business. That’s right. It’s tax time.
  2. To promote the tax preparation company that helped me pay the bills last year while I was on my ministry search.

Okay, maybe I’m biased. My parents own and operate two locations of ExpressTax in Valdosta, GA. Last year when when most tax prep offices saw a decrease in business, my parent’s operation saw a strong increase. Why? Because they’re very good in what they do. Although they do over a thousand personal returns every season, they also specialize in corporate taxes, incorporating and most specifically, clergy taxes.

I’ve worked for four churches since I’ve been in full time ministry. Two of those four churches didn’t follow code in reporting my taxes as a minister (It’s not just the little churches). A surprising number of churches make of this simply because it’s confusing. When I first went into ministry, someone on my staff recommended that I go to their CPA. It was going to cost me $400 to file my return. Why? Because clergy tax is confusing and most tax preparers don’t know how to do it. I didn’t pay that CPA $400. My mom took a specialized class on clergy tax and she does it for free. A perk of being her last born child. However, my mom now does most of my ministry friend’s tax returns. Why? Because she does it right and she doesn’t charge $400. She also does that tax planning to help you estimate quarterly payments and such. I’m not just saying this because she’s my mom, really. She’s just that awesome.

So, if you’re paying $400 to have your accountant or CPA do your clergy taxes, then you probably don’t mind throwing your money away.… Read the rest

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Hello 2009!

Posted on 14. Jan, 2009 by .

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It feels very stupid to be welcoming in the new year on January 14th. If someone wished me a Happy New Year today, I’d think they’ve got problems. However, this is my first post of 2009. No, I wasn’t taking a break. I was sick. Not so sick that I couldn’t relaly do anything, but sick enough to only do the most important things before quitting for the day.

Here’s the rundown (in case you don’t follow me on Twitter).

The week of Christmas my son got very sick. Actually he’d been sick off and on for several weeks. However, now he was really sick. He hadn’t eaten for several days and was throwing up over and over again. There were many times I thought we’d be going to the hospital, but we managed to keep enough liquids in him to keep him home. We were planning to drive from Austin, TX to Atlanta, GA after our last Christmas Eve service. Since Titus was sick and my wife was busy working (she’d been hired by the church to do a 6-7 week temporary job) and keeping Titus, I started tending to all the house cleaning and laundry. Needless to say, we didn’t get to leave on Christmas Eve. However, Titus had an amazing turn-around on Christmas morning and we ended up flying to Atlanta on Christmas day. It was a whirlwind, but totally worth it.

Then we spent the next 4 days in complete relaxation and luxury in a beautiful cabin nestled in the North Georgia mountains. Perfect. Then on the day we were to come home, I started getting sick. It was a double whammy of allergies and a cold. So for the next several days back in Austin, I laid on my couch doing nothing but wishing I felt better.… Read the rest

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