23 December 2005

grandma bougher

well, yesterday my grandma bougher went to heaven. my mom's mom. 88 years old. served God like every day of her life i think, and a prayer warrior like no other. when my best friend dino rizzo had an anyeurism and we all thought we were going to lose him, the first phone call i made - without even thinking twice about it - was to grandma bougher. i asked her to pray for him because i knew she knew how to pray. and at that point, that was worth more than a million dollars or any amount of money to me. and God answered the prayers she and thousands of the rest of us prayed and healed dino miraculously.

mom blogged about grandma from africa before she and dad got on a plane to head back to the USA (des moines, iowa) for the funeral on christmas eve. (when you visit her blog, do me a favor and drop a comment in there and let her know you were there - she's taking it all well, but your words and prayers would sure encourage her, i know.)

grandma was cool. i haven't run a vaccuum cleaner ever in my life that i haven't thought about her and the way she would be so proud of the pattern in the carpet and wouldn't let us walk on it for however long. so many memories come to mind - funny, happy, warm - but through all of the memories the top of it all is the way she prayed.

what a heritage God has blessed me with. thanks, Jesus. and thanks, grandma. i'll miss you. but i'll see you again at your new place, where the carpet patterns are never erased.

i love you grandma.

17 December 2005

here's the link....

ok, here's the link to the site about dino rizzo's new book, Turning Points is www.turningpointsbook.com.

or just save the time and go straight to the HPC store and buy it.

15 December 2005

it's here! it's here!



at long last - dino rizzo's book turning points is here! i'm pumped. i got to help work on the book, so i guess that has a lot to do with it, but i'm really excited about it, because i think the message it communicates is gonna help a lot of people. it is right on time for our community, and right on time for anyone facing challenges of change in life.

a shameless plug for the book? yup. you betcha. as soon as i can find the link to send you to buy the book, i'll post it, but i guess for now you'll just have to come to healing place church this weekend (any campus, including danville) to get your copy. for those of you who'll be coming in from swaziland, the philippines, or even as far away as iowa, it'll be good to see you this weekend.

or you could wait for the link. i'll hurry on that one.

10 December 2005

12 irritants of Christmas

check out lori fitzgerald's post about christmas. i know this will date me a bit, but when i was a kid, my mom used to read erma bombeck stuff to us. lori's stuff is like a 2005 version of erma. i don't laugh out loud often by myself - but this got me.

lorifitz.blogspot.com

08 December 2005

someone HAS to know this

i'm looking for an updated version of the Apostle's Creed. something more on the post-modern, emerging church level in verbage but having the same emphasis as the original. anybody got anything like that or know where i can find it? so far my googlin' hasn't landed me what i'm looking for.

i also wanna see if anyone has any recommendations for good sermons that break down the creed for today's normal human being. anything anyone can toss at me about that would be sweet. thanks!

okay - here it is... FUNNNNNNNY

click here to listen to what i think may be the single most hilarious mp3 file ever. listen closely to the intricate details and nuances that permeate the song.

enjoy. endure. and sing out loud more often.

06 December 2005

back from vacation

...feeling like a new man in many ways. didn't go anywhere, but had 12 straight days off (pretty much off, anyway) and i feel great. got a lot of stuff done at home, got to rest some, spent a lot of time with my wife and kids (not enough with just my wife), and i didn't spend much time at all on my computer. weird for me. i love my job. if i had a hobby, it'd be what i do at work. but taking the time off was good for me. i'm back with a renewed energy and drive and with a better grasp of the big picture. maybe there's something to this "sabbath" idea after all. who knew?

okay - i've got what i think has to be the funniest thing i've ever heard in an mp3 file i'm gonna post later this week. i can't post it yet because i promised my daughter i wouldn't let it out before she got to share it with some of her friends tomorrow night. so you'll just have to wait til after her party.

but, man it's funny. pitifully funny.

23 November 2005

i think it's more about my age than my level of geek...


My computer geek score is greater than 80% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!


shawn posted a link to this self-test about your level of geek. he only scored a 17 but i know he's more of a geek than i am. he has a podcast of his own. it has to be the questions that require being older than 25 to get that pushed me so far ahead on the score.

i really did play pong on a table-game - not the home atari, but the little table you sit across from your opponent at. and i remember commodore 64 coming out and being tremendously advanced over the trash-80 model 1 i was using.

david russell, david song, wes ratcliff, josh foster - i'm callin' you out. i wanna know what you score on the test. if you can't top 80 then the test cleary has an age bias.

22 November 2005

what makes you want to blog, anyway?

i read a post on one of my favorite blogs today. check it out here:
Mad Babble From A Church Planter...: Might be the medicine...

i wonder what it is that makes us all want to blog anyway. i can think of a few reasons that would make sense:

  • communication with a group of people all at once (like a lead pastor communicating with the people in the church)

  • outlet for those who enjoy entertaining others

  • a place for arguers to thrive

  • if no one listens to you in person - maybe they'll listen online

  • for those who used to keep a scrapbook on all they do - blogging is easier

  • sharing of ideas with others with similar interests so no one has to reinvent the wheel, and to foster a creative synergy


any other ideas? any thoughts on any of the list above?

20 November 2005

"feels kinda whitey" - huh?



my five-year-old son lincoln is smart as a whip, but those smarts also make for some curious usage of vocabulary.

friday night he had started to get some chapped lips (we're all getting chapped lips from the "extreme" cold lately - we went below 40 degrees one night - oooooh).

anyway, he hasn't ever really had chap stick on his lips i guess, so when his older brother j.d. put some on him, he said, "ooh, that makes me feel whitey."

after a good laugh at his expense, j.d. told us how lincoln had commented about his stuffy nose a few days ago - he described his nose as "feeling green."

eew.

what a cute kid. i'm so glad i get to be his dad.

17 November 2005

pursuit and being pursued

i had a cool thought hit me this morning. as much as i'm zoned into the word "pursuit" every time i see it nowdays, i picked up a new angle on it this morning.

when i read books, i get sidetracked in my head a lot after reading a phrase or thought that starts me thinking. i'll keep reading the page, but my head is somewhere else entirely. i'll read a thought and i'll be 900 miles away from the book a few paragraphs later and then i'll realize what i'm doing and have to turn back a few pages and re-read what i just eyed while i was chasing the rabbit.

anyway, that happened to me this morning. i was reading a book called "God's Blogs" recommended to me by a good friend, Kevin Wells. i love the concept of the book, although the expression is a little cute sometimes, the idea is great. anyway, there was a line in there about God pursuing us. if you've noticed my description of this blog, i'm all about pursuing God and trying to know Him and make Him known - that's my mission.

here's the thought that hit me - God is pursuing me. and God wants to know me. it's a really cool twist to the idea. i know He knows where i am, and i know He knows me well. but to realize that He is agressively coming toward me - wanting to be with me - that's pretty cool. this isn't hide and seek with God. this isn't tag. it isn't a race. it is the two of us running toward each other (granted, too often i'm distracted from my running).

God is into me. the One who made everything and who knows everything about everything - He wants to know me. wow.

15 November 2005

make your christmas count

there are two thoughts i'm heading into these holidays with. first of all is what dino rizzo always reminds us as a staff at healing place church, make sure that before you sit down to christmas or thanksgiving dinner, that you've done all you can to help someone else have a better christmas. i SO want my kids to experience that with vicki and me this year. my daughter tori went to an outreach to new orleans with refuge last saturday - it is stuff like that that i want to make sure we take the opportunities at hand.

the other thought is that i just got done posting some information on the children's cup site about christmas at the carepoints. real briefly for those of you new to children's cup: children's cup is a great organization in southern africa working with AIDS orphans. we are going to have a christmas party for the kids in december, and we're believing that God is going to use that to really create a strong message to these kids' hearts.

regardless - whatever you do - make sure you make your christmas count for something besides eating extra food. make sure it is still about people.

07 November 2005

sneak peek (spelled right)

well, the cat's starting to get out of the bag about dino's new book, "Turning Points" coming out this Christmas. dino blogged about it and lance even put a "sneek peek" of the cover on his blog.



well, i figure we can give one more piece of a preview with a sample from the introduction dino wrote in the book. lance has done a phenomenal job pulling the pieces together for this project (with a bazillion other "main" projects going on all at the same time, too). great job--friend. you--kind of--are my favorite--jagged rock--am i still grounded?

i'm so pumped about the impact this book is going to have. it is such a clear message of hope for those who are facing turning points in their lives. here's a taster:

---
from the introduction to "Turning Points" by Dino Rizzo

When we encounter Jesus, we encounter the greatest of all turning points. No one walks away from a moment with Jesus Christ without facing a change. Meeting the Savior always presents the possibility for a shift or a pivot point. When Jesus has encounters with people, He presents opportunities for life changes that can be accepted or rejected. For those who allow Jesus to turn their lives around, the divine encounters with Him are the turning points they desperately needed. I believe that if we set our minds and affections on God and declare our allegiance to Jesus Christ and His perfect plan, we will find ourselves walking into a God-orchestrated turning point.

Maybe you need to experience a shift in your current situation. Perhaps you need a change in your career, your attitude, your family, or in a relationship. Maybe something from your past has come back to haunt you, and you can sense not only the need for a change, but that the change is imminent. I believe that God wants you to step into the plan that He has for you.

By the time you finish this book, I pray that you will have come face to face with Jesus Christ and His incredible, passionate love for you. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Regardless of your situation or what you have done, He stands ready to embrace you and invite you to step into your destiny, which is the abundant life He intended you to live.

As you read about these encounters that the Savior of the world had with people like you and me, I believe the strength and power of the One who calls each of us to a turning point will leap off of these pages and grab hold of your heart. I pray that you will have an encounter with Jesus that takes you to the point of no return—a turning point for eternity.


---

please start praying with us that God will use this project to help a lot of people encounter the love of God in a new way.

simulated press conference?

anybody actually like ESPN's simulated press conference deal?

not sure if they are serious or not. kinda weird.

04 November 2005

brand autopsy - another great post...

about marketing/branding and blogs.... check it out.

my daughter is driving



my daughter is driving. well, kinda. she just finished driver's ed and the on-the-road lessons driving one of those cars we all love to see on the road with the "student driver" sign on the door.

she's blogging about it.

i'm terrified yet proud all at the same time. i'm hoping my four sons coming up behind her will be easier for me to deal with learning to drive. there's just something about an only daughter. most of it is all mushy. but this part is terrifying.

03 November 2005

wild conversation and a crab video

wild conversation:
check out this post on Gary Lamb's blog and the comment trail that follows. best entertainment i've seen on a blog yet.

crab video:
check out this amazing crab video. not sure the crab had a chance to be amazed by it. gotta read the description of the video to get the full effect.

01 November 2005

outreach mags notable quotable

check out the latest issue of outreach magazine. dino rizzo made it to the notable quotables on page 17.

and word has it that healing place is going to be part of the cover story in the next issue, too.

and kudo's to john siebeling and the folks at the life church up in memphis. they are on page 16 in a story about how they did their weekend services on friday one weekend and brought a bazillion people from their church down to louisiana to help with the relief effort after katrina. john really has a good bunch of people up there, even if they are yankees.

my future daughter-in-law?

check out josh foster's little hackster.

if it were up to my five-year-old lincoln, he'd be asking her to become an ohlerking today. actually had a ring with him he would have given her at fall fest sunday night if he had seen her there.

i made it clear to him, much to his dismay, that this ring was not in any way anything more than a friendship ring. man, when i was five i thought girls were nasty. either hope is a special case or lincoln is.

maybe they both are.

30 October 2005

sorry, but this is hilarious

this is why i cannot understand why karaoke is even a word.

click here to see the video.

thanks to mark batterson from national community church for posting the link at evotional.com.

25 October 2005

content is STILL king

check out this article at brand autopsy about marketing. i love the point that what we want is people to not just talk about what we did, but what we do. at healing place church our mission is to not just be a place where people leave an encounter and are amazed at what we did - the cool factor, the excellence in worship, the authentic kindness, etc. it is much much better if they leave remembering that this is a place where the can encounter God - where their needs are met by a loving Savior.

it's not enough just to get them talking about what we did last weekend at church. we need to be sure that the "wow" is just a piece of the bigger theme of hosting an encounter with God himself.

"hill"ing place church weekend

it was cool to have the houstons and darlene zschech at healing place church this weekend - in from hillsong in australia. josh foster wrote a cool blog post about the experience of playing with the hillsong worship team (darlene led a "one way" worship night at healing place sunday night). in that post, there's a link to bootleg video of the night that is really worth watching. it starts with a good long countdown (4 min or so) but the rest is so worth the wait.

24 October 2005

on drafting

had a cool thought hit me in church Saturday night. usually i go to service and sit up in the balcony and type extensive notes on the message on my mac. but this Saturday i sat up front and took notes on my very handy xv6600 phone/pocket pc. i know, i sound like a real geek - i don't really deny it, but that isn't the point of this post at all.

the thought that hit me as i sat close to the front was about pursuing God. i have really been feeling this whole deal lately about making my life to be all about the pursuit to know God and to make him known (thus the name of this blog).

i thought about how sometimes God will allow me to get behind someone and i can draft them like Jeff Gordon or Dale Jarrett (or any other NASCAR driver you wanna name) would draft another car . the idea is that the car ahead of you actually creates a draft that if you pull in closely enough, you're actually pulled ahead by the car you're drafting.

dino rizzo is one of those people for me. it seems like at times i'm able to draft behind him, and i always end up stronger in my pursuit to know God. there are others who have been that way for me at different times in my life - Julio Melara, Lee Domingue, Chad Daniel, Kerry Wilkerson, Mark Stermer, Rob Ketterling, and of course, my dad.

but what is more important is the opportunities i get in life to draft God. There are zones - times during this race - when we get to draft behind the Master. there's a lot of parallels that can be pulled from this thought - i'd definitely be interested in hearing from a NASCAR fan what they think - but i know this much right now - i want to live my life on an intense, intentional pursuit to know God and to make him known. and i know that if i pull in close and follow tightly, there's a place where i'm not having to face all the wind resistance on my own.

any NASCAR fans out there with more insight about it?

21 October 2005

reach conference 2006

anybody know anything (pro or con) about this conference?

Reach Conference 2006

20 October 2005

don't get stuck in the cement of a campus model...

okay - in my post "the first hit is always free" i whine a lot about how much time blogging takes to really do it like i want to be able to do it. one complaint was that i take pictures to blog about something then never seem to get around to posting them.

well, here's one, anyway. and i'm not just posting this one of me and geoff surratt because he practically begged me to post it. (i guess he thought my side of the picture made his side look better.)



this is at fellowship church's plano campus. we were there as part of a leadership network multi-site community gathering. geoff is a smart, big-hearted, obviously good-looking, God-loving genius - especially where it comes to multi-site church concepts. he's part of seacoast church and they've got like 497 campuses now (give or take a few).

he said something at the gathering that i really took to heart for how we do multi-site church at healing place church with our 12 or 13 services at 8 campuses (depending on how you count). here's the quote:

"don't ever get stuck in the cement of a model."

when it comes to doing multi-site church the way we do here at hpc, there's not a sliver of space for a mindset that isn't flexible to customize for particular situations. we have no two campuses that are alike. we've got a campus that is a video playback and is just around the corner from the main campus. we have one that is spanish-speaking only - a huge factor in planning. we have one that is predominantly african-american, planted in the middle of one of the poorest zip codes in the USA. we just started one in a rural area just north of town. we have a campus out in california that is a video venue. we have one in manaus, brazil that is planting more campuses of its own in the interior along the amazon. little mini-HPC's all along the river.

talk about a modeling nightmare. it would be a nightmare if we decided to get stuck in the cement of a model. by being able to employ what works from various models to build a setup for each new campus based on its own cultural factors and needs, we're going to be able to be more effective in a much shorter time than if we just bulled our way in and said, "this is how it has to be because it is our model."

sure, we have a DNA that we aren't going to change. but the expression of that DNA will become self-paralyzing if we refuse to pursue flexibility in how the DNA is expressed.

anyway - thanks geoff for the encouragement about that. and congrats on the new multi-site revolution blog. i'm looking forward to what we'll see (and hear?) there.

coming from a father of five...

you soon-to-be parents out there, make sure you've got this procedure down. if you do it wrong, however, it should only take once doing it wrong to remember the right way.

Diaper Changing 101

19 October 2005

the first hit is always free

dang - the whole blogging thing is like doing drugs. you get in and it is free to start with - everything is great fun... read what is going on in the minds of some great minds like geoff surratt and mark batterson and tony morgan and chris over at www.chrisbusch.com. then you start tracking down stuff they're talking about and you end up with a few sleepless nights spent taking "hits."

then you start dealing your own blog and you start finding yourself seeing life through the eyes of blogging. everything makes you want to take out your phone and take a picture.... "ooh ooh, let me get a pic of that for my blog..." and you start talking blogs with some newbie and you're pushing blogspot.com on him like a bag of weed.

i don't really know what that has to do with my main point here except to say that it isn't easy to keep up with. today i had 55 new entries my RSS feed was telling me i needed to read. now, i DID try to steer clear of blogging for a few days there - maybe four at the most - but 55 new entries? that's getting into a job just to read the ones i have thought were too good to pass up.

and writing new entries in my own blog? hah! i'm too busy reading everyone else's blogs.

i went on a trip last week and i took all kinds of pics and noted about a dozen things i wanted to blog about from that trip, but it's over a week later now and i STILL haven't blogged about any of it. and now there's all kinds of new stuff i wanna blog about.

i'll never catch up. it is a terrible feeling. i took a picture with geoff surratt while i was in dallas last week and i told him it was for my blog - guess he's wondering why i haven't posted it yet - you know HE looked good for the pic.

why does something that starts out a such a novelty end up being so able to full me with guilt for neglecting it for just a few days?

anyone got any guidance for a blog junkie? i really don't see quitting cold turkey as an option. i want to blog - and i want to read blogs. but i'm sure curious to konw how some of the rest of you who blog actually keep up with it without letting it overwhelm your "free time."

it's 1:00 in the morning and i'm asking this... dang - just go to bed, dan.

okay. i think i will.

in the meantime, i'd love to wake up in the morning and when i check my blog - to have some helpful answers on the blog here....

thanks y'all.

12 October 2005

catalyst blog link

great summary - all-in-one shot of the happenings at catalyst....

the official catalyst blog

10 October 2005

healing place church - a "pimp" church...

the folks at www.pimpmychurch.com think so. not something they taught us at JSBC, but coming from these guys, it really is a compliment.

08 October 2005

another new look

i just noticed a whole new look for the Healing Place Church site - nice job, guys!

and i thought giving my site a facelift was a big project.

new look and a new name for the blog

got tired of the old look. hope it all still works.

the old name was a ref to one of my favorite movies, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" I still like that, but I think this name tags better what i'm writing about. i really really want to live my live intentionally and intensely pursuing God - to know Him and to make Him known.

that's all i've got.

07 October 2005

catalyst in a blog

i am thoroughly impressed with tony morgan's reviews of the catalyst conference. for those of us who were unable to go, it is a great - no, really - great synopsis of the thoughts the various communicators are giving. erwin mcmanus, bill hybels, andy stanley, donald miller (blue like jazz author - great book), louie giglio, etc.

it's worth tagging this guy's rss feed.

tonymorgan.typepad.com

thanks, tony.

06 October 2005

check out tony morgan's blog today

http://tonymorgan.typepad.com

the "Catalyst One" entry is some great stuff about decision-making from Andy Stanley.

02 October 2005

i've got the hat. he's got the style.


me and my big brother.

i'm sure it was baby day.

28 September 2005

the coolest hymn recordings ever

http://www.myspace.com/davido2 check out I Surrender All and My Jesus I Love Thee. Amazing job, David. I'm hearing rumor that there's a hymns CD on the way from David. I can't wait.



also - here's some pretty dang cool drawings from the same artist. http://www.gigposters.com/designers.php?designer=27132

i guess it is selfish, but i really want to see more and hear more. keep it coming, bro.

22 September 2005

In Your Presence

i've got SO much i need to write about the things God has been showing me through these past few weeks with the hurricanes and some other junk, but i wanna just get this quick shot in - one piece of the puzzle for me has been the song "In Your Presence" by Charity Von. my daughter found the CD at the local LifeWay here and we bought it and track 5 is one i can listen to over and over and over. in fact i did put it on repeat on my itunes the other day - i must have listened to that song a good 20 times back-to-back-to-back before i decided to move on to another one.

the song is a huge help to me to remind me where my mind should be during all this mess. all the time, really.

in your presence i find comfort
in your presence i find peace
in your presence i surrender
Lord i give you all of me
and in your presence i fall on my knees
for you are worthy
in your presence i hear angels sing
holy holy is the lamb of God

it's worth the $0.99 on itunes to buy the song just to hear it.

19 September 2005

"way 100 cool"

my 5-year-old Lincoln told me today that my phone was "way 100 cool." i was showing him how i can now watch the videos from our church website and even the live feed from church at the highland campus this morning. he was blown away that he could look at my phone and see and hear what was going on at church right now.

it's a new deal for me to be able to do it - thanks to Verizon's new broadband-whatever deal. i'm really loving it - Verizon really came thru with the bump up. thanks, Verizon.

I agree with Lincoln - it's way 100 cool.

06 September 2005

big day today, bigger tomorrow

i'm not posting much right now - too busy with the hurricane relief effort. been working like crayhayhazy on the website for the coalition of local churches we're working alongside. you can see it at www.prccompassion.org.

i'm also helping to get content about the hurricane together for www.dinorizzo.com.

and we hit a big ol' whirlwind today when ABC announced they wanted to run their Good Morning America show Tuesday morning (now just hours away) from my church's campus in donaldsonville, LA where we've got a shelter for about 230 running. and also in the morning, Kevin Mawae is slated to be on Fox 'n Friends to talk about what he's got going in NY to help with Katrina relief.

so, be in prayer that these websites do what they're supposed to do as people are made aware of them. it has to be about God, not PRC Compassion or HPC or Dino Rizzo or Dan Ohlerking - or about Gov. Blanco, President Bush, or Mayor Holden. this has to be God to see us thru. and i think that is His plan in this - that we'd see Him alone as our sufficiency.

it's much easier to say than to live out.... until we actually do it.

02 September 2005

just what i needed

got this from my brother in law yesterday. right on time for me.

Hey Dan,

In my quiet time today I really feel the Holy Spirit prompt me to write and let you know “that my purposes are being accomplished through this. Don’t fear, don’t worry, don’t dread but look forward in faith that this is a great opportunity for me to reach lots of lost and hurting people. Please choose to look at the hope of eternity and not the hopelessness of the temporary circumstances. Don’t be afraid… I love you and care for you greatly.”

Dan, I pray that these are words of encouragement to you as your sister and I love and are praying for you all a lot right now.

Love ya all,

Ben

19 August 2005

my God is tall


incredible. challenging to have 5 kids? sure. don't sleep much with twin one-year-olds around? nope. tough to keep up with a wife who is working full-time, homeschooling (starting next week, three) kids, keeping all our books, volunteering transcribing Dino Rizzo's sermons for me to make my job easier, decorating our new home, and trying to keep us all sane while she's seeing to all that other stuff... Absolutely, it is.

But let me put this out here for all to see - there's no prouder husband and father anywhere. I took my five kids to the mall today. (i'm on a rare couple days off from work. sort of.) anyway - our washing machine broke the other day, and my wife went to buy a new one, but since it won't be ready for pick-up for two more days, she spent the day doing laundry at the laundromat. just another example of the sacrifice she makes for our family. she gives, gives, and gives some more.

so, while she was washing, i took the kids to the mall to spend their money they have been earning. my 14-year-old daughter was asked point-blank one time if she was the mom (not the first time that's happened). she was horrified, honestly, but i tried to encourage her that it really was a compliment to how she looks a lot older than 14. didn't help.

but she's really a great person. she's loves God passionately, she's got good sense when it comes to relationships, and even shows some wisdom in her clothes shopping. a rare young lady indeed. she makes me proud.

my 11-year-old son (my firstborn man-child) is quite a great kid, too. he's starting to see himself as not just a little kid anymore. he's taking himself a little more seriously (not meaning he's not fun - he just is starting to care about stuff that little kids don't usually care about - like buying clothes with his own money). he loves God, too. i'm happy for him taht he has now started goign to the Jr. Hi group at church - an exciting move for sure. and he's working hard to do right and to make good decisions - and while it is hard, he's doing it right more and more lately. i'm really proud of him for that. a neighbor kid had him over to his house to play xbox and he pulled out this game rated M (mature) (which i think is one of the great misnomers of all time). my son told the kid he didn't want to play that - he wasn't allowed to either. the neighbor kid told him, "aw come on - your parents can't see you in here - don't worry about it." my son told him he needed to go and he came home and told us about the deal - knowing full well that that would effectively be the end of his freedom to go play with this kid. he did right and man, i was proud of him.

my 5-year-old boy is a trip. he's got this odd sort of genius thing working - just shy of obsessive about "working" during the days that his mom and i work. he is creative and passionate about details in his "work." when he's not watching a movie (which i have learned he is not just watching idly - rather, he is doing more of an analytical study of the movie after about the first three viewings), he is working on the computer upstairs doing all sorts of stuff from playing games on websites we've cleared for him, to drawing in Corel Draw, or just writing notes (hollering for word spellings all the time). again, he's a kid that loves God, and makes me proud all the time.

last, there's the twins. they're quite the attention-magnets. everyone carries on about their eyelashes (then they see my 5- and 11-year-olds' eyelashes and understand that it is just the way my kids are. the twins play with each other. they hit each other. they hug each other. they scream really really loud. they laugh really really hard. they dance, they run, they climb, they wiggle. they are everything any parent could dream of a kid being, and there's two of them.

challenging? sure. but worth every last drop of energy that it requires (and it does). there's no way i'd change a thing about my family's make-up. even with all the teasing about us driving a big black van now dubbed the "O-Team" van. and even with all the looks people give us when we go in to places. i look at some of them and think, "sure, think what you want to now, but when you're 70, you're going to be lonely with no grandkids around. i'll have 25 or 30 grandkids crawling all over me. and the joy these kids bring to our lives every day is worth it all.

i just pray this - that my wife and i will continue to have the energy and wisdom to raise these kids (every one of them) the way they deserve to be raised. not in comparison to every other American kid with a bazillion toys and all the stuff they ever wanted, but in comparison to having what is important - a clear example of true relationship with God, a strong foundation in life - full of self-discipline, faith in Jesus Christ, and a strong, relevant and widespread education.

sure, that's a tall order. but my God is tall. he has entrusted these six people to me, and i know that as i seek his help in being husband and father to them, he's going to keep giving me the grace and mercy (i need both) to do the job right.

12 August 2005

maniaTV and mtv overdrive

now here's an idea i can get really excited about: tv on the web, interactive video programming online.... if you have ever heard me talk about where i'd like to see Healing Place get to go with tv, you know i've been begging for this stuff to develop. check out maniaTV's site here. Also, chris busch has a quick ref to some great info on them. and there's mtv's new one, too, mtv overdrive. anyone ever messed around with it? i can't play on mtv overdrive because they're sucking up to bill gates and are at best dragging their feet about getting it to work on macs. but i'm not bitter. just disappointed.

09 August 2005

the big time

i've hit the big time. check out the latest leadership network email.

Leadership Network Advance

bobby really is a cool guy. i had some friends recently move up to tulsa from baton rouge and they're going to start going to LifeChurch and it's so cool to know they're going to be in good hands with the folks up there. if bobby is any reflection at all of the heart and DNA of the church, they're going to be great.

thanks again, bobby - and Leadership Network for doing what you do.

stooping to greatness

check out dino rizzo (my pastor) on christine caine's website: www.chriscaine.com/messages.asp

i have no idea why the apostrophes all show up as little question mark blocks. argh.

my kid's soccer coach

isaac williams. did you ever meet someone that you knew was pretty cool and you spent some time with them, but never really understood just how great a person they were until they moved away? that's what isaac williams is for me. he coached my oldest son in soccer (JD did well, but soccer requires running -a lot- and running isn't a strong ohlerking thing). isaac is now working in his homeland of brazil - doing some great stuff spreading the gospel to places that don't have a bazillion churches already. he just got back from a trip into the interior - doing the whole ride-the-river-to-get-there thing. they had a lot of people get saved and what is even greater to me is that they are being able to plant churches where they're going. that means that those who got saved will have a place to grow. i've put some of the pics in here just to show you a bit - but what i'm really thinking is two things: first, pray for isaac and the ministry God has given him there in brazil. and second, do your best to recognize incredible people when you find one, go all-out to connect with them. you'll be glad you did, because you'll be rich in a way that really counts.

one of the places isaac went in brazil's interior

isaac's view of the journey up the river

a little insight into the psyche of isaac (pray for him)

04 August 2005

cross blogging

theres a guy that i love to death - he's a genius, a serious God-lover, one of the best artists i know - someone i respect on many levels - he's got a blog you've gotta check out: www.bluekardia.com.

he's got an entry on some stuff about Christian video games that i had some thoughts on, so i posted a reply there, but here's a bit of the idea:

the idea of making "christian" video games is actually the reason i got interested in computers in the first place back in the early eighties. my first semester project was a computer animation (on a TRS-80 Model 3, so it wasn't terribly impressive - draws could only be done on a right-to-left, top-to-bottom order) of the Navigator's Bridge Illustration Tract. you know, the great gulf fixed between God and man and the cross bridges the divide.

i have seen some "christian" games in the past and thought, "cool, glad they're going there" only to then check out the game and be thoroughly unimpressed with the creativity, look and feel, interface, concept, etc. there's sadly very few examples of great "christian" movies (mel's may be the ONLY one i'd put in the "great" category). and games i fear are going to be in the same flow - why can't Christians go after all we do with excellence ("as unto the Lord"). don't create crap and then put God's name on it.

on the other hand, i think there is a lot of room for some movies and games to have a morally beneficial value that would never be accepted as "christian" movies or games because they are not overtly evangelistic. i think there's something to the truth that they taught us at Evangel College (way back in the day) that all truth is God's truth - wherever it is found. i know you can get whacked if you go too far with using that to justify doing stuff you shouldn't, but the fact that a movie or game isn't made by a "christian" label or company (whatever that is) shouldn't disqualify it from being seen as acceptable or even valuable.

so there. i hope they start doing some games (and movies for that matter) that are excellent on every level, and carry a message that encourages people towards finding God. that'd be awesome.

that's all i've got.

20 July 2005

barbarian way

i'm reading a very thought-provoking and challenging book, "the barbarian way" by erwin mcmanus. i read the first few dozen pages and put it on the shelf for a while. started slow, i didn't connect, i wasn't buying the metaphor, etc. but i really felt a strong push to pick it back up again the other day. and from that day until now (probably about four days - yeah, i'm a slow reader) i've been reading it every chance i get.

check out this link to an interview with mcmanus about the book.

this will make you think

if you're a Christian, reading the conversation at the link below may offend you. my hope is that you'll get past the offense and hear the message that the people in this conversation are divulging. it was an eye-opener for me about what real people really think really is going on in the world today in regards to churches and ministry. i don't appreciate their profanity... don't read it if you don't want to see some words you probably haven't seen, let alone said, in a while. if you do read it, though, open your heart and determine to be one - just one - Christian who lives it real all the time. People are watching and they see more than you may think.

if you're not a Christian, just understand that i'm very interested in helping "Christians" get a new reputation - we are not all like what some of these people describe. and some of what they describe is totally off track, but heart-felt nonetheless - mainly because of the depth of the pain that "the church" has inflicted on them. but that isn't a reflection of all of us - nor is it how it should be.

anyway - be forewarned, this conversation (which stems from a news article reviewing the grand opening of Joel Osteen's new facility) isn't written in Christianese.

http://www.gigposters.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34507&page=1&pp=10

18 July 2005

congrats to the folks at lakewood

congratulations duncan and jon and all the guys at lakewood on the opening of your new facility in houston - the 16000-seat renovated compaq center. it is totally phenomenal what is going on there - God's favor is a powerful thing and you guys are right under the center of the flow. keep it going - stay true to your call and to the One who called you.

we're playing for keeps in this business.

someone like me

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
But You still hear me when I’m calling…

i heard this in a song in church today. pretty humbling to think about them being sung to God by someone like me - soooo unworthy that He should care so much about me. Thank You, God, for reminding me today how much you care for me.

Lord, i don't really know why You listen to me, but i'm glad.

16 July 2005

not-so ravin'

Why do they play previews for movies that no one in their right mind would take a child to AT movies you’d only go to with your child?

I’m sitting at home right now with the twins while the rest of my family is seeing Johnny Depp’s rendition of Willie Wonka. Oh, we tried to go. Kept them from taking naps on the way to the theater and all – they were ready for a good sleep-thru-the-movie event.

Then the previews started. I don’t even know what the preview was for, but it scared the snot out of them so I took them out, and after that, there was no getting them back in. So I got my ticket refunded (thank you) and brought them home.

Why in the world do theater owners/production companies whoever decides what previews run with what movies do that? It’s just stupid. Thanks a lot, Rave. You’ve got me ranting, too.

the dallas drive

This week, Vicki and I drove up with our 16-month-old twins to Daystar’s studio Dallas (technically, in Bedford, and we actually stayed in Grapevine right by the mecca of Christian creativity, Fellowship Church). We drove in on Wednesday (and we learned that these two kids don’t travel nearly as well as our first three kids do), got to the hotel and Rhodes and Rhett went wild. “We’re free!!!” “Ooh, what’s this?” “Bang bang bang, pound, scream,” etc. They had a blast.

My apologies to anyone staying in the south wing of the hotel.

They finally dropped off around 1 a.m. A few hours later we went over to the Daystar studios to meet Dino Rizzo and be there in the studio during his guest appearance on Daystar’s Celebration with Mark and Joni Lamb.

The studio was impressive. Much larger and more decked-out with gear and d├ęcor than any other religious-use studio I’ve seen to this point. The Lambs and their people really did a great job of making things work for us and the interview went very well. I met Charles West there – a very cool guy that knew about two-thirds of everyone I’ve ever met in Christian TV (he knows about 200x more people than I do – the point is that it seemed like everyone I asked him about he knew them.

Anyway, the interview went well, and after it was over, we told everyone goodbye and headed back to Baton Rouge. This time it worked right – the twins went to sleep a little before the 7-hour trip was over and we were able to move them straight from the van to their beds.

Great trip. Thanks to Mark and Joni Lamb, LaDonna Walker and the great people at Daystar, and to Charlie Ellis at Perry Stone’s for hooking us up with them. Charlie – you are the man.

13 July 2005

rebound

Saw the new Martin Lawrence movie a couple days ago. I was pretty impressed. It was amazingly free from most of the garbage that movies include today. I actually laughed out loud in the theater a few times. I took my two oldest boys (10 and 5) and three boys from the Wilkerson house (11, 8 and 5). Needless to say, there was a lot of popcorn consumed and dr. pepper and sprite gulped down. And the best thing of all is that I only had to take one kid out during the movie for a potty stop.

I love the title of the movie. It is so in line with some of the thinking I’ve been doing lately. A few weeks ago Dino (my pastor, boss and friend) spoke a message he called “Bounce Back” where he talked about how important it is that we learn to come back from mistakes – to recover from failings and grow from the experience.

It’s a great message – both Dino’s and the message in the movie. Regardless of what you’ve done or what kind of mess you’ve gotten yourself into, there is a way to rebound – to bounce back. Let God be in charge of your life and see what happens.

07 July 2005

thank a vet

I typically try to make a point of personally thanking people who serve in our military when i encounter them in public - as much as possible. the other day a friend of mine from back in high school hunted me down on the internet and as we got caught up with each other's lives over the past 20 years, i learned that he's been in the Air Force pretty much the whole time and is signing up for another 10 years. i thought it was interesting his response to my email thanking him for serving to make our country a free one. Here's what he wrote back:

You thanked me...but I want to thank you. After September 11th, and after our invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, many of us in the military got mixed reactions from folks. We were even told by our base commander at one point to minimize wear of the uniform when off-base because there had been an incident of an active duty guy who stopped by Wal Mart on his way home from work. As he was walking out of the store, a lady walked up to him and spit on him and cursed him for serving in the military. I serve for folks like that, but I serve more proudly for the folks like you who appreciate our effort.

hug a vet. shake a soldier's hand. it makes a difference.

and thank God for freedom.