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.


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


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.