Saturday, May 31, 2008

the list

Tomorrow is June 1st.  Let the games begin... It's only 30 days

Here is the official "junk list". If you have any item on this list, even a sample, even a mistake - you cheated and owe $5.00 to the junk fund. It is all about integrity. If you did it - admit it.

//peanut butter
//chili cheese coney
//garlic bread
//ice cream
//fast food burgers (homemade or restaurant burgers are acceptable)
//soda / pop (even diet)
//coffee (yes it's on here & it does include decaf)
//soft tacos (from Chipolte only)
//sweet tea (cold, sweetened with sugar)
//fried food (all fried food is off limits - these were specifically named)
   french fries
   fried chicken fingers
//sweets (all sweets are off limits - these were specifically named)
snack cakes
  cookie dough
//cheese snacks (all cheese cracker/snacks are off limits - these were specifically named)
cheeze its
gold fish
//candy (all candy is off limits - these were specifically named)
3 musketeers
reese's peanut butter cups
//*chips (if it is made by Frito-lay, it is probably off limits)
potato chips

Chocolate: if you eat or drink a healthy "protein/nutrition type bar or shake with chocolate in it, that is acceptable. You cannot eat a protein bar to satisfy your "sweets" craving. Again, INTEGRITY is the key!!!
*Chips: pretzels and baked tortilla chips are allowed

If you have any questions or need clarification on any of these items please let me know. I will consult with an impartial panel and make the final ruling. I will not attach the names to the item so you don't know who to be mad at...

There are 25 people taking the challenge so there should be some money to win at the end. The goal is to develop self -discipline and get rid of the junk we shouldn't be eating anyway. 

My point: I am impressed with all of you who decided to take the challenge. If you were too chicken - well WHATEVER!!!

This is going to be painfully fun. Let me know how you are doing and especially when you cheat...

Friday, May 30, 2008

da rules

Here are the guidelines/rules for "junkless June"

The Goal:
To break yourself from things that you eat/drink that isn’t the best for you. They may not be awful, but if you think you can’t go without for 30 days – then maybe you need to. 

I am doing this to gain self-control and possibly shed a few pounds. The heart behind it is to not allow anything to have control over me. If I say “I can’t go without (blank)” then I need to just so it doesn’t have control over me. If you think you can but aren’t willing to try then you may want to pay attention to the truth – YOU CAN’T!!!

The rules:
Each participant will submit up to 3 things that they think will be the hardest to go without for 30 days. Names will not be attached to the item so you won’t know who you want to kill. DO NOT submit things just because you think it will be hard for others. This is not to make it hard for other people, it is to help you develop self-discipline.

The penalties:
 I will compile a list and make any clarifications on items. Once the list is compiled, NO ONE will be allowed to eat anything from the entire list. If you do, you owe a
$5.00 penalty. I think the penalty has to hurt. If it were only a quarter or dollar – you may think it is ok to cheat. The penalty has to be painful.

There is a $20 “I am a loser without any self control, so I quit” fee. In other words, if you quit you still owe all the penalty money AND a $20 fee. This is all “honor system” so if you think you may have cheated, YOU DID!!!

The Honor system:
You are responsible, under the “honor system” to report to me if/when you cheat. I will keep a running list and blog the results at the end of each week (more if necessary).  You need to email me as you cheat and I can keep a running total of what you owe and will keep everyone updated on the total in the “junk pot”. 

If you have to ask "is this cheating" - it probably is but you can email me for the final call. I will consult with a panel of impartial people and respond to your question. 

The Deadlines:
If you know anyone who would like to participate, please tell them to email me their 3 items by Friday May 30
th so I can have the list posted to my blog by Sat the 31st.
Please let me know what questions you have before we begin. I will post the list on my blog by May 31

The Rewards:
I am sure it will benefit you physically and mentally. Your emotions are up to you… again, if you think you can’t do it, that is one of the very reasons you should try it.

The winner:
The person who wins (cheats the least amount of times) wins all the penalty money. If there is more than one person that “wins” – they will split the money.

The guilt statement:
I swear, with God as my witness, that I have read and understand every word of this agreement.

By “e-signing this” (leave a comment on this blog), I agree to all the stated terms. 

My point: It is for your own good, you might as well give it a shot. The worst case scenario, you bless someone (me) with some cold hard cash...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

self discipline

I didn't realize how tough June is going to be until yesterday. It seemed like everything I ate, drank or craved is going to be on the "junklist".

For me this is not a time to just torture myself. It is all about not allowing things to control me. If I want something so bad that I don't care about the consequences, it is time to cut it off.

If I am willing to eat donuts, candy, fried food and not care that I feel run down & tired or how it is affecting my overall health then I have a problem. I believe it is my responsibility to say "enough is enough" before a doctor has to tell me.

I guess as time passes, the more attention I have to pay to my health. I want to be a good example for my family and I want to be around long enough to see my grand kids.

I see people younger than me having all kinds of health issues. Some of them are unavoidable but I want to rule out the avoidable ones.

My point: June is a month for me to get rid of some not so good habits and form some new ones. It is all about self-discipline. I am making other changes as well. I may not tell people what they are but if you know me well enough, you may notice them.

There is still time to jump on the "junkless June" challenge. Shoot me an email

Thursday, May 22, 2008

junkless june

I was listening to a radio show the other day and heard a guy say there are certain things you can't really wean off of, you have to go "cold turkey". The one thing he said that hit me was DESSERTS!

As soon as he said that, I thought "there is no way I could do that". Then I thought to myself "self, maybe that is why you NEED to do it"... I hate when I do things like that.

I was sharing my thoughts with a few people and they would tell me that desserts wouldn't be hard but pop / Starbucks / chocolate / pork /chips (whatever would be hard for them) would be tough. I then responded with "then you need to do it". I could see the wheels turning and then they would say things like "I am in" or "what are the rules", "what are the penalties"...

It is surprising how much junk we eat and don't realize how hard it would be to go without it. Because it is so hard, that is why we should do it.

My point: if you are so adamantly opposed to going without something that is probably not good for you anyway - YOU NEED TO GO WITHOUT IT!!!

Here is my challenge to you - leave a comment on this post (I don't like "anonymous" but if that is the only way you will leave a comment - go ahead) and let me know what is the thing/s you would have the hardest time giving up for 30 days.

Anyone who wants to take the "junkless june" challenge will be emailed the guidelines.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I love clarifying questions or statements. There is something about having a discussion when someone chimes in with the question, that if answered, will bring clarity to the situation. Often times the clarifying question makes the decision easier. It gets to the root of the issue.

We try to "clarify the win" when we are having a meeting or starting something new. We ask ourselves questions like these:
/ what do we want people to know when they leave here
/ what do we want them to do
/ if they only walk away with ONE thing, what do we want that to be
/ is what we are communicating clear and easy to understand
/ is there a better way to get this information out
/ would I want to attend this event
/ if you were a sandwich, what would you be and why

Asking the right question helps people answer a lot of their own questions. When someone asks for advice or my opinion, I usually ask them a question or two. I want to know if they really want my thoughts or if they just want me to agree with theirs.

There are usually two main reasons why people ask questions.
1. to show you how much they know.
2. to show you how much you don't know.

Don't be one of these people. Ask questions to get information. Ask with the intent to learn and grow. Ask because you really want the answer.

My point: questions are a great way to grow. Don't use them to flex your brain muscle. If you have to ask a question just so you can answer it, there is probably a reason you didn't get asked in the first place - they don't care. Don't ask questions just so you can answer the question you ask.

Can you tell this is a pet peeve...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

your opinion is stupid

C3 had some interns come from a college to learn "church planting". The original plan was for them to come in 4 hours during the week then they would be in charge of planning the Sun evening service. It would've given them a real hands on experience to get an idea of some of the work that goes into planting a church.

The plan changed and communication was not clear so it didn't end up being what we or the interns thought it would be. The only time they could come in was Sunday nights. That made it difficult for them to see any "behind the scenes" stuff because we were busy setting up for the service.

The internship has ended and we just got a copy of their summary papers (their opinions). I would have to say that they shined some light on some areas of weakness. It was hard to read but when you can see it thru their eyes, it is their honest opinion. I can't fault someone for being honest. I could just blow it off and say "your opinion is stupid" but I think a better plan is to take the criticism and learn something.

Of course, I don't agree with everything they said. I have to understand their opinion is exactly that - their opinion. I just have to make sure I filter it and keep the truth and throw away the stuff that we can't or don't want to change.

We all have opinions of what a church "should be". We just have to make sure we know who we are and who we are trying to be - then do that.

My point: When you ask for opinions, it is like putting a bullseye on yourself. Don't ask if you don't want to know. Just because you don't like an opinion doesn't mean it is stupid or wrong. Change the things you can and blow off the stuff that is of no value. If you ask for the opinion, be mature enough to listen to both positive & negative.

You could always opt for a sock and some nickels.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

if you can't say something nice...

I am sure you have all heard "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". After hearing that statement, if you have you ever wondered - "then what would I say?!" - then you have a problem.

I used to share that problem with you but I have decided to focus on the word "can't". I never want to admit that there is anything "I can't" do. I used to be the person that would tear other people down in an attempt to make myself look good (I am sure it was a subconscious insecurity issue). Then I realized how bad it was hurting people and decided to find something nice to say. I am sure there is SOMETHING positive about EVERYONE.

My point: It is easy to comment on the negative, anyone can do that, but it may take a little work (or a lot of work if the person is a numb skull - you like that word?) to find the good in others. If you can't say something nice - shut up because you are an insecure jerk who people hate being around - they are just humoring you.

Don't even try saying "it's not negative, it's true" - that is lame and you have some serious insecurity issues.

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

it's a God thing

We are at district council electing a new superintendent (among other positions also, but that is the biggie).

While I have my opinion (a very strong one) of who is the best candidate for the position, I am not the only one who decides. There are hundreds of other people who get to express their equally strong opinions.

Even though we all get a vote, I believe God really does have it under control. I am excited to see what happens with the Ohio District and I am sure there will be many people who would have written it differently but WHO CARES how they would have done it.

My point: it's ok to have an opinion - you should at least have a stance, but it is another thing to express it. Don't be one of those jerks who only listens to your own opinion, be open to others. Definitely don't be the close minded person who pouts when you don't get your own selfish way.

Let God be God and you be - well whoever you are.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I thought you were taller

Here is what you have all been waiting for (ok, I am the only one excited about it). It is a picture of me and ANDY STANLEY (I am the taller, buff one on the right).

I must admit, I thought Andy was taller than he is. I guess it's because I always see him on my computer and when I did see him live, he was up on a stage so I was looking up at him... whatever.

Andy is a giant in my eyes. He is one of the best communicators I have ever heard. I listen to his messages online and I have never heard a "clunker". Everything they do is done with excellence and it not a mystery why they are one of the most influential churches in the nation.

It was very cool getting to meet Andy. I believe someday - someone will be writing a similar blog of admiration about Konan. He is a gifted communicator with a passion to see lives changed.

Drive 08 was the best conference I have been to and it was topped off with meeting the man behind the dream. I am sure there is no chance he reads this blog but I just want to say "thank you Andy for the model of church, commitment to excellence and your passion to see people grow in their relationship with Jesus."

My point: Excellence is contagious but so is mediocrity. Excellence attracts excellence but so does mediocrity. We attract who we are. Everyone wants to invest in a winner but no one wants to bail out a loser. Don't beg for volunteers, do things with excellence and you won't even have to ask for help - you will attract it.

If you are surrounded by idiots - well, you figure it out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

bikini wax in church

Drive 08 is amazing. Today we had 3 sessions then went to one of North Point's site campuses. When we got there Konan and I beat everyone we played in cornhole (full disclosure:one team did win 1 game of a best of 3 series), then got to see Jeff Foxworthy live.

Jeff Foxworthy goes to North Point Church and is a friend of Andy Stanley. Jeff was absolutely HILARIOUS! I laughed so hard I think I peed a little. He did some new stuff and some Bible comedy along with his standard "redneck" stuff. He even talked about his wife getting a bikini wax. That's right, he talked about that IN CHURCH!!!

Jeff talked about his love for God and Jesus. It was a great experience. I am so pleased to see that there are Christian people that can have fun in church. They love Jesus and they love to have fun. I knew it was possible!!!

My point: *if you are not having fun being a Christian - you are doing it wrong. We should have more fun than anyone because we should have a passion for life and seeing lives changed. If we want to attract people to Jesus, we need to show them that it is a GREAT way of life. It isn't always easy, but it is always nice knowing that the God of the universe is in control.

If YOU are the only way someone could ever hear about or see Jesus, would others even want to follow Him?

*I stole this quote from Andy Warren (another really cool "Andy")

Monday, May 5, 2008

shut up and "drive"

We are in Atlanta GA at Andy Stanley's "Drive 08" conference. If you follow my twitter, you have all the updates. (see last post to see how to follow me on "twitter")

I can only say this is absolutely amazing. The commitment to excellence is noticeable and appreciated.

I think sometimes we get caught up in "good enough/ not that bad / they didn't notice / it was ok..." - the bottom line is that we settle for less than the best we can do. Good is the enemy of Great.

My point: if we are doing the best we can with what we have - great. If not we are not being trustworthy with what God has blessed us with. Striving for excellence is a moving target. We can do a few things with excellence or we can do a bunch of stuff ok. I believe God has gifted us with certain gifts that we are to combine with others (can you say "church" or body of Christ) to have a passion to see lives changed for Jesus Christ - why???? BECAUSE HE IS WORTH IT!!!

If you are not doing the best you can with what you have - why should God bless you with more?

This conference is amazing. Next year I hope you "shut up and drive"... 09

Friday, May 2, 2008

what did you call me

I have been called a lot of things by a lot of people but I have never been called a "twitter" (until now).

Since I am on the cutting edge of technology (hold your laughter), I decided to take the advice of the amazing Chris Winesette and check out twitter. It is very cool. It is kinda like a very mini blog that you can track on your phone or on the web.

I can choose to follow people and they can choose to follow me. "Following" someone simply means receiving their messages. It is intended to answer the question "what are you doing". I will use twitter to keep all my "followers" updated on my thoughts (totally random) and my actions (like going to the gym). Here is a disclaimer: beware. I will twitter early, late or whenever I feel like it.

If you have a text package on your phone you will enjoy it, if you don't have a text package, you can sign up to twitter and follow it on your home page. It is really neat (haven't heard that since the brady bunch) to be able to see who else "twitters" and who they follow and of course it is fun to have people follow you. It is like a status thing - the more people that follow you, the more significant you are. So here comes my shameless self promotion - FOLLOW ME!!!

Simply go to twitter and register. If you want to track it on your phone (again, please make sure you have a text package on your cell phone plan, otherwise you will pay for each text you receive), go to "settings" then click on "devices". You can follow the pretty simple instructions from there. If you have any questions, please let me know.

My point: We are all about community and communication. I look forward to many of you signing up to twitter so I can follow you and hopefully you will give me a huge ego boost and follow me.

Join the "twitter" community and become a "twitter-er"

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Two of my favorite people in the world have decided to end their marriage after many years and a gaggle of kids.

I am incredibly sad for everyone involved. Life will never be the same for any of them. I pray they will all be able to get past the hurt and changes that are coming their way. I wish them the best and I will continue to be a friend to both of them.

There are many directions I could go with the topic of divorce (or dissolution) but I was impressed with the way they chose to handle questions - with integrity.

I was asked to give the "company line" when people ask what happened. The answer is "one of them did something they cannot get past". Wow! I know many relationships where one of them would be screaming "he/she did this and it's not my fault, I didn't want this, I am the victim, feel sorry for me!"

They have decided to take the high road and not trash each other. They both accept their contribution to the problem that led to this decision and are trying to handle it with integrity.

I am in no way saying I agree with the decision. I really wish it would turn out differently. What I am saying is that with all the hurt feelings and depth of pain, I agree with the decision not to trash each other.

My point(s): 1 -Integrity is something you can't fake. What do you do when other people are not watching? 2 -The only thing we cannot get past are the things we choose to hold on to. To say "there is just too much to get past" is a choice. We are going to have to forgive regardless if we stay in the relationship or not.

I have given my brutally honest opinion because I love them. I don't think divorce (dissolution) is the best option for these amazing people but I am their friend no matter what.