Showing posts from 2009

My Goodbye

After 400+ blog post stretched over 3+ years, I have decided to close down It's not that I don't have any more rants or musings about life I wish to share, I just don't have the desire. Thanks for reading and for all the encouraging and not so encouraging discussion that has been shared here. Thanks again and goodbye! Mike

How Teachable Are You

I've been thinking a lot lately about "teachableness" (I just made that word up) I've been thinking so much about it in fact that it was the main point in my monthly article this week in the Kernersville news and will be the topic of my sermon this Sunday. The following a sneak preview of both: How Teachable Are You? Last week I had a local business call me for a reference for one of my church members who was applying for a position with the company. After introducing themselves the first thing they asked about the applicant wasn't were they a nice person, easy to work with, or reliable. What they asked was this, "Is this person teachable?" To me there wasn't a better first question to ask. Serving in a church in a full time capacity for almost 14 years, I've come to appreciate someone's "teachableness" more than just about any other trait. I have discovered that having a teachable spirit is something that most people lack, and I wi

My Ikea Experience

Two weekends ago Beth, the kids, and I took our very first trip to the furniture monstrosity of a superstore known as "Ikea". We had been warned by friends about how overwhelming the place is. But really, how imposing can 365,000 sq ft of furniture showrooms be? We arrive at Ikea around 10:15am. We were on assignment to locate Beth some furniture she wanted for our home. All she wanted was a couple of bookcases and a cabinet. This shouldn't be to stressful or to time consuming, right? Once inside we immediately found our way to Ikea's daycare/play area for kids. There you can drop your kids off for up to an hour while you shop in peace. The place is well staffed and looked like a lot of fun. To bad Jacob didn't think so. HE how a melt down when we tried to get him to go play. Maria was all for it but Jacob wasn't having any of it. I tried reasoning with him, threatening him, bribing him but nothing worked. He was going to stick with mom and dad this day. Afte

Review Time: Crowder, Redman, Saw VI and more

Music Reviews David Crowder Band "Church Music" This album has a very different feel from the David Crowder I'm use to. Granted, every CD has actually changed quite a bit, which I think shows a lot of the bands creative ability, but this one so far has been hard for me to fall in love with. Very electronic almost techno feel then a more pure rock/worship style that I prefer in my Crowder music. I think many people, especially musicians, can appreciate this cd and will love it. If "Remedy" which was my favorite Crowder cd, is more your style then you make want to prepare yourself before making this purchase. 3 out of 5 stars Matt Redman "We Shall Not be Shaken" Matt Redman needs no introduction as he as written possibly the majority of worship songs sung in most contemporary churches over the past 10 years. His newest cd, "We Will Not Be Shaken" is full of his congregation-ready, God-exalting songs. At this point, most people have made up thei

Jesus Needs New PR (part 4)

"Maybe you should ask your daughter to help you figure out Internet Explorer." -Jesus "Okay, so you juggle AND wear a bow tie. Well, I'll clap, but I'm not sure I can help you, son." -Jesus

Giving credit where credit is due - Jesus is always with you

I have long been a critic of the part of Christian society that does more to hurt the image of Jesus and who He is then helps it. Case in point: these ridiculous pictures of Jesus being with everyday folks in everyday situations. First of all Jesus looks more like drug crazed member of the Manson family then any image of Christ I have ever imagined. Then there this notion that Jesus is with you as you drive, work on your computer, or kiss your mom. That is why I have fallen in love with this new web site sent to me from my good friend Kristie: It's simply ask the question, "Does Jesus need new PR?" And the answer is an overwhelming YES!!

Jesus Needs new PR (part 3)

"Just a second or two more, Billy. Okay, stop." -Jesus "Your shoulder hurts? How does that feel? Nice, huh." -Jesus

Jesus needs new PR (part 2)

"So I hear you killed somebody yesterday." -Jesus

Jesus is with you always OR Jesus needs new PR (part 1)

"Open wide, Henry. I could numb the pain if I wanted to, but I think I'll let the doctor do that instead. Darn that Eve, huh?" -Jesus

Catalyst 2009: Chuck Swindoll

Chuck Swindoll Top Ten Things Learned During 50 years of Leadership 1) It's lonely to lead 2) It's dangerous to succeed 3) It's hardest at home 4) It's essential to be real 5) It's painful to obey 6) Brokenness and failure are necessary 7) My attitude is more important then my actions 8) Integrity eclipses image 9) God's way is ALWAYS better then my way 10) Christ-likeness begins and ends with humility Five Statements To Live By In Leadership 1) Whatever you do, do more with others and less alone. 2) Whenever you do it, focus on quality over quantity. 3) Wherever you go, do it the same as if you were among those who know you best. 4) Whoever may respond, keep a level head. 5) However long you lead, keep on dripping with gratitude and grace.

Catalyst 2009: Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey The Momentum Theorem - When you have momentum, you look better than you are. Whne you don't have momentum, you are better than you look. - Momentum is created. It does not randomly occur. - Fi over T multiplyed by G equals M - Focused Intensity over Time multiplied by God equals Unstoppable Momentum! FOCUS - Focus is lost for two reasons: Fear and Greed - James 1:8 - Rick Warren calls focus being Intentional - Stephen Covey calls focus being Proactive INTENSITY - Pour intensity into things that really Matter. - Ecclesiastes 9:10 - Intensity causes things to move. OVER TIME - "If I persist long enough, I will win" - Og Mandino - 1 Cor. 9:24 - The Tortoise wins the race every time! MULTIPLIED BY GOD - You and I are finite. God is Infinite - He is in Charge, and He carries you in the plam of Hid hand. - Luke 18:27 - Get Plugged in to Him as a power source, and your momentum will become unstoppable!

Catalyst 2009: Priscilla Shirer

Priscilla Shirer Joshua 3:1 Four Attribute / Characteristics of Joshua as a Leader 1) He rose early. Acted immediately in obedience to God 2) He acted fearlessly. The Jordan river was violent, far from the calm river we imagine. 3) He acknowledged the presence of God. Go only when God says so. 4) He anticipated God's miracles and activities. Refused to pray "safe" prayers. Wanted God to blow the top off his box.

Catalyst 2009: Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell During his time at Catalyst, Malcolm Gladwell brilliantky described the story of the Civil War battle of Chancellorsville. In 1863 during the Civil War in Virginia, the Union army was in incredibly poor shape. And Lincoln in Washington was becoming increasingly worried. Fighting Joe Hooker came and happened to know more about Confederate General Lee than anyone. Hooker devised a brilliant battle plan by distributing his army in thirds and surrounding Lee’s army. Lee was significantly outnumbered 2 to 1. Hooker said that even God Almighty couldn’t prevent them from victory. What happened next was the Battle of Chancellorsville . Hooker expected Lee to retreat, became trapped by his confidence, and did not plan for anything else. In fact, the Union army lowered their guard; Lee attacked, and Hooker’s army ran away only to suffer one of the worst defeats of the war. Here are some thoughts / quotes from Gladwell: "More information doesn't mean be

Catalyst 2009: Andy Stanley (session one)

Andy Stanley Lead Pastor, North Point Comunity Church Key Thought: Every Leader leaves a mark. What kind will I leave? Key Passage: Joshua 5:13-15 "It’s really not about who’s for you or against you – it’s really about who you are for." Simply put, are you and I willing to submit our skills, abilities, opportunities, my person to God and His bigger story? God was in effect saying to Joshua, “I have not come to be a part YOUR story. I want YOU to become a part of MY story!” When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord ’s army.” Joshua 5:13-14 The commander of the Lord’s army answered, “Neither”. Why? Because it’s not about who’s your friend or who’s your foe. It’s about who you are for. Are you for God and His plan? Is He Lord over your life? Are you wanting His ma

Highs and Lows from Catalyst 2009

I attended my first Catalyst Conference ( ) last week in Duluth, Ga. It's hosted by a group from Andy Stanley's North Point Church in Alpharetta, Ga. Everything I had ever heard about Catalyst was how great is was so my expectations were extremely high. I'm glad to say that my Catalyst experience did not disappoint! Highs (to many to list so here are just a few) Speakers: Just check out this lineup, it's a virtual who's who of leadership - Andy Stanley, Malcolm Gladwell, Rob Bell, Tony Dungy, Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, Priscilla Shirer, Dave Ramsey, Chuck Swindoll, and Louie Giglio!! My top three talks/speakers would have been Shirer, Swindoll, and Chandler, although all could have easily been the best at any other conference. Music: Steve Fee, although not as popular yet, is just as good at worship leading as Crowder, Redman, Tomlin, and Hall. The biggest complement he could have gotten was when my partner in ministry and senior

Fall TV Reviews

So far I've been disappointed in not only the new tv shows for the fall season but also with premieres of the few I do watch. Dexter was the best returning show by far. The Office and Parks & Rec have been average. And when will 30 Rock be back?? As far as new shows, here's my quick thoughts: Hank: Stars Kelsey Grammer has a rich guy gone broke. Reminds me of a bad 80's sitcom. We didn't make it past the first commercial break. Do not watch. Glee: Has potential but way to quirky to make it. We decided not to get involved since it will probably not last. Most unique shows like this get canned pretty quickly (see Pushing Daisies and The Unusuals) Cougar Town: Courtney Cox tries way to hard to be believable as a 40 year old "cougar". Plus it's not funny at all. Turned it off 15 min into first episode. Flash Forward: No matter what anyone says, this show is no LOST. The story is intriguing enough to keep me hooked but it reminds me of the long canceled

Is Kimbo Slice the next Rocky?

I'll come out and say it, I'm a HUGE Kimbo Slice fan. Not so much because of the youtube clips that made him a worldwide sensation but more for the fact that there just seemed to be something likable about the guy. I think I was the only person on earth that was glad to see him on UFC's The Ultimate Fighter season 10. Most felt he was undeserving including UFC president Dana White. But what has happened in the past 3 weeks has been a total Kimbo turn-around by all who doubted him. Not because he turned out to be a great cage fighter but because he has come across as a really nice guy who is caring, compassionate, teachable, and actually human. Behind the crazy beard, bald head, and gold teach there is a down to earth family man who only wants to provide for his family. He has made everyone on the show and the 6 million people watching believers. the guy has become a real life Rocky. When he lost last night I felt sorry and a bit heartbroken for him, just as I did when I wat

David Crowder, How He Loves, and Sloppy Wet Kisses

If your like me you have probably noticed the David Crowder version of "How He Loves" is slightly different then the John Mark Mcmillan original. The biggest difference being "Heaven meets Earth like a sloppy wet kiss" being changed to "Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss". I've been wondering why the change. So I went to the source and found this on John Mark's blog: I honestly kind of hate that I even have to write this blog. I have realized that the song “How He Loves” has become very personal to many people, and it honestly doesn’t really belong to me, or Kim Walker, or David Crowder. It belongs to them. I would like to say I’m sorry if I let you down by allowing the words to be changed in David’s version. My version and Kim’s will always be the same. David contacted me and very sincerely asked if it would be cool to change a couple words in his version, because he knew that there are literally thousa

Monday Morning Sports Rant

The Panthers still stink. Sure Jake played better but he still threw a goal line interception that could have tied the game late. And where is the defense? They gave up 28 points and it could have been worse had the Falcons not fumbled in the red zone. By the way, Peppers has 1 sack and 7 tackles in his first 2 games. His paycheck for the first two games: $2,000,000.00. Shut up Elon and go back to playing high school teams. All last week Elon fans ran their mouths about how would come into Winston and blow Wake Forest out. Well it didn't quite turn out that way did it. After the 35-7 thumping the Fighting Christians errr Phoenix took they better turn down any ACC offer to play. Unless it's UVA or Maryland. Can Florida really feel good about their win over Tennessee this week? Lane talked the talked then a much less talented UT team rolled into the swamp and just about upset the the Gators. I know there is no such thing as a good loss but the Vols have to feel really good about

Decisions Decisions

I just picked up the new Francis Chan book and the new Donald Miller book Which one should I read first?????

Let the Panther Bashing Continue

After Marty Hurney's canned reponses to all of Packer's questions on Primetime with the Packman yesterday, I'd thought is was justified to pass along this little nugget I saw posted on a Carolina Panthers fan (I use that term loosely) board today... Top 12 Reasons Why the Panthers Should Clean House 12. Your 7th round CB is better than your 2nd rounder 11. Your best FA acquisition in the off-season was a long snapper 10. Your customers can text security when someone stands up and cheers. 9. Your seats are empty after half time. 8. You can't find a kicker for both field goals and kickoffs. 7. Your team has not made a halftime adjustment since 2004. 6. Your QB's uniform is filthy after 1 series. 5. A draw play on 3rd and 15 is actually your best option. 4. You just franchised a guy that publicly said he wants out of there. 3. You have 2 of the best offensive weapons in the NFL, but can't move the football. 2. You just threw big money at a QB with 10 turnovers in h

What Child Is This (& other stuff)

From kindergarten through my senior year I completed a homework assignment probably less then a dozen times. If I didn't get my work done at school then it just didn't get done. Hence my stellar 2.3 GPA when I graduated. Now we fast forward to my child prodigy son who after 3 weeks of kindergarten has already been moved up to 1st grade level work. He came home with his first "homework" assignment on Monday (he has all week to complete it) and proceeded to finish it all in one sitting and then BEGGED for more. I had to force him to go get ready for bed. When he woke up the next morning he ate, dressed, and brushed very surprisingly quickly. Then after announcing he was ready for school asked if he could do MORE homework until we left. He is without a doubt his mothers child. The Office season six kicks off tonight. As does the up and coming Parks and Rec. Now if 30 Rock would just start up my then Thursday nights would be complete. TUF 10 started last night with one of

Monday Morning Sports Rant

**I'm starting a new feature here on Jesusgreek. It's my Monday Morning Sports Rant. KSA I decided to play another season in the Kernersville Soccer Association adult league. This time we play all our games on Sunday nights. This season they divided the teams up not by age but by rec & competitive. So we felt pretty good going into our first game last night in the rec league thinking that the teams we'd be playing against would be on par with us. WRONG. We got destroyed 12-3. The "rec" team we played was better then any team we played during the summer. They were young, fast, and very good at soccer. To which brings me to my rant: If you know your have a team that good, why sand bag and play lesser teams just to win? Is your ego that large and your esteem that low that you refuse to play teams with equal talent. You'd rather sacrifice competitiveness for crushing a weaker opponent? College Football I got to see our 2009 Demon Deacons in person on Saturday

Making up for lost time (Reviews, Rants, Ramblings, and More)

After a month of silence the Jesusgreek speaks.... Book Reviews "Outliers" by Malcom Gladwell (5 Stars) When I told my friend Joel that Malcom Gladwell would be speaking at the Catalyst conference I was going to next month, he insisted I read his newest book, "Outliers". Very simply, "Outliers" poses the question: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of a

Just another day at McDonald's

I heard about this on Rock 92 this morning. I didn't believe but it turns out it's true. You can't make this stuff up...

The Perfect Date Night?

Saturday Beth and I found ourselves surprisingly without children so we wanted to take full advantage of a rare opportunity. Dinner We had a coupon (yes we're frugal like that) for an Italian place in Winston called "Paul's Fine Italian Dining" We had no idea what to expect since we had both never heard of the place. So being the adventurous couple we are we gave it a try. We were not disappointed. It was amazing! Some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten. Everything there is homemade from the bread, to the pasta, to the salads that Paul grows in his own garden. We'll be back and we highly recommend this place to anyone. Dessert A new dessert shop opened just down the block from the church and they had their grand opening on Saturday. So on our way home we stopped by to support our new neighbors. It's called the "The Chocolate Chip" and they serve homemade cookies, cobbler, cakes, pies, and more. The atmosphere w

Dexter Season 4 Trailer

The best show in TV just behind LOST is back in just over a month. This is a great teaser for the upcoming season. Be warned, the preview is PG-13ish with a few "killer" scenes.

Hail To The King

On the day that one of the greatest baseball players of all-time was inducted into the Hall of Fame, I want to dedicate this post to him: Mr. Rickey Henderson 1) Rickey… on referring to himself in the third person: “Listen, people are always saying, ‘Rickey says Rickey.’ But it’s been blown way out of proportion. People might catch me, when they know I’m ticked off, saying, ‘Rickey, what the heck are you doing, Rickey?’ They say, ‘Darn, Rickey, what are you saying Rickey for? Why don’t you just say, ‘I?’ But I never did. I always said, ‘Rickey,’ and it became something for people to joke about.” 2) In the early 1980s, the Oakland A’s accounting department was freaking out. The books were off $1 million. After an investigation, it was determined Rickey was the reason why. The GM asked him about a $1 million bonus he had received and Rickey said instead of cashing it, he framed it and hung it on a wall at his house. 3) In 1996, Henderson’s first season with San Diego, he boarded the team

What does it mean to "Honor your Mother and Father"?

I have had a couple of conversations lately with friends who are struggling with the commandment of "Honoring your mother and father", especially in light of the fact that one or both of their parents are not Christians. So what do you do in those circumstances and how far does honoring go if someone is not honorable? Here is an old article I read a few years ago that simply sums it up as good as I have ever read it: How Do You Honor Your Father and Mother When They are Not Saved? Answer: The fifth of the ten commandments that Moses received from God at Mount Sinai says, "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12, NIV) The question we should ask is, what does honoring your father and your mother really mean? The Greek word for "to honor" in this verse means to prize, to fix a valuation upon, to revere, to value. So to honor your father and mother means to hold them in high regard and

My 15 Seconds Of Fame

As I reported in an earlier blog, my soccer team began our summer out-door season with an impressive win. I went on to predict that my "Mike G. Kiss Of Death" would soon follow since I had never been on a winning team in my life before. So it wasn't surprising to me that we lost out next 6 games. Then last night came. Maybe it was the fact we had nothing to play for last night in our next to last game of the season or maybe it was the total solar eclipse in Asia, whatever it may have been our "Big Green Machine" played the best game of our teams life last night as we pulled out a stunning 3-0 shut-out victory. (Kudos to MSBC's very own Hank Ferrel for an amazing night in goal) The most memorable highlight for me was that I scored my first goal ever!!!!!! I guess a blind squirrel does find an acorn every now and then.

How He Loves Us

This song is slowly growing on me. This is the best version I have heard yet.

Best Reason Yet For Raising Minimum Wage

On Friday, July 24, the last stage of the "phased-in" minimum wage will go into effect, bringing the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, signed into law by President George W. Bush, provided for a three-stage increase in the minimum wage, to $5.85 an hour in 2007, and to $6.55 an hour in 2008, ending with next Friday's increase to $7.25 an hour. In a news release issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Secretary Hilda L. Solis said that the increase would affect workers in 30 states, which currently have an applicable minimum below $7.25, and the District of Columbia, which provides that wages must be $1 per hour more than the federal minimum. For families with a full-time minimum wage earner, Solis said, the increase would mean $120 extra per month, which, among other things, would allow the working poor to replace their regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, "which would save the family money in the long term and

Nooma 24 Premiere "Whirlwind" - Free for Today Only

Questions about Prayer

This whole situation with my friend Aaron and his daughter has caused me to re-examine what my take is on prayer. Before I throw out my questions I'm struggling with, I want to make it clear that Aaron, Kate, and their entire family has been on my heart and mind non-stop since I first heard the news a week ago. My current struggles have nothing to do with the way the prayers have been handled by everyone involved with Kate and everything to do with me working out my thoughts and beliefs on prayer. Now on to my questions (which I have no real answers to at this time) - Does it really matter to God if one person prays or many? Are prayers answered solely in response to the amount of prayers being lifted to God and the multitude of intercessors? Can and is one person's prayer be just as effective as 1000? 10,000? If so then why ask for people to pray? If not then is prayer more like a popularity contest? - Does it matter who prays? James 5:16 says, "The prayer of a righteous

Praying For A Friend

Long, heart-breaking story short: An old friend from high school who is now lives with his family in AZ found out this week his perfectly healthy 5 year old little girl has a golf ball size cancerous brain tumor. She is schedule for surgery today. Please lift up Kate, her family, the doctors, and nurses as they begin what will seem like the longest day of their lives. You can read all about their situation here: CaringBridge / mcraekate / Welcome

The month of June in 10 words

Where did June go??? And now for a brief recap... New Kid Coming January Packing For New House Mission Trip

Movie Review time: Slumdog Millionare & The Wrestler

The Wrestler Mickey Rourke pulls off the performance of his life (and one the best performances I have ever seen by an actor) as Randy "the Ram" Robinson. This tragically heartbreaking story is about a famous wrestler who's dealing with his age, a failing heart, and is beginning to believe it's time for retirement. He has no job skills, his love interest (Marisa Tomei) is a standoffish stripper who only regards Randy as a customer, while his daughter (Evan Rachael Wood) hates his guts and refuses to see him. The opposing challenger he fears most and wrestles with is his future loneliness. Randy lives alone in a trailer park, works part-time in the deli department at a grocery, but his faithful fans and fellow co-wrestlers love him because he's a marvelous guy and a true legend in the ring. The title of the film is a bit misleading because the story actually focuses on Randy's personal life and relationships, how he lives and gets by when outside the wrestling

The Man Behind The Curtain

I stalled as long as I could. After many years of request to record our worship services and after many years of putting it off, the gift of modern technology has finally gotten the best of me. Our church recently purchased some recording equipment for our fellowship hall, which is where I lead our weekly Refinery service, so people would have access to past services. I'm not sure the exact reason why I never cared if my services were recorded. One reason is I know how I am when I hear a really great talk at a conference. I buy the CD afterward then when I listen to it again it wasn't quite as good as I remembered it. I was always afraid the same thing would happen with me. Someone would love the message and service then listen to it again and see it really wasn't that great. Another reason is the demon of self-doubt I wrestle with daily. After every message I ever give I'm immediately attacked by my dark-passenger. I convince myself that what I said didn't make an

So this is what winning feels like!

In my not so illustrious sporting career I have never, I repeat never played on a winning team. I know it's early and the Mike Gianopulos "Kiss Of Death" will probably come back to kill this but after one game of my new soccer season our team is 1-0! I'm playing with the same group I played in-door soccer with at the Y this past winter. The Kernersville Soccer Association organized their first adult league and had over 200 people sign-up. We joined as a team and added a few more folks to the mix. After getting killed in the in-door season I wasn't expecting to much this go around. I'm not sure yet if the competition is not quite what it was at the Y or we are just a much better outdoor team. We scored the first goal about 5 min into the game (that became the first time our team had ever had a lead) At the half we were up 2-0 and when the final whistle sounded we had won 4-1. Look out Barcelona here we come!

LOST Season Finale: In His Words

This past weeks season finale of LOST is being called the best episode yet for the 5 season long show. Looking back at, I can't argue that it wasn't. One ritual I have each week is checking out the best LOST fan site in the world, darkufo, and reading the commentray recap from a guy known only as Vozzek69. His reviews are always well thought out, full of wit, and dead-on target. His recap of the finale was one of his best so I thought I'd pass it on. Here is the LOST season 5 finale in his words... Things I Noticed - The Incident by Vozzek69 Posted by DarkUFO Last night when my head hit the pillow I realized something: The best season of LOST had just ended with the best episode ever. My opinion of course, but it was also my pillow. Way too many things to talk about, so no clever intro. Things I Noticed: What Lies in the Shadow of the Statue? Red Snapper Nothing could be cooler than opening the finale with this amazing scene. Delivering Jacob two minutes into the finale was