Friday, October 31, 2008

Your chance to be a Blue Man

If your dream job is to be a Blue Man, here's your shot...

Elton John at the Dentist Office

I met Elton John at the dentist office today. He's taller in
person...and looks kinda like Derek Durbin.

Interactive Preaching: Take Questions via Txt Message During Church | CHURCHSMO

I've been in church gatherings were there is a time for public
questions at the end of the hour. This new method brings the concept
to a large church format.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

John W. Schlitt: A Rock Star Redeemed

Check this incredible story out. You may not be a fan of Petra, but you can be a fan of how God can change a life like John Schlitt.

TBC billboards are up

Two are up. 6th and MacVicar (heading west) and another one on 21st
next to Sonic
(heading east).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ChurchMetrics takes care of numbers, so you can focus on people.

A very interesting tool has surfaced today. It's called ChurchMetrics. Check out the video below and their website. Novel idea. Numbers matter because PEOPLE matter. If you can take the number fuss out of the equation, hopefully people become the primary object of care.

What do you think? Help? Hindrance? Right focus? Wrong focus?

Smart, Simple Tracking Tools is a free web-based application that helps you keep tabs on attendance, giving, salvations, and baptisms at your church.

More than Numbers

ChurchMetrics is here to take care of the numbers, so you can focus on taking care of people.

Getting my free taco today

Free tacos until 6pm at Taco Bell!

Look what Johnny's up to for Christmas

Thanks for making the candy canes easier this year!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pastors on a Stick

Acheiving the hoaky award and creative award for TBC trunk or treat.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Churches Online - the front door before the front door

Check out what the New York Times says about how people check out churches before they walk through the front door. I wonder what the touch points are for TBC? I wonder what someone really thinks of TBC before they walk through the front door? I wonder, most of all, what they think of Jesus at these various points?
clipped from
New York Times

Finding Jesus on Facebook, and Checking Podcasts for a Pew That Fits

It is not just from the pulpit that churches are finding new ways to attract younger worshipers. Some have created profiles or groups on Facebook or MySpace, as well as on specifically Christian networking Web sites, like, to encourage young people to stay connected to Jesus. Larger, wealthier churches build and maintain their own sites, offering video clips and podcasts of sermons, blogs, church ads and the ability to donate electronically.

Those seeking a place to worship say they use the online tools to preview a church. At one service, Mr. Searcy asked how many first-time attendees had listened to a podcast before deciding to try out the Journey — half the audience raised their hands.

Christian music hits Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Mark Schultz was featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I rarely blog about contemporary Christian music artists. However, when their music is injected into culture - it's interesting to watch the results. Right now, Mark Schultz is the hottest Google trend. It will last for a few hours, or just one. But when else does a CCM artist make it into Google's rank?

I admire Mark ever since he appeared on the Crosswalk Show — a talk-show outreach my former church team put together. Mark has a way of telling stories with his music, similar to Country styled music. Mark quickly took requests from the audience and made it a personal evening. Amazing piano player and vocalist.

May God continue to strategically place His artists in the world that will influence others for His purposes instead of their own.

Platinum Selling Artist Mark Schultz to be Featured on ABCs Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Eduardo Xol, Tracy Hutson, Paige Hemmis and Paul DiMeo with Mark Schultz

In a short span of eight years, Schultz incredible talent and God-centered music has garnered rave reviews, chart-topping hits and a strong fan base. He reached Platinum status in 2005, won his first Dove Award that year, named one of Christian Music Todays top male vocalists in 2003 and was listed No. 1 as Billboards Hot Christian Adult Contemporary Songwriters last year. In addition to nine No. 1 hits, Schultz song, Hes My Son, was recognized by Esquire magazine and his Letters From War was selected as the centerpiece of U.S. Armys Be Safe Make It Home campaign in 2004. He has further been featured on 48 Hours and CNN.

In my office - Indian, Wild West, and Civil War Spy

Not a regular sight in the office! Three women duplicaing CD's for
kids choir in the worship arts office. They were dressed up for Trunk
or Treat at TBC.

Wife turns jungle-woman for trunk-or-treat

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Former Pastor Accuses Me of Backsliding

Scott Distler, I know you are reading this. Don't taunt me. So listen folks! Anyone who accuses me of blacksliding might want to take the plank out of their own eye - that is if they are telling their church that it should be more like a BAR!

Ha, take that one! May the blog wars begin...if you dare!

Here's what Scott wrote...out of his deep affection for me...
Along with the key role that Lisa is playing in Jonathan’s desire, there have also been several other key people who have helped to lead Jonathan in this direction. Khyle Keener oversees the youth worship band here at church and has been very instrumental in helping to fan the flame of Jonathan’s desire in this area. Matt McElravy, who I mentioned earlier, is also one that encourages Jonathan. It is fun to see my son learning from our very talented worship leader here at Grace as he sits in the services week after week as Matt leads our congregation in worship. Bryan Nelson, our former Worship Arts Director here at Grace who backslid and moved to the same position at another church in Kansas (the backslid part was obviously a joke...unless Bryan is reading this, then I meant it!) also greatly impacted Jonathan. Bryan took time to show an interest in Jonathan and his love for guitar and music. Even now, when Bryan and I talk on the phone, he always asks about Jonathan and his music.

Lazarus Computer: It's Baaaaack

This is an image of my desktop from 10:30pm tonight! Wow.

I'm amazed that this morning Apple gave me a fresh computer — and here 3 hours later I have a fully restored computer from exactly 2 weeks ago. I'm talking all files, settings, preferences, down to the desktop image, applications, Quicksilver settings, and Firefox bookmarks.

Using Apple's "Time Machine" to bring the computer back from the dead impressed me. I'm going to be a little more diligent about backups from this experience. I lost a week's worth of material — but a week isn't bad compared to years of accumulated files.

Lord, thank You for sparing me the headache of reinstalling everything.

Newest 'Guitar Hero' lets you create music

Feeding the ego of the average joe...who will get your royalties?!;jsessionid=D2915B6198B979D148BD21FEDBC66DB6

* sent from iPhone due to computer crash

God gave me back the computer

...and ALL the files with it!

Typical TBC hallway meeting

Classic hallway meeting at TBC.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Family first, Obama makes a smart choice

First, I'm not endorsing Obama with this post. However, his example
of putting family before personal goals is commenable. If this isn't
a publicity stunt - then it's a good move.

I've heard of pastors who regret sacrificing family for church
ministry. Frankly, I don't want to be that guy. At the end of my
life, my family will be at my bedside - probably not ministry

How can I put family first this week? If I knew I only had one week
left on earth - what part of the time pie would my family get?

Lord, help me to have the proper priorities.

Why did God take my computer?

It's been a week without my laptop. Its hard drive went to that big
data cloud in the sky - along with my entire iTunes library.

I just read a blog post about personal productivity...

I've been thankful for the computer crash. Why?

1. I've read fewer blogs.
2. I've regained my handwriting ability.
3. I've gotten some things done faster with a phone call.
4. I'm focusing on the most important thing at hand.
5. I'm less concerned with my task list and weekly routine.
6. I've played more with my kids and wife.

Sure, there's plenty of downsides - but join me in finding the lighter
side of a computer crash. Better my laptop than the market.

Blogging via my $20 iPhone.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Revival on Wanamaker

I'm playing keyboards for a revival at Wanamaker Woods Church of the
Nazerene tonight. The preacher asked if I could play black gospel-
style on the Hammond B3 organ while he preached. I said, no sir I'm
not black. I excused myself off the stage.

Maybe I should take some lessons from someone who knows how.

40 Kids at First Rehearsal

Great first rehearsal - led by Joyce Harris. Great turn out! Can't
wait until they lead in worship this December.

Who's Shepherd Is He?

Never recognized it before.  The Lord is MY shepherd.  Not just A shepherd. Or THE shepherd.  Who's shepherd is He to you?  

Here the proof...Sheldon's a bad bad boy

Look how guilty Sheldon looks. Look how sweet, innocent, my prego
wife looks. Patty is looks on with amazement.

No Room in the Inn?

I can't believe an elder made my pregnant wife sit on the steps. Way
to go Sheldon.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What music in heaven might sound like... - [Music Channel] • Music.VideoSift: Online Video *Quality Control

If wondered what music in heaven will sound like. Will we 'hear' it
in the traditional sense of the word?

Check out what one article portrays of to sound like...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thanks to my wife

Thanks to my wife for revealing a little illegal actions last week
while my family visited. Who knew you weren't supposed to drive right
up to the track?! I was my first time there - an the fence was open.

Computer trouble for NASA's Hubble

Looks like I'm not the only one with computer crash, safe mode, and
rebooting with start up disks. Check out this article. Maybe they'll
need my computer - after Apple returns it from orbit.

* sent from iPhone due to computer crash

Don't Waste Your Life

I'm currently reading a book optimized for the iPhone called "Don't
Waste Your Life" (John Piper). What a great concept. A library in
your pocket!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What if…. Technology was taken away « “The Blog”

After losing my computer's harddrive this week - this article really
makes me think, what would happened in our church if we really lost
all our technology. I wonder how the Acts church made it without email.

PS - blogging from my iPhone because my computer crashed.

Not a good sign

This is going to be a bad week.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Boys night out at the movies

This is the first movie Joshua and I have seen together. We saw WallE
at the dollar theater.

Office Light Show

When the office looks like this, you know it's time for the Christmas Light Show.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rejoice Darn It!

It's interesting that we have to be commanded by God to rejoice.  Shouldn't it come naturally?  He's God afterall.   Maybe it's becauae we are to rejoice regardless of our current situation - like a terrible stock market condition.

Check out the command to rejoice at

Lord, help me to rejoice in You - all the time, regardless of how terrible things are from my perspective.

The view from the TBC balcony

Here's the view from the balcony at Topeka Bible Church. Balcony
looked just like this. By the way, we don't charge tickets.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How Much Is That Pastor In the Window?

When I read the following article, I was both disappointed and angry. I'll explain why following the article.

clipped from
Dallas service to bear witness to Osteen allure
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News

Most preachers throw open the church doors and hope for a decent-size crowd. Joel Osteen, in his traveling worship services, charges admission and still draws a throng.

The majority of the nearly 15,000 expected for Mr. Osteen's Sunday night event at American Airlines Center will have paid $15 for a reserved seat.

Others will have spent three or four times that for choice seats through online ticket brokers.

Mr. Osteen said he thought about using a free-ticket system, but after talking with arena managers and others, concluded that a modest charge for reserved seats would lead to more orderly events.

Still, Mr. Osteen acknowledges that ticket sales are important to recouping the roughly $250,000 it costs him to put on an event, including renting an arena. He also takes an offering and sells his books and tapes, and he generally breaks even, he said.

Come on Joel...let's fight against the mentality that churches simply want to get into your pockets. How much did Jesus charge for communicating the gospel in the Bible? Oh, I forgot...NOTHING!

We don't charge for the light show at TBC. Want to know why? It communicates that we don't want the money of our guests. It communicates that it's a free gift to the community. It communicates that we want anyone to come to the event, even if you can't afford a car or car radio (we'll play it via boombox for you). The minute we start charging for this event will be the minute we should stop offering the event.

Let me ask you - which is worse... 1) Turning people away from an event because it was packed out? OR 2) Turning people away from an event because they either couldn't afford the ticket price or didn't want to pay the ticket price for any variety of reasons (especially if they thought it was pocket digging)? Which reason would Jesus turn people away?

What about free methods to get the gospel message out? YouTube. TV. Refund the ticket price after the event. For goodness sake, don't take an offering on top of the admission price.

There's a family attending our church since the light show. They decided to attend because it blew them away that we didn't charge a penny or even take donations. Did the event cost TBC something? You bet you — on all fronts (money, time, volunteers, risk). Was it worth not charging? Judge by the width of God's smile. OK, you really can't — but I wonder which communicates a more positive feeling in the end about who Jesus is and what He came for.

I really don't want to appear braggy that we don't charge for this event - but want to draw attention to fight against the whole "the church wants your money" bit. We need your help Joel. For $15, you can call me on my pay-per-call line to talk about it. After we talk, I'll take a donation — and don't forget the DVD of our phone call, it's worth the $20 because it's high def.

Then again, I don't have 40,000 wanting to call me. Good thing — otherwise I wouldn't have near as much time to blog about this.

Gonna Be Killed If You Go To Church?

Really, living the Christian life in the U.S. is easy. After reading
this article - I'm reminded to be thankful and not forget my spiritual
family around the world.;jsessionid=1D80E9D0EB8BD727094316CFFE7E5C46

Friday, October 10, 2008

An Experience Outback

This is Lucas, who did an outstanding job taking care of me and my wife on our date tonight at Outback. Talk about customer service - he even gave is his outback pins! How often does that happen? Rarely. I left with something to REMEMBER the experience by.

Lucas, if you are reading this - thanks for making our experience extra special tonight. It's people like you who make us want to return to have that experience.

To all the church readers of this blog, do our guests on the weekend have this type of experience? If so, what makes that experience happen? What do they take away that will remind them of their experience?

It would be fun if someone like Lucas walked through the doors of our church and was able to give feedback on his experience. We might learn a lot through the eyes of those who are our guests.

Launching soon -

It's coming soon - on October 19th. Can't reveal it yet - but I'm
really stoked about this.

Rap fan pays fine rather than listen to classical music

This is a good one. Creative judge. When it came to time verses money, time won out. It simply wasn't worth the time to listen to music that wasn't his preference. If the reverse was true, would a
guy who listened to classical music too loud in his car be sentenced to listen to rap for 20 house? And if so, would one pay the full fine to get out of it?

Get the full story here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sky Crane

Yup, that's called a "sky crane" helicopter in the picture bellow. We
spent the day with my parents who are visiting us from Wisconsin. We
has a day of planes, trains, and automobiles. We ended up going to
the National Guard museum (airplanes), stopped by the railroad tracks
on the way there, then caught some timing sessions at the Heartland
Park Speedway. The beat part - it was all free. Eat your heart out
Dave Ramsey. Topped off the day with homemade ice cream. Can life
get any better?!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Nelson's Big Announcement!

We are expecting our 3rd child in March 2009!


Joshua (3) and Kayla (1) still don't comprehend it. The best comment we've heard to date was from Joshua. Lisa explained to Joshua that he would have a new brother or sister next year. Joshua pointed to his 1 year old sister and said, "But what are we gonna do with that one?" Lisa just fell over laughing.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Warning: Pit Bulls in Worship

That's right. If you attend Pilgrim Congregational Church, you don't have to worry. Their insurance covers you if that feisty pit bull attacks while you sing, "It Is Well with My Soul" - that is while you still have it.

What do you think?

clipped from

Church invites congregants to weekly 'Woof 'n' Worship' services

Pilgrim Congregational Church is encouraging congregants to bring their canine companions to weekly "Woof 'n' Worship" services in Weymouth, Mass., The Patriot Ledger says.

She says they had "to pay a little extra" to get the insurance company to cover pit bulls.

"We're going to have doggy clean-up stations, but I'm not worried," she tells the Boston Globe. "Dog owners are very responsible folks. I fully expect it will be wonderful and that there will be a lot of giggles and all sorts of fun."

Transparency: living an open source life

Apple has been cloaked in secrecy for years - holding close held secrets until unveiling them at the right time.

It got me thinking about my spiritual life. How secretive do I keep my spiritual life? How secret 'should' it be, if at all? Do people

know what I believe? Do I want them to know?

I wonder - if people I'm around don't know I follow Jesus, then it's probably not a life Christ would be proud of Sure, Christ wanted some around him to keep mum about who he was - but that's because it was all in the timing?

When of comes to leading a life that follows Jesus - instead of a life in secret, I need to live an open source life.

What do you think - is there room in the Christian life for closely held 'spiritual secrets' until it's time to make them known? If so, what are some examples?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Ride the Elevator to the Heavens

I admit, I'm a little bit of a tech/space junkie. If it sounds a little far fetched -then I'm into it.

I've read about this potential before, but I'm hearing more and more about this space elevator. The concept is an elevator that is built on counterweights to hoist and elevator to an orbiting docking station.

Read more about it here: article.

The accomplishments of man have grown throughout the years. Atom smashing, moon landing, tornado chasing, and the like must seem close to immortality playing fields. I know in the Bible, people got in deep doo doo with God then they attempted to build a tower to the heavens (Tower of Babel in Genesis 11).

Still doesn't come close to the Creator of matter, planets, weather, and Savior of the world. God, help me to be more in awe of You than the incredible stuff You are allowing us to discover. I admit, many times it the reserve. Forgive me.

Dear Fire Marshall, Full House at TBC

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Curious About Spiritual Matters

Don't automatically think your friends aren't interested in spiritual things. In many cases, people are very interested in spiritual matters. It simply takes one party to initiate a discussion by asking a simple question - "Are you a spiritual-type person?"

Who do I need to ask this question of? How about you?

Check out this article on cellist Yo-Yo Ma's new album. The author of this article has their mind on spiritual things. I wonder if Yo-Yo does to.

clipped from

Yo-Yo Ma's new album takes spiritual journey

NEW YORK (AP) — After musical trips to Appalachia, Brazil, Argentina, the Silk Road and baroque and modern Italy, Yo-Yo Ma has embarked on a spiritual journey.

He felt the urge to record something that he hopes will bring people together during these dangerous times.

"I wanted to do something that focuses on an idea rather than a place," Ma said in an interview. "Like Appalachian music or Brazilian or tango or the Silk Road, we were going to faraway regions. But then there are other things that join us together. And one of them is this seeking of the experience of joy in different places. And so in a way it's like creating a party that brings all my friends together from the different parts of life."

The audience gets its chance to participate by submitting its own creations of "Dona Nobis Pacem" on the Indaba Music social network site. Entries will be judged and the winner will get an opportunity to record with Ma.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Worship Leader Tip: Free Giveaway, Designing Effective Worship Gatherings

I enjoy giving something away if it might really help someone. No I'm not going to give you my iPhone, but I have something that might be of value.

It's all my secrets - 20 outline pages to a conference workshop based off of my experience designing worship gatherings/environments. Keep in mind, it's only one person's experience - mine. But it will give you insight into how God has shaped me to create times of worship.

You can download the PDF of "Designing Effective Worship Gatherings" here.

Here's a snapshot of what's included.

This workshop will take an in-depth look at how to design (create, organize, execute, and evaluate) a corporate worship gathering that has a potential to cause authentic worship in all generations. We will also visit how to manage musicians, technicians, and artists lead others in worship through the local church.

Those who will benefit:
1) Those desiring to create worship gatherings that produce authentic worship.
2) Instrumental and vocal musicians in the local church.
3) Technicians (sound, lights, video, camera, staging) in the local church.
4) Ministry leaders of music and media ministry.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

To shave or not to shave...

This one's for my wife. Make the case for/against it. Should I lose
the soul patch? Let the comments begin.

Cap and Pie Club

Yes sir! Ash Aeschliman takes the young guys to lunch. Pie and caps
for everyone.