Archive | June, 2007

Saddleback, day 3B

28 Jun

Clearing up a couple of things . . .

Diana did not get the “mango salsa” reference, so just to explain . . . Watch the EARLY Geico cavemen commercials. That is what they order in the restaurant as the TV commercial guy is apologizing to them.

In an e-mail I told Jimmy Norton that Ed and I were riding low in the seats of the Lincoln in honor of Norton Car Stereo. He corrected me that the appropriate term is “Mac-n da hood.” Thanks, Jimmy. Jimmy told me he is also registered on Google under the alias “jimpedia/translate-ignorant-talk-to-english.”

Saddleback, day 3

28 Jun

Did I thank the fine folks at Delta Airlines for global warming?? It IS all their fault, you know.

Anyway, day two is at a close and it was really enlightening. Not only was our worship awesome, there were key issues for Ebenezer that came out in my seminar and Ed heard some awesome testimonies from the “house band” of the day. The house band was an ensemble of jazz and pop music professionals that could wail like nobody’s business.

The picture above is the cream Lincoln Towncar that we have been cruising in for the last couple of days. See the previous blog for the story on it.

Last night we went down to Laguna Beach looking for a restaurant recommended by our resident Southern California expert, Jon Crowe. We somehow missed it, drove WAY south of it, and found it on our way back up the Pacific Coast Highway. IT LOOKED LIKE A HOLE IN THE WALL!! We thought terrible things about Jon, but being adventurous, we decided to try it anyway (remember, Ed and I USED to eat at the original House of Louie). The name of this place was Eva’s and its menu was Carribean cuisine. IT WAS AWESOME!! I had the roast duck with the mango salsa . . . Ed angrily lost his appetite. No, seriously, they DID have mango salsa. Ed said it was interesting, but was frowning when he said it.

The food really was good and I would go back. Thanks, Jon!!

More to come later . . .

Saddleback ’07, Day 2

27 Jun

Yes, thanks to the fine folks at Delta Airlines, there is NO DAY ONE posting.

I am sitting here, recovering from Erwin McManus this morning (he was awesome). There is a concert going on right now with several musicians that everyone seems to know (the only ones I recognize are the guitarist from American Idol, Sheila E., and Morris Chapman). This is one of the best jazz concerts I have ever heard.

So far, day 2 is going well. Lots of stuff, lots of ideas. I ran in to one of my former youth from Fairview Baptist Church in Greer, SC, today. Greg Atkinson was a skinny kid when I was at Fairview. Now he serves a church in Dallas and is here as a guest workshop leader. It was good to catch up with him.

As Sheila E. plays this massive drum solo, I think I will write about the rental car. After the frustrating day we had yesterday, we arrived and got our luggage. Went to the place where the Enterprise Car rental shuttle was supposed to pick us up. NO SHUTTLE. We saw multiple shuttles from other companies, but to Enterprise. After about 30 minutes, I called . . . They acted like I was an idiot and wondered if I was in the right place. I was. We were there so long a cop finally walked up and asked us if he could help us. We told him we were waiting for Enterprise, and he said there had been a lot of that happening today . . . He didn’t know why they were so slack, but advised us to go with another.

We had not prepaid or anything, so we did. The Hertz bus came up, Ed ran through the airport and jumped luggage to get it (okay, just kidding). The bus driver asked me to call ahead and make a reservation. I did, and here is what happened.

I stood in line forever, and when I finally got to an agent, he struck up a conversation with me. He wanted to know why we were in LA, and I told him about this conference. He asked me if we could take a Ford Taurus, and I asked him if that would made the rate go down. He said no, but he thought he could help with that, too.

After talking, finagling, hearing about how bad our day had been, he came up with this plan: He was able to reduce the initial rate for the car, AND get us a 20% discount. Now it would not cost any more than the one we reserved from Enterprise. After asking a couple of more questions, he asked me if I would mind taking a Lincoln Towncar at the SAME PRICE as the Taurus. I said, ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! (Whaddya THINK I said)

After completing the paperwork, I thanked him and he said he had to take care of God’s people, because God was taking care of him. Then, Ed and I quietly slipped out to the parking lot (past several folks who were having to wait for cars), got into our bad ride, and continued the journey!!!!

I will tell you more later!

Ed and Dave’s Bogus Journey

27 Jun

Fly Flo??? I THINK NOT. Have you ever arrived at the airport a little before 6am to find that your flight, which had about 30 people on it, was cancelled for no good reason?? Apparently the friendly folks at Delta do this more than a few times in a year at Florence. So, how do we get to Atlanta to catch our connection flight??? YOU DON’T. YOU WAIT UNTIL 2:50PM, AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!!

We offered to drive to the beach, Columbia, Charlotte, but there was NO LOGISTICAL WAY to get us to Los Angeles before 7:45 pm PDT (that is 10:45 in Florence). So, that is what we did, but Delta has not heard the end of this.

We lost half a day of the conference, our trip to see the Anaheim Angels, and we did not get supper last night until 1am Florence time because of rental car hassels (which worked out REAL well).

Pray for us! Because, today is a new day, and frankly Scarlett, it MUST be better.

Last night was a good night for a walk

25 Jun

So, walk we did!!! I am talking about the folks that came to evening worship. Once we were organized and ready to roll, we prayer walked our main campus. We went to a particular room in each building and talked about what happens in each building on a weekly basis.

We came to realize that during MANY weeks our buildings are used SEVEN days a week. We realized how active and big our weekday early education ministry is. We talked about how much the Christian Learning Center classes plan to expand this fall. We realized just how much goes on at Ebenezer at times BESIDES Sundays and Wednesdays.

We had fun on the walk, and learned a lot. We also made secret plans to start having rewards on Sunday nights for the masses that make it back for worship.

Pre-Season Canadian Football???

22 Jun

Yep, I saw it this morning. It reminds me of the NFL strike when I was a kid, and the networks picked up the Canadian Football League for all of us football junkies. The goalpost is ON the goaline instead of on the back of the endzone, and the endzone is 20 yards deep. As I recall, the football is a little more pointed. On the SportsCenter top ten this morning, they showed a guy catch a field goal attempt that fell short and run it back for a TD.

I guess I need to go see Dr Dancy, because it is June and I am ready for football. AND THAT NEVER HAPPENS. Yes, I am enjoying the Tarheels run in the College World Series, but other than that, baseball just hasn’t been that great to me this year. Ed and I are going to see the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (or whatever their name is this week) on Tuesday. That will be fun. There is something about BEING at a game as opposed to watching it on TV. However, I doubt that will reignite my fire for the national past-time.

Maybe I am a little burned out from travel softball . . . We SURE have played in our share of tournaments this summer, with more to come. By September and October, I will surely enjoy the playoffs and World Series. But for now, I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of the CFL.

The good news is that God is at work

21 Jun

When I look at all of the things developing around me at Ebenezer, I know God is at work. I just wonder how hard we are working.

It is like that old joke about the church whose pastor stood up and said “I have good news and bad news about our building program. The good news is that we ALREADY have the money to build our new building. The bad news is that it is STILL in YOUR POCKETS.”

Yes, that’s right, it is ALL about money . . . NO ITS NOT!! It is all about the state of our hearts, and not only in relation to our pocketbooks. In every way, it is all about our hearts.

God is at work . . . Are we ready to join Him?

Today’s funny from Mikey

20 Jun


10. Download MP3’s of the Righteous Brothers for entertainment while on those long, tedious missionary journeys

9. Visit about that persistent pain in flesh

8. Spiritual armor would include virus protection software

7. “To live is Christ, to die is to have a 28K modem”

6. Book boat tickets using

5. E-mail pictures of Peter eating pork to the gang back in Jerusalem

4. Church officers: Pastor, Elder, Deacon, System Administrator

3. Use decryption software to interpret tongues

2. Describe conversion experience as the “Divine Reboot”

1. Add Spam to list of cardinal sins

(Copyright 2002 Gary Cantwell. Permission is granted to send this to others, but not for commercial purposes.)

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Goin to LA

19 Jun

Ed and I will return to Los Angeles (Lake Forest, technically) next week for the Purpose Driven Worship Conference. Last year, we returned full of ideas and ready to tame the world. I pray for that this year.

Ebenezer is in a great place, but at a crossroad: We have people who are not returning to our church because there is no room (no physical space) for them. We need to do something about it, and yesterday. A building program, if started TODAY, will be too late. It will take some thinking out of the box, and we baptists are not known for being good at that.

I hope God gives us some clear direction and a good plan for how to accomodate our current situation. It does no good to reach a ton of people if we have no room at the inn . . .

The Imperfect Pastor

18 Jun

I hope no one ever hears me preach and thinks that I think I am the perfect man or dad. I hope I do not come across as one who thinks he does it all perfect and right, because I do not. I am not perfect. I make mistakes and I struggle with being a good pastor, being a good husband, and being the right kind of father. And sometimes, I think the struggle is beating me to death.

It is the same struggle we all face . . . EVERY DAY we are called upon to make decisions and set a course. God is here to help us with this, and even with His presence and offer of help, we still make mistakes. The great thing is that He is there to help us correct the course when we are headed in the wrong direction.