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So I know everybody out there in blog world was wondering where is


You might be thinking did Joel’s wife finally have the baby that is due in 3 days…nope..

What did happen is my mother in law flew in from Louisiana and we have just been wicked busy preparing for this new addition to our family.

What that said…This should make up for the delay of those 2 posts.

I have been on a reading whirlwind as of late. I just can’t get enough of the books and letting God pour into me.
On the plate recently:

Unchristian: 4 out of 5 stars
Dangerous Act of Worship: 6 out of 5 stars
Jim and Casper go to Church: 2 out of 5 stars
The Gospel According to Starbucks: 4.5 out of 5 stars
In a pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day :6 out of 5 stars

It’s kind of interesting because all of the truths in theses books seem interwoven.
I want to go through a few short reviews here to explain my point.

In Unchristian we get an inside look via Barna research at how the outside world (mainly 16-35) sees the church. There were some very interesting insights.. Yeah we know they think we are boring, anti-gay, liars, and hypocrites. That was to be expected. The reason why is not so simple. It’s not the news or what they see of churches…it’s that most of the people know a Christian and have been to a church. It is not poor representation of our faith outside of us…it is our own fault. We are not consistant and we focus way too much on the neagtive. The things you cant do or be and way too little effort in just plain and simple love.

In Dangerous Act of Worship we see a man’s view on unapologetic faith. He talks about bringing back the “justice” part of our faith. How can we truly be worship leaders if we aren’t leading people out of the doors as well. It is a real look at acting on Micah 6:8. This is something that we really need to be kicked in the head with. He wants to bring the church back to being straight forward and not watering down the faith

In Jim and Casper Go to church we see a Christian retired pastor and an athiest go from church to church talking about their opinions on it. This book has been getting rave reviews so I bet most of you are surprised Ive got 2 stars on it. As a matter of fact Brent sent me a message asking why. My issues with the book… First off this was suppose to be a completely unbiased approach to rating the churches and it wasn’t. The Christian waled in with his matter of fact beliefs on everything and was not very open to anything that didnt fit into his scope. The athiest wasn’t and unchurched one. He went to one churhc and said that it felt like home because he grew up in a church like that. Basically through the whole book you realize they have it in their heads what church should be like and they are weighing everything against that. Basically it came down to a few things for them. Outreach was key almost to the point that they didnt even think you needed “Church” you just needed a church body. I didn’t agree with most of the theology in the book and a few things took me aback. Casper mentions that the churches sing about the blood too much…and it is kinda freaky. Then Jim ends up agreeing with him. I think he needs to read dangerous act of worship. I was floored by this..we sing about the blood because that is what our faith is all about…We cant leave that out just to make people feel comfortable. Im not going to go into the rest of the book…I think you should read it, but understand it may tick you off.

In Gospel According to Starbucks we read about how the success of starbucks applies to the church. This is a great read. It’s all about using technology and resources to produce an unapologetic experience. People are getting served coffee in the church but they arent drinking it…We need to get people to Drink from that cup of life and experience Christ

And last In a Pit With A Lion on a Snowy Day. Brilliant book. Think big…be a lion chaser…God is bigger than everything. It is such a simple concept and the book really drives it home in a new way, but mando we need to hear this in the church today.

So what was I talking about when i said they are all connected?

The church is in an interesting time these days with the “millenial Generation”. For far too many years the church has alienated people and turned them against God. We ahve lied, cheated, hated, and scorned others. We have not been honest with God or people looking in. So what does this generation need from us to change it’s perceptions? Real people.
SO what about the fog machines and light shows in church? so much controversy over that… Last year I did a post on a key buzz word relvant. I think this is now my old buzz word. I say use everything you can to bring people in, but instead of doingit to be relevant weigh your actions and choices to how effective it is. Effectiveness is the new relevance.

Then there is this issue of casper saying we sing blood too much. We have become so seeker sensitive that we have watered down our faith. we have made it drivel in the site of the Lord. The bible says about communion ” do this as often as you meet.” whats found in Communion is the cornerstone of our faith. Yet some of our churches dont do it as often as they meet…there are many reasons under the sun as to why not, but we have to weigh it against are we watering down our faith just to make sure people arent bored…people are met on their level.

I think it’s time for the church to act like a church. People want honesty and truth…And then there is the issue of outreach. We cannot be an inward church. Jesus preached to every one and everyone followed. He did not judge..he was just…He is Love. but if you notice he also never watered down his faith..He told it like it was.

This applies to worship as well. We need to be real. we need to be open to God…we need to be broken for him…and we need to be transparent..

I think we have gotten way too hooked on what we think a church should look like and act like. We need to be effective simple as that. We need to include God more in our thoughts about what the church should do.

In in a pit with a lion it talks about everything starts with how big you consider God to be. God is getting bigger to me everyday. Bigger than me, my family, my finances. my church… I believe that our God is the same today yesterday and forever. I believe he is sick and tired of us being luke warm. I believe he is posed to spit us out. I for one want to see God move like a mighty wind..healing Stef ,healing hearts, healing families. We truly do need to be His hands and feet. We need to make sure we don’t put our God in a box.

“God is bigger than the Air we breathe”
“Christ be the Center of our Lives”
“we’ve already won..You don’t have a chance”
“You are my Joy.”

“Oh that the church would arise…oh that we would see with Jesus’ eyes”

here is a video and a call to action. we need to be salt and light in the world…shake off our judgments and walk in mercy.


only 49.95…get them right here or at mudpuppy’s website..

Watch it grow…well worth slapping all that nasty goop on his head…the reward…little happy plants on Chia-chin

10th Anniversary

October 12, 2007 — 14 Comments

It has been 10 years with this wonderful woman as of yesterday. Kelly is my life and I have been honored and more than blessed having her as my wife. I tell her all the time that I thank God I didn’t get stuck with an ugly wife because There isnt a time when I am not thinking about how great it is just to look at her. These last 10 years have been amazing. We have been through some good times and tough  times and God is always faithful. She is an amazing mom, friend, wife and beauty. I can’t wait for the next 10 years. Our crew is getting bigger in the next few weeks. She is due with our third kid (dont know boy or girl) on Oct 28th. So any day now.

I dont know what I would do without my wife. I got married at 20 and she was 24. This has been the best ride of my life and we have the best kids ever. (Tristan age 6, Collin age 2.5 and ?.)

50,000 mark: THANKS

October 9, 2007 — 8 Comments

Thanks to everybody who helped this site get to 50 k. It has been a wild ride. I am wildly excited to know so many people are encouraged and find resources through here.

The contest idea was a long thought out idea..however the last confessional made the counter jump sooner than expected.

So our buddy Gabe made the counter today go crazy and caused quite a frenzy. In the midst of it all he stands victorious as the closest to the 50k mark. More to follow on his scwag and you get to hear more about him as well…

thanks again…and keep it coming…for contest 75K

In honor of all those who read this blog…and have brought it to almost 50,000 hits.

here is the deal. comment on the site today and tell me in your comment what the hit counter says. Make sure they are contributing Comments…feel free to go back to some old posts…maybe read something you had not before…

let me know what the hits were when you made the comment. Closest person to 50k mark…gets a prize. make sure your your user name or whatever makes it so I can email you as well. GET ON IT FOLKS…