stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

Archive for March, 2009

can you really say that in church?

Some words are not welcomed in most churches. Generally, any word that relates to or refers to poop is on that list. I broke the rules this weekend.

My only regret is that I failed to welcome the people who may have been in the bathroom when I started. We have speakers in there, so you can hear what’s going on in the auditorium, even if you come down with a case of the trotskies. It never would have been more appropriate than this weekend.

There were two cool things (outside of the word poop) from this weekend. First, our friend Shane was here. It was cool having him here for the week. I thought it was cool that I was preaching while he was here. He got to here the message 6 times between practice and real services. I just got back from dropping him off at the airport. He chose the 6:05 AM flight out of Columbus on my day off. Really cool. The second thing was the honoring of Dan Knight. It was his last weekend, and I felt we should take a moment to honor him. He may punch me in the face on Tuesday. We’ll see.

Dirty Jobs – Saved by the Smell: Reaching lost people at any cost from Jeff Selph on Vimeo.

sweet to lick

I love the Karate Kid movies – well, all of them except the one with Hillary Skank. Okay, maybe she’s not a skank, but the name is too funny to pass up. Anyway, growing up in the 80’s, karate was the cooliest thing ever because of these movies. Dan and I used to practice our Karate Kid moves in the basement. We’d do the crane kick, the hammer punch, and the flip over the shoulder. The person to be flipped would stand on the arm of the couch, and the Daniel-san would stand on couch cushion right in front of it. It was pretty much amazing.

One line that always meant a lot to both me and Dan was, “Sweet to lick. You got a problem with that?” There’s only one problem with that line: he was saying, “Sweep the leg…” We thought “sweet to lick” was a cool way of saying, “finish him!” Turns out we were wrong. We didn’t even discover our error until a couple of years ago. But still, to my brother and I, the line will stay the same. We’re too old to change. You don’t like that? That’s fine. If you bring it up, one of us might say, “sweet to lick,” and the other one will finish you. Shake and bake.

Here’s the video for everyone who likes punk music and sweeping the leg.

the greatest Man Who ever lived

I will give the author this: Jesus is the greatest Man Who ever lived. I do not, however, agree with the premise of his book. Using Jesus’ earthly life as a model to reach success sounds like a good idea, but that depends on what you’re talking about. The success accomplished in Jesus’ life can be summed up in one phrase, spoken by God from Heaven on two occasions: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” He did not, however, have business success. I would not necessarily say that he had social success, given the fact that one of his best friends betrayed him and gave Him up to be crucified. His words were hard to swallow, as He only spoke the truth, that many had to stop following Him. But that was all okay, cause He was God, and He was 100% true, right, and consistent.

At some points, the book was on target. At other times, I found it hard to agree with. Will living like Jesus create success? Not necessarily earthly success. Will it produce happiness? Well, happiness is a human emotion, and God doesn’t deal in emotions. It will produce joy; it will produce contentment; it may not produce happiness, though.

I just can’t recommend this book. I was asked to review it. That is my review. Live like Jesus to please God, not to gain some earthly accolades. But, if you buy into all that prosperity gospel stuff, you’re welcome to purchase the book. Here’s a LINK to it, or if you’d like, I’ll give you my copy. I don’t need it.

not a ku klux fan

Sarah and I had the opportunity to hang out in klan land for 3 days last week. It was a little unnerving having to suspect every white guy in a pick up truck of being out to get us, but it was fun nonetheless. I took a tour of Zinc, which is pretty much a collection of dirt roads, houses, horses, and trailers…and let’s not forget the kkk. I got to see Tom Robb’s house, a supposedly haunted cave where many a minority has met his fate, and even the road that takes you to the soldiers of the cross Bible camp, which is a training ground of hate for the kkk. We tried and tried to find the sign for it, as it was right there on the road we were on, but we just didn’t see it. I do wonder if God was hiding it from us, so we didn’t get out and take pictures with it…leading to us getting our butt’s kicked by hillbillies with hoods.

I learned from my dad that he may have gone to grade school with Thom Robb. He is from the same area as my dad, he’s about the same age, and he definitely went to school with a Thom Robb with 2 b’s. So one goes on to hate Jews, and the other goes on to marry my mom, who happens to be one awesome Jew.

I took time to think about the klan on my long drive home. I’ve always had a distaste for such idiots, but being in their backyard kind of pushed it to the forefront of my mind. I just cannot understanding hating someone based on something they cannot control. It makes absolutely no sense to me. Sarah pointed out that our joking around about them was probably as tasteless as joking around about pedophiles. I can see her point. I am disgusted with most of them, but sad for others. Unfortunately, training a child up in the way that he should go applies to good and bad people. I’ve never felt so much darkness, though, as I did sitting in Big Poppa Bluff’s car right next to the road to the camp. I’m not normally one to judge one’s salvation – after all, they say they believe the Bible – but God was not in that place. It’s almost like He stopped at the bus parked at the main road that takes you to camp. That would be a picture of said bus above.

I do not like the ku klux klan. I do not like them, Sam I am. I am not a ku klux fan.

I am a fan of Shane, whose birthday it is today, and he’s spending it with us. Happy birfday, Shane!

yellow roses

Every time I buy roses for Sarah, I get the same hassle from the florist. Sarah’s favorite roses are yellow roses, so that’s what I typically buy her. Florists must be nosy, cause they always ask who they are for. I should just tell them that they are for my girlfriend and please don’t tell my wife, but I never remember to. When I say they are for my wife (or back in the day for my girlfriend or fiance), I’ve always been told that it’s inappropriate. After all, if I loved her, I’d buy red. Yellow roses are for friends. It works out well that Sarah is my best friend, so I can get her yellow roses. Since I love her so much, I get her what she wants, not what the florist wants.

I was asked an interesting question by a guy named Patrick “Pattycakes” “Big Papa Bluff” Sprague last week: what is the deal with marriage? I decided I would let him in on the secret to the success of my marriage. I do not like to give away secrets. It goes against what I believe, but I felt I owed it to him. So I told him that Sarah is without a doubt my very best friend. I explained that when we were dating/engaged, I got condemned by friends for putting her before all of them. “Bro’s before…,” well, you know, and I wasn’t down with that. My wife has never been that, and I guess the line isn’t funny when she’s the only girl being talked about. I still put her before everyone else, not because I feel like I have to, but because I honestly want to. I would rather hang out with her than anyone else, because she is the best friend I have ever had. I told him that if he was that way with his fiancee now, and continued in that trend after marriage, he would have smooth sailing.

I realize I’ve been blogging about Sarah a lot. What can I say? Maybe I’ll be funnier next time. I hope you can still buy your wife yellow roses.

And today is Nate’s birthday. Happy birthday, buddy! Feel free to call him at 616-724-1393 and wish him a happy 7th birthday. I think that’d make his day. Tell him his Uncle Jeff sent you.

Also, we’re excited that The Shane is coming in tomorrow. He’ll be here for almost a week. How cool is that?

adios, amigos

For those of you that don’t habla espanol, adios amigos is Spanish for, “goodbye amigos.” Today is the day that Charles, Tiffany, and the kids move to Alabama. Weren’t they moving to Utah? Well, yeah, this is only for 5 months. Everyone loves two cross state moves every few months.

Why not go over to his BLOG and encourage him with a rude comment?

It will be weird around here without them. The weekend we visited for our interview, we stayed with them. We’ve hung out with them most Sundays and Thursdays (travel or Charles’ several illnesses did cost us some) since we’ve moved here. It’s nice to move to a new town but still have old friends there to keep you company. Mind you, Tiffany isn’t that old, but Charles, well, look at him.

So they will be missed. Pray for them as they follow what God has called them to do. It won’t be easy, but neither was starting New Hope. Below is his farewell address that he gave at his last service at New Hope.

Final Challenge from Charles Hill from Jeff Selph on Vimeo.

you make me mad

Nobody evokes emotion from me like Sarah. Whether it’s happiness, sadness, excitement, or anger – her importance to me makes her the top candidate to stir up each emotion. Nobody makes me happier than Sarah, but then again, nobody has the ability to upset me as much as she does. The major difference between her and you is how I react to her. When she makes me mad, it makes me want to punch a wall. When you make me mad, I may want to punch you. When she makes me happy, I may want to hug or kiss her. When you make me happy, I may want to give you a fist pound and blow it up like Kevin Malone from the Office.

The song “You Make me Mad,” by Third Day pretty much sums up how Sarah makes me feel. But, it’s mostly the happy part, not the mad part. I think I make her mad more often than she makes me mad. Surprise, surprise.

And if you find that you make me mad, it’s one of two things. It’s either cause you’re my friend, and I’m around you enough for you to annoy me, or, quite possibly, you’re just a really annoying person. You’ll have to figure that one out for yourself, though.

traditional music

Facebook and Twitter are great ways to pick up trends about different kinds of people. For instance, you can tell where someone fits in by looking at what type of music they listen to and list as their favorites. If you are a pastor, do you belong in a traditional church or a more progressive church? Here is a good way to evaluate yourself.

If you find that your favorite music list includes words like, “traditional hymns, praise and worship, Casting Crowns, Third Day…” you probably shouldn’t try working outside of the traditional church field. I don’t mock you for this, though. Progressive churches have their own traditional music. It appears to me that to be “cool” in a progressive church you have to list U2. Lead pastor cool will include Bon Jovi. Worship pastor cool will include Coldplay.

My problem is that I don’t fit in with either trend. Do you fit somewhere?

birthday suprise – my 100th post

I really like surprising Sarah for her birthday and for our anniversary. I go to great lengths to surprise her, but I swear she reads minds. I don’t even need to say anything about what I’m thinking or planning. She figures it out 99% of the time. She knows me too well. I view my attempt to surprise her as a game, one in which I rarely win. This year, though, I won, and I won big.

I convinced Sarah that she needed to go to Unleash. That means she spent 10 hours in the car with me, Charles, and Mikey yesterday. When she first started feeling ill from her pregnancy, she told me she wasn’t sure if it would be good for her to go. I insisted that she come. After all, she’d have a great time at the conference, and we HAD to go to Carrabba’s for her birthday. All of my work paid off. I won the moment she got to our table. How does 10 hours in the car with three crazies to get to an Italian restaurant equal a win?

Sarah was under the impression that we were going to a double date last night: me and her with Charles and Mikey. It was actually a triple date, though. She didn’t know who would be meeting us at Carraba’s: Chadwick and Sarah. Sarah has made it a point to tell me weekly since we’ve moved from Florida that she misses the Lockleys. Their picture is on our fridge. They are such great friends to us, and it seems like we spent 75% of our last year in Florida in their company. So we’ve kind of been in withdrawal for almost a year. I asked them to come meet us at Unleash and surprise Sarah for her birthday. They didn’t even have to think about it. They were in. So Sarah thought she would be going to Unleash today, but she isn’t. I’m at Unleash today with Chadwick, Charles, and Mikey. Sarah is spending the day with her best friend somewhere else. I don’t know where. It doesn’t particularly matter to me. I’m just glad she’s really happy today.

I was so excited to get to SC for all of this that I got my first speeding ticket. Oops!

And that concludes my 100th post.

hit the road, jack

I’m very excited to be on my way to Unleash today. This is the same conference I met Charles at last year, starting my trek into New Hope. Now we’re going there together as he departs from New Hope. It’s weird, but I’m still excited. I can’t wait to hear Perry Noble speak. You don’t know about Perry Noble? Here’s a video explaining what he’s all about…

I have a love/hate relationship with the ignorant. I love to laugh at them, but I hate the image they give to Christianity.


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