Monday, December 31, 2007

Living in Paradise

Detroit - 30 degrees

Ft. Lauderdale - 80 degrees

It really isn't so much the temperature difference, but the absence of the sun. Not seeing the sun for 7 days affects a person psychologically. Not to mention not seeing the Sun for months at a time. Shoot, when we visited Michigan in May and June of this year we barely saw the sun, so it isn't just in the winter.

Getting off of that plane in Ft. Lauderdale and being greeted by palm trees, billowy clouds, blue skies, and the sunlight reminds me of why we moved down here in the first place.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sliders

White Castle burgers at 1 am. Gotta love Michigan.

And yes, I did pay for it the following morning.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Michigan Living

At a neighborhood ("white trash") bar listening to Kid Rock. And watching my brother sing karaoke. Michigan is awesome. Except for the cold weather of course.

Entertainment Weekly

We've had a subscription to Entertainment Weekly for quite some time now. The reason for this is simple: it is a quick easy way to keep abreast of cultural currents. EW has, in every issue, charts that show the top movies by gross, top television shows by rating, top book sellers, and top album sellers. Some of the content of this magazine can sometimes border on pop tripe and celebrity gossip, but those four charts make the subscription worth it.

In the past we've had subscriptions to Wired, Newsweek, Martha Stewart Living, Outreach, Rev, Relevant, and This Old House, but the only magazine we never tire of is EW. It also doesn't hurt that Stephen King is a regular contributor to EW. There might be cult phenomenons, but those four charts are worth their weight in gold, the numbers don't lie. Besides, I love it when a movie like Superbad tromps on a movie like Invasion. Or I love seeing that The Simpsons has consistently been one the highest rated shows for all of these years.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Miami City Ballet

Lest you think me a single-facet dolt of a metalhead, I thought I'd add that we spent the evening yesterday at the Miami City Ballet. It was quite nice.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Greetings and Wishes....

Truth be told. I am one of those people who'd just as soon avoid church during Christmas and Easter. The idea of being part of that mob of people who pop in to pay their respects twice a year has always made me a bit queasy. So, rather than leave you with a sappy video of Linus explaining to us all the true meaning of Christmas - quite simply, that it is Jesus' Birthday, I'd much rather leave you with some videos that are more educational and in tune with my personal taste. So without further ado, Have yourself a Merry Metal Christmas - five of my favorite Metal videos:

Shadow's Fall - This dude, at one time, had dreadlocks down to his knees. Way cool.



Clutch - The working man's band.


Downset - Metalcore at its finest. I'd give anything to see them again.



Rage Against the Machine - "Know Your Enemy" - their best song.



KoRn - this is one of the greatest videos of all time. if you are a hip-hop enthusiast, you need to watch this video. Come on, a KoRn video that stars Snoop, Xhibit, David Banner, and Lil Jon - you can't top that.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Love Thy Neighbor?

Today, I am going to use this forum as an opportunity to vent my frustrations. You'd think that with a name like Revolution, there'd be more of that here, but really, I am a pretty mellow person.


We've lived in our house for almost 3 years now and we get along with each of our neighbors beautifully, except one. His name is Steve. He is 40-something, divorced, and quite possibly the most selfish, loathsome person I've ever met - and I have the dubious honor of living directly next door to him. Steve runs his own mold-home-inspection (scam) business, so he spends most of his time locked away in his house by himself. I visit with him and conversate with him as often as I can muster. Other than me, his only visitor is his on again/off again girlfriend - a twenty-something stripper who recently had her kids taken away by the state. Last time I checked, she hasn't been back since she stole his car and went on the lamb with it.

We first ran afoul of this neighbor during Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. He offered to put all of our frozen/refrigerated goods into his freezer/refrigerator that was running off of a generator. He then announced to the neighbors that he was going to take his girlfriend (a different 20-something stripper) to the airport in Orlando; he collected everyone's gas cans and cash and promised that he'd be back by nightfall - he obviously turned off the generator when he left. Five days later (we thought he might be dead), he returned empty handed with this excuse: "She couldn't fly out, so we got a hotel in Orlando. I didn't come back because I was getting laid. Do you blame me?" I stifled the expected reaction, and simply tried to ignore the fact that all of our food had spoiled in his refrigerator/freezer (food that we and our neighbors would have gladly eaten had we known that he was going to skip town on us). That was infraction #1.

Infraction #2: The hurricane blew over the wooden fence that divides Steve's property from mine. I absolutely need a fence to keep my dog, Memphis, contained. Steve made it clear that he had no intention of doing anything at all about the fence until his insurance company cut him a check (we all know how long that could take.) 3 days after the hurricane I embarked upon the job of erecting the downed fence and using posts to brace it up as a temporary measure for containing my dog. A few weeks passed. We came home from church one Sunday morning to find the fence was completely gone - removed and piled in his front yard for bulk garbage pick-up. Luckily, his excuse for being an A-hole this time did not involve him getting laid, for I might have snapped. His excuse for removing the fence without a word to us? I wouldn't know. I shelved it. Now by some miracle, we came home to find that our dog had chosen this morning of all mornings to sleep in. She hadn't yet gone outside to find that the fence was missing! Let me clarify that when a Bluetick Coonhound gets out, they have no limit as to how far they will go. So it was a miracle that she did not go missing. No thanks to Steve. Within a week, I had erected a chain-link fence that probably cost me about $150 and hours of back-breaking work digging the holes. Seriously, that was one of the worst jobs I've ever had to do - installing that chain link fence.

#3:Over time, Steve has become more lonely, loathsome, and irritable. Last month, we invited some friends and neighbors to come by and sit around a bonfire in our backyard. Apparently Steve thought that we were being too loud, because he came out of his house and yelled, "Shut the F__ up!" Keep in mind that every one of his neighbors was out there with us. (He didn't know this because it was dark out.) Also keep in mind that I have consistently invited Steve to every party we've had and he is the only neighbor that has not yet made an appearance.

#4:Only two weeks later, he had the audacity to curse out my wife in broad daylight. She was out in the back yard on a Saturday afternoon playing with our dog, and he came bursting out of the house and proceeded to lay into her with a string of obscenities, telling her to "shut her F-ing dog up." Those of you who know my wife, know that she is no damsel - that he is lucky my Irish red-head didn't hop over that fence and kick him in the jewels. That Steve would scream at a woman in this way tells me a lot about his character - or lack of it. It also helps to explain his fascination with bedding young women who have low self-esteem.

#5 & the reason for this rant: I return home today to find that the chain link fence has been torn down. Steve has decided to put up a wooden fence in its place. When I asked him why he didn't at least tell me about these plans, his response was classic A-hole Steve, "You weren't home yesterday, when the crew came over to start the job. Besides, the contractor says that the fence is on my property so I can do anything I want to do with it." But that isn't even the best part - the fence he is erecting will no longer reach all the way to the front edge of his home, leaving an 8 foot gap in my own fence line. When I asked him about this 8 foot gap in my own fence line he proclaimed, "It's not my problem!" and stomped back into his house. Lucky for me, the contractor is a dog lover and he situated (jerry-rigged) the fence in such a way that my dog is not presently able to escape the yard. The contractor added, after Steve left of course, "I like your dog. She is a cute pooch."

I was quite upset, to say the least. I promptly called the city to inquire about my rights as a homeowner. Interestingly enough, they informed me that he actually has no permit to build the fence and as such, there's no way he'd actually know where the property line is without the permit. And to top it off, the contractor just came over to my house and asked me to check my phone line because he just "hit" the phone line in the back yard with his jackhammer. I neglected to tell him that I don't actually use AT&T. I'll let him sweat it.

So here is the dilema: Do I continue to grin and bear it (taking it on the cheek, so to speak), or do I finally stoop to his level and do something dastardely - like reporting him to the city for building the fence without a permit and also reporting him to Sunshine State One-Call for hitting the underground phone line. Of course my instincts tell me to do exactly that and much, much more. (Like pummeling him in the face.) But I really do hate to be that person. There is that part of me that wants to wait it out and see if he finally does the right thing. I suppose, when he screws me over and leaves an 8 foot gap in my fence, I could still call the city and report him. It just makes me sick to my stomach to be put into this situation. I am a very easygoing fellow and I really do genuinely want to be able to love everyone, no matter how unlovable they may seem to be.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Vintage Worship Gathering

Church Field Trip #22

The name alone would suggest that Vintage Worship Gathering (VWG) is, without a doubt, an emerging church. More so, that they would especially have a Dan Kimball influence - as Kimball supposedly coined not only the term "vintage worship" but "emerging church" as well. I must admit that when I first read Kimball's book, The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations, I didn't quite get it. I struggled to grasp why and how an almost "Catholic" atmosphere would work within a postmodern worship experience. Having experienced this atmosphere at VWG, I now get it. Take the beauty and serenity of the Catholic experience that we had months ago, and infuse it with postmodern relevance and you have a service that is beautiful, serene, and NOT boring. Go figure. It actually works.

We arrived about 15 minutes early to find that they have a 1/2 hour of "hang time" before the service. They all arrive early, eat breakfast (quiche, pastries, cookies, bagels, juice, coffee, etc.), and build relationships. During this time, we were engaged in conversation with at least 5 different people, including Albert - the preacher. I never once heard him or anyone else use the term pastor, so I won't either. There were candles everywhere, as well as plenty of comfortable chairs to sit in while everyone just hung out. It was a very inviting and comfortable atmosphere. Also, everyone wears a name tag, which has both its advantages and disadvantages.


VWG shares a small playhouse theatre called Mos'art with a theater company that performs plays there as well as an art gallery. It was a really cool set up for a church service; sorry, worship gathering. Albert started the church about a year ago with 15 other people who were tired of "church as usual". They now have about 50 people each week gathering in the small theater that seats about 100.

The worship was acoustic (two acoustic guitars and one djembe) and introspective, though we were told that their worship experience can often run the full gambit from small and acoustic to full-blown electrical onslaught requiring them to hand out earplugs at the door. I neglected to take a picture of their stage setup because the theatre company was putting on a show that afternoon and the stage was set up accordingly for the play itself. The worship leader introduced himself only as "Captain." I didn't inquire about the name's nature or origin.

Before preaching, Albert brought two soon-to-be missionaries, Nick and Jesse, up to the stage to discuss their missionary calling. In the spring they will be going to a Muslim country that is hostile to Christian missionaries, so they will actually be working for an NGO there and spreading the Gospel on the sly. I'd like to also note that during the entire service, I believe we were lead in prayer at least half a dozen times by at least three different people.

Albert used Matthew 2:1-12 for the basis of his sermon. Here are some notable excerpts from his teaching:

"Every day that you submit to God, you become more like Jesus."

"I always find myself wanting to build up my own kingdom, rather than live in God's kingdom."

"Repent and believe, because the kingdom of God is near."

"The Gospel is Christ breaking into this world, bringing God's kingdom. This presents us with a choice - whether or not we will submit to His rule and authority."

"The Gospel is this: God isn't on a power trip. We are on a power trip. He let us kill Him. And yet He still invites us to join His kingdom through mercy and forgiveness. Is this Good News to you? Or is it Bad News?"

"It is God's desire to have a relationship with you, even to the point of self-sacrifice."

We had a great time at VWG. It was very relaxed, authentic, and easy to engage despite us being first-timers. Having to drive an hour away to find a church like this is just heart-breaking in a metropolis with more than 5 million people.

I'd like to remark on something that I noticed at both VWG and also at Epic Remix last month. While both of these churches definitely have their fair share of twentysomethings, they are by no means solely made up of youngsters. Kelly, at 48, and Albert, at 40, have both managed to find a faith that appeals to all ages, if the makeup of the congregations is any indication.
Follow-up: We received a personally written email from Albert.

Friday, December 14, 2007

My thoughts on Inflation / When I become President

Anyone who has been friends with me for a significant period of time has heard me pontificate at one time or another on the sweeping economic changes I would instill were I to become President of the United States. (Go ahead. Laugh it up.)


I hate inflation. I really do. In some areas at least. Let me tell you what I'd do, economically, if I became President.


  • Reset and freeze the price of a large pizza with one topping to $5.00

  • Reset and freeze the price of a 12 pack of pop to $2.00 (that's right. I said "pop")

  • Reset and freeze the price of gasoline to $1.00/gallon

  • Make essential health care free to all, except hypochondriacs

  • memberships at fitness clubs would be free to all, except people looking to hook up

  • bottled water - free

I think that's about it. That's all I've come up with in the past 15 years. If I've forgotten anything, I'm sure my wife will notice, because she's heard this spiel a thousand times. Every time I have to pay $15 for a large pizza or $3.50/gallon for gas, she knows that it is coming. "One day. When I am President....."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wii Wish You a Merry Christmas

CAN’T GET YOUR HANDS ON A NINTENDO Wii? HAVE YOU TRIED CHURCH?

Church by the Glades, in Coral Springs, FL, is giving away a Nintendo Wii at each of its nine Christmas services taking place on December 20-24 as part of its “Wii Wish You a Merry Christmas” campaign.

The nine services will take place on Thursday, December 20 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, December 22 at 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Sunday, December 23 at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:00 p.m., and Monday, December 24 at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.

It seems that the one thing that everyone wants and no one can get this Christmas is the Nintendo Wii,” said David Hughes, teaching Pastor at Church by the Glades.

In order to win the Wii you will have to fill-out a registration card. The winner will be selected during the service and then presented the Wii before its conclusion.

Some may ask why a church would do something like this. According to Hughes there are two reasons. First, he doesn’t believe that church should be boring. He thinks this will be a way of creating some energy during the services.

Second, there is no doubt that a lot of people will come hoping to win a Wii, but we believe that many will leave with the hope of eternity that comes from having a relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Hughes.

History shows that Church by the Glades is in the habit of using things that are creating a buzz to draw people to the church. During one recent series of teachings called “i: Living in a Self-Absorbed World,” they gave away a free iPhone and iTunes gift cards to first time guests to promote the series. More recently, they gave away four tickets to the sold-out Hannah Montana concert at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Book of the Law - Halftime Report

In the past six months we've covered more than half of the Book of the Law. Leviticus has been grueling indeed. If we met every single week, this process would be much easier. As it stands, though, we have decided to take a break from the Book of the Law. Meeting every other week, including a couple of schedule interruptions, has brought our progress to a grinding halt. We will most likely not meet again for our study until the first week of January - what with the holidays and all that. Even then, we need a break from the Book of the Law. When we reconvene in January, we will shake things up a bit with some topical discussion. Well, we're going to give it a try at least.

For each meeting we will bring a pre-prepared question/topic to the table for discussion and investigation. Pre-prepared means that each of us will have done whatever research is pertinent concerning the topic at hand. I offered two resources as a guide for our group in brainstorming some good questions:

  1. gotquestions.org - Got Questions is a great site and resource for any spiritual/Biblical/religious/church question you may have.

  2. askanything.org - The site set up by Mars Hill Church in Seattle so that anyone could ask Mark Driscoll any question and he would answer it through his preaching in 2008.

So, come January 2008, we'll see how it goes. As always, the invitation is open for anyone to join us. And if anyone would like to give us a topic for discussion, feel free. We will most likely continue to meet every other week on Sunday nights, though we may change it to Friday nights so we can light a bonfire.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

International Charasmatic Mission Church (G12)

Church Field Trip # 21

It's kind of hard to miss a new church that meets two miles from my house with a sign out front that reads: Revolution South Florida. From here on out, it gets a little confusing. International Charismatic Mission Church (ICMC) is a G12 cell church. G12 is an international cell-church network based out of Bogota, Columbia. According to Anthony, the pastor of the South Florida G12 Network, Revolution SF is the theme for this year, placing an emphasis on reaching the teens and twenty-somethings of South Florida. They have services every Saturday night at 8, targeting the younger generation; and they have services every Sunday morning at 10, for families and everyone else.


After hearing many of my christian peers complain about the mega-church movement leaving discipleship by the wayside, it is interesting to see a church/movement that is entirely made up of small discipleship groups. In G12, small groups aren't a ministry of the church, they are the church.

We arrived on time at 10 am, only to find that they run on "Spanish time, which means 20 minutes late", according to Anthony's wife, Jennifer. We received two bilingual greetings and soon discovered that everything was done bilingually; literally everything. The music - two singers singing in both English and Spanish interchangeably; and the preaching was done by two gentlemen bilingually and also interchanging throughout. You would think that this would either be frustrating or confusing, but it was neither. It took about 20 minutes to get used to it, and I would imagine that if I went to this church every week, I would probably learn a lot of Spanish. Anthony himself said that before he joined G12 and started the South Florida network with 8 people 6 years ago, he didn't speak any Spanish. Now he is fluently bilingual.


The service was in a former school gymnasium and there were probably about 500 people in attendance (over 1000 for the weekend.) They did an excellent job of transforming the space into an environment conducive for a great worship experience. To say that the worship experience was off the chain would be an understatement. They were loud, really loud. They were excited - everyone in the building - 100% participation. There was an energy level that I have never before seen in a church service. It was much more like going to a concert than going to a church service. We really had a great time. During one high energy song, they actually pulled one girl from the neo-pit that had formed at the front of the stage and let her freestyle rap during the song. I wish I could have gotten video of that moment - it was awesome. Now let me say two things that will undoubtedly bring me back for a repeat visit to this church.

  1. The lead singer is actually the daughter of the leader of the worldwide G12 network. She and her band, Soulfire, were not present for this service. They are out touring and will be back in January. So that means that this was the "backup" band which rocked our socks off. Unbelievable. The worship leader, Vince, also told us that the preacher was a "backup preacher" which is also significant because he knocked it out of the park along with his Spanish partner.

  2. We went to the Sunday morning service geared toward families. I can't imagine what the energy level must be like at the Saturday night service.
The whole service was somewhat chaotic, with people milling about, kids playing, mother's feeding their kids, people quietly talking, and I even saw at least one person on their laptop during the teaching time. For those of you who worship structure and organization, this would be a distracting nightmare - but for us, it was quite enjoyable. My wife described it as such, "It was like being at a wedding reception. Everyone was having a good time and just celebrating life." And for those of you who would dare to walk into a church like this and ask, "What are you going to do for my children?" or "I want my kids to be entertained." or "What youth and children's ministries do you offer?" (Come on. You know who you are.) The answer would be - "Stuff it. Go find a consumer-driven church. There are plenty of them." (That's my answer, not theirs.)


The topic for the sermon was "Understanding the Times", derived from I Chronicles 12. The pastor also used Nehemiah 2:17, II Cor. 13:5, Phil. 1:6, and Acts 3. He used a handful more verses, but I admit that I was lost at times, and was struggling to keep up. Having two preachers, one for each language, was fun and entertaining. They played off of each other and joked with each other, especially when there were translation difficulties. They were both equally energetic and engaging.


Here are some notable quotes:

"Don't wait for someone else to do what God has put in your heart for you to do."


"There are 3 types of people:
  1. People who watch things happen
  2. People who wonder what happened
  3. People who make things happen

"How many warriors are in here?" At which point, he had us yelling like a scene out of Braveheart - Referencing I Chronicles 12:38. This church took audience participation to a whole new level. By the end of the service I was worn out and almost hoarse. But man, did I have a good time.

"God is here to meet you at the point of your need."

"God is in the restoration business."

"There are four things that you need to do.

  1. Examine yourself
  2. Ask for God's forgiveness
  3. Have confidence in God's calling
  4. Get busy doing God's work

To say that they presented the Gospel in a clear and convicting manner would be a gross understatement. If there was ever a church that didn't need to present the Gospel, it would be a G12 church. They don't actually expect anyone to just walk in off the street (like we did) because of their model of cell group evangelism. But that didn't stop them from presenting the Gospel in possibly the most compelling fashion that we've seen to date. I was starting to wonder if they were going to check us at the door and make sure that we were saved before we left.

As we were leaving, Pastor Anthony and his wife, Jennifer snagged us and engaged us in conversation for about 10 minutes about the G12 vision and God's calling on our lives. We exchanged contact information with them, as the church did not have any printed materials available - no bulletin, no brochures, no guest card, nothing. Very organic.

I shot some video, but, like a moron, I accidentally recorded it without audio. Sorry, I am an idiot. But I figured I would throw the video up anyways.



video

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tom Brokaw reports on the Emerging Church

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Favorite Beer

Where do I begin? I grew up in Michigan. As a matter of fact, I've only lived in South Florida for 7 years. In the past 7 years, the beer selection in South Florida has improved significantly. I used this analogy before and I will use it again to show the difference between Michigan and South Florida. In Michigan, when you go to the local corner store, the entire back wall of coolers will be devoted to cold beer - if you are in the mood for Sam Adams, you'll have your choice of at least 7 of their 20 available flavors. 7 years ago in South Florida, you'd have had your choice of 2 flavors of Sam Adams beer - regular and light, maybe a seasonal if you were lucky. Now, at our local Publix Grocery, we are offered at least 4 varieties of Sams, sometimes even 5.


But I'm not going to dwell on Sam Adams today. Today I want to talk about Leinenkugels Brewery, a small brewery in Wisconsin. Though small, it was bought this year by Miller and they've since been shipping Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat throughout the entire nation. Sunset Wheat is an excellent beer and definitely in my top 5. But there was one beer that was available in Michigan that I've missed since we left - Leinenkugel Berry Weiss. In Michigan, we usually had a choice of at least 5 or 6 different Leinenkugel varieties.


I have just recently discovered, to my delight, that South Florida now carries 3 varieties of Leinenkugels beer - Sunset Wheat, Honey Weiss, and (drumroll) Berry Weiss. I am a happy fella. And I don't want to hear any crap from you manly men who think that it isn't right for a guy to enjoy a "berry flavored" beer. From my experience, most of the "manly men" out there get by on a steady diet of "yellow-colored water" - better known as American Light Lager (Bud, Miller, etc.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Pulpit, the Podium, or the High-top Table?

The Evolution of the Preacher's Pulpit

As the pulpit has evolved, the preacher has been brought closer to the congregation; made to seem more informal; and made to seem more transparent. The old-school pulpit is almost laughable, with the preacher hoisted up in a cockpit 5-10 feet above the ground. This is how we always picture the great preachers of old laying the smack down on their congregation with sermons titled Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.









The second generation pulpit is reminiscent of the typical traditional baptist church. These pulpits are more business-like, but are still usually festooned with Bible verses, flowers and religious symbols like fish, crosses, and doves. These wood pulpits are usually covered in semi-ornate carvings of vines and a catchy quotation of Jesus claiming to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This pulpit usually matches a nearby table used for communion that also has matching carvings with verses pertaining to the Last Supper: "Do this in remembrance of me."












The third generation of the pulpit attempts to make a name change as well as a change in appearance. On 60 Minutes recently, Joel Osteen gave a tour of Lakewood Church. The reporter asked him, almost rhetorically, if this was his pulpit sitting at the center of the stage. Osteen replied, "Well, we prefer to call it a podium." Right, because that is less religious and more business-like. You could almost see the news anchor's eyes rolling out of his head. Of particular mention is the transparent, completely clear plastic podium, which Osteen didn't have. This "podium" conveys the idea of the preacher being transparent to his congregation; he has nothing to hide. Even transparent, they are usually still festooned with floral arrangements around the base.







The fourth generation of the pulpit throws out the podium altogether and replaces it with a high-top table and one chair. In many churches, this table still serves the exact same purpose of the transparent podium: the preacher can't hide behind it and he still has a place to put his stuff. This "stuff" usually includes a Bible, coffee, a water bottle, a small clock, notes, and any items that might come in handy for visual sermon illustrations. The irony of this fourth generation pulpit - the high-top table - is that some preachers are visibly uncomfortable using it for it's intended purpose. It is a table and it is meant to be sat at. This act of sitting while preaching further conveys the concept of informality between the preacher and the congregation. But, from my experience, there are quite a few preachers who are just not comfortable with it. Some of them will sit at it for a brief moment, but it is obvious that they are not comfortable sitting. And some of them will not use it as a table at all, but rather as a glorified podium, sometimes even placing the "traditional" floral arrangement around the base. There is one added bonus of the high-top table pulpit. If the pastor wants to team teach with his wife on the topic of marriage, sex, women's roles, or marital submission, all they have to do is drag out the matching chair.



The fifth generation of the pulpit throws out the table and chair and replaces them with a single, small high-top side table. Something just big enough to hold a bottle of water and a Bible. This final version of the pulpit has finally removed any possible barrier between the preacher and the congregation, leaving just enough space for the bare essentials. And the preacher doesn't have to worry over whether or not to sit, especially if they are uncomfortable sitting.




What's Next? I really have no idea. Anybody have any ideas?








Monday, December 3, 2007

Experience a Church Service on the Internet

We have taken a two-week hiatus from church field tripping. This is simply poor timing considering the bevy of new readers that have come to this site because of the Sun-Sentinel article. This weekend, we will be back out on the road again. With that in mind, I thought I would give you the next best thing - the ability to take your own church field trip.

There are a handful of churches that show their entire service on the internet. I find this to be useful for two groups of people.

1. Those who are obligated to attend their own church and never get to experience other churches.

2. Those who have no interest in actually going to church, but are curious to see what it would be like.


Here are some churches which offer this opportunity to take a look inside:

Newspring Church - Anderson, SC

Lifechurch.tv - Edmond, OK (streams live only)

Granger Community Church - Granger, IN

Flamingo Road Church - Cooper City, FL (streams live only)

Vineyard Community Church - Cincinnati, OH

The People's Church - Franklin, TN


(Thanks to Jeff, for a couple of these.)

If you know of any more churches that provide video of their ENTIRE service, let me know. I'd love to watch them.

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