Sunday, December 31, 2006

The book that can change your life - Part1

Whew, I'm pooped! I did the talk in all four services at our church today and man I'm wiped out. It was a good day and it never ceases to amaze me that people actually listen to what I have to say and they say they even like it.

I spoke about how the Bible is an amazing book that can change our lives. I gave lots of facts and statistics to demonstrate why this book is so amazing. I then wrapped the talk up with some very practical tips on how to get into the Bible in 2007.

So, how about you? Have you developed the habit of reading the Bible on a regular basis? If not, why not start right now? Start with the book of John. Or, start with Philippians or Colossians. Read a verse a day, chapter a day, but start reading something. Tye out.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NIV

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Mackenzie!!!

Today we celebrated the 9th anniversary of the birth of our precious daughter Mackenzie! She wanted to have Hawaiian pizza and carrot cake. One of her new fave movies is Cars so her cake and decorations were all done up with the Cars motif. The Wohlers all came over and celebrated with us - thanks to Brian, Jody, Ben and Kathryn for stopping by to see us, and for giving Mackenzie a gift card for Panera - she loves those muffies! Click on the pic to see a slide show.

Andrew just got home and gave her a DVD game of Deal, or No Deal and we are getting ready to play. We got her the game Operation. (remember that one?) It is on sale at Walmart for only $8.00 so get yours while quantities are limited!

Anyways, happy birthday to you Mackenzie. You have been a wonderful daughter and we are so proud of you! A proud dad out.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas from the Male's

It was a great Christmas morning at the Male house this morning. Mackenzie was up at around 7 Am and we managed to hold off opening gifts until around 7:30. Once everyone had opened their gifts we enjoyed some of Sharon Pagel's world famous homemade cinnamon rolls that Josh brought over and they were delicious. Thanks Pagels! Click here to watch a slideshow of the festivities.

The kids got some much needed clothes and some fun stuff too. There was nerf disc shooters, Apples to Apples, an mp3 player, a Lightning McQueen alarm clock, and jewelry for the girls. Yours truly received a really nice stainless steel coffee mug from Star Bucks and some decaf Christmas blend. We just finished eating our Christmas dinner complete with turkey, sweet-potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and Allyson's amazing yeast rolls.

Another year and our family is all together. I can't help but wonder how many more years we will all be together - the kids are growing up so fast. The next thing you know, well, let's cross that bridge when we come to it.

Thank you Jesus for coming to earth to rescue us from our sins. Thank you for loving me so much that you went to the cross for my sins. Jesus truly is the reason for the season.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Secret Santa in Spokane

I've got a couple hours before the next service starts at 3:30, so I thought I would share with you a story I saw online this morning. On Thursday in Spokane, Washington a lady was reported as boarding buses and passing out Christmas cards with a $50 bill in each envelope.

My blog entry on Free Hugs was about people who decided to give away free hugs and when you see the video it is quite moving.

This article entitled Bus Riders Gets Gifts from Secret Santa was about some unknown person giving away free 50 dollar bills. This story sounds a little familiar to me...

2000 years ago Jesus Christ took on the form of a man and was born in a stable in a little town called Bethlehem. He lived a perfect life and died a horrible, disgusting, death on a Roman cross and 3 days later came alive from the dead. He did all this so that you and I could receive a free gift - the free gift of eternal life.

And how do you receive this gift? Just like those people on the bus - you reach out and accept it. That's it! If you could earn it then it wouldn't be a gift! Why not accept Christ's offer of eternal life right now? Tye out.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15NIV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16NIV

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9NIV

Digital family dinners

I was just getting ready to head on down to New Covenant for Christmas Eve services, all four of them, because I am playing in the band today when I decided to check the news online and I saw on Yahoo! News an article about digital family dinners. The concept is simple; you have a camera and microphone in your dining room and you can enjoy dinners with your relatives that are at a distance.

This sounds really good especially for those who cannot get out and be with other people very often. I was even thinking that we could be with our families this Christmas without the 8.5 hour drive! And when things get out of hand, you could just hit "mute!" HA! (just kidding there!)

But there is a downside to all this. People need the personal touch of other human beings: A hug, a kiss, a touch on the shoulder, a holding of hands, etc. If you don't believe this, click here to watch this video from a previous post. People need healthy touch and interaction.

Today, on this Eve of Christmas, why not reach out and touch someone (remember the old phone commercials!) literally. Share a smile, a handshake, a hug or some other healthy physical interaction that lets the other person know that they are valued! Tye out.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Book a Hollywood Celeb for New Years - or not

I ran across this article today and it got me to thinking a little. But first, read this artice.

Have a few extra hundred thousand dollars hanging around your house? Are you dying to cut open that mattress and spend wildly on unnecessary things? Well, have I got the list for you! Us Magazine polled event planners and got the low down on celebrity bookings.

Mariah Carey private performance - $1,000,000
Usher private performance - $1,000,000
Dr. Phil speech - $750,000 - $1,000,000
Nicole Kidman party apperance - $500,000 + jet
Jessica Simpson private performance - $400,000
Scarlett Johansson party apperance - $200,000
Demi Moore party apperance - $200,000
Nick Lachey party apperance - $100,000 (negotiable)
Pam Anderson party apperance - $75,000 - $250,000
Adrian Grenier private performance with band - $35,000

Well, have I got a deal for you! Instead, why not come on over to New Covenant Bible Church on New Year's Eve (8, 9:20, 11 Am or 5 PM) and I will appear for FREE!!! That's right, since the budget was tight this year at NCBC, they couldn't afford anyone else, so they got me for free.

However, I might show up for your private party with my saxophone for around $10k. I know this sounds expensive, but look at how much money you will be saving by NOT getting one of the people listed above. : ) (I'm cracking myself up here!) Tye out.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Free Hugs Here

I know I am supposed to be working on my talk for next Sunday, but my eye caught this article on Yahoo! News and it moved me deeply. Take a few minutes to watch this video. Warning - it is moving!

Wow! That was powerful! Click here for the actual site and see the comments that were posted. Love is a powerful thing. (that was "love," not "lust") This is the reason Christ came. He died on a cross so that our sins could be forgiven and so we could love one another. Our world is filled with hate (just check out some of the "Christian" sites - they seem so angry!) and it so desperately needs to know the love of Christ through a committed Christ follower.

So, give someone a hug today - just because. And if you haven't hugged your wife and kids today, then what you waiting for? Tye out.

Greet one another with a holy kiss. 2 Co 13:12NKJV

Festivus - an alternative Christmas celebration?

By now you are getting to know me pretty well, but you might not know that I have enjoyed watching reruns of Seinfeld and think they are quite humorous. (I am not endorsing every aspect of the show, of course)

One episode back in 1997 features the Costanza's (George and his parents) celebrating "Festivus" a holiday Frank made up that would be celebrated on December 23 with an unadorned aluminum pole as the centerpiece. The byline was "Festivus for the rest of us." Read what Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press Writer reports:

The "Seinfeld" Festivus episode developed from series writer Dan O'Keefe's childhood experiences. His father invented the holiday in the 1960s.

"As a kid, we'd come home and there'd be weird decorations," said the 30-something O'Keefe. "There was the playing of strange German and Italian pop music from the '50s. And the airing of grievances was a real thing."

Instead of a pole, his family celebration featured a clock and a bag. (O'Keefe said his father won't say what they symbolized.)

It seems that an enterprising individual has figured out a way to profit from this totally ficticious and made up holiday. Click here to read about it.

I am a Christ follower and I can tell you that I am thrilled to be celebrating Christmas. I feel sad for people who are confused by this holiday, or they are unwilling to take a good look at the truth claims of Jesus Christ who came to planet earth, born in a manger, crucified on a cross, and is risen again to pay the debt I could not pay.

Jesus is the reason for the season. Tye out.

Andrew's Video is now on YouTube

I just figured out how to imbed video right into my blog. So, here is Andrew's video he produced for Water Shed. Enjoy!

Email Interruptions

I don't know about you, but I am very easily distracted so today I took the advice of the guys over at Pastor Hacks and I turned off the dinger thing in Outlook because every time it goes off I spend a few seconds looking at who might have emailed me. That isn't really the problem though. You see, my problem is the amount of time it takes me to get focused again. Yikes!

But when I went to disable the dinger thingee it wasn't that easy. So I called on my trusty MS Office Assistant - I like the dog version - and found out how to turn the dinger off:

1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

2. Click E-mail Options, and then click Advanced E-mail Options.

3. Do one or more of the following:

Display a desktop alert when messages arrive
Play a sound when messages arrive
c. Change the mouse cursor when messages arrive

There you go! I hope this helps you be even more productive, especially since we are so close the Christmas break! Tye out.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra

I found this video on This is an incredible big band and I really enjoy listening to these guys. I hope you enjoy this video. Be sure to stop by their website for additional info, tracks and charts.

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra.

This one loads real slow. Be patient.

I'm a Christ Follower (Mac vs. PC)-Part 2

This parody reveals how some people think of Christianity. They think we follow rules and regulations that draw us closer to God. Christianity is not about religion (man's attempt to reach God), but it's about relationship (God reaching out for man through his son Jesus). Enjoy!

Church on Saturday? Polished shoes? I love that line where Mr. Christian says "I'm all ready to go." While the clothes may make a man, what is in his heart is the most important thing.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV

I'm a Christ-follower (Mac vs. PC parody) Part 1

Have you seen those Mac vs. PC commercials? If not, click here to watch one. Then, come back here to Tyes Jazz to watch a cool parody from Eric Bramlett and the fine folks at Community Christian Church over in Naperville, Illinois. We were there back in February for a multi-site practicum and I was able to meet Eric, and even get "interviewed" by him. Click here to see my blog entry.

I love these parodies because they get us thinking about how we must appear to unchurched people and seekers. I think it is a matter of being authentic. We've got to learn how to be real so that a watching world can see that Jesus makes an internal difference. I'm thankful that we have seen the days pass where you have to wear a certain clothing type, read a certain kind of Bible, and go to church as a specific time in order to be "godly."

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35NIV

Men's Fraternity Update - one prays to accept Christ!

This morning marked the halfway point for our first ever Men's Fraternity at New Covenant Bible Church. Robert Lewis, who teaches via DVD, shared his faith story and challenged men to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. It was one of the best gospel presentations I have ever heard.

We received word shortly after the conclusion of the meeting that one man had prayed to receive Christ and yet another recommitted his life to the Lord. This is what it is all about! This is what Christmas is all about!

January 3rd we start back up with the second half of Men's Fraternity - The Quest for Authentic Manhood. Some of the topics we'll cover are:
  • Genesis and Manhood
  • A Biblical Definition of Manhood
  • A Man and his Wife
  • 25 Ways to be a Servant Leader
  • Father and Sons
  • Fathers and Daughters
Thanks to the leadership team of our AM Fraternity: Ed Luebe, Matt Thede, Lance Greco, Ken Smejkal, Jeff Dunham, Kurt Tennyson, Tom Green, and Dan Van Zoest. It has been a joy serving with you!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra - video

Click on the title to watch a video of Denver and the big band. Tye out.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra

Denver and the trumpet section.

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. Nothing like driving 286 miles ONE WAY to get to see an awesome big band and front man - Denver! The concert as absolutely phenomenal and very entertaining. The venue, North Heights Lutheran Church, had an impressive worship center with the seats in a circular fashion. The ceiling had to be at least 40 feet tall. It seemed massive, yet intimate at the same time.

This band has got it going on! It was obvious that they were having the time of their lives performing and sharing the love of Jesus through big band music. The bass player was incredible, and entertaining to watch as well. The drummer did this awesome drum solo on "Little Drummer Boy" while the band lined up in the front playing Tower of Power licks. The alto played like the cat on Buddy Rich's band in the late 70's and the tenor player had this huge penetrating sound. (Berg Larsen mouthpiece!)

Denver's heart for missions was evident in his plea for Compassion and near the end of the concert sharing the gospel and praying with people to receive Christ as their savior!

It was an aweome night, but I have to admit that it was a long day. We spent 9 hours driving and covered around 590 miles - what were we thinking! I got to bed around 2:15 AM, but I can tell you I had visions of big bands dancing in my head! Tye out.

P.S. Stay tuned for a NCBC Big Band/Brass Line Christmas Concert 2007. - I'm serious!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The NCBC Big Band is ready to go!!!

The New Covenant Bible Church Big Band (first ever) is set and ready to go for this Sunday, December 17 in all four worship services. Our band rehearsed last night and I feel really good about our preparation. It has been fun playing with a big band again, especially after all these years. (click on the pic for a brief slideshow)

Special thanks to the sax section guys for all your hard work and extra practice sessions: Travis Gossman, Eric Haberkorn, and Mark Fritz.

We are still looking for players. In the sax section we could use another tenor and a bari player. An accomplished high school musician could handle the music.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!!!
(even jazz musicians!)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Orchestra Conductors

(I did not write this. It is hilarious! Enjoy!)

An American orchestra had just arrived in Europe for a two-week tour.One hour before the first concert, the conductor became very ill and was unable to conduct, and the orchestra suddenly had to find a substitute.

The orchestra manager asked whether anyone in the orchestra could step in and conduct. The only person to volunteer was the last-chair viola player. The manager was nervous. "You have no time to rehearse," she said. "You'll have to conduct the concert cold." "I know. It'll be all right," said the violist.

The violist conducted the concert and it was a smashing success. Because the conductor remained ill, the violist conducted all the concerts, getting rave reviews and standing ovations every time.

Two weeks later, the conductor had recovered, and the violist took his place at the rear of the viola section. As he sat down, his stand partner asked, "So where've YOU been for the past two weeks?"

Patricia Heaton says "It's not about me"

In the past couple of years I have enjoyed watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond mostly because it always gives a chuckle, if not a downright belly laugh. After a stressful day at work sometimes it helps just to laugh. (a little rationalization going on there.)

Christianity Today had this article on Patricia Heaton who plays the wife of Raymond Barone, Debra. Her character is quite the overbearing wife who regular demeans her husband - which stems from an overbearing mother (Raymond's) and a guy like Raymond doesn't have the equipment necessary to become a man and lead the women in his life. (that came from Men's Fraternity and maybe I'll takle this issue in another post.)

Back to Patricia. She is without a doubt a gifted and talented actress. She confesses a personal relationship with Christ and she also says some things in her article that caught my eye. Check it out.

She is the chairwoman for Feminists for Life, an organiztion of women committed to the Pro-Life ideal. She apparently lives a life of morality in a town where family values are not highly regarded. In fact, while waiting her turn to MC at the American Music Awards where she was to follow the Osbourne family she decided to leave before her segment after listening to the explictive saturated monologue of the Ozzy Osbourne.

Listen to this quote from Heaton: If you give your life to God, he doesn't promise that everything will go well. But he does promise peace.

Heaton goes on to talk about her view of tithing (interesting) and how she has been challenged to give until it hurts. This would have to be pretty interesting for someone making a reported $6 million a year. I can only pray that this halftimer is attempting to extend her financial influence (and celebrity status) and that God will take the platform she enjoys to influence the lives of many people. Tye out.

P.S. Please understand that I realize that Ms. Heaton may not have it all together spiritually the way I would see it, but the things I read today were very encouraging.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The NCBC Big Band live!!!

The NCBC Big Band rehearses (minus a few)

Sunday December 17th I believe we are going to have a little part in making history at New Covenant Bible Church. Our big band will be performing in the 8, 9:30, 11 AM, and 5:00 PM services. We will play two big band arrangements in the style of Count Basie - it will be a moment! You will not want to miss this exciting, ground-breaking, historic moment.

The band is made up of 4 saxes, 4 trombones and 5 trumpets plus a full rhythm section. It all started last month when during our Brass Line (2 trumpets, 2 bones, 1 sax) rehearsal someone said it would be cool to put our two brass lines together and form a big band and voila!

We are really excited about this opportunity to use our gifts and talents to bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ - using swing music! Who would have ever thunk it!!! See you Sunday! Tye out.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Zanny Henseler - Deal or No Deal winner update

I got a comment from someone who goes to church with Zanny who says that her family is trying to collect enough pop cans to raise the money to pay the tax on her Escalade she won on Deal or No Deal.

Click here to read my first blog entry. Here I gave unsolicited advice to Zanny : )

Click here to read my second blog entry. (then, click on the comments to read the following comment left by Rob and Emily who go to Zanny's church) Here's what they said:

Tye,I go to the same church as Zanny and her parents. Her family is organizing “Cans for Zan” to help raise the money needed for the sales tax. They are asking everyone to donate cans and any other kind of aluminum to be recycled. Just thought you might be interested.

This is quite fascinating to me. Here I am a nobody living in Iowa and because of my fascination with the TV show Deal or No Deal I decided to blog about the girl in lime-green who won the lime-green Escalade.

I've always thought it would be cool to get a comment from someone who is "famous." A friend of mine goes to church with Stormie Omartian and actually sat next to her. Since I had blogged about her books on prayer, I was hoping to get a comment from her.

Isn't it amazing at how flat our world is? I've interacted with a sax player in Germany, had hits to my blog from around the world, and hopefully have been able to have been a positive influence in many people's lives, comments or not. Tye out.

Pajamas at Panera's

Allyson works at Panera and she had to be here at 6 AM, so I drove her down and stayed. It gave me time to read the word, pray, and well, now do a quick blog entry. Sitting here I have made an observation - three people have come in this morning wearing pajama bottoms. hmmmm

This raises a question: Is it appropriate to wear pajama bottoms/lounge pants in a public setting? I love my lounge pants because they feel great, they're warm, and comfy (as Allyson would say). But, I'm a little funny about wearing them out in public. In fact, I don't. One time I went to my neighbor's house wearing them in order to pray for Willis Gordon before he had open heart surgery, but the Gordon's are friends. hmmm

So, whattayathink? Pajamas/lounge pants in public settings? Not me. But then again, to each his own. : ) Tye out.

P.S. The picture is not of me - I wish.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

It's official! I purchased a domain name today and I am thrilled to present for your blogging pleasure, You can still find my blog with the old address, but this will make it easier for folks to find me. Tye out.
P.S. Click here to make your own church sign.

Out of my way! I'm Christmas shopping!

HAHAHAHAHA!!! I found this graphic and thought you might enjoy seeing it. Has any one else out there practically been mowed over by someone to get a Christmas gift? How about the parking lot? Tickle Me Elmo? N64?
No one is trampling others to get my fave gift - Count Basie: Live in Japan.
How about if while Christmas shopping (as much as I really don't enjoy doing so) we were to let at least two people go ahead of us as an act of love and selflessness? Also, let's park way out in the parking lot to allow others to have the prime spots. Tye out.

Gift giving at Christmas - Part 1

Ok, in my last post I mentioned that I always get a little depressed around the Christmas season. I just read an article titled Stopping Shopping at Christmas and I think Patrick Moore kind of summed up how I feel at this very special time of the year - the celebration of the birth of our Savior.

Christmas is all about Christ and the celebration of his birth. Others have joined in on the celebration with new holidays, but the root of Christmas is Christ. And to think this all goes back to a baby born in a stable/cave some 2000 years ago. That baby, as predicted some 700 years earlier was born in Bethlehem. It was also predicted this child would grow and become the deliverer of Israel yet rejected by the same. He hung on a cross, not for his wrong-doings, but for ours. In essence, he was hung up for our hang ups.

So, why do I get so "blue" at this very special time of the year? I don't know, but I do have a couple ideas. The first thing is the expense of the gifts. I find myself buying gifts for people just because it is expected. The funny thing is we typically buy gifts just so the recipient will know that they are loved. Hmmm. Shouldn't they already know this by the way we live the other 364 days a year? Second, we buy things for people that they don't really need, or worse, can easily afford to buy if they wanted them. I have a drawer full of such "knick knacks" that are nice to have, but quite unnecessary. What I REALLY need is contentment with the things I already have. Third, when your budget is already tight (for us, strangling might be a better word), it doesn't feel right to be spending money on people just to say "I love you." What if we were to find some other ways to say I love you without 12% interest? hmmm

By now you're saying to yourself, "Man, what a Scrooge." Not really. I'm just trying to be realistic. I would love to purchase a gift for a needy family rather than receive another knife, flashlight, or tie - yikes, we don't do that any more! hmmm

I do look forward to celebrating Christmas by exchanging gifts with our immediate family, so please don't get me wrong. I will also be praying that God will help me during this time to be more thankful for what I do have and not want more. I'll be writing more about this so stay tuned. Tye out.

Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 5:20NCV

P.S. I would love to hear your comments on this post. Thanks!

Friday, December 08, 2006

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

Tonight the Male family tradition of setting the Christmas tree up was once again realized. It's hard to believe, but we were all home on the same night, for a little while anyway. Judy's parents have been purchasing each of us Hallmark ornaments almost every year since we were married - the kids too! So, we crowded our little tree with a ton of beautiful Hallmark ornaments. I must confess that I wasn't feeling up to par, so I just relaxed while Mackenzie hung my ornaments.

Now we are watching The Santa Clause 2, another family tradition - not always that movie, but some Christmas movie.

I don't know about you, but I usually get a little "blue" around Christmas for a variety of reasons. My goal each year is to try to enjoy this time of the year and especially remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. More on this later. Tye out.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A job well done Mackenzie!

Mackenzie and Ms. Hooten

Tonight we had the privilege of hearing the 3rd grade classes (3 of them) of Westfield Elementary combine their talents and present a wonderful winter concert. You can click on the picture for a slideshow of the evening's festivities.

The children did an outstanding job and they were so animated! Mackenzie had on a new dress and new shoes and she was just glowing! After the concert we headed off to Culver's for frozen custard, a Male family tradition after school concerts!

Thanks to Ms. Hooten for being such a good teacher for our daughter! You are truly awesome and we are thankful for you. Also, congrats to Mackenzie and the 3rd grade classes for a job well done! We are sooooo proud of you!

Thanks Zanny!

It's a strange thing, these blogs. I was just noticing that my "hit count" has gone up a lot here recently and I have been getting hits from all over. So, I was checking out how all these hits came in and several people found my blog because I did a post on Zanny Henseler who won an $83k Cadillac Escalade and unfortunately discovered that the IRS's take was going to be $25k!

Well, apparently there are other people who enjoyed the show as well and did searches to find out if anyone had reported on Zanny and her Zany, zippidity-do-dah, zoom to the top of Deal or no Deal. Actually, other reports have popped up on the web. Click here to read one of them.

So, thanks Zanny. You got me some hits to my blog. And by the way, if you are reading this, please know that we really enjoyed your youthful enthusiasm and poised style on the show. Best wishes and we hope that you can come up with the dough for the ride! Tye out.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Self Appraisal

At New Covenant, our equipping staff does year end reviews like everyone else on the planet, but with the exception that we do a self evaluation. This review typically takes around 3-4 hours to prepare and forces me to think critically about the year that has passed and how I have or have not reached the goals that I set last year this time. Then, we set goals for the ministries we oversee, our personal ministry, and our personal personal lives as well. It's a cool process and I really enjoy going through it. It also helps me to set goals for the coming year. For example:


Pray more/I created a prayer list and have been praying strategically.

Read more leadership materials/I read 19 books including the Bible twice

Exercise and eat more healthy/I did somewhat better, but there IS room for improvement

Improve my leadership skills through conferences/I attended three small group conferences as well as Willow Creek's Leadership Summit.

Then, my supervisor, Kim Pagel, who is the executive pastor, and I get together and I lead us through the appraisal. It is a very productive time of reviewing the year and Kim is so encouraging. So, we headed up to Java Creek to go over the appraisal.

It is such a joy to work in an environment where I am able to use the gifts and talents God has given me. Thanks Kim for your support, encouragement, and guidance through this year of transition! Thanks for modeling servant leadership and giving me the room to grow in my skills. Tye out.

Andrew's work is on

I am so proud of my son. He has been shooting, editing, and producing videos for years now and recently he wrote, taped, edited, and produced a promo video for Watershed which is a young adult gathering every Thursday night at NCBC. He did phenomenal job!

If you would like to contact Andrew to film a promo, commercial spot, or just a fun video for your event, click here to send him an email. Tye out.

Click here to watch the video on

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hunting 2006

CAUTION!!! If you are an animal lover, or an animal rights activist you are probably not going to enjoy this post. Consider yourself warned.

Click here for picture that would be here.
Click here for a slideshow.

Well, after a year off from hunting I was so excited to get to hunt again. I only have two hobbies - bike riding and deer hunting. Saturday morning I arrived at Mick's house at 5:15 AM ready to get hunting. We enjoyed an awesome breakfast with venison sausage, eggs, and toast courtesy of Mick. Then it was off to our spots.

I got in place around 6:10 AM and IT WAS COLD, about 12 degress if I remember correctly. No worries because I have some awesome hunting gear I've purchased over the years. All total I saw 7 deer, several squirrel, an owl, and a bald eagle! WOW!

Short version - catch me at Panera some Monday morning and I'll tell you the extended version. About 7:30 AM I saw one of the biggest bucks I've ever seen walk right in front of me at around 75-80 yards. I grunted and it stopped which initiated a stand off for the next 10 minutes! I decided not to shoot because I didn't think my gun would reach that far. Hmmmm

About 30 minutes later, a doe walking the same path except the opposite way came along so I decided to try my luck and hit her on the first shot! I was shocked! You know what that means? I could have taken the buck with the gigantic rack! bummer!

All 4 of of us got a deer (Mick's is not in the pictures) by 8:30 AM! Then, Eric got his deer the next morning early. Today I went out to Micks and helped prepare the meat. I'm looking forward to some of the hamburger, jerky, and venison sticks. Thanks to Mick for letting me join you and the boys this year!

What!?! Tacos again? (said in a whining voice)

Are your kids like mine? Probably. Last summer we had a taco bar for our son Andrew's high school graduation party. We planned for a 100 and I think we had around 50 people show up. What do you do with all that taco meat? Don't get me wrong. I love tacos because they are easy to fix, easy to clean up after and they are semi-healthy because my wife Judy rinses the meat after it is cooked. Needless to say, we have eaten a lot of tacos since then!

The funny thing is, the kids whine if we eat the same thing twice in a row. NOT ME!!! I could eat the same food day in and day out. I view food as a means to an end; that is, fueling this bod! The kids feel put out if they have to eat the same food twice. And if you are an adult like this then I've got two words for you - grow up! : )

In the Bible, the children of Israel had just been delivered from Egyptian bondage and slavery. God is now providing their every need, with the exception that it is not exactly to their liking. God was providing this incredible, delicious, honey and cracker sort of thing every single day and all they had to do was collect it - as much as they could eat! Listen to these classic whiners taken from Numbers 11:4-6 (The Message):

The riff-raff among the people had a craving and soon they had the People of Israel whining, "Why can't we have meat? We ate fish in Egypt - and got it free! - to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic. But nothing tastes good out here; all we get is manna, mann, manna."

Don't we do the same thing? God has given us so many blessings! Yet, we feel slighted if we don't get our way, or trials come our way. The People of Israel had quickly forgotten that God miraculously delivered them from 400 years of slavery and was meeting their every need.

Today, let's put on an attitude of gratitude. Whether you live in a modest home, or a big one; drive a luxury car or a beat up old pick-up truck. Let's be thankful for God's gracious provision and thank him for all he has done.

Let's also thank God for sending is one and only son Jesus to die in our place so that we could have the free gift of eternal life. Tye out.

...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 5:20NIV

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ray Charles plays the saxophone!

Ok, they say that if you ain't learning, you're dying? Today I learned something I didn't know and that is that Ray Charles actually played saxophone. I'm not completely surprised - talented people like Ray could probably do about anything in the music realm he set his mind to. Click here to watch the video. And, if you didn't see the movie Ray, you missed a treat.

He obviously had incredible ears and you have to dig those cool Bird licks. It's uncanny the way almost the entire solo is one Bird lick after the next.

Ray had a ton of God-given talent. It really is too bad that he lived such a sinful life. We'll never know where he stood with the Lord (we can only know that about ourselves) but maybe someday we'll see him in heaven playing in the big band up there. Tye out.

P.S. It is amazing how Ray looks like Jamie Foxx, or is it the other way around?

Monday, November 27, 2006

I love White Castles!

So, while IM ing with my wife in Cincy the subject of food came up and I mentioned that I would love to have some White Castle hamburgers, as would our senior pastor Bob Westfall. Well, Judy stopped at one of the little white restaurants on her way back and picked up 8 burgers - they're small. I gave Bob 5 and I kept three, and they were delicious! Click on the pic for a slideshow of White Castle pics.

White Castle hamburgers brings back many fond memories. I've always been a hyper kid who could never sleep on Christmas Eve because I would be so excited. So, Dad would take me out for a drive and we would typically wind up at a White Castles restaurant because they are open all night and those little square hamburgers are irresistible. Sometimes we would go to the one on William Howard Taft, then other times we would go into the inner city of Cincinnati. Thanks Dad for all those wonderful memories!

Then, when I was in college I would eat there once in a while. When I moved to Tennessee we found a restaurant called Krystals which featured the same little hamburgers as well as an incredible breakfast for $1.79.

Thanks Judy for this wonderful treat. Tye out.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My version of Extreme Home Makeover

By now, you probably know that Judy and the girls went to Cincy for the weekend. This was my opportunity to get some much needed projects done around the house. On the docket was the following: install overhead microwave, install garbage disposal, work on downstairs remodeling project, clear out garage to get car in (this would lead to more projects). So, what did I do?

First thing, I decided to install the microwave and you can click on the pic to see a slideshow of my progress. Then, it was out to garage to get it cleared out. I had to hang three bikes, organize my library which was still in boxes in the garage, and generally clear things out.

Microwave - I had to run a dedicated circuit which went really well. Tom Jedlicka came over and tied the circuit into the panel, plus helped me tidy up some cabling issues downstairs. While he was over he also helped me develop a plan for wiring the bedroom and bathroom in the basement! Thanks Tom!!!

I wrapped everything up around 3:30 AM this morning, so I am bushed! It was good to have the family back and Judy was pretty excited! Tye out.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Top Ten Reasons I'm Thankful

left to right: Robin, Dan, & me, Donna, Ken, me, Andrew

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Also, happy thanksgiving to my wife and daughters who travelled to Cincy to spend the weekend with her family. So, today Andrew and I spent the afternoon with Ken and Donna Smejkal where we ate lunch and watched Gladiator, something we have been hoping to do for months! Then, it was off to the Koskamps for dessert. Thanks for the pecan (correctly pronounced pee-can) pie Robin! It was delicious! Now we're home, kicked back watching Deal or No Deal. (I know, I'm hopeless.)

So, what am I thankful for? Actually, I can't think of one thing I'm not thankful for. So, here is my top ten reasons I am thankful:

1. Jesus because he took away my sins
2. My wonderful wife of 21+ years
3. For four incredible kids! (Andrew, Allyson, Morgan and Mackenzie)
4. The opportunity so serve at New Covenant Bible Church
5. The Bible - it's my operator's manual for life
6. The opportunity to use my musical skills at church
7. The opportunity to use my musical skills in some bands around here
8. For the broken road that led me to Iowa
9. All my friends at New Covenant Bible Church - thank you so much for being there for me and my family
10. My health (last but not least)

Tye out.

...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Th 5:18NIV

Deal, or No Deal and Zanny Henseler

Zanny on "Deal, or No Deal"

Our family has gotten "addicted" to this newest game show called Deal, or No Deal. We enjoy "coaching" the contestants and trying to think of what we would do if we were on the show.
Well, they've been going over-the-top here recently. Zanny Henseler (prounced like Danny with a z) came on the show wearing lime-green and telling Howie that her dream was to get a lime-green Cadillac Escalade. Well, she did pretty good and as the show goes along wouldn't you know it, the banker (you have to watch sometime) offers her an $83k tricked-out lime-green Cadillac Escalade, with 24 inch spinners and all! WOW! Well, needless to say, she took it. But that is when her "troubles" began.

You see, someone forgot to tell this 21 year old that there is something called sales tax, and she is responsible for it - $25k worth! I guess she could borrow the money from somewhere, then sell her dream car (does a 21 year old need a ride like this?), buy a beautiful, small, used car that gets good gas mileage and even slurge a little with a paint job, spinners, and stereo. She'd still have somewhere around $40k+ to pay her for her schooling. hmmmm....

But nobody asked me! Tye out.
P.S. Click here to read Zanny's friend's blog. She's a believer!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Check out this post by my friend Kim Pagel

My boss, coworker and good friend Kim Pagel posted this article on his blog and it is well worth the read. Check it out by clicking here.

Alright, OK, You Win (I'm in Love with You)

Man, I love jazz music! I'm sitting here at Panera enjoying a cup of joe and listening to Yahoo! Launchcast Music and this jammin', rockin' tune comes on the "radio" - Alright, OK, You Win by Diane Schuur off her album Blues for Schuur. That chick (relax, this is standard jazz talk) has got the smoothest alto sound going which a touch of Ella Fitzgerald in there! But besides that, why do I like it so much? First off, the rockin' rhythm section. There is nothing like a rhythm section that is playing on the same page because it creates so much synergy. (BTW, a rhythm section is just that - bass and opt. rhythm guitar, B3, piano, and drums) they bring a simple chord progression to life. It's hard to play in a band when the rhythm section is not solid - it's like walking a tight rope or on thin ice. And might I mention the bass player? Wow, what cool lines as he walks that thing right over the changes.

Second, the horns join in. They are powerful on this cut and add to the synergy of the rhythm section. There is nothing like it when everyone is working together. I love it!
Then, Diane rides the top like a surfer on a wave. And, I love the jazzy love songs because I'm a bit of a romantic. (true confessions here!) Judy, if you're reading, this song is perfect! I'm definitely, totally, and completely in love with you.

Tye out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mackenzie's "to do list" for daddy

Judy and the girls are heading out to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family and so Andrew and I will be hanging around, working around the house, watching cool guy movies, and I have a book to read.

Well, Mackenzie, who is a great list-maker, made up a to-do-list for me while they are gone. Check out the organizational skills of an 8 year old:
1. Wake Up
2. Get Dressed
3. Brush Teeth
4. Feed Mackenzie's Fish (A Pinch)
5. Coffee
6. Make Breakfast
7. Get Ready For Work
8. Go To Work
9. Get Home
10. Have Fun
11. Maybe a Blog
12. TV (While Computer)
13. Make Dinner
14. TV
15. Get Ready For Bed
16. TV
17. Go To Bed
18. Do All Over In The Morning

Notice her attention to detail. Also, notice that she balanced work (#8) and play (#10). Notice also that she knows her dad pretty well - she has studied my habits, i.e. coffee in the morning and the fact that I usually watch TV with my laptop (#12). Her fish will get fed (#4) and there is time given to blogging (#11).

Pretty good stuff, huh. Thanks Mackenzie for tackling this assignment and making sure all the bases are covered. In a couple of years I'll be looking for a full time admin assistant and you will be first in line for the job!!! I love you.

Daddy out.

Taylor Hicks sings at the final Nascar race

American Idol winner Taylor Hicks sang the national anthem before the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Ford 400 this past weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway. It's the first I have heard of him since his winning it all on American Idol. He was definitely NOT my choice. He is a great Elvis impersonator, but he was no American Idol. His performance of the Star Spangled Banner was ok - if you like over the top Elvis impersonations.

I was reminded why I didn't like him. Chris was really the best of the three. Kathrine was a solid second. Her rendition of "Over the Rainbow" still brings me to tears, in a good way.

Tay-Tay should take-take some lessons from Tony Bennett. Tye out.

Tony Bennett celebrates his 80th birthday

I love jazz music. As I'm sitting here watching Tony Bennett's 80th birthday celebration he just finished singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and for some reason I'm feeling emotional. This music moves me. The time period moves me. I'm not much of a Christina Aguilera fan, but man, that platinum blond, 1930's period, hairdo was right on and she didn't sound half bad singing with Tony. I love that time period - Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Errol Garner, et. al.

I dig the piano lines, and the upright bass licks. I love the big band sound. It's soothing, exhilirating, happy, and sad all at the same time.

But Tony. Oh my. Unfortunately I tuned in too late and missed most of the special (did anyone TiVo it?). Someone just announced on a voice over that when someone asked Frank Sinatra what he thought of Tony Bennett he said that Tony was the best and that he could bring a song to life the way the writer had intended it and more.

Finally, here is what the show's director Rob Marshall said about it:

Marshall chose to end the special with Bennett again in an empty hall, belting out his signature, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco," accompanied by Bill Charlap on piano.

"After so many great artists, we have Tony alone on a bare stage with just a pianist. The magic is all about him ... just to hear him alone singing this touching, beautiful song as the epilogue is very, very moving."

"I found myself brought to tears so many times, I couldn't ever say cut," Marshall said. "Tony is an emotional singer, he sings the truth from his heart."

Put the DVD on my Christmas wish list. Tye out.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I met yet another servant leader!!!

Me and H.B. London

I am privileged to serve on the executive board of L.C.A.E. (Linn County Association of Evangelicals). Now don't get too excited and send me cards of congrats for my "appointment" because I'm kind of a glorified dog catcher on the board. I greet people at the monthly meetings and take out the trash. I just count it a privilege to get to be there each time! I love it!

Anyways, LCAE just hosted H.B. London with Focus on the Family's Pastor to Pastor division. HB is James Dobson's 1st cousin and about 15 years ago they established a ministry to pastors. On Wednesday night Judy and I together with about 10 others from the executive board had dessert with HB. You can click on the pic for a slideshow of pictures from the meetings on Thursday.

At the dessert I was able to personally thank HB for his ministry there because on at least three different occasions I had to call with issues I didn't know what to do with. Each time the pastor/counselor spent lots of time on the phone with me and each time recommended a book which they sent to me for free! And they didn't even ask for my credit card number! Praise the Lord for this awesome ministry to pastors!

BTW, in getting to know HB I soon discovered that he was a servant leader! I love servant leaders! Thanks HB for your ministry and investment in my life!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Are titles really important - part 2

I posted on a recent email I received from a nationally known speaker and author about how he was beginning to use Ph.D. when he signs his name. Why is this? Since I have been burned in the past by self-serving leaders who really care about position and title I decided to send an email to ask about it. (no kidding)

Well, much to my surprise I received this thoughtful and clarifying response from the president of Man in the Mirror that publishes info for men and men's ministry:

Tye –

Thanks so much for the feedback.

Pat [Patrick Morley] has carefully chosen to use the PhD in certain settings simply as a way to steward the message. It’s a reality that most people typically give more credence to information that comes from what they consider to be a credible source, especially those that are not yet convinced. Part of what Pat feels called to do is to further a national dialogue about the importance of discipling men. In the opinion of Pat and our management team, using the PhD gives more benefit by helping more leaders consider what is said than the harm that is done when some see it as pretentious. (In the same way that leaving “Pastor” off for you probably gets you more of a hearing from your target audience.) Clearly that is a judgment call and we could be wrong.

If you have a chance to meet Pat, you will know that he could care less about titles. However, you’ll also learn that he wants to be as effective as possible with every opportunity that God gives.

Hope this helps clarify – and keep the feedback coming. We are here to serve leaders like you.

David Delk
President, Man in the Mirror

A couple of observations. First of all, they welcome feedback and actually asked for it - a sure sign of a servant leader. Second, David freely admits that while this decision was well thought out and the pros and cons weighed, they still could be wrong - another sign of a servant leader.

I don't know Patrick Morley, but I feel a lot better about his leadership and trusting him to guide our men's ministry team through some retooling by way of his book No Man Left Behind.

Servant leaders only for me please. I avoid using "Pastor Tye" because it has a lot of baggage attached to it. Pat uses Ph.D. to broaden his audience and gain crediblity for the people he is trying to reach. It works. Tye out.

VHS, 30, dies of loneliness

The home-entertainment format lived a fruitful life

After a long illness, the groundbreaking home-entertainment format VHS has died of natural causes in the United States. The format was 30 years old.

No services are planned.

The format had been expected to survive until January, but high-def formats and next-generation vidgame consoles hastened its final decline.

"It's pretty much over," concurred Buena Vista Home Entertainment general manager North America Lori MacPherson on Tuesday.

VHS is survived by a child, DVD, and by Tivo, VOD and DirecTV. It was preceded in death by Betamax, Divx, mini-discs and laserdiscs.

Although it had been ailing, the format's death became official in this, the video biz's all-important fourth quarter. Retailers decided to pull the plug, saying there was no longer shelf space.

As a tribute to the late, great VHS, Toys 'R' Us will continue to carry a few titles like "Barney," and some dollar video chains will still handle cassettes for those who cannot deal with the death of the format.

Born Vertical Helical Scan to parent JVC of Japan, the tape had a difficult childhood as it was forced to compete with Sony's Betamax format.

After its youthful Betamax battles, the longer-playing VHS tapes eventually became the format of choice for millions of consumers. VHS enjoyed a lucrative career, transforming the way people watched movies and changing the economics of the film biz. VHS hit its peak with "The Lion King," which sold more than 30 million vidcassettes Stateside.

The format flourished until DVDs launched in 1997. After a fruitful career, VHS tapes started to retire from center stage in 2003 when DVDs became more popular for the first time.

Since their retirement, VHS tapes have made occasional appearances in children's entertainment and as a format for collectors seeking titles not released on DVD. VHS continued to make as much as $300 million a year until this year, when studios stopped manufacturing the tapes.

Date in print: Wed., Nov.15,2006, Los Angeles

PS3 - The sad story

(The following article was copied off CNN's website as reported from Reuters)

And one man was shot early on Friday morning outside a Connecticut Wal-Mart store in while in line for the PS3, Connecticut State police said.

He was one of 15 to 20 people lined up outside the store when confronted by two armed men who demanded money at around 3:15 a.m., Lt. J. Paul Vance said in a press release.

Police said the victim had confronted the armed suspects and was shot. He was treated at the scene and transported to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center across the state line.

Police were searching for the two suspects.

This is sad. Tye out.

Sony's PS3 Hits today - the REAL story

So, I'm over at Starbucks this morning around 7 AM sipping on a decaf Americanna whatever that really tasted good when I can't help but notice people and tents lined up at Best Buy across the street. Did I fall asleep and sleep straight through Thanksgiving and now it's the day after? I hope not.

A young guy told me in Starbucks that they were releasing for sale Sony's latest and greatest game, PS3. People started lining up on Wednesday to get their playstation this morning. The problem seems to be that Sony only manufactured 400k of them with promises for more soon.

But the real story? E-bay. People are so desperate to get these games apparently they are willing to pay huge sums of money to get their hands on one. I just checked a few minutes ago and one of the systems had a current bid of $7600. WHAT!!! Wow, people love their games.

So, if you spent 48 hours camped out in line to get one of these babies, what would you stand to make as profit? That's about $146 an hour profit!!! Not a bad day, night, day, night's work.

Tye out.

P.S. Most of them are going for around $2-3K.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ohio State vs. Michigan

(The little boy on the left is a Michigan fan. The other children are Ohio State fans. Get it?)

Ok, I don't really care too much for all this rivalry stuff. Actually, I think it's quite petty. But then again, I root for Big Bands, jazz greats you have never heard of, and actually I'm thrilled to death that Ivan Basso was signed to Discovery. If you have to ask.... So there! (I'm having fun with this if you can't tell!)

I've never been one to care much for one team over the other. I went to a University where our teams were mediocre and they were called "Crusaders." GO CRUSADERS!!! YEAH!!! Give me a break. At least they could get a non-offensive mascot and a cool name.

I am however a fan of a good game. I love watching a great quarterback - Peyton Manning, Cordell Stewart, those Dallas guys a few years ago, and what's his face up in Green Bay - but he should have quit two years ago. I loved watching Lance ride past Jan in the prologue of the Tour de France two years ago. I cry every time I think about Nadia getting a perfect "10." I love that girl. I love it when I hear Dexter, Trane, Miles, and Bird. I dig it when Buddy plays the heck out of the drums. I still get goosebumps just thinking about the night we saw River Dance, and Stomp. I love a good performance, no matter what the venue.

Anyways, I got this picture today and even though I could care less, it made me laugh and thought it might make you laugh too. If it doesn't, then just go on with your day and do something constructive like take a nap...while Ohio State beats the you know what out of Michigan (is it state, or University?). Tye out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My brother Scott makes the news

(Scott - shadow figure - performs a raid)

My brother is in law enforcement and has been for a long time now. He started off in a street beat that in his first year saw him face almost every kind of crime you could imagine. Later he would leave the streets to work with the sheriff's office.

I just found out that his office was featured in a segment on the local news station for their work taking down online predators called a "cybersting." (click here to watch the video) whoah! That's some serious stuff. Scott is doing a great job there in Warren County and I am very proud of him. Great job Scott! Keep up the good work!

As you are watching the video, my brother is the one addressing the group. In the raids, he is wearing an orange shirt. He also has a goatee.

A proud brother Tye out.

Are you a driven or called person

It is entirely possible that for the first half of my life I lived as a driven person, not called. That bothers me. I am positive that I ran people over not even realizing the consequences of my actions. This is what self-serving people do. No more.
Check out this devo I received today from the fine folks over at

Few people would admit they are self-serving leaders… And yet we observe self-serving leaders all the time... What makes people self-serving? Gordon MacDonald in his book, Ordering Your Private World, says there are two types of people in the world – Driven people and Called people. Driven people think they own everything; Called people believe everything is on loan.
(Inspiring thoughts from Lead Like Jesus: Beginning the Journey Participant’s Study Guide - Page 26-27)

So, which kind of leader are you? Hey try this! Ask your coworkers! Let them tell you. (If you can't ask them, you are probably a self-serving leader) Tye out.

Moral Guidelines for Leaders - Ten Commandments

In the wake of Ted Haggard's resignation I still continue to think about the severe consequences of a moral failure. I hope you won't take this stuff lightly, but will take time to create some boundaries and encourage those around you to take the necessary steps to deal with their personal moral integrity.

Saddleback Church has the following guidelines for their staff:

1. Thou shalt not go to lunch alone with the opposite sex.*
2. Thou shalt not have the opposite sex pick you up or drive you places when it is just the two of you.*
3. Thou shalt not kiss any attender of the opposite sex or show affection that could be questioned.*
4. Thou shalt not visit the opposite sex alone at home.
5. Thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex alone at the office, and thou shalt not counsel the opposite sex more than once without that person’s mate. Refer them.
6. Thou shalt not discuss detailed sexual problems with the opposite sex in counseling. Refer them.
7. Thou shalt not discuss your marriage problems with an attender of the opposite sex.
8. Thou shalt be careful in answering emails, instant messages, chatrooms, cards, or letters from the opposite sex.
9. Thou shalt make your secretary your protective ally.
10. Thou shalt pray for the integrity of other staff members.
* The first three do not apply to unmarried staff.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Eph. 5:3 NIV
Tye out.

Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts' got it going on!

Ok, it's 3:10 PM and I've been hard at it since about 4:55 Am this morning so I'm going to take a break and spend a few minutes with you. So, this is somewhat random.

I just finished watching a video online from the movie Cars. O MY! Country music has come a long ways! So, with that intro, here goes my first ever music critique.

Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts

WOW! This group has got it going on! They were this year's CMA Vocal Group of the Year. No wonder! Life is a Highway is cool tune with a lot of cool elements. Joe Don's lead vocals take off from the very beginning. It's hard to believe how high he sings, so effortlessly. I especially like that contemporary country sound (minus the steel guitar) but yet with a touch of banjo and electric fiddle in the background. But between the lead guitar and bass player it's a toss up for best performer. Those guys crank out some great riffs in unison that add to the cohesion of this group. Check out the bass lines throughout - he uses nearly every inch of that bass! And dig the electric guitar solo! If you listen carefully you can hear those great Hammond B3 pads laid down in the background. I would have run it up a little in the mix, but it's still not bad.

These guys are a great group and I love hearing them sing. There's nothing like watching skilled people perform their craft and that's exactly what you get with Rascal Flatts.

Tye out.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Are titles really important?

I receive Desktop Devotions from the fine folks over at Lead Like Jesus and wanted to share this one with you:

The Lead Like Jesus journey is moving from a self-serving heart to a servant heart. You finally become a mature adult when you realize that life is about what you give rather than what you get. (Inspiring thoughts from Lead Like Jesus: Beginning the Journey Participant’s Study Guide - Page 26)

I receive another eNewsletter each week and just today noticed that the author signed his name _________ Ph.D. Now I know that it is important for some professionals to use a title with their signature, but I'm not sure why this one felt compelled to do so. Hmmm....

True confession (& rant warning): I have been tempted to get one of those inexpensive online master's degrees so I could say that I have my masters. For about $6k I could get that piece of paper - no kidding. I can't afford Regent U. or some of those others.

You see, I almost didn't find a ministry position because I lack a master's level degree. How can churches demand a degree that costs a small fortune and then offer you $46K a year? (I had this happen to me - not NCBC though!) Other churches tossed my resume because I lacked the master's degree. Keep reading...
I'm glad I was rejected by so many! (really!!!) Now I get to work in a servant leadership environment where the words of Jesus to his disciples are lived out every day.

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mt 20:25-28NIV

Why great men fall - part 2

I just finished reading Wayde Goodall's book Why Great Men Fall last night and over the next few weeks I would like to share my insights with you as we seek to understand how a man like Ted Haggard could get involved in such sinful behavior. Goodall compares our life journey to a minefield in a battlefield and that there are potential land mines that can derail us. He lists 15 possibilities for failure. Here we go: (pp14-15)

1. Do I feel a sense of entitlement? - "I deserve this because of who I am or what I do."
2. Am I a gifted entrepreneur - but my life is out of balance?
3. Do I have the ability to compartmentalize my moral choices? Can I do something wrong and then mentally put it aside while I do something right?
4. Do I expect my employees and peers to keep quiet when I do questionable things?
5. Am I a "high risk" man who loves the adrenaline rush of danger or compromise?
6. Am I a magnet for women" Do they love my power, money, influence, and personality? [definitely NOT my prob - tye]
7. Is my intergity in check?
8. Am I surrounded by "yes men" with very little accountability?
9. Do I compromise my conscience?
10. Who is my mentor? Who am I a mentor to?
11. Do I play by my own rules? Do I have an ethical code?
12. Do I handle stress in a healthy way?
13. What do I do with my moeny? Integrity includes both my physical and my financial self.
14. Are my moods under control?
15. Have I found a balance with money, sex, and power?

There you go. How did you do? A couple of them challenged me so I will be working on them.

BTW, this is a great guide to help you as you mentor others. also, when you are looking to work at a church or secular work place it will help you identify potential issues.

And, need I mention servant leadership? If we are servant leaders, then most of this stuff takes care of itself.
Tye out.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I started my filing system today!!!

Armed with a system from my executive pastor Kim Pagel, a stack of file folders, a label maker ($120 job!) and a box full of papers, Robin Koskamp and I launched into the one job I hate the most - filing. Three hours later we had gone through a mountain of papers and created a filing system that will work for me! I was the envy of the entire office today! WOW!

Kudos to Robin for helping out today. You are an awesome lady and I really appreciate your help today!

The system I used was really simple - for a simple mind. I only have five categories: Admin, ABFs, Small Groups, Projects/Ministries, and Input. There is a separate color for each category and we use the double strength tab folders so we don't use those plastic thingamabobs. Then, we only use the center tabs - Kim used the left tabs. This keeps everything inline for easy reference. I feel confident that this system will work not only now, but for years to come.

Tye out.

Let it snow!

Welp, it's November 10 and as I sit here at Panera working away trying to catch up on some work, groovin' on some Dexter Gordon and looking out the window at the snow flakes a flyin! WOW! It looks kinda cool to tell you the truth.

Honey - I'll be home in a bit. Maybe we could have some hot chocolate together. Tye out.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Power of a Praying Husband - "Her Fears"

Even the strongest, most godly women have fears. They fear many things that can become consuming at times. Since they are often not the primary wage earner, they must rely on their husbands for their needs. They fear for their children, whether of not their husband will be faithful, and many other things. Often, these fears actually become founded in truth at the loss of a job, sickness of a child or aging parent, or some catastrophic loss.

It is at times like this when our wives are feeling fearful that pure logic and rationale do not work. As men, we deal with our wives on a rational/logical basis, and they are dealing on an emotional basis. So, what do you say when your wife is overcome by fear? Listen to this quote by Stormie:

Do you know what your wife's greatest struggle is? Are you aware of her deepest fears? You may already have a good idea, but if you're not absolutely sure, ask her. Say, "Tell me what you struggle with or fear most in your life, because I want to pray for you about it."

Too often, women carry burdens in their lives that are far heavier than their delicate shoulders were created to bear.

Sometimes a woman fears that the difficult spot she's in at the moment is as good as it gets, and that things will never change. That hopeless mindset is torturous for any woman.... (p141)

I am going to spend time praying for my wife and her fears today. Tye out.