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 www.leadlikejesus.com:

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.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Family Night at New Covenant Bible Church - it's FANTASTIC!!!

Mackenzie performs with "Worship Academy"

Nickelodeon at New Covenant! It was another awesome family night at New Covenant Bible Church. Parents, children, Worship & Art Academy, and the puppet ministry jammed the worship center for a fast-paced, kid friendly, heart-pounding, music-pulsating night of learning about being thankful. Clik on the pic for a slide show.

Thanks to the family night team who brings this fantastic evening alive: Jeremy & Loretta Bushlack, Eric & Daphne Vincent, Brad & Christie Dunn, Chris & Ann Evans, Chris Foster, and Pastor Mick Schultz! You're an awesome team!

Hello! My name is Tye Male and I am a recovering legalist

I'm still sick in my stomach for what happened to Ted Haggard. I have known someone in a similar situation and I know that "but for the grace of God, there go I." So...

Leadership Journal has an article by Gordon MacDonald that had one paragraph I wanted to share with you. I know that I get irritated with non-grace giving, unforgiving people who become almost militant about issues like this. I think this is because once upon a time it was me. And I think I can say with a level of confidence that I am a recovering legalist! With strict baptist upbringing that helped me be more judgemental than gracious. Thankfully, many have also turned the corner on this and are vibrant, growing, healthy congregations fulfilling God's plan.

Listen to what MacDonald writes about what to watch for in a leader (or yourself for that matter!) that may indicate they are headed for a fall:

When I see a leader who becomes stubborn and rigid, who is increasingly less compassionate toward his adversaries, increasingly tyrannical in his own organization, who rouses anger and arrogance in others, I wonder if he is not generating all of this heat because he is trying so hard to say "no" to something surging deep within his own soul.

Ouch! It always makes me nervous when I hear someone being judgemental about others in an almost arrogant tone. whew!
  • Stubborn - unteachable
  • Rigid - unwilling to believe one could be wrong
  • Less compassionate - thinking that we are above such difficulties
  • Rouses anger and arrogance in others - rebel rousers who believe they are above the law

Let's be careful to be gracious, compassionate, loving, and forgiving with others. I don't want to wind up like Ted Haggard. Tye out.

A dead man alive?

I'm in Acts on my way through the bible this year and a phrase jumped out and grabbed me - well, not exactly : )

Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul calimed was alive.... Acts 25:19 NIV

Here Festus is telling King Agrippa about the apostle Paul and the fact that he claims that a dead man named Jesus was alive. He is complaining that he has to deal with the case that the Jews have against Paul and in doing so he makes this statement about what Paul is teaching.

Things haven't changed much. This is still the argument. Did Jesus raise from the dead like he said he would or is this whole thing a hoax? Prob not.

Notice that Festus says that Paul is making this claim. What he is not taking into consideration is the fact that MANY people were witnesses to the resurrection. In fact, 120 at one time saw him alive. And a variety of witnesses saw him as well. Not just a handful of "crazies." Fisherman, women, and even one doubter - at least!

Jesus is alive. His word is true. But, are you willing to believe it? Tye out.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies." John 11:25 NIV

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I voted

I voted this morning. In fact, I was the first person at my polling place. As I stood there and waited I could only think of the awesome privilege we have in this country to be part of the political process. This is a great country we live in. There were no military troops at my polling place to protect workers. I didn't have any fear of reprisal for showing up to vote. And, my vote counts.

I'm proud to be an American and I thank God for the men and women who fought to achieve and maintain this great freedom that we enjoy today.

God bless America. Tye out.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why great men fall

I don't know about you, but this whole Ted Haggard thing has me doing a lot of thinking. This morning I read an article by the good folks over at MondayMorningInsight and Todd Rhodes challenged pastors and leaders to order this book and we are going to go through it together in the coming weeks.

I'm thinking that maybe our staff at New Covenant Bible Church should go through it together. Whattayathink guys?

I, for one, am well aware of the battle that takes place in the pastor's life and I want to be an overcomer. I also know that it will ONLY be by God's grace.

So, back to the book. Here is what Todd said about the book in his weekly email:

By focusing on well-known Biblical examples, he points to easily identifiable signposts that trapped 'great' men. The profiles in give pause to others in similar environments: pastors, ministry heads, even fathers and husbands struggling to maintain their families. Goodall explains why biblical morality is the key to avoiding ethical failure. His thousands of hours of counseling also provide unique insights into the character flaws that contribute to falls from grace. Some of the issues covered include:
--Entitlement--Entrepreneurs without Balance --Compartmentalization --Expectation of Silence --The Sex Issue --Integrity --Anger --Accountability --Conscience --Mentors and Coaches--Ethics --Stress and Pressure --Money --Depression and Moods --The One Who Can Keep You from Falling

I can't wait to get started. Tye out.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 1 Co 10:12NIV

Ted Haggard

I'm sad for Ted Haggard. I'm sad for his family. I'm sad for his church. But, I am proud of the body of Christ. His church has responded sooooo appropriately. Click here to watch a video of Colorado Springs local news station's coverage.

I must say that I am humbled by this news. So, today I am not writing to condemn Ted or his church, but to say "but for the grace of God, there goes I." I fear for people who get all rowled up and put on their pharisaical garb. So, for those of us in the ministry, here's some tips from Steve Gallagher.

Steve Gallagher of Pure Life Ministries recently wrote on this subject recently in an article featured at the Canadian PromiseKeeper’s website. Here are some excerpts: (Copied from MondayMorningInsight)

1. Their devotional life has not been properly maintained. A number of years ago I was asked to speak at a pastors’ retreat on the subject, Why Do Our Pastors Keep Falling Into Sin? One of the things I said to those pastors was that, of all the fallen pastors I had dealt with over the years, I had never once had to minister to a “Mary,” but I had dealt with many “Marthas.” In other words, those who stay at the feet of Christ are not vulnerable to falling into sin. At Pure Life Ministries, every worker—whether he is ministering to others or simply filling telephone orders—is required to spend at least two hours a day seeking God. If these lay people can live that way, surely those who are representing the Lord to others should do so as well.

2. There is an over-busy life. This is difficult, because ministry can be very demanding. However, I have found that much of the activity of those who had fallen into sin was not generated by a sincere love for people as much as it was by selfish ambition or fear of man. The sincere minister will go to God and ask Him to reveal his motives. “Lord, am I involved in this activity because I truly want to help others or because I am trying to build a bigger church?” Or, “Lord, even if my motives are pure in this, is it your will?” Jesus scolded Martha by saying, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”

3. Discouragement, Depression, & Fatigue. Satan often capitalizes upon discouragement to lead a person into sin. When a believer gets down or gets hurt by others, he becomes more vulnerable to temptation. Being worn out by ministry is another thing that will weaken a leader’s resolve to live a holy life. The ministry is both stressful and sedentary by nature. The combination of these elements often leave a person physically exhausted, which in turn makes him more vulnerable to temptation.

Tye here. Tye out.

I like winners

Tony Stewart won yesterday. So did Peyton Manning (my fave quarterback) and the Colts (my fave team for the time being). And Lance Armstrong? He won too. So did cancer research. I like winners.

Now, I can't vouch for these people regarding their personal lives, but in their realms they are winners.

What does it take to be a winner? Here's a few bullets on the theme:
  • Focus - you know what the goal is and keep your eyes on it.
  • Determination - pain is gain.
  • Positive mental attitude - negativity can not be in a winner's vocab
  • Discipline - winners don't "sleep in." They don't take short cuts. They work hard.

Is there any biblical truth here? Let's see:

- I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Php 3:14NIV

Determinination - Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead Php 3:13 NIV

Positive mental attitude -  I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Php 4:13 NIV

Discipline - (check this out)
You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. 1 Cor 9:24-27 The Message

I like winners. I want to be a winner. How about you? Tye out.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Great job Allyson!!!

Allyson our Honor Student
(click on the pic for a slideshow)
Thursday our daughter Allyson received a special academic award at Linn-Mar High School's Academic Award Ceremony. Somehow I missed the memo on this special day so you can imagine how excited I was when I came downstairs (I was sick all day) there was a certificate and academic letter there on the counter. Although she down played the significance of this award, we are extremely proud of our honor student!

Since I wasn't there, I checked out Kim Pagel's blog entry to get the scoop. Here's an excerpt from his blog:

It was an awesome sight seeing over 500 students sitting on the main floor of the gym, being recognized for their academic achievement. You can click on the picture above to see a slide show of the event...It was also fun to see so many New Covenant students being recognized. -Kim Pagel

Congrats Ally! We are so proud of you and all the other students of Linn-Mar High School!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Like my new blog look?

Wow! I just updated my blog to the new blogger look and feel and I like it! I still have a lot of work to do to it, but that will have to come later. It's been a tough day trying to recover from yesterday's little stomach bout.

So, what do you think of the new look? Let me know! Tye out.

I finally caught up on email

You're not going to believe this, but I only have 12 emails in my inbox. It took a while, but I finally succeeded in catching up. You see, one of my top five strengths on the strengthfinder analysis is input. I love data, saving things for "just in case." So, I made some hard decisions and cleared out my email.

I used to answer every single email, but that has become almost impossible. I love the fact that I can be connected to so many people at one time, but it takes a lot of time.

How's your inbox? Got any ideas for what you do to keep it cleared out?

Tye out.

P.S. A simple Yahoo! search just brought up some cool tips and tricks on how to better manage email.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Not feeling well today : (

I woke up this morning with a stomach bug of some kind and wound up in bed all day. Bummer. I also missed playing with the Iowa Vanguard Jazz Collective at what would probably be our last night at the IMAX. As it turned out, when I called Peter Hart he said they were having difficulty getting band members together. double bummer.

So, I finally mustered some strength and came downstairs to prop myself up to answer a few emails. Now for a blog, and back to horizontal.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rules for entering Iowa

Please, only read this if you have a sense of humor. If you don't, I wouldn't go any further. I once read something like this about people from PA. Made me laugh - thought it would you too. Thanks Jeff Dunham for sending it. Tye out.

1. Pull up your droopy pants. You look like an idiot.
2. Let's get this straight; it's called a "gravel road." I drive a pickup truck because I want to. No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.
3. They are cattle & feed lots. That's what they smell like to you. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don't like it? I-80 goes east and west.
4. So you have a $60,000 car. We're impressed. We have $200,000 combines that are driven only 3 weeks a year ...
5. So every person in every pickup waves. It's called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.
6. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of pheasants are coming in, we WILL shoot it out of your hand. You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.
7. Yeah, we eat catfish. You really want sushi & caviar? It's available at the corner bait shop.
8. The "Opener" refers to the first day of pheasant/deer season.It's a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.
9. We open doors for women. That is applied to all women, regardless of age. We say Thank You, You're Welcome and God Bless, etc.
10. No, there's no "vegetarian special" on the menu. Order steak. Or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham & turkey.
11. When we fill out a table, there are three main dishes: meats,vegetables and breads. We use three spices: salt, pepper, and Picante Sauce.
12. You bring "coke" into my house, it better be brown, wet, and served over ice. You bring "Mary Jane" into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.
13. The "Cyclones & Hawkeyes" Football/Baseball/Volleyball/Basketball/Track/Wresting/Softball are as important here as the Lakers and the Knicks -and a whole lot more fun to watch.
14. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don't hit the water hazards. It spooks the fish.
15. Colleges? Try Ames, Iowa City or a bunch a'others. They come outa there with an education plus a love for God and country, and they still wave at passing pickups when they come for the holidays.
16. So just Wave if you are a IOWAN............. :-)