Thursday, July 31, 2008

BigStuf (day 3)

[catch up on bigstuf here.]

Ok, really don't have much time today AT ALL. so, i'll have to catch you up on day 3 (wednesday) real fast & day 4 (today) a little later on...
For now, I'll just let you know that it stormed like crazy on Wednesday and the cops came through and kicked everyone out of the water. Caitlin got some cool shots of it before it really hit.

Wednesday morning Andy delivered his recently famous "Direction not intention Determines Destination" talk. Pretty flippin' awesome. Francis said it was the best talk he has ever heard at a high school camp!!! We know that simple phrase is so true in pretty much every area of life - like going on a road trip, etc... but many of us don't seem to follow it when it comes to where we are heading in life. We seem to think our good intentions will get us to our expected destination. Wrong... it's our current direction that will take us to our destination... therefore, our current direction is EXTREMELY important & we better make sure it's pointing us where we want to end up.

Then Francis talked with us at night about what God is trying to do through our pain. pretty awesome stuff. Plus the voice that I mention below made me laugh so hard that crystal had to make me stop. She is easily embarrassed by me... which is easily understandable, right? Then Francis made me feel better about that because he... well, here's what he basically said = "There was a huge earthquake in L.A. right when my wife & I 1st got back from our honeymoon. So, it's like 4:30 in the morning & my wife & I are bouncing up and down on the bed like this (demonstrates with arms...) and then the earthquake came. Pretty sure his wife was embarrassed! Pretty funny though. and then he talked to the kids about how great sex is in marriage & how much pain it brings outside of marriage. That was just one little part. maybe I'll post more from the talk later.

Also, Hunter & Bailey informed me that they wanted to be movie stars and film makers at the same time. I had never attempted to use iMovie before (which will be evident when you see this movie)... but I gave it a shot. We randomly documented our journey through a frustrating circumstance in life. Francis Chan says we can have hope in those moments (and he uses this crazy voice that is something of a hybrid between Mr. T & Jackie Chan to tell us about it!) Check out our "1 take" humorous & random, yet very meaningful independent film = "UNGETOFFABLE"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

BigStuf (day 2)

Ridge is still representin' & rockin' it strong here at BigStuf!

Tuesday morning Francis Chan talked about the 1st thing he thought of when Lanny asked him to give a talk as if it were the ONE THING he could say to students... like it was the last chance he would ever have to talk to them. He gave a stunning description of GOD... what God looks like, who God is, etc... He said no one ever told him that stuff & it changed everything when he realized who God was. It was a pretty thrilling description & perfect timing because of the crazy storms they have here in Daytona. Beach time got cut off today (Wednesday) because the cops kicked everyone off the beach because of a huge storm. Yesterday (Tuesday) lightning struck the ocean right outside our hotel! I wish I had a picture of that. Anyway, Francis was telling us that's a glimpse of what it's like around God's throne... pretty awesome. Plus he had the crowd rolling (especially the 8th grade girls who seem to giggle at the drop of a hat at camp...) at his stories of vacuum selling in college and pretending to speak no English, etc...

From a selfish perspective - the coolest part of the day for me was a leadership training with MR. Children's & Student Ministry himself = Reggie Joiner. It was straight PIMP. but that's for another time. VERY soon I'm going to post my thoughts and takeaways from these trainings! I think Reggie is a strategic genius. Lots of thoughts to share on a later blog.

Worship during the night session (Tuesday) was pretty amazing. Fee does as great a job leading students as he does with adults. pretty intense. Jared Herd gave us his "one thing" last night = falling in love with Jesus.
Last night in our group time we talked about our thoughts on the sessions & then played some B.S. + "SUGAR" = our own made-up-on-the-spot version of "Spoons". I was the winner on that one.
Caitlin & Ember engaged in some late night long pillow fighting/jousting (like on American Gladiators) - no idea they were caught on camera! haha.
Then I taught the guys how to play BOCCE in the hall even later last night. good times. they were looking forward to playing on the beach today, but the storm killed it. they're hoping for tomorrow?

At some point Hunter, Bailey, and I made a low budget, independent movie titled "Ungetoffable" using iMovie... I'm debating on whether or not to post it. They're hoping I do. we'll see. Ok, gotta head to dinner. Update you guys on today's stuff tonight hopefully, unless we get caught up in another late night BOCCE tourney. peace til then...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

bigstuf (day 1)

We got to BigStuf today at like 4:30. made pretty good time. you can catch up on what we're doing this week here.

Staying at the pimp Hilton right across from the arena. The guys were bummed though that the hotel rigged the TVs so it is physically impossible to hook up an XBOX. I told them there probably won't be a lot of time for that anyway.

Andy brought it tonight. Pretty pimp talk - "Listen & Learn. Go Further Faster." Money... I wish he would have told it to me when I was 15. Fee led us in some amazing worship... & Lanny of course is pretty much one of the funniest guys around.

Really looking forward to some beach time tomorrow. Gotta run because I am straight up needing some sleep. Try to get some pics & maybe vids up soon. Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

BigStuf or BUST!!!

This is gonna be an awesome week!!! Usually on a Sunday I would write about what's in my iPod... but tomorrow there will be 8 hours worth of tunes rolling through my iPod. I'll be driving to Daytona Beach, FL with a van load of awesome high school students! Fun Times.

But, the rest of the week will be even better! We're going to THE GREATEST camp in the universe - BigStuf. Because it's literally "Big Stuff". They know how to do everything right. 

The camp was the creative genius of one of the funniest men on the planet = Lanny Donoho, a.k.a.  "Mr. BigStuf". He's on staff at North Point, but nobody is quite sure what he does. He's great
 friends with Jeff Foxworthy & I think he lives in the same neighborhood as Andy & Louie and claims to have taught them everything they know. Pretty cool. He is the massively popular Emcee at the Catalyst Conferences. He's the author of an awesome book = God's Blogs that you should check out today. AND a judge for the SCL Jesus Tattoo Contest! A very, VERY funny man! He's also commented on this blog at least once back in the early days...

This place is life changing for students! They do an amazing job! Lanny is the genius behind it but is also surrounded by talent. Last summer our speakers were Louie Giglio himself & Andy Stanley. This summer Andy is back along with Francis Chan (of recent 07/08 passion fame) and former NPCCr and current XP3 writer, Jared Herd. (+ Reggie Joiner always does some stellar breakout for the student pastors, etc... Reggie is a big orange, 252, XP3, reThinking kind of pimp!)

This year the theme for the week is "ONE THING" - so cool... Lanny asked each speaker "If you only had ONE more chance to talk to students, what would you say???" I can only imagine the sheer wisdom & passion that's going to roll off these guys' lips. I'll be taking notes for sure. I think everyone in the world would want their high school student exposed to this.

BigStuf worship is BIG as well. None other than Steve Fee (who I've told you about here) and Kristian Stanfill are the main worship leaders for the week. Straight from North Point and the touring circuit they come to lead worhsip for 5,000 students. pretty awesome. it gets pretty intense... just youtube it and see for yourself. Nothing in the world quite like 5,000 students shouting God's praise at the top of their lungs...

The productions are some of the best I've ever seen. Last year's theme was "Rhythm" and the opener for the whole week was those "Stomp" guys... it was pretty incredible. Like a 10 minute show doing some sick stuff on the trash cans & then they busted out some kind of circular saws and kept the same rhythm while going to town on the trash cans and shooting fireworks up in the air. Wish I could post a good video for you.

Jeff Foxworthy has been as a surprise speaker a couple times & I hope he shows up again this year. But, most of all I'm really looking forward to hanging out with these awesome high school students from Ridge and watching God do some really BIG STUF in all of our lives!

*This is what I'll be blogging about all week... what's going down with the crew from Ridge & what God is up to @ BigStuf in Daytona! Stay tuned for updates, pics, and maybe some videos. I'll leave you with a few for now...

here's the promo video

Here's Lanny as LUDACROUS from Fergie's video "Glamorous"... I told you he was hilarious...

Friday, July 25, 2008

RENOWN - the 100th!

What a momentous occasion... the 100th blog on Renown.

I've been thinking for the past couple weeks about what I could write on this 100th post. I asked myself - "I wonder if people even know what 'renown' means?" I've never really explained/defined it here. It's definitely not a word you hear everyday, but I'm hoping this blog might help bring it into mainstream culture.

Patrick's humble definition: Renown = unending fame; unmatched glory.

Renown is fame that will never, ever fade away. Lasting memory. Ultimate glory.

Renown is the enduring, non-fading fame that belongs to God alone. Seriously, who or what else really has true renown??? Nothing else can, ever has, or ever will. Because as "famous" as anything or anyone else could be - that fame will eventually fade away... the applause will end... their name will be forgotten! God is the ONLY ONE who has true renown. We know He is the most famous & His fame covers the universe and will never end. So, anytime the word "renown" is even mentioned it can only apply to God. (hence the title of this blog...)
Louie has by far been the biggest influence on my understanding of God's renown. So, props & credit to him for many of my thoughts and understanding of this. Louie says we should "leverage all we have and are for the name of the One who embodies lasting glory."
YES! And that's what I'm all about. I pray that millions will embrace this mission. Honestly, what else is there to live for? EVERY other name, EVERY other story is fading... it won't last. IT ENDS. Why spend our years on that? What a waste.

We all live in the story of a great and limitless God and I just want to play my small role as I humbly attempt to amplify God's lasting renown. In my opinion there's nothing else to live for.
I want to spend every second of my life for His renown until every single human on earth hears the greatest story about a matchless GLORIOUS God.
So, that's what RENOWN is all about. That's what this blog is attempting to be all about. Much MUCH more to come on this subject in the future. Happy 100th to renown! peace...
(Some time today check out Psalm 19:1-4)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So funny! (Piper is my homeboy #2)

[More on my takeaways from our time at NPCC & talks from Andy & Carlos in the coming days...]

now, it's time for Piper is my homeboy #2...
(who's Piper? read last week's post here.)

I had really assumed that everyone in the world had heard this by now, but I talk to tons of people who still haven't. It was like the 2nd ever Passion podcast - maybe over a year ago? So, the guy doing the interview is none other than one of my heroes - Louie

Laugh your head off...

[next post is my 100th... what a milestone that will be.]

Monday, July 21, 2008

@ North Point chillin' with the masters...

so, I'm on the road for my crazy month that i described here.
Was in Caleb's wedding Saturday night & got NO sleep all weekend. (CONGRATS TO CALEB & ERIN!
Rolled in to Ridge after driving through the night from Detroit (from the wedding)... we had an amazing baptism celebration. Then I got up at 4am so we could get here to North Point for N*rich. N*rich is a gathering here at North Point with the churches they have planted - us, the strategic partner churches. I think there's 13 of us. + 2 more ready to launch this Fall. pretty sweet. I'll definitely be posting some takeaways soon, but right now I am WIPED OUT. I just need some sleep. We had a whiffle ball tourney this afternoon. Me & Chris were on a team & put a hurtin' on his mentor's team, got beat by Rusty's team & tied with Adam's team. (how do you tie in whiffle ball?) Rusty's team were actually the undefeated champs of the tourney.

Pretty cool thing - we showed up late & actually rolled in at the exact time as Andy Stanley. we walked in together and he brought up the rich experience of dinner with us last summer. Obviously we made an impact on him. haha.

Friday, July 18, 2008


So, it happened. If you don't know what I'm talking about you can read here.

I woke up Thursday morning & there were 4,999 visits to renown, so the 5,000th was upon me. Actually, visit # 4,998 came from Aveiro, Portugal. So I had hope that # 5K might be from some cool foreign place.

Nope, a little later hit # 5K came. where from? Plymouth, Michigan. At exactly 9am & 2
 seconds. Then a comment showed up on my blog about Piper. It was one of my best friends, Jim. What are the chances?!? I texted him & told him he was #5k & he texted back to ask what his prize was. I said I'm comin' to stay at your house all weekend.

Haha. no joke. pretty ironic. Crystal and I are staying with Jim & his wife Sarah this weekend to be in our friend Caleb's wedding. We got here (just outside Detroit) after 5am today
. Then I smoked Jim in some Fifa on his new PS3. maybe put up some wedding pics later, but for now here's a pic of me & the 5,000th commenter. peace.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

when & where will it come from???

I've been having a little race with myself (that no one else knows about except my wife now - & about to be all you guys too) here at renown. Since I started this blog in January I've been wondering which will win the race - my 100th post OR the 5,000th visitor to the blog?
Well, I think we'll have our answer shortly. I'm about 5 posts shy of 100 (which will be a momentous occassion... just you wait!) & the 5,oooth visitor should be within the next 24 hours.
(Not that it's a big deal because this guy John whose blog is like the funniest ever had his 1 millionth page view recently. renown has had like 9K page views. haha, so mine's no biggie, just fun to follow.)

*So now the question is... when will it happen and where will the hit come from. It's been fun 
to watch where people are who read renown. Seems like crazy cities from everywhere in the U.S... hundreds I've never heard of. the crazy thing is that people from over 100 countries have stumbled across this blog. And I think there's only like 200 countries in the whole world or something! It's fun when I see hits from places like Jamaica, Japan, India, South Africa, Zambia, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, Australia, Czech Republic, Yemen, New Zealand, Egypt, Fiji, & tons tons more places across the globe.
I'm hoping that epic 5,000th hit comes from some exotic land. Then again, watch it be from Charlotte, NC. When it happens I'll post all the info (city, time, computer IP addy, etc...) & then if it was you with the 5,000th hit you can comment & maybe I can give you a prize... probably not though. haha.

The 100th post will be coming soon too, so look out for that. 
I'm hoping to still blog almost every day, but my schedule is pretty crazy over the next month or so:
- Leaving tomorrow to be in a friend's wedding in Detroit, MI & then drive through the night Saturday night to be back at Ridge on Sunday afternoon...
- After Ridge on Sunday the staff takes off for N*Rich @ North Point. (which I guess is a secret because I can't find a website when I google it... basically a pimp conference for the 13 strategic partner/plants.)
- We're back in town for a few days and then Crystal and I leave Monday (28th) with a group of AWESOME high schoolers for Daytona Beach, FL! gonna be awesome. We'll be at the greatest student camp in the country all week. I love chillin' with high schoolers at camp at the beach... God does some cool stuff there.
- We get back on the weekend just in time for our 1st ever Family Birthday Celebration at Ridge on sunday, August 3rd. (That's gonna be INCREDIBLE!)
- Crystal and I will leave that night or the next morning for vacation @ an undisclosed location (where my cell phone will be turned off).

all that to say... crazy times comin' up, but I love it. It's going to be a fun month.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

piper is my homeboy! - WATCH this!

i LOVE this guy.
definitely the most old school guy i listen to and read, but I keep a
 consistent flow of Piper. He's not a communicator like Andy or Louie or anything - way different. He's kind of like my wise old mentor or something... who is ridiculously passionate. i love this guy! he's kind of like my grandpa :) Much love & respect to "Johnny".

he definitely jacked me up & changed my life with his books & passionate communicating at the Passion Conferences back in the day when I was in college. he has a way of igniting passion in me like almost no one else. he's so right on & so passionate about this generation living full on for the fame and renown of Jesus. I'm so thankful for this guy because he wants this generation to be satisfied in Jesus (he says his generation messed my generation up in our thinking - He is spending the rest of his life trying to show us the emptiness of our man-centered, materialistic, "Western" way of life.)

I saw this video last week - just a short clip of his preaching. So passionate.

you diggin' that? subscribe to his podcast for free on iTunes. i think he's definitely the only 
baptist i listen to... : ) He just straight up brings it though... every time! Like that really makes you think! Of course he's not against having a BMW, but a gospel that is proven by one or promises one is "crap" - to quote Doc. And what an unbelievable description of what makes Jesus look glorious.
I'll probably write many blogs in the future on how his writing and teaching changed my life & the trajectory of it! He has completely changed the way I look at God, myself, and my passion - missions. I don't know many peeps who are more God-centered in everything they do than Piper

Big thanks to my mom & dad for buying me my 1st 2 piper books for my b-day 1 year when I 
was a poor college student. i devoured them. I highly suggest you do the same! hopefully you've read these 2, but if not BUY AND READ THEM TODAY. In fact, I feel so strongly that they'll change your life -> if you are local, you can borrow my copies.

Get Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (kind of like his manifesto/masterpiece) HERE.
If that's a little daunting/overwhelming for you start with The Dangerous Duty of Delight which you can get HERE (& you can read it in like an hour). (This is Piper's own shortened version of Desiring God.)
Get Let the Nations be Glad (God's supremacy in mission) HERE.

I'm serious about you borrowing the books from me! Just drop me a comment! If you're not local and can't afford them - then GO HERE! An amazing thing about Piper is that he's not in it for the $ so he runs a "whatever you can afford policy." even if you don't have the dough, order it from his website today!

You'll probably never read this, but thanks Dr. P, for letting God use you to ignite my heart & thousands in my generation for the renown of Jesus! Thanks for going after us. Thanks for teaching us that "Missions exists because worship doesn't" & "God is most GLORIFIED in me when I am most SATISFIED in Him." & so much more. We'll do our best to prove that you haven't "wasted it" on us.

Monday, July 14, 2008


OH yeah... September 7th - RIDGE CHURCH - SUNDAY MORNING!!!
(that's the followup from this)

I heard the cheer go up last night. Now, i can't get that K-OS song out of my head that Natalie told me about. way too catchy...
("every day is Saturday night, but I can't wait for Sunday mornin'... Sunday mornin'!)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

this is HUGE!!!

we're droppin' some HUGE news at Ridge this Sunday night. Like REALLY big.
we're so stoked about it! can't contain myself - i mean this is like the biggest announcement we've ever made... i think... that i can remember, anyway. for real, it's freakin' HUGE!

what's that? NO i'm not gonna tell you what it is! you'll have to come & find out for yourself. 6pm-Levine Center.
WHOOOOOO! it's gonna be big.

Friday, July 11, 2008

jesse's gonna do WHAT to Obama?

have you guys seen this yet? that's probably a dumb question since I never watch the news or keep up with politics, so of course you've probably seen it. I thought this was pretty crazy though. and I have to admit that it made me laugh. Heard about it over at deadly viper of course. Oh man, Jesse... what were you thinking... or were you thinking?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


A lot has happened over the past month or 2 to make me think about teamwork. We all know about it & hear about it growing up, but I guess I’ve just seen it in action a lot lately & needed to share some thoughts here. 

We bought a new security system maybe 2 months ago. [*So, warning to all you criminals who read my blog = don’t mess with my house because the cops will arrive in like 47 seconds!] Anyway, we got an unbelievably pimp deal on the thing. Basically they gave us a 23 contact system with 2 way voice, cell back up, 2 key fobs, motion detectors, and all the other bells and whistles for FREE! Pretty crazy. I’ve got a friend in my community group who works for ADT & he said that system costs about $3,000. Pretty cool. So the guy was asking me where I wanted the contacts – you know, which windows & doors, etc… and I was like “if you’re giving it all to me free let’s do all of them!” & he was like “OK.”

Then the guy shows up to install it all. He made some comment about this being the size of 3-4 regular jobs and that it would possibly take him til midnight (it was around 8pm). He never complained though, just got straight to work. A little later somebody rang the doorbell & it was another installer from their company. He was there to help Merrill, the 1st guy. Then a little later another guy showed and rang the doorbell. I went upstairs to my office to send a couple emails and when I came back downstairs there were 5 install guys in my house!!! I was amazed.

I asked “Did Merrill call and ask you guys to come help him?” They were like “no, we always call around when we finish with our jobs & see who needs help.” ("That’s pretty cool," I thought.)

Me:            “So, do you guys get paid for being here?”

Them:            “Oh, well Merrill will be the only one who gets paid for this job. We only get paid for the jobs we’re assigned to.”

Me:            Then why are you guys here???”

Them:            “We all work together as a team. We want to help everyone get their job done, so we all help each other. We help Merrill get done faster tonight and then next week he’ll be helping one of us.”

*That’s brilliant. Just natural teamwork. These guys were having some crazy fun too! Nobody was complaining about being at my house late. Teamwork was a way of life for these guys!

A week or so later I was having a conversation with my good buddy Scott who lives in Dallas. He just started a brand new job at a big fancy graphic design company. His office is next to American Airlines Arena (the Mavericks are awful, Scott). He was talking about how much he LOVED his new job. He said stuff like “when one of us in the office doesn’t know how to do something or needs help with something – other people in the office just jump in and help. There is an amazing sense of teamwork in the office. And that’s worth a lot to me. I would rather work here with the teamwork than somewhere without it even if they paid me more.” (I think he said the “even if they paid me more” part. Although, we failed to clarify just how much more it would take.) 

I’m proud to say that even with all these examples & my long 25 years of experience here on earth I don’t think I’ve ever seen better teamwork than at Ridge Church. I’m privileged to work on a staff that is all about the mission & it takes teamwork to get that done! Over the last couple months everyone on staff in some way has completely gone above and beyond to directly help me in the area I am directly responsible for. They’ve done stuff completely out of their job description and stuff that no one would “expect” them to do. They’re in it for Ridge Church not just their job. There doesn't seem to be silos or borders/divisions between “departments” here at Ridge. Our admin. pastor has gone way beyond the call of duty and spent hours and hours to help me out in Upstreet a couple times. Just take a second and picture the admin/executive pastor at your church busting his butt for the children’s environment at your churchcan’t picture it? Didn’t think so. (If you can then that’s awesome & your church’s staff probably has some great teamwork going on.)

Teamwork is VERY important. Just ask those guys who work at Platinum Security & love their job because of the teamwork. Ask my buddy Scott who loves his job because of the teamwork. Ask me & I’ll tell you about how I love being a part of the team at Ridge Church and I guarantee you we get more done & are more effective at what we do than other staffs who don’t work together. Teamwork is a beautiful thing and I love being a part of it. But I know it didn’t happen by accident. It’s gotta start with the leader. I’m confident our lead pastor had to be very intentional about creating this culture of teamwork at Ridge. It’s definitely paid off because it has infected the whole church and I’ve seen teamwork in the staff and volunteers like I’ve never seen anywhere else.

So, if you’re a leader – work hard to create a culture of teamwork within your organization.
And wherever you work – be a team player! who cares what person gets the credit or glory!? JUST ACCOMPLISH THE MISSION. Isn’t that why you signed up in the 1st place?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

after i'm dead

Most of you all probably know that Jesse Helms died on the 4th of July (as opposed to being born on the 4th of July like Tom Cruise in that old movie). He was born in a suburb of Charlotte (I think Monroe) & was a Senator here for forever. honestly I don't know that much about him because I'm not all that into politics. As I understand it, lots of people loved him & lots of people hated him. But, from what I've heard about him - I think I would have liked Jesse Helms! I guess he never really followed the party line... he just did what he thought was right. I like that. The only thing I remember about him from my growing up years was that he had one of those Thank You for Not Smoking signs in his office that said "Thank You For Smoking." I always thought that was kind of funny and witty since he was from "Tobacco Road."

his funeral was today and I didn't watch it or listen to it, but my 
mom & dad both told me about 1 little snippet - probably the only
part they thought I would be interested in... 
most of us know about Bono's good friendship with the late senator, Jesse. If you don't just google it. They saw eye to eye on what we should be doing for those with AIDS and crippled by poverty & I guess all their other differences just didn't matter anymore (that idea is a whole wonderful blog in itself.) You can read more on Bono's thoughts on all that here.

So, here's the whole point. Today, Bono dropped off a note at the Jesse Helms Center that said something like this - "Today 2 million children are alive in Africa because Jesse Helms chose to do the right thing." definitely made me get a lump in my throat. Again even as I'm writing this and thinking about it.

***WOW! how awesome is that! yeah, he did all kinds of stuff in his political career & 86 years here on earth, but I don't know if anything could be better than that. In partnering with Bono to fight for the "least of these" I think he stood with Jesus on one of the most important things in this world - and obviously between them accomplished some cool stuff.

& it just got me thinking ALL DAY LONG. when I die, I hope & i BEG GOD that people will be able to say "Patrick's dead, but there are millions across Africa & around the world who are still alive, free from poverty, leading productive lives, and enjoying satisfaction in Jesus BECAUSE PATRICK CHOSE TO DO THE RIGHT THING!!!"

God, help me live up to that...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

what's in my ipod

Steve Fee is quickly becoming one the most well-known and "most-sung" worship leaders in the country. Seems like 2 years ago that not many people outside of North Point circles knew who he was... now it's probably hard to be in a worship service where you're not singing his songs.

Let me just say that he is probably one of the greatest worship song writers alive right now (I would put him up there with the likes of Tomlin, Crowder, Redman, & the Hillsong guys). And Steve's not trying to become a star. He's just trying to "put words to what the church wants to say to God." [worship]

I bought his Burn for You CD at Passion '06 after he lead us in some crazy intense all out worship one night. It quickly became one of my favs & probably one of the most played on my iPod! Then the band signed with a label & re-released Burn For You as We Shine and switched up the song order a little + added 2 or 3 new ones. I still went and bought it when it came out because I love the songs he's writing. Plus we had just returned from Daytona Beach @ Big Stuf where he rocked his new song Happy Day a few times a day. Pretty catchy tune. it was worth the price of the album.

*So, if you don't know Steve Fee's stuff... where have you been? And if you don't have one of these CDs yet... BUY ONE TODAY!!! you can actually click here to buy one.

I could honestly write a blog about each of his songs because they are so amazing & truly are exactly what my generation wants to say to God! He captures the heart and passion of this generation perfectly.

In fact, the 1st time I heard the title track of the indie CD - Burn For You - it was like someone wrote it from my thoughts. It's exactly what I want to say to God and have been saying to Him for years. It is "unexplainable" but I'm really glad Steve put it in a song I can sing to God! I really just wanted to leave you this one song on the blog. read it... if your heart resonates with it & you feel it jumping out of your chest like mine, then you'll love the songs he's writing for us to worship God with.

There's a stirring in my heart
There's a calling on my days
And there's a fire in my bones
And it's causing me to burn
It's causing me to burn
It's causing me to burn
For you

I'll go anywhere
I'll do anything
At any cost for you
My King [yes! that's an awesome thing to shout!]

There's a passion in my heart
For the world to see
Revival fires burn
A great awakening
And there's a raging fire inside
That's so high
And it's causing me to burn
It's causing me to burn
It's causing me to burn
For you, yeah

Oh, burn for you
Yeah, burn for you
To the ends of the earth
To the ends of the earth
To the farthest part
Til every heart has heard

To the ends of the earth
To the ends of the earth
To the farthest part
Til every heart has heard

Saturday, July 5, 2008

fireworks & no power

it started storming like crazy here in Charlotte early in the evening yesterday (4th of July). It was really bad where we live on the north end of downtown - so bad it knocked our power out. But it was still the 4th of July so I grilled out on the deck in the midst of the rain and thunder. Then we lit every candle in the house and ate inside in the dry.

We went downtown for the "red, white, & boom" fireworks show. not nearly as good as all the SkyShows back in the day when it was with WBT. But, me and crystal had fun. here's some pics.

*If you're here in Charlotte come hang out with us Sunday night for a BBQ. It's free & it's at the Levine Center. Free RIBS & bbq + Wii on the bigscreen... what more do you want on a Sunday night? More details here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

outback or bologna sandwiches?

Peter is the young boy that Crystal and I have the awesome privilege to support through Compassion International. Make sure you go read a little more about Peter & Compassion here. That's where I wrote about him on one of my very 1st blogs.
He's our "adopted orphan" - the only kind we can afford for now. We'd love to "really" adopt an orphan in Africa one day, but for now we send support to him each month and Compassion makes sure he has plenty of food, clean water, health care, education, AIDS prevention and help for his brothers & sisters, a place to sleep, and they also make sure he hears the amazing stories about Jesus.

So, I went to the mailbox this past weekend and pulled out a letter from Peter. (He writes to us every 2-3 months.) It's always really exciting when we get a letter from him. I was stoked, but I had to wait on Crystal to get back because we always read them together. As soon as we opened it we could tell that he wrote it himself! This is the 1st letter from him that he actually wrote with his own hands. He is only 5, so a translator had to write it for him up until now! Looks like that $ is paying off as he has already learned to write REALLY well! Really well for a 5 year old anyway as there were a few backwards letters and misspellings, but not too bad. I thought I would share some of the letter with you guys:

How are you. I hope you are fine. I am also doing great because of the Lord. How was your Easter? Mine was great. I went to church and learnt about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Thank you very much for your continued support and the gift you sent to me. I bought a goat worth 972 kshs and 50 kilos of maize worth 500 kshs.
Please pray for me that may do well in my studies. Is there any special prayer you would like me to pray for you? Bye til next time.
Love, Peter

Oh man, totally jacked me up a little when I read that. Definitely choked up a little. Pumped that he learned the coolest story ever - Jesus dying and coming back to life for us.
And then I read the next part. Crystal and I sent him a little extra $ for a Christmas gift. I think it was only like $50. We figured he could buy like a soccer ball and some toys or something. NOPE, he bought a GOAT! I read that and I just busted out laughing!!! So, I guess we got Peter a goat & some maize for Christmas. Actually I had some goat & maize together for a meal when I was in Africa. It's not bad when you're really hungry. Any of you ever got a goat for Christmas?It's just really funny to me.

Anyway, reading that letter makes it worth it all right there guys. When I think about there being 30,000 children dying every day from poverty, disease, and unclean water - it's crazy. But when I realize that for a little bit of my $ every month, Peter won't have to worry about it... what's a little bit of extra $? What's $40 a month going to do for me? 1 extra night out at a restaurant. But for Peter it guarantees he doesn't become a statistic! It gives him clean water, food, an education, medical care, etc... And it guarantees that he gets to be loved by a community of believers near his village who tell him the greatest stories ever told! His life is absolutely changed because of that money.

So, what do you think is more worth it? The night out at Outback or Peter? Get with it & sponsor a child! Go to right now and make Jesus really happy.

As for me, I'm cool with the bologna sandwich for almost free at my house.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

kickin' it

Ken Coleman is a pimp host and brilliant interviewer - you probably know him as the host of the Catalyst podcast. He's doing all kinds of other cool stuff too (like interviewing Dicky V, and making videos giving away free gas & buying ALL the Christmas presents for families. More on this later probably.)
Anyway, several months ago I learned about this film because I saw the trailer on his facebook. I've been waiting to talk about it here on renown.

"Kicking It" actually was featured at the Sundance Film Festival - which surely you've heard of. It's basically THE mecca for independent film makers. super famous. 
Here's a little description:
"The film chronicles the lives of seven players taking a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to repres
ent their country while overcoming poverty and addiction. The players come from war-torn Afghanistan, the slums Mathare and Huruma in Kenya, the drug rehabiltation clinics of Dublin, the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, the public shelters of Madrid and the rural immigrants' culture in St Petersburg."

And from "Kicking It" themselves: 
There are an estimated one billion homeless people [WOW! that's crazy!] in the world. What happens when soccer and homelessness come together? Lives change.And the annual Homeless World Cup has the statistics to prove it. In 2006, 48 countries competed in the 4th annual Homeless World Cup. One year later...
92% players have a new motivation for life
73% have changed their lives for the better
93 players successfully addressed a drug or alcohol dependency
35% have secured regular employment
44% have improved their housing situation
39% chose to pursue education
72% continue to play football

I just think this is REALLY cool!
Kicking It, a feature documentary film, about the power of sports to change lives. Check it out below...