Big News

If you weren’t in church today, you didn’t hear that I’ve accepted an offer to be an Associate Worship Pastor at LifeMission Church in Olathe, Kansas.

Olathe is a southwest suburb of Kansas City; Abigail and I will begin moving our family there on July 7th. My first day in the office is July 8th.

Continue reading “Big News”

Why I Don’t Want to be a Millionaire, Updated

Last year, I published the following post in hopes of encouraging people that found themselves in a similar boat—doing ok financially but not exactly racking up the dolla-bills in the old 401k (or Roth, or what have you). Since that time, I read a blog by Pastor Daniel Grothe (GROW-thee) that opened my eyes a little bit more to how God works with our finances, and I’ve added some thoughts to the end of my original post. If you’ve already read the old one, that’s fine; scroll down to the updated section. Otherwise, read on.

Blessings – Joey C

Continue reading “Why I Don’t Want to be a Millionaire, Updated”

Anthony Bourdain Was a Person God Wanted

Christians can get a little snarky sometimes when celebrities die. It’s a problem.

The problem is that we as Christians often want to invalidate the death of a celebrity (especially suicides) simply because that celebrity wasn’t an Evangelical Christian or didn’t in some way espouse or support Evangelical values. Somehow, by way of their celebrity lifestyle, and some by the way they chose to ultimately end that life, we turn celebrities into the enemy while we forget that the Apostle Paul said that our fight is not against the people around us, but against evil itself.

Continue reading “Anthony Bourdain Was a Person God Wanted”

The Thing about Hugh

I want to first acknowledge that it seems Mr. Hefner was trying to do something good, as this NPR piece aptly noted:

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” Hefner’s son Cooper, now the company’s chief creative officer, wrote in the company’s statment. “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand.”

Hefner’s assault on a what he called a “puritan” America was, I believe, well-intentioned. As such, I applaud him for stepping out to try and make America a better place. It’s much more than the twitter-verse has done to stop pretty much anything it decries and more than most bloggers (such as myself) do to bring positive change to the problems we wish we could fix with a laptop and a cable modem. Hefner certainly achieved his goals.

I’m just not sure those goals were good. Continue reading “The Thing about Hugh”

Why I Don’t Want to Be a Millionaire

I got in a Facebook fight with a friend the other day about this article from Yahoo finance about how any normal person can become a millionaire.

I’ll briefly sum up the fight for you:

  • I think the article isn’t exactly right because most americans, working full-time, don’t make enough to put away the kind of money the article talks about. 
  • My friend’s rebuttal was that, while my point is true, most people can sacrifice some nights and weekends (the ever-coveted “side-hustle”) to save that much money. Think delivering pizzas, working at a gas station, and so on.
  • My answer was… yes, but I have a family. My nights and weekends are my family time. I work full-time in a salaried church position, and while my income is totally fine, it’s not enough to stash the sort of cash the yahoo article prescribes. Most americans are in the same boat.

And then I realized all of our points were moot because I’m not making decisions the way I should be. Continue reading “Why I Don’t Want to Be a Millionaire”

Intellectual freedom from a gay person.

If you weren’t aware, Chip and Joanna Gaines of the HGTV show Fixer Upper might be in some hot water because they’re alleged conservative evangelicals who attend a conservative evangelical church that teaches conservative evangelical things. Buzz feed published a hit piece about them and their church on Tuesday, and some people are losing their minds about it.

I wanted to say things, but I wasn’t sure what to say until a gay person from Delaware published a great editorial in the Washington Post and said it for me (link below).

While I certainly don’t agree with everything the author says in the following WaPo piece (I too am a reasonably conservative evangelical), I love the gist of what he has to say because, oddly enough, he has the audacity to stand up for the intellectual rights of those who have bitterly opposed him and his people for basically ever. He gives the Gaines the right to disagree with him and hold to convictions that differ from the mainstream.

Which is a lot more than many of us who have opposed him have done for him.

Also, he calls out Buzzfeed for concocting crap news to get click-throughs and sell ads, which is great because Buzzfeed is the furthest thing from good journalism.

All that being said, please click here to  enjoy “BuzzFeed’s hit piece on Chip and Joanna Gaines is dangerous” by Brandon Ambrosino.



A Confession of Liberal Intolerance.

This editorial from The New York Times came up in my Facebook timeline this morning, and I just loved it. To summarize, the editorial is a call to those liberals in academia to be more ideologically inclusive, and the piece finally admits that liberals maintain a mildly vindictive oligopoly in our colleges and universities:

Universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological and religious. We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.

I have two more things to say about this article before you read it:

1.) I studied journalism at Ferris State University and felt some of what this guy talks about, that my conservative ideas were not welcome. While it was known I was a Christian and a conservative (and I never faced outright discrimination), I often felt I couldn’t add much to discussions because my convictions weren’t up to snuff.

Continue reading “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance.”

Your Worship Pastor Wants You to Change Christian Music

Merle Haggard died a few days ago, and oddly enough, that makes me thankful for my father.

I say that because my family, albeit unknowingly, was part of the separatist evangelical movement in the 80’s and 90’s. I say “unknowingly” because I don’t think my parents were hateful towards society, I think they just wanted to raise me right. But I was homeschooled. I made a vow when I was thirteen to abandon secular (think, non-christian) music. We didn’t watch R-rated movies at my house. Cussing wasn’t a thing. Drinking wasn’t even in the question. My parents knew that holiness meant we needed to be set apart. They took that very seriously.

And I’m thankful for that. I have moral backbone and a strong faith because of it. However, my dad fudged the rules a bit. He let me listen to outlaw country music. In fact, that’s how I learned to play guitar — strumming along to a Waylon Jennings album. Now I’m a worship pastor. Go figure.

While I missed basically every pop song in the 90’s and early 2000’s, listening to the old outlaws gave me a taste for genuine music. If you didn’t know, the outlaws got their name because they were kicked out of Nashville. They didn’t jive with the bible-belt moralism that dressed country music in a false righteousness. So, they went to Austin, Texas and recorded songs that, while a tad amoral, were original. They sold millions of albums and smoked a lot of weed.

I think my dad thought I was far enough removed from the outlaw’s time to not actually do the things they were singing about. He also taught me to filter the music, to enjoy the good and throw out the evil.

And now my daughter is getting to that age when music is going to become a big part of her life, and I’m a little concerned.

Continue reading “Your Worship Pastor Wants You to Change Christian Music”

It’s Not Your Fault: A Response to Matt Walsh

If you’ve not read Matt Walsh’s take on Robin Williams’ suicide, you can do so here.

When I was about 9, my mom’s battle with depression really started heating up. I remember a lot of gray days and mean words; for a while there, she wasn’t a nice person. After almost a year of weight loss, sadness, anger, and frustration, she finally went for help, which came in the form of counseling and meds. And life turned around.

I do not hold my mother responsible for any of the mean things she said, any of the cuss words she thew at me, any of the times she slammed the door and hid in her room for hours. She was sick.

Continue reading “It’s Not Your Fault: A Response to Matt Walsh”