Things I'm excited about

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
1. My daughter laughs at me pretty regularly now. It's good to have an adoring audience again. My wife used to laugh at me, but the cheesy jokes just got to be too much for her. Amelia just laughs at anything I say, mainly because she's three months old, but I'll take it!

2. Thursday night I get to meet and hang out with a few of the guys from my upcoming coaching network. Then Friday morning begins the monthly meetings at
NewSpring Church with Tony Morgan. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this learning experience and I'm ready to jump in.

3. This Sunday morning is our last preview service at
The Ridge before we launch for real on April 19th. The first preview service was such a blast. I'm ready to do it again this week.

4. My new music slump is starting to turn around. Take a listen for free at what I'm digging this week.

5. I think I'm addicted to this website. This week I've scored Bioshock for xbox360, UNChristian by David Kinnaman, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind all for a game, a book, and a dvd I don't use anymore. Check out Swaptree now and start trading! In this economic climate, barter is king.

6. iPhone/ipod touch Skype app is great. Download it and add chriswhill to your contact list. Let's chat!

There are a lot more things I'm digging right now, but don't have time to list it all. What are you excited about?

Weekend in a Castle

Thursday, March 26, 2009

So I know you've had one of those "I need a vacation" moments. Well, I've been having that moment for the past three months. What can rid me of that feeling better than spending a weekend in a castle???

Melissa, Amelia, and I are headed up to the "highlands" of Gatlinburg, TN with a few friends to share this adventure. I hear it's supposed to storm on Saturday night. I really hope the weather follows through because it could be one of those "dark and stormy night" events to remember.

Now.....where did I put my suit of armor?

First Sunday Morning @ The Ridge

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm not sure where to begin, so I'll just list some things that stood out to me.

- By 7:30am, there were about 15-20 volunteers preparing the stage, welcome table, and children's area.

-At 8:30am, our band was fully prepared to do a full run through of music and service flow.

-Around 9:00am, Pastor Bobby spoke to all volunteers to express his appreciation, provide a last bit of motivation, and remind us why we were there: Because there are people in our community and online who will never know the love of Christ and they're going to hell if we don't do something about it.

-When he was praying for the icampus ministry, I was moved because I felt the weight of the burden of lost people online.

-I fully anticipate lives being changed through our icampus ministry. That's exciting.

-From about 9:30am-9:50am, it was like the quiet before the storm.

-The band was well rehearsed so no one was on stage, the greeters were at the entrance and welcome table, the camera angle was set, the icampus was ready to cue up. Everyone was in place and just kind of waiting. The anticipation was a pretty cool feeling.

-I know we didn't really advertise because it was a "preview service" (a churchy word for dress rehearsal), so I'm not sure why I was expecting many people to come charging through the doors, but I just had a strong feeling of expectation.

-Here comes 9:50am-10am. This is when things started to get really exciting.

-People I've never seen before started walking in. I know that's what we're there for, but it wasn't real until I actually saw it happen. Then more and more started to arrive. One family even brought their TEN kids! Amazing!

-7 people showed up online and even with some connectivity issues, they hung in there and stuck around till the end.

-Our service started at 10am. The place was packed and our band killed it.

-We are so blessed to have such a talented band. They even rocked out with Pretender by Foo Fighters to go along with our upcoming series. (Matt, Deena, Kevin, Nick, Bobby, guys are incredible and there are a ton of churches and music venues around the world that would kill to have you guys play for them.) I can't wait till you all start writing/recording songs.

-By the time Pastor Bobby got up to speak, the energy in the room was high.

-My pastor always speaks with confidence, but yesterday it was at a much higher level. God showed off through him in a very powerful way.

-He spoke about his feelings of inadequacy as a pastor. He let us know that we let Satan win when we let others or ourselves define us. Only God defines who we are and He wants us to serve Him no matter how inadequate we think we are.

-I know for a fact that a lot of people listening yesterday had one of those, "is he talking to me?" moments.

-After the service was over, our volunteers step up again and we had the room cleared of equipment and staging in less than 30 minutes.

-We need a trailer and a place to store it.

-We really need a trailer and a place to store it.

I'm blown away by what God is allowing me to be a part of @ The Ridge. Here's the other thing that gets me.....Its only the beginning!

Even snuggies love Killing Cockroaches

Thursday, March 19, 2009
Ok, I admit: It's not an actual snuggie. It's really a bathrobe turned backwards. It's my wanna be snuggie.

Anyway, I just finished Killing Cockroaches by Tony Morgan. Two words: Loved it. 

Now for 162 words: 

Pastor and Chief Strategic Officer of NewSpring Church, Tony Morgan, offers up a solutions for leadership burnout, tips for churches stuck in the 80s, and a way to fix a rental car with duct tape in his new book Killing Cockroaches.

Much like Seth Godin's Tribes, it is written in short blog entry-like bursts instead of chapters. In a "less is more" culture, this fits right into any reader's schedule. The only time that I have to read during my busy day is at lunch. I can pick it up, read a few pages, and have plenty to think about in that short time. Some of the topics are left opened ended in order to give the reader a chance to apply his or her own leadership style to the advice given. And when you start to apply what you've learned, Tony's book gains priceless value.

When I read the title and description of Killing Cockroaches, I knew this book had legs. It does. Six to be exact.

For more info about the book, click here.

Lee McDerment Live at Unleash 09

Saturday, March 14, 2009

This is the opening song from the first main session at Unleash 09. Get Lee's CD here!

Unleash 09 Worship - Love Enough

This was shot in the new student building at NewSpring Church for Unleash 09 Main Session 2 with my Flip Mino HD. This song is called Love Enough by Hillsong United. You can download the album version here.

Building Community - Unleash 09

NewSpring Church Internet Campus Pastor Nick Charalambous explains the church's important role of building community at Unleash 09. Introduction by Tony Morgan.

Get the notes for this session here.

Book Barter

Friday, March 13, 2009
Well, I gave away my copy of Tribes by Seth Godin at Unleash to a leader named Todd Hudson from Charlotte, NC.

Sooo....I'm still looking for a new book.

Here's my offer:

I'll trade you a $10 itunes gift card for a copy of
It by Craig Groschel or Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell . It you have a copy of either book and want to trade, just leave a comment here on my blog and I'll email you requesting a mailing address exchange.

I've wanted a new book lately, but can't really spend the money right now. I won the itunes gift card at

Also, if you don't have either of these books but still want to trade, make me an offer for a book that you do have and I'll consider it.

Let's trade!

Unleash 09 Book Swap

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Got a few books piling up? Running out of shelf space? Did you just recently get a Kindle 2 and forget you even had books? (I guess they would be considered "analog books" now.)

If you are headed to the Unleash conference at NewSpring Church this Thursday, would you want to get together and trade some books? Because this is a one day conference, there isn't a whole lot of time to meet up so let me know here in the comment section if you're interested in bringing a book to swap and we'll figure out when and where this can happen.

It'll be a good chance to meet some fellow readers and maybe walk away with a "free" book.

Because of the time constraints, it'll probably be best to only bring one title to trade. I'm bringing Seth Godin's Tribes.
What are you bringing?

unleash 09

Monday, March 9, 2009

I am really pumped about joining my team from The Ridge and a couple of friends from Providence and heading to Anderson, SC for the Unleash conference this Thursday. I suspect that might be the only reason anyone would be excited about visiting Anderson, SC.

It's official. I have a phobia.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Most people have something that either frightens or bothers them. The most common phobias or fears deal with spiders, snakes, heights, public speaking, Oprah becoming president, etc.. Those all seem pretty normal. My phobia is a little different. I am megalophobic.

You see, until yesterday, I never really new there was an actual phobia that described the things that make me shudder. I've always been extremely fearful of either extremely large things like large statues, ships, planes, blimps, hot air balloons, inflatable parade characters, etc...or it really bothers me when things are larger than I expect them to be such as large sculptures of objects that are normally small or giant truck tires. I decided to do some research on this fear and stumbled upon other folks who have the exact same feelings down to the details. I was kind of shocked.

The fear is not out of my control. I never feel like I want to run from these things or anything like that. I just get a really uneasy feeling and want to start shaking. If I concentrate on the fear, my stomach starts to tighten and I can start to feel physically ill. I've always been good about hiding it and you'd never know about it unless I said something. It's also never really altered decisions in my life or anything. I've been on a cruise, a lot of planes, and walked under the

I don't really even have to been in proximity to these things in order for me to be creeped out. A few years ago, there was a commercial where a Jeep was cruising across a frozen section of the ocean and a giant submarine surfaced underneath it. No kidding....that commercial used to freeze me. Like seriously....I couldn't even turn the channel. How messed up is that??

If you have an odd fear, I'd love to hear about it. You may think you're alone, but as I found out yesterday, there are probably thousands of others who share the exact same craziness.

God's design vs ours

Thursday, March 5, 2009
Our Deisgn:
God's Design:

Not a lot to say here on my 100th blog post. I'll leave you to draw your own inspiration from the photo comparison. Just know that no matter how "structured" our design is, it's by God's that all things are held together.

Groundhog Day

I know. It's already passed. I'm talking about the movie. It's one of my personal faves. However, sometimes I feel like Bill Murray's character.
  • Wake up to the same alarm
  • Stumble through a shave & shower
  • Try to put together a matching shirt & tie
  • Pack the same old lunch in a brown bag
  • Drive the same roads to work
  • Pull into the same parking space
  • Sit in the same cube
  • Look over the same applications for insurance
  • and so on....and so on...

I could go on, but I had to stop the list. It was too painful to visualize.

I have GOT to stop the cycle, but I don't know how. Or am I just scared?

Jesus came to give me life more abundant. What am I doing with it?

Note: I apologize for the pessimism, but please tell me that someone else feels this way sometimes.

Albums I'm digging right now

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Greg Laswell - Three FLights from Alto Nido

Ratatat - Classics

Common Market - Tobacco Road

Mute Math - Spotlight EP

Check Ups

Monday, March 2, 2009

As of Feb 27th, my daughter Amelia has been here for two months. Time for a check-up! We took her to the doc this morning where they poked her with needles, got her down to her diaper and laid her on an ice cold scale, and poured an oral vaccination down her throat. (I could tell it tasted terrible by the look on her face.) It was a traumatic experience.....for my wife. Amelia, however, was a trooper and for the most part was a smiley happy child who really had a lot to say to her doctor, but none of it was comprehensible of course.

Everything is A-OK with Amelia and she is right on track for the average two-month old. We'll go back in two months for another check up.

Even though there is nothing visibly wrong with her, it is essential that we take her in for check ups at this important stage of her development. There may be things going on that we would otherwise miss if we didn't let the expert check her out. We all know that in the world of health, it is always best to diagnose an ailment as early as possible. The earlier you identify the problem, the easier it will be to treat.

This got me thinking about identifying problems in my own life. I'm not talking about health problems. I'm talking about spiritual problems, relational problems, or anything in my life that I'm neglecting. I realized that I've never had a systematic way of keeping all areas in my life in check. I usually let my short comings get the best of me before they receive treatment. If I can learn to discipline myself to where my check ups are much more frequent, I think I'll be able to keep a better handle on all aspects of my life.

Sometimes, I'll be able to diagnose myself. Sometimes I won't. That's when I'll need to consult an expert on the matter and go to God Himself and ask Him what needs a tune up.

How do you keep yourself in check? Do you have a specific method of giving yourself a daily, weekly, monthly check up?