so while i’m down in rainy florida at new staff training apparently it’s the end of the world back home in billings.  apparently an incredible tornado touched down and destroyed a good chunk of the billings metra. amazingly enough the action was caught on film by someone i met last summer when i helped out with journey church and harvest church’s jr/sr high summer camp. below is a link to the video of the metra being torn apart as well as a picture of the inside and a video of the aftermath.

video here


so i just finished reading/listening to the first works of jonathan acuff, advertising copywriter turned blogger and now regular writer of books. (or just book at the moment, i’m sure more will follow) and i think before i jump into what i thought about the book/audiobook i want to preface  with a little about me, because why not really?

when it comes to reading i have much more in common with doug, the lovable talking k9 from the animated jewel ‘up’ and less in common with, someone who can pay attention to what they are reading. (i couldn’t think of a good example so sue me) [please don’t sue me] i’ve got no problem reading the books               (hom skooln reely werkt fer mi) it’s just when i’m done reading a page i tend to have no idea what it said.

so my silver bullet to help me concentrate on what i’m reading is i’ve discovered the audiobook. ok ok i know this isn’t ground breaking technology we’re talking about here. (for groundbreaking technology i hear there’s a new iphone coming or some nonsense like that) sure it costs extra to buy basically two versions of the book (that’s 1 for the paper version and 1 for the audio version if you’re counting along at home) but it’s usually only around $5 to $10 for the audiobook and if i’m already spending upwards of $20 for the book wouldn’t you pay the extra 5 bucks to understand/remember what you’ve read? see i’m smart.

with that in mind this is a review of both the book and the audiobook, at the same time… so really you’re getting two reviews for the price of one… what a deal!!!

so ‘stuff christians like’ by jonathan acuff, published by zondervan (yeah i know, they publish the Bible and stuff) and read by mr. acuff himself, (on the audiobook, he doesn’t actually come to your house to read you his book, but i bet if you asked nice enough he might) can accurately be described by the title that was pitched and then rejected ‘stuff christians like: what c.s. lewis would have wrote if he were 40% more sarcastic and 100% less dead.’ except i think i would have changed it around to maybe 90% more sarcastic.

this book (which it really isn’t a book as much as a bunch of short essays taken from his blog, which is a ‘rip off for Jesus’ of the semi-famous, semi-best seller book and blog stuff white people like) was written with jon’s (i’ve been listening to him read me the book for the last couple hours, i feel like we should be on a first name basis) tongue so far in his cheek that i’m a little worried that it’s going to burst out of his face. i am in no way shape or form. in fact i loved it. from his satirical observations on everything from mega churches, the metro-sexuality of our worship leaders, thinking about the lost finale more than the second coming of Christ,  to holding your church’s tech team to a slightly higher standard than steve jobs and apple. nobody’s safe from the satirical eye of jon acuff.

i really believe that a book such as this needs to have a warning label on it bigger than the book itself. there’s already a cult like following starting up due to this book. (examples here with someone requiring readers to understand the historical context the book was written in, or here the book is turned into a new prosperity gospel, here the book is used as someone who is running for president on a platform that does not bear repeating, and here the chapter on missionary dating is used to found a missionary dating sight that claim if you fill out a quick form you’ll be unequally yoked in no time.) [just so you know each of those pages are fake and was just some viral advertising used by jon’s blog]

but what i am talking about is that if the casual christian reader were to glance over any one of the more than 207 pages of the book, (there are 208 pages) they would easily be offended. starting from the very first line.

if you buy this book, God will make you rich.

the book is broken up into essays on prayer, the Bible, church, God, whitnessing, as well as 5 other categories and if you grew up around the american church i assume that you will can relate to the psalty references, small prayer group etiquette, and proper technique for lifting ones hands during worship, you’ll probably get a good chuckle of really how weird we christians can tend to be. if you grew-up without such an upbringing you’ll probably find jon as the heart and face of irreverence. although jon usually ends up poking more fun at himself then he does christians as a whole if one doesn’t understand that this is satire than i’m sure offence would be taken and pitchforks & torches would be gathered.

one of the benefits of having the audiobook as well (besides the wicked sweet auto-tuned version of his deep v-neck essay) was that jon went a little off script and explained some things he wrote about in his book. it was cool to get a little more insight of the aftermath of booty-God-booty as well as the fact that the “friend” he refers to through most of the book is actually his dad who is a pastor.

having read jon’s blog for some time, one thing that i really felt was missing from this  book was more from jon’s wednesday segment ‘serious wednesdays.’ this is the part of the show where ‘most’ of the sarcasim gets set aside for something that jon and God are dealing with. the last segment of the book entitled ‘saturday night cryfest.’ (refering to the mountain top experience of the last night of a church retreat or summer camp) but it seems more tacked on and is nothing compared to how jon can describe God’s love.

jon does what any good humorist does, use satire and humor to bring someone somewhere else, like the over $60,000 the community centered around his blog raised to build two schools in vietnam. he has this way of removing all of the ‘stuff’ that seems to cloud our view of faith and really draws attention to the unbelievable love of God and how he would like to have a ‘stuff’ free relationship with us.

so if jon’s website has you up in arms the book will probably do more of the same but you could always just pick up a copy to become rich.

you can pick up stuff christians like here in paperback and here in audiobook form for $9.35 and $13.99 respectively.

currently listening to:

travie maccoy – lazarus

so i’d like to thank the literally 1 person who clicked the survey from from my last post. so with that tanking big time, i guess i’ll just move on to the next thing.

yesterday an article written by a fellow staff member brian barela wrote a guest spot for the famous church crunch one of the sites put on by the 8-bit network who’s mission is to ‘resource the Church with timely, relevant, pratical, and exceptionally valuable content.’ they focus primarily on the use of technology in ministry. check out the article here it’s short so you can do it. i know you can.

on a lighter note…

so i haven’t done one of these in a while, ok a long while. but anyway i watched this horrible movie on dvd and thought i’d share what i thought about it. what did you think?

click to enlarge

so i was just curious… you clicked on this right? you didn’t accidentally here misspelling, did you? i really didn’t think so… so yeah i just wanted to try and get a better idea of who comes here and how i can make this place better, more awesome, and 100% more funny. (trust me it works)

apparently i am not smart enough to get this to embedd so if its not too much trouble would you go here and fill out the shortest three question questionnaire you’ve ever been asked to fill out. pretty please? i’ll buy you a pony… (ok that’s a lie, i will not and can not purchase a pony for anyone… if i did i would be riding that sucker through the streets instead of typing this)

a little iron-y

Posted: June 7, 2010 in nugget from the net

ok so that is probably the lamest title anyone has ever used to start a blog post but i stand by it. this afternoon i’ve been hanging out at my favorite spot in billings working on some things in preparation to take off for new staff training in what i hope is sunny florida. (it’s raining here… almost everyday… i’m over it… alot) any-hoo today i finished reading/listening to jonathan acuff’s delightfuly sarcastic book “stuff chrstians like” which you can pick up here in its printed form or here in its audio form. you can check out jon’s blog here for a taste of what i’ve been reading here. a review will be soon coming.

anyway you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with irony… and for that the short answer is nothing. the long answer is nnnnnnooooooottttttttttthhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiinnnnnggggggggg. but i digress… the reason for the post is i found a funny t-shirt design by a guy named biotwist that is up for voting over at threadless. you can check out more of his work over at his blog. (ps i don’t support all of his designs but i liked this one.) so without further adue here’s ‘super heroic minimalism.’

get it?

currently listening to:

four year strong – enemy of the world

ok so i’m pretty sure that every person who has a blog, or a blogger to those hipper than i, that is not a professional, updates it regular and has no trouble making time and all that good stuff… i’m sure that if you are a blogger that you wrote a clever and hilarious post within the last few days and it is being read and commented on and praised among your peers. this has not been the case for me. i don’t know what it is… i start, it’s fun, i maybe make it a solid week with good posts, and then i crash and burn like the hindenburg. (too soon?)

so i said all that to say this… i don’t want to drop the ball on this. i would like to write regularly, hopefully give a little bit of insight into what’s going on in my life, give myself an outlit to voice my opinions, my observations, expose the world to my grammatical and spelling faux pas, as well as share cool stuff that i’m reading, watching, and stumbling upon on the internet.

the problem i have is that most blogs pick one thing, and they do it well. for example if you want to find out about cool new technology and gadgets you’d probably check out someplace like endgadget. (if you said gizmodo you would be wrong, those guys suck for lots of reasons) if you wanted information on video games and what’s new in that world you’d check out someplace like kotaku. if you wanted to laugh at how funny christians are (and let’s face it, we are a pretty funny bunch) you’d go check out the hilarious, sarcastic, and brilliant Jon Acuff’s blog stuff christians like. and because i feel that four examples seems to be the appropriate number of examples for this if you are looking for guidance in combining leadership with innovation and technology than look no further than my good friend matt mccomas’ blog leadership, technology, innovation (clever title no?).

so, what all these blogs have in common is that they all have picked one thing to do and they do it well. for me, my brain has never worked like that. i’ve always been this “jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none” kind of person who really can’t land on any one, well anything.

so that’s my dilemma, and as you can even tell from this post, me being focused and not scatter-brained is about as likely as this bottle of lotion really being the re-incarnation of adolf hitler. ok so that’s probably enough nazi era references for one day. i digress… the bottom line is this blog is going to be all over the place, it’s going to be about me, about the things i find interesting, about what God is teaching me, and about the adventure he’s taking me on. i know all that sounds a little conceited to have a blog about me. why would you want to read about me? a question you’ve no doubt asked yourself already. and i get it, i would ask that too. hopefully you’ll find something here that interests you, do you like movies? this blog is for you. do you like music? than this blog is for you. do you think that christians are weird? me too… this blog is for you. do you love Jesus? me too… this blog is definitely for you.

hopefully this doesn’t end up in a fiery ball that is done in less than 30 seconds as the aforementioned zeppelin of death did and i stay focused enough keep it up. stay tuned for what’s going on in my neck of the woods.

andy loves dresses

Posted: May 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

and he will continue to rock it