Archive - January, 2009

The Dos and Don’ts of Church Planting

Confession: This blog post was originally written to be used as a guest post on another blog, but it was waaaaayyyy too long and “not sarcastic enough“. Which is rather ironic, because I think that just might be the only time in recorded history that anyone has told me that I was not sarcastic enough. I’m gonna be honest, it was a refreshing change from the deep, breathy sighs and the knowing looks of disapproval that I am accustomed to. So, I figured, “Why let all this creative genius just waste away in the ever-increasing pile of google docs that are in various states of completion? I’ll just subject my loyal readers to my long-winded diatribe! (You’re welcome.) Without further adieu, I give you my magnus opus: The Dos and Don’ts of Church Planting (The Really Long Version).

Have you ever or are you now in the process of either planting a church or thinking about planting a church? If you answered yes to the aforementioned question, then answer this next question: Why? And don’t just say, “Because all the cool kids are doing it.” While that may be true (snort), that’s really not such a good reason. There are actually several good reasons not to be involved in a church plant. Here are three:

1) Because you’re burned out, angry and/or fed up with your current church.

Many of us have been there. But if you leave without exhausting every reasonable attempt to reconcile past hurts and disagreements, not only will you carry that bitterness and anger to your new church home, but not doing so ignores some really sound biblical doctrine. (Incidentally, this is applicable to all Christians, not just us super hip church planters.)

2) If your spouse/significant other is not completely sold out on the idea.

Planting a church is a fantastic experience. It can also be incredibly frustrating, scary, all consuming and just down right hard. If your spouse has even a hint of reservation about the idea, run – don’t walk – away. Your marriage is more important than the church plant.

3) If your future location is somewhere you have never lived and/or you know nothing about.

I’ll get some flack for this one. There are many successful church plants started by folks who knew squat about the area they planted in. John Burke’s church in Austin comes to mind, and I know there are many others. Gateway is amazingly successful. But before he started Gateway, he was the executive director of ministries at Willow Creek. I’m guessing he had a few connections. Plus he’s Baptist, and you Baptists are loaded! You can do statistical analysis and socioeconomic projected population studies out the wazoo, but for me, the best resources for knowing your target area are the members of your core group who intimately know the needs of their community. If you decide to be involved in a “parachute drop” church plant, don’t think it’s going to be like a vacation. Houston for five days is fantastic and fun-filled. Houston (or anywhere else) 24-7 looks a little different. You have to live there, get to know people and the culture. Understand that you need a good support system and a really committed support team for the long haul. Know that there will be times when you may feel abandoned and lonely; even second guessing your decision.

So, why should you be part of a church plant? My simple answer is that you have exhausted every other option. You have prayed and prayed and then prayed some more about it. God says, “Go plant a church,” and you say, “No, really. I’m good.” Then God says to you, “I AM totally not kidding. Stop worrying about your own comfort and financial stability and get out there and love on some people who would never even think of stepping through the doorway of your local church. They might be messy, abandoned, or marginalized, but they’re mine and I love them!” (God may not use words like “totally” when He talks to you, but still.) Then, if you don’t come by humility naturally, be prepared to be taken to school. Because if you’re really down with G-O-D, He will humble you in ways you’ve never imagined.

So, what are some dos and don’ts I can share with you based upon my vast year and a half experience with church planting? I’ve got roughly 897, but I’ll try to keep it brief:

Do employ the K.I.S.S. methodology. Understand what your point and your process will be. (Also sometimes referred to as a mission or vision statement.) Simple doesn’t mean easy, it only means simple. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend “Simple Church” by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger.

Don’t attempt to offer a bunch of programs to attract new members. Concentrate on how your church can best serve your community, beginning with the members of your core group.

Do have a pastor that has an absolutely sound, biblically based theology and make sure you are in firm agreement with them on the non-negotiables.

Don’t get bogged down with things that are more about tradition and personal preference such as using a worship eagle as opposed to an interpretive pop and lock dance set to Toby Mac’s “Feelin’ So Fly”.

Do make sure that your core group consists of people willing to lead and to be lead. You should be of like mind and vision for the church. If you’re a pastor, it’s not a bad idea to have at least one or two core members who would be willing to take a bullet for you. Because depending on where you plant, that might be a distinct possibility.

Do have a plan and a timeline for at least the first two years of your church. You can always opt to adjust things or make a change if needed, but it’s good to have a baseline. (Plus, if you are receiving support from other churches, it really bugs them when you say stuff like, “Que sera sera, Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see”, and then make a sweeping, full body twirl whist holding a scarf in your hand.)

Don’t get all stressed out about meeting some arbitrary deadline for your launch date. God’s timing is not always in line with ours, and the expense of a building is a huge financial commitment. Meet in homes for as long as it is practical. Invest your money in people via missions and outreach.

Do splurge for a professional looking sign if you meet in someones’ home and you regularly have over 25 people every Sunday. Something like “We are not a Cult” would be a good option.

Don’t recruit new members from other churches. First off, that’s just rude and doesn’t conform to the Golden Rule. Secondly, our mission is to make new disciples, not to play musical chairs, and third, like Jeff (my pastor) puts it, that fruit might be easy to reach, but it has already been picked, and frankly some of it is rotten. (The rotten part is my statement not his, but he wishes it was.)
Do attend the Exponential Conference in Orlando this April. Not only is it a great place to network and meet some great folks who are in the same boat as you, but you will also hear Francis Chan, Erwin McManus, Craig Groeschel, Neil Cole, Alan Hirsch, and (gasp) Tim Keller! For a complete list of speakers, go to their website. I am not exaggerating when I say that the author of every book (outside the bible) I’ve read in the past 2 years will be there. Well, I don’t think Stephen King will be there either, but if he was, HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT WORKSHOP BE? Incidentally, if Brent Foulke or anyone else from the conference happens to be reading this, I’m not above accepting free passes to the conference in exchange for say, unprecedented exposure to your conference via a link on Hey Look A Chicken. Which, incidentally has been read by literally tens of people on every continent on planet earth save Antarctica. And seriously, who’s gonna plant a church in Antarctica?

Don’t check your email and/or your blog if you’re sitting near me at the conference like you did last year. I will hurt you. (And seriously, I don’t want to see all the cool new apps on your i-phone.)

Do your homework before you agree to work with a church planting organization. There are some fantastic ones out there, but make sure that their vision for the church is in line with yours. Don’t agree to anything because you need funding. We are self funded, so that’s not an issue for us, but I know that is a luxury, not the norm. Incidentally, money will quite often follow the vision.

Do lots of research. Read books by successful visionaries and pastors that have blazed the trail before you. If they have a blog (and who doesn’t?), put them on your list of blogs you read on a regular basis. They’re a great resource. (Just remember that the bible is your best resource! Too preachy? Sorry, my bad.)

Don’t make wickedly funny, sarcastic remarks on pastor’s blogs. They rarely respond, and just between you and me, I’m pretty sure they find you incredibly annoying…(Not that I have any personal experience with this, I’m just saying.)

Do keep your sense of humor. Sometimes you may have to laugh to keep from crying.

Don’t plant a church if you don’t have a sense of humor. And incidentally don’t visit Convergence Christian Church either. If you’re extremely intense (or what I like to call “Darren Patrick-ish”) and don’t see the humor in a bunch of woefully imperfect prodigals attempting to live a life abiding in Christ, then I’m pretty sure you’d hate us.

A very special thanks for their insights and contributions to my excessively bad run-on sentences to my friend and pastor Jeff Hogan; as well as Beth, my fellow rockin’ awkward church planter in Terre Haute, Indiana: Land of the Slanket.

So, there’s my take on church planting. What has been your experience?
NOTE: I will probably post my much edited version sometime soon, because I’m pretty sure that didn’t make the cut either. Frankly, church planting just ain’t that funny. Now the conferences? That’s a whole different subject — FUN-NEEEEE! Dang, that’s a people watching extravaganza right there!

Another Award

Carol at She Lives awarded me a memeish award. I don’t actually know what a “memeish award” is. Candy (aka Candace Jean at Steele the Day) gave me an award last week (or was it the week before?) for being an awesome blogger. It probably should have been the “awesome slacker” award. That’s a title I carry proudly. I honestly appreciate the accolades, and I’m going to do this one for Carol because she plays bass, and that’s just cool beans. Not that Candy isn’t cool — she’s wicked awesome! But I forgot what I’m supposed to do for the other award, and I think I lost the little picture thingy. People should not give me awards unless they are going to cut and paste them to my blog themselves and forward all the necessary necessities to the aforementioned appropriate parties. Not that I’m complaining mind you. Okay, I kinda am, but I do appreciate it! Okay, so I’m actually not going to forward this cuz I’m just all kinds of lazy.

However, for the honor of displaying this fantabulous jpeg of a metal traffic sign, you must:

A) first list 10 honest things about yourself – and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!

B) pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap.

So allow me to lay down some deep truths about yours truly:

1) When I was a very young girl, I had a major crush on Peter Frampton. I had this ginormous poster of him in my room. It didn’t have “Rolling Stone” on it, but that was the picture in the center. I would get up real close to Pete and stare longingly into his glossy paper eyes. I listened to “Frampton Comes Alive” over and over, bought Peter Frampton “I’m in You” and somehow convinced myself that it was even a fraction as good as the live album (which it was NOT!) I even paid cold hard cash to see Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees (for crying out loud) star in St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This was a seriously bad movie. So, have you seen Peter Frampton lately? He looks like the CPA that does our taxes. Okay, sorry. We’re supposed to be honest. I’ve never actually met our CPA, but I certainly wouldn’t think twice about giving this guy a copy of my W-2 form.

2) When I’m in a goofy mood, I have a real hard time being serious about anything. Now THAT’s the truth! There are certain things that I don’t think I could ever joke about, but I think life’s too short to be all serious and intense all the time. I figure, God made me the way I am for a reason. I think I can use humor to dispel the notion that being a Christian means not having any fun and possibly reach someone that is can appreciate the spiritual gift of sarcasm. At least, that’s what I’m betting the farm on. Because if God doesn’t have a sense of humor, I think it’s a foregone conclusion that I’m pretty much toast. (Now see, I was going to use another descriptive there, but I cleaned it up. Clearly, I’m maturing, right?)

3) I cannot stand phoniness. I took a spiritual gifts assessment and I scored high in the “mercy” category. But I have neither the time nor the patience for big fat fakers! End of rant.

4) Even though I write like I talk, I do a better job conveying a concept or an idea in writing because when I write, I can spit all this stuff out that’s in my head and not worry about whether it makes sense. I can make it make sense later. Me talking is like the unedited version of a blog post. I get some blank stares. Granted, I probably get a similar reaction when some read my blog, but sometimes that’s intentional. Besides, if people don’t “get” me, it’s not like
there’s any shortage of blogs out there to read.

5) I am a really good friend. No really, I am. If you’re my friend, I’ve totally got your back. Just don’t lie to me. Dishonest people rate right up there with phonies. The only notable exception to this rule would be if I were to ask you, “Do these jeans make my butt look fat?” Cuz if you said no, I know you’re lying. All jeans make my butt look fat. I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of conspiracy.

6) I have close family members that have held on to unforgiveness for over 30 years. It is literally eating them alive from the inside out. It is heartbreaking that they don’t seem to realize that it is poisoning every aspect of their lives. I have tried to talk to them, but since I am the youngest child, in many ways I am still considered that dumb little sister that doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

8) I was raised going to church, but I didn’t have the slightest idea who Jesus really is. Church was somewhere you went on Sunday, heard some relatively amusing stories about whales and arks, a guy named Jesus who really loved the little children, and a big God who knew if you had been naughty or nice. Then everybody got the go to Sizzler for a chopped steak and the all you can eat salad bar.

9) When I was in my twenties, I had a group of friends that did not believe in God. I felt such a sense of fellowship with them that I began to adopt their philosophy of “I believe in myself”, thinking that it was some great truth. This experience helped me realize the importance of developing real, honest relationships with new believers. They long for a connection; a real sense of fellowship. Don’t abandon them. I believe it is Christians, and not God, who have caused people to turn away. I also believe that we will all be held accountable for this – BIG TIME.

10) I skipped number 7. (Just to annoy Angela.)

PSA No. 1: The hidden dangers of outlet shopping

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, but it bears repeating: Retail is for suckers. Having said that, I feel I should share with you some cautionary advice about spending extended periods in stores that offer “designer brands at discount prices”. If you do not find the deal of a lifetime within the first 10 minutes, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY! In your desperate attempt to find a bargain, often things that you wouldn’t give at the tackiest white elephant gift exchange somehow find their way into your shopping cart. If you are weak, shop with a buddy — preferably one who will bluntly tell you just how incredibly ugly that sunflower tea cozy really is. (If you’re in the Houston area, I am available at a nominal fee.)

Since a picture truly is worth a thousand words, I will give you some examples of what NOT to buy on your next shopping excursion.

In my exciting and rewarding career as a faux-paux painter, not only do I help my clients choose a color palette, help them with creative decorating solutions, and wipe God only knows what off of their baseboards, as an added service, I also am always on the lookout for decorative pieces that might fit with their decor. I have worked in a vast array of homes with a wide variety of decorative tastes. I have not, however, ever had the occasion to select anything like this:

(Then again, I’ve never painted for any missionary families.)

And while we’re on the subject of decorating, I have also painted a few fairly awesome beach themed rooms (if I do say so myself). Here’s the thing — if a child requests a surfing or beach theme, it is usually because he or she thinks it would be incredibly cool to have their friends hang out in said room. Resist the urge to buy every surfer themed item! Less is more. Besides, little statues like this do not scream, “I am cool”:

They scream, “I am as nerdy and as fish-belly white as Captain Shorty Pants, here.”

With a name like “katdish” you would think that I would be all about the decorative cat accessories — and you would be wrong. I don’t dislike cats; I have a cat. But having a real cat (and the associated litter box) is really all I need. I’m not fond of the bumper sticker declaring my sworn loyalty to the Abyssinian, Persian or Siamese. Nor, would I ever own any of these items:

And frankly, if you have actual cats that resemble any of the ones pictured, shopping should be way down the list of problems you’ve yet to deal with. And speaking of pets, if you purchase a lead crystal dog bowl for your little four-legged friend, does the word “Spoiled” really need to be engraved on it, Captain Obvious?

The following items truly defy any logic. I can only loosely categorize them into “weird stuff you might put food into or perhaps frighten a small child with”:

While we’re on the topic of frightening, have you ever purchased a celebrity endorsed product? I’m not talking about something useful like a thigh master or a George Foreman grill. What I mean is, have you purchased an item with a celebrity’s likeness on the packaging? Nothing says, “You really should stay with your own children next Christmas, Uncle Phil” like a celebrity endorsed board game:

Do we have any Dr. Laura fans out there? If you have read all of Dr. Schlessinger’s books and listen to her radio program faithfully, yet still are not entirely convinced of what a pathetic loser you really are, perhaps you may be in need of some personal counseling via your very own Dr. Laura doll:

Not only is your favorite snarky psycho-therapist decked out in a fabulous lemon yellow pants suit, but if you politely and respectfully press the center button of her single breasted, designer jacket, she will speak to you in that oh-so condescending voice of hers. I know this to be true, because I do what I am told. And when I saw that little blue circle that says “Try Me”, I did just that. I’m not entirely certain what she said to me, as my actions coincided with an announcement on the intercom (“Clean up on Aisle 5”). But I’m pretty sure she called me a tramp.

We’ve talked about the inside of your house, but what does the exterior of your home convey to others? Seriously, people. Do I even need to mention you should avoid the lawn and garden aisle at Big Lots at all costs?:

I also found a large assortment of toys and games soon destined to for the donation pile at your local house of worship, but I smell a post series, so I’m going to hang onto those pictures for awhile.

I will close this post with a word of advice for readers of the female persuasion. When you are getting dressed in the morning and your husband gazes upon your backside, do you really want him reminded of Easter egg hunts from days gone by, and the “big one that got away”?

While I have been known to rock the granny panties on those days between “when the laundry should be done” and “when the laundry is actually done”, clearly this should not be a regular practice. Besides, they make an excellent tea cozy!

A Challenge to Believers: Non, New & Mature

Matthew 44:44

“Go ye therefore and construct church buildings and fellowship halls and put nice organs in your sanctuaries, and then you listen to sermons and beautiful music and sit around in Sunday School classrooms and talk about the Bible. And don’t forget to buy a church van so you can take the elderly and youth on nice outings.”

The scheduled post for today was more random silliness, but I’m going to save that one for tomorrow or Friday. I need to do this post. Wednesday is one of my Internet fasting days, so if you have a comment, I’ll promise to get back to you on Thursday.

I also need to explain the picture. I do not think the Bible is “goofed-up” in any way. I chose this picture because I think we goof up the Word of God by sometimes taking things out of context. I believe that the Bible — from Genesis to Revelation — is the Story of Jesus. Yes, it is more than that, but unless we understand and believe His story, what’s the point? Unlike most books, it is suggested that you begin somewhat in the middle, with the first Chapter of John, which is interesting, because in many ways, that is the beginning. (Sorry – does that make sense?)

So here’s my challenge:

To the non believer: Read the first chapter of John. Does it make sense to you? I’m not asking whether or not you believe it, I’m only asking if it makes sense. Or does it seem confusing? Completely ridiculous? Unbelievable?

To the new believer: Read Luke, Chapter 15. Who, if anyone, do you identify with in this story? Who do you believe the main character(s) to be? Not who you THINK you should identify with, or who your pastor or mentor told you was the main character. What does your gut tell you?

To the mature believer: Read Luke, Chapter 15. Same question as above. But I’m asking you to put aside your Bible commentaries and attempt to read the introduction into the parables and the parables themselves as if you are reading them for the first time.

I will be working on a post that I will publish next Wednesday. Until then, would you please indulge me just a little? I’ve heard and read the above passages so many times that I fear I have often skimmed over some very valuable teachings contained within. Please feel free to share any preliminary thoughts with me. I only ask that they come from your heart as well as your head. I would also ask that no one get into a discussion about the merits of one particular denomination over another or disparage anyone for believing or not believing in a Divine Creator. For the purposes of this discussion, I would very much like to focus on what unites us, not what divides us.

Back to more of my distinctive ridiculousness tomorrow.

P. S. – I will also be posting something about my experiences in the weird and wonderful world of church planting on Saturday. Please tell all your church planter buddies to stop by for a visit. I think us geeky church planters need to support one another!

This just in: I am not fat, I just have a butt cold!

Okay, whether or not you’re considered obese is a matter for those ridiculous insurance charts. Pull-lease! They don’t take into account those of us that are big-boned (pronounced: big-bone-ded), and the fact that you have rather large feet and a fairly sizable head. (I gotta fit my giant brain somewhere!) I’m kind of like Oprah…only I’m not famous, African-American, have a book club, a huge production company, nor could I buy and sell you several times over if I wanted to. But I digress…

According to the latest research, obesity may be caused by a virus spread like the common cold. Check this out from

Obesity can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands, scientists said Monday. The condition has been linked to a highly-infectious virus which causes sniffles and sore throats. Nikhil Dhurandhar, an associate professor at The Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge, La., said the virus, known as AD-36, infects the lungs then whisks around the body, forcing fat cells to multiply and also causing sore throats. “When this virus goes to fat tissue it replicates, making more copies of itself and in the process increases the number of new fat cells, which may explain why the fat tissue expands and why people get fat when they are infected with this virus,” Dhurandhar said. In one test, a third of obese people had the rare and highly contagious virus compared to just 11 percent of thinner people. Weight gain can last three months until the body has built up resistance to the bug.

Check it out the entire article here.

I am comforted to know that IT IS NOT MY FAULT! I can only presume that I have a mutant strain of this virus: Fatassatosis. Won’t you join me in finding a cure? My bathing suit would appreciate it.

Cartoon Bloggers Part 6 – SCL Lightning Round

Forever! This series has taken forever! As is typical for me, I think something’s going to take way less time than it actually does. But I didn’t want to rush through it and make some rookie mistakes. Cartoon/Fictional Characterizations are serious business. My rep is on the line here. Okay, whatever…I just overthink things sometimes.

Part 6? Sheesh! I’m ready to stick a fork in this one, people. The following are folks that have commented on Stuff Christians Like. Their comments have either made me think, made me cry, made me laugh or simply say out loud, “Oh yeah…they went there.” Including everyone from SCL would be impossible — there are many not listed simply because I really couldn’t come up with a suitable comparision. There are others that are listed more than once because, for me, no one character association captures the essence of my perception of them. Many of them will not make sense to someone of sound mind. But this is ME you’re dealing with here. If you need clarification on any of these, or if there’s someone that is obviously missing, let me know in the comments section. These are in no particular order, and remember, animation is the highest form of flattery (or something like that).

Annie K:

Nick the Geek:

Big Al:

Perky Guy:



Max 02:



tim m:

Stacy from Louisville:








Prodigal Jon:



Jeff (C3):




seth grodin:





Prodigal Jon:



Rick the Polonian:

Prodigal Jon:

Annie K:

Nick the Geek:


Steph @ the Red Clay Diaries:

Beckey Z:

Jason S:



Max 02:


Ryan B:



texas shawn:




Curtis Honeycutt:

Steph @ the Red Clay Diaries:

Stacy from Louisville:



Pete Wilson:

Carlos Whittaker:




Vanities of Vanities:


Candace Jean:

Matt @ the church of no people:


Vanities of Vanities:(are you happy now?)


Pete Wilson:




Matt @ the church of no people:


The Esteemed Reverend Acuff:

And while individually, the contributors to the comments section are hilarious, touching, smart, strange, intelligent and thought provoking, it is as a whole where I think they reach the stage of awesomeness. This is what the comments section reminds me of:

Booty, God, Booty.

Or-fay y-may iend-fray Erri-Shay

when the darkness fills my senses
when my blindness keeps me from your touch
Jesus come
when my burdens keep me doubting
when my memories take the place of you
Jesus come

and I’ll follow you there
to the place where we meet
and I’ll lay down my pride
as you search me again
your unfailing love
your unfailing love
your unfailing love
over me again…


Cartoon Bloggers Part 5

I’m going to start this post with a bit of free advice. If you are a notorious procrastinator, don’t ever say, “I’m gonna do this cartoon thing, and I’m gonna post it on such and such date.” Because, you silly person, you know that your time management skills are horrible, and then you’re all pressured and whatnot, and you’ve got a little person all worried that you’re gonna compare her to some horrible cartoon character. So then you have to throw out all the funniest ones because you promised that you would be nice (which you WILL be). Plus, you have NO IDEA what your crazy friend Helen is thinking, and you start second guessing what you originally thought was pretty brilliant. But I digress…

Okay, chatty blogger gal pals, this one’s for you:

Did you see the movie Sybil? Do you remember the final scene where Sally Field and Paul Newman’s wife were sitting by the tree and all Sybil’s personalities come out one by one from behind the tree? There was one personality in particular, I can’t remember which one it was, I just remember the line. Sybil says, “Of everyone, I think I will miss you most of all.” Or maybe that was Judy Garland to the scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz”. I’m not sure…I’m really goofy tired right now. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, here’s the thing: If Hey Look a Chicken was Sybil or Judy Garland in Oz, and I was speaking for HLAC (and why wouldn’t I?), I would say that line to Helen. I love all my bloggity gal pals, but Helen is special, and I mean that in the best possible way. She just “gets” me, and that’s no small accomplishment. Plus, comparatively speaking, her and I go way back. Okay, sorry. I just wanted to put that out there.

Helen from Random Musings as Jessica Rabbit

(Okay, sorry…inside joke.)

For real this time:

Helen from Random Musings as

Dory from “Finding Nemo”

Yes, she’s incredibly random, so much so that she actually understands my humor even at its very weirdest. And she often steals the show, because she’s just that funny. But the most endearing thing about Dory (Helen), is that she genuinely cares for people, she is a loyal friend, she sees the good in people (do you remember the scene with the sharks?), and she is forgiving and humble. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!”

Okay, here’s an easy one. Who’s this?:

Yes. That’s right. It’s every one’s favorite pretend counselor, Dear Gabby. She also goes by the name Sherri, and several other personalities yet to surface. She’s actually pretty amusing, but if you were wondering whether to click on the crisis hot line website or Dear Gabby, I would choose Option A.

And speaking of Sherri,
Sherri at Matter of Fact as….

Okay, seriously. You could fill a Macy’s parade with all the stuff I came up with. I’ll get to the real one is a sec, but I’m gonna put just a couple out there:

Marie from The Aristocrats and (of course) Smurfette:

Incidentally, there are some VERY WEIRD PEOPLE out there with some pretty disturbing smurf fetishes. So, there’s my little public service announcement – from me to you.

AHEM! Sherri at Matter of Fact as Lucy (as in “I Love Lucy”, not Peanuts. But don’t think that one didn’t cross my mind, too!)

Obvious similarities: Red hair, silly, funny, Lucille Ball (in later years) had a whiskey voice, Sherri (I’m told) has a whiskey voice. Paralells: Lucy was always trying to be in Desi’s show, Sherri includes Big Al in her show, Lucy had a smart aleck friend, Sherri has LOTS of smart aleck friends, Desi was the singer, Sherri is the singer, Sherri is short, Lucy was not short. Okay, that’s all I’ve got for specifics. But I see more of a “big picture” comparison here. Is it just me? (See Sherri? I told you I’d be nice.) Plus, the whole Lucy/Gabby/Lucy/Sherri thing worked out pretty good, huh?

Okay, people! Am I right, or am I right? Young girl travels to faraway places and champions a cause. Eliza seeks to protect and save the lives of animals, Mare works to protect and save the lives of the people of Nigeria. (I’m not quite sure where the snarky sister, weird little brother and the fully clothed, talking monkey fit in, but still.)

Annie from Buzz by Annie’s as Sandy the Squirrel from “Spongebob Squarepants”:

Annie/Sandy: Devoted friend, smart, funny, unafraid, tough, yet still feminine. Very sweet and kind, but doesn’t care for a bunch of whiny, sissy crap. Okay, I think I like that one…a lot!
I had to be careful here. Because anything I project on to Steph, is going to apply to me too, because personality wise, we are freakishly alike. She cracks me up. Which is weird, because we both crack ourselves up. Sorry, where was I?
Steph at the Red Clay Diaries as 1) Junie B. Jones

Really…right? But unless you have kids who read Junie B. Jones, you probably won’t get the comparison (except maybe the glasses and the red hair). But I think I’ve come up with a pretty good comparison who is more widely recognized: 2) Flo from the Progressive Insurance Commercials:
Steph/Flo: Textbook example of the Sanguine/Expressive Personality Profile. I hope you like this comparison, Steph. I think it’s pretty awesome!

I’m not going to lie. Of all the comparisons I’ve done so far, this next one is my absolute favorite. Having said that, it would be impossible to capture the comparison with just a picture. No, no…a video is an absolute must! May I present my very favorite geeky church planter chick and my very favorite cartoon character of all time:

Beth of That’s Not Me Anymore as Bessie Higginbottom from “The Mighty B”

I would like to say for the record, that the original video I posted was approximately 89% more awesome that the one here, but Viacom pulled it. But still. Bessie Rocks! And so does Beth! In case you’ve never seen an episode of the Mighty B, go to, they have full episodes. Beth/Bessie has a heart of gold, and is not afraid to “Get her Geek on!” Go B’s, Go B’s!

According to my strict, self-imposed schedule, I’m supposed to be posting the SCL all star commenters. But dude…I’m tired. I’ll post them next time, I promise!

Cartoon Bloggers Part 4

I’m gonna get right to this, because I have a bunch of folks to immortalize here.

First up, bloggers that were my friends before they were my blogger friends. I am not a Trekkie or a Star Wars fan. Sorry – I don’t get it. But my blog roll is awash in them! I literally had to spend minutes of in depth, painstaking research into various characters, but I think my friends are worth it!

Kris at Elephants are People Too as Dr. Beverly Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation

This may come as a surprise to some, but Kris is actually NOT a large, grey pachyderm. She is a beautiful wife and mother who has been a great encouragement to me over the past several years. She writes a conservative political blog that I like to leave stupid, random comments on because some of those people really need to lighten up. Actually, most of the comments are respectful and intelligent. She had some, um…interesting followers, but let’s just say they’re not allowed to leave comments anymore. As it turns out, the whole Dr. Crusher thing works out pretty well. I just cut and pasted the Wikipedia description and changed a couple of things. Otherwise, it’s a pretty accurate description of Kris:

“She is very intelligent, passionate, and caring; she is introverted, reserved, and quiet; she has a very strong will and a sense of justice and will stand up for the underdog, even if that sometimes means going against her training as a Starfleet officer obedient church goer. She is often found playing devil’s advocate in the senior staff meetings her husband’s bible study class, though she always does so with class and sensitivity, taking the feelings and views of others into consideration.” Yeah. That works for me.

Laz from Last Row as Anakin Skywalker (before he turns to the dark side and becomes the voice of James Earl Jones)

(Okay — I don’t have a picture of Laz, unless you include the one where he and his wife are dressed up as Mary and Joseph holding a baby doll in a manger surrounded by a goat and a very sad donkey, and that would just be confusing. So I’m using Danny Phenton because there is definitely a resemblance.) Anyway, like I said, I didn’t really get into the whole Star Wars thing, but I’ve seen parts of all of them. So Luke’s father was pretty wicked smart; Laz is pretty wicked smart. Plus, he’s a giant Star Wars freak, so I figured he’d be cool with the comparison. But I don’t think there’s any danger of him going over to the dark side. He’s down with G-O-D in a big way.

Seriously — this is Christine’s profile picture. Star Wars geek? Oh YESH! Another very scary smart person, very discerning, a prayer warrior extraordinaire, a role model, a real artist (like actually trained and stuff), FUNNY — man, is she funny! Currently enrolled in seminary, which is probably why she hasn’t written a blog post in forever! I miss you Christine. Quit surfing Facebook in your spare time and write a post already!

Jude from And Jude Wonders as Kim Possible

Again, sorry — no picture. I met Jude (or Judi) several years ago and lost touch with her. I am SO very happy to say that she is a core group member of our church plant, and I gotta think that it was God’s plan all along. Another very smart person. We share the bond of having made many unwise decisions in our lives “back in the day”, but God was merciful on us both. So, why Kim Possible? Well, let’s see…hard working executive, single mom of two great kids. Oh yeah, there’s this, too: she is a Christian working for a non-profit that runs an AIDS clinic surrounded by some fairly outspoken opponents of Christianity. And while things are not always sunshine and roses, she has witnessed to her co-workers without words for years. She never shoved a bible down any one’s throat, but gained respect by the way she conducted herself. So much so, that she was actually able to share her testimony to a room full of people who actually wanted to hear it. None of them are busting our doors down on Sunday morning, but I definitely think some seeds were planted. Yeah…Kim Possible.

Julie at A Preacher’s Wife as Jessie from Toy Story 2

Oh, I miss my friend Julie! She and her pastor hubby Jeremy and their 2 cuties moved up to Yankee country (near Dallas) and are growing a cool church up there. Julie, like Jessie is a fan of country music, is spunky and outspoken. She also had quite a bit of heartache at an early age, but she’s a fighter and puts her faith and trust in Jesus. Now, all I want to know is, who is Stinky Pete? (Okay, don’t answer that one.)

Okay, that’s it. This thing is getting really long, and I’m not even half-way down my list. I’ve got a bunch of pictures and I don’t want to lose them during transport from google docs to blogger. (Hey, that was some free techno-geek advice right there, so you’re welcome.) My next post will immediately follow this one. Breathe, Helen….breathe! You’re next!

Cartoon Bloggers Part 3

First I want to apologize for not posting this sooner. When I first thought of this concept, I thought it was going to be an easy-breezy little series of silliness that would fly off my fingers and into the blogosphere. But I quickly realized that a) I am not easily offended, and I sometimes like to project that particular character trait onto other people, b) the LAST thing I want to do is to personally offend anyone just to get a laugh, and c) the personalities of the people I’m featuring are way more complex than most cartoon characters. So, as I continue my silly little series, please keep in mind that whatever I happen to come up with is by no means an in-depth personality or character profile. Alrighty then? Here we go:

First up, is Pam from Life as I Know It as Junior Asparagus (what?)

Okay, hear me out on this one. Pam is very sweet; Pam is very funny; Pam is not as boisterous and loud as some other bloggers I know (unless you include her blog jukebox, but I digress…). Junior is very sweet; a little on the quiet side, but in “Dave and the Giant Pickle” this little, quiet guy turns out to be a very big hero. Pam is a licensed vocational nurse. She often requests prayer for kids and families that she knows, and I just know that those people witness the Love of Christ through her compassion. That makes her a pretty big hero in my book.
Candace (Candy) from Steele the Day as Phoebe Bouffet from “Friends”

So it seems that Candy is a bit of a health nut — kind of a granola girl. (Just like me, only completely different.) The only reason I know that she is older than I am is that she tells me that I remind her of her daughter and, she said she didn’t know who Heart was but was down with Sonny and Cher. I gotta tell you, that always throws me when she says stuff like that because she just seems really young at heart (must be the green tea). She’s not quite as nutty as Phoebe, but she has her moments!

Jamie at Rose Cottage AND Rambling Rose. (She’s also a photographer and a home schooler – busy girl!) Jamie as Audrey Hepburn:
I mean, DUH! If you read my post Getcherfreakon, then you already know that I’m a fan of Audrey Hepburn. What you may not know is that I am also a fan of Jamie. Now here’s the weird part — I admire Jamie because she displays many of the qualities that I admire so much in Audrey: grace, compassion, kindness, and just a little bit of crazy quirkiness. She really should quit smoking, though…(Oh, I’m only KIDDING!) If you check my sidebar, you will notice that there are a few links to some very worthy charities. One of them is “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”. This organization provides photographers free of charge to the families of stillborn or near death infants in the hospital so that they may have a beautiful portrait of their child before they are laid to rest. Jamie and her husband Ken both volunteer their talents to this cause. Talk about classy! Who’s awesome? Jamie’s awesome!
Next up, Tim from the Wide World of Timbo as Dwight K. Schrute from “The Office”:

Honestly, I’ve been reading this guy’s blog for several months. Why? I don’t know. We have absolutely nothing in common except that we both have SCL on our perspective blog rolls and we are both incredibly weird — but weird in different ways. All I know is the guy makes me laugh. Why would I compare him to Dwight? Just go check out his blog roll. I think you’ll get the picture. And speaking of pictures, how awesome is his “Timbo Advisory”? Sometimes I just click over there because it always makes me smile. Tim, if you’re reading this, I hope your heavy metal, survivalist, action-hero collecting, weapon toting friends don’t make fun of you for reading a girl’s blog.
And speaking of weird guys from “The Office”, my next blogger comparison is JML (Jake) from Very Much Later and Creed Bratton:

Why would I compare a recent college graduate, part-time barrista and youth sponsor to a slightly off balanced, crotchety old guy? I suppose to truly understand why I did this, you would have to read his blog. Jake is a Christ follower, a very thoughtful and talented writer and basically a really nice guy. However, he sometimes has a low tolerance for whiners and often poses questions (to himself and to others) that are blunt and unnerving. While some might find this offensive, I find it incredibly refreshing. I think Christians worry too much about offending people. In my opinion, if you’ve never offended anyone in the pursuit of spreading the Gospel, you’re just not trying very hard. Here’s a brief snippet from a recent post:

“I have to admit that much of what I say and do, I do because it requires people to think, and sometimes I probably cross the line, and I sort of have a reputation for doing this kind of thing, but I’m glad to do it, if it can make someone think.

I remember driving somewhere with a bunch of interns in the car once discussing how sheltered they were when it came to understanding certain cultural things, and I had to tell them,

“I will un-shelter you all!”

I wish God would do this to us, because we need to be exposed not to evil, but to the things that have been branded as such to be liberated and to freely enjoy things that we should be able to, like rock and roll, hardcore music and people who we might just think are “too bad” for us all.”

(LOVE that!)

On my cartoon blogger post featuring pastors, I neglected to mention Max from Random Thoughts bout Random Things Sometimes. I don’t know Max that well. I only know that he is recently married and is an intern worship pastor. I can only base this characterization on what he has written — both on his blog and comments on other blogs. Based on the following comment posted on Matt at the Church of No People, there is really only one comparison that comes to mind: “KATDISH IS RIGHT, something, something, something, yada, yada, yada.” No doubt, Max is destined to be among the rising stars of the modern Christian movement. Therefore, my comparison is Max and C. S. Lewis:

Shawn from Brainclutter. This one kind of stumped me, but I think I’ve got a reasonable comparison. Shawn as Lisa Simpson:

(Sorry about the teeny-tiny profile picture, that’s the best I could do!) So why Lisa Simpson? Shawn is firm in her convictions, speaks out against wrong, and is often the voice of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. I like to visit Shawn’s blog and gripe sometimes. She’s a good listener.

Carol at She Lives. While I would love to take credit for finding Carol’s blog, I will grudgingly admit that it was Steph (at the Red Clay Diaries) that found her. She is just ridiculously funny. Check out her Plunger 101 and 102 Posts — I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there! But alas, she plays the bass, and because I am a vocalist who hangs out with a bunch of talented musicians (my only instrumental talent is playing the tambourine — badly), I am reduced to goofy admiration. Therefore, my comparison for Carol is Tina Weymouth — bass player for the Talking Heads (Okay, she’s a real person — do you know any well known female cartoon bass players? No? I didn’t think so.)

BeckeyZ from Zimmages. I’m not quite sure how Beckey found my blog (probably how most people did; thank you Jon Acuff!) Anyway…I don’t want to reduce Beckey to just someone who takes pictures, because she’s funny and cool and all that, but DANG! she takes some good pictures! So my second real person/real person comparison is Beckey as Annie Leibowitz:

Well this has been really fun, but I think I’m ready to move on to other topics. This will be the final installment of Cartoon Bloggers…Th-th-th-that’s all folks!

OH, CHILLAX Helen! I’m just kidding. Next post: SCL Comment All-Stars, bloggers that I actually know live and in person, and a few of my favorite chatty blogger gal pals. Stay tuned!
(And just remember Sherri — Animation is the highest form of flattery…oh, wait! It’s imitation…DANG!)
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