Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Erwin McManus

Some of you have been asking about why I loved Erwin McManus so much at the A2 Conference. Well, thank you Perry Noble for writing like a maniac and capturing some of Erwin's words!

There are more people on the planet today that need Christ than ever before, over 300 million in the US alone, with experts saying that the US will have 400 million by the year 2040, and our churches are concerned with “incremental growth?” No wonder we are having problems!

How are we going to reach people across the world when we won’t even change our style of music to reach our own kids?

The opposite of a “come as you are” church is a “don’t come at all” church!

Most of the time the people who have not met Christ are way more honest than those who have met Christ.

Many times if you lead the attack for the cause of Christ…the spears thrown at you will come from behind you.

It’s a tragic thing when Christianity exists without Christ.

The churches that look perfect–they’re dead!

Many churches have an “intimate” feel–but not in a good way. it’s sort of like when you walk in on someone making out…it’s intimate, but you just feel like you’re not supposed to be there.

Worship leader seeks church that appreciates 'good synthesizer'

Lark News : WICHITA — Worship leader Stan Burleson, recently fired from his post at First Assembly in Wichita, is looking for a church that appreciates his worship leading gift, and the vast potential of his synthesizers. "I don't mind if people get lost in the goodness of God," he says, "but I want them to remember what got them there: the gilded, diverse tones of this wonderful instrument." Burleson works hard to get the most out of his synthesizers, often playing two at once and switching sounds with a flick of a wrist. He bobs up and down, shakes his head and steps back from the keyboard to deliver an emphatic bang on the keys. His latest CD, "Synth Praise II," made the top 100 music sales chart in the Family Christian Bookstore in his town for a week in June. He was released from his previous position because of a "philosophical disagreement over bell tones" with the pastor. Burleson insisted the chime-y synthesizer setting lent a "heavenly quality to times of high worship," but the pastor forbade the "tinkly noise" and complained that people couldn't find the melody. The church also complained that Burleson's stack of keyboards had grown so high that he could no longer be seen. Burleson says he now wants to find a congregation that values the synthesizers' full capabilities. •

I got SpitBoxed!

I got spitboxed! Woo-Hoo! Thanks for the link love!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I Heart Shoe Shines

I never realized how rewarding it could be to shine some shoes. The transformation is incredible! Ryan has another interview on Monday, so this afternoon we bought him a proper shoe shine kit. We have been shining all the shoes we can find, and are loving every minute of it. If you have any shoes you would like us to shine up, just let us know.

My Friend John

You're not going to believe this! I have 25 MySpace friends now, and John Maxwell is one of them! Hahaha! That is awesome!! I am honored, eventhough I am one of his 1,510 friends...

Friday, October 27, 2006

A2 Conference Review

Over the past 3 days I have been taking a peek inside 6 churches and ministries who are doing some pretty interesting things. Each of the 6 had their own case study that was presented, and each covered a different challenge, from Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture to Becoming more Multi-Cultural.

I especially loved hearing from Craig Groeschel, whose voice sounds EXACTLY like Nicholas Cage. He talked about LifeChurch.TV which is a multi-site reaching more than 13,000 people with 40 weekly services at 9 locations...the most intriguing of which is the Internet Campus. Through video and technology they are moving the church beyond walls.


  • What are you going to do with your life that will last forever?
  • Do you have close friends who are a different race, religion, or ethnicity than you?
  • Are you looking for and meeting the needs of those in your community?
  • Do you have a protagonist (David) or antagonist (Goliath) perspective? Can you see from the other's side?
  • Do people feel like they can come to church to get well or that they have to get well to come to church?
  • Do we love our traditions more than we love our children's traditions? CHANGE!!
  • Will the thing that I pour my life into live on beyond me? What legacy will I leave?

Erwin McManus was not scheduled to speak, but Bill Hybels is still sick, so Erwin wrapped up the conference with a bang! He absolutely nailed it! He says things in ways that I would have never thought them. I loved what Erwin said. I think most Christians in America today need to hear that last session.

It was great to see Mark & Perry there! Check out their reviews of the conference.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Happy birthday to my sister Angela.
I remember when we would play dress up and she would be the princess and I would be her dog.
The years we spent in the bunk bed room...which she had sprinkled glitter all over in attempt to spread the "pixy dust" around.
The times that she would yell out, "AAROMBER" to get Aaron and I to both respond.
She is a wonder, a joy, and is simply hilarious.
People say we sound the same. I say her singing voice is much better.
Angela is one of the single most compassionate people on this planet. She cares deeply for people and they feel that care within the first few minutes of being in contact with her.
She has spent years volunteering her time to build into the lives of Jr. High and High School girls who look up to her and learn from her and model after her.
She has traveled to distant countries to help those who are less fortunate, living in poverty, and she has given herself to showing the love of Christ to everyone she meets.
She is a light in the darkness...not just a light in the light.
Angela has lived each day of her life for others.
She is wholly devoted to Johnnie and inspires me by the way she serves Jesus beside him.
To top it all off, she is a whiz at cutting hair, she is creative and artistic.
I don't think that there are a lot of siblings out there with a relationship like ours.
I could not love her more.

I love you Sista Sista! Happy Birthday!!!

How Fishing SHOULD Be!!

Now THIS Fishing Trip video is seriously worth watching!

I Joined MySpace!

I took the leap! I've been thinking about joining myspace for quite awhile...and last night I decided to officially go for it. When I woke up in the morning I had 5 new friends, which was really exciting! Then, when I got home today I had 8 friends! Awesome! I can definitely understand why this myspace thing has taken off the way it has.

If you want to be my friend too, just go to www.myspace.com/ambercoxy

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Watch This!

If you are one of those people who wishes they could get more done in less time, you can't miss Rob Wegner's sermon from last weekend at Granger. It's only available until this Saturday, so take a few minutes and Tune In Now!

I Pity the Fool

Mr. T is back and better than ever - He's got a new show, "I Pity the Fool," airing Wednesday nights at 8, on TV Land, where he motivates workers to be better at their jobs, reunites families who've grown apart, and helps inspire people to be better human beings.

BeliefNet recenly asked in a recent interview, "What do you pray for?"

I get up every morning and say, "Father, give me strength today, not strength so I can lift 500 pounds, but give me strength, Lord, so when I speak, my words might motivate, might inspire somebody, Lord, when they see me, let them see you. When they hear me, Lord, let them hear you. In your holy name I pray."

I say to the Lord, "when they see me, let them see you" so you know I can’t be coming out of the strip bar with a couple women on my arm. And I say "Lord, when they hear me let them hear you"--that means I can’t be telling them nasty jokes I used to tell. Because the Bible says, every time Christ sees a new creature, old things are passed away. I’m not the same man I used to be, I’m not out hell-raising, stuff like that.

I am a changed man. I said that God abides by me and I abide by him. I said I let God live in me. So I tell people when I step out, I’m representing the God I serve, I’m representing the mother who loved me and who used to knock on the neighbor’s door so I could have money to go to school.


But is it driveable?

And you thought my Honda Civic was pimped out. This one happens to be the best overall car job ever according to the Daily Buzzer. Talk about detailed bling. I'm frightened.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lullabyzed Coldplay

When I have kids, they're going to be falling asleep to THESE Lullaby's.


I finished GOOD TO GREAT and the SOCIAL SECTORS by Jim Collins on the plane and thought I would share some of his thoughts with you. Let me begin by saying "Thank you Jim for writing this book!" I found it to be incredibly concise and helpful. I highly recommend it to those of you functioning in the non-profit sector of society.

This book is all about building a framework of greatness, articulating timeless principles that explain why some become great and others do not.

  • The best leaders of the future - in the social sectors and business - will not be purely executive or legislative; they will have a knack for knowing when to play their executive chips, and when not to.
  • True leadership only exists if people follow when they have the freedom not to. If people follow you because they have no choice, then you are not leading.
  • It will be more difficult to get the wrong people off the bus, so focus on getting the right people on the bus.
  • Business executives can more easily fire people - equally important - they can use money to buy talent.
  • Do whatever you can to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.
  • Money is a commodity; talent is not. Time and talent can often compensate for lack of the right people.
  • "Brand" refers to how well your organization can cultivate a deep well of emotional goodwill and mindshare of potential supporters.
  • Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, as it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.


Some people give money to Jesus, others make money off of him. Amazingly, this company has captured the Scent of Jesus in a candle which you can purchase for only $19.95. They even offer a personalized greeting card...


This one's for you MANN...

While in New York, Ryan's brother Chris introduced me to Current.TV, a channel that is literally filled with VC2 (Viewer Created Content) It was incredible! I couldn't take my eyes away! I loved it!

It works like this:
Anyone who wants to contribute can upload a video. Then, everyone in the Current online community votes for what should be on TV. You can join in at either stage -- watch & vote or make video. (They've also got online training to help you get the skills you need to make TV!)

This is definitely not a traditional TV network. Watching Current, you'll see more, on more topics, from more points of view. I enjoyed it thouroughly. You might too!

Piracy Pirate

Jack Black has produced an hilarious send-up of anti-piracy PSAs as part of the promotion for his upcoming Tenacious D movie. Link

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Green Lakes State Park

This lake we visted yesterday looks green when the sun hits it. Pretty awesome against the fall colors on the trees! We're heading back to Chicago this afternoon. I can't believe how fast our time in New York has gone. It's been great to reconnect with Ryan's family and see where they'll be living for a few years. Life is an adventure. I want to experience it.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Cub Cadet

This is a family full of men who love their lawns. Mr. Cox has neighbors who cannot understand how his lawn is so green, since only 2 months ago it was a mud slick.

The Cub Cadet has a 0 degree turning radius, which makes mowing fun!

Christopher could write the users manual for this particular mower. Once the baby grass gets stronger he'll be able to finish the lawn in half the time

Chittenango Falls

Today was beautiful! The snow from yesterday melted away and the sun came out! We checked out Chittenango Falls this afternoon! I've never seen a bigger waterfall in all my days. I can't believe this is only 10 miles from their house!

Ryan has decided that New York may be the state for him. He loves being outdoors and loves the Fall.

We're having a blast!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Erie Canal

The rivers and streams around here are flowing like crazy from all the rain! Here we are standing my the Erie Canal, which could have swept us away at any moment. If only this blog was streaming video...

New York New York

We made it to the Big Apple!
Did you know that Ryan's family recently moved to Syracuse? Yep, they sure did, and we're lucky enough to get to be here visiting for the weekend.

The house is gorgeous, eventhough so far we've only seen it in the dark, in the rain, and now in the snow. IT'S SNOWING
Ryan's brother Chris is the champion frisbee player in his gym class, a master photographer, and basically the coolest kid I know. We love being here with the family!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


If I were the marketer behind this one, I'd probably be hiding out somewhere right now.

According to BoingBoing, this photo was taken at a market in Costa Rica: a line of cleaning supplies called "Terror." Oh, what dark, foreboding poetry lurks in those long-lasting pink suds. Do we use it to cleanse the world of terror, or does the war on terror wash our Constitution away? One wonders what might become of the foolish adventure traveler who attempts to fly back to the US with this stuff in their suitcase.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Fray : Live at the Aragon Ballroom

Yep, That's us at the Fray concert. I knew 2 songs...but the thousands of Jr. High girls that were surrounding us were singing every word to every song. It was beautiful.
One major hilight for me was the dancing queen who was standing in front of Michelle the whole time. Michelle is not the tallest gal I know, and the dancing queen was probably 6 feet. She swayed and swayed and danced around until there was quite a bit of empty space that she had managed to carve out for herself as the crowd around her started to back away.
Good times at the Aragon Ballroom. Good times taking the train there and back. Good times with Bryan and Michelle. Good times, Good friends.

Are you who we've been looking for?

Proof that RV's can be COOL!!

If I had to get an RV, I'd probably want this one. Do they sell these in Elkhart?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Imaginary Influences

Here is a new list of the 101 most influential people who never lived. Some of my favorites are Smokey Bear, The Little Engine that Could, G.I. Joe & Bambi.

10 Ways to Lose Me as a Customer

1. Don't say anything to me when I first pull into your shop.

2. Badmouth other oil change places in front of me.

3. Cuss and swear while you're telling me how you hurt your knuckle while unscrewing my oil cap...do you want me to apologize or something?

4. Don't ask me what grade of oil I want, just go ahead and dump in 5 cans of the most expensive type you've got.

5. You're covered in oil...Don't stand so close to me.

6. Walk away for 3 of 4 minutes and leave me wondering if my oil change is complete.

7. Tell me to start up my car before the guy underneath says he's clear. That's not messy at all.

8. Put "10 minutes" on your sign and keep me there for over 30. I love that.

9. Have me pull forward before the guy under my car gets his head and hands out of the way.

10. Make me wonder what is leaking out from under the car after I have left your shop.

Thank you Lube Pro's, for inspiring this post.

Business as Mission

A generation of 20 and 30 something businessmen and women are graduating from college with dreams to do something significant. They long to use the passions, the skills, and the reckless abandon that they posses to make a dent in this crazy world.

For some that fresh, youthful bliss has been buried under several years of burnout in corporate America. The daily grind for more numbers to satisfy shareholders and line the pockets of the corporate executives has worn them thin.

We are looking for something more, something different... Something that give us purpose, significance and hope while using the tools that God has placed in our hands...Business as Mission... is the phrase that has grown to describe a generation of pioneers that are on the front lines of a new phase in the church and in the world. [more]

Tagged again... and again

I thought I might make it through this round of tag without getting caught, but alas, it has happened...again. The tricky part is that not one, but two people that I know of have tagged me. Thank you Tim & J.

1. Freaky Frights on Forest Avenue
2. Viruses
3. That thing in the cave in The Neverending Story

1. My brother Aaron
2. Dwight Schrute
3. Ryan (of course)

1. The Devil
2. Country Music
3. Oops...I listed the same thing twice.

1. Wearing my coat
2. Drinking a Diet Coke
3. Collecting "Cool Things Churches are Doing" stories to post on www.AspireOne.com

1. Fill up my passport with stamps
2. Catch a huge blue marlin to hang on my wall
3. Change the world

1. Sell stuff
2. Drive a stick-shift
3. Be myself

1. Reverse driving directions
2. Fly in a small aircraft without tossing my cookies
3. Rip a phone book in half

1. Moody Radio
2. www.OneLlama.com
3. Imogen Heap

1. Sushi
2. Chipotle
3. Hamburgers

1. Rainbow Bright
2. Smurfs (but don't tell my mom, because we weren't supposed to watch that)
3. Care Bears

1. Dan
2. Katie
3. Michelle's Mom

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Update from Sandy and Greg

Remember my roomie Sandy from College? Well, she and her hubby Greg are doing great serving in the Dominical Republic. They're teaching at the La Vaga school there for the year. Language has been one major barrier, and lack of electicity has been another. Apparently they have it, they just never know if it will be turned on or not.
Click here to read thier blog. Make a Donation to support Sandy and Greg

little pup

This little Yorkie is no bigger than a teeny tiny squirrel. I like to hang out with her downstairs in Lauren's apartment whenever I get a chance.

She is only a puppy, but won't get much bigger than she is right now. I love her.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Aaron & Robbie came to visit!

One of my favorite things of my life is getting to hang out with my siblings. My brother Aaron FINALLY got a vacation and was able to hang out in Chicago for a day. Robbie came too, and we all went to Palmer's Place for some of the best burgers in Chicago. After that, it was carmel apples. GLORY!

Aaron is HILARIOUS. For those of you who have the pleasure of knowing him, you'll agree. For those of you who don't know him...I feel bad for you.

And here we are from left to right: Aaron, Admiral Perry, Me, & Robbie (Ryan was behind the camera)

Clearly Catalyst

Other people have been a lot better at blogging conference notes than I have, so feel free to read those here, here, or here...and HERE is someone who didn't like Catalyst at all. Or, you can just check out my thoughts below.

Before I begin, let me just point out two things I noticed.
1.) There seems to be a total lack of really incredible female leader/speaker types represented from the platform at Catalyst

2.) I don't need to hear speakers cuss from the platform. I think some people think that by cussing the audience will relate better to them, but that is not the case. Instead, it makes me think they aren't creative enough to think of anything better to say...and cussing is simply not cool.

Andy Stanley (North Point Community Church): "Leadership is stewardship. It's temporary and you're accountable."

Marcus Buckingham (Formerly of Gallup): "Are you one of the only 2 of every 10 people who spend most of their time working in their areas of strength? Take a stand for your strengths! Areas of weakness are areas of least opportunity."

John Maxwell (my friend): "we attract who we are, not who we want. People don't pay for average. How do you find great leaders? Find potentially great leaders. Did Jesus spend an equal amount of time with everyone? No!"

Gary Haugen (President of International Justince Mission): "25,000 kids died today from hunger related causes. 1.5 billion don't have medical care...but this is not injustice. Victims of injustice are those who are abused and miserable because of other people! 1 million NEW children every year are taken into forced prostitution. God has a plan. We are the plan! God doesn't have a plan B. We're the plan!"

Donald Miller (I met Donald and had him sign a copy of Blue Like Jazz I got for Ryan): "Do we want to reach the world? Stop being lights in the lighthouse! We're supposed to be lights in the dark!"

Louie Giglio (Passion Movement): "The church is God's plan to change the world, not the government, not corporate America, not philanthropy."

Kevin Carroll (Nike, Livestong): "Each of us has a story. What inpsires you? what are you chasing? What are you so passionate about that you would lose your breath if it was taken away from you?"

Can you find me in the WORLDS LARGEST PILLOW FIGHT ? How about in THIS Dodgeball Tournament? I can't imagine what they'll think of for next year's world record...

As you can see from the picture, I ran into Dan at one of the breaks! What a guy! I gave him some of my thoughts on which songs he should take back to Granger with him. You may be hearing "Glorious One" at a New Community Service really soon!

A big hit for me was when Jeff Foxworthy did his stuff in the last session. Hi-larious! Did you know he's is a Christian!?!? I love when famous people follow Christ! He even did some redneck jokes about the disciples, which were brilliant. They are too brilliant for me to even remember because I was laughing so hard.

You know you're a redneck if...
you have a set of salad bowls that say "cool whip" on the side!
you make change in the offering plate
fast food is hitting a deer at 65 mph
you have a race car on your prayer list
you stare at orange juice containers because they say "concentrate"
your dad walks you to school cause you're in the same grade