CHECK MY AVAILABILITY

Thank you for considering me to speak for your event. It is a huge honor I do not take lightly.

If you would like to have me speak at your event or organization, I am pretty reasonable.  I do work as a Pastor.  So speaking engagements should be planned far enough in advance to prepare for that time away.  Please consider the time away from my job in how you would like to “love on me” for speaking.

If you would like to submit a speaking request, please fill out the form below to receive more information regarding my availability and possible reimbursement options.

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You're Welcome: Beautiful Eulogy

Musical obsessions come my way frequently. There is always an artist or band I just cannot get enough of. Right now, that band is Beautiful Eulogy. This is hip-hop group on the Humble Beast label. I have been really enjoying the mission, purpose, and product of everything coming out of Humble Beast. I have highlighted Propaganda already, but right now I cannot stop listening to Beautiful Eulogy. These guys, like all other HB artists, are not just good 'Christian hip hop". There is theology in here that we should all take in. This video is one of my favorite tracks on the album, but you should certainly got humblebeast.com and get the album free.

You're welcome!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz09EF4obYQ&w=560&h=315]

When you say "I don't want to complain, but...."

When you say "I don't want to complain, but..." we assume you're about to complain.

You love to complain. You love to make sure you are heard on the issue at hand. All of us, on some level, enjoy complaining. The hope is our complaints are on worthwhile things.

Let us no longer give the precursor of not wanting to complain when we cannot wait to complain.

When you say "I hate to say this, but..."

When you say "I hate to say this, but..." we assume you love to say this.

Come on! Admit it! Whatever you follow up that precursor with is something you have either been dying to actually say at the right time or it is something you actually say all the time...BECAUSE you love to say it.

Save the theatric! Just own it. You cannot wait to say this out loud for everyone to hear, so just say it.

This phrase usually completed with: - "I told you so" - statements about the state of an organization or country - statements about a person to or behind their back

But it was on SALE!!!

Early this year I put out a spoken word poetry EP. I had been charging $4 which was $1 a track, but I think that is ridiculous. I have marked the entire album down to $1. WHAT?!?!

Yeah! $1

You can pay $1 for the entire EP, or truth be told, you can download each track by naming your own price. You can name your price at $0.00 and its all yours. I only ask that if you take it for free, you please click like or tweet it. If you're going to take it, please share it!

[bandcamp album=1107388974 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

The Life of Pc

I once read Life of Pi; a book about a guy whose family is lost on a giant sinking cargo ship that was taking he and his family from India to Canada in order to begin a new life.  The author brings you along with Pi (short for Piscine) on the lifeboat he was lucky to get to after the ship sank.  As if that were not terror enough, also seeking refuge on the lifeboat are a slowly dying zebra, a hyena, an orang-utan, and a giant tiger all left from the zoo Pi's father owned in India.  His father was bartering the remaining animals so the family had a decent start in Canada.

At one point in my reading, Pi had been in the open Pacific Ocean on the lifeboat for almost 4 or 5 days now.  The hyena had eaten the zebra and attacked to kill the orang-utan.  The tiger had just killed the hyena, and Pi fears every moment whether he will be next.  Will he die of some other means?  Will the sharks get him first?  What would he do IF the tiger did attack him?

I went to bed that night!

I wonder what will happen to Pi?  Furthermore, what if all the novels we read are actually some distant reality actually happening and solely dependant on my finishing the story?  What if somewhere somehow Pi really is just sitting on a lifeboat in outrageous fear, and if I had put the book down never to finish after Monday night he never would have found the canned drinking water, ration, and a checklist like you would find on one of those team-building exercises your boss brings to board meetings?  "You and 3 of your co-workers are stuck on a desert island, and you only have a box of matches, a can of water, a pencil..."

What if Pi were really awaiting my finishing the book?  I mean Yann Martel (author) wrote the entire book; it has an ending.  But what if somewhere Pi was really stuck on a lifeboat with a giant tiger and he did not know there was an ending?

Moreover, what if Pi knew there was an ending, but my reading to it is the only way to reach the ending?  I think Pi would be pretty pissed at me for going to bed last night.  He's probably pissed at me right now while I'm writing this while I COULD be drinking my coffee and reading the darn book.

I say to Pi, "You know what!  There's an ending written for you, and we will get to it in good time.  Just wait!"

"PC, shut up!  Just shut up!  I am the one stuck on the lifeboat with a ravenous tiger looking for human dessert."

"Pi," I say with agitation, "there's still plenty of book left, and the book is entitled, 'LIFE of Pi.'  I am sure you get out of this.  Just be patient.  I am a working man.  I cannot read all day.  I will read tonight.  Just wait!  It will be fine."

Then I come out of my distant land of Pi and into the reality of PC.

God says, "PC, you know what!  There's an ending written for you.  I wrote it, and we will get to it in good time.  Just wait!"

"God, shut up!  Just shut up!  I am the one down here with bills, a job, a marriage, a family, school, a ministry and Satan waiting behind every corner for PC dessert."

"PC," God says with tender agitation, "there's still plenty of LIFE left, and I have titled it 'LIFE of PC.'  I am sure you get out of these things.  Just be patient!  I am a sovereign God, and the author of your life.  I will get you through your life as I have written in.  It will be fine."

Open-minded

Why limit yourself to only the things you can fully understand and define? We are cheating our human capacity and innate desire to search and seek.

We are capable of searching out greater things than ourselves, but we are content to limit that only to things we can quantify or too easily define.

Who is the real open-minded one?

New Prop Album

While Mumford & Sons release their highly anticipated album next Tuesday, there is one other record I am itching to get my hands on. Propaganda is one of my favorite poets and artists right now. He writes and speaks with boldness for the gospel that is not the typical Christian art which generally feels like watered down second-hands of mainstream art. Propaganda blows up everything he touches, and I cannot wait for this next record.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d25yBIWXayM]

4 Encouragements for Discouraged Leaders

A few days ago I spoke with my old intern about leadership and ministry. One of the things I told him, as he is on the forefront of full-time professional ministry, is to not only recognize the small encouraging moments, but to save them and hold on to them. They do not come your way very often.

As a leader of people, you are almost never going to get encouragement or praise from those you lead. In fact, you will always hear the things people are angry or frustrated with you over.

Here are 4 things I have learned (or am learning) to keep in mind as you navigate the discouraging weight of leadership:

1. The minority is louder than the majority Resist the strong temptation to believe the opinion of that person who dislikes what you are doing and who you are is the opinion of everyone. Remember that most people are never going to tell you that they love what you are doing, but the few who do not like what you are doing will almost ALWAYS tell you. Remember that THIS person does not like what is happening, but everyone else is good with you. IF there is not all-out anarchy, start assuming most people are on-board.

2. Save the good stuff somewhere A good ministry friend of mine once posted about a special box he has where he saves any encouraging letter, note, or comment he gets. Have a place to save those little things for a couple reasons. First, you do not get them very often. Second, those days when you are getting very discouraged and wondering if anything you are doing is making a difference or even working, pull out that box and read through those reflections from real people you are leading and caring for.

3. Surround yourself well I try (though right now not completely) to surround myself with a few different types of people, because otherwise, I will suffocate in ministry and leadership. First, I need to have friends who are not involved in my or any ministry. I need people don't know Pastor PC. They know relaxed, laughs a lot, homebrews, watches SNL and SYTYCD, drinks beer and wine, wears shorts sometimes, watches A LOT of college football PC. Second, I need friends in my specific ministry area. I meet once a month with nearly ALL of the college and young adult pastors and ministry directors in the Sacramento area. It is important for me to chat and sometimes vent with people who know exactly what I am talking about or up against in my area of leadership. It is more than networking; it is a monthly injection of keep-at-it. Lastly, I need wise people. I need someone who has been engaged in ministry for longer and at a different level than I have. I need them to challenge my attitude, my growth, and my actual actions. We all need a mentor, a counselor, a discipler (this is where I STILL lack right now as my mentor moved to another state).

4. Your obligation remains (remember your why) I was reading in Numbers 16 an incredible story about a large group of people complaining about their leader (Moses). Just read the chapter; a CRAZY story! In reflection, I read this by Matthew Henry: "If others fail in their duty to us, that does not take away the obligation we are under to seek their welfare." Do not forget WHY you do what you do. Do not forget WHY you started doing this in the first place. That obligation, that passion, that heart still remains; its just been knocked around a bit.

A pastor of mine once said, "Ministry would be great if it weren't for all the people." Leadership is always going to be difficult and messy, because we are working with PEOPLE. But be encouraged! You are doing a great job. Let me be one to tell you!

Passover Prodigal

The older brother in me is frustrated I never did the things the younger one did while I was doing the right thing

The Passover in me is thankful God has brought me out and rescued me from ever having to experience the pain of the far off land