Friday, January 30, 2009

The Big Game

In case you hadn't heard the Super Bowl happens this Sunday. The NFL is very protective of letting outside groups use the word Super Bowl for advertisement, so in an attempt to stay out of small claims court I didn't use the term Super Bowl in the title of this post. There will be several folks from Freedom hosting parties during the first half of the game. This is a great time for you to make connections with people you normally don't have as much time to talk with on a typical Sunday morning. Pick a location from the list below, and have a great time making new friends this Sunday!

Patat's: 102 Rubiwood Circle, Greer / 877-9464

Johnson's: 239 Watercourse Way, Taylors / 895-8680

Haynes': 810 Shady Lane, Greer / 877-5064

Schulte's: 458 Pink Dill Mill Road, Greer / 895-1240

Breece's: 9 Clearwater Court, Taylors / 977-8030

Owens': 110 Palmetto Drive, Greer / 877-7485

Comer's: 106 Green Street, Greer / 608-3235 (Middle / High Schoolers)

Please arrive no earlier than 5:30, and try to leave by the kick-off of the 2nd half.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Random Thursday

I don't have any great story to tell today about cute little girls taking off their shoes at church, so instead I'll just fill you in on some random thoughts in my head and things in my life.

I've been praying a lot about money lately.
Everywhere I am I hear about folks losing jobs, businesses closing down, and churches and ministries that are behind on donations. I was in a meeting yesterday where the financial needs of a ministry here in town were being shared. Then I came back to the office and checked some financials for Freedom for January, and I was made aware again that the tough economy is affecting us. I have a tendency to worry when it comes to money, so I have made an effort to pray instead of worry. It's no surprise to God that times are tough financially. It's His desire to reach everyone with His message of good news, therefor I know He will provide the resources to make that happen.

I bought the new Springsteen CD on Tuesday.
As some of you know, Springsteen is one of my favorite musicians. I'm looking forward to his halftime performance at the Super Bowl this Sunday even more than the game itself. That being said, I was a little disappointed with this latest CD. There are some good tracks, "Outlaw Pete" is an instant classic, but overall it sounds as if the Boss was in a rush to put this one out. Maybe he wanted it to coincide with the Super Bowl promo. Some songs actually sound unfinished, as if there was a good idea for a song that was recorded without taking the time to re-work it into a really great song. Despite those things, I'm sure I will listen to it until I know all the songs by heart. One last thing about the CD that disappointed me was the use of an R-rated word on one track. Now, it's not like I haven't heard that word before, it's just that I've never heard that word on one of his recordings. It wasn't needed to make the song better. I'm glad I was listening to it in my truck when I discovered this. Usually when a new Boss CD comes out I just play it in the house, because I want my girls to be exposed to awesome music. That song won't be getting any air time in the Marshall house.

For those of you completely uninterested in music reviews or E Street Band talk I apologize for the boring content of this blog. For those of you who are Bruce lovers (there aren't many of you out there) let me know what you think of the new disc.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pink toenails and pure joy

I got to see one of my favorite people at church this past Sunday. Her name is Lauren, and she is two or three (not exactly sure) years old. There are a couple of reasons why Lauren is one of my favorite people to hang out with at Freedom. First, she normally is very excited to see me. She spots me and then begins to run full speed ahead to give me a hug. I try to be sure and bend down in time for the hug, but if I can't get down fast enough she just latches onto my leg. Second, she calls me "Clip". That makes me smile every week. Finally, she is always wanting to show me something. Sometimes it's a bracelet she's wearing, a boo-boo on her finger or something she made in Freedom Kids. This week she was excited to show me her freshly painted toenails. There was one problem. Since it's January she was wearing socks and shoes. That didn't stop Lauren. She proceeded to take off her shoes and socks so I could admire her bright pink toenails. It didn't matter to her that people normally don't take their shoes and socks off and on throughout the day, it didn't matter to her that her Mom had just put them back on her. What mattered was showing off her nails.

It made me wonder. Is there anything I'm so excited about that I couldn't keep my mouth shut about even if I tried? What could be so important to me that I would tell it to people even if my telling it meant that I was breaking some unwritten social rules (like taking your shoes and socks off in public).

Of course there is an obvious answer...

I should be blabbing all the time about how Jesus loves me and has forgiven me for all the stupid stuff I've done. I should be so thrilled with who He is that I would show Him off to anyone I could, even if it made me seem weird. I'll ask God this week to help me be at least as thrilled with who He is as Lauren was about pink nail polish!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Here's some video of an exciting end to the USC vs. Florida basketball game on Wednesday. I think Mike Holmes should try out for quarterback of the football team. He's much more accurate than any of the guys currently on the roster! Enjoy the over the top audio call from Mike Morgan as well.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

President for a day

Well I asked yesterday for your comments regarding what you would do on day one as Obama or Bush. I still think there are those of you out there with some interesting things to write, but you're just being shy. I posted all the comments that have come in so far (all three of them) and now here's my list. Notice this list is not that serious. It's 4:00 in the afternoon, and I'm tired of being serious today!

If I were Obama:
- send messages to old girlfriends who broke up with me that reads, "To quote the great Steve Perry, 'Who's crying now?'. P.S. - Michelle sends her love"

- appoint a special counsel to investigate Oprah Winfrey. You know she's got to be up to something shady.

- send past due notices to the banks that received the billions of bailout dollars.

- hire the chef from Mulate's in New Orleans as one of the White House chefs, just to make bread pudding once a week.

If I were Bush:

- begin nasty crank call and e-mail campaign to Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow.

- make out a to-do list that would read as follows: Things to do today - 1. nothing in particular, 2. nothing of significance, 3. nothing that will affect world peace

- take Laura on a date. The first private date without cameras around in eight years.

- call my brother Jeb and warn him that being President is not all it's cracked up to be.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What would you do on day one?

Well in case you hadn't heard, our country swore in a new President yesterday. As I was lying in bed last night I wondered what Barack Obama would do today, his first day on his new job. I also wondered what George Bush would do today, his first day in early retirement.

Here's where I want many of you who read, but never leave comments to participate: I want to know what you would do on day one if you were the recently sworn in pres or the now former pres. I'll write tomorrow what I would do if it were me. I'm looking forward to some creative responses!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't hate me becasue I can't stop laughing

Last week I wrote on here that there are a lot of embarrassing things I find hilarious, but people who think they can sing being rejected on American Idol isn't one of them. As I thought about that later, I decided I would share with you some embarrassing things I do find funny.

Falling down / Falling off of something
I would like to say that I wait and see if the person is hurt before I laugh, but I usually laugh first. I know that is not good, but it just comes out so quickly. Therefore I often have to apologize later for laughing at the pain of someone else. Then when they recover we all laugh together.

Pants coming off
Whether it's a loose belt or a pair that gets torn off on a nail, the quick and unexpected removal of a pair of pants is worth a chuckle. Let me clarify one thing, the act of "pantsing" or "shanking" someone (where one person sneaks up behind another person and pulls down their pants) is not funny. In fact that is one thing that gives you an iron clad reason to punch someone, in love of course.

Accidental release of methane
This doesn't need a lot of explanation. For anyone who thinks it is inappropriate that I listed it here, you know you thinks it's funny as well. Be honest. It's hilarious.

Diving board mishaps
These are almost always funny. Due to the fact that the person is landing in the water the chances of very serious injury are minimal, therefore I don't feel as guilty for laughing immediately.

I would love to know what embarrassing things you find funny, or even better I would love to hear stories of some of these things that have happened to you. All of these types of things can be seen almost nightly on America's Funniest Videos. Anytime I need a guaranteed laugh, that's what I watch.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Some things to pray about

I'm looking forward to praying with many of y'all tonight. We will spend about an hour together praying specifically for Freedom. Here's a list of what we'll lift up to God tonight. The list is in no particular order, except that number one on the list is the most important. After that, there's no rhyme or reason to the order.

1. More people would give their lives to Christ.

2. All our regular attenders would be fully committed to the mission of "helping people discover the true freedom only Christ can give."

3. A place to meet
explanation: Before anyone freaks out, we can still meet at GHS and we would love to meet there for a long time, but we know that the Greenville County School District won't allow us to stay there forever. It's time we spent some serious time asking God to show us where He would have us meet next.

4. Financial and people resources to do all God wants us to do.

5. That Freedom attenders would live within their means and become generous givers.
(this one goes along with number four)

6. Wisdom

7. Future staff

8. That God would expand our influence.

9. Leadership

Pray for these things regularly, and I believe we'll be amazed at what God will do.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bits and pieces

Here are some bits and pieces of what's happening now:

- Time of prayer tomorrow night
Remember that tomorrow from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. we will be meeting at my house (103 Thistledown Way, Taylors) for a time of prayer for Freedom. This is a great way for us to be sure we are in line with what God has for our church in the future. I'll post a list of the things we will pray about on here tomorrow for those of you who can't make it.

- Get ready for Super Bowl parties
On January 21st we'll have information about where you can gather with friends to watch the first half of the Super Bowl. This will be a great chance for you to invite some of your unchurched friends to hang out. My prediction for the teams that will be playing in the game: Eagles and Steelers in an all Pennsylvania showdown. Of course, last week at this time I was certain the Panthers would win it all.

- American Idol starts tonight......but I won't be watching.
I never watch until the tryouts are finished. Call me crazy but I don't enjoy seeing people with no singing ability, who have been told by the producers of the show that they can sing, get embarrassed on a national stage. There's a lot of things that are embarrassing that I find hilarious, but the crushing of people's dreams ain't one of them.

I want to formally apologize to Mrs. Harne my 12th grade English teacher for the use of the word ain't in the previous sentence.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Grandbob's doing well

Thanks so much for praying for my Dad and Mom yesterday. The procedure went well and took less time than expected. Sherry and I were able to stay until about 4:00 yesterday afternoon, and we had plenty of time to visit with my Dad while he was recovering in CCU. Other than being uncomfortable and aggravated that he had to lay flat on his back for about seven hours he was doing great when we left.

I just got off the phone with my Mom about an hour ago, and they are at home now. The doctor released him as long as he would promise to be a couch potato for the next three days. My Dad assured him that would not be a problem!

Thanks again for praying, and please continue to pray that his heart will stay in rhythm, and that there won't be any future complications.

Before I log off here's a prediction for tonight's game: Oklahoma's offense won't be able to stop Tebow. He seems to play best when it matters most, and I don't expect anything different tonight. Of course it could be a Sooner blowout, what do I know?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Checking in

Sherry reminded me yesterday that it had been some time since I wrote anything on the ol' blog here. I won't make any excuse other than taking some time off for Christmas, and New Year's. Here's some stuff going on now that you might want to know about (or not).

- I'm really excited about the new series of messages we began this past Sunday. I was telling Donny and Blake today that it has been great planning these messages on Nehemiah, because the story of how God shaped His vision into Nehemiah's life is so clear in the scripture. All I have to do is tell the story and get out of the way. That's really the way preaching should be all the time isn't it?

- Pray for my Dad tomorrow. Sherry and I are heading to Columbia tomorrow to be with my parents while my Dad has a heart procedure. It isn't open heart surgery, but it's a pretty involved process to try and keep his heart from going in and out of rhythm. The procedure starts at 8:00, and can take anywhere from 4-6 hours to complete. I would appreciate your prayers for him and my Mom.

- Christmas was fun and busy and now that it's over I'm ready for Spring. The warm weather we had yesterday really made me have Spring fever. If it weren't for the NFL playoffs I would prefer to skip January and February altogether.

Keep checking in for new posts here. I will try and put a report about my Dad on here tomorrow night, and then I will get back in the regular habit of writing three to four times a week. Besides, American Idol will be starting soon, you know I'll have plenty to say about that.