Monday Morning Insights

Photo of Todd

    Top 7 Things NOT to get Todd for Christmas

    (I know that many of you are wondering to yourself, "Self... what should I get Todd this Christmas?"  Please refrain from purchasing any of the following for me...)

    (Please, don't get me wrong... these might be great gifts for someone you know... just not for me, thanks).

    RicecowboyThe Dr. John R. Rice Cowboy Poster
    J. R. Rice is a classic preacher... but please don't get me this poster for Christmas.  "This is a wonderful full-color poster of Dr. J. R. Rice in complete cowboy dress. This photo would make an excellent keepsake for those who loved the "20th century's mightiest pen."  [oh my... what would Rice's fans think if I offered a "Rick Warren Hawaiian Shirt" poster for the back of YOUR 'study door'?  (Price:  $1.00 clearance (go figure -- it was $5.00!)  You can order here.

    Iwjo_2 The IWJO (I Watch Joel Osteen) Lapel Pin
    Again, this is for real... "Show your support for Pastor Joel and spread the message of his ministry by wearing this beautiful pin. As non-believers ask their co-workers, friends and neighbors about the I W J O logo, it will give them the opportunity to learn about and receive Christ as their Savior through Pastor Joel's Ministry at Lakewood Church. (Excuse me... but I find it hard to find much of the salvation message many times when listening to Joel himself... This, to me, is really just a cheap knock-off of the Jerry Fawell "Jesus First" pin that I used to own... I think I'll pass on this one... please don't buy this for me this holiday season).  Price:  $4.95 + shipping/handling.  (Car decals are also available.)  You can order here.

    Smokinjesus "Jesus Hates it When You Smoke" Ashtray
    Jesus, the Prince of Peace gazes balefully upwards at your approaching cigarette... How does that make you feel? 'JESUS HATES IT WHEN YOU SMOKE' reads the print inside this provocative, righteous ashtray.  Sticker on bottom reads: "use of this product may be hazardous to your health and/or eternal soul".  (This'd be a great soul-winning tool for those 'turn or burn' sign holders).  They're a steal at just $12.00, available here.

    RockmusicRock Music vs. The God of the Bible
    An extensive examination of rock music and its evil influence on society. Chapters include "My Experience with Rock Music" (the author's testimony), "The Roots of Rock" (focusing on the blues, jazz, black spirituals, and Southern Gospel) [NO NO NO... not SOUTHERN GOSPEL!!!], "Rock and Rebellion," "Rock Music and Insanity," "Rock Musicians as Mediums," "Rock Music and Pagan Religion," "Death Metal Rock Music," "How to Raise a Rock and Roll Rebel." 480 pages, $19.95.  Available here

    KeychainSinging Hallelujah Keychain
    The remarkable Singing Bible Keychain plays the  Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. It's not some junky little electronic version, mind you. Rather, it plays 20 seconds of loud, booming music sung by a full chorus and backed by an orchestra.  And miracle of miracles... Batteries are included! Hallelujah!  Just $5.99 available here.

    Hagees_1 The Best of the Hagee's
    "The songs found on this recording will speak to your heart in a way that will inspire you to action for the cause of Christ. This praise and worship recording, filled with the Holy Spirit, will inspire you."  (Sorry, it's just not my type of music.  I did order one for my friend Bernie for Christmas, though.  Shhhh... Don't tell him.)  Just $15 ($14 of that goes right into John Hagee's front pocket) available here.

    204Room 204:  Heritage Inn at Heritage USA
    "ONE-OF-A-KIND item from the now closed Heritage USA Christian Theme Park which was run by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. We were able to salvage some items from Heritage USA before they were destroyed and gone forever.  This hotel was once a thriving place welcoming millions of visitors but now is in the process of being torn down.  Of the 3 buildings, only one remains and is being torn down now.  The sign is made out of wood and is about 1 1/2 inches thick.  This would be a great item to hang on your wall in your office. Don't miss your chance to own a piece of Heritage USA and PTL history.  Remember, this is a one-of-a-kind item and once it's sold, the is not another like it."  Currently on eBay... bid price is just $--, oh, wait... there are no bidders yet... but you can buy it now for $45... just don't buy it for me.)

    OK... that's my list... anyone else have something that they really wouldn't like to receive this Christmas? 

    Maybe next time, I'll give a list of things I think would be really cool to get.  smile

    Have a great week!


    Well, Thanksgiving is past; and now our thoughts turn to Christmas.  Most people like to make lists of things they’d like to receive… I’d like to make a list for you of things that I hope I don’t receive…


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    1. Pastor Dan on Mon, November 28, 2005

      thanks for a good laugh this morning, I needed that

    2. Bernie Dehler on Mon, November 28, 2005

      “The Best of the Hagee’s”

      Todd, you know you are provoking me!

      Can you also buy me the companion CD, “it’s all about ME”, your article link:

      I actually saw the “ME” video (promo) at a church I visited a couple of weeks ago. It’s very convicting, and it will help me to keep the Hagee CD and ministry in perspective.  I’m tempted to buy it for a sermon illustration; I find it very convicting and true.  After seeing the illustration, it will really open your eyes to these ministries, and things like the Joel Osteen pin you mentioned.



      PS: Check out this book I’m reading “The Present Future.”  You think megachurches are good? It claims they are cannibalizing the local smaller churches (not really making new converts), and making most Pastors feel inadequate.  It quotes Barna Research throughout.  Overall, shows the “church growth movement” as harmful.  It seems to be well-wroitten; have you read it?:



    3. Kevin on Mon, November 28, 2005

      That’s a hoot!

    4. bishopdave on Mon, November 28, 2005

      I must buy the ashtray for my son!!

    5. Aaron on Mon, November 28, 2005

      The Jesus bobble head doll was missing from your list.

      Maybe someone would enjoy that.

      Thanks for the laugh on a Monday morning.

      I need to get back to scouring the church for artifacts to sell on the internet.

    6. Evangelist Jeff on Mon, November 28, 2005

      Todd, your a funny guy dude…

      I thought about buying you a suit of armor according to Ephesians 6:13, this would help protect you from those stick and stones throwers.

    7. Ben E. on Mon, November 28, 2005

      How about the “Todd Rhoads Christian Cowboy Blogger” Poster, ashtray AND pin set?

      Let’s start the bidding!!!

      And Bernie, I too would certainly recommend “The Present Future.”  I think it’s a “must read” and definately challenged my notions of what church should be.  And I’m a little more radical than most SBCer’s my age. 

      BUT, your comments concerning the book are a complete misrepresentation of the book’s content and the author’s intention. Infact if you are reading the book, you’d know that one of the main struggles the author faces is the mis-characterization, representation & presentation of his message.  Please don’t add to the confusion. 

      Now, back to our regularly scheduled frivolity…. could get a free tank of gas with every five sets sold!


      I think I’ve just filled my Christmas list!

      Ben E.


    8. Bernie Dehler on Mon, November 28, 2005

      Ben E.,

      I probably did misrepresent the book, but he did say that megachurches are cannibalizing smaller churches and making most pastors feel depressed.  But you’re right, there’s a bigger picture and message… I’m still reading,,, at the start of it still, but I can tell it’s good.

    9. Peter Hamm on Mon, November 28, 2005


      How ‘bout a vintage copy of “88 reasons why the rapture is in 1988”. I see where you can get a used copy for 20 bucks from!

    10. Pastor Al on Mon, November 28, 2005

      I have just purchased a genuine Plastic “Santa kneeling at the baby Jesus” figurine and was going to give it to my mother, but if it would bless you Todd I can send it your way… my mom would understand.

    11. Chris on Mon, November 28, 2005

      To add hysteria to an already funny post, one of your sponsored links is “” They’re advertising cheap Joel Osteen tickets right under your post. Maybe I could go and get my pin at a discount?

    12. Wendi on Mon, November 28, 2005


      I agree that Present Future is a perfect recommendation to go along with any post that is about rethinking church - but I don’t recall where McNeal said that “megachurches are cannibalizing smaller churches and making most pastors feel depressed.” At least two of the book endorsements are pastors of mega-churches.

      I felt that McNeal’s main point (if there was one) was that it is the purpose of THE CHURCH (collectively) to be missional, out there in the community, planning activities to help the members mix it up with the lost and invite them into the community of faith.

      What would be your summary?

      Let’s put one of those great evangelism tools into every stocking - a bumper sticker that says “honk if you love Jesus.”  I bet there are hundreds of people in heaven today because they listened to Christians honking at one another in the interstate.


    13. liz on Mon, November 28, 2005

      Todd, A must have is the snazzy retro smiley face button that says, “if you feel the joy of Christ in your heart, why don’t you notify your face”. It’s a stand out in the vestibule. Still got mine from Explo “72” woo hoo..might give you an in on it before it hits ebay.

    14. Bernie Dehler on Mon, November 28, 2005

      Wendi wrote:

      “I agree that Present Future is a perfect recommendation to go along with any post that is about rethinking church - but I don’t recall where McNeal said that “megachurches are cannibalizing smaller churches and making most pastors feel depressed.” At least two of the book endorsements are pastors of mega-churches.”

      Pg. 22:

      “There were several things wrong with the church growth movement” (written in bold), then says:

      “With rare exception the “growth” here was cannibalization of the smaller membership churches by these emerging superchurches.”

      Pg. 23 (talking about the super celebrity pastors, parallel to American pop culture):

      “… has created thousands of “losers,” pastors and church leaders who are not serving in high-profile, high-growth churches.  Consequently a large part of the leadership of the North American church suffers from debilitation and even depression fostered by a lack of significance.  The army of God has a lot of demoralized leaders.”




    15. Todd on Tue, November 29, 2005

      Hey Bernie,

      I would agree with the quote on page 23 for a number of reasons.  But I think it’s kind of unfair to say that it’s a critique of ‘super celebrity pastors’.  The lack of significance in church leadership; and the army of demoralized leaders has a great more to do with pastors not knowing who they are in Christ than with comparison with large church pastors.

      There’s envy everywhere.  The woman who owns a beauty shop with 3 stations envies the owner of the beauty shop with 15 stations and four locations.  Professors at community colleges probably look eith envy at ivy league professors.  So with the small church pastor and the large church pastor.  I think it’s unfair, particularly in the church to look at this envy or ‘demoralization’ as the writer calls it, and blame it on the large church or it’s pastor.  When we read in God’s Word who we really are as church leaders; the envy or feelings of insignificance should stop.  If they don’t, I think I know where I’d point the finger.


      This’d make a nice post on it’s own sometime… I’ll think about that.  (But right now, I’m off topic)  oops.



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