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. ld on Tue, November 29, 2005

      A gift certificate from WalMart?!?  Where I live, employees are not allowed to say Merry Christmas as it may offend the atheists. It’s Happy Holidays or nothing. I certainly won’t be supporting this chain store and as Chrisstians we should ban together and boycott this before it will be an offense to sell anything with the name of Christ mentioned. Hey by the way MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    2. bernie dehler on Tue, November 29, 2005

      Todd said:

      “This’d make a nice post on it’s own sometime… I’ll think about that. “

      Todd, please read the book before you post, because it will give you some insight you haven’t seen yet.  He quotes Barna research frequently, so it’s not just opinion.

    3. Ben E. on Tue, November 29, 2005

      Yes Bernie,

      Reggie McNeil uses Barna research AND mentions mega-churches in a negative context BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT OF THE BOOK!

      I think “The Present Future” is a challenging and thought provoking book.  But, if people only go by your present comments, it will sound like just another diatribe against “mega” churches.

      The issue is with the mind, ministry, mental state of the church (in North America) as a whole.  It’s not about church size, it’s the overall attitude & focus REGARDLESS of size.

      You’ve quoted from pages. 22 & 23 but you have a long way to go yet!

      I would encouage you to take the same advice you gave to Todd,

      “please read the whole book BEFORE you post…” (emphasis, mine)

      Until then, have a holly jolly Christmas!  It’s the best time of the year!  I don’t know if there’ll be snow but have a cup of cheer….if your denomination allows it.


      Bless Ya’

      Ben E.


    4. RLH on Tue, November 29, 2005

      Hey Todd,

      I loved the post! And thanks guys for taking a great moment of fun and dragging it down the same road you take everything. Spend as much time serving God as you do arguing about how it should be done??? MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! and for all you Wal-Mart fans, they still say Merry Christmas where I live so my discount paradise is safe for now. And for you Todd, this Christmas I think you need the rare vintage Christian film “A Distant Thunder.” Nothing like a cave dwelling man with a 7 year supply of canned beans expounding the truths of the Scripture that he apparently did not believe when he was stockpiling??? Or maybe you might prefer the soon to be popular “1400 Things the Lord Told Me” by Evangelist I.M. Knotawierdo.

    5. Linda Navejar on Mon, December 19, 2005

      I am a Lakewood Church member. I find Joel to be a refreshing breath of God’s Love. He is a humble, caring, sincere man, who loves God and people as is the entire Osteen family. Houston flooded a few years back, Joel opened the entire church and the entire Osteen family - kids included were working. Joels father planted seeds and the Osteen children are reaping the rewards. If someone wants to be angry because God has prospered them, that is an issue that should be taken up with God, not by berating the Osteens and poking fun at them. Why can’t you just be glad for them and thank God that Joel can touch so many lives… I don’t want a iwjo pin either… but I love my pastor.

    6. Wayne Cook on Mon, December 19, 2005

      I thought I could find my copy of Salem Kirban’s books to send to you for Christmas, but it’s already gone…You know, they were titled something like “20 Reasons This World Will Not Last Another 20 Years.” He had about 3-4 of them, I think…Of course, they were written about 35 years ago…Oh, well!?!

      Thanks for a fun post.


    7. RS on Mon, December 19, 2005

      I visited a church one time that asked for visitors to raise their hands.  I did.  Then an usher came by and stuck this fur ball on my shoulder with a piece of tape.  The pastor then went on to say that “they just wanted each of us visitors to have a warm fuzzy this morning.” 

      Todd, for all the great articles you right, how about a case of “warm fuzzies”!

      Merry Christmas


    8. James on Mon, December 19, 2005

      Hello Bernie;

      You don’t know me but I also read “The Present Future”. I don’t know if you misrepresented the book, but I do feel the book challenges the church of the 20th & 21st century to be honest and ask some serious questions if we are being effective. I know a mega church in south L.A.area that is a mega church not because of good ministry skills or organization, their big because the need of the people is huge. So the church grew because of meeting a need in their community. And really, mega is relative in some aspects. I know a 500+ member plus church in a town of 6K and it is considered huge.

      Anyway I’m a little off the subject, “...Future” is a great read for we pastors who need to be challenged in how we’re doing church. McNeal simply states, we need to take another look and step up the plan to reach this world for Christ.

      Oh, Todd how about a string of confessional prayer beads compliments of Jimmy Swaggart ministries for Christmas? Nah!


    9. Rick on Mon, December 19, 2005


      You are funny guy thanks for the laugh. I have seen somewhere Bible action figures, since these people can’t have joy without fighting over trivial stuff maybe you can get a Job action figure.(Philippians 4:4 is a command not a suggestion,look it up). Guys lay off the mega churches, let go of who and how, and just love people because when Jesus comes back we will all be in one big massive mega-church anyway.

      Merry Christmas everyone.

      Rick H.


    10. Kevin on Mon, December 19, 2005

      Hey Todd,

      About a year ago I bought a Jesus action figure.  I didn’t buy it because it was “crude and absurd”, but because the warning on the bottom of the package said “warning choking hazard.”  I never thought about Jesus being a choking hazard, be careful kids the Son of God may choke you if you play with the small parts.  Anyway, I got a kick out of it.  That is how I feel about most people’s rants about this horrible world we live in so full of sin and despair.  I get a kick out of it, because we need to open our eyes and look past the despair and the see the joy of living for God and living for people as He did on earth.

    11. Peter D on Mon, December 19, 2005

      The “Jesus Hates It When You Smoke” ashtray is a GREAT IDEA.  I have friends who still smoke.  I have to get my hands on those ashtrays and give them to my smoking baptist friends.

    12. Sam on Mon, December 19, 2005

      Hello All,

      Thanks for the good humor this Monday morning. (Note to RHL-The Olsteen Family is a great family, I knew John and he had a great heart for God and God’s people. And a great Vision. I have heard Joel and I can not judge him, but I am concerned about the “me” message and not the “Jesus” message that may be heard from him. I hope and pray for him that his message is about Jesus, because it is ALL ABOUT JESUS, not us). God Bless

    13. Keith D Jordan on Mon, December 19, 2005

      while I think your comments about Rev. Hagee are a bit off-target, I do agree that I want nothing connecting me to “Mr. Compromise” Joel Osteen

    14. larry on Mon, December 19, 2005

      I have a real problem with anybody making jabs and jokes at anybody in the Body of Christ. I don’t think Jesus would do it…the comments about the Hagees, the Osteens, and even the Bakers…were uncalled for…Throughout my 30 plus years walking in the faith, they all “helped” me along at some point…They all, including yourself, have a human side…Merry Christmas and thank God for His redemption…

    15. Jim Eaton on Mon, December 19, 2005


      What you do here is valued greatly and has the potential of drawing previously divided members of the Body of Christ together. I pray you will continue. Your humor is timely and poignant as well.

      Joel Osteen, John Hagee and Jim Baker all thought about at the same time…I’m so sorry Larry and others, I too have a hard time with bashing of other Christians…but I can’t help it…I just keep getting this picture of the three stooges, but instead of their “who’s on first” routine…I see them at the gate deciding “who’s getting in”!  There’s JO the Encourager on the left welcoming and stroking everyone and telling them how awesome they are…and…JH the Enforcer on the right body searching everyone to make sure nothing unholy desecrates the threshhold of heaven, while JB is running back and forth between them agreeing with everything they both are saying while he’s collecting the last of everyone’s wealth and praying a blessing over them for giving it all to God!


      Okay, okay, I probably ought not to have done it…but I’ll have to lay hold on what Larry said as my excuse…“I have a human side!”

      We really do some crazy stuff…don’t we!


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