Excuse My Mess

Excuse My Mess

I’m in the middle of a project that should have never had to happen. I’m consolidating ALL of my media content from around the Web and bringing it all here. Articles, Sermons, videos, music,… ALL OF IT! [featured-image...
Erasing the Aisle

Erasing the Aisle

I am really trying to stay out of the political discussion this early on in the race, because, well, I’m actually very busy and remarkably tired most of the time, and this kind of stuff is Taylor Swift Exhausting. That said, I saw an article posted on Facebook...

Update: Knocked Out but Not… Wait…

Hello, friends! Just a quick update today to let you know why I have been MIA for a month, and what to expect in the near future. On June, 22 I was in a car accident. It wasn’t a big deal, overall, but it did total my car and, thanks to a non-deploying airbag, I...
The Prodigal Was the Bad One, Right?

The Prodigal Was the Bad One, Right?

Recently, I was asked to teach at a Men’s retreat. The subject? A very familiar parable of Jesus: The Prodigal Son. Easy, right? [featured-image single_newwindow=”false”] The problem, for me, was finding that angle, that insight, that fresh...
Sparrows and Faith

Sparrows and Faith

Some days it’s hard to be motivated. Anyone who is, essentially (or truly), self-employed can tell you that. Even if every aspect of everything you do is 100% your one and only passion, it is sometimes difficult to stay focused. Some days, I admit, I am...
U2, Apple, and You Too

U2, Apple, and You Too

Without question you’ve seen it, either in your Facebook news feed, or somewhere else online. It’s been everywhere It’s worded a lot of different ways, but it comes down to this: “Apple secretly downloaded U2’s new album to your...
Are You Chasing the Right Rabbit?

Are You Chasing the Right Rabbit?

Confucius (or, possibly, Ovid, some random Roman, Cossack, or completely underrated human – but certainly I’ve heard Michael Hyatt say it a hundred times) said, “Man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” This is an easy thing to say, but a...
3 Warnings for Teachers

3 Warnings for Teachers

Alright, it’s confession time: I fought God tooth and nail against my calling to preach. I just refused. The list of reasons are long and varied, and the story is, mostly, entertaining and informative, but my last hold out was a little verse in the New Testament...
The Two Phrases That Kill Churches

The Two Phrases That Kill Churches

It’s never fun to talk about topics like this. But it’s even less fun to sit in a conference room, or on one end of a phone meeting and hear someone say these deadly phrases. [featured-image single_newwindow=”false”] I’ve sat with more...
What I Believe

What I Believe

I once got into an exchange on Facebook that was troubling to me: not because of the content as much as due to the fact that the conversation made me realize that I had never expressed to this particular friend what are my specific beliefs. Now the context of that...
Why I Refuse to Work Miracles

Why I Refuse to Work Miracles

For a long time I have been one of those people that takes what comes and tries to make the best of it. In my work, this meant receiving an almost impossible request and doing any and everything to make it happen, even if it meant ignoring my own needs, the needs of...
006: Gastric Surgery Post-Op [Podcast]

006: Gastric Surgery Post-Op [Podcast]

What is life like in the days following gastric surgery? Surprisingly, not too bad, but also terrible. [featured-image][/featured-image] Also, in this episode, we have listener questions. Click to Listen Podcast: Play in new window | Download Some highlights: The...
#005: Wednesday Weigh-In 12-26-13

#005: Wednesday Weigh-In 12-26-13

This is the first ever Wednesday Weigh-In episode! [featured-image][/featured-image] In this episode, I will share my first post-op weigh in, the numbers it included, what excercise has been like for me this week and my weekly food tip. Click to Listen Podcast: Play...
#003: Gastric Surgery Pre-Op [Podcast]

#003: Gastric Surgery Pre-Op [Podcast]

The thought of enduring the process of gastric surgery can be overwhelming, but, in all honesty, the “Pre-Op” stage wasn’t that bad. [featured-image][/featured-image] In response to a listener email, I share some pivotal stories from the...
#001: Answering the What [Podcast]

#001: Answering the What [Podcast]

How appropriate is it that this podcast is launching at the beginning of the calendar year? I am so excited to bring you the first episode of the Day One Podcast [featured-image][/featured-image] Have you ever been on the receiving end of news so shocking that it...
Podcast-less

Podcast-less

Well, my friends, as of 1:34 am Monday morning, I am still waiting for iTunes to approve my podcast feed for this show. I have one in the can waiting for you, and I will probably record one on the way up to an appointment at the hospital tomorrow. Thanks for coming...
Good News

Good News

Hey, friends! I don’t have much to say today, but I wanted to share some GREAT news from yesterday. [featured-image single-newwindow=”false”] But before I get to the great news, one statement and one last announcement. First of all, thank you, thank...
The Beginning

The Beginning

So, it hit me tonight: Today is the first day, James. It’s time to start moving. [featured-image single-newwindow=”false”] Here are the bullet points: I will be getting a gastric sleeve surgery in about 12 days. I have a few health problems (most of...
UTC, Free Speech, and Stupid

UTC, Free Speech, and Stupid

I don’t often do “current events” type commentary here, but a local event has triggered a lot of very strong reactions. Many of my friends at UTC (some of whom are not believers) have asked me questions about this situation, and, as the answer is...
The Line

The Line

Anybody who knows me understands what this Blahg is about, but if you’re not one of those people let me fill you in: This is where I talk about anything that strikes my fancy, but doesn’t really fit into a neat category. I might spew about how much I hate...
The Trouble with Pastors

The Trouble with Pastors

We have a problem with pastors. We have a problem with all teaching leaders. The problem is this: We always expect them to be around. We always expect them to teach and to lead. Sunday services are a time to be ministered to (among other things). That’s their...
The Credibility Shelf

The Credibility Shelf

I have been hesitant to share this, but… Here it is.  The other day I saw this ad in my Facebook feed. This is a clear example of Social Media Marketing done… just… WRONG. Look at the key elements: An author has a book, website and newsletter....
The Danger of Agreeing with Your Pastor

The Danger of Agreeing with Your Pastor

Hebrews 13:17 says, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to...
Injustice and Freckles

Injustice and Freckles

It’s been a terrible 24 hours. To give context for future reading, in the past 24 hours we had the verdict in the Zimmerman/Martin case in Florida, Casey Anthony is pregnant again and Cory Monteith died. Other bad stuff happened as well, but I just don’t...

Pentecost (or “They Were In What Now?”)

As I contemplate tomorrow’s celebration of Pentecost, my brain keeps coming back to one thing: Dairy Queen Snickers Blizzards.  You see, I was sitting in the outdoor seating of a local DQ one warm summer night with a couple of college friends.  We were...
Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

JHM Media is in pre-production of an exciting new project! Friends and followers have asked for this for a few years now, and only recently have all of the pieces fallen in place for it to happen. James Marler, founder and president of JHM Media, has worked as a music...
Yes, Penelope, There Is A Judge

Yes, Penelope, There Is A Judge

It may be one of my favorite pictures of all time. It’s certainly the most honest. Let me clarify… Penelope Soto was in court on drug possession charges. You can tell from the video (posted below) that she is taking her appearance in court...
Super Bowl XLVII Commercial Review

Super Bowl XLVII Commercial Review

Ok, tweeps, peeps and FAM’s, not a lot of verbosity here.  I just wanted to throw in my two cents about tonight’s commercial-fest. [featured-image]The Giant Plate[/featured-image] My Favorites Right off the bat, I have to say that, yes, I DO have a...

2013: Let’s Do This

We are officially a week into the new year.  My colleagues in the blogosphere have already hit the ground running. Michael Hyatt released a great podcast on “How To Develop More Discipline“, Cliff Ravenscraft released “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That...

Lessons from the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

I wish it had not been my daughter. You see, the moment I tell you that this story involves my daughter, you will read these things and think, “He’s embellishing that.” I both swear and affirm that I am not. This conversation is burned into my brain....

Thoughts On Sandy Hook Elementary School

I started writing this post a couple of days ago. This morning, news broke that both informed and fundamentally changed much of what I was going to say. You see, in case you haven’t heard, this morning in Newtown, Connecticut, a 20-year-old man walked into the...

Most Thankful

A lot of my friends are doing the “# Day of Thanks” thing. I’m not doing that. I don’t have a problem with it, and I see no harm in it; nor am I about to write an post about how we are supposed to be thankful every day. I just needed a way to...
Hostess: The Part No One Is Talking About

Hostess: The Part No One Is Talking About

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend (completely unrelated to this situation) that went something like this: Him: Unions are bad! Me: Well, they do encourage some stupid stuff sometimes, but they’ve done a lot of good too. Him: Yeah, a hundred years ago...

Jumping The Shark

It pains me to confess that when I hear a person under the age of 30 use the phrase “jump(ing) the shark” I want to, in the words of famous mafiosos, “give him such a smack.”  That kid doesn’t know what jumping the shark means.  He...

Leaving A Legacy

I was at a Men’s Encounter this past weekend and I heard a song that is TEN YEARS OLD!!!  Apparently, I missed it the first time around, but, like all truly great songs, it stands the test of time.  I share it with you today, because, in the spirit of the...
Election Day – Why I’m Not Afraid

Election Day – Why I’m Not Afraid

This is an odd season in America.  The past couple of months have seen more political bickering, arguing and debate than I can recall in all my years.  The future of this country, many say, hangs in the balance.  I have a friend who wrote me and several others on...

The Barnabas Initiative

What I’m about to say is true for pastors, obviously, and it is true for every believer. I’ve often heard it said that every person should have three kinds of people in their life: A Barnabas, a Silas and a Timothy.  So, who are these people? Silas –...
Disney, Lucas, & Star Wars: A New Hope

Disney, Lucas, & Star Wars: A New Hope

So, yesterday, the fanboys, wannabe-Jedi’s and the entire world got hit with the news: Disney bought George Lucas’s Lucasfilm, Ltd. for a staggering $4.05 Billion dollars. (That’s $4,000,500,000 if my math is right. UPDATE: It isn’t.  At...

Hurricane Sandy

Short and sweet today… Whenever something like the devastation of a Hurricane Sandy or Katrina, or Isaac occur, when Tsunami’s crash over people’s lives, when earthquakes cause communities to crumble, when fires ravage mile after mile of forest and...

The Problem with Pastors

We have a problem with pastors. We have a problem with all teaching leaders. The problem is this: We always expect them to be around. We always expect them to teach and to lead. Sunday services are a time to be ministered to (among other things). That’s their...
Why Is Big Bird Getting Fired?

Why Is Big Bird Getting Fired?

On Wednesday, October 4, 2012, President Barack Obama and Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney met for the first of a series of pre-election debates.  Of course, seconds after the debate pundits and “journalists” of both conservative and liberal leanings...

When The Bible Disappoints (Part 2)

So, the last post was kind of a downer, huh?  Yeah, but it’s in the Bible, and that’s hard.  Sometimes the Bible says very hard things.  Sometimes we open the pages of the Bible for comfort, and find words that confront us, challenge us and take the wind...

When The Bible Disappoints

It’s difficult to admit, but sometimes you open up the pages of the good book and close it feeling worse than you did when you opened it.  It’s not intentional, I’m sure.  The Bible is an honest book.  There is only one perfect person in all of...
50 Shades (No Grey) – Updated

50 Shades (No Grey) – Updated

I once planted every seed from a cantaloupe in a giant planter in front of my house. It was a science experiment for my daughters. The problem was, we planted in mid fall. The seeds exploded in the dirt, and a vine came up, but it was far too cold to truly thrive,...
Hole-Hearted

Hole-Hearted

A couple of nights ago, my wife and I were doing our nightly routine of tucking in, listening to Our Daily Bread, doing some object lessons, reading, and then praying with our daughters (Yes, our ritual is long, but we love it). My oldest was having a problem getting...

Land of Milk and Honey

I’ve never done this before, but here goes… I feel like I am getting a real revelation about something.  Not that what I am thinking/receiving/hearing is “new” in the strictest sense, but when the realization first hit my head… I thought...

Update

I’m sometimes terrified that in describing a situation, it might sound like I’m complaining.  Most who know me are aware that I am a kind of “independent contractor”.  I travel for speaking engagements, I work in audio editing (promoting my...

In Heavenly Peace

So, we’re in New York.  Christmas has come and gone.  We had a great couple of days.  Christmas Eve was ridiculous.  You really can’t get a bunch of Puerto Ricans together (my wife’s family) without a lot of food.  My unbelievably talented and...

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

So my daughters have been asking for MONTHS if we can go visit the family in New York for Christmas.  For a long time, I didn’t think we would be able to go.  We prayed and asked God to provide a way, but I just didn’t see how it would be possible from a...

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving Day is coming up. Hence, the obligatory post on giving thanks. The truth is, I have, for the past several years, become increasingly ambivalent about Thanksgiving. Last year, my in-laws were in town visiting, and my father-in-law made our turkey. It was...

Mmmm… Narcotics (or “I Smell… Yellow”)

Do I have your attention yet?  Because this post is actually NOT about narcotics… exactly.  Let me bring you up to speed.  The other day (Tuesday, Oct. 11), I went to the ER.  See, I had been having chest pains for about a week and I was getting kind of fed up...

Progressive (or Whatever) Christianity

This morning, a friend of mine posted a link to an article. I hesitate to call it interesting (it was) or well-written (it was, sort of). For me it was saddening. I urge you to go read the article before continuing here.  Just click here and it will open in a new...
Service (Means Serve US)

Service (Means Serve US)

I got an email this morning. Well, my name was on it, but apparently the same email was received by approximately 23,000,000 people.  It was an email which turned out to actually be a simple copy and paste job from Netflix’s Blog. (Really, James. Another Netflix...

Alzheimer’s, Divorce, and Morality

Yesterday, I saw on Matthew Paul Turner’s blog a post that shook me. It was called, “Pat Robertson: Divorce Your Wife With Alzheimer’s.” As a disclaimer for some people who read this blog, I have to say that MPT and I disagree on many points....

I Swear On A Stack Of Bibles!

Earlier this week, a friend at church asked me which translation of the Bible I preferred. When I teach, I don’t usually cite the translation I am quoting from and he couldn’t figure out why sometimes the verse I gave matched what he was reading and, at...

Down… But Not Defeated

I’m really frustrated right now. I promised myself that I wouldn’t use this blog as a place to vent or post my “whatever” stuff (you can read those posts at my BLAHG!) and I’m going to do all I can to make sure that this isn’t a...
NETFLIX: A Response To The Response

NETFLIX: A Response To The Response

I and a few other Netflix customers who took the time to post a reaction on Netflix’s blog were quoted in the International Business Times a couple of days ago.  It was in a related article that the “truth” (??? Maybe???) came out.  Apparently,...
Casey Anthony (Just This One Thing)

Casey Anthony (Just This One Thing)

I was in college when the verdict came in at the OJ trial.  I remember my dorm virtually blowing up with collective ire over the assumed injustice.  Even this year I have heard people discuss the Simpson trial and get very worked up over that jury’s decision....

Caring For Those In (Medical) Need

“Earlier this month,” says Zachary Roth in a report filed with Yahoo News, “a 59-year-old convenience store clerk, walked into a Gaston, N.C., bank and handed the cashier a note demanding $1 and medical attention. Then he waited calmly for police to...

“Abba” Means Daddy (Not Father)

A very important day is coming up this Sunday. As a pastor, I have an obligation to talk about it. 🙂 Sunday is Father’s Day. It has a very interesting history, if you haven’t read it. This is the day we set aside to celebrate, in a special way, the...

But This Time I REALLY Mean It!

Before I launch in too deep into the murky waters that this post is sure to stir, I want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by on May 20th and 21st to read my previous post about this issue.  Even moreso, I want to thank those who commented, either here or via...

Rapture (Not According to Blondie)

Here’s the skinny: according to Harold Camping at 6:00 pm today (May 20th in the Western Hemisphere & May 21st in the Eastern) the world will start to experience the effects of a “rolling rapture” with the real-time experience happening at your...
Time To Pay The Rent

Time To Pay The Rent

  Recently, Diane Smith-Sadak, a theatre professor at Towson University stood helm at the school’s production of “RENT”. This should have been a simple matter, but it is slowly building steam as a watershed moment in educational theatre. The...

As Those Who Will Not See (Part 2 of 2)

In my last post, I responded to the first half of Ricky Gervais’ Easter “sermon.”  (If you want to be brought up to speed, go read it. 🙂 Things will go faster if I don’t summarize it all again here.)  Today… the second half.  We covered...

None So Blind… (Part 1 of 2)

Ricky Gervais has written a sermon, of sorts, entitled “Why I Am A Good Christian.”  The humor, if it can be called that, in the title is that Mr. Gervais is an admitted atheist.  I don’t often feel the need to respond quite this specifically, it...

When to be a CON Man!

I’m having a crisis of confidence all of a sudden. It probably has to do with being slightly overwhelmed by the amount of work that has come up in a short amount of time. Possibly it has something to do with my reticence to allow other people’s lack of...

When The Congregation Attacks!

A friend of mine shared this with me today: There are so many things wrong with this I hardly know where to begin.  I once worked in the music ministry and I know that it seemed to be the favorite pastime of some people to complain about the sound volume/mix or the...

When Christians Disagree

So last week, Rob Bell showed us all the way* to gain instantaneous HYPER-PR: Hint that you are a [controversial belief holder], you’ve written a book about it and then do a short promo video hinting at [the controversial belief].  In Bell’s case, it was...

Takin’ It To The Streets

In late 1975, Michael Mcdonald was invited to join The Doobie Brothers.  One of his first contributions was a song called “Takin’ It To The Streets” – incidentally, one of my Doobie faves.  As I have considered the point and purpose of my...

Owl Droppings

A while back – we’re talking months at the very least – a friend of mine (Podcast Answerman extraordinaire – Cliff Ravenscraft) introduced me to a wonderful social media tool: HootSuite.  It changed my life, really.  I had been on Twitter for a...

Nunc Lento Sonitu Dicunt, Morieris

My father introduced me to John Donne.  I don’t know that John Donne was his favorite poet, but he always quoted him to me.  Any time I told him stories about bullies in school, or if I felt like a teacher was not fair with one of my classmates, or if I heard of...

Prince’s Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute

I make no secret of the near life-long admiration I have held for Prince; composer, arranger, producer, multi-instrumentalist, musician par excellence.  These facts are above dispute.  He is, in fact, all of these things and more.  On June 27, 2010 Prince was honored...

The ‘Stache

He would have been 121 years old today. He was an actor, comedian, writer, director, composer… truly, a Renaissance Man. In support of increased artist control of their own work, he co-founded United Artists with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D.W....

Matthew 18 (aka, The Rules of Fight Club)

Once upon a time, I hated confrontation.  There were various reasons for this.  Mostly, I hate arguing or fighting about anything.  I believe that most anything can be settled by reasoned dialogue.  The other reason is that I find confrontation degenerating into a...

Am I Done?

A few days ago, I posted a status update on Facebook that went something like this: I think I may have written every melody I have in me, because everything I’ve been writing is a variation on either my stuff or someone else’s. In what is a very...
Sondheim – A Quick Reflection

Sondheim – A Quick Reflection

Eighty years ago yesterday (March 22) Stephen Sondheim was born. The son of Etta Janet and Herbert Sondheim.  He grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the only child of well-to-do parents.  After his parents divorced, he and his mother moved to a farm...