A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: June 2008 (page 1 of 1)

New Toys…

Unwinding tonight from the new machine! Pretty good, I guess. I wasn’t planning to buy a new desktop computer for a while, but somehow the lightning took care of that notion on Friday evening! My old Dell Dimension 4600 had been rocking along just fine, thank you.

We finished up our Vacation Bible School Friday evening, adn I came home to put together some thank-you notes, etc. I debated whether or not I should turn the computer on with the thunder and lightning we had in our area.

Anyway, the lightning struck something close by. It sounded really cool, but took out a couple of smoke detectors, our cable modem, and the motherboard on the old computer.

Of course, we are totally dependent on these things to run our lives these days, so I had to run out and get something to make up for the fried one.

Nobody local could make the repairs on such short notice, adn one guy told me he didn’t think it would be worth it to replace the motherboard without replacing virtually everything else. I didn’t have time to place an order, and wait. So the best I could do under the circumstances was the Dell Inspiron 530. I’m not real crazy about Vista Home Premium, but the 640gig hard drive and the 22″ monitor are pretty sweet! As soon as I get my data back from the old one, I’ll be good to go!

Wow. Just Wow. Un-freakin’-believable…

Here are some things I bet you pastor/preacher types out there weren’t aware of, until John Killinger said so, in a presentation today in Memphis…

  • Doctrine is a “thing of the past.”
  • Pastors are reluctant to preach from the Gospel of John, preferring instead to focus on the “human” side of Jesus found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
  • We need to be “a little less certain” about who Jesus was and what he was all about.
  • Jesus did not conceive of Himself as the Savior of the world and may not have viewed Himself a sacrifice at all until the crucifixion.
  • Salvation is more about “self-fulfillment and love” than any pesky old doctrine.
  • Daniel lied.


Guess we all need to be “re-evaluating” our stance in light of this “advanced” understanding of the gospel and its ramifications.


Sunday Night Unwind, 06.15.08…

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there! Hope you’ve had a great day. Mine was kind of weird, as far as Father’s Days go…

  • Phone call from “The Boy” but this is the first Father’s Day in 22 years I haven’t actually seen him.
  • Started a new series on David at The ‘Crest today. I thought it was going to be a rather easy, kind of summer “filler” series, but God is already kicking my butt!
  • Speaking of David, I might have to pick Gary Lamb’s brain or steal his notebook to get some good ideas for the message series.
  • And also speaking of David, I used a graphic of the face of the famous Michelangelo sculpture. One of my older women (one of only two people in the service who have seen the actual statue in real life…both women!) commented that she hadn’t noticed the intense look on David’s face, because “it wasn’t his face I was looking at!” You’ve gotta love that!
  • In my research this week, I came across the “mid-life crisis David.” Too funny!
  • Figuring most restaurants would be packed for Father’s Day, the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” suggested we just get pizza for lunch. Good plan, good time with her, not so great nutrition.
  • Walked in Heritage Park, and nobody was there! Very strange!
  • One of our ex-church folks (and one of my favorites..hated to see them leave!) is will be in Honduras next week on a medical mission trip. Cool!
  • Nelson Searcy’s Time Management for Busy Pastors is playing right now. Good stuff, and definitely some stuff I need right now!
  • Iced green teasummertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!
  • Challenged our folks to look toward sort of a “re-launch” in September.
  • New roof on our building looks great! Meeting with another guy tomorrow about some of the inside damage from the tornado. We still have trees down on the campus…gotta get them moved.

That’s about it for now…make the rest of your Father’s Day great!

Extreme Makeover: The Office Edition…

OK, all you organizers extraordinaire out there…how ’bout a little creative remodeling help?

Suppose you had a typical, plain old, B-flat, vanilla office, say, at a small traditional church. And suppose you got really tired of the way it looks. And suppose you thought you’d be a lot more productive in that space if it were optimized for productivity. And suppose you were thinking really hard about doing an extreme office makeover.

What would you do? What would be the essentials that you absolutely could not live without? What would your dream office space look like if you had the opportunity to have it? Anybody got pictures of cool, productive offices?

I’m waiting…

All I Need Is the Frogs…

I’ve long been fascinated with the story of the Plague of the Frogs in Exodus 8:1-15. You remember it, don’t you? God sent the second of several plagues on the land of Egypt in order to get Pharaoh’s attention so that he would free the Israelites. There were frogs everywhere! And Moses asked Pharaoh to name the time when the frogs would be gone.

His answer? “Tomorrow.”

In the words of a famous sermon from a bygone era, when Pharaoh had it within his power to effect real change, he opted instead to spend “one more night with the frogs.”

And that’s kind of where I am tonight. I know there are some changes I need to make. I know there is a better way to do a lot of the things I need to do. I know there are some different directions I need to take. But I can’t seem to pull the trigger. I’m always waiting for the conditions to be right. I’m waiting for “something to happen.” I’m waiting for, well, tomorrow.

And in the words of one of my long-distance heroes, Chris Elrod

…as of today, tomorrow has never come.


Had to do Saturday afternoon at the YMCA today, and I needed some convenient nutrition. Men’s Health just featured the “Best Foods for Men” in this month’s issue, so I pulled out the page and headed to my local mega-mart.

If you’re looking for something pretty good and pretty good for you, that will fit nicely into your manbag or gym bag or even your pocket, run, don’t walk to your nearby mega-mart and pick up a couple of Larabars. I think you’ll be glad you did!

At the End of Sunday…

Interesting day today. Here are some thoughts making their way from my heart and mind, through the Mirado Black Warrior, into the Moleskine, and wherever else…

  • It’s not a good thing – even though it seems like a prudent or easy thing – to shortchange the people who show up, by claiming you’re going to “cut it short” because “we’re few in number,” or “a slim crowd,” or whatever terminology you’re tempted to use. It’s actually a disservice and an insult to those people. Oh, and it’s a disservice and an insult to the One Who Matters Most.
  • To be unprepared under the guise (excuse?) of “not laying it on too heavy” to the “few” is not acceptable.
  • Our people – no matter how many or how few – deserve the very best we can offer. It doesn’t have to be flashy or spectacular. But it has to be our best. Every time. More importantly, the One Who Matters Most expects our best.
  • Having said all that, I’m reminded that even when we don’t offer our very best, God can and often does use it for His glory and for the challenging and encouraging of our people.
  • Sometimes a simple little exercise in encouragement does a lot of good for people.
  • 1 Corinthians is already rocking my world!
  • Oh, and right now,  “God He Reigns/All I Need Is You” is, too!
  • Do I see “people in the park” or “countless souls who will one day spend eternity in hell if they don’t find their Savior”?
  • That “Disturb us, Lord” prayer Craig Groeschel quotes is slapping me up side the head, too.