Monday, February 28, 2011

camano island

We went to Camano Island with our friends Aaron and Heejoo. It snowed and was all magical.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the bermuda triangle of productivity

I found this at Phil Nellis' blog. I also am really intrigued by this intro he posted about the prophets.

“This book is about some of the most disturbing people who have ever lived: the men whose inspiration brought the Bible into being- the men whose image is our refuge in distress, and whose voice and vision sustain our faith…
My aim therefore is to attain an understanding of the prophet through an analysis and description of his consciousness, to relate what came to pass in his life- facing man, being faced by God- as reflected and affirmed in his mind…
By insisting on the absolutely objective and supernatural nature of prophecy, dogmatic theology has disregarded the prophet’s part in the prophetic act. Stressing revelation, it has ignored the response; isolating inspiration, it has lost sight of the human situation… Reducing it to a subjective personal phenomenon, they have disregarded the prophet’s awareness of his confrontation with facts not derived from his own mind…
The prophet’s task is to convey a divine view, yet as a person he is a point of view. He speaks from the perspective of God as perceived from the perspective of his own situation…
What I have aimed at is an understanding of what it means to think, feel, respond, and act as a prophet.” — from the introduction

Thursday, February 10, 2011

kid quotes

Our friends Jordan and Greta watched the kids the other night and Greta emailed me this:

Lol, we keep remembering cute things your kids said or did the other day- they really are so unique and fun!

Lolly said, 'I can say 'library' in Texan. 'lahhhhbrerry.'
Me, 'Oh that's good! Did your mom teach you how to say that?'
'No, no, I taught myself Texan.'
Judah in the background pumping her up, 'Yeah, she teaches herself lots of words..."
And Lolly nodding confidently.

(I might have to send you more, they are just too sweet!)
Oh, and this was funny...last night when I got home from work David was cooking steak for my birthday and Judah said "I wanted daddy to cook hot dogs and french fries but he's making, like, romantic food."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

it is my birthday

I'm 36 today! But it's a weird birthday. No one at work really knows it's my birthday but I'm getting lots of Facebook love, 70 messages so far. We are officially in the future.

Also weird is that I'm back to taking crying breaks in the bathroom. Last night we had a meeting with friends and I was very sad and I cried almost the whole time. Then when it was over I cried all the way home and for about an hour in bed before I could fall asleep. David said (lovingly and cutely, not meanly) that I'm like Ed in Raising Arizona when they took the baby home and she was crying "I just love him so much!" and it's true, I was kind of crying like that. So now I'm at work and I've been taking bathroom breaks to cry some more and then dusting myself off and getting back to work, then having another cry break. I'm very professional about my crying. I feel like the Crying Wife.

It's all just so sad I can't stand it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

jeff breakfast taunts elevation church

Elevation Church is this megachurch in North Carolina that brags about how it's the fastest growing church in north America. They try super hard to be cool and they make David and me want to throw up, they're seriously the douchiest douches who ever douched.

So the pastor posted this contest for pastors on Vimeo and Jeff Breakfast entered.

Here is the original contest announcement clip:

Win the Ultimate Church Plant Road Trip from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

...and here is what Jeff Breakfast sent to him.

Reverend Jeff Breakfast
Distance from the Ground Baptist Church
Stillborn, Oklahoma

RE: Win the Ultimate Churchplant Roadtrip

Dear Elevation Church:

I have been drinking Red Bull and praying all morning in preparation for my day. Forgive me if I am a little bit PUMPED for WINNING SOULS. That’s how I roll!

But also I am three sheets to the STOKED for your gracious invite! What a blessing it would be to hit the road in my “prayer-conditioned” van and GET ELEVATED with y’all on your very “special” Five Year Anniversary. I look forward to meeting America’s most rocking pastor Steven Don’t-call-him-Hawking Furtick and the Dutiful Flock up in North Carolina. Y’ALL ARE MY INSPIRATION! That would be a dream come true .There is nothing I would love more, except maybe if that road I was travelling on was paved in gold, and St. Peter was in the passenger seat. Also if my van tabs weren’t expired.

Wow! What a year it has been!

My name is Pastor Jeff. I preach and teach The Word as Senior Pastor here at Distance From the Ground Baptist, a little baby church plant out of Stillborn, Oklahoma. We have been here for one year, but what a year it has been! Like up and coming rap artist LL Cool J would say, “Don’t call it a comeback, I have been here for one year.”

2010 Accomplishments:

$2 million raised!

1,943 souls saved!

2,113 Bibles smuggled into New Mexico!

5,699 hungry people prayed for!

New Organist!

But let me back up. Four years ago I was a Bible College dropout. Maybe “got drop-kicked out” is a better way of putting it. I had a “special” girl that year who I kept under my unappreciative thumb. She would have made a great pastor’s wife. We were saving our special first kiss for the chapel steps on our wedding day (first sex too of course!), but with all that extra time on our hands we turned to Oxycontin and horse tranquilizers. In one semester I fell from the top of my class all the way down to the bottom of a literal metaphorical well. My school kicked me out. My parents (in ministry) would have nothing to do with me. Even my girl left me (for her youth pastor…doh!).

I found myself in a moral gutter—a failed student, a failed boyfriend and a failed Pastor’s Kid! On a whim, I decided to become a failed stand-up comedian too, which I quickly achieved. I spent my days drinking cigarette butts out of beer cans and my nights telling crude jokes, funneling my pain into angry one-liners directed hilariously at God.

Then one day I picked up Bible and read the words of Rachael Ray. It was a Mom’s and Wives On the Go Study Bible (Zondervan) and she wrote the introduction! Anyway, the equally hilarious and perky TV personality “cooked up” some very poignant thoughts about the person of Christ which I will never forget. He wasn’t merely a pontificating finger-wagger with a headset mic. Our Lord also had some lighter moments. Have you read the Sermon on the Mount? He knew how to keep people on their toes, and he did it with laughter. I think he was the funniest man who ever lived! The Romans had no sense of humor, of course.

The Lord put it on my heart to dedicate my life to WINNING SOULS for the Kindgom using LAUGHTER. I want people, because of me, to laugh at Jesus. I want to make Jesus laughable to everyone! When people talk about sidesplitting laughter, remember—that is a reference to one of Jesus’ last acts on the cross. I also decided that day I would give up drinking and drugs, I would finish school and plant a church with a unique vision for laughter! Also, I would surrender my lustful thoughts about Rachael Ray.

Well here we are! In the last year our little church has changed location twice. We have undergone six name changes (5 strategic, 1 copyright infringement), been led in worship by 11 different men (hint: Craigslist is no match for a search committee), and even endured one church split (over a “perceived” animal baptism. I was NOT baptizing Shasta! He broke my van window and ran into that river during the service. I would never baptize a dog who hadn’t yet made a public confession of faith. Do please keep Shasta in your prayers).

By the Grace, things have come together. You might have noticed that we got a lot of press recently when I performed a 24-hour Altar Call during a leadership conference to promote my first book, “Get ready Eye-of-the-Needle… This Camel’s a-Coming!” (Thomas Nelson). This is only the beginning.

Goals for 2011:

Raise $19 million!

Save 5,000 souls!

Erect massive simulcast screens in arbitrary locations!

All expenses paid road trip to Elevation Church in North Carolina!

Terry Schiavo Memorial Museum!

New Organist!

Things are still tough, however. T-shirt and worship CD sales are down. We have taken a beating on YouTube. Like Jesus promised, I have been prosecuted for my faith on a regular basis. I am learning, however, to see my life as a series of missionary positions and I press on to fight the good fight! I know it is a sin to covet, but I covet your prayers! (Not your wife, Steven, just your prayers! Ha ha! I’m not saying your wife isn’t pretty. I haven’t seen your wife. I am sure she is very covetable. Does she look like Rachael Ray?)

Anyway, fingers crossed, this trip would mean a lot to me and my team, and Shasta (he will not get out. Window is fixed and he has a “new leash” on life!)

In His Tender Grip,

Pastor Jeff Breakfast


For your consideration, please review my most recent broadcast media interview with The Other Journal, a publication of Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle, Washington at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

gleanings from "healing from family rifts"

I read a book called Healing From Family Rifts and liked these bits from it, I thought I'd put them here for posterity.

"You're talking about an idea, Mark, that members of the gay community have instinctively known for generations. So many gay people have been shunned by their families that it's always been natural to bond with our close friends in the community in a way that resembles family; for many of us, this is the only family we've ever known. So I guess you could say 'second-chance families' isn't news to us."

Second-chance families:
-Offer each other companionship, support, care and understanding because they want to
-Give generously, willingly and spontaneously, not out of a sense of obligation or with the expectation of a payback
-Value trust and intimacy and strive to understand, not judge
-Never resort to Atilla the Hun method of attack or the ostrich method of fleeing; they talk through it and work it out
-Don't dwell on what other family members could be doing to be "better;" they focus on what they could be doing to be better
-Attempt to infuse each other with joy, enthusiasm, and optimism, not gloom, anger or depression
-Give you a second chance if you ask for one
-Replace vengance with empathy
-Don't dramatize misdemeanors into felonies
-Embrace difference
-Respect choice

Ten Rules for Cultivating and Maintaining Family Connection
1. Assume responsibility
2. Never tear a family member down
3. Accentuate the positive
4. Be patient when you communicate
5. Don't turn a breach of trust into a resentment
6. Engage with family members creatively
7. Don't employ avoidance as a tactic
8. Build on your family members' strengths
9. When a conflict is minor, keep it to yourself
10. Rely on the healing aspects of time

The power of gratitude
Remember that gratitude is
-Unlimited in supply
-Without harmful side effects
-Totally free of additives
-A plentiful natural resource that is always available when we seek it out

Qualities I Appreciate About My Family Member
Appreciation of others
Appreciation of nature
Good taste

"Both my boys won a pool game, and I reveled in that. My dad would never have let me win. He's never been happy when I won. The fact that I could be so happy about my boys winning cast away any doubt I ever had about this entire struggle being worth it."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

the final straw for our human resources director

My friend Bill was a hippie in San Francisco in the '60s and '70s and he has the BEST stories. I finally coaxed him to email me one and he said I could post it. The subject of the email he sent was The Final Straw For Our Human Resources Director.

"There was a period of time in the late 70s where I drove a delivery van for Teledyne out of Palo Alto. Low pay enormous freedom. I might have one delivery all day. Nobody seemed to care. These were happy times. I explored every town, beach, location in the bay area on company time and gas. Had some adventures too. A typical day would start out with a joint on the way in. I'd load up the van and hit the road. Smoke another joint as soon as i was out of sight. At 10 am I'd get a big mouth quart of Coors and if I had em chase down a couple whites (bennies....speed). And so the day progressed.

Sudddenly out of the blue there was a "Human Resource Director" employed at our company. In the past we had a personnel department but this new title I suspected did not bode well for our loose behavior meaning me and all the other stoners at work. Sure enough a dress code was implemented within a week followed by guidelines on workplace behavior, especially in regards to various forms of harassment........I personally believe I invented forms of harassmnet that are now the basis for sordid reality shows today. But I digest.

The Director was a trim blond woman in her early thirties. Ilsa Wicked Warden of the Third Reich I called her. She drove a trim little Mercedees and had this smug fucking smirk on her face......unless I imagined it....I just hated what she was doing, not having yet caved into the corporate dogma. Had a few minor scrapes but was mostly off the radar until I wrote a (what I belived to be) hilariously inept love letter from this dorky stockroom guy to this rubenesque girl in accounting. Phrases such as "I yern to feel of your mammalia"...shit like that. Anyway, I wound up in her office, denying the whole thing. EVERYBODY knew i did it but there was no hard evidence and Ilsa was steaming. She was really out to get me. Instead of laying low like any normal person would do I decided to up the ante. This other stoner in shipping had somehow come into possession of a pile of blank stickers the size of bumper stickers. Blank bumper stickers!1 A prankster's dream! I already told you about "I'm Proud to be a Gay Iranian". Well this time I created one that read "I LOVE NUDE NEGROES". When i got back from my rounds that night I slapped it on the back of that little Mercedes. I don't remember why she didn't see it...she was backed in? It was winter and dark? All I know is a couple of us watched in state of ecstasy as she drove off with that bold statement on her bumper.

This story ends real fast. The next morning the Mercedes screeched into a parking space, Ilsa stormed in, quit, cleared out her desk and was no more! Victory was mine. It almost seemd to quick. I almost felt a slight bit of guilt. Almost.

As i wrote this thought of a lot of other "episodes" from the delivery days. At present I am in the Georgia World Congress Center waiting for these lazy and mentally challenged people to locate and load my trucks. I am at their mercy. I am out of memory,. There may be many typos in the above because i can hardly see for some reason.

I wil communicate again soon.

Ben Dover"