Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Kind of Worker Are You?

Do you work hard or hardly work? Do you take initiative or wait to be asked? Do you hang out paralyzed in your confusion or lack of knowledge or go ask someone smarter "What can I do now?"

Until you're willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission you're not qualified to do what you love best. Why? Because God doesn't need you! Especially when you are arrogant to the point that you think certain things are beneath you.

Every able bodied person is more than qualified to set up chairs, pick up trash or move something from point A over to point B. This may not be what someone with unique gifts should be doing full time... but for a season, even an extended season, you may have to humble yourself, roll up your sleeves and break a sweat. In the process you may grow in your relationship with those working around you. But what if you're scrubbing toilets alone??? That's where the best growth with the most important relationship can take place... you and your Heavenly Father!

I don't always have the best attitude and catch myself having to REPENT! Attitude is not something that acts upon me, I'm not a helpless victim... I choose my own attitude! Tomorrow I get the privilege of doing what needs to be done a little more than normal. I typically help set up until the band arrives and we begin our sound check. Tomorrow we have a guest worship leader, who I'm looking forward to hearing, and that means I've got time to pitch in with our Road Crew more than usual. I pray for a great sleep and lot's of energy so I can work hard and honor God with everything I lift, unpack and set up.

What kind of worker are you? What kind of attitude do you have towards doing what needs to be done compared to what you love to do?

Perry has a great post about what kind of staff person you are. Read it here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Catagory Winner in's International Song Writing Competition

I entered a song I wrote ("Spin") into a songwriting contest last year and just found out it was selected as a category winner. Don't know exactly what that means but I'm honored!

Check it out here:
Click on the main page to see the contest results. Scroll down and you can hear the songs.

You can purchase my song on iTunes by searching for "James Laing"... I'm the only one with that name on iTunes so far. And yes, I know. It's a very cheese-ball album cover. If you don't mind, write a review on iTunes... looks very empty without any reviews.

If you want to hear a few other songs for free check out

You can also add me as a friend on and hear some tunes under the "My Band" tab.

Thanks for listening!

So, who do you think will win the Super Bowl?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Barak Obama's Inauguration Speech

This is way too cool. Check out this picture of Barak Obama's inauguration speech. Try double clicking on it a few times.

In-N-Out Burger, Apple Computer and Simple Church

Last night I pulled off the 101 freeway with two words on my mind: "Double-double". As I think about my experience at In-N-Out's Drive Thru lane last night I still am surprised. When I pulled up there were no cars in front of me and no cars behind me. That's a first for me at In-N-Out, but understandable in a family town like Camarillo, CA at 7:45pm. Not too many families would be eating burgers for dinner that late.

The surprising thing was the lonely guy standing there with his portable computer register who took my order. He was over the top nice, clear, extremely helpful and completely at ease with his job. I felt like this guy is not just putting up with having to stand outside alone on this night. I felt that he actually enjoyed and took pride in his job.

Now, if you've never been to In-N-Out please stick with me as I explain the incredible process and strategy that makes this burger joint one of the busiest and inexpensive in Southern California. So sit back and relax because here comes the answer to this business phenom... hold on... are you ready?

The answer is as follows:

Combo 1,2 or 3.

Are you still with me? Relaxing time is over. That's it! Seriously! They have three combos for you to choose from. A burger empire built on simplicity and excellence (in product & service).

There is another well known company that is simple. While competers are laying off a multitude of people Apple continues strong. Read this latest article on their simplicity.

What if the church was also simple? Easy for guests to understand. No questions of "What does that mean?" or "I don't get it". What if the church offered two environments for adults. A worship service and small groups. What if that church focused on executing those environments with excellence in product and service?

No Sunday School, no sports ministries, no women's ministrys, no men's ministrys, no tutoring, no pilates, no special seasonal productions.

1. Worship Service
2. Small Groups

Simple. Excellent.

Leaving people with margin to invest in their families and communities during the week. Encouraging people to not join the local church softball league but to join the local city softball league. (Remember those salt and light passages in the Bible?)

Want a great read on this topic?

Want to experience a simple church?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ventura County Star

River Park Community Church was featured in the Community Section of the Ventura County Star Yesterday. Though the a few facts were skewed, like the fact that I apparently am not on staff, (I am) it was actually a fair article. Check out the article here.

The next two Sundays are our Grand Opening Sundays. We begin doing both the Adult Worship and Kidstuf weekly. Make a point to join us this Sunday or next! I'm going to be doing "Say" by John Mayer with the band. It's a great song and I'm thankful I've got great players this Sunday. 

Last night I played Wii, watched the ball drop in NY City at midnight and then watched an episode of the first season of Hero's... I am totally addicted to this show, seems to get better each episode! "Save the cheerleader, save the world!"

Happy New Year!