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Friday, September 28, 2007


Well my blog fans, I apologize for being late on my post. I altered my week and took Thursday off and came to work on Friday. It seems to be okay though, because our Thursday numbers were down drastically yesterday. For some reason this week Tuesday was, by far, our biggest day.
We are coming close to a milestone. If you look at the top of the screen right now, you can see our page views tracker. As I am writing this the tracker is at 459. I want to know who 500 is. If you are reading this right now and the tracker says 500 please email me at so that we can let everyone know who the lucky person is.

I have something that I want to share with you this week that I found very interesting. I was googling my name to see how some of my Internet ventures were coming up. Do you know what I found? I found my long lost relative! I don't know how this man is related to me, but I am convinced that he is. Take a look at this picture of Jimmy Blewett and see if you can find some resemblance.
I have never met anyone in the world that has the same last name as I do that is not related to me. I have done searches on my last name and I found it to be a fairly common name in Europe and such places, but not here in the US. Do you want to know what is really cool? He is a race car driver!

He was born in 1980 which only puts him 2 years older than me and he lives in New Jersey. My dad's side of the family is from Syracuse, NY. Here's another thing about him... he's really good! The reason I found out about him, is that he just won another race this weekend, and now he is leading his particular racing organization. I do not know a lot about racing, but here are some things that I found in his biography.

-- 2-time Wall Modified champion (2001-02)-- 2-time Garden State Classic winner (2002-03)-- SST B Modified Chemung 100 lap winner-- Wall R.O.C. Tour Sunoco 150 winner-- 2 Riverhead Modified wins -- 2-time Turkey Derby winner

I don't know what that means but it sounds impressive. Here is a picture of the car he drives.

But if that fact that I have a man sharing my name who is a successful New Jersey race car driver is not enough... he has a brother. His brother is also a race car driver and owns a used car parts shop called John Blewett, Inc. Now it would be really eerie if this guys name was Mike or Mikey or Hunter or whatever alias my brother is using these days, but his name was John. And, in the spirit of giving out very personal information over the World Wide Web my mom lost a boy and his name was John. He was born around the same year as this John. So, here's the picture of John Blewett III and if you have ever met my brother Mikey you would see a few similarities there too.

So anyhow there is my interesting discovery for the week, and I will keep you up to date with anything that may transpire from this situation. Here is what I am hoping will happen... the power of this now very famous blog will spread all the way to New Jersey and the Blewetts will find out about this Youth Pastor in Florida who shares the same name and a few facial similarities with their race car driver Jimmy. I will let you know when I receive the phone call.

Onto some more spiritual things. This past weekend Heather and I attended a marriage conference called Weekend to Remember and it was held in West Palm Beach. (So for those of you that thought I skipped church to go to the Bucs game... you were wrong.) At this conference we learned a lot of interesting things. We learned the proper way to communicate, we learned about the way God views marriage as opposed to how the world views marriage, and we learned about how differences in expectations will lead to conflict.

The part that I wanted to share with you though was told to me at the part of the conference where the men and women split up. The men were learning about what it means to be a Godly father. The talk was very interesting and I am sure it was a lot of stuff that I will remember when I do become a father. I wanted to relay to you how this speaker ended his time with us men, because it relates a lot with the 30 days post that I talked about last week.

The speaker told the story of being woken up in the middle of night at his home in Atlanta with the news that his nephew was dead. His nephew was 23 years old and was apparently shot while trying to rob a convenience store. This was shocking news to the speaker because he felt like this man was not the type of guy who would do something like that.

As information started to unravel, the speaker had found out that his nephew had just found out that he was going to be a father. In a moment of foolishness decided that he needed some way to get Christmas money for his new baby and the baby's mother. Even though this man had never been in trouble before and would never do something so extreme by his nature alone, he will now be forever linked to a convenience store robbery and he will never be remembered as anything more than a thug.

The sad part is that one day his baby will be old enough to ask questions. And inevitably the question will be raised to his mother, "Mom, why don't I have a daddy?" Can you imagine the anguish that that mother will feel at that moment, and can you imagine the feelings of abandonment and confusion that that kid will have to grow up with. The speaker acknowledged the fact that when his nephew died, he left behind a terrible legacy. A legacy that will haunt his kid forever. All for a few dollars.

The question was then posed: If you left this Earth right now, what would be your legacy? Parents, would your legacy be as a loving parent? Christians, will your legacy be as a faithful Christian? What will you do today to ensure that you leave a lasting legacy? What will do today to make sure that everyone around knows that you love and care for them?

What's your legacy?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

30 days

Well my friends, it is that time again... blog time!

I don't know if you have noticed the top of the screen of this blog. If you have you will see how many page loads we have had in the past month. We are up to 317 and last week we had 186 page views. So in only one week our readers have nearly doubled. That is awesome!

On my stat tracker I noticed that by far more people read this blog on Thursdays than any other day. So Thursday is my official blog day. This works well for me, because I don't work on Fridays and so Thursdays are my last work day you all know what that's like... it is so hard to stay focused on what needs to be done.

We have a couple of things going on in the online world of NorthRidge. First of all, there is the obvious greatest blog on Earth known as James' blog (and even my wife has read it now :) ) But there are a couple of other things. Jackie Noland and some others have felt compelled to start a prayer chain. So you can email to submit any prayer requests you may have or to be a part of the email prayer chain and receive all of the requests that are submitted. We are also looking to post some great stories of answered prayers on our website so submit some of those stories to us as well. And I have posted some new pictures of the fire damage on our website, so check those out at

Now that those details are out of the way, I wanted to let you know that I have been working out. My wife joined Gold's Gym a couple of weeks ago and there was a 7 day guest pass along with it. So I went last Thursday and took a spinning class (that's bicycling) and I was sore for 5 days. But I am really trying to expand my horizons and develop a new circle of influence. As a Pastor I feel a lot of times like I can get stuck in a church bubble. So I speak all the time on sharing your faith with the lost, but the truth is that I don't know many lost people. So I am excited to become a part of this tribe. I have already seen dividends. Here I am with my shirt off.

So I guess you can see that it has been paying off.

Anyhow, onto the seriousness. I give careful thought now to what I am to post on this blog. I did it at first as a way to get people to use our website and now I see it is a way to minister to people. I do not take that lightly.

So in preparing for this week's post I was drawing blanks, until today. I started watching If you have not been there you must watch it. This man had a huge vision for ministry in the modern age and he has multiple church sites across the country and simulcasts to all of those churches as well as to an online community that is apparently very large.

I was watching his last sermon series he completed entitled 30 days. The basic premise of this sermon series (and I suggest you watch it yourself) is, what if you knew you had only 30 days to live what would you do. He mentions that way he came across this idea is because he was having a hard time prioritizing his life. The Pastor was being asked to speak in quite a few churches and seminars and he didn't know when he should say yes and when he should stay home with his family. He talked to his mentor who told him that when accepting a speaking engagement ask yourself if you only had 30 days to live would you still go and speak there. This became a great way to gauge his priorities.

This Pastor went to great lengths to get his point across during this series, including interviewing people who had been given only a short time to live by their doctors. The stories were extraordinary. Do you realize how much your perspective changes when you have been given an ending point to your life. It changes in an immense ways.

In listening to this weeks message (which was after the 30 days series) the Pastor gave some follow up information. He informed his congregation that one of the people interviewed had gone on to be with the Lord, and that people from his small group were there with him the whole way through. But there was another story that really caught my attention.

The Pastor said that during the 30 days series there was a woman who decided that she needed to quit her high paying job to become a stay at home mother and have time to spend with her family. Because she decided that if she only had 30 days to live that she would definitely spend them with her family. Only 2 weeks after making this life altering decision, her 18 month old baby drowned in a swimming pool. It is a shame that she only had her epiphany a couple of weeks before her babies death, but it is a blessing that she had those 2 weeks.

My question to you, my faithful blog readers, is quite simple... if you only had 30 days to live what would you do? Then do it! Then do it! The book of James says that life is like a vapor, it is here and then it goes away. Don't get to the end of the road and be full of regret. Life life to the fullest.

I will end with a little poem that I memorized for some reason when I was in high school

Exhaust the little moments for soon they die,

And be it gash or gold they will never come again in this identical disguise.

Follow Up: Added Monday September 24, 2007

I received a comment from Andrew Statezny who is a campus Pastor for Life Church in Hendersonville, TN (I told you the blog was gaining popularity) and he informed me that there is a website called that they made especially for that sermon series. On it are the videos of the people they interviewed, follow up with how they are doing, videos of the sermons in their entirety, and a section where you can answer what you would do if you had only 30 days to live. So check it out, and look for the next posting this Thursday... Go Bucs!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I am pleased to inform you that this blog is taking off in an enormous way. Thank you for all of your word of mouth advertising. To date we have had 183 page loads and in the last seven days alone we have had 65 unique visitors. This is quite amazing, and it now puts pressure on me to deliver, and people have been asking me all week when I was going to blog. So there is also a sense of anticipation which is cool.

I wish I had something funny to start out with this week, (like Mr. Bartlett's picture :) ) but I do not. Unfortunately this has not been a very funny week. For those of you that don't know there was a fire at NorthRidge Church last Sunday night. There are a lot of pictures on the church website and more to come. This has been a reason for a hike in my blog stats I understand; because I actually had a fire chaser call me on Monday trying to get work for his company. But there has also been a curiosity in the community and beyond and so a lot of people have checked out our site for the first time this week.
I was sitting at home on Sunday night watching the Bucs game (I put in on my DVR and I was watching it about an hour after the game was actually over) I was downstairs and my phone was upstairs. I was very, very upset at the outcome of the Bucs game. Heath let me know that I missed a phone call and that it was my good friend Alex Smith (which is also the name of the tight end for the Bucs) and I thought that he was calling to bust my chops about the Bucs loss.
So I called Alex Smith back and he told me that the church was on fire. Now understand that he is a fireman and I make constant remarks about his profession and I sometimes even joke about fires. So when he called to say that the church was on fire, I was convinced that he was joking. He told me he wasn't and I still didn't believe him. But then he got mad... Alex never gets mad... so I knew he was serious.
I immediately got in my car and drove to the church expecting to see a little grease fire or something. When I got there though I was in total shock looking at our sanctuary, seeing flames rising out of the top. I stood on a hill facing the church surrounded by 100 people, watching the church go up in flames knowing that our lives were never going to be the same again.
At that moment the Bucs loss seemed so petty. At that moment everything seemed so petty. I immediately felt deep sympathy for our Pastor, because I knew that he was about to enter a time in his life that will be hectic and chaotic and a time in his life where people were going to be looking to him for answers and for guidance, and there is no book and no class that teaches answers in this situation. I know that right now will be the time when his leadership is put to the test, and I do believe that great leaders rise up from bad circumstances and find a way to rally the troops and to keep the ship afloat, and I believe that Pastor David is a great leader and that is what will happen.
But something else happened on that hill on Sunday night. Something that is very, very hard to explain. We became a family. There was such a spirit of unity on that hill, that it was almost hard to believe that we were there under such terrible pretenses.
******* As I am writing this I am having a very hard time explaining the feeling that was on that hill. I know that some people will read this that were there with me, and you will understand... but the rest of you, I don't think that words can do justice to what happened on Sunday night. ************
The really weird thing is that I felt privileged. Can you believe that!?!?! I had personal items ruined in my cubicle, I had a knowledge that our youth group would have to make enormous sacrifices. I knew that things were going to be totally weird, and that my job description would completely change to Pastor Flexible. And yet throughout all of that I felt privileged.
I felt privileged to be a part of something amazing that God was doing. I felt privileged to be surrounded by a church FAMILY. I felt privileged to be a part of this incredible team of Pastors that we call staff. I feel privileged to be at NorthRidge Church at such a time as this because I know that this event will change people's lives at that people will come to know Christ in a very real way as a result of this incident.
It is hard to understand, but I praise God for this fire. I praise God that no one was hurt. I praise God that the school can still function. I praise God for the space to continue on. I praise God even more than anything that by destroying a church building, He made the CHURCH grow stronger.
Keep in the center of God's will and look for opportunities this week to turn the church fire into a gospel sharing opportunity. And praise God for who He is!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Well faithful blog readers. It has been around 2 weeks since I last posted and it feels like a part of me is missing. I don't know if you have noticed or not but I have added a stat tracker to the top of my blog. As of the moment I began typing there have been 75 views in the past week and a half. Of those 75 views there are 28 unique visitors. So I have grown from 9 to 28 which is progress. I have been pleasantly surprised at the people who have been confessing to reading my blog. People will mention stuff to me all the time now that they would only know if they were a faithful blog reader.

Of these special people that have been keeping up with James' blog I found out that we have royalty among us. The principal of NCA elementary division Mr. Michael Bartlett is now a faithful blog reader. I thought that some of you may not know what he looks like, so here he is...

I honestly just wanted to put his picture on because he hates this pic and I am laughing hysterically at the thought of posting this. But anyway, he does read, but he may not after this. :)

So, onto my blog.

This past weekend was a weekend to remember and a weekend I wish I could forget. For those of you that don't know we had a little diddy at the church on Saturday called Fusion Fest. We had been working really hard to get the word out to all of the public school campuses... and we did. We were excited of the prospect of what would happen on Saturday.

Well Saturday came and we had been working diligently for over a month on the details of this event. We had been begun setting up three days in advance. The band came in set up on a flatbed under a tent and then about an hour before our diddy was to begin... it started to rain.

No big deal we thought, we were protected by our great tent. Then a huge gust of wind came and toppled our whole tent over leaving all of the band's equipment unprotected. I must say that we had some incredible volunteers that stayed under the tent holding the medal poles to the tent in such a way that all of the equipment would stay dry. During the duration of this pole holding there was a little thing called lightning flashing all around us. 20 minutes later the rain stopped, everyone lived, and we officially had 45 minutes to re-set up everything that took us three days to prepare.

Our incredible volunteers didn't flinch, they got right to work and we made arrangements for the band to go inside and... praise God... 5 or 6 kids raised their hands saying that they accepted Christ!

Ever since this Saturday I have been searching for meaning in the whole event. I mean there were hundreds of kids that told me they were coming that didn't show up. Two football teams were supposed to be there in their entirety and both head coaches even cancelled. We had planned for this event for weeks and weeks and less than an hour before the event one gust of wind messed everything up. In these instances I can't help but ask the inevitable... why?

I may never know why things happened the way they did. I may never know why circumstances ended up the way they did. But I know for at least 5 kids their eternities changed forever because of Fusion Fest. And I suppose that was all worth it.

I wonder also, just wondering, if everything went off without a hitch, would I have taken the credit? I would like to say that I would have given all the praise to God, but honestly speaking I don't know that to be true.

But now I believe without any doubt or any reservation that the only way we pulled that event off on 45 minutes notice is through the grace and power of my almighty God! And I must not be discouraged over only 5 salivations, because... 5 kids got saved! God is the only one with that might.

Thank you faithful blog readers... God bless and know that Principal Bartlett is a cut above the rest.