What are YOU going to be for Halloween?

Halloween.....what a strange holiday. As a kid, heaven. A chance to show off your creativity and eat endless amounts of candy. As an adult, just an excxuse to be someone other than yourself for a night, and have some fun doing it. But Halloween has created some funny memories for me. Some highlights of my Halloween career:

- My first few years in costumes I believe were as either a clown or possibly a sheep. Maybe a tiger. I could be way off base here - I don't really recall most of my childhood - but I remember being a clown. And a tiger. And a ghost. Or something.

- One year, my mom dressed my brother and I up as girls. Sisters. Ha. Ha. Very funny. We were convincing though - fooled my Uncle Chris, he had no idea who or what we were. Mom putt makeup on us, ear rings, leggings, the whole deal. It was humiliating, as I look back on it...but I'm sure created some laughs around the neighborhood!

- One year I was a witch's hat..............yes, just the hat. I'm pretty sure it didn't have arms, which made trick-or-treating confusing and difficult. Props to Mema for creating that outfit, though!

- Another year my friend Em was Garth from Wayne's World...we still laugh about that one. I think his sister was a black Jamaican hippie that year....

- A classic outfit one year, as my mom just reminded me via Gchat this morning....we were CALIFORNIA RAISINS. You remember..."I heard it thru the grapevine..." I bet you've never been one of those!! Mema, again, on the outfit creation. She was brilliant.

- In college, I was slightly more sophisticated....I was Steve Irwin, aka The Croc Hunter. It actually was a pretty dang good outfit, if you ask me. It was replete with a puppet crocodile and a rubber snake around my neck. And reeeeallly short shorts.

- Our neighborhood was pretty sweet for trick-or-treating.....a few houses went all out. My neighbor - Jim Litchfield - grew these pumpkins that were big enough for me to fit IN TO until I was about 7. They were HUGE. And he carved them with these elaborate patterns, it was amazing.

- Then there was the guy who never gave treats...............only tricks.

- Andrew Elliot's parents always did this haunted house thing on their front porch, and it legitimately scared me until I was like 16.

- Dentist's never give good candy.......Litch, are you listening??? NO MORE TOOTHBRUSHES PLEASE. VERY FUNNY.

- Then of course, anyone who has lived in Salem has been to the infamous, world famous, Deaf School Haunted House. You talk about being scared......I am still scared when I take my cousins there. It is like 20 minutes long, winding all the way thru the basement of the cold, deaf school on Cherry Ave. People are popping out of no where all the time, and this creepy vampire guy follows you thru the whole thing...sometimes he is silent, sometimes he runs thru your group and pulls people and screams and yells.....freaky. At the end this deaf guy chased you with a fully functional and working chain saw until you couldn't stand it any longer. He chased us all the way to our car one time.

That about sums up my Halloween memories....anybody have any funny ones?? Feel free to post them! I'd love to hear some great outfits or stories....enjoy the weekend. I'll be going to my very first Appalachian State football game!! KICK APP, as they say around here.


Global warming my butt!

Let me be honest - it's freezing in Boone. October 27, 2008, first snowfall. It started flurrying yesterday about 6 PM, and we woke up this morning to a snow covered ground and cancelled school. I wish they cancelled work when it snowed, but I have no excuse since I work from my house. Which reminds me - I figured out the heat issue. It is now working. I don't have to use the stove anymore. However, when then wind blows really hard while I'm working, I can feel the cold air coming thru the cracks. Needless to say, when I leave the heat off at night (every night) the mornings are frigid and brutal. Anyway, sometimes I naively think that Global Warming is a bunch of crap when I hear that it snowed in Bend on Oct 9th, and in Boone last night. And when I hear that the Ice Caps in Antartica had their least amount of melt the last two years than the last 5 combined...or something like that. But then Ashley yells at me and makes me realize that is actually is an issue...and she's right. I've discovered she's right a lot. I'm just bitter than it's cold.

In other news, Ashley and I carved pumpkins last night. I won the speed round - taking the top off, taking out the guts, feeling proud - and she won the style round. Hers was clearly better than mine, which doesn't surprise me because I picked a design WAY too hard for me and got annoyed that it was taking me well over 2 hours to finish the stupid thing...so I cut corners and finished and now it truly looks scary because of how bad it looks. Suffice it say I am going with an easier, less ambitious design next year. (Pictures below). She is a perfectionist. And it paid off. She wins.

Last weekend Ashley and I headed to Windy Gap, a Young Life camp in North Carolina. It was a weekend of nostalgia for me. I realized how much I love YL camps and how much I believe in their mission. I always think to myself, Wouldn't life be easier if I just moved to a YL camp and lived there? Sometimes I think it would, but I realize that is not what I am called to do. Anyway, we were "AM Cooks", which meant we cooked and prepared and served breakfast and lunch to the servers, who took it out to the campers. The hours were 6 Am til about 2:30pm or so in the afternoon...maybe taking 15 minutes for breakfast and lunch. Basically.....brutal. But somehow no one seems to care or mind that they are tired and their feet hurt and they smell like bacon and hotwing sauce. They just keep going, keep serving food to serve the Lord in serving kids. It is amazing. We would serve 500 people per meal like it was no sweat off our backs. The campers have it good. It's like a resort - 5 star dining, swimming, frisbee golf, basketball, tennis, laughing, finding their "weekend fling", and hearing about God in a non threatening way. It's a great thing, and something I forsee myself being a part of in some way or another for a long time.

Random thought...I get to see my best friend John Olinger play a basketball game tonight. It is their first game of a 3 week or so tour. It will be a little bit of a trek - about 1.5 hours - but well worth it!

That's all from here...thanks for reading, sorry for the time in between...I got blogger's block. Hopefully that doesn't happen again!


Jimmy and other thoughts

Jimmy (my car - see picture below!)) finally got a license plate!!! Praise the Lord. Jimmy is now an Oregonian with Boone stickers all over him. I spent the last 10 days evading the Boone Police Force, SWAT team, State Troopers, and App State security guards. NO TICKET. It really was an unbelievable performance. I would be driving - no place or temp tag or anything - and see an officer and immediately turn on the nearest street and drive really fast. There were times when I honestly thought that the town was out to get me. Here are some examples:

- I am sitting at Espresso News, two cars get in a fender bender in the parking lot, call the police. The police person pulls up directly behind my car - I am watching this from the inside - gets out, looks at my car, and moves on!
- Car breaks down in the parking lot of my apartment, calls the police (for some unknown reason). Policeman does not notice my car sitting 3 feet from him with no plate on it!!
- Traffic jam on King Street (aka Main Street). Moving 3 MPH, Police officer at EVERY SINGLE INTERSECTION directing traffic. I drive by at least 8 officers, look the other way and pretend like I'm waving at someone, and somehow none of them noticed the empty plate or cared to call a buddy about it.

I'm lucky I tell you. Stupid, but lucky. But now I'm official!

Other random thoughts from this morning:
- Wine to Water - a non-profit here in town. Check them out. winetowater.org. They are an amazing organziation that is fighting the poor water epidemic in suffering countries - mainly Uganda and Cambodia. They build and dig wells to provide clean water to these communities(poor, unclean water accounts for nearly 75% of illness or death in those countries), and are currently working to build a water filtration facility in Northern Uganda. Each filter costs $100, and provides clean water for about 5,000 people and lasts at least 10 years with no maintenence. It's amazing what a simple $100 can do......hint hint....
- Heading to Windy Gap - it's North Carolina's Young Life camp - this weekend to do Work Crew. My old boss Ben Lambeth from Crooked Creek in Colorado now lives about an hour from Boone (we've hung out a few times and it has been great!). He asked Ashley and I to head up there with him for the weekend to work in the kitchen...can't wait!
- Newest favorite TV show - Biggest Loser. Great message, great results.
- I'm reading Don Miller's "Searching for God Knows What" currently, and it is great. It is all about how Christianity is a relational religion, not a set of rules and regulations. It is about Jesus walking around relating to people, and that He still does that today...thru the Bible, thru chuches, thru Young Life leaders, etc. Needless to say, I am digging it.

That's about all I have for today...enjoy the sun while it is here!


The 31st Annual Woolly Worm Festival!!!

So I woke up on Sunday and I could see my breath for the first time............IN MY APARTMENT. I kid you not - it was that cold. I immediately tried to turn on the heat, and thus far has not produced any. So I turned on all 4 stove tops and that worked temporarily until I felt like I was going to burn the place down. Next attempt: the oven? Wear gloves permanently? Sleep in jeans and my Patagonia? Or maybe I should just talk to the landlord..........

In other news, Ashley and I went to the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, NC. Have you ever heard of a Woolly Worm? I hadn't. I bet you've seen one though - they are brown and black and fuzzy and crawl around on leaves and on the pavement sometimes. Well every year (31st Annual) they have a festival to celebrate this worm. And at the end, the winning worm predicts the weather for the next 13 weeks. Allegedly they have, so far, an 87% success rate. Who knew?? Here's how it goes down.

They have this huge stage, and it has 25 racing spots. Each 'racing spot' consists of: a place for a name plate. Each woolly worm of course has a name. Some of my favorites: R2D2, Zippo, Arwoolly Edwards (you'll only get that if you live in Boone), Paul, Ichabod Crane, C3PO, Rainbow Wormier, and Slick. Anyway, below the name plate is a 5 foot long string. The goal of the race is for your worm to beat all other worms UP the string to the "finish line". It costs $5 and you can race as many times as you want. Also on the stage is an announcer - like the announcers that you see at the Fair that announce the Clown water baloon gun shooting race, or the rubber ball horse race, you know what I'm talking about. They announce loud and fast it make it way more exciting than it really is. On top of that there are 2 judges with whistles that let everyone know who the winning worm is. It is amazing! Each heat winner moves on to the next race, and the over winner receives $1,000 cash and the chance to predict the weather! To give you the scale of it...last year there were around 2,500 racing worms. It's unreal. And it's 2 days long. My friend Kirbi's worm last year got on the string and went the wrong way - down instead of up. Happens all the time.

Needless to say, it was hilarous and fun. I took pictures, and will try to post some somwehere on this thing. Keep checking back! Until next time and more experiences, have a great day!



So today is my birthday. Happy Birhtday Alex, thank you. I was in the beginning stages of being depressed about having another birthday - I thought that started happening around age 40 - and my brother told me I was being an idiot. So I stopped. I woke up this morning to a surprise on my doorstep from Ashley...BANANA BREAD. I love that stuff. I instantly wolfed down half of the loaf and started this day off right! So props to Ashley, that stuff was good!

That made me start thinking of my favorite birthdays...and no, I'm not going to brag, this is actually going somewhere. And then that train of thought lead me to "Lists". Top 5's. Favorite whatevers. So I am going to list some lists. Hope you enjoy! Feel free to chime in at any time.

Top 5 Favorite Birthdays:
- Golf at Crosswater with Em, Scott Taylor, and Andy Howard. Well, 3 of us golfed, and Taylor just sat in the cart and smoked cigars and drank beer.
- 21st birthday in LA. 4 parents, 1 brother, 3 great friends...and Betty White and Nancy Raegan.
- Pendleton to Eugene to Black Butte in 1 day for 1 great weekend!
- 16th Birthday at that one place that our parents rented out for the 10 of us who had October Birthdays!

Top 5 Favorite Golf courses:
- Crosswater, Pacific Dunes, The Vintage, Sahalee, Pebble Beach (with Dad)

Top 5 Favorite memories with Em:
- Golfing at Hawk Creek in Neskowin in a torential downpour with Howard...and Em blowing the win on the last hole!
- Playing one on one to 200 points at McKinley...yes, 200 points. By 1's and 2's.
- Tennis at 2am at Illahe...epic battles.
- Ping Pong in his basement...calling timeouts (there are no timeouts in ping pong) and sweating so bad because of no A/C and it being 96 degrees outside
- Playing one on one BASEBALL. You'd think it's impossible, but not with Em and I. It was amazing.

Top 5 Memories with my brother:
- his wedding
- driving from LA to Salem in 12.5 hours. Left at 12AM, met Dad at McGraths downtown at 12:30 pm.
- playing tennis at Fairmount Park on those crappy courts
- NYC for Spring Break in 2004
- his visit to me while I was at Young Life camp in Colorado

Top 5 movies (I'll cheat a little on this one):
- Indiana Jones Trilogy, Scent of a Woman, Shawshank Redemption, The Goonies, The Little Mermaid

Top 5 Memories with John Olinger:
- Europe 2006, way too many competitive golf rounds at Illahe with Em and Wade, talking in Bend a few weeks ago, Palm Springs (twice I think), Work Week at Malibu

Top 5 Authors:
- Paul, Henri Nouwen, Donald Miller, Vince Flynn/James Patterson/David Baldacci (they are all the same, more or less), Roald Dahl

Top 5 Classes I took in college:
- Christian Marriage, Marketing (because of Professor Gerson, who was one of the only people on this earth who I knew that knew my Great Grandfather), Spanish 3 (again, the professor), Leadership and Entreprenuership, New Venture Finance

Top 5 Places I have visited (I'll brag on this one, sorry):
- Africa, Young Life's Malibu Club (Canada), Switzerland, Austria, Cuba

5 Best Places to eat in Bend:
- Baldy's BBQ, The Blacksmith, Longboard Louie's, Deschutes Brewery (only because of the Mac n Cheese), Croutons

5 Best Places to eat in Boone (so far):
- Chick Fil A, Black Cat, Char, Jimmy John's, Mellow Mushroom

Top 5 Places

Top 5 Memories with Mom:
- US Open in NYC, running/talking in Cape Town, finishing the Marine Corp Marathon (and all of the damn training runs and talk and everything that went in to it!!), San Francisco (what was that one broadway show we saw with Martin Short in it? Hilarious...), living mono e mono for 2 years at 1835 Alta View Drive

I guess I'll quit now...I could go on and on forever. I am sure all of you have great lists too! Feel free to post one or two of them in the comment section...would love to hear some thoughts on what your favorite things are! In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy birthday # 26. My mom already recounted what happened 26 years ago....for the 26th time. Enjoy the day!


Hippie Soap and the Bummer Hiccups

So Ashley and I went to Oktoberfest 2008 in Banner Elk, NC last weekend. We had been looking forward to this for a few reasons: the amazing weather, the arts and crafts they sell, the amazing changing of the leaves, and good beer. Or maybe that last reason was just me. Anyway, we went on Saturday and it did not dissapoint! In fact the pictures at the bottom of this page are from it. But one experience made me laugh, and potentially changed my life: the encounter with the hippie.

There was a soap stand among the arts and crafts at the fair portion of Oktoberfest. I have bought some home-and handmade soaps before, and really like them. They smell good and you are supporting local economy. But they didn't just sell soap. They sold deodorant, perfume, and of all things tooth soap. All handmade! So the guy who was running this joint was a hippie, and we got to talking. Turns out he was the most normal guy in the world. Used to work in Information Technology and is now a hippie. He and his wife had six kids and are now making soap and selling it for a living.

However during our conversation I couldn't stop thinking about the Tooth Soap that was hiding in the corner. I asked him about it. He went on to explain all of the bad and tooth damaging things that are in Crest and all of the other toothpastes out there, and that Tooth Soap is not only all natural, but are actually better for your teeth. I said, really? He said, Yes, there are things in toothpaste that don't protect your teeth and actually damage them. My wife and six kids have been using the same bar for over a year. It is amazing. I thought, Gross, same bar, 8 people, but said, Wow, how much does it cost? Like $500 bucks? He said, No, $4. I looked at his teeth. They were amazingly white and shiny. I mean, really white. Especially for a hippie!

So Ashley and I thought about it for a minute, and pulled the trigger. I am officialy now a user of Tooth Soap. Aka Hippie Soap. (Litch, are you reading this? Any thoughts?) So far, so good. My teeth feel cleaner than they ever have! I do have to say that brushing your teeth with soap is strange. It reminds me of the time my dad washed my mouth out with a bar of Zest for cussing at Mike Long when I was 4. It was gross and scarred me for life.

Upon returning from the Fest (beer was great, riding the ski lift to the top of Sugar Mountain was sweet, and the weather was amazing), we went to the Boone Saloon with some of Ashley's friends who were in town for the night. We were sitting around drinking beer when friend Megan noticed a guy sulking in the corner. She looked at him for a few seconds, and then walked straight up to him and said, You are trying to get rid of the hiccups, aren't you?

How she knew this I have no idea. I was amazed. He said, Yes I am. She said, I know how to get rid of the hiccups. Do you trust me? Dangerous question from a stranger, I might add. He said, Yes.

Picture this if you will: One girl plugging his nose. Another girl with a finger in each of his ears. And the Hiccup man chugging an entire bottle of water. And Ashley and I falling out of our chairs laughing. But as you can probably guess by now, it worked. He no longer had the hiccups.

He came over to our table and said, Man, I'm not drunk or anything. I have only had 3 beers and f***ing got the bummer hiccups!!! I probably look like a dumbass but I'm not even drunk! I hate the bummer hiccups! I thought to myself, Well no, you looked like a dumbass with 2 girls plugging your ears and nose, but that's neither here nor there. Point in fact, he actually was not drunk. I asked, Bummer hiccups? He said, Yeah, you know, when the hiccups sneak up on you when you aren't even drunk.

Bummer hiccups. New term, folks. Has that ever happened to you? I can relate. I hate the bummer hiccups. They suck bigtime.

But I love hippie soap!


Random things from random days.

Hello. I decided to write a hybrid blog today. I feel like I have written a lot since I have been here, and wanted to post of few of my journal entries from some different days...hopefully you'll find one or two or all or none of them interesting. Hopefully I don't offend anyone! Enjoy.
This town is weird. Pretty much in every way possible. But in it's own cool way. Take for instance the new Guinness World Record Boone just set for “Most People Dressed like Daniel Boone in the Same Place” about 2 weeks ago. Over 400 people looking like Daniel Boone. In one place. Strange. Then there is the wacky mix of locals vs. ASU students. A town full of country hicks vs. a town full of eccentrics. Hippies, freaks, gays, straights, normals, creative minds, country boys all fill up this crazy little town called Boone. It is an awesome, eclectic mix. I have not seen anything like it! It is random, cool, trying to break out of the 70's and into the new
millennium, but also being a funky old mountain town at the same time. There is golf, moutain biking, rafting skiing, running, and fishing for outdoor activities, to name a few. There are good places to eat (CHIK FIL A), great coffee shops, and a few good bars (and a LOT of real crappy ones). Just stay away from Klondike Bar is what I hear. I'm more of a Boone Saloon guy.

All this to say I feel slightly weird here. A little out of place. I talk different, dress different, think different and act different. Not that it is a bad thing; just weird. I’ve never really felt this way before. San Diego, Salem, Bend – there has always been a 'place' for me. This sounds like a pity party – it’s not! Just an observation. I can handle it, I can adapt. I can grow a beard and wear funny clothes too!
I don’t have much to say today really. I bought a car though, so that’s nice. 2000 GMC Blue Jimmy, who will from now on be referred to as “Jim”. You know exaclty which car I'm talking about, because you used to see them everywhere. Now I have one. Jim runs ok – needs new tires and a wash big time. The doors are kind of broken, the A/C doesn't work, and the gas gague is broken…but he’s getting a detailing tomorrow, so hopefully he’ll make it out alive. My dream of the Craigs List Land Rover that I had been lusting over for 2 weeks ended for 2 reasons. First, I’m impatient. I jumped the gun because I hadn't heard back from the owner. And because I wanted a car. Secondly, it was probably a fraud. Oh well.
Stereotypes and Starbucks.
I was thinking those things in the shower this morning for some reason. My thought: People who drink Starbucks are generaly stereotyped as being “rich, affluent, ‘with it’, in the know, cool”. At least in my feeble mind. When I see someone walk around with a Starbucks cup I think they are cool and proud of what they are drinking. I think they have their life together. I think that I want one too. When I see someone walk around drinking out of a McDonalds cup, I think they are cheap. Why is that? Why does that little cup make all the difference? I think that is interesting. Maybe Starbucks has brainwashed the world somehow and made us all think that their cups and coffee and things are so much better than anything the world has to offer. Maybe they have drugged the espresso. Who knows? I mean there has been all sorts of coffee studies – the blind taste tests and what not. And it seems that Starbucks never wins. McDonald's always does. Or Seattle's Best. But never Starbucks. So why does it all rest on the cop that we carry? What if they did "cup studies" like they do coffee studies? Personal image studies?
More thoughts.
I really thought that my windows were going to blow in last night and that I was going to die. It was incredibly windy and stormy, just without the rain. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like a tornado was lurking right outside my 2nd story crappartment. I have never heard anything like this before; it was not as awe-inspiring as I thought it would be. It was more scary than anything else.
I like tradition. Ritual is different than tradition in my eyes. Ritual seems very religious to me, as opposed to tradition, which is just something you do because that’s all you know or because it’s fun to keep something going. I have a tradition with Katie (Myers) Selbak. We have been participating in this tradition for at least 10 years…maybe even a few more. It started with me – for whatever reason – giving her a card and a single rose for her birthday, which is exactly one week before mine. (Her birthday is today, by the way). To my great surprise, she did the exact same thing for me on my birthday, and I really liked it. The greatest part about this is that neither of us has missed one single rose giving. And she has lived in Corvallis, Salem, and Portland, and I have lived in San Diego, Salem, and Bend for our respective birthdays. I got the rose issue taken care of this year thru her dad, Bob. I am wondering how she’ll figure out how to deliver a rose to Boone…

Other traditions I like in recent years (in no particular order): playing cards with the guys, Fantasy Basketball, drawing cards to see who has to be the “DD” at Christmas at Grandma’s house (Carrie has lost 3 years in a row!!), golf with Wade, the Annual Black Butte trips, Big Town Hero when visiting Salem (Court Street too, for that matter), the birthday cutting cake knife that Uncle Jim made (great story!!), the car races at Grandma’s, $35 in the mail from Grandma on our birthday (no more, no less, ever), the 4 games of cards dad and I always play (Spades, Gin, Crazy 8’s, Casino), and Battle at Bandon (ie Jacobs Cup). I can’t think of any more right now, but I really do like traditions.
More to come later...thanks for reading!
Happy birthday to: Lauren Dalton, Bryan Maletis, Andrew Vijarro.
Have a great day!



The leaves are changing here in Boone. They started the inevitable process about 10 das ago, and it is quite a sight, really. There are so many trees here it is ridiculous, but it is nice because it reminds me of The Valley. But these trees are different. Not as many Doug Firs – if any – and no aspens (like Bend). There are conifers and some pines, and lots of leafy ones that create what looks like a painter’s palate on a mountainside. They are woven into the mountainside as God knew exactly what He was doing when they were planted or grew or however they got there.

I am looking at this huge hill right now, and there has got to be at least 20 different colored trees on it. There are 4 shades of red, 3 yellows, a few oranges, and lots of greens. No pink or blue or black, thank goodness. Fall has a distinct color to it I feel like. I wouldn't call it pastels, but it is something like that. Of course, pastels don’t greens I don’t think. But that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, I feel like looking at this hill is reminding me of something familiar, and making me feel connected somehow. Maybe it is because I am used to the leaves changing so vividly every year. Or maybe it is because I expect it, and if it didn’t happen then I wouldn’t feel like I belong where I am. I would feel out of place and not myself.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t really like San Diego. The leaves didn’t change, and there was no fall. Or winter, or spring, for that matter. It was all the same all the time. And I felt trapped in this strange serenity. Some people love that and will never leave. But not in Bend, or Boone, or Salem. Things change and change is good. Changes stirs up something in people, for better or worse. It seems like attitudes change and mindsets shift or something, but something happens when the leaves change. And I like it.


Humorous Correspondence

Every day in my junk email I receive something from "prayermanager", which is mail from "Liveprayer.com". It was founded by Bill Keller. I had an interesting correspondence with them this morning about his thoughts on "The Shack". Have you read it? It is pretty good. It also has stirred up some controversy lately regarding the author's thoughts on God. The following is my emails back and forth. This post is VERY long!! Just a fair warning!!

10/07/08 Daily Devotional. "The Shack" is NOT a Christian novel, but simply more New Age heresy. Things have not really changed since the first days of the church over 2,000 years ago. One of the problems Paul dealt with often were those who perverted the Absolute Truth of the Bible with writings that purported to be Christian. All throughout these past 2,000 years men have written books about the Christian faith that compromised the Truth of the Bible. We have never been so ripe for these types of heretical books as in the year 2008, with the better part of 2 generations having never even gone to church and the large percentage of those who do, being Biblically illiterate. So it is no wonder that a huge best selling "Christian novel," "The Shack," is the latest in a long line of heretical books promoting anti-Biblical ideas.
William P. Young, the author of "The Shack," is the son of missionaries whose dad also pastored churches in Canada. He went to Bible College and later graduated with an undergraduate degree in Religion from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon. However, there is absolutely no information available on his theology. "The Shack" is an allegorical fictional novel.
It conveys postmodern spiritual ideas and teachings that challenge Biblical Christianity, all in the name of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Much like New Age author James Redfield's book "The Celestine Prophecy,"
"The Shack" is a fictional vehicle for upending certain Biblical concepts and presenting contrary spiritual scenarios. Young's book moves through a very engaging and emotional story to eventually present the New Age teaching that God is "in" everything. God is not "in" everyone and everything. The Bible makes it clear that man is not divine and that man is not God!
"The Shack" presents many of the same New Age concepts and ideas that plague the controversial Bible paraphrase The Message, written by Eugene Peterson who enthusiastically endorsed "The Shack," as well as Rhonda Byrne's "The Secret" that I warned you about years ago and was heavily promoted by the queen of the New Age gurus Oprah, New Age leader Benjamin Cr me's, "The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom," and New Age matriarch Alice Bailey, in her book "The Reappearance of the Christ."
This "God in everything" immanence is why The Shack is such a deceptive book. It teaches this same heresy. This is most apparent when he uses the person of "Jesus" to suddenly introduce the foundational teaching of the New Spirituality, God is "in" everything. Using the New Age term "ground of being" to describe "God," the "Jesus" of The Shack states: "God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things.." (p. 112)
This false teaching about a "God" who "dwells in, around, and through all things" is the kind of New Age leaven that Paul warned about. Clearly, the "Jesus" of The Shack is not Jesus Christ of the Bible. The apostle Paul warned the Corinthians that they were vulnerable and extremely susceptible to "another Jesus" and "another gospel" and "another spirit" that were not from God (2 Corinthians 2:11).
In the Bible, Jesus warned that spiritual deception would be a sign before His return. He further warned that there would be those who would even come in His name, pretending to be Him (Matthew 24:3-5;24). William Young's mixing of truth and error can become very confusing to readers, and God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33).
We are living in such perilous times and satan is busy using tools like "The Shack" to lead people astray, many searching for real truth in their lives.
This is why I am like a broken record every day to challenge people to get out into the world and take the REAL TRUTH of the Bible to people. They are hurting, looking for answers. Why do you think books like this are so popular? It doesn't help when you have people like Pat Robertson featuring Young on The 700 Club, not to rebuke or chastise his New Age concepts, but to promote his book.
This is why I come down so hard on cotton candy preachers like Osteen, expose Masonic cult member Robert Schuller who promotes many of these same New Age concepts and even sells New Age garbage in his crystal church's bookstore, warn you about these watered down, compromised seeker/purpose driven/emergent church movements geared to attract bodies and not souls.
People are looking for life changing answers, and the ONLY place they will find those answers are in the Bible!!!
Listen, there is SO much material out there. My word of wisdom for you today is this. First, know who the author is. Research them and find out what their theology is. If you can't find it, STAY AWAY! You wouldn't go to a stranger for open heart surgery, why look for Biblical Truth from someone you don't even know. If the book isn't tied to Scripture, have any sort of Scriptural references (from credible translations and not these perverted paraphrase Bibles), STAY AWAY! I don't care how clever man thinks he is, there is no substitution for the Word of God!!! It is the ONLY Truth there is that can truly change hearts and lives.
I love you and care about you so much. "The Shack" has touched the hearts and emotions of many people. While there are many other examples of the author's unbiblical teachings, the heretical New Age concept that "God dwells in, and around, and through all things" is in and by itself enough to make this book dangerous. To allow yourself to get carried away by this story, while disregarding the book's New Age concepts, is the kind of compromise that has invaded the church today.
I have learned over these many years of ministry to be very leery of anything that is embraced by the world and becomes wildly popular by the masses. The fact is, the pure Truth of the Bible is NOT something this lost world gravitates to. They want something that feels good, makes them happy for a moment, helps them through a difficult time, without making any real commitment or sacrifice in return. That is why the spiritual crack of our day, these New Age teachings are so popular. Sacrifice and service don't sell, success and satisfaction does!!!
I will be praying for those who are caught up in "The Shack," that the Lord will put the right people in their lives to help guide them to the real Truth of His Word.
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Bill Keller
Founder liveprayer.com
(My email back to Bill)
Hello Mr. Keller.
I am a little perturbed at your daily devotional “lesson” today. Having read “The Shack” for what it is – a work of fiction – I thought you were too tough of a critic and certainly very biased. And at times, not scripturally based yourself.
I have met Paul Young, and have talked with him about his book. These aren't his exact thoughts, they are mine. But he is a very down to earth follower of Christ, like yourself. His intentions were good in writing this book. A few points you might find interesting:
1) This fictional book was meant as a story for his kids, not as a “New Age Heresy”. There was no intent for this to be a “Christian novel”, as you claim it is. Sure you might find it in the Christian section of Borders just because it has the word “God” in it, but it was written for his children as a fictional novel. It was not written as a “vehicle for upending certain biblical concepts”.
2) Romans 8:10-12 reads: But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies thru His spirit, who lives in you. I guess I am a little confused by your train of thought that Jesus does not live in us once we hand our lives over to Him. That’s what giving our lives to Christ is – salvation – a relationship with the God head three in one. In every translation that I found of that passage there is some mention of Christ either “living in us” or “dwelling in us” or “taking up residence in us”.
3) Jesus of “the Shack” is clearly not the Jesus Christ of the bible. No kidding. He wasn’t meant to be. It is a fictional book!
4) God is the “ground of all being”. Please see Genesis 1.
5) God created everything and dwells in us once we give our lives to him. He is omnipotent. Or am I off base here?
If you could please explain your train of thinking scripturally I would be opening to hearing it. I believe in a God who walks in this life with me, not one who sits on a throne a dictates what is happening. I believe that Jesus and the Holy Spirit live in me and give me wisdom and guidance and comfort (Proverbs), and I did not learn this from “The Shack”.
I also don’t think that Satan is using this book for his purposes. I also don’t believe that God is using it to bring people to salvation. I believe the book is creating good, however. I believe that “The Shack” is making people at least think about God, and think that if there is something else out there that is greater than them, and better than them, that they might look in to it. And THAT is good. That is not evil.
Comparing Paul Young to Joseph Smith is a little bit of a cheap shot, don’t you think? He’s just a guy who wrote a fictional book, not a guy who created a cult.
I will be praying for you too, Bill.
Alex Casebeer
PS What are some “many examples of the author’s unbiblical teachings”? Would you please send them to me? I would like to know.
it is Biblically illiterate folks like yourself who make marketing such garbage so easy...go do some homework my friend..type in The Shack heresy..and you can do the research for yourself..it is dangerous..and if the author didn't do it intentionally..he out of sheer ignorance..created a book that is leading people AWAY form the true Christ..and into New Age teachings from hell..you are right..I am biased..for the TRUTH of the Bible..period..
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Bill Keller
Founder, http://www.liveprayer.com/
You failed to answer any of my questions.
Or respond to any of my facts or points I made. Genesis 1? Romans? Anything?
Instead of attacking me, maybe, just maybe we can have a conversation. Feel free to call.
listen...Dr. Keller gets over 40,000 emails a DAY..most are for prayer..there are 700 of here who answer them...we are a prayer ministry..over 2.4 MILLION people worldwide read what Dr. Keller writes every day..we don't ahve time for "conversations" with everyone who agrees or disagrees with what he writes..if you want to defend this heretical garbage..knock yourself out..sadly..this is the state of the church today..people defending anti-Biblical works,,my suggestion..go spend some time with God..and a real book..the BIBLE
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Bill Keller
Founder, http://www.liveprayer.com/
Dear nameless:
Such a loving and welcoming “ministry” you have! It sure makes me want to keep reading what Bill writes! Is this how you respond to everyone?
As “people of a prayer ministry”, maybe adopting a little more loving attitude would benefit all 700 of you…and the 2.4 million readers.
Well, 2,399,999 now. You just lost one of them.
Hold on I have a prayer request!! Can you pray that I continue to seek and follow God’s will for my life?
Thank you,
it is your loss..not ours..but I will pray the Lord gives you better discernment..
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Bill Keller
Founder, http://www.liveprayer.com/
Dear the one who has no name:
Aren’t we trying to win hearts for the Kingdom? Win hearts for the Love of God? Save souls that are lost and have no hope?
I didn’t ask for prayer for discernment! But thanks anyway, discernment is good.

This time I would like prayer for discipline. Sometimes I struggle with having quiet times every day, and need to do a better job at that.
Thank you,
winning souls is what we do here every day..not with New Age garbage like the Shack..but the BIBLE..be blessed..
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Bill Keller
Founder, http://www.liveprayer.com/
Dear Unknown:
I am glad you win souls every day! I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t try harder with me. I feel attacked and disrespected! But I didn’t say that I win souls with The Shack. I use the Bible too, just like you!
But as you instructed me, I will be blessed. I feel blessed every day already! Do you have any prayer requests? I would like to pray for you directly.
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Alex Casebeer
Matthew 5:44
be blessed..
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Bill Keller
Founder, http://www.liveprayer.com/
Booooo!!! Are you done? I still have questions unanswered!
LOL..no..done wasting my time..what a tool you are..
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Bill Keller
Founder, http://www.liveprayer.com/
I am shocked.
How can you be so bitter and unfriendly and work for a ministry? Just doesn’t make sense to me. And it is a horrible representation of the person and character of Jesus Christ. You really should do some bible reading yourself!
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Alex Casebeer
Matthew 5:44
LOL!!!..you defend new age garbage and want to be taken seriously..give me a break..move on son...
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Bill Keller
Founder, http://www.liveprayer.com/
New Age Garbage New Age Garbage…..Nameless, I wish you would use your own words and thoughts and ideas instead of living out of the back pocket of Big Bad Bill Keller! Hold on let me count the times you used the phrase “New Age Garbage” in our “conversations”………..............counting….........……..4 times!! And I really didn’t even defend "The Shack"...just asked for responses to Bill’s “devotional” – which you, or he, never gave!
Thanks for the advice, dad.
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Alex Casebeer
Matthew 5:44
no ..your daddy is clearly satan...run along before a house falls on you
Know that I am praying for you, be richly blessed,
Bill Keller
Founder, http://www.liveprayer.com/
Dear nameless person:
What is this, the Wizard of Oz? Houses don’t fall on people like they did on Dorothy!! Clearly you don’t have anything better to do than attack me, who was just searching for some simple answers from a devotional that your boss wrote. I didn’t realize that it would be this hard!
I hope you have found as much enjoyment in our conversations as I have!
There you have it. I found it to be rather interesting, and funny, and tragic. But needless to say, I guess I'll stop reading Daily Devotional now...
Thanks for reading, if you made it this far! More to come later from Boone...they all won't be this long, I promise!!!