Category Archives: Blogging

The Fat Pastor Academy

I came across an opportunity the other day that I found interesting. I have the chance to take an online course through United Methodist Communications to learn how to use the program Moodle. This is a program that designs online courses. I haven’t been able to figure out many details about it, but apparantly if I take this course I will be able to build an online Bible study that can be accessed by anyone with their own computer and the internet.

The possibilities for such a dynamic teaching tool are very exciting to me. I would love to start with a New Testament Survey course that I designed a few years ago. There are a couple of factors I am still trying to figure out, but first and foremost I want to try and gauge interest. I am not sure if there would be a cost to taking a the course. I know the software is free, but I’m guessing moodle has to make money somewhere. If you are a reader of The Fat Pastor, would you be willing to enroll in an online Bible study? Please answer the poll question below, and please leave comments too.

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Dear readers

Dear Readers,

I’ve spent a lot of time the last few nights working improving the connectivity and marketability of this blog.  I have accomplished a lot, and am hoping to push The Fat Pastor to new levels of traffic with all the work that I’ve done.  Here’s all the new gadgets I’ve been working on:

  • The tagline.  Inspired by Dr. Minor Myers, I have added the tag line “Striving to live well and do good.”  It is the mission statement of this blog.
  • The logo. It incorporates a new color scheme (blue and tan), the name, tagline, and html address into a 200×200 frame, which is usable in a lot of social media pages.
  • The Facebook Page and badge.  On the right sidebar you will see the logo as a Facebook badge.  Click on it, and you will be a follower of the Fat Pastor on facebook.  You will receive updates when there are new posts, as well as occasional status updates (and tweets!).  As of now, I only have 15 followers.  I need you, the readers, to increase that.  Invite your friends to “Like” the Fat Pastor.
  • The Twitter page and badge.  If you are into twitter, you can follow the Fat Pastor on twitter.  It took me a few hours, but I finally linked the FB page with the Twitter account.  Right now I have three followers.  One total stranger.  My wife, and Mike Slaughter (one of my pastoral heroes).
  • The Email Subscription.  If you want to get an email when I finish a post, you can subscribe at the bottom of the page.
  • The only thing left to do is to buy the domain http://www.fatpastor.com.  It doesn’t look like anyone is using it right now, but someone else owns it, so it will cost more than the usual $10 at godaddy.  Oh well.

So there, the Fat Pastor has now reached 2009.  I’m proud of the work that I’ve done, and I’m proud of this page.  I hope you enjoy, and share it with friends.

Sincerely,

Robb (The Fat Pastor)

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Why the Fat Pastor?

Someone posed this question to me – “Why do you call yourself the Fat Pastor?”  Well, I have a few reasons.

First of all, because I am a pastor.  A lot of what I do on this blog is write about God and the Church.  I offer my thoughts, or what I have called “my nebulous theology.”  As a pastor, I am interested in sharing God’s message of love, redemption and grace.  I think there is a lot of noise out there that contributes to a lot of confused people.  I try to offer my view of God because, in my boldness, I think it might be helpful.

Since starting this blog, I have been given much encouragement from people that have received gifts from my words to know that I indeed have something to offer.  I’ve had about 40,000 views, and get about 50-100 a day.  This is not a huge site, but some people tell me they like it.  So right away, in the title of my blog, people know that I am coming from a pastoral perspective.  I am, and always will be,  a pastor.

I am many other things too, and I write about the many things I enjoy.  But one thing I am is overweight.  It’s a fact that I cannot ignore.  Every time I try to put on a tie, every time I tie my shoes, every time I get out of breath after light exertion, I am reminded of this fact.  I am 6′ 2″, and at my last weigh-in, I’m 320 pounds.  That’s grossly overweight.  I named this blog in 2008 when I was shocked to find out my weight had topped 300 pounds, and it has generally gone the wrong way ever since.  I’ve always been big.  I was never the “fat kid” growing up, but I don’t think anyone has ever described me as skinny.  I’m athletic, and actually healthy in a lot of ways, but my belly is certainly bigger than it should be.

I call myself the Fat Pastor on this blog first and foremost because its true.  But I also use the word “Fat” to try and breathe a little brevity into what I am doing.  I have always had a self-depricating sense of humor.  People tend to think of pastors in one of two ways.  Some have an automatic sense of distrust.  This is something that we, as pastors, have earned well.  There are far too many of us that abuse our authority, and misuse the trust we are given.  There are also people that tend to think of pastors as almost otherworldly.  By calling myself the Fat Pastor, I am attempting to diffuse either extreme.

I’m just a regular guy.  I have struggles.  I sin.  I have a sense of humor.  I like sports – perhaps too much.  I like eating – definately way too much.  I like beer and wine and scotch, but not in excess.  I like some vulgar music and raunchy comedies and dirty jokes.  I am not perfect.  I’m fat.  I don’t want to be, but I am.  I don’t work out nearly as much as I should, and I eat way more than I ought.  It doesn’t make me a bad person.  Does it make me a hypocrite?  Some would say so.  But I am who I am.  I want to be better, and I’m striving to live well and do good in the world.

I am gifted.  I have failures.  I am a sinner.  I am a saint.  It’s who I am.  And I would bet it is who you are too.

I am the Fat Pastor.  This is my blog.  I hope you like it.  If you do, share it with others.  If you don’t, I’ll love you anyway.

For an update on how I’m trying to change, check out the #Fat2Fit page.

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The Fat Pastor’s new logo

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I Dislike (reacting to tragedy on FB)

News spread quickly on cable TV, but I wasn’t near a TV.  I was online, hooked up to facebook while I was supposed to be working on something else.  Then I read this

D.H. – “This is just sad” with a link to the headline “Congresswoman, 6 others killed by gunman”

M.C. – ” This is terrible!! As I look deeper into the story and some of things that have been done and said leading up to this……It was only a matter of time!!”

I read the story and find out some details.  Like a good FBer, I decide to share the headline, with this is my comment: “No need for political commentary now, as it is too early. This is just sad.”

The comments then started to flow as more headlines were posted.  At least four other friends posted similar headlines, and the cross-pollination of the comments became confusing.  I thought I would share some of the comments that were made within three hours of the first headline being posted:

  • I’m afraid that the rush to answer “why” might get ugly and political real fast. I hope people can take time to grieve and process emotions before name-calling, fighting, demonizing and retaliation begins (Me)
  • Unbelievable……really?? WHY??? This is my question…why???? Praying for all those killed and all those injured and the families who lost their loved ones……this is just so upsetting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (JC)
  • (My response to above)  I’m afraid that the rush to answer “why” might get ugly and political real fast. I hope people can take time to grieve and process emotions before name-calling, fighting, demonizing and retaliation begins
  • Words cannot express my sadness of there. May God be with Cogresswoman Giffords, her family and staff….as well as the people of Tucson. (DW)
  • May the presence of Peace flow into this tragedy and transform it. May the presence of Love be with the victims and their families. May we be led into a better future by the One who brings hope. (AS)
  • I sit in wonder and disillusion sometimes – crying out to God. Praying for the peace that Jesus taught and flows from the Holy Spirit to be present in our broken world. Gracious God please use me for your will, be with those affected by this tragic act of violence and those who caused it. (SM)
  •  For the most part, while vile and harsh, politics don’t typically end up in such violence as this. (SC)
  •  I pray that this tragedy brings NEW light and awareness to what is transpiring in our country……I’m not sure exactly what words to find here!!!! (JC)
  • Damn that situation in Arizona is all f***** up. My prayers r with her and her family. (JB)

And finally, my last status update for awhile:

Robb McCoy wants to cry out to God. Why have you foresaken us? Then I realize, it wasn’t God that left. It was the other way around. I pray for peace to flow through this tragedy. I pray for reconciliation and grace to replace anger and despair. Holy Spirit, work in the lives of those that survive, and speak a new word of life in the face of death.”

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Facebook Friends

So, as a middle-aged man living in rural Illinois, my days are not exactly filled with thrilling adventures. One of the most exciting moments of my day comes when I get on facebook and read the replies to all the witty comments and statusses (stati?) I wrote.  Nothing compares, however, to seeing that I have a Friend Request. 

Seriously, getting a friend request is the best.  It means that someone, somewhere saw my name and picture and thought, “Yeah, I want to be friends with that guy.”  The best part is the anticipation of the moment after clicking on the link, but before it is revealed who my new friend is.  Could this be some long-lost friend, some dear part of my past that will bring back a flood of memories, somebody I will exchange dozens of emails talking about old times, and possibly even meet for a beer on a coming Friday night?  Is it a youth from a church I used to serve, seeking my advice or coming to tell me how I was a positive influence in their life?  Or is it some guy I went to grade school with, but have not talked to in 20 years, and was really doing just fine not talking to him. 

Right now, I have 319 facebook friends (after reading this, I might have fewer).  They can be roughly categorized like this:

“Who?”  These are the people that you have to check “mutual friends” to narrow things down a little.  This is the guy you had a class with your junior year, but never really talked to.  This is the girl that was your roommate’s girlfriend’s friend that came over one time.  This is the fraternity brother that was a freshman when you were a senior and you didn’t live in the house, or it might actually be someone’s little brother who you partied with once.  Basically, this is the worst friend request.  You feel obligated to accept, because ignoring friend requests is just rude, but you haven’t seen this guy in 15 years, and you’re not exactly sure you want him to see pictures of your family.  These don’t happen too much.  Of my 319 friends, I’d estimate that I didn’t have any idea who about a dozen of them were at first request.  I think a couple of them have actually removed me since then.  How funny would it be if you got an update everytime someone removed you as a friend.  How’d you like to have “Josh Smith has removed you as a friend” on your live feed. 

“I remember that guy”  These are the people that you once were friends with, but honestly had not thought about this person in years.  You were on a team together.  You had a few classes together.  You worked in the same office for a year or two.  You said “hi” to each other in the hall, but you knew nothing personal about the person.  The last time you talked, it was when they signed your yearbook, and it said “It was nice knowing you.  Have a fun summer.  Good luck in college.”  And it says “college” because they didn’t know where you were going to school. 

This is someone you add because if you bumped into them at Easy Street Pub or the Village Tavern, you would want to be able to look them in the eye.  And you have about 30 mutual friends and they might post pictures from HS of friends you had that will make you laugh.  You might right on their wall once after becoming friends.  You might make a comment or two on their status if you can think of something clever.  You do not exchange messages or comment on pictures.  You might be in their mafia.  Of my 319 friends, I would roughly estimate that 50 of them fall into this category.

“Casual Friends.”  This the person that, when you shared something in common, you were pretty good friends.  When you were in the same office, or in the same fraternity, or on the same team, you hung out some.  You went out after work a few times.  You ran in the same circle.  But when life changed, you drifted apart.  You graduated and went to college.  You graduated and got jobs in different cities.  You moved.  She moved.  You have her email, but it ends in .edu, and you doubt it still works.  Your first comment after accepting the request is, “It’s great to see you on facebook.  We should catch up.”  But you don’t.  Well, maybe you do a little, but you don’t really say anything more than is already on your profile.  “I live in —–, I’ve been married for ——, I work for ——-”  That’s about it.  I probably have another 100 of these friends.

“Family.”  You have to add these people.  If you are related in any way, you have to be their friend.  Even if you only see them at funerals and weddings.  Even if you see them less then that.  When a relative – and marriage counts – adds you, you must accept.  You will probably get a dozen invitations from them to join “My Family,” or “We’re related” or some stupid application like that.  I ignore all of those.  Upon becoming friends, your first post was “Hey Aunt —–, so you finally joined Facebook.  How’s cousin ——–?  Tell Uncle —— I said ‘hi.'”

“Historic Friends”  These are the friend requests we are all waiting for.  These are the guys that stood up at your wedding.  This is the guy that slept over at your house when you were kids.  This is the girl that you kind of liked, but never asked out.  These are the people we write on their wall, “It’s great to see you on facebook.  We should catch up.”  And then you actually do with a few exchanged messages, and maybe a chat or two.  If they’re not online, you look at the profile and find out if they are a Democrat, or if they turned into an a-hole (I think I just lost a few friends).  You check out their pictures, especially the album titled “Old School.”  You form a carefully crafted comment on their status, and hope to God that they respond with LOL or a funny emoticon. 

“Uncomfortable Friends”  These are the friends that you kind of lost on purpose.  This is your ex-girlfriend that crushed you, or the one that you crushed.  This is the your roommate that stole your CDs, or you stole his.  This is the guy you were with when you did that thing that you have been trying to forget for years.  You add them, but hope to God they never comment on anything.  They don’t.

“Current Aquaintances” – This is the guy you work with.  This is the one that you think about before you post a link or tell a joke.  This person is the reason you removed the tag of yourself on that picture from college of you and the bra and the boa and the cigarette and the wig and the girl that is definately not your wife (and the garbage can full of “Jungle Juice”).  These are people you don’t know that well, but you don’t want them to think you’re a perv or a drunk or a jerk.  You know that if post something insensitive or stupid, you are guaranteed to bump into this person at the store or in the hall, and you don’t want to deal with his condescending voice or her Judgy McHolierthanthou look. 

“Actual Friends” – These are people you are currently actually friends with.  You communicate with them in ways other than facebook.  You have actual conversations on the phone or face-to-face.  If facebook ceased to exist, your relationship would probably not change much.

These are the main sets – every one of your friends probably fits into one of these categories.  There is little overlap.  Below are some subsets.  People can belong to one, more, or none of these groups.  Feel free to add some in the comments section.

Subsets:

The Political Guy: Every status, link and group they invite you to is called either “Obama is an idiot” or “Healthcare reform now”

The Religious Guy: Bible verses for status, groups called “I bet I can find one million people that love Jesus.”

The Networking Guy: Invitations to join his company’s page.  Updates regularly about his company.

The Funny Guy: Every status is funny.  Subsets of this subset may include Pun Guy, Movie Quote Guy, Deep Thoughts Guy

The Mom: 375 posted pictures of the kids. Status updates are about kids.  Groups include “I bet I can find a billion Mommies that love their kids.”

The Drunk College Guy/Girl: 575 pictures of self at various parties, occasionally on boat, sometimes in swimsuit, always with cup.

Blogger Guy: Constantly pushing his website on people.  Has 100 networked blogs followers, and thinks he’s a syndicated columnist.

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One Year as the Fat Pastor

I started this blog last year as a way to try share my thoughts about God and other issues with others, and to chronicle my struggle to become more healthy.  For awhile I was doing well on the health side of things.  Obstacles and excuses have popped up time and again, and as I sit here typing I am in worse shape than I was last year.  So on that front, this blog has been a total bust.

Yet I have hope that I can still turn things around.  The poll I took a couple of weeks ago came out 100% in favor of me trying out for the Twin City Dawgs, an amateur football team that plays in Chenoa.  The try-outs are January 24, which gives me three and a half months to turn things around.

The other reason I started this blog was to reach more people.  So I thought I’d share some stats about that front.  This is my 97th post.  In the last year I have had a little over 7,500 visits.  September was my most visited month with 1,148 visits.  I’ve had two different months with over 1,000 visits.  My busiest day saw 160 visitors.

In May I discovered Networked Blogs on facebook.  I have now invited all of my facebook friends (only once apiece).  On Network Blogs have have 75 followers, several of whom are people I do not know.  Since May my traffic has gone up, and right now I average about 30 visits a day (about 200 visits a week).  On days I don’t post I still get 10-20 visitors.  On days I publish a story on facebook I get 30-40.  Every once in awhile something I write touches a nerve and I spike to close to 100.

My top four posts this year were:

Sorry Albert, I don’t believe you — 430 visits (this one gets the most outside traffic from those searching “Albert Pujols sterioids” on engines)

The Mouse is a pimp — 323 visits  (I’m not sure how many people actually read this one, everyday I get traffic from people that searched some variation of “Miley’s breast” that get to this site.  I think they’re probably pretty disappointed by what they find.)

The Great Disconnect — 241 visits (this one had brought 160 visits in one day.  The traffic was driven largely by friends sharing this with their friends.  I got some very kind words from people I respect about this post)

Jill and Kevin’s wedding entrance — 168 visits (I still get some occasional traffic from search engines, and if you google “dancing wedding entrance pastor,” my post is the first result.)

In addition, I am now linked on two fairly popular Methodist blog sites – Methoblog and the Wesley Report.  Every now and then I am featured on Wesley Report.  I’m still hoping to get featured on Methoblog.

I have had a lot of fun doing this.  It has fed something inside of me.  I really enjoy using the blog as a way to share my feelings, insights, frustrations and celebrations.  The comments I get from people have been extremely rewarding, but the thing that has touched me the most have been times when I have seen friends tell their friends to check out my blog.

Thank you to all who have read this blog.  Thank you for your comments.  Thank you for your encouragement.

So now I’m going to make a shameless appeal.  I am excited about the 7500 visitors this past year, but  I would love to have more next year.  So if you like this blog, share it with friends:  If you are on networked blogs on facebook, then click “like” on posts you like.  Usually the top “likes” of the day have about 10 clicks, which puts a post onto a page with a lot more traffic. Rate my blog using the stars.  Invite your friends to follow.  If you don’t have Networked Blogs on facebook, then email links to posts you like.   If you have a blog, put me on your blogroll.  Any way that you can spread the word, I’d appreciate it.

Here’s to another year as the Fat Pastor.  I pray that it will be my last.  Thanks for coming with me on this journey of, “One pastor struggling to live well and do good.”

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The Poll

tcdawglogosmallNotice the new page on the top menu bar.  It is called “The Poll.”  Please, vote on whether or not I should try out for a football team.  A real football team, with pads, and helmets, and 300 pound linemen and everything.  Am I crazy?

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Girls Fight Back

GirlsFightBackThis post is dedicated to the women in my life.  It is dedicated to my daughter, my wife, my mother, my sister, my cousins, and my friends.  It is dedicated to thousands of women who have been made victims, and to the thousands of women who will never be victims because of the work of Erin Weed.  My current Site of the Week is the home of Girls Fight Back.

I met Erin in high school.  I knew her at first only as the girl that shaved her head.  Which she did to raise money for cancer research and to honor her friend that was going through chemotherapy.  We became friends as time went on and I came to know her as a funny, kind, creative leader of our class.

The following comes from her blog:

Erin Weed is a professional speaker, author, self-defense expert and Founder/CEO of Fight Back Productions. Her calling to the field of violence prevention and self-defense began in 2001 as a direct response to the murder of her friend and sorority sister, Shannon McNamara. After Shannon’s death, Erin abandoned her career in TV production to study with the best anti-violence activists, personal safety specialists and self-defense experts in the world. In January 2002, she began traveling the nation giving keynotes and seminars in schools and businesses. To date, she has spoken to half a million people with her uplifting and empowering message of staying safe from violence and finding peace in the process.

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More “Your Momma’s so nice…”

So I went back into the old skype chat and found some that others came up with.  Again, I’m not attributing them unless they claim them.

Yo mama’s so nice, that often neighborhood children will perform chores for her, even if she doesn’t ask

Yo momma so nice that people deliver entrees and desserts  to her home even when she isn’t sick

Yo momma’s so nice that her porch is inundated with produce from people’s gardens all summer long

Yo momma’s so nice her dooky makes the house smell better

Yo momma’s so nice, she tried to jump into the pool, but walked on it instead.

Yo momma’s so nice that people buy bracelets that say “WWYMD?”

Yo momma’s so nice, she invited Satan to church, and served him communion. Now he’s working at a soup kitchen downtown.

Yo momma’s so nice that Ozzy Osbourne enunciates properly and refuses to curse around her.

Yo momma’s so nice that violent self-aware robots would make sure she’s safe before engulfing the world in a nuclear holocaust.

Yo momma’s so sweet that I kissed her cheek and got diabetes.

Yo mama’s so nice that Romulans went back in time to build her a planet.

Your momma’s so nice that zombies want to eat her brains and gain her knowledge, but they won’t do it

Yo mama’s so nice that her housecats pee rainbows.

Yo momma’s so nice that Metallica wants her to download their music.

Yo momm’as so nice that Christian Bale asks her nicely for a cappucino.

Yo momma’s so nice that Christopher Hotchens believes in her.

Yo Momma’s so nice that she joined a social networking website and they renamed it YoMommasBook.

Yo Momma is so nice that after an hour with her, John and Kate are happy again.

Yo momma is so nice that if she were cold, Iggy Pop would find a shirt to give her to put on.

Your momma’s so nice that MLK nominated her for the Nobel Peace Prize.  And she won.  And then they renamed the prize.

Yo momma’s so nice that the Rolling Stones won’t smoke in front of her.

Yo momma’s so nice that Puddle of Mudd started singing “She Hates Me,” saw her, then stopped.

Yo momma’s so nice that Rush Limbaugh has nothing to say about her

Yo momma’s so nice that Keith Oberman went off the air when she told him, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Yo momma’s so nice that Mary wears a t-shirt that says, “Yo momma is my homegirl.

There are a few more.

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