Thursday, December 31, 2009

Caught in a Pick...

How do you teach your kid NOT to pick their nose? In saying that, I'm sure there's a book, a blog, a "professional" out there that has a 4 step program (most likely spelling "boog"), that would provide the answers.

BUT i'm finding myself in quite the conundrum...

Cora is just so darn cute, knuckle deep into her nostril! Not only that, she'll come running (pointing to her nose) and say, "there's something up there!" How can you not love that?

So for now, i think i'll just let her pick away. There's a lot of time between now and middle school.

Happy New Year's Eve,

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rockstar in the Blood...


Monday, December 28, 2009

Pre-Christmas Prep w/ Cora...


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009...

see more pics here!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It might be time to REthink Christmas!

Are you hopeful for Christmas this year, but worried its just going to be a repeat of years past? Are you trying to convince yourself that this year, the traditions will be different somehow and really close out the year with a bang?

Do this for me...think back on last year. What was memorable? Ok, now go back 2 years...what sticks out?

Anything life altering?

If you're like most people, you have your laundry list of Christmas traditions. Each year you go down the list one by one, week after week, and expect something refreshing and transformative. But nothing happens. Its the same bad traffic, long lines, songs, and tv specials as every other year.

My advice, (if this is you), CAN THE TRADITION! If the tradition lets you down every single year, maybe its time to morph it, or just try something completely different. After all, you can't remember what you did the last couple years anyway - so what's to lose??? Why are we so hesitant to toss out lame tradition???

It might be time to REthink Christmas!

Here's a few ideas:

1. visit/attend a worship service on Christmas Eve (if you typically attend one, but are left feeling nothing year after year, get online and try another one - worship with people you've never worshipped with before in styles you've never considered)

2. spend more WITH family and less ON family (time, activities, etc.)

3. focus (stop trying to do everything and instead do SOMETHING)

4. laugh

5. spend time where Jesus would have spent his Christmas'...(with the least of these)

6. the gifts you do give, make them socially conscious gifts (gifts with a purpose and mission)

7. be still (take a deep breath, another, another, another...)

8. listen (sometimes we're too busy "out-telling" everyone else's stories when just maybe we'd do better to hear them and let the the stories soak in)

9. invite someone over for a meal, celebration, etc that has no family or friends around for the holiday

10. eat (just eat)

That's it for today. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Book Entry #3 (encounter)

Here's another small excerpt from my upcoming book...enjoy!

I believe that in our consumer-driven, materialistic society, we fall prey to the habitual re-creation of an entertainment encounter. And just because I use the term “entertainment,” doesn’t mean I’m referring to a particular style of encounter; contemporary, progressive, traditional, post-modern, blended, etc. Rather I’m referring to the fact that we try and dish out what gives “our people” what they want.

We spend an amazing amount of time calculating what will drive the numbers up and try and meet those expectations unequivocally. If that’s a rock band or pipe organ, we’ll do what brings in the numbers. After a season of positive encounters, we say that things are going well, budgets are in the right place, staffing is secure, and things are generally healthy. However, when these encounters leave us uneasy, we quickly blame the ministry staff, begin questioning the church’s stewardship, and eventually go down the road of, “oh, remember how things used to be…”

It’s a natural place to go. This line of thinking is very normal. However, the fact that we got there in the first place illuminates the real failure. The fact that we can, (in one week and one worship encounter), determine the encounter’s success by the ministry staff’s hard work, excellence and spiritual maturity, and the next week call it a failure, without any hesitation that just perhaps the encounter has something to do with how we arrive, the preparedness of our hearts, and the willingness of ourselves to be challenged, moved, and disrupted, shows how far the church has gone and how we’ve allowed the gods of culture to infiltrate.

The encounter is good when we sing our favorite setlists, see our favorite video clips, don’t allow the services to go too long that we miss kick-off. In contrast, the encounter is bad (or at least sub-par) when we don’t do these things. And right then and there we have fallen into idolatry – in both scenarios.

But no matter what, the perception is that good or bad, the overall success or failure is dependant on the staff. Good pastors don’t have off weeks – right? If not, then a strong man or woman of God, wouldn’t allow these encounters to suffer. That’s what they were hired to do – to deliver an encounter. And when we outsource this encounter away from the conditions of our own hearts week after week, month after month, and year after year, the cycle becomes endemic and customary to gauge our encounter by the perceived success or failure brought about our so-called outsourced ministry staff(s).


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas...

And yes...this post is a selfish plug.

But I promise you WILL BE PLEASED with these CDs. If you order today, you can have them in time for Christmas - and what a perfect stocking stuffer these will make :-)

Simply click on the album title to purchase - YOU CAN ALSO BUY THESE ON APPLE ITUNES...

Ross Christopher & the Familiar Voice - Act Alive

Have a great week and do yourself a favor by purchasing one (or both) of these exciting albums in time for Christmas!


Ross Christopher’s The River Child is a minimalist epic, lyrically and musically compact. Self-penned, recorded, engineered and produced, it’s a pure DIY effort. Hailed for his electric violin prowess in live performance, Christopher is subdued, even when he trades extended guitar and violin solos—with himself—on “Blinded My Eyes (Wasting),” which borrows Dylan’s oft-quoted “Watchtower” minor progression.

At turns vocally suggestive of Live frontman Ed Kowalczyk sans the trademark snarl, Christopher sings with a quiet intensity. Faith is a consistent thread as he reworks “Amazing Grace” with an altered melody line and later sings, “Release Him, let Him go” in “Barabbas,” appropriating both the Biblical prisoner’s persona and crowd’s words speaking of (and to) Christ prior to the crucifixion. —GMG

Wildy's World Publications - The River Child (REVIEW) 2008
Ok, this is big. Not big as in its going to sell 10 gazillion copies (probably not), but big as in artistically and musically unique, unusual and satisfying. Ross Christopher is not a name I'd heard before (nor likely have you); but this might just be one of the more eclectically exciting albums to grace the market in 2008.

Ross Christopher's The River Child soars at times like Radiohead, rages like Spirit Of The West and has a bare emotional component similar to Ben Folds' recordings. The River Child opens with Two, sounding like something Jay Semko might have dreamed. The River Child has an airy brilliance to it that is disturbing and wonderful all at once. Blinded My Eyes (Wasting) delivers an ethereal rock sound that skates the chasm between Radiohead and late Pink Floyd. Be sure to check out Little White Anger, which seethes in its own discordance.

Other highlights include Whispering Lilies, Amazing Grace and Perfect Sound. Ross Christopher marches to the beat of his own drummer, not managing to sound exactly like anyone in particular while giving definite nods along the way.

The River Child is the sort of album that folks may look back on in several years as a watershed moment, but I have a feeling it may not get the attention it deserves because it is eclectic and brilliant and just too good to be recognized for what it is.

This is a Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc without doubt. Whatever else you check out musically in 2008, make sure Ross Christopher is on the list. You'll thank me. You'll see.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where Has The Talent Gone?

I saw this and asked myself, "where has our artistic integrity gone these days?" We just don't make 'em like these anymore...


Monday, December 14, 2009

Paying Homage (silent "h" style)

Today is a national holiday of sorts. You might not have heard, but today is a day that deserves our focus and homage (silent "h" style).

Today folks, is National Biscuits & Gravy Day. And that makes me proud and humble to be alive!

I indulged with reverence and humility. If you haven't yet, the day is still too can live life to the fullest.

Carpe Diem Baby!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Experimenting in the Kitchen Gone Oh So Right...

This afternoon I had a hankerin' to create an amazing dinner!

After a short trip to the grocer to let the culinary-creative-juices flow, I decided upon a Beef Bourguignon, Asparagus, and Salad.

It was a complete shot in the dark.

BUT it turned out amazing!

Here's how it played out:
steak (5, 2-3 inch cubes), 5 garlic cloves, 1 carrot, 4 red potatoes, a large handful of mushrooms, 1/2 an onion, red wine, and some olive oil.

grill, sear, simmer, and cook for about an hr or more...

AND voila...!
Sooooooooooooooooo good!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Christmas Season...

So this Christmas season (Advent), I've listed a few things I really wanted to give focus and consideration to. One, simply being still. And unfortunately stillness is so counter cultural, that I struggle in this department.

But in my attempts to re-focus this Advent on being still, spending more time with family, and just being in the moment that is Advent, it brings us to great places...and this was one of those places.

The night was frigid, but I was surrounded with my 3 loves, and we had a blast!

getting laced up...

so far, she's not a fan...
on our way out...

on the ice...and finally, a carriage ride for everyone...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Won't Forget Today

The weather in St. Louis is frigid today.
Temperatures are in the teens and the wind is blowing 40-50 mph.

And minutes ago, I stepped back indoors from a funeral. The funeral was a military funeral, with full rifle salutes, flags, etc.

The snow was blowing.
Cheeks, ears, and finger tips were bright red.
Tears couldn't even find their ways down people's cheeks without freezing first.

But amidst the cold; people listened, prayed, mourned, and remembered this man's life.

I didn't really know him well. He was in his nineties and went to my church. He was always bringing smiles. He loved to laugh and make others laugh. He brought about peace and joy.

Seeing the family gathered, grieving, and loving was surreal but warming. And even though I didn't really know him well, I was thankful that just for a moment I was able to be present in the midst of his remembrance and ceremony.

Life is fragile and even when it leaves us in old age, the loss of a loved one is difficult.

But this man gave life a ride and left a legacy. I hope to do the same.

Today I learned in the frigid temperature.

I won't forget today.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Book Entry #2 (a quick preview)

Here's another quick preview at one of the books I'm currently writing. I hope (with all my heart) it causes a stir...

Consider the implications of Outsourcing. From a business perspective, outsourcing typically refers to the third party subcontracting of a service, product, or manufacturing. Outsourcing usually takes place in order to lower costs, free up time, and energies. Most basically, outsourcing involves the transfer of a task to an external service provider...

...By now, this attitude of expectancy, commodification, and consumerism has engulfed the church and plays out no different than private companies. Our “church shopping” culture has somehow forced the hands of leaders to play into the power of the executive business models, where we now treat ministry as an assembly line. The more people we can turn on and turn out, the better off we are, the more successful our ministry, the bigger our steeple. It’s a numbers game, and quantity seems to be the driver.

The church, unlike the rest of the world, has often turned the vision and call of being Jesus’ hands and feet to the world, into an executable machine, with certain 10-step programs guaranteed to grow your congregation, grow your collection plate, and if there’s money left over at the end of the month, we’ll even supply the visitors with Jesus mints.

But this isn’t completely a get-rich-quick scheme of the church. Its not an evil plot sought out by seedy church leaders. It’s a deep and interconnected problem that society expects and the church caters to.

I do not intend to solely put the weight of this in the hands of church leaders either– in fact, many found themselves in this mess without even realizing. I do however mean to lay out some ideas and hopefully start a broader dialogue that can shift this culture away from its consumerist tendencies and begin to weave a new way of how ministry and true life change is brought about.

More to come later,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Song Idea Vlog...

So here's how I write (sometimes) lyrics yet, just a chord progression, a melody line, and a cute kid to talk to me straight!

Hope you enjoy it,

12.02.09 Cicero's Concert

here's some pics from last night's show...


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cora VS. Olive

Which is which...???

Monday, November 30, 2009

Feeling Advent-ish...?

There's nothing like 70 degree, late November, days to get me in the mood for Advent...well, maybe not.

BUT, Christmas is my favorite time of year. Heck, I start looking for an excuse to play Christmas music once the leaves start changing colors.

Today though, lets talk about Advent. (I'd love to hear some of your childhood, church, or family traditions)

This year I'm excited, because Cora is old enough to really participate in the festivities. And since we kicked off Advent yesterday at church, I thought this might be timely.

So this year my Advent will look like this...

Reading the lectionary texts nightly as a family (slowly
walking through the Christmas story). Slowing down. More
nights in front of the fireplace. More singing. More drives
to see the "pitty lights." Cold nights out by the fire pit.
More time seeing friends. Giving. Reading. Writing.
More mistletoe with Kate. Creative cooking. Parties.
Hot apple cider. New Christmas Carol
arrangements. Better harmonies.
Decorating cookies. Love.

"His law is love and His gospel is peace"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Saying Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope today is a wonderful day of family, friends, rememberance, laughing, and gluttony :-)

Beyond the pies, turkeys, and carb overloads, just stop for a minute to take it all in and say thanks.

Last night we got to catch up with some great friends and family under the firework-lit-sky while being serenaded by Aaron Neville and Manheim Steamroller - talk about thanks!

Peace everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cora & The Sound of Music


Friday, November 20, 2009

Oprah in 2012...???

I'm calling it now...

Oprah is ending her show in 2011 to be named President Obama's VP for the 2012 re-election.

What do you think?

Like it or not, its an unstoppable ticket.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Money Money Money Money...

Have you been affected by the financial meltdown?

Do you know anyone who has been?

Truth be told, even if your job is still intact and you own no stocks, you've still been affected by the joblessness and economic downturn.

But hasn't the recent news been uplifting? Every night the news outlets tell us that the recovery money is being allocated and distributed. New jobs are being created. All good right? ran this article this morning:

"hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars were spent in nonexistent congressional districts, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board said Wednesday.

The errors, first reported by ABC News, were seen on summary pages breaking down how many stimulus dollars were received in each state's congressional districts....

A report released Wednesday by the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity said it found such errors on pages for all 50 states, four territories and Washington, D.C. More than $6.4 billion in stimulus funds was shown as being spent -- and more than 28,420 jobs saved or created -- in 440 false districts, it said."


So, who do we trust? Heck, I had to scroll through CNN's website for a couple minutes before I noticed this. Why? If a company posted 6.4 billion dollars worth of fake income, it would be a top story that no one could miss. (I suppose I should be glad they ran it, but it seemed pretty hidden to me)

1 word. Integrity.

That's all. Discuss amongst yourselves (Mike Meyers style).


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crazy Ninja News...

So apparently this really happened.

"Seattle police say a man who thought he was ninja was impaled on a metal fence when he tried to leap over it."

(that's normal, right?)


Welp, that's all. (I assume everyone has the need to keep up-to-date with ninja's in the news).


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Like These Posts???...Want MORE???

Thanks SO SO SO VERY MUCH to everyone that reads the blog! Thank you everyone that passes it along to friends and family. I truly hope over the past couple of years that its brought some laughs, joy, and serious debate.

So...if you like continuedconversation, and want more updates, then follow me on TWITTER for the most up-to-date ideas, news, thoughts, and quandaries...

You can follow me @rosschristopher

I have to admit...I was anti-twitter for a while. I forced myself to create an account, and now I'm addicted to too can share the addiction :-)


Friday, November 13, 2009

Drops Like Huge Squirrels...

That's right folks, I said it...huge squirrels (that's with a very soft "h").

Last night Kate and I attended Rob Bell's, Drops Like Stars tour event at the Uptown Theatre in Kansas City. As always, he delivered amazingly and we were moved and inspired.

The setup was great too...dinner and conversation in Westport at Californio's with friends (hard to beat).

Earlier in the day, my best friend Brandon Schultz (BRS Photography) did a photoshoot with us. So be watching for those pics to surface! Fun times on the Nelson lawn!!!

That's all I have for now...



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Olive, May I

Olive, May I
(c) 2009 Ross Christopher Donaldson

verse 1
we were two, three, now four
and we've made this love story;
a perfect story of who we are
and here we go...

olive, may i have this dance
to settle your tiny cries of midnight
let's dance till you smile

olive, may i have this dance tonight

verse 2
through many sleepless nights
i hold you tight, i hold you tight my love
and i see your smallest smile,
to know its a complete love

olive, may i have this dance

to settle your tiny cries of midnight
let's dance till you smile

olive, may i have this dance tonight

so we dance
and we sing

and we love what we've become

olive, may i have this dance

to settle your tiny cries of midnight

let's dance till you smile

olive, may i have this dance tonight

Convergence Vlog - IT's DONE!

Welp folks, its done!


Monday, November 9, 2009


Beauty & art intertwined in a perfect way!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Love This!

My mother-in-law passed this my way this morning, and it's too good to keep to myself!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Conflicted Culture

Nearly everyday I try to visit to take the daily poll. There's always some interesting topics. It's a broad spectrum of issues; from international law to local jurisprudence, weighty issues to pop-icon news. I like to see where I stand with the general 200,000 folks that also take the daily polls.

This past week though, one of the poll questions reiterated my previously stated notion that the US is an extremely conflicted culture.

Last week, asked, "Should the U.S. military offer H1N1 vaccinations to Guantanamo Bay detainees?"

Now, remember that the news reported majority of American's calling for the closing of Guantanamo Bay due to humanitarian reasons. I assumed that the bulk of America then, would have checked YES on this poll.

However, to my surprise, 63% said NO.

The point of my blog isn't to tell you what's right or wrong. Rather, its to further healthy conversation and debate ("healthy" is the critical word here).

So, how can a nation that cries for humanitarian reasons to close Guantanamo Bay, also vote overwhelmingly to deny basic health care?

Please feel free to chime in and continue the conversation!


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009 Pt. 1

Part 1 is Cora's night of Halloween fun at Grant's Farm. She was a "pum-peeen," and a darn cute one at that!

Enjoy the pics and stay tuned for Olive as one of my favorite culinary dishes...


Thursday, October 29, 2009

How A Dad Makes it on 4.5 Hrs Sleep

Hope that puts a smile on your face!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Convergence Vlog

I hope this sheds some light!


Friday, October 23, 2009

More Sabbath Rest Commentary

Sabbath rest is something I've spoken on numerous times in the past. Its something that is totally counter-cultural, yet imperative to our health (both physical & spiritual; if you can actually separate the 2).

I found this great article in Relevant Magazine and thought I'd share it:

Learning to work hard is great—but working hard is not enough to have a balanced life. You must also learn how to stop working. That’s called rest. The ancient Hebrews called it taking a Sabbath. It was one of Ten Commandments. Scripture records, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Keeping something “holy” means you are committed to doing it....

If you refuse to rest, it will catch up to you, which means rest is not an option—you will rest. It will either be something you learn to do on your own or something you learn through a heart attack or some kind of emotional breakdown. I think most of us would prefer choosing the scenario rather than just letting it happen dramatically.


I post this because I need more of it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cora's Many Hair Styles...

Here's the thing...Cora has crazy hair. She's at that point where its long enough we don't want to cut it (we can sometimes get it into a pony tail), but its short enough that its kinda mullet-ish at times.

But, you have to admit it...she's pretty cute - and funny!

She's got it all. She can do 1980's Eddie Van Halen meets glamour shots...

She can do the Southern-county fair-slick-mullet...

My girl's got sty'le!

Hope you enjoyed that.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Amazing Creative Animation Collaboration

One of my friends posted this video, and it is truly imaginative and incredible! Its some of the best creative animation I've seen. If you appreciate creativity, check it out...


Thursday, October 15, 2009


If you have a few minutes you can dedicate to watching this, do it. At around 9 minutes I lost it in my office and was bawling. This is what compassion can look like!

Catalyst 2009 Compassion Moment from Catalyst on Vimeo.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WOW...this is beautiful!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Favorite Days

I have a couple favorite days of the year. One of those days is the first night its cold enough that people in the neighborhood fire up the fire place and that smell of burning cedar hits the cool wintry' air. Ahhh, there's something about it that just puts me in a good place. Last night was that night.

I stood outside and just breathed it in. Looooong, deeeeeeep breaths of brisk cedar-y air. It only is topped by the first snow.

(I'll be sure and let you know when that happens too!)


Sunday, October 11, 2009


I saw this video over the weekend on and had to share it. Its nothing short of sickening, but everyone should see it. I hope this saddens and humbles you as it did me.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

More AutoTune Fun!

Here's another great example of how less than quality "artists" are called "artists." Enjoy...


Friday, October 9, 2009

My 3 Girls...

My 3 girls have an enormous amount of power...they make me more protective than I thought I could ever become, more motivated than I ever have been in my entire life. I find myself more focused, more entranced in love, more hopeful for the world, more dedicated to creating that hope and change in the world, more compassionate, more honest, more humble, more passionate, more creative...more, more, more.

But look at them, how could I not be?


Monday, October 5, 2009

First Night Home Timeline

(we decided to go to bed EARLY with the girls...who knows how much we'll be up during the night)

8PM...feed Olive
8:30PM...finish feeding, change diaper, and put Olive to bed
8:45PM...Olive decides she hates her crib and cries
8:49PM...Olive is settled and put back in her crib
8:50PM...I'm under the covers
8:51PM...Olive cries again and un-swaddles herself
8:52PM...Cora begins to cry in unison with Olive
8:55PM...Olive is settled and back in her crib
8:56PM...Cora is settled and back asleep
8:57PM...I'm back in bed and get under the covers
9:02PM...Olive starts wailing again

(continue this sequence until 12:48AM)

SLEEP...till 2:25AM

(continue sequence for the next hour - no Cora this time though, she is asleep now)

SLEEP...till 4:33AM (feeding)

SLEEP...till 6:30AM


Awake and beginning the day...and by awake, i mean NOT AWAKE.

My tired-ness is (hopefully) your enjoyment.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Un-Mathematics of Love

Love is a peculiar thing. When you think your love can't increase anymore, life happens and it increases over night. Somehow 100% become un-mathmatical. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, just look at this picture.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Questions With Olive...

much love,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Olive Makes Sheep Sounds

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Olive Mae Donaldson (day 01)

Olive Mae joined the family today at 10:56am.

8lbs, 4oz.

21 inches

I think the pics tell the rest of the story...

Monday, September 28, 2009

NEW Book Entry #01 (How the Church = God, & Why That is So Dangerous)

Another, totally separate book I'm working on that I can't help but share with you. It's been on the forefront of my mind the past 72 hours, and forced my hand to begin writing.

SYNOPSIS: I had the idea to write this book one evening while mowing my lawn. I think it was one of those unhealthy mows where I mulled over all of the negativity I was feeling at work, the dysfunction of church leadership, the wrong picture of Jesus being painted because the Church wasn’t acting as the bride it was called to be.

So out of an initial frustration and anger, came a greater hope for the state of the Church, to truly become and embody what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To the world, the possibility of Christ’s bride is limitless. But there is much to be taught, learned, discarded, and acted upon.

I write this in humbleness, as I have most certainly been more a part of the problem than the answer. But as I’m learning to live and breathe and act more fully to my created purpose and uniqueness, I can’t help but write this.

I must write what I’m finding.

And in time, I’m sure I’ll even discard parts of this – and I’m okay with that.

But for now, here’s what I’m finding.

(that's all you get for now)

BUT I did just happen upon this, this morning and thought while we were on the subject matter, I'd post the link.

(Relevant Magazine Article - "A lot of people are cynical about the church. It’s a short step to then be cynical about God.")