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Gene Appel proves there IS life after Willow Creek. According to the Orange County Register: A sprawling building once devoted to the science of flight was rededicated Sunday with another reach-toward-the-sky purpose: as one of the largest churches in north Orange County. Eastside Christian Church paid $20 million for the former Boeing site and an additional $35 million to replace the office cubicles and test floors with concert lighting, a thundering sound system and 1,800 seats. The building reopened with a prayer – “Do mighty works in this room.” – and a pastor’s promise. “Friends, there will only ever be one sign on the door at this church,” senior pastor Gene Appel told the congregation on Sunday, with almost every one of those seats filled. “It’s this,” he said as he held up a welcome mat. And then he announced another expansion. The church plans to launch a Spanish-language ministry in the spring, led by Mexican rock musician-turned-preacher Hector Hermosillo. Eastside has seen explosive growth in the past few years that helped push it from its longtime home in Fullerton. Around 3,500 people now attend its services on an average weekend. Many credit Appel, who arrived at Eastside in 2008 with a kicked-back style (he preaches in jeans and an untucked shirt) and lessons drawn from his own life. He told the congregation on Sunday that the church is there for the “Hurricane Sandys that come along in our lives.” And he joked that the screen behind him – 20 feet tall and 38 feet wide – “has Super Bowl party written all over it.” The church bought 20 acres of old Boeing property in northeast Anaheim, near Anaheim Lake, mostly with donations from the congregation and the sale of its old Fullerton church. More here… Other interesting facts: The renovations: An 1,800-seat auditorium, classrooms, a nursery and children’s area, a cafe and small bookstore, a lounge area, and meeting places. Also 275 new trees, 13,000 new shrubs and bushes, and an outdoor play area The plan: The church plans to lease out most of a six-story building also on the property, possibly for stores, offices or a restaurant.

Current Events
According to the Denver Post, Preliminary data show the Focus on the Family website logged 500,000 hits and 50,000 unique visitors during the hour in which one ad aired on Sunday’s Super Bowl… “Our traffic jumped to 40 times its normal volume,” Focus spokeswoman Monica Schleicher said Monday. “In the hour during the pre-game (broadcast), when the other ad aired twice, our Web traffic was 20 times our normal volume.” Take a look at the ad here: What did you think of the ad? Personally, I was a little disappointed.  After all the hoopla about this being about abortion and Mrs. Tebow’s choice to keep her baby, I think you really had to read into it to get the message.  It’s all good if people went to the Focus website, but I just didn’t think it was that effective of an ad.  It seemed like she was trying to tell a story she wasn’t able to tell.  Hopefully the website delivered the message I thought the ad was supposed to. Your thoughts? Todd Read more:

Current Events
The decision has some people cheering, and some people jeering.  The decision by Focus on the Family to sponsor an ad during the Super Bowl is polarizing many people even before it runs in the big game. So, what’s the controversy all about?  Well, mostly the estimated price tag of $2.5 million dollars after Focus has eliminated over 275 jobs in recent years. Focus’ response:  None of the money is coming out of their budget, but rather from ‘generous donors who specifically gave for this project’. The ad features University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother and has an anti-abortion/pro-life message. So… what do you think?  Is this worth the money?  And should Focus be ‘focussing’ more on people than commercials? I’d love to hear what you think… Todd

Current Events
According to the Christian Post:  A Doritos chip commercial made by a Southern California megachurch is among the final top six contestants battling it out for a commercial spot during the Super Bowl. Mosaic Church, with main campuses in the Los Angeles area, beat out more than 4,000 entries in the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest to make the top six. The top three entries will be aired during the 2010 Super Bowl – Super Bowl XLIV – which will be played on Feb. 7. “It’s a miracle and a divine comedy that we’ve made it this far,” says Erwin McManus, senior pastor of Mosaic and the producer of “Casket,” according to USA Today. “I think it’s God’s sense of humor.” Mosaic’s 30-second commercial is called “Casket” and is about a man whose last wish is to be buried in “a giant casket with Doritos [chips].” The man, however, is only pretending to be dead and is shown enjoying Doritos chips in his coffin and watching a football game while his friends and family mourn during his funeral service. You can read more here… //I think this is very creative.  Why not?