How Much Authority should A Pastor have in Your Life?

Pic from

Pic from

Before I offend some of you let me make something clear about pastors. There are many amazing men and women in the ministry today, and they have your best interest at heart. They love and serve you, officiate your wedding(s), and help bury your loved ones while comforting you. They don’t fly off on exotic vacations in a private jet, and many don’t even drive a decent car. However, there are some who use the name of God to gain power they abuse and don’t deserve.

I hear people refer to their pastors as a “spiritual leader” and I can fully understand that phrase. And then, there are those who say their reverend has the “authority” to speak into their life. If you don’t speak Christianeese let me help you out with that one. That means the pastor can tell them what decisions to make. It also means that they blindly allow them to interpret the scriptures for them. Now, my goal is not to offend anyone, but when I hear that someone has that level of trust in a pastor (or any human being) it scares the hell out of me.

I would caution anyone from giving another human being authority over their life, and I would surely caution someone from allowing others to speak truth into it. Yes, I was a pastor for almost 10 years, but I never felt it gave me “authority” over anyone’s life. I was simply a pastor who had one goal…to help others live a better life.

The video I posted below will be offensive to some, but please…please pay close attention to what John Oliver is saying in this video. Yes, he is saying it with a great amount of sarcasm and at times he’s crude, but the point should be driven home. Not every pastor deserves the authority they are given…it is something that should be earned. When they uses phrases like “God told me to tell you” then that doesn’t make it true. And when they tell you to give so that you will be blessed that is even worse. Think about it for just a moment, how is giving money to a pastor so you get more in return honoring to God? Is that love? Do you think a God of love would make you give a pastor $1,000 so HE will heal you?

I fully believe most pastors deserves your respect, and should be given the same level of care they provide to others. Trust me, it is a very stressful and difficult job. But if a pastor begins to exert or even say he has authority in your life then buyer beware. Side note, if a pastor has a brand, meaning he or she is putting their face and name on everything, run! If it’s all about them…it’s definitely not about God or you.  


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My Secret to Gaining 40 Pounds, Increasing Inflammation, & Feeling Like Crap


Before & After

I was in the best shape of my adult life almost 2 years ago. I was back down under 180 lbs, running almost 50 miles a week, and had even run a half-marathon right around 7:30 per mile pace.

And while my lovely wife thought I was getting too thin she supported me as I began to dream (once again) about qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I was basically a vegetarian, and honestly felt amazing. So what happened?

Gaining weight and becoming unhealthy doesn’t happen overnight although it sure as hell feels that way. Right? Losing weight is like watching paint dry, and gaining it back seems to happen in a day. But for me it started with allowing bad habits to creep back into my life…to name just a few:

  • Light Beer in moderation vs. an IPA like they are getting ready to reenact prohibition
  • Salad with with light dressing & salmon vs Sandwich with cheese and mayo
  • Gluten Free Organic Quinoa Pasta vs Pizza or Regular Pasta
  • Eating at Home vs. Restaurants
  • Skipping Chips & Salsa vs. “Could you bring a block of cheese and bucket of chips?”

Now, let me say before I go on…please don’t send me diet recommendations. I do appreciate your concerns, but I’m almost 50 years-old and this isn’t my first fat-ass rodeo. I know how to lose weight and eat right…I’ve just chosen not to do so. I know there are a million great options to choose from out there.

Another thing that really helped me go from lean and mean to rollie and pollie were injuries. If I had to take a few days off from running it devastated me. I should have learned from the injuries, and started cross training. There are apparently these things out there called bicycles…I’m looking into it. Overtime I just gave up. I’ve never done that before…I seriously gave up and went months without exercising or eating right! And this week while standing on the scales I saw a number that I’ve never seen before. I even turned around to see if one of my kids had joined me on the blasted thing!

So I share this in hopes it will help me feel accountable to change. I’ve at least started to exercise again, and my next step is ditching the bad habits I’ve allowed to creep back into my life. Wish me luck, and remember…I only need your support not your diet tips. :)

To be continued.


Posted in Craft Beer, Diet & Excercise | 2 Comments

Talk Dirty to Me: The Dirty Bucket Brewery Live

BASE LOGOEver wanted to open your own business? How about a micro-brewery? The owner of The Dirty Bucket Brewery joins my podcast today to talk about beer, opening a brewery, and allowing your passions to guide you!

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3 Things You Need to Know Before Getting A D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Jacqueline Newman

Jacqueline Newman

Many of us have been through a divorce, and know that they are never easy. Today I spoke with high-powered divorce attorney Jacqueline Newman in New York City. I asked her the questions I felt like some of you may ask if given the opportunity, and some of her answers will surprise you. And yes, I couldn’t help, but ask about Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert.

Posted in Divorce, Midlife, relationships, Ten Minutes with Tony, The Next Half Podcast | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Broke, Busted, & Disgusted? Then here are 6 Steps to Take!

This is an interview I did with financial planner Brad Berger on my Sunday morning show. He says, “We tend to congregate with like-minded people, want to be accepted by them and try to impress them. The Jonses! Keeping up with the Joneses has become a way of life that has devastated more families and shattered the American dream. Do you really want HUGE debt, few assets and no life? Read Brad Berger’s new book, Stop Trying to Keep Up with the Joneses: They’re Broke Anyway.” 


Posted in Goal Setting, Midlife, Money, Ten Minutes with Tony, The Next Half Podcast, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should we call it ObamaCare or ObamaScare? Dr. George lets us know!

george_smDr. Elaina George joins me to discuss the current health care situation in our country. She is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network, and is a board-certified otolaryngologist (ENT). She graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Biology, and received her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

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Saving Money for The Kid’s College Tuition: Financial Coach Debbie Whitlock

We speak with a business coach and financial guru to try and figure out how to pay for our kid’s college tuition. Thanks to Debbie Whitlock for the free financial advice! Check her website out at!

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Cooking with…Cannabis?

12-cook-with-cannabisAuthor Karin Lazarus talks about cooking with cannabis! Regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with the legalities of the “happy salad” you will find this interview posted below interesting.

Karin has written a book called, “Sweet Mary Jane:  75 Delicious Cannabis-Infused High-End Desserts.”

Posted in Marijuana, Midlife, Ten Minutes with Tony, The Next Half Podcast, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Do You or A Loved One Have Doo Doo Breath? #badbreath

A few years back Fitz asked one of our interns, “Hey what happened to that cat?” The intern then asked, “What cat?” And Fitz answered, “The cat that must’ve taken a sh!t in your mouth.” Well, today we find out how to get rid of that cat!

Did you know bad breath can be a sign of an underlying health issue? And did you know there is a product that can help kill bad breath? I interviewed Dr. Harold Katz to see how to cure my bad breath! This is an UNPAID interview and it will actually be entertaining.

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Why I decided to Sell Life Insurance

I recently started selling Life, Auto, and Home insurance, and the first question I received was, “Are you going to quit Fitz in The Morning.” So let me answer that quickly with a no way! I’ve been working with Fitz off and on for 15 years, and we have more fun before 9:00 a.m. than most people do in an entire day. However, I have always been interested in the insurance business and truly believe that good insurance should be at the top of everyone’s list of priorities. More specifically, let me tell you when I realized the importance of life insurance.

It was almost exactly 5 years ago when I contacted my good friend Matt about selling both my wife and I some life insurance. We went over our options and I signed my papers, got a little blood work, and received a $750,000 20 year term life insurance policy. My wife on the other hand procrastinated, and yes I have her permission to tell you this story. She put it off despite Matt’s persistence and my nagging. And one day she had a dermatology appointment to get a mole checked, and within days our life was turned upside down. She received a diagnosis of stage two melanoma…the most deadly form of skin cancer.

The life insurance policy setting on the table unsigned did not cross my mind, but my wife thought about it almost immediately. At that moment all I could think about was the possibility of losing the love of my life. But I want to be honest, the life insurance policy did cross my mind eventually, because I had to face the reality that I could be left alone to raise three children. Who would help me get them to school in the morning? Who would pick them up from school if I had to work late? And if I found someone…how would I afford to pay them for their help? Should I quit my job and consider moving closer to family to get some help? Unfortunately, I haven’t saved money like I should have throughout the years, and so on top of the heart break and stress of losing my precious wife…I had to pile on the financial concerns as well.

Once cancer or another major medical diagnosis has been made it will likely make it impossible to purchase life insurance for at least 3 years.  Yes, after someone has been in remission for three to five years it is possible, but the price will not be nearly as affordable as it was during the healthy years. I’m obviously thankful that Amy has been in remission for nearly 5 years now.

I truly hope that you are a “glass half-full” type of person, because that makes life a whole lot easier, but as one wise man said, “Expect the best and prepare for the worst.” For the price you spend monthly on one good meal you can make sure you are prepared.

  • Tony Russell, Mumma Insurance, Bellevue


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