8/30/2006

Web Wednesday: A Happy Place For Sad Rainbows...

Hey guys! Web Wednesday again. This one's going to be a short one though.

Editor's Note: I have to fly back to South Carolina on Thurday morning for something unexpected that came up. So, there's a good chance that I won't be able to post again until next Tuesday. I'll try... But no promises...

This week's entry comes to you from rainbowpuke.com. RainbowPuke exists so that fans of puking rainbows have a place to make their collective voices heard. In this celebration of the greatest dichotomy, you don't have to be an artist to join in the wave of multi-colored vomit that's sweeping the world. I got that directly from the website. It's their mission statement. Yes... rainbowpuke.com has a mission statement...

Enjoy...

8/29/2006

Amazing Emmy Bit...

I just wanted to share this video of the opening bit from the Emmy's with you. Conan + LOST + The Office + House = amazing television...

8/25/2006

Shuffle Up and Deal: Jonathan Witt...

I am especially stoked on today's edition of "Shuffle Up and Deal"! It features one of the coolest dudes I have ever known. Jonathan Witt is one of the funniest and most talented individuals to ever live. He's one of my old friends from Orange County and happens to run his own media design company called minus media. So, what kind of music comes up when someone so creative and funny hits shuffle on their iPod?

Let's find out by looking at his "First Five"...

1) Now You Has Jazz by Louis Armstrong

2) Never Give Up by New Found Glory

3) Luv Is a Verb by DC Talk

4) For My by Nelly

5) Slow Down by Howie Day

My List Of the Top 25 Characters On TV...

One of the blogs that I check in on quite frequently belongs to a dude named Joss Whedon. He's the creative genius behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly (the best sci/fi western ever), and Serenity. Another filmmaker who Joss is friends with, James Gunn, the force behind such cinematic gems as Slither and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed made a list of, who he thought were, the 25 greatest TV characters of all time. Joss posted about it on his blog. You can check out a little on the exchange here.

There's a book meme started by Marko going around the blog circle that I run in. Since no one has tagged me yet, I've decided to make my own grand list of something. So, in no particular order, here is my list of my top 15 characters to ever appear on TV! (I shortened it by 10 because it's late and I'm tired.)

But first, a few rules...
-No puppets or cartoons. Otherwise, Kermit and Homer would definitely be on this list.
-No reality show people. Otherwise Tech-Money from The Real World: Hawaii would be on here.
-All characters must be regulars on the show.

Here we go...

Josh's List Of the Top 15 TV Characters Ever:

1) Buster Bluth from Arrested Development. It was super tough to choose just one from this show. But ever time he's on screen Buster never fails to make me spit water out of my mouth with the force of my laughter.

2) Kelso from That 70's Show. I could probably take some heat over this one. Hyde is amazingly cool and Fez cracks me up. But I have a friend who reminds me of Kelso.

3) Veronica Mars from Veronica Mars. Remember that list I told you about here? Yeah... Top 5. Fo' sho'...

4) Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth from Futurama. I know I said no cartoons but it's my list so back off! Also, something about creepy old man humor is awesome to me...

5) Dwight K. Schrute from The Office (American). "I have been Michael's number two guy for about five years, and we make a great team. We're like one of those classic famous teams. He's like Mozart and I'm like Mozart's friend. No, I'm like Butch Cassidy and Michael is like Mozart. You try and hurt Mozart, you're gonna get a bullet in your head, courtesy of Butch Cassidy." 'Nuff said.

5) Phoebe Buffay from Friends. As soon as I typed that, I thought, "What about Kathy?" But, I've got to say; I would love to hang out with Phoebe! And, this way, Allison could come!

6) Balki Bartokomous from Perfect Strangers. I have a friend who has never heard of this show. It actually breaks my heart. Growing up, and still in my adult life, this is my all time favorite TV show. The day that it comes out on DVD will be the greatest day of my life...

7) Tony Soprano from The Sopranos. This one makes me miss my friends in the OC.

8) Capt. Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. Part of me wishes that Gerry would have just injected me with heroine. It would have been less addictive.

9) Mr. Eko from Lost. Once again, tough show to pick just one from. But this guy kicks massive amounts of butt, carries a big stick with scripture carved on it, and can tell a story that will make chills run up your spine (see the episode entitled "Psalm 23".

10) Shawn Spencer from Psych. This is one of my new favorite shows. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out!

11) Jack Bauer from 24. Are you going to tell him he's not on the list?

12) Laura Winslow from Family Matters. I had a huge crush on her growing up. Once again: my list...

13) George Jefferson from The Jeffersons. Everyday before the Price is Right for 13 years...

14) The Todd from Scrubs. I almost couldn't decide between the Todd and Dr. Cox, but I knew which one Tommy would pick, and I'm a huge fan of the high five.

15) Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. Because Jerry is too picky. Elaine is annoying. And I would kill myself if I had to spend more than 90 seconds with George. But Kramer's entrance never fails...

Who would you add?

8/24/2006

You Don't Know Me...

When I was in college I was blessed to study under, and be mentored by, some of the Godliest and wise men and women I have ever had the privilege of knowing. There were two, in particular, who had an incredible amount of influence upon me: David Olshine and Hule Goddard. I've written a little about Dr.Olshine before. He's like a second dad to me and I'm not sure if there's another man on Earth who I respect, admire, and owe as much to as him. But today I want to discuss something that Hule once told me.

Hule said that, in ministry and in life, we need to be careful not to overstep our relational bounds with people.

Perhaps this requires further explanation...

In every relationship that we have, we have earned a certain amount of currency. (I happen to think that the currency of relationships is trust.) The amount of currency earned places each relationship at a certain level. Our behavior towards a person should be appropriate given the relational level that we find ourselves on. For example, if you just met someone, you might not hold their hand as you walk down the street. Relationally, you're not there. That's a behavior reserved for couples or parents and children, not recent acquaintances. That's not to say that you can't move forward into a different relational level. You just have to put in the work to earn more relational currency.

Recently someone who I greatly admire and respect, but have almost no relationship with, thought it appropriate to call me out on how I chose to handle a certain situation. Not only did they feel it their place to tell me that I was wrong, but they wanted to be the one to advise me on how to make it right.

This put me an interesting position. I immediately went on the defensive and didn't want to listen to anything that this person had to say. The problem was that this person was not wrong, but I felt they had no right to speak into my life. Call it wrong timing or wrong messenger, but the message was received poorly.

I eventually came around and decided that the wisdom that this person had was important for me to hear and humbled myself and received it. But I've struggled with this person's methods for some time.

How much authority do we have in someone's life when we know that they have made a mistake but we have no relational currency to "cash in" and let them know? If we know that someone has chosen wrong and we have wisdom to share, does that give us the right to force it upon them? I have no idea. In the end, I am incredibly thankful that this person has spoken truth into my life. I just wonder if it would have gone down a little smoother if they would have taken the time to earn my trust...

8/23/2006

I Don't Want To Say "I Told You So", But...

Josh reported here that some shake ups were going to be happening to the cast of SNL.

I just found this article claiming to know who's getting the axe and what moves are being made.

On the chopping block are Chris Parnell, Horatio Sanz, and Kenan Thompson.

I'm glad that Lorne Michaels reads my blog and is finally listening to the voice of reason. Let's all recall a little post from the past where I called out Sanz and Thompson as being the weak links in the comedy chain that is SNL. I hate to say I told you so...

Actually, no I don't. I love it! Good riddance!

Alas, my heart does hurt a little for the loss of Chris Parnell. Lazy Sunday, Tom Brokaw, and Lez-lie are among my faves. Though I could have done without Merv the Perv. You will be missed.

And with the worst news of the day, the same article is reporting that Amy Poehler will be stepping down as co-anchor of weekend update, and will be replaced by Jason Sudeikis. Bad move Lorne. Maybe if you teamed them up. But replacing Amy could tank the whole bit. I'll let you know, via this blog, what I think as soon as I see the end product. Amy, if you need a shoulder, you know where to find me...

Now, to celebrate Sanz and Thompson's departure. Where are those party hats...

Web Wednesday: Playing Solitaire In Hawaii...

Hugely busy day yesterday and today! Sorry for the lack of posts. But, rest easy friends! Here's your Web Wednesday hookup for this week.

If you watched SNL at all this past season, you may have noticed a little difference from past seasons: it's actually becoming funny again! That's due, in part, to the guys responsible for today's entry. The guys at The Lonely Island were all drafted by Lorne Michaels to be a part of what is becoming the remaking of SNL. One of them, Andy Samberg, is becoming one of the breakout stars, while the other two, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, became writers, and are the ones responsible for all of the "digital shorts" that have almost single-handedly revived interest in the late night sketch show. (Remember a little thing called "Lazy Sunday"?)

Check out their website for amazingly funny videos. But be warned, some of them has language that could be considered NSFW (Not Safe For Work).

8/18/2006

Shuffle Up and Deal: Matt McGill...

It's Friday! And you know what that means...It's time for everyone's favorite: "Shuffle Up and Deal"! Sorry about the tardiness of the post today. We had Sports Day at the park this morning for Middle School, then I had a pretty important meeting. All of that to say this: I am especially stoked for this week's edition. Not so much for the music, but for the man behind it. This week's "First Five" belongs to Matt McGill. For me to even begin to express my appreciation for Matt would be impossible. He's one of my favorite people on the entire planet Earth. When I served on the Middle School team at my last church in Orange County, he served on the Student Ministries team as the High School Pastor. Not only was he an amazing dude to work with, but he actually let me live with him for 2 or three months! I think he's great! I think his wife, the Mish, is great! And I think their sons, Max and the B, are just about the coolest kids in the known universe! Matt and Mish are in the process of adopting a baby boy from Kenya right now. You should take a second to read a little about Matt's trip there here, here, here, and here. Seriously... Go ahead. I'll still be here when you get back...

Now, aren't you glad you did that?

We know that Matt is amazing. We also know that Courtney thinks that his new son looks like Mr. T. But can we learn from his iPod? Do his songs match his level of awesomeness? Let's find out...

1) You Know I Couldn't Last by Morrissey

2) Waiting Room by Fugazi

3) I Am Trying To Break Your Heart by Wilco

4) Ronnie by Metallica

5) Human by Metallica

8/17/2006

Back To School, Back To School, To Prove To Dad That I'm Not a Fool...

It seems like you guys really liked hearing about our mid-week program, Dive-In Movies. So I thought I'd try to jot down a few thoughts on our Back 2 School Bash. Hopefully, these will change your life forever.

Or at least make you laugh for a second or two...

1) Due to my choice of going to the Packers game on Saturday night, and the Leadership Summit occurring the 2 1/2 days prior, my work week was pretty short. Unfortunately I didn't have the weekend service as planned as I normally do. This caused me to forget to promote the B2SB the Sunday before it occurred. We still had 26 students show up. All of who were super stoked to be there! I think that I feel the tide shifting in our ministry...

2) Do you expect students to get messy? Then you'd better expect them to apply the aforementioned "messy" to your brand new, sweeter than anything South Carolina T-Shirt.

3) When I was in youth group, I used to look at event names and groan, saying things like, "When I'm a youth pastor, I'm never going to call my event something stupid like "Summer Kick-Off" or "Sandblast". Yeah... Remember that summer, way back in 2006, when I couldn't think of anything better than "Summer Kick-Off" and "Back 2 School Bash"? *Editor's Note: As punishment to myself, a dude who prides himself on creativity, for not thinking of a better name for our end of summer event, I made myself use a "2" instead of "to". This makes it seem more 1987. Thereby making my heart hurt infinitely more.

4) See that picture up top? That's a kid bobbing for cinnamon Jolly Ranchers in 4 cans of Baked Beans. You should do this at as many events as possible. *Editor's Note: It helps a lot if you make puking noises into a megaphone while they're doing this.

5) There is nothing better in life than watching an 8th grade girl come within millimeters of beating an 8th grade guy at kajavicancan.

6) Half-planned games last 53 seconds. *Editor's note: There is no hyperbole whatsoever in the preceding sentence.

7) I finally had an excuse to buy a megaphone and a stopwatch. I have wanted these two things for quite sometime, but couldn't justify their purchase. Now that I have them, I'll be the loudest person to know exactly how long it takes to get from my apartment to Target.

8) We finally got rid of the last of the chips from Dive-In Movies! Toughest bag to get rid of: Lay's Flamin' Hot. *Editor's Note: This was actually an answer to prayer, as I was worried that I would be eating chips for 3 1/2 weeks after this event.

9) Since I got into youth ministry in 1997, I have never done an event where at least one student's parent hasn't been at least 30 minutes late. This 9 year streak was broken last night, when the last student's dad picked him up 2 minutes before 8:30pm. *Editor's Note: For some reason I was bummed about this.

10) Once again, a great event! I would like to give full credit to my amazing team of leaders. The Lord has brought some truly great people to work with our Middle School students! Not only do our students win by being blessed in amazing ways by this team of caring adults, but I win every time I get the priviledge of serving alongside them.

8/16/2006

I Think There's Something In My Eye...

For today's "I can't believe that I actually teared up at my computer reading this" post, check out Josh's story about judgement...

Web Wednesday: The Doctor Is In...

And now; your favorite Wednesday treat: Web Wednesday! This week's edition is all about the favorite soda of every middle school student in the known universe: Dr. Pepper. My friend, Alex, went to Waco, TX a while ago and, while there, made his way to the town of Dublin. Well, for those of you (much like me) who didn't know, Dublin is the only place in the world where Dr. Pepper is still made with pure cane sugar. But the joy doesn't stop there! They also make Dr. Pepper beef jerky, cake mix, frosting, and syrup! You can also tour the Dr. Pepper museum and bottleing plant. This special brand of Dr. Pepper is only available in a 40 mile radius of the plant, but have no fear, you can order it online and have it delivered to your door. So, for the way that Dr. Pepper should be (and for way more info than you ever cared to know) check out Dublin Dr. Pepper here...

Here's What's Happening In Your World Tonight...

Here's a bit of news from San Diego:
(SO to Relevant)
President Bush signed a bill yesterday transferring ownership by eminent domain of a 29-foot cross overlooking San Diego from the city to the federal government, The Washington Times reports. The signing rendered moot two lawsuits seeking to remove the Mount Soledad Cross, a fixture on the city's skyline since its installation on Easter 1954, as a Korean War memorial. "This is an attempted end run on the U.S. Constitution," said Fred Edwords, director of communications for the American Humanist Association. "That the federal government would intervene in a purely local church-state dispute is an example of election-year politics at its worst"

8/15/2006

San Diego Super Chargers...

I love my leaders! And here's why: Some of you may have read about my excitement about finally being able to see Brett Favre play live. My excitement could only have been matched by Ben. Ben is one of our Middle School leaders and has been with us since March. I love having Ben on our team for a couple of different reasons:





1) Ben is a Packers fan. Big time. My first Sunday at the church, Ben's little brother, who was in 8th grade at the time, ran to tell him that I was a Packers fan after our first service. Ben came straight to the room because he couldn't wait to meet me!

2) Ben has a huge heart! I mean, it is so evident in everything that he does that he loves people. And I love watching him with our students.

3) He gets excited about doing things in our weekend services for no other reason than to make our students have a great time.

For instance, going into Saturday's pre-season game, Ben made a bet with Silas, a Chargers fan and fellow Middle School leader, in front of the entire group. They each bet that, whoever's team lost, would have their face painted by the winner in the winning team's colors. Then they would have to stand in front of the whole group during service and sing a song of the winner's choosing.

Well, unfortunately, the Pack came in second place at the game. So, as you can see from the above picture, Ben got his face painted. Not only did he follow through with his side of the bet, but in doing so, he got students excited about coming to church.

This past Sunday was our biggest this summer: 106 students! I even had a parent come up to me on Saturday asking about Ben's bet. He said that his daughter had come home talking about it and how excited she was. "She even said that she wants to watch the game!", he said.

So, not only is Ben showing students the incredible love of Jesus Christ, but he's also spreading the good news of football. Talk about evangelism...

Sorry I'm Not Home Right Now...

Let me start by saying that I'm a really good faker. I'm really good at pretending to not be afraid of a lot of things. For instance, I am seriously scared of the dark. I am also scared of spiders. I can kill a spider, mind you. But I'm not sure if anything scares me more than walking into an unseen spider web in the dark. Matt Jensen knows what I mean.

Last night I found a Black Widow Spider outside of our church office. Normally, this would be a huge deal. But, it just so happens that this is the second one that I've found at our church. *Please note: our church is not dangerous. In fact, it's an extremely safe place. But, if this pattern continues, there is the possibility that we could take snake handling one step farther. Spider handling could be the wave of the future!

So, after we found the first one, we took the picture on the upper left. Then we killed it. However, last night I let creature live. See the picture in the upper right. I did this partly out of a living example of God's grace to us in our lives... But mostly I did it out of being scared that Black Widows could jump... And if I missed, the little arachnid would pounce upon my hand and bite me, imbodying me with spider-powers.

Wait a minute... That would have been awesome... Crap...

8/12/2006

Christian Urban Legends...

I wandered over to Evan's Blog today, and found a sweet article on "Christian Urban Legends" and the validity of them. Super interesting read! Check it out here.

Dreams Do Come True...

I think that we all have heroes. We all have people that we admire and look up to. And I'm no different. I have my heroes too. Guys like Rob Bell and Dr. Olshine. But, above all heroes, stands the man that I have admired and watched since I was in 8th grade, Brett Favre. I have been a Packers fan, and especially a Favre fan since I was 12 years old. Whenever I play Madden, I always play as the Packers and I always make myself a wide receiver. Why? Because I could never think about replacing Favre. He is easily one of the top 4 QB's (maybe even top 3) who have ever played the game. AND TONIGHT I GET TO SEE HIM PLAY!

Tonight the Green Bay Packers come to San Diego to play the Chargers. I'm going, and it's going to be amazing. Some of you might be wondering why this is such a big deal. Well, there are a couple of reasons:

1) Growing up in South Carolina, we lived in a world without our own professional football team. We had USC Football, which is amazing, but no pro team. So this will be my first NFL game!

2) It's going to be the last time that Favre plays in San Diego. If I missed this game, I would regret it for the rest of my life.

Yes, it's a preseason game. Yes, Favre will only play for about a quarter, maybe a quarter and a half. And yes, it might not make that big of a difference to the regular season. But, to this fan, it will be the greatest game ever played on 100 yards of turf. It will be great because, for one night, I will be in the same stadium as my hero. And for the first time in 13 years, I will be able to see my hero in person. I will get to see him play the game that I, and even moreso him, love so much.

And I can't wait...

8/11/2006

Shuffle Up and Deal: Puddles...

Coming to you live from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit: it's time once again for "Shuffle Up and Deal"! Our special guest this week is my great friend Puddles! I met Puddles three years ago while we both served at a church in Orange County. He's one of my closest friends and one of the biggest Dallas Mavericks and Cowboys fans I've ever met. In fact, he and I are planning a trip to Italy for 2008. So, we know that he likes two winning teams, let's see if his iPod contains some winning tunes.

Here's Puddles' "First Five"...

1) Yahweh by Andy Park

2) Zombie by The Cranberries

3) Situation by Jack Johnson

4) Starts With Goodbye by Carrie Underwood

5) Always by Bon Jovi

8/09/2006

Web Wednesday: Lego My Eggo...

Last week, I started this new bit. Each Wednesday, I will try my best to bless you with a website, or item found on a website, that you might not run across on your own. Sometimes they'll be helpful to your everyday life. Sometimes they'll be absolutely useless, but no less sweet AND awesome!

This week's entry comes to us from thebricktestament.com. Those of you who grew up in the 80's or earlier may remember a beautiful little illustrative device called the flannelgraph. Well, I think that this could be the next evolution in that. Brendan Powell Smith has re-created tons of Bible stories out of legos. I've used some of his pictures in some of my messages on Sundays, and my students have loved it. He's actually cool with you useing his stuff, as long as you don't sell it or claim it as your own. He just asks that you write him and ask permission. *I wrote him and he was pretty quick to respond with a yes. The best part is that each Bible story has a rating (much like TV) for nudity, sexual content, violence, and cursing. So cruise on over and enjoy a pictoral depiction of the Bible constructed out of one of my favorite toys from childhood...

Here's a sample of the legolicious goodness that awaits...

8/08/2006

Thoughts On Mid-Week...

Every Wednesday night this summer, we've done a Mid-Week program called "Dive-In Movie". It kind of started with a series that we do in our adult service called "God at the Movies". Being the movie guy that I am. I thought that it would be pretty cool to do a Bible study on a different movie every week during the summer. So, in our summer design team meeting, Mindi suggested setting up a screen and speaker by a pool and letting the students watch the movie while they swim. Thus, "Dive-In Movie" was born. It's been a great thing to have during the summer too. Tomorrow is our last one, so I thought that I would share some thoughts I had on it...

1) When you ask students to bring chips, every single one of them will bring cool ranch Doritos.

2) It's important to remind the students to dry their arms completely before reaching into said bag of Doritos. Nothing is more disgusting than the cool ranch/chlorinated water soup that gathers at the bottom of the bag if you don't.

3) When using technology off campus, it's important that you take inventory of the things that you need to make the technology work... and then bring those things with you. *Every time I taught, I would forget at least one cable or other vitally important part of the set-up and have to go back to church to get it. It was immensely frustrating to me while simultaneously being hilarious to my volunteers.

4) The man you see in the above picture is Tom. Believe it or not, he's not actually trying to kick that student in the head. He's much too cool for that. Before coming to San Diego, he was a volunteer youth pastor at his church in Long Island for ten years. Everytime I see him with students, I secretly pray that I can grow up to be as good of a man as him.

5) When you do a weekly meeting at a pool for seven weeks but don't get in the pool until week 6 every student who is in the pool will try to drown you. Not all at once, mind you. But they will try to drown you none-the-less.

6) It's important to remember when playing ultimate or football (or pretty much anything physical) with students that you aren't fourteen any more. Don't expect your body to perform like you are. Do yourself a favor and go buy some IcyHot.

7) All of those students who act like they can't stand you every weekend... yeah, they're going to very suddenly love you. So much so, in fact, that they will give you lots of hugs right after they get out of the pool dripping wet.

8) No matter how much bigger than you that eighth grade boy is, he's still going to want you to pick him up and throw him in the pool.

9) Even if you have "No two pieces!" tattooed on every girl's forehead, at least three of them will develop temporary amnesia every week. This will cause them to forget to bring a one piece. But, thankfully, it won't destroy their memory so much as to prevent them from remembering to bring their bikini.

10) I have absolutely loved doing a laid-back program like this during the summer. It's allowed me to hang out with our students without having to worry about which element of the service is coming up next. As a result, relational ministry has been happening like crazy. I can't wait to do this again next summer!

8/04/2006

Shuffle Up and Deal: Leigh Sarti...

Seems like Friday always creeps up on me... Well, I'm totally stoked for this week's edition of "Shuffle Up and Deal", as it's the first one coming to us from someone who is a naturalized U.S. citizen. This week's guest: Leigh Sarti! Not only is Leigh Australian, but he's one of the funniest and most creative guys I know. He runs his own design/resource company, Sarti Design, and through it, produces amazing graphic resources for churches all over the known universe. So what does someone who is so creative have on their iPod?

Let's see...

1) Go It Alone by Beck

2) The Outdoor Type by The Lemonheads

3) Song For the Dumped by Ben Folds Five

4) Card Games and Old Friends by Starflyer 59

5) Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses

8/03/2006

After 3 1/2 years...

I have been blessed! The picture that you see on the left is of me holding my brand new (straight from the factory) Taylor Guitar!

A family in my ministry heard that I have not owned my own guitar since moving to California in 2003, and showed up at our mid-week program about a month ago and gave me a rather large gift certificate and said, "Go buy yourself a guitar." So, after I recovered from the shock of it, I grabbed them by the neck and gave them a huge hug and said thank you about 27 1/2 times.

One of the dads in my ministry has a friendship with a guy who's pretty high up in Taylor, and got me a hook up. So, today I went and picked up my hot off the line Taylor GS. It's the first really good guitar I've ever owned. And I could not be more thankful.

Thank you family in my ministry. Thank you dad in my ministry who got me the hook up. Thank you contact at Taylor. I feel extremely humbled, blessed, and thankful that you would see fit to bless me in this way. I love being a part of my church family...

P.S. As I set up my camera to take this picture, my cambodian hackey-sack fell off of my bookshelf and onto the guitar, giving it it's first ding.

I almost cried...

Actually, I almost said lots of curse words as loud as I could...

But, instead, I almost cried...

I guess the guitar is really mine now.

8/02/2006

Web Wednesday...

A while ago I tried to think of some awesome running bits that I could include on my blog that may or may not bring joy to your heart. I introduced "Shuffle Up and Deal" and it seems to have been something that everyone has enjoyed. So I thought that maybe now would be a good time to try out another.

Introducing: "Web Wednesday"!

Each Wednesday, I will try my best to bless you with a website, or item found on a website, that you might not run across on your own. Sometimes they'll be helpful to your everyday life. Sometimes they'll be quite strange. Hmm... That sounds a lot like me. Either way, they're sure to be awesome!

So, the first edition of Web Wednesday come to us from the good people at MenWhoLookLikeKennyRogers.com. Yes, you read that correctly. Have you ever felt a void in your life that can only be filled by pictures of men who look like country music superstar Kenny Rogers? Well, sleep easy tonight. Because this website is your one stop shop for everything you could ever need concerning men who look like Kenny Rogers. Make sure you check out the downloads section for a special wallpaper of "Hot Tub" Kenny!

I hope that this innaugeral edition of Web Wednesday has blessed your life. If you know of any interesting things floating around the internet that you think would be cool to include, drop a comment and I'll put them in for future weeks...

P.S. As an extra blessing from me to you; check this out!

8/01/2006

Beat the Heat...

This morning I talked with my mentor from college, Dr. Olshine. He said that back home, in Columbia, South Carolina, it's 102 degrees outside. For those of you who have not yet been privledged enough to visit the best city on earth, you should know that, due to humidity, 102 degrees in SC has a heat index of 110 degrees. So, as a public service, to all of my family and friends back home, I offer this: Steve Carell's report from The Daily Show on how to beat the heat...

A Family Affair...

One of the weird things about becoming the leader of a ministry that already has a bit of a history is assimilating yourself into the already established group of leaders. I think that it's natural for an organization, whether ministry or not, to have some personnel struggles when new management takes over. I took over the Middle School Ministry at our church about a year and 3 months ago. (Wow! That's so weird to say! It does not seem like it's been that long!) And, to be honest, there's been a few bumps in the road between the leaders who were here before and me. Nothing huge. Mostly miscommunication or lack of communication.

The Lord has really laid our leaders on my heart HARD since June and I have definitely recognized the importance of having a healthy volunteer team.

So, Sunday night, we were able to do something that I've wanted to do for a long time. We had a family dinner. At my last church, the Junior High Staff was incredible at retaining volunteers due in large part to the family atmosphere that they established. It's been a dream of mine since May '05 to establish the same thing here in our ministry. So we got everybody together at one place around one table and had supper.

We went to Buca di Beppo and it was awesome! If you've never eaten there, it's awesome Italian served family style (see why I wanted to go), which means you have to pass the large potions around the table to everyone. Good times were had by all. Middle School veterans met the rookies. Conversations were had between people that maybe wouldn't naturally have happened. I think that it was a great way to close out one year and begin another.

Then after that, about 9 of us went to P.F.Chang's to partake in the best dessert of all time: Banana Spring Rolls.

My prayer for our team is that, this year, we can come together as a family and change the lives of Middle Schoolers all over San Diego County...