3/31/2007

What Am I Doing This Weekend...

Saturday with Students.
Sunday with buds (and I get to cook).
Monday (maybe with a friend)...

An Answer to Prayer...

So... Thursday sucked. I don't want to go into any detail about it. But, it sucked. I came home on Thursday night feeling super discouraged. As I thought about everything; all that was said, all that I knew had to be done, I spoke to God. I ended with this, "You know what God? I could really use some of that random encouragement that you sometimes throw my way. I don't know where it could come from, but I could use it."

So, guess what happened today! I went into the office just before church service tonight and found a small envelope in my mailbox. In the envelope was a note from one of my students. I didn't immediately recognize her name (but I remembered her a little later). She remembered something that I said in my message on Sunday and used it to encourage me! Editor's Note: Not only was I encouraged, but I was also extremely humbled. I definitely do not deserve to be blessed with this job.

I got my not-so-random encouragement! I'm a little shocked (although I guess I shouldn't be) that God answered my prayer in less than a day. But I am so thankful! I wanted to share this with you in hopes that you could be encouraged too.

Click on the picture to the left to see the note...

3/30/2007

Best of the Best: Salt and Vinegar...

Last night, as I made my way home from church, I decided I was bored. I also realized I was hungry and had a craving for salt and vinegar chips. (Bored + Hungry + Craving = Great Idea) Editor's Note: Now, I'm about to make myself a little vulnerable. Please tread lightly.

I buy Everyday With Rachel Ray every two months (whenever a new issue comes out). And, in every issue, there's a page devoted to sampling and rating the best of some type of food product. One month, they rated different types of soda. Another month, they rated cocoa. So, as a service to you, the reader, I decided that I would do the same from time to time.

So, may I introduce to you a new periodic segment here at "Part of the Process": I call it "Best of the Best"!

This edition is all about Salt and Vinegar chips. I went to Albertson's and bought every type of Salt and Vinegar chips they had. All five types. I taste tested them all. What follows are ratings and rankings...

3/29/2007

Body Double 4: Sister Sister...

It's time, once again, for another Body Double! This time, we'll be looking at two people who might be long lost sisters. Could Allison Hibbard have a long lost sister named Allison Mack? Julie, maybe you could tell us for sure.

Just in case you're wondering what Alice is talking about in the below pic, it's Nikki from LOST. See, I missed a key ingredient in last night's episode and she had to explain it to me. Thanks Alli...

Web Wednesday: Float Like a Butterfly...

And now, the return of a long lost weekly bit... It's Web Wednesday! Today's entry is for all of the aeronautic enthusiasts out there. Do you like building paper airplanes? Do you like throwing them? Do you hate touching paper? Well then, this website's for you. Paper Pilot allows you to construct and fly your own virtual paper airplane! Go ahead. Give it a try. It's frustratingly addictive...

3/28/2007

The Quest...

I'm a guy that enjoys a good chase. Something about crusading for something, even when it seems like the pursuit is hopeless, excites me. And, whenever you actually find that elusive object, you are rewarded with a feeling that has no equal.

The quest has occasionally taken the form of a search for certain evasive song. I looked for 2 years before I found Battleflag by the Lo Fidelity All Stars. I had to look twice as long before I could find On Our Own by Bobby Brown. Editor's Note: It's from the Ghostbuster's 2 Soundtrack.

Well, yesterday I found the third gem in my crown of music. I found a song that has been eluding me for a long time. I mean a loooooong time. I found The Most Beautiful Girl In the World. I have been searching for this Prince song for years. YEARS! And I found it in an independant music store in Hillcrest.

God's will be done...

Buffalo Chicken Pizza...

So, how do I top Meatball Subs? How about with a Buffalo Chicken Pizza? Now, I should say that I let it get just a hair darker than I would have liked. But, it was good nonetheless. I did figure out that I don't like blue cheese dressing. I think next time I'll use ranch...

3/27/2007

Iron Chef El Cajon...

As a pastor, I'm in the business of helping people. So naturally, when I get calls asking for aid, I spring into action. That's why, on Sunday, when Puddles called, I was glad to offer my wisdom. He claimed to be so bored that he wanted to cook something. So I directed him to one of my favorite chef's websites for recipes.

Now, I've posted on my appreciation for Sam the Cooking Guy before. So, I won't go into how awesome he is. I mean, c'mon, now that Puddles is on board, you've probably got all the proof that you need. But, just in case you need more, here's a pic of some incredible meatball subs that I made last night:

Oh yeah... want to know how you can make it? Check out Sam the Cooking Guy.

And, on a completely unrelated note, Last night I also baked cupcakes. Editor's Note: I know that this does not lend itself to my Iron Chef street cred. But I don't care! Sometimes, you just have to bake cupcakes... Of course, they were funfetti and rainbow chip frosting. The only kind worth baking.

Emasculating? Maybe. Delicious? Definitely...

Here Are Tonight's Top Stories...

I'm always looking for different ways to serve you, the reader, as you surf around the internets for information, entertainment, and funny clips of that grape lady falling on her face. So, today I've decided to gather a few interesting bits of news that I ran across this morning that might help you make it through the day...

This morning the Associated Press reported that actor, Eddie Griffin, crashed a rare Ferrari Enzo worth $1.5 million into a concrete barrier while practicing at a racetrack Monday for a charity race to promote his upcoming film, Redline. The film's publicist, Wendy Zocks, said Griffin was "doing OK." Executive Producer, Daniel Sadek, whose exotic car collection is featured in the movie. said the Enzo was damaged beyond repair.

Is it just me, or do celebrities have a very strage idea of what charity is? This guy was driving a car that is worth more than every possesion I own put together and covered in gold. He crashed and wrecked it. I'm not sure what kind of a charity this is for, but I'm pretty sure that now, it owes more money than it took in. Why do celebrities always have weird charities like this. Hey, let's raise money to raise awareness of our nation's depleting supply of diamond encrusted blackberries! But, how should we do it? I know! Let's get together and race million dollar cars! That'll raise awareness!

I know that Eddie Griffin isn't exactly known for making wise choices. Editor's Note: Just look at his resume on IMDb. But next time you want to benefit a charity, maybe think about selling World's Finest Chocolate door to door.

UPDATE: Want to see a video of it? Check it out here.


Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle star Kal Penn is set to add professor to his resume after taking on the chance to be a guest instructor at the University Of Pennsylvania next year. Penn will teach two undergraduate courses, according to university director Grace Kao.

So, the guy who starred in this will be teaching high education courses to university students? Right... Stay tuned because next we'll be looking at other universities' guest faculty; like Harvard's Seann William Scott. Or, UCLA's Marlon Wayans. Don't even get me started on Mini-me's course load at MIT.


Finally, today is Nathan Fillion, a.k.a. Captain Mal's, 36th birthday. Do yourself a favor and go to Target and but the DVD of Firefly today. However, be warned; the addiction is worse than thin mints!

Even More Than Meets the Eye...

Dear Taffy, I know that you don't read my blog. But, I saw these tonight and thought of you. These are the brand new one-sheets for the Transformers movie. It's definitely going to be Uh-mazing! Hopefully, someone in the office will read this, and show it to you. Alice, Josh, I'm looking your way... So, my friend, I hope you enjoy...

3/26/2007

I'm So Excited! And I Just Can't Hide It! I'm So Excited! I'm So... I'm So Scared...

Some people get excited for March Madness. Some get excited over the beginning of baseball season. Still, for some others, the anticipation of football season is what they live for. Me? It's the summer movie season. With the hot weather comes car chases, explosions, sequels, giant talking robots, buddy cops, and boy wizards. This summer is one of the biggest yet. In fact, as Gerry Rojas once said, "I might have to get a second job just to pay for all the tickets." So, as a service to you, the reader, here's a calendar of the movies that I'm most excited to see this summer. Anyone want to join me...

My Obituary...

Sometimes, it's best not to open random emails from your friends. Case in point; this morning, I received an email from Puddles. Now, this isn't normally such an alarming thing, as it doesn't happen with much frequency. However, this time was different. In his search for new life goals, he decided to attempt to complete the Disneyland Half-Marathon. Good for him, right? One small problem, he doesn't want to do it alone. Enter the email.

"This could be the greatest think you will ever do in your life. Join me. I need someone there to take me to the hospital if I collapse."

Editor's Note: Yes, he really typed think. So, because I am a supportive friend (and because I have a little bit of a death wish) I agreed to run with him.

Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I've been working out for a little over a year now. I run a mile at least three times a week. So, technically, I'm in shape. Editor's Note: This is where you would say, "Yeah, what shape is that? Round?" But the farthest I've ever run at once is 4 miles. This is 13.1 MILES!

So, at my funeral on September 4th, please remember the good times. Make sure you say something nice about me. And, unlike me, try not to fall off of the stage...

Body Double 3: Offspring...

Time for another Body Double! This time, I figured we'd look at someone who could possibly be a child of one of my heroes of the 80's.

Is ?uestlove, the drummer for The Roots, the undiscovered son of former B.A. Baracus and Clubber Lang, Mr. T? Maybe...

3/25/2007

TMNT...

"It's Winters." "Actually, it looks more like fall. Get it?"

I am a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. Growing up, I had all of the action figures. I watched the cartoon religiously. I even bought the soundtrack to the second movie. Editor's Note: I did this so that I could have the Vanilla Ice song, Ninja Rap. So, of course, I had to see this movie. I had planned to take some students with me, but that didn't work out. Editor's Note: I was going to take some kids so that I would have a cover story for why a 26 year old dude would be seeing a kids' movie. So I went with Jarred.

TMNT
Running Time:
1 hr 30 mins.
Directed By: Kevin Munroe
Starring: Chris Evans, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mako, Patrick Stewart

This movie was good. There were times (like the rooftop fight between Leonardo and Raphael) that the visuals were awesome. It had a couple of pretty good one-liners. The voice work was excellant. But, the story left much to be desired.

And so, to TMNT, I give the honor of being awarded a certified 2 1/2 Yarmulke™ rating.


Fun for kids and fans, but for everybody else; go rent the first live action movie...

3/24/2007

Rock Around the Clock...

I've been trying to think of something to write about all day. But, to no avail. I've got a bad case of the writer's block. Don't worry. I'm 75% sure it's not contagious. So, in place of something profound or humorous that you might find here some other time, today you get 6 songs that have been on a constant rotation in my truck for the past couple of weeks. Editor's Note: This is, of course, due to the fact that my iPod got stolen. Stupid thieves put a serious cramp in my musical rotation. I can't wait to switch back from CD's to an iPod...


Just Friends (Sunny) by Musiq Soulchild


Geek In the Pink by Jason Mraz


How Love Should Be by Tyler Hilton


It's Not Over by Daughtry


Crooked Teeth by Death Cab For Cutie


And the one that I have played the most in the past week:
Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung

3/23/2007

An Open Letter To the Producers Of LOST...

Dear producers of LOST,

Thank you for Wednesday night. It's about time...

-Josh(ua)

3/22/2007

16 Things It Takes Most Of Us 50 Years To Learn...

As always, digg.com has provided me with something amazing. Here it is...

16 Things It Takes Most Of Us 50 Years To Learn

1) The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it.

2) You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight-savings time.

3) You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

4) The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.

5) There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.

6) There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

7) People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

8) If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

9) The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.

10) If there really is a God who created the entire universe with all of its glories, and he decides to deliver a message to humanity, he will NOT use as his messenger a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle or in some cases, really bad make-up too.

11) You should not confuse your career with your life.

12) A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter/janitor, is not a nice person.

13) No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

14) When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.

15) Your true friends love you anyway.

16) Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

More Spider-man 3 Pics...

Only 42 days left! Here's some more pics from Spider-man 3. Pay special attention to the one in the bottom right. It's the first pic of the big Spidey / Venom final battle. Once again, you can use it as a desktop. But this time, I made the resolution 1024x768...

3/21/2007

I Guess I Missed One...

I got done with small groups tonight, spent a little over an hour rehearsing for our worship night this Sunday, and then made my way home to watch LOST. It was then that all of my hopes were dashed against the rocks. It seems that, in my transition to Daylight Savings time, I changed all of my clocks except my VCR. Editor's Note: Yes, I still have a VCR! So, it started recording an hour late!

I guess I'll have to buy it on iTunes tomorrow...

I Don't Wanna Grow Up...

Check out Marko's blog for an amazingly funny piece that he got from The New Yorker of a conversation that is going on at the adult table at a family dinner as imagined by the children at the kids' table. So funny...

Grand Canyon Skywalk... Of DEATH...

Today was the grand opening of the new Grand Canyon Skywalk. Is it just me, or does this thing look like a disaster movie waiting to happen? This will be item #1 on my list of things I will never do in my life...

3/20/2007

Third Time's a Charm...

Tonight the trailer for Pirates Of the Carribbean: At World's End was released onto the internet. Above is a screen captured pic I took from it. It's Johnny Depp's face but it appears to be on a rock and under water. Maybe he becomes part of Davey Jones' crew for a while... Anyway, you can check out the trailer here. I know where I'll be on May 25th...

3/19/2007

Here's Your One Chance Fancy Don't Let Me Down...

In the past week, it seems like everytime I turn the TV on in the afternoon I've been greeted with Reba. At first, I would quickly switch channels. But then, Cheyenne came on. So I decided to stay a while. Turns out it's a pretty funny show. I think I might just watch it more.

Puddles, I think that you would love it. After all, it's set in Texas...

Quotable Quotes...

Last year, my mom got me a subscription to Reader's Digest. I love Reader's Digest for two reasons: 1) Because of the variety of subject matter that its articles cover, it makes the perfect bathroom magazine, and 2) The Quotable Quotes section. I don't know why, but I'm obsessed with quotes. They're the first thing I turn to in RD and US Weekly.

Here's some of my favorite Quotable Quotes from the past four months...



  • "Temptation usually comes in through a door that has been deliberately left open." Arnold Glasow

  • "Even the worst haircut eventually grows out." Lisa Kogan in O

  • "Be open to learning new lessons even if they contradict the lessons you learned yesterday." Ellen DeGeneres in Elle

  • "Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything." Billy Graham

  • "To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, 'Your end of the boat is sinking'." Hugh Downs in My America (Scribner)

  • "Life asks us to make measurable progress in reasonable time. That's why they make those fourth-grade chairs so small-so you won't fit in them at age 25." Jim Rohn in Jim Rohn's weekly e-zine

  • "The beaten path is the safest, but the traffic's terrible."
    Jeff Taylor founder of monster.com

  • "People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first." David H. Comins

  • "You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn't that long ago that we were swept away by the macarena."
    Jon Stewart
  • Stuck At the Drive-Thru...

    If you've ever seen R. Kelly's Trapped In the Closet, you know how completely ridiculous it is. I mean, a little person craps his pants in it. How much more awesome can you get? So, naturally, when something is this ridiculously awesome, Weird Al does a parody of it. I present to you: Trapped At the Drive-Thru. Here's your warning: It's eleven minutes long. But it's awesome...

    3/18/2007

    When I Wake Up In the Mornin' The Alarm Gives Out A Warnin'. I Don't Think I'll Ever Make It On Time...

    Here's a typical Sunday morning for me:

    6:00am- Wake Up, Shower, Breakfast.

    7:00- Arrive at church, begin prep for morning service.

    8:00- Be completely done with prep so that I can be free to hang with students as they begin arriving.

    8:30- First service starts.

    10:30- Second service starts.

    Now, here's how this morning went:

    7:43am- Roll over in bed, realize I slept through my alarm, panic.

    7:47- Slip and fall in the shower because I'm trying to hurry up and get to church.

    8:00- Arrive at church, rehearse one song with Middle School worship band, begin prep for service.

    8:48- First service begins.

    9:03- I have the first of what would turn out to be many brain farts on stage as I make my best attempt to form sentences sans coffee.

    10:11- My friend and amazing volunteer, Emily, hands me a Latte. My morning officially begins.

    Needless to say, second service got 100% more Josh than first...

    3/17/2007

    Sweep the Leg Johnny On iTunes...

    I just found out that Sweep the Leg Johnny is available on iTunes. Click on the pick to enjoy...

    The Gym Gives Me the Runs...

    About a year and a half ago I joined a gym. Now, I've never been a part of the gym culture before, so upon entering into it I found that I didn't exactly fit in. I didn't fit in because I didn't belong to any of the preexisting gym personalities. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's an introduction to some of the native breeds...

  • Cell Phone Treadmill Talker If you've ever been to a gym, you've seen this person. They stay on the treadmill for no less than an hour and talk on their phone the whole time. Have you ever seen that clip on the internet of the guy who gets his treadmill going super fast only to jump on it and fall flat on his face? Yep. Everytime I'm beside a CPTT I want to sneak up in front of them and turn the speed up so that happens to them.

  • Girl Who Never Works Out I'm actually convinced that this girl is part of the gym's plan to keep members from leaving. This is the girl who is always at the gym, but never uses the gym. She usually selects a guy or two to talk to while she's there and spends her time following him around. Occasionally she will ask him to show her how to work out. You can always spot a GWNWO because she's the only girl in the gym with a matching workoutfit.

  • Obnoxious Friend Who Doesn't Workout This guy never comes alone. He can't. He's like a gym +1. He can't get in without the guys he comes with. Like the GWNWO, he never actually uses the gym equipment. He does, however, run his mouth. He's the guy who is always laughing, cracking jokes, and cursing loud enough for everyone in the gym (even the raquetball courts) to hear. The OFWDW will one day find a barbell dropped onto his head, courtesy of yours truely.

  • Back Hair Guy Do you really need an explanation for this? BHG is at every gym. He always wears a tanktop (most of the time it's the kind with a Y in the back). And he always ALWAYS sweats.

  • Giant Covered In Tattoos Guy Who Makes His Own Sound Effects While He Kick Boxes In the Mirror This guy might be a rare breed native only to my gym. I kid you not; he stands in front of the mirror so he can watch himself as he kick boxes. Not only that, but he makes his own sound effects. (Picture a little kid reenacting a ninja fight scene.) This is one of the most dangerous of the gym dwellers, mainly because it's almost impossible to not laugh at him. However, with him being about 6'4" tall and covered in tattoos, my fear of getting pummelled gives me a great deal of assistance in this area.
  • 3/16/2007

    Sweep the Leg Johnny...

    If you were born in the eighties, you are aware of The Karate Kid. In fact you're probably not just aware, you're a huge fan. If you love Mr. Miyagi, the Cobra Kai dojo, and learning martial arts through auto detailing, then this music video is for you! The whole cast is back...


    HT to sweeptheleg.com

    You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry...

    Editor's Note: The following post may reveal things about a pastor (me, specifically) that you might not know about. I hope this lends itself towards an understanding that spiritual leaders are still human and struggle against tempatation and doubt, and does not aid in furthering a belief that all "men of the cloth", a name that McGill was once called by a neighbor, are simply shooting stars waiting to fall.

    This week, in the midst of a conflict, I got pissed at God. I don't just mean miffed or annoyed; I mean totally pissed. So, in the private confines of my office, I decided to write God a letter. I took out pen and paper and began to correspond with my maker.

    I didn't bother relaying to Him the details of the situation that I was pissed about, as I knew He would already know all about it. So, I went right into my feelings. I told Him how angry I was over it. How, I thought it wasn't fair. I told Him that, even though I didn't understand how He worked or the way that He times things out, He owed this to me. I made a list of the huge things that I had done for Him in the past two years. Editor's Note: This actually made me even more mad, as I knew that me making a list of things I had done for the Lord was completely ridiculous. Upon this realization, I wrote, "I can't even be mad at You without being convicted!"

    I continued throwing my written-tantrum. I concluded with, "I know that this may not be right, but I felt it important for You to know." I balled up the paper, walked outside to the dumpster behind our office, and threw it away.

    I found myself wanting to blame someone for the situation that I was in, and I looked around and decided God was the best person for the job. He would be my scapegoat. Post-tantrum, now that the conflict has been resolved (at least partially) a couple of questions have come to my mind about my reaction and whether or not it was honoring to God.

    The question of "Is anger ever OK?" is raised quite a bit in discussions about honoring God with our lives. But, is anger at God ever OK? By OK, I mean to ask "Is being angry at God a sin?"

    The example of Jesus clearing the temple is always brought up. (Matt. 21, Mark 11) But this is a righteous anger, based on someone dishonoring God in His temple. Besides, this anger was never directed at God. We see throughout the book of Job how, at many different times, Job was told by those around him to curse God and die. But he didn't. In fact, in Job 1:22, we see that it says "In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." Job understood that God must have had a purpose in what was happening to him. "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." (Job 1:21)

    It would seem that, even though God understands our anger, He is honored more when we choose to praise, not blame, Him in the midst of it.

    But, what if you're already angry? Should you just fake it with God and pretend to be cool? I don't know for sure on this one. My heart says that God appreciates when we're real with Him more than when we try to go through the motions. David was a mess, and God said his heart was a lot like His.

    I think that, the more we get to know God, the more that our heart and mind are changed to become more like His. The more this happens, the more we will begin to understand and appreciate His grace. We'll begin to move away from blaming God, and move more towards seeking solace in Him.

    Funny thing about me losing my temper and writing that letter... The situation was resolved in a less than a day. I wish I were just more patient...

    Josh vs. Annie...

    The gauntlet has been thrown, and I must respond.

    While at Disneyland on Monday, Annie decided that, were I to be a Disney character, I would be Peter Pan. Not because I wear green tights, or have pointy ears; but because, like the pan, I have red hair. I disagreed, based solely on the fact that Peter Pan's hair is brown. This led to a spirited discussion on the hair color of one of Disney's most beloved and aeronautically gifted characters.

    Well, this morning, Annie decided to bring the debate online here. But she chose to use a picture that helps her cause. I, in all of my benevolence and fairness, have provided pictoral support for both sides. That way you, the reader, can decide for yourself.

    So, please join in the discussion. Which color do you think Peter Pan's hair is? Help us settle this once and for all...

    There's Hope Yet...

    Straight from the pages of Civil War: The Initiative #1. Maybe there's hope for us yet...

    These Are A Few...

    Here's a few of my faves from the past week...



    1. Death Of Captain America

    2. Duke Losing In the First Round

    3. Guitar Hero II

    4. New Friends

    5. Cheetos Naturals

    6. Teacups


    7. 300

    8. Hollywood Video

    9. Sweet Tea

    10. Indiana Jones


    Editor's Note: The death of Captain America doesn't actually make me happy in any way. Just the thought of getting my hands on that comic does. After all, it's selling for $40.00 on eBay right now!

    3/14/2007

    THIS IS SPARTA...

    Still having problems with Blogger... I pieced this post together using two browsers. I found this cartoon on Ctrl+Alt+Del. After seeing 300, I could definitely carry things this far...

    Blogger Trouble...

    I'm having a little bit of trouble with Blogger right now. Sorry about the lack of posts. As soon as I get it figured out I'll be back...

    3/11/2007

    Pastor Josh...

    I got a hair cut yesterday. Getting my hair cut is always a little bit of an interesting experience for me. It's interesting because it never fails to remind of how I don't fit the "pastor" stereotype. Editor's Note: A fact about myself that I don't mind at all.

    I only get my hair cut about every three or four months. Basically, whenever it's absolutely necessary. You see, I have curly, thick hair. So, when I let it run wild, it really runs wild. Also, I don't shave on a regular basis. If you see me with a three week old beard, and you ask me if I'm growing it out, the answer is usually no. I just lack the ability to shave without cutting myself. Anyway, both of these things contribute to the reaction of "You're a pastor?" that I get everytime I get a haircut. I guess a pastor is supposed to look like the guy in this picture.

    I'm almost two years into being a pastor. My story thus far has had some ups and downs and, in earnest, I have a long way to go. But, over the course of my first two years, I've developed what I consider to be a basic job description for anyone in ministry; pastor, minister, coordinator, director, or volunteer. It's comprised of three things that, I think, are at the core of doing ministry. This kind of helps keep me in check as I try to run the race as best I can...

    1) Get To Know God. I've never had a job that is so intrinsically tied to who I am personally before. My abillity to minister to others, as well as my ability to continue on in life without losing my sanity, depends squarely on my pursuit of God. Somebody once told me that you can't lead people to places you haven't been. While I don't necessarily think that this is always practically true, it is completely true in our relationship with God. We can only love as we have been loved. We can only feed others with what we've been fed.

    2) Get To Know People. This is actually the toughest part of the job. It doesn't so much matter if you're a "people" person or not. Nor does it matter if you're an extrovert or an introvert. The simple truth about ministry is that we are called to spread the message of God's big love for us to other people. You can't do this without getting chest deep in the messy business of relationships. We need to learn peoples' stories. We need to walk far with them. We need to support, encourage, grieve, laugh, eat, and wonder with them. We need to love them.

    3) Help the people get to know God. This is why we do what we do. Bringing the ultimate love to others who haven't heard. It's not an optional calling so much as it's an overriding command. We all have different styles, but we share a common purpose. When we give our lives to God, He comsumes every part of us. When you're that comsumed, you can't help but sing about it as loud as you can to everyone who'll listen.

    OK, I have to go be a server at our College program now. Avner's playing. So I don't want to be late...

    3/09/2007

    Choose Your Own Adventure...

    I've had this idea running through my head for the past couple of days. Now, it's not a completed idea. In fact, some would say that it's still in its embryonic stage. But, I wanted to share it with you nonetheless. It's for a summer event for our Middle School group called "Choose Your Own Adventure". Editor's Note: I haven't decided whether this will be for a guys only event or for everybody. The idea would be that the students would get to vote on and design their own event. The trick would be to figure out how to do any combination of the options for the same price. Here's where my brain's spinning so far. It's not exhaustive, so if you have any ideas for activities, let me know...

    UPDATE: Everyone would vote and the most popular choices would become the event. I.E. (A) then (C) then (B)... I loved these books so much I knew I wanted to turn it into an event!

    Flame Thrower...

    I don't know why I think this is so funny...

    3/08/2007

    Eat Mor Chikin... Or Else...

    For those of you who regularly dine at Chic-Fil-A, you know all about how great their chicken is. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, I will pray for God to bless your life soon.

    The company uses cows in their ad campains. These cows are attempting to persuade people to stop eating beef and to start eating more chicken. You know, to save their lives.

    Well, one cow in Kolkata, India took this a little too far. Here's the article from Reuters...

    KOLKATA, India (Reuters) -- When dozens of chickens went missing from a remote West Bengal village, everyone blamed the neighborhood dogs.

    But Ajit Ghosh, the owner of the missing chickens, eventually solved the puzzle when he caught his cow -- a sacred animal for the Hindu family -- gobbling up several of them at night.

    "We were shocked to see our calf eating chickens alive," Ghosh told Reuters by phone from Chandpur village, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of Kolkata.

    The family decided to stand guard at night on Monday at the cow shed which also served as a hen coop, after 48 chickens went missing in a month.

    "Instead of the dogs, we watched in horror as the calf, whom we had fondly named Lal, sneak to the coop and grab the little ones with the precision of a jungle cat," Gour Ghosh, his brother, said.

    Local television pictures showed the cow grabbing and eating a chicken in seconds and a vet confirmed the case.

    "We think lack of vital minerals in the body is causing this behavior. We have taken a look and have asked doctors to look into the case immediately," Mihir Satpathy, a district veterinary officer, said by phone.

    "This strange behavior is possible in some exceptional cases," Satpathy said.

    Hundreds of villagers flocked to Chandpur on Wednesday to catch a glimpse of Lal, enjoying his bundle of green grass for a change.

    "The local vets said the cow was probably suffering from a disease but others said Lal was a tiger in his previous birth," Ajit added.

    3/07/2007

    More Pictures Of Venom...

    I totally hate it when I tell people to go to such-and-such a website to look at sweet pictures from an upcoming movie only to find out they'd been taken down. So, I decided, upon finding these photos, that I'd download them and make them into a collage for you to enjoy. So, I present to you a sweet collage of production photos and artist's renderings of Venom from Spider-man 3. It's 800x600 just in case you want to make it your desktop background. Enjoy...

    Captain America Is Dead...

    Anybody who knows me knows that I am a comic book nerd. Editor's Note: Actually, several types of nerd can be used to describe me. I prefer to think that it makes me an interesting person. It's also common knowledge that my two favorite superheroes are Spider-man and Superman. Editor's Note: Asking me to choose one would be like asking a parent to choose their favorite kid. Although, if most parents were completely honest, they would probably say that they have one. But, third place in my heart has always belonged to Captain America. Something about the purity with which he represented the ideals of our country always spoke to me. And let's be honest, he has an amazing costume! He's an icon in the world of comics. His character was created during World War II for the sole purpose of lifting America's spirits by kicking Hitler's butt in the comics. He represented the spirit of America in tough times. Marvel retired him right after the war, but resurrected him years later and did a whole "man out of his own time" story line.

    That's why it is with an extremely heavy heart that I have to report that, as of March 7, 2007, Captain America has died. In the issue of his namesake comic that was released today, he was gunned down by a sniper. No doubt in response to his views on the superhero registration act at the center of Civil War.

    It's a sad day for comic fans. It's also a great day for collectors. Go buy this issue today, as it will be worth a BUTT-LOAD of money. We'll miss you Cap...

    If You Blow Chunks and She Bolts, It Wasn't Meant To Be. If You Spew and She Stays, She's Yours Forever...

    That's a long title for such a short post. I found this article on Digg. It's about how the Navy is doing research on the possibility of a weapon that shoots an invisible wall-penetrating beam that makes people so dizzy they fall over and puke. Editor's Note: The following statement is completely and totally meant in jest. Imagine the implications of this beam in youth ministry games. Check out the article here...

    I...Am...So...Stoked...

    If you don't watch Heroes, then you're missing one of the greatest shows on television right now. You also missed a special preview of Spider-man 3 that ran during the show this past Monday night. Lucky for you, I'm slightly obsessed with Spider-man and have watched this clip at least 10 times already. Also lucky for you, I am of the personal opinion that you should be obsessed too. Step one: show the clip. Step two, sit back and watch the obsession begin. Unfortunately, the clip has been taken off of the official site. Fortunately, God created Youtube. I don't know how long Sony will let this stay up, so you'd better hurry up and watch it...

    3/06/2007

    Sex God...

    Last night, on the way back from Disneyland, I decided to stop in at the Barnes & Noble at the Irvine Spectrum to buy a book.

    Here's something that you should know about me before I proceed on with the story: I don't like asking for help. I especially don't like asking for help when I can't find something in a store. I believe that if I'm not smart enough to find something on my own then I probably don't deserve to have it. However, after searching for a while last night, I decided that my desire to have this book superceded my distaste for requesting assistance.

    So, I approached the customer service kiosk and timidly said, "I'd like to find a Rob Bell book." "What's it called?" asked the staff member. This is where the awkwardness kicked into overdrive. "It's called Sex God", I said. I immediately began to wonder if this customer service clerk thought that I was some kind of perve. She ponted me in the right direction and I found my book.

    Rob Bell, I know that you're laughing about our embarassment when asking for this book. You're also freezing your butt off in Michigan. Too bad it's 75 degrees here in San Diego...

    The Happiest Place On Earth...

    I am not a patient person. I don't like waiting. Today, the wait ended. Perhaps I should expound on this a bit more.

    One of my favorite amusement park rides of all time is Space Mountain. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to ride it twice. I lived in South Carolina and Disneyworld is in Florida. This was a distance that was far too great to travel on my Huffy. Needless to say, I treasured my time on the mountain.

    I moved to Orange County on January 13th, 2003. I realized that I lived 20 minutes from Space Mountain on January 15th, 2003. I began to make plans to visit the mountain five minutes later. I found out that Space Mountain would be closed for over two years ten days later. I mourned for 6 hours. They reopened Space Mountain a month after I moved down to San Diego. Bummer...

    But today, the four year wait ended. Today I rode Space Mountain. And it rocked. Throughout the whole ride "Higher Ground" as performed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was blasting in my ears. The lights made this a rock star roller coaster. My life is now complete...

    I went to Disneyland because Puddles was going, and I figured; I like Puddles. I like Disney. Why not combine the two? It just so happens that, at winter camp, I convinced Stephen and Swanny into coming along. Oh yeah... Disney Dude Day was done dutifully decent. Lovato and wife joined us later to finish out the day beautifully.

    I love these people. I love this park. I loved this day.

    I also love this picture of Puddles pretending to be splatted up against the mural in California Adventure.

    And, I'm going back on March 12th...

    3/05/2007

    Busting Myths, Freezing Toes, and Matted Hair...

    We just got back from winter camp this afternoon. It was a weekend filled with driving (lots of driving), snow and ice, time with old friends, and the end of, what has been for me, two weeks of massive amounts of stress.

    We teamed up with three other churches to put on this camp and it was, for the most part, a blast. It all started with me meeting with the pastors of the other Middle School groups in Mid-January to plan what this was going to look like. We divvied up responsibilities and began to prepare. I was put in charge of stage design and videos. Now, normally this would delight my heart, as I am thrilled whenever I'm given the chance to be creative. And, it started out that way. But, on the video side of things, it turned into a nightmare of ruined plans for me. More on that later.

    Each of the pastors of the four churches that came to the camp spoke at one of the chapels. To be completely honest, I did not put as much time and preparation into my message as I am usually comfortable with. This, coupled with the fact that I was speaking during the Saturday morning session made me a little nervous. But, for reasons beyond my understanding, God chose to speak through me in a big way. It seems like my message on the myth of "It's better to ask forgiveness than permission" aka Romans 6:1-14, was one that a lot of people needed to hear.

    By the way, I also fell off of the stage in the middle of my talk.

    I'd love to take this opportunity to tell you about the two people in the above photo. Jarred Benitez and Emily Merk, soon to be Benitez, are two of my dearest friends. They also happen to be volunteer leaders in our Middle School ministry.

    They are a huge part of why our ministry has made giant strides forward in the past year.

    They were responsible for the amazing stage design for the camp. You'll find a picture below.


    Go ahead; marvel at its awesomeness.

    My hope and prayer is that our students understood a little bit more about God after this weekend all the while getting to know other students a little better than they did before. I love camps...

    3/02/2007

    Dude, Where's Josh? Winter Camp, Dude...

    OK, don't worry. I'm OK. I'm safe. But, for the next couple of days, I'll be with my Middle Schoolers at Winter Camp. We'll be going up to Thousand Pines tomorrow afternoon through Sunday. If you knew how little sleep I've gotten in the past week, and all of the crap I've gone through trying to film a video... Ughh... Anyway, I'll be back blogging after camp.

    Oh yeah, you're probably wondering what the picture has to do with Winter Camp. Well, nothing. It's just a sweet combo of four shots I photoshopped together last May of my buddy Robbie. That's the beauty of having my own blog: I can out up what I want...

    3/01/2007

    The Future Of Office Work...

    As someone who spent 2 1/2 years at a cubicle and now spends his days in his own office, I'm very concered about where office technology is heading in the near future. My hope is that it's heading in a direction that will make my job (at least the part of it where I sit at a desk) easier. Well, according to this article, it looks like my dreams may come true. Ultimate office chair: check. Transparent monitors: check. Cordless power: check. Staples containing tracking devices so you'll never loose your documents: Well, that's a little too "Big Brother" for me. But, check. This stuff makes me excited to sit in my office and file...