10/31/2007

This is Halloween...

Right now, our whole church staff is prepping our facilities to host our annual Family Fall Festival. In honor of the festivities, I thought I'd present my favorite pop culture pumpkin of the year. Here it is folks, the Dwight-o-lantern. I think it goes great with last year's pumpkin...

10/30/2007

iTunes Receipt: Part 3 (Guitar Hero III Edition)...

I picked up the latest edition of Guitar Hero this past Sunday. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is definitely all it was hyped up to be, and more. I love the integration of the wii-mote's specialized features.

Unfortunately, I've been sick as a dog for the past two days, so I haven't been able to play as much as I'd like. I've only made it through two levels, but some of the songs have been incredible to play along with. Here's a list of my five favorites so far. I just picked them up on iTunes...

  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar

  • Rock and Roll All Nite by KISS

  • Sunshine of Your Love by Cream

  • Barracuda by Heart

  • Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine
  • 10/29/2007

    Weird Cell Phone Picture: #2 (Skin Deep, Machine Dispensed Beauty)...

    Ok, so maybe the picture itself isn't that weird. But the subject certainly is. It's a vending machine... that dispenses... Proactiv solution. Which means that I've seen vending machines that dispense iPods, DVDs, jewelry, and acne solution.

    I hope that one day, Mitch Hedberg's dream of a vending machine that dispenses vending machines will become a very huge reality...

    Somewhere...

    While driving back from the mall on my birthday (this past Saturday), I saw the weirdest thing. Well, I suppose the weirdness of this specific thing is dependent upon your geographic whereabouts. I live in southern California, so to me, it's really weird.

    I saw a rainbow.

    But not just any rainbow: a HUGE rainbow. Why is it so weird? Maybe you haven't heard, but San Diego gets an average of less than 4 inches of rain a year. It had been so long since I'd seen a rainbow, that I almost wanted to scrap all of the birthday plans and go find the pot 'o' gold...

    10/28/2007

    What's Going On...

    Some of you may know that, for the past two months, there have been some things going on in my life that I haven't been able to be completely open about. Well, today was the day that the curtain was pulled back. We had a parent/student information meeting after our second service (which had a record high of 84 students) where I shared with those in attendance that I would be leaving Journey.

    Below, you'll find a letter that we passed out (to those who could be there) detailing the contents of the meeting. Now that its contents are public knowledge, I'll be able to communicate a little more openly about what's going on.

    I would definitely appreciate your prayers...


    Dear Riptide parents and students,

    Every August, Journey hosts a conference on leadership called the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. I’ve learned a lot from the summit, including what Bill Hybels calls his “three C’s” of hiring. He says that, when looking to bring somebody onto a team, you have to look at three things about the person: character, competency, and chemistry. In order for any ministry team to be healthy, it has to have all three. The people on the team have to love God, they have to know how to do their job well, and they have to be a good fit within the team.

    Character is checked, but almost assumed when you join the team. Competency is needed, but it also can be taught in training and increased through experience. But, you can’t teach chemistry. It’s either there or it’s not. Chemistry is really important on a ministry team. But, it’s even more important amongst the leaders. In order for any ministry to achieve its full potential, its leaders have to be on the same page; they have to be able to work together cohesively.

    The past 2 ½ years have been filled with a lot of change and success in both myself and Riptide, and we have much to celebrate. But, due to differences in personality and methodology among our student ministries pastor team, they’ve also been tough. During the most recent months, Brian and I have been in prayer and discussion with our senior pastor (Mike Burns), with spiritual mentors in our lives, and with one another about what the best course of action would be as a result of these challenges. Eventually, this led to the decision for me to leave Journey. Even though this wasn’t my idea, after much prayer, fasting and thought, I can say that God has given me a big peace about it.

    This has been a very difficult leadership decision for both Brian and I, which we are now trying to navigate through the best way that we know how. It was made especially difficult because it wasn’t brought about by any type of moral failure on my part or ministry crisis in the Middle School ministry. (Those are obvious and easy reasons to decide to part ways.) But rather, it was made out of a desire to see Journey’s student ministries be able to reach it’s full potential; a goal that is bigger than any of the pastoral team.

    So, what does this mean in the immediate future for Riptide?

  • Both Journey and I are looking for what the next step is. We’d like to invite you to be a part of the process by praying for where God is leading me and praying for whomever God has to lead the MS ministry of Journey into the future.
  • In the meantime, I will continue on as the Middle School pastor in kind of an “open relationship” with Journey. This simply means that, if Journey finds God’s next leader for Riptide or if I find another position, both parties will be free to make the move to initiate change in the coming weeks and months.
  • On occasion, the weekend teaching in Riptide may be done by people other than myself as both Journey and I work to seek God’s clear plan for the future.

    Please know that both Brian and I are available to talk about this transition. We know that it while it could be difficult, it can be endured if we work together. As a result we would appreciate your prayer and support throughout this process. We are praying for God’s best for the future and ask that you would join us in our desire to see this be a smooth and God led transition.


    Thanks,

    Joshua W. Treece
    Middle School Pastor
  • 10/26/2007

    Everyone Hail to the Pumpkin King...

    Last night, as mentioned in the previous post, I went to Emily and Jarred's. Why, you may ask? To carve pumpkins. That's right:

    Fruit + knives + art = fun

    All of the crew carved Martha Stewart-ish pumpkins. But, I couldn't do that. So, I paid homage to the Pumpkin King. Here's a few snaps...


  • Yes, I shaved the orange off of the outside to make it look more like a skull.




  • This is my favorite picture. I think it makes my pumpkin look extra scary.


  • Here's Jarred using my pumpkin to do his best impression of Jack Skellington.

  • Guess which one's mine...
  • Weird Cell Phone Picture (Keys to the City)...

    For some reason, I seem to be blessed with the instinct of knowing when to pull out my cell phone and snap a picture. This may not seem like that big of a deal to you, but the fact of the matter is that I don't take regular pictures, I take weird ones. So I figured that, whenever I caught some interesting images, I'd share them with you here.

    For example, take this little beauty (certain parts enlarged for your viewing ease):


    As I was driving over to Emily and Jarred's, I stopped at a red light (as I often do) and happened to glance to my left. That's where I saw this guy holding a full size keyboard while on his bicycle. What would you need a keyboard at Jack in the Box for? I have no idea...

    10/25/2007

    Hey Little Brother...

    I love my brother, Caleb.

    Starting two days ago, my birthday presents began arriving. And, as in keeping with tradition, my brother sent me a DVD. But not just any DVD, he sent me Mac and Me. Perhaps some backstory is needed...

    My brother loves movies as much as, if not more than, I do. I once counted his VHS tapes (this was back in the late nineties, mind you) and he had over 400. I finally convinced (read as: forced) him to make the switch to DVD two Christmases ago. Anyway, after visiting me in San Diego two years ago, he made a list of all of the DVDs I have that he doesn't and starting getting them. Somehwere along the way, I think that he decided to return the favor.

    So, for the past year and a half, Caleb has bought me his favorite movies on DVD everytime we give each other gifts. First it was Ernest Scared Stupid, then Ernest Saves Christmas, and now, Mac and Me...

    Editor's Note: I would just like to say that, while I do love Ernest movies, Mac and Me's aliens creep me out. Majorly...

    This is one of the many reasons why I love my brother. Not on that list: the time he bit me in the foot at our great aunt's house...

    10/23/2007

    I Fell In to a...

    You've probably heard of the state of emergency that's been declared in San Diego county. There are (depending upon what the latest report you hear says) somewhere around 13 fires burning right now. Lucky for me, the are that I live in (El Cajon) has been safe thus far, and is predicted to be safe for the duration of this craziness. However, so many in our church are being evacuated. In fact, Brian wrote a post today showing how close it is to his house.

    Last night, around 1am, I drove up to Mt. Helix to take a look at the larger view. I could see three fires going at once. Here's a pic from my cell phone of one of them...

    Crazy... My fam has been calling from SC (some of them at 7:30am, my time) to check up on me. I feel like I'm giving the same update 4 times. Editor's Note: Guys, maybe we could work out some type of a phone tree thing.

    It's been really great to see our community come together and help each other during this time. You can really see that they've learned a lot from the Cedar fires 4 years ago and from Katrina.

    To end on high note, I saw The Nightmare Before Christmas in Disney Digital 3D yesterday. On the way downstairs in the theater, I saw this guy on the wall...

    For some reason, the idea of a shark eating a hot dog is just really funny to me. Right now, it's the background on my cell phone...

    10/19/2007

    3 Things I Don't Like (Two of Which Give Me the Gags)...

    I had to go to the grocery store tonight to pick up some things and, as I was rounding a corner from one aisle to the next, I spotted something that made me shiver. Editor's Note: No, it wasn't because I was in the frozen food section. So, I thought I'd make a list of things that make me shiver (because they gross me out) or give me the gags. I'd almost go as far as to say that, along with these things, they would be my kryptonite...

  • Orange Juice With Pulp
    I've always had a thing with OJ with pulp. I feel like a blue whale trying to use its baleen to sift out krill. Pulp is something that God never meant for humans to consume. It is, essentially, evil concentrate. That's why Quentin Tarantino used it in naming one of his most violently sodomistic films...

  • Guacamole
    I had never actually seen guacamole before moving to Cali in 2003 and, upon trying it, discovered that it was a fast trigger for my gag reflex. Seriously, I just can't handle it. Which makes the next thing even more gross...

  • California Rolls
    Now, amongst those who find themselves in my inner circle, it's common knowledge that sushi (of any kind) gives me the gags. California Rolls, on the other hand, are like a death ray to me. Not only do they have raw fish (gags: part 1), but they have avacado (gags: part 2). So, as you can see, they're like the perfect gags storm...
  • Quotable Quotes 2...

    It's been a while since I posted anything from the Quotable Quotes section of Reader's Digest. But here's a few that I like from this month's issue...

  • "Some people are so open minded their brains fall out." Rick Warren

  • "Life may be a highway, but I've tossed my maps and GPS. If something neat turns up along the way, I am stopping to take pictures." Matthew Wolfe in Newsweek

  • "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more of it I have." Stephen Leacock

  • "Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." Mason Cooley
  • 10/18/2007

    Justice League: The Movie...

    Editor's Note: Let me start by saying that this is another one of those posts that makes me look like a massive comic book geek. Lucky for me, I'm OK with that.

    According to Variety, a Justice League movie has been in the works for a while, but is now moving aggressively ahead. This is probably due to the impending writers' guild strike. According to SuperHeroHype.com, director George Miller had a ton of casting sessions this week with a lot of young Hollywood showing up to audition. Editor's Note: My favorite part of this story is Adam Brody auditioning for the roll of The Flash.

    So, since I know that Hollywood will probably only get the casting on this movie half right, I thought it might be fun to cast it myself. Here's who I would put into each of the costumes...


  • Superman- Let's face facts people, the chances of Warner Bros. letting Brandon Routh fill the red boots in anything other than a sequel to Superman Returns are slim to none. So, if I can't have the new man of steel, I'll have to cast one myself. So, I say the job goes to Tom Welling. He already knows the character, and it would lend some continuity to the film. But, as a deal breaker, he's got to leave Kristin Kreuk in Smallville...


  • Batman- Remember when I wrote the thing about there being no chance of Warner Bros. letting Brandon Routh be in this movie? Yeah... There's even less of a chance of them letting Christian Bale in. That's why, in my version, Gerard Butler will don the cape and cowl. Who's tougher than King Leonidas: a guy who almost single handedly fought off a whole army? Besides, he's got everything The Dark Knight needs: raspy voice, muscles, his own utility belt...

  • Wonder Woman- The only live action depiction of Wonder Woman so far has been Lynda Carter. But, we're going to need someone a lot younger. So, even though I know it may be a bit of easy casting, I'm going to go with Scarlett Johansson. She's an incredible actress and, just a guess here, I think she could probably kick my butt (which isn't saying much). And she kind of owes America one for The Island. Plus, it greatly increases the chance of a street cred lending Woody Allen cameo...

  • The Flash- David Goyer, who wrote Batman Begins, is directing a Flash stand alone movie and Ryan Reynolds is the heavy favorite to wear the red and yellow. But, word is that they're looking to cast young for this part. Oh well, I'm going to go with Neil Patrick Harris. Now, before you stone me to death with all of your old Doogie Howser, M.D. DVDs, watch one episode of How I Met Your Mother. Thank me later...


  • Green Lantern- Also new to the silver screen, the Green Lantern holds the potential for the greatest visuals of the whole bunch. Rumor is they want to go with the John Stewart incarnation (there have been more than one in the comics). Every one of the Green Lanterns has such a great characterization, but Stewart could be the most interesting, as he deals with a lot of inner conflict due to some events in his past. I thought about this one for a while and I think I have the perfect guy. Leonard Roberts has demonstrated on Heroes that he can pull off the superhero thing. I think that he would fit in with the other tights really well...

  • Aquaman- First off, go ahead and forget about the whole Entourage, Adrian Grenier version. That was a joke. At first I was thinking Paul Walker, but I'm not sure anyone would take him seriously. (Well, as serious as anyone can take Aquaman.) So, I'm going with Kevin McKidd. I mean, have you seen Journeyman? This guy is a star in the making! I think he could actually make Aquaman into a serious character. Or at least, have a better shot than anyone else...

  • Martian Manhunter- Otherworldly... Detached... And CGIed up, this part has to be done right to not stick out like a sore thumb. (Just look at what Andy Serkis added to LOTR.) So I'm going with Damian Lewis. His performance in NBC's new show, Life, is exactly what I picture for thiis part: someone who understands humanity only from an observational point of view. Because knowing through watching is a lot different than knowing through being a part of...
  • The First Birthday Present...

    Anyone that knows me well, knows of my undying love for and devotion to Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes. They're one of my favorite parts of Christmas and, quite possibly, one of my favorite foods of all time.

    Well, tonight at my 8th grade guys small group, I was surprised by what was in the bag for snack. Two of the guys had asked if they could bring snack and, as an early birthday present, brought some of this year's first harvest. Editor's Note: Now, it should be said that I like the original Christmas Tree Cakes better than the chocolate ones. But, I loved that they surprised me. And these were delicious too!

    These guys are great...

    10/16/2007

    iTunes Receipt: Part 2...

    I love seeing what songs Griff picks up on iTunes (even if he does pick up a lot of totally girly songs). Editor's Note: Much love, Josh! So I figured I'd share my iTunes purchases as well. My last purchase was made even sweeter by it coming from a free 5 songs on iTunes offer! Here's what I picked up with my freebies...

  • Last Request by Paolo Nutini

  • I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers

  • Walk or Ride by The Ditty Bops

  • Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox

  • Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor) by Robert Palmer
  • 10/15/2007

    Happy Birthday to Me...

    Is it just me, or do you guys have this happen to you too? I can think of a thousand things that I want all year long. But, whenever my birthday or Christmas rolls around, my mind goes blank. This, of course, doesn't change the fact that my mom wants a birthday list. So, for mom (and for you, just in case) here it is...

  • Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller

  • Spider-man: Friend or Foe

  • This shirt (L) in delta blue from American Eagle

  • These shoes (size 9.5) from GAP

  • An authentic Brett Favre home jersey (size 48)

  • Phil Wickham: Cannons

  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

  • Veronica Mars: Season 3

  • Heroes: Season 1

  • That 70's Show: Season 7

  • Prison Break: Season 2

  • Freaks and Geeks

  • Kitchen Essentials® from Calphalon® Hard Anodized 8x11" Grill Pan and Press

  • And, of course, gift certificates to Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Regal are welcome!
  • Body Double 17: Body Un-Double...

    A few weeks ago, as I walked the aisles of Best Buy (as I sometimes do after church on Sundays) I was greeted with a deal I couldn't pass up. There was a whole shelf of DVDs on sale for $4.99 (American)! Editor's Note: If there is such a thing as extraterrestrial life, and they need test subjects for their evil experiments, this is surely how they will trap me. I walk over to check out a DVD sale, they pull a string, and a giant box falls on top of me. Anyway, as I perused over the titles, my attention was captured by the inclusion of Days of Thunder. (As any good southern boy's would have.)

    As I watched this excellent example of American cinema this afternoon, I couldn't help but think one thing: Man! Nicole Kidman looked A LOT different in 1990 than she does today! So much so, that she looks like almost a completely different person. So, I thought, if I can present you, the dear reader, with Body Doubles, why can't I show you a Body Un-Double...

    10/14/2007

    A Whole Lot of Awesome...

    I just wanted to quickly share two photos with you...

    The first is one that I took on the way to church this morning. This truck sat in the Von's parking lot and was, no doubt, on its way to tailgate at the Q. Something about a grill that mounts to the trailer hitch of your truck just seems right to me. Maybe it's the marriage of meat and machine that just oozes masculinity. Mom, I want one for my birthday...

    And next, well, I'll let this one speak for itself...

    This is one of my students. Now, the first thing you should know is that yes, that is his real hair. And yes, he does it that way on purpose. And yes, he loves it.

    And yes, I think it is beyond awesome...

    10/13/2007

    DC*B Starter Pack...

    In my last post, I talked about my undying devotion to the David Crowder* Band. But what if you've never heard of them, and want to sample some of their music? Well, if it were up to me, I'd recommend these five songs as a DC*B starter pack...

    1) Make A Joyful Noise/I Will Not Be Silent

    2) God of Wrath

    3) How Great

    4) I Saw the Light

    5) Everything Glorious

    -AND-

    ...for a bonus song that will totally change your life:
    *Surely We Can Change

    Here We Go...

    Last night, I had the great joy of seeing the David Crowder* Band in concert at the House of Blues here in San Diego. The Myriad put on a great first opening act (very Muth Math-esque), followed by an always great Phil Wickham.

    For me to say that I love the DC*B would be an understatement. I saw them for the first time when they came to my college during my freshman year, and have followed them ever since. I have to say that, out of all of the times that I've seen them, this was one of my favorites. An intimate (read as small and cramped) setting made for an interesting but great concert experience.

    And as for my favorite part? It would have to be when Crowder brought out this little piece of awesomeness...
    That's right, a Guitar Hero controller! The drummer, B-Wack, had rigged it to play back certain sound effects for each button. Crowder played it for an entire song! So sweet...

    If you've never seen the DC*B in person, I'd highly recommend it. And, if you haven't picked up the new album, Remedy, hurry up and get it! Always a great time...

    10/10/2007

    I Can't Wait to Read This...

    I love Donald Miller's books. This made the opportunity I had to meet him all the more sweet. That's why I got so stoked when I saw this on Amazon tonight.

    Let Story Guide You: Why Some Lives Make Sense and Others Don't

    Here's a brief description from Amazon: When two filmmakers worked with Donald Miller to edit his best-selling book Blue Like Jazz for the Hollywood screen, they changed the events of his life to make them more exciting. When he asked why, they kindly explained that his real life was too boring! While watching the movie version of his memoir take shape, Don realized the same principles that guide professional storytellers could work in directing a person's daily experiences. In Let Story Guide You, Donald Miller undertakes a humorous and revealing journey as he edits his life into a purposeful and meaningful experience. And in his trademark style, he invites readers into their own process of looking at life through the lens of what makes for a memorable and satisfying story.

    According to donmillerfans.net, it'll be shipping from the publisher in the second week of January, which means that it should find its way onto your bookstore’s shelves in late January-slash-early February.

    I can't wait...

    10/09/2007

    Bro, Check This Out...

    There really isn't anything quite like an old friend. Something about knowing that, no matter what happens or where you go in life, you'll always be able to come back and reconnect.

    When I moved to San Diego in late April of 2005, I was in the midst of a maelstrom of change in my life. Personal... professional... You name it, it changed. As a result, I was an emotional mess. And, the worst part about it was that I was in a brand new city with no friends to lean on.

    That's when I met Steve.

    He was the first person in my new world to reach out and invite me into his home and make me feel like I was a part of a family again. And, of course, he did it with the four words that I think of every time I think of him: "Bro, check this out..." He went on to invite me to watch the NBA playoffs with he and his family at his in-law's house, but that doesn't really matter. I don't even remember who played. I just remember meeting my first friend in my brand new scary world.

    Since then, life has happened. Steve and his wife, Lauren, had another beautiful baby boy, Riley. Schedules have changed. Life has become more busy. That's why it was so good to sit down with Steve for lunch today. Even in the little amount of time that we had, it was refreshing to talk (and eat) with an old friend.

    Thanks for everything, buddy. Know that, no matter where life may carry us, I've always got your back!

    Oute alofa ia te oe, buddy...

    Oh, and as a bonus to those of you reading this who aren't Steve, here's a video of his son, Cameron, singing a worship song. Go ahead, try and watch this without going "Awwwwwww"...

    10/08/2007

    Black Friday...

    Just in case you've never heard of Black Friday, or experienced its horrors, I'd like to provide you with an aid in making your holiday shopping a little easier.

    I've only braved the terrors of retail stores on this most horrible of shopping days twice. Editor's Note: One of those times was just last year with Puddles. But, both of those times I thought that my adventures in shopping could have been made easier if I would have had a map (read as: store advertisement) ahead of time.

    Enter blackfriday.info. This website already has ads for many stores' sales for the say after Thanksgiving.

    Check it out and think of me...

    What Have You Done...

    In 19 days I'll be 27 years old.

    That means that I'll be in my (mid) late twenties.

    And, even though I feel like I've done a lot of things in my years on this planet, after this morning, I feel like I have a lot more work left to do.

    This website allows you to see a list of things other people accomplished when they were your age.

    Needless to say, it doesn't help me feel any better about turning 27.

    Here's a list of things other people have accomplished by the time they were 26...

    ·Albert Einstein published five major research papers in a German physics jornal, fundamentally changing man's view of the universe and leading to such inventions as television and the atomic bomb.

    ·Benjamin Franklin published the first edition of Poor Richard's Almanac, which was to play a large role in molding the diverse American character.

    ·College dropout Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer.

    ·Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, revolutionizing the economies of the United States and Britain.

    ·Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Italy.

    So, what have you done...

    10/05/2007

    Candy Corn Is the Only Candy In the History of America That's Never Been Advertised...

    Today is October 5th. That means that we are approximately 22 days away from my platinum birthday. Editor's Note: Don't worry, a birthday list is coming soon! It also means that we're 26 days away from Halloween. This, of course, is good news to me for two reasons...

    1) It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! comes on TV!

    and

    2) Candy Corn

    Now, as a fan of candy corn, I recognize that I'm in the minority. But, in honor of one of my faves, here's a few fun facts about it, via wikipedia. (For the whole article, click here.)

    ·Each piece is approximately the size of a whole kernel of corn, as if it fell off a ripe or dried ear of corn.

    ·Candy corn is made primarily from sugar, corn syrup and honey. Carnauba wax is usually added.

    ·The National Confectioners Association estimate 20 million pounds of candy corn are sold each year.

    ·October 30th is National Candy Corn Day.

    ·Candy corn was invented by George Renninger in the 1880s and produced by the Wunderle Candy Company. By 1900, the Goelitz Candy Company, now Jelly Belly, started mass producing the candy.

    ·And, for good measure, a little rant by Lewis Black on Candy Corn...

    So, go out and pick up a bag for yourself! And if you don't want it, send it to me...

    10/03/2007

    How to Talk to Introverts...

    Each of us in student ministries has shy kids. And for those of you who are extroverted, sometimes it's difficult to connect with them, expecially in a big group setting. Well, I just found an interesting article on the "Top 5 Things Every Extrovert Should Know About Introverts". Click the link to check out the whole article. Here's a clip...

    1) If a person is introverted, it does NOT mean they are shy or anti-social.
    Introverts have more brain activity in their frontal lobes and when these areas are activated through solitary activity, introverts become energized through processes such as problem solving, introspection, and complex thinking.

    Extroverts on the other hand tend to have more activity in the back of their brain, areas that deal with processing sensory information from the external world, so they tend to search for external stimuli in the form of interacting with other people and the outside world to energize them.

    2) Introverts tend to dislike small talk.
    If you really want to engage an introvert in conversation, skip the small talk. Introverts tend to love deep conversations on subjects that interest them. They love to debate, go past the superficial and poke around the depths in people’s minds to see what’s really going on in there. Most, if not all introverts tend to regard small talk as a waste of time, unless it’s with someone new they just met.

    10/02/2007

    United...

    Now, before you decide not to read this post because you think it might be about the fact that the Packers are 4-0, or Brett Favre's record setting weekend, let me first say that it's not about those things. Editor's Note: Although, in your face Kurt! This post is about an experience I had today, and my desire to see if it can relate to ministry.

    This morning, I went to Starbucks to pick up some java. Now, as of 8am, I hadn't had a haircut since the beginning of July (Editor's Note: A problem that, as of 4pm this afternoon, has been remedied) so I had on my Packers hat. As I walked out of the place, a man in the car next to me called out to me to get my attention.

    "Hey man! Favre's lighting it up right now!"

    "Yeah... Last season was a little rough on us. So, this year is more than we could have wanted..."

    "What are you guys now? 3 and 1?"

    "Naw... We're undefeated. It's a great start!"

    "Really?! Aight... Aight... Well, good luck!"

    "Thanks man!"

    That's happened 3 times in the past week. Which has me thinking, what is it about sports that allows total strangers to talk freely to each other as if they were old friends? Why is it that, a guy who by all accounts would never talk to me under normal circumstances, wanted to have a conversation about the greatest quarterback of all time? What is it about sports that allows us to suddenly notice those who are normally invisible to us and feel comfortable enough to shout, "GO (insert the name of your favorite team here)!" And, better yet, how can we as leaders in the church recreate that in our contexts?

    How can we create spaces where strangers feel comfortable enough to talk to each other without a "turn 'n greet" time? How do we create the excitement that being a Packer fan holds right now in our services and small groups every week?

    I don't know... Any ideas...

    My DVD Library...

    I mentioned in a previous post that I brought an entire suitcase, albeit a small one, of DVDs with me when I moved to California. So, needless to say, I have a slight obsession with collecting them. Pictured (to the left) is my collection as of tonight. (I say tonight, because I'm buying the second season of How I Met Your Mother tomorrow.) Anyway, I thought it'd be cool to share, with you, some of them that I could watch over and over again. So, here are five DVDs that I never tire of...

    1) Greg the Bunny- This TV series, starring Seth Green and Sarah Silverman, takes place in a world where puppets (fabricated Americans) exist and coexist with humans everyday. It takes place on the set of a children's television show, "Sweetknuckle Junction". It's so funny that FOX cancelled it along with the rest of the good shows that it produces!

    2) Scrubs- This year will be the last season of Scrubs on the peacock. Zach Braff wants to go on to make more hour and a half long commercials for soundtracks. I love this show! I even posted about it here.

    3) Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves- This is just a great movie! I think it was the first time I ever saw Morgan Freeman play a guy who knew more than everybody else in the movie. It also had one of my favorite songs of all time in it: (Everything I Do) I Do It for You.

    4) Encino Man- If you don't love this movie, or if you can't at least pretend to while I watch it, then I'm pretty sure we can't hang out. I just love Sean Astin, Pauly Shore, and Brenden Fraser as friends in it.

    5) Pee Wee's Big Adventure- For everything you need to know about this movie, watch this clip.

    I love DVDs. I'll post a few more of these in the future...

    I Bless the Rains Down In Africa...

    I've never been to Africa. (So Alice might have to validate this story.) But if there's even the slightest chance that I could see something like this giraffe fight, I'm there ASAP...