8/30/2008

BSMT: 1st & 2nd Semi-Final Vote Results, 3rd & 4th Votes...

We're halfway through the Semi-Final round!

Iron Man defeated Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in a vote of 13-4. It moves on to face the winner of the Kung-Fu Panda vs. Hancock battle. Meanwhile Wall-E defeated The Incredible Hulk in a vote of 10-6. It moves on to face the winner of the Get Smart vs. The Dark Knight battle.

And that's where we are now. Make sure to vote for which movies you liked more, not which ones are better "films". The votes will be open from today through Wednesday, September 3rd.

Vote away...



8/28/2008

Kickoff is at 5pm...

After arriving at the church office this morning I decided that as a form of preparation for tonight's Carolina game, I would carry around a football all day. (Well, at least until kickoff.) The football would not touch the ground until after kickoff. So far, it's traveled with me all around the office and to lunch at Roundtable. (As pictured above.) It was pretty crowded there, so the hostess asked if she could put my football at a table to reserve it for us. "I'm sorry," I responded. "College football starts today. I've got to keep it with me. It's kind of an all day thing."

She, of course, laughed at me.

A little over three hours until kickoff...

8/26/2008

BSMT: Prelims Done, 1st and 2nd Semi-Final votes...

The preliminary round of voting is done, and the last guest to the party is Kung-Fu Panda!

Now, we begin the semi-final round of voting!

We'll be doing two votes at once. The first two votes being Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull vs. Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk vs. Wall-E. Remember, vote for which movie you liked more, not which one was a "better film". The vote will be open from today through Friday, August 29th.

Vote Away...



Two Thumbs Up...

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to begin reviewing movies for a youth ministry website.

My first review went up today.

I've had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I'm not dreaming. Someone is actually paying me to see movies and give my opinion. There'll be some more news on this in a few weeks. But for now, you can check out my review of The House Bunny here...

8/25/2008

The Fighting Gamecocks...

God is good. All the time.

This Thursday marks the beginning of college football season for me; as the Fighting Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina will be playing the Wolfpack of N.C. State. What makes this matchup especially sweet is that it will be broadcast on ESPN.

Will I be watching it? You bet your sweet bread I will.

Hopefully we'll be able to piece together two good halves to a season this year...

8/21/2008

Pandora...

FACT: Music is awesome.

FACT: The music that I like is awesome.

HYPOTHESIS: Music that is similar to the awesome music that I like will be awesome.

Pandora.com is helping prove my theory. Pandora is an online radio station that uses something called the music genome project to carefully select music that it thinks that you'll like. You start by typing in the name of an artist that you like. Then, based upon your awesome tastes, it creates your own radio station. As new songs come up, you give them the thumbs up or thumbs down. It keeps customizing your station.

I guess the theory is, that after a while, it creates your perfect radio station.

RESULT: New music that is like my music (that is awesome) is, in fact, also awesome.

Important Thoughts #13...

After writing this post, I've gone back and re-read some of the writings of my friend, Matt. Editor's Note: I'm not sure he ever reads my blog, so I hope he doesn't mind me sharing these things. But, something that he wrote to his sons struck me as a very important thought...

"Therefore, make loving God your highest goal. Seek first his kingdom. Seek first his face. Love him with every shred of your being and you’ll not be disappointed. His name is Jealous, and he’ll not share your affections with another person or object.

You will fail at this countless times. Never get used to it but do not regret it. The heart that regrets is the heart that fails to confess, surrender, and trust God’s grace."


The last sentence has been ringing in my head for 2 or 3 days now.

Just last night, at my small group, another one of the guys called himself a "headcase". He said, "I think about things way too much." I quietly chuckled to myself and thought, "Dude, if you only knew..."

Sometimes (especially in the past 8 months), I allow myself to slip into unhealthy patterns of thinking. Patterns that coat my past in gold and make me think that I'm a screw up and will never be able to... Well, you get the idea. But I think that what Matt writes is true. Allowing my past to control me in the present and direct my future limits what God is able to do in me. Confession, surrender, and trust in God are necessary for achieving a sense of peace in God.

Thanks again, Matt...

8/20/2008

Truth As An Antidote...

This is my friend Matt Mcgill.

I've known Matt for about 6 years. The first time we met, by his intention, I was scared to death of him. But that's a story for another time. It is my absolute honor to be able to call him friend, as he has been the source of so much laughter, comfort, wisdom, food, and learning that my life has been forever changed.

One of the things that I admire most about Matt (and one of the biggest lessons he's taught me) is his ability to examine everything in his life through the lens of truth. In fact, one of the things that he taught his boys is the phrase, "We love the truth!" When life seems to be getting a little crazy, he takes time to review what he knows to be true (in life, in the situation, about God, etc.) and then examines what's going on through that.

This discipline came in handy yesterday.

After I woke up, I made a poor decision. I chose to allow myself to begin to dig up certain things from the past year and then begin to dwell on them and allow regret and self-pity to set in. (For what Matt says on regret, go here.) This resulted in immediate and pretty big sadness. So, I decided to stop my train of thought and focus on things I know to be true in my life. Things like "God is especially fond of me", "I need to make decisions that bring me more life", and "I am happier where I am now than where I was". After about 10 minutes of reminding myself of what I know to be true, I was ready to get up and face the day.

I wish I could say that I was able to keep things off of my mind for the duration of my day, but that just wouldn't be true. I had to (and have had to today) keep reminding myself of the truths I know. But it's helped me remain focused on the present (which is always tough) and on my God who loves me.

Thanks, Matt. Without knowing it, you've helped me to shake a major monkey off of my back...

Web Wednesday: Nitro Circus Thrillbillies...

A Web Wednesday by any other name would smell as sweet...

Are you a fan of awesome? Then this video will surely melt your face and make your mind explode. Editor's Note: This video will in no way actually cause you any physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual harm.

Just watch it... in awe...

8/19/2008

BSMT: 8th Vote...

Here's our last vote of the preliminary round of the tournament. It's the battle of the Jack Blacks! Kung Fu Pand vs. Tropic Thunder!

Remember, the rules are simple. Vote for which movie you liked more. Voting will be open from today, August 19th through Friday, August 22nd. The winner moves on to the semi-finals to face Hancock.

Vote away...

Heart Songs...

There have been two songs that have been speaking to my heart in major ways lately. All I Need is You by Hillsong United and Breathe on Me by Todd Fields.

Perhaps it's because I've been leading worship more frequently that God has been using music to speak to me in ways that, I feel, are a little louder than usual.

Here's some sample lyrics from each song...

All I Need is You

Left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak
Won't let go
Fall to my knees as I lift my hands to pray

Got every reason to be here again
Father's love that draws me in
And all my eyes wanna see is a glimpse of You

All I need is You
All I need is You Lord
Is You Lord



Breathe On Me

Forever, You are my reason for living
Merciful savior unending
Breathe on me

Forever, You are the God of my story
Write every line for Your glory
Breathe on me


Man, I love those songs...

Curious Josh: Presidential Facial Hair...

What else have I been curious about? Check it out here...

I've been in a political state of mind for the past few days. I'm sure it's due, in large part, to the civil forum. And so, because of that, I've been wrestling with a lot of questions.

For some reason, this question ran through my mind:
"Who was the last U.S. President to sport facial hair while in office?"

After doing some digging, I discovered that William Howard Taft was the last President to rock a handlebar.

And now you know...

8/18/2008

Saddleback Civil Forum...

Saturday evening, Pastor Rick Warren held a civil forum on the presidency at Saddleback Church.

And I was there...

Just in case you didn't have a chance to see it, you can find video of it here and a trascript of it here...

Here's a little bit of a breakdown as to how the first part of the day went:
*Pictures provided by Mr. David Hughes...
**All times are recorded in 24hr format, as it is the official format of the United States military...


1400hrs- Meet some people at Tully's to pick up tickets and carpool to the church. Editor's Note: We had to dress business casual, so we decided to pose for this picture business casual...


1500hrs- We begin the arduous journey onto the church campus. Here, upon our approach we see the first of the protesters...


1501hrs- Turns out, they weren't protestors, but supporters... of Ron Paul. Editor's Note: Can I just say, in all seriousness, that I had no idea Ron Paul was still in the race for the republican nomination? They were upset that he wasn't invited to participate... and that nobody noticed...


1509hrs- David points out that some of the protestors are Bob Barr supporters. I am informed that this is not, in fact, the popular French children's fictional character, but a human (libertarian) man who is also campaigning to be elected president. Disappointment sets in...


1515hrs- We pass by the Sheriff's Department command center set up at one of the church offices. See that big black bus/semi truck looking thing in the middle? That's a mobile jail...

~end journey~

On a more serious note, this was truly an incredible event to attend. The questions asked by Rick were quite direct, thoughtful, and engaging. I still find it a little tough to believe that I was in the same room as the future president of these United States.

After chewing on the answers each candidate provided two days ago, I'm not sure that I'm any closer to choosing which one I'll eventually cast my vote for. I find myself wanting to like one individual, while actually liking another. I think I need to read more about each candidate before I make the call.

Either way, I loved that Saddleback (Rick) did this. What a great way to serve the country...

P.S. My friend, Matt wrote some great thoughts on the forum. Check out his blog to see...

Phil Wickham's Singalong...

I love free things...

Right now, on his website, Phil Wickham is offering a free download of his latest album "Singalong". All you have to do is sign up for his email newsletter!

So what are you waiting for? Go here and sign up...

8/16/2008

Chick-Fi-Lincoln...

Leo, Schwanny, and I made it out to Chick-Fil-A for lunch on Friday. That's where we saw the Chick-Fi-Lincoln. The best part? The hood ornament...

Two Things That Aren't In California...

While I was in Chicago, I spent Saturday morning enjoying two things that I can't get in California: Caribou Coffee and Dunkin Donuts. Coupled with my book and moleskine, it made for a perfect morning...

A Car I Drove vs. a Car I'd Like To Drive...

Here is a car that I actually drove last night:

UH-mazing...


Here is a car that I would very much like to drive:

It was parked outside of the theater at the Irvine Spectrum a few weeks ago when Pease and I saw The Dark Knight in IMAX.

I actually touched the Tumbler...

Happy Day...

How sad is it that I'm actually elated that gas has now gone back into the three dollar range here in Orange County? I hope it continues to descend...

8/15/2008

Manga Me...

Dude, I'm super bored right now.

And so, after seeing Rickwell's post, I decided that I needed a much tougher cartoon version of myself than here and here. So I turned to the world of manga...

Don't even try to pretend I don't look awesome.

Check out faceyourmanga.com if you'd like to make your own. Maybe I'll try to make some of my friends now...

Thanks for the Memories...

For the past two months, everyone has asked me for my opinion on the Favre situation...

I've expressed my love for Favre here and here. And, throughout this whole terribly messy ordeal, I've held my breath. I've held my breath because I knew that Favre's career, his legacy, the Packers as an organization, and football as a whole, would be changed forever by the outcome. Despite what you think of the man, you know that some of football's innocence, it's wholesomeness, died the day that he stepped foot onto that plane and flew away from Green Bay, never to return.

Other team/superstar combos have been broken apart in the past, but this one seemed to be the most personal and hurtful.

For me, as a fan of both the organization and the man, I feel like my heart has been torn in two. Which way do I turn? To whom do I offer my support? What would I do if the Packers meet the Jets in the Superbowl?

These questions still haunt me...

I know this: I will continue to pull for the Green and Gold. I've been a Packer backer for 15 years, and that's not going to change now. I will continue to support Favre's career, but not the Jets as a team. Sorry guys.

But here's what really gets me: Last year, for my birthday, I finally got an authentic Brett Favre Packers home jersey. And now, it's obsolete. But I can't buy an authentic Jets jersey. (Because I can't afford it and I don't want to support their organization.) So, I'm laboring over getting a replica (about $220 cheaper) Favre Jets jersey. That way, he knows I still care.

And so, I move into this upcoming football season a little broken hearted. Will it ever be the same? Probably not. But who knows? Maybe, with time, it can be better.

Aaron Rogers, you'd better not screw this up...

Third Day...

I've loved Third Day since I was in middle school...

I still remember where I was sitting when I heard Consuming Fire for the first time. I had no idea that Christian music could sound like southern rock. Since that day, I've bought every album.

But my love for Third Day runs deeper than just growing up listening to their music. A little over three years ago, my heart was broken. Now, I had experienced heartbreak before, but not like this. This was different. I couldn't eat. What food I could eat had lost its flavor. I couldn't sleep. And I couldn't listen to music. Any music. And it wasn't even that music would remind me of my loss. It was just nothing sounded the same. I couldn't find joy in any of the places that I looked for it before. I felt like my whole life had been covered in a heavy blanket that I couldn't shake loose.

One day (a few months into my blanketed stage), as I was driving, my ipod shuffled its way over to This Song Was Meant for You. Suddenly, things seemed to connect. I found myself connecting once again with music. At first I cried (I mean, for me, it was a super sad song), but then (over time) I found myself rocking out and loving music once again.

Third Day, through their music, had served as a huge encouragement to me in a pretty rough time. They kind of began the process of lifting me out a slump I couldn't seem to crawl out of myself. Editor's Note: All of that to say, I love them and their music.

That's why, when I read Puddles' post on their new album my heart grew super stoked and sad at the same time. Stoked for the amazing music that I'm sure it will bring. But sad from the fact that, right now, I'm too poor to buy it. But I will... One day...

And I can't wait...

Hulu...

If you haven't hopped on board the hulu.com train yet, you're missing out on something awesome.

Hulu is a joint venture between FOX, NBC, and a few other networks to provide free online streaming versions of TV shows and movies. This week, some Food Network shows were added. So you know I'm stoked!

I decided to put together a few lists in hopes of encouraging you to hop on board...

Shows That I Discovered for the First Time on Hulu...
  • American Dad!
  • Kitchen Confidential
  • The Riches

    Shows That I Want to Watch on Hulu, but Haven't Yet...
  • The Dresden Files
  • Friday Night Lights

    Shows That I Use Hulu to Catch Up On...
  • Chuck
  • House
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Monk
  • Psych

    Go to hulu... Check it out... Thank me later...
  • 8/14/2008

    BSMT: 7th Vote Result...

    The results are in for the 7th vote of the summer!

    In a strange (and unbelievable) twist of fate, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and The Incredible Hulk tied in a vote of 4 to 4! So, how do we solve this problem? I flipped a coin. Head, the Mummy moves on. Tails, the Hulk. Editor's Note: I said a small prayer, before flipping, that a terrible movie like The Mummy wouldn't move on. The Lord answered my prayer and the Hulk won the toss. So, it moves on to face WALL-E in the semi-finals of the tourney. (It doesn't look good.)

    The 8th, and final, vote of the preliminaries is on this weekend and it's Kung-Fu Panda vs. Tropic Thunder. It's the battle of the Jack Blacks!

    Until then, see you at the movies...

    8/13/2008

    Web Wednesday: It's Not Unusual...

    What's today? It's Web Wednesday!

    Yes, I know that this is two Web Wednesday posts in a row. But I was out of town, so give me a break.

    For today's edition, I decided that I needed a little pick me up. And so I present the following compilation of performances from one of the greatest artists of our era: Carlton Banks.

    If you can watch the Carlton dance and not smile, then you are a heartless robot...

    8/06/2008

    Web Wednesday: I'm Leaving...

    Whoa... It's Web Wednesday!

    Since I'm flying out to Chicago tomorrow afternoon, I figured I'd pass along some tips I found for booking airline tickets. Here's 10 Useful Secrets the Major Airlines Don’t Want You to Know...

    Check them out and save yourself some money...

    8/05/2008

    Actual Vehicles I've Seen In the OC...

    You never know what you'll see in the OC...

    Luxury or custom cars aren't exactly rare. Here are two I saw this weekend while driving around...

  • We'll start with an awesome one. The Dodge Viper. I would love to drive this car...

  • Next, we've got the not so awesome. Here's the deal: if you need to put training wheels on your scooter, just wait until you can ride it like a big boy to take it out on the street. It'd be different if it was a custom trike. I would not... Aww, who am I kidding. I'd still love to drive this...
  • 8/04/2008

    The Windy City...

    Later this week (on Thursday), I'm leaving for Chicago for a few days. This will make my fourth time in the windy city.

    Even though my schedule will be jam packed, I hope that a visit to White Castle can be arranged.

    I can't wait...

    BSMT: 5th & 6th Vote Result, 7th Vote...

    The results are in for the 5th and 6th vote!

    In what I consider to be an incorrect verdict, Hancock advances past Hellboy 2: the Golden Army in a vote of 11 to 8. But, you know what, this isn't just my tournament. It belongs to the masses. As for Wanted vs. The Dark Knight? The Dark Knight crushed it in a vote of 18 to 1. Editor's Note: So who was the person who voted for Wanted? This guy. But he said it was because he felt sorry for Wanted. Nothing like a pity vote to boost the self esteem.

    And so Hancock moves on to face the winner of the Kung Fu Panda vs. Tropic Thunder battle. The Dark Knight moves on to face Get Smart in the semis.

    Phew... Now that we've got the past out of the way, let's look to the future.

    This week's vote will be The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor vs. The Incredible Hulk. The vote will go from today through Friday, August 8th. Remember, vote for which movie you liked more. Not which movie you thought was better. Vote Away...