3/30/2009

Body Double 29: This Sucks...

I have an incredible amount of friends who have been sucked up into the Twilight frenzy. They've read the books, seen the movie, and obsessed over Edward.

I've steered clear of this... craze.

But as I searched through amazon for some books today, I couldn't help but notice Twilight's resemblance to a book by one of the world's greatest authors, Mr. Clive Staples Lewis...

This scares me... a lot.

Get away from my Lewis, Stephanie Meyers. He's never bothered you.

But I guess being a Body Double is OK...

Movie Poster Math...

It's no secret that I think Tony Stark has the greatest facial hair ever. Heck, I even tried to grow a Tony Stark goatee of my own! And it's because of his alter ego, Robert Downey Jr., that I'm unbelievably stoked for Sherlock Holmes. The above poster was just snapped at this week's ShoWest conference in Las Vegas. (Picture via comingsoon.net)

I can't wait...

3/28/2009

2nd Comic Con Spotting...

Earlier this month, I posted a sweet Comic Con Spotting...

Well, as I watched this past week's episode of Chuck, I saw another one.

The geeks are taking over. Boo yah...

3.14 Reasons To Eat Here...

They're building a new pizza place down the street from my mom's house. Based on name alone, I want to eat here so bad...

I really hope they have a lunch special for $3.14...

3/27/2009

Power Rankings: 3...

Power rankings on the internet are like NCAA Tournament brackets. Everyone has their own, but only mine is right...

1. Where the Wild Things Are Trailer If you watch this, and the child inside you doesn't jump for joy, then you're dead inside. And outside. And you're stupid. Shut up, you're stupid! I know you are but what am I! Mom... (link)

2. Sayid Jarrah "A 12 year-old Ben Linus just gave me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I'm doing?" Awesome... (link)

3. PDYM I couldn't make it this year, but that didn't mean it wasn't amazing. If you have the chance to go, GO. It'll change your ministry forever... (link)

4. Villanova Last night, Villanova became a part of a long standing tradition: eliminating Duke from the NCAA Tourney. Congrats guys... (link)

5. Airplanes Because I'm getting on one this coming Wednesday to fly across the country. Boo yah... (link)

AIS8: Nine Left...

YES!!! With the elimination of Michael Sarver, my record moves to 1 for 4. Sweet. And now, some thoughts...

  • I think this season is taking some interesting turns. Some people are really growing into awesome performers. Others are not quite as obvious as I thought at the beginning...

  • I'm glad Michael got eliminated. His performance on Wednesday night was a huge example of over-singing. That combined with someone without a great voice...

  • Stevie Wonder performed a medley of some of his songs last night (during which he shouted "I love you Barack Obama!). He wore sunglasses during that performance. Scott, I'm just saying...

  • I've never bought a single of a contestant singing a song while they were still in the show... Until this week. I bought Danny's version of P.Y.T. It's incredible...

  • Did Adam Lambert look like fat Elvis to anyone else on Wednesday night...

  • Lil' Rounds yelled sang her whole song at the same volume. Does she have any dynamic range at all...

  • After his performance of "Let's Get It On", I was shocked Matt Giraud was in the bottom three. He did so much better that Anoop or Megan. Speaking of which...

  • Megan... Darlin'... Your looks won't save you for much longer...
  • 3/26/2009

    AIS8: Top Ten Prediction Guess

    Can I just say how much I love Motown? I love Motown a lot. A lot! So I was both stoked and nervous with it being the theme for last night's Idol. And... I felt like it was hit and miss. I thought Matt Giraud was the incredible. Danny was awesome too. But, pretty much everyone else underwhelmed me...

    And even though I made this call last week and was way off, I'm going to sat that Michael Sarver is going home. I mean, his performance of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" actually produced a feeling of disgust in me that was so strong, I felt compelled to do something to stop his career and make sure he never sings again. Blech...

    So, hopefully I'll move past 0 for 3 this week...

    3/25/2009

    Web Wednesday: This Is Why You're Fat...

    It's Web Wednesday!

    In my travels around the internet, I've found things that are both entertaining and educational. But today's find is both. This Is Why You're Fat is an amazing photoblog of some of the most fattening culinary creations ever made. Did I mention it was inspiring? Because I really want to try some of these...

    3/24/2009

    U2 Moving...

    I caught Sunday's episode of The Simpsons on hulu today. And I did a double take when I saw this little nugget of brilliance...

    Awesome...

    Youtube, Hotmail, Facebook...

    Last year, I posted the military alphabet. Why? Because I've always wanted to memorize it.

    Well, last night it occurred to me that in today's internet age people might not use the military (also called phonetic) alphabet as much as they used to. So what might replace it? How about the "Google Alphabet"?

    I went to Google's homepage and entered in each letter in the search field. The first word that came up in the auto complete is what I used.

    So go ahead. Jump on the wave before anyone else. The "Google Alphabet"; it's going to be a thing...

    3/23/2009

    Harmonica + Beatbox = Awesome...

    I think I've found out who can back DJ Tanner when he makes his hip-hop debut...

    Awesome...

    3/22/2009

    The Search Begins Continues: Part 7...

    Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6...

    Leo Tolstoy once said, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

    As I've been searching for a new ministry position, I can't help but notice similarities and patterns in the interviewing processes of churches. And, of course, one of the things every potential employer wants to know is where are your strengths and where are your weaknesses?

    Only in the past few years have I become comfortable talking about my strengths (although I know it's a necessary part of the process). I've always been better at recognizing the areas of my life that I need improvement in. And it was after a conversation with a potential church this week, that I realized something else that I want in a church...

    I'm looking for a church that challenges me to grow in my personal and professional life.

    I want to be challenged to become more than I am. I want to be encouraged in what I'm doing right, and corrected in what I'm doing wrong. I want to be pushed. I want to be stretched. The times that I've felt most fulfilled in ministry were the times I've had a mixture of excitement and fear. It's the times when I knew I was out of my league, but I knew I was where God wanted me. It was during those times I could feel like God was pulling me, stretching me farther than I had gone before. And I love those times! I love them because it forced me into a dependance upon God that changed me. And it's those changes that have shaped me into the man I am now.

    But I don't want to stop. I want to keep growing. And I want to be at a church that will help me do just that...

    3/21/2009

    Change the Conversation...

    I've been stewing on writing something about this for a while, but wasn't sure how to approach it or even if it was my place. But in light of President Obama's slip of the tongue on Thursday's Tonight Show, I felt like this was the right time to say... something.

    First, let me be clear that I don't think what our President said was out of hate. I believe it was out of ignorance. Is our President an ignorant person? Of course not. He's far from it. Rather, his off the cuff remark is a reflection of a cultural ignorance.

    There was a time in our country's history that its people displayed prejudice and hate towards some of its citizens by using language that was meant to degrade them. That prejudice was based upon race. And it was passed down from generation to generation. Some grew up knowing nothing but this way of thinking. And it wasn't until brave people decided that enough was enough and stood up for what was right that that began to change. And we're still working towards that change. But we've made some progress...

    I hope our President's comment can be a catalyst. I hope it can be a jolt to the system, the broken system, and open peoples' eyes to a prejudice that still exists within our society today. A prejudice towards people with intellectual disabilities.

    I found an article on cnn.com that I thought was awesome in its explanation of the campaign that the Special Olympics is launching to combat the use of the "r-word". This article led me to another page launched by the Special Olympics called r-word.org. It looks like it's a hub for the campaign.

    I'd like to see word of this spread as much as it can. I've even placed a badge at the bottom of the sidebar that leads to the page.

    If you know someone with intellectual disabilities, or have a family member, or just want to take part in the movement to help abolish this terrible term and raise awareness, please consider blogging, posting, linking, or using the badge on your own site.

    I have a feeling like I'll be writing more on this in the future...

    3/20/2009

    Power Rankings: 2...

    Power rankings are elitist, divisive, subjective, and pointless. Unless I write them. Then they're just awesome...

    1. Suitjamas Barney is the man...


    2. Man wrestles tiger shark to save friend Wow. I can't imagine that guy ever saying no to a favor again. "Hey man, can you help me move on Saturday?" "Naw. I've got this thing..." "Remember that time I wrestled a tiger shark to save your life?" "What time should I be there..." (link)

    3. March Madness The only time of year I actually care about college basketball... (link)

    4. Underwater volcanos AWESOME... (link)

    5. Battlestar Galactica Last episode tonight. Nerds everywhere will be crying. I'm going to try not to... (link)

    The Times They Are A Changin'...

    A little over a year ago, I posted these pics from the disc golf course in Columbia, SC that I play when I come home.

    Well, while playing a round today (-5 with an eagle and three birdies after 18, thank you) I noticed a change to the mando sign...

    I love the idea that someone thought it was important enough to climb 10ft into the air to make sure the mando sign had the right amount of fingers...

    3/19/2009

    AIS8: The Touring Ten...

    Wow. Just... wow...

    So I guess I move to 0 for 3 in my picks.

    I can honestly say that I did not in a million years see Alexis going home last night. And then, when the judges had her sing to save herself... And she choked... Ugh. Heartbreak. Some thoughts...

  • Seriously. Sunglasses. Scott Mcintyre. Make it happen...

  • Megan is GORGEOUS. I mean, I'm still not a fan of her voice. But, whoever styled her on Tuesday night... Wow...

  • Anoop and Kris really stepped it up. Solid performances of easy songs. Nice picks guys...

  • I was really impressed with Matt's performance. Soul fueled piano is his wheelhouse. Hope he sticks with it...

  • Adam Lambert's performance of Walk the Line made me physically angry. Terrible...

  • The contestants were supposed to use songs by Opry members. But no one seemed to care that Johnny Cash isn't a member of the Opry. And after Adam's performance, he probably never will be...
  • 3/18/2009

    Web Wednesday: Deep Thoughts...

    It's Web Wednesday!

    Anyone who watched SNL in the 90's knows that Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey is pure gold. Pure... So why not take a little break from work today to learn some philosophy from Jack?

    Please to enjoy...

    AIS8: Top 11 Prediction Guess...

    So far, I'm 0 for 2 in this season's guesses...

    Last night was definitely... interesting. It was Grand Ol' Opry night on Idol and it really seemed like the singers had a tough time connecting with the songs. Two of the early favorites, Lil' Rounds and Adam Lambert, gave performances that the judges hated. Scot Mcintyre once again picked an "inspirational" song. And Danny Gokey was... incredible!

    But looking at the whole field, I'm going to have to say that Michael Sarver's going home. His rendition of "Ain't Goin' Down TIll the Sun Comes Up" will prove false when he goes down tomorrow night...

    3/17/2009

    Curious Josh: It's Not Easy Being Green...

    Curious about the other posts in this series? Check them out here...

    Here's the deal: I have red hair and freckles. As a result of this affliction, I've been asked my entire life if I'm Irish. For the record, I have no idea what my ancestral background is. But I do know that I don't like wearing the color green. I feel like it either makes me look like a Christmas tree decoration or a leprechaun. Which is why St. Patrick's Day is always a thorn in my side. It's a holiday that makes me wear a color I don't look good in lest I suffer a pinch from others.

    So I began to wonder, why do we wear green on St. Patrick's Day anyway? And, after some investigation, I was quite surprised by the answer...

    St. Patrick's Blue, not green, was the colour long-associated with St. Patrick. Green, the colour most widely associated with Ireland, with Irish people, and with St. Patrick's Day in modern times, may have gained its prominence through the phrase "the wearing of the green" meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing. At many times in Irish history, to do so was seen as a sign of Irish nationalism or loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith. St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. The wearing of and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the saint's holiday. The change to Ireland's association with green rather than blue probably began around the 1750's.

    You can check out the whole wikipedia article here.

    A way of teaching the trinity? Sweet...

    And now you know...

    3/13/2009

    Power Rankings...

    I'm tired of reading power rankings that don't matter on websites that aren't my own. So I made some up...

    1. Mickey Rourke officially cast as villain in Iron Man 2
    Randy "The Ram" Robinson vs. the greatest goatee to ever walk the face of the Earth? How could this not be the greatest movie ever made... (link)

    2. The KGB They keep knocking on our doors, we keep letting them in... (link)

    3. Barney Stinson He's so awesome. Awesome, awesome... (link)

    4. Double Cheeseburgers I've had one for lunch 28.6% of the time this week... (link)

    5. Being Daft Punk Click the link, turn up your speakers, tell your roomates it's my fault... (link)

    Suggestions...

    One of the things that Josh Pease and I said we wanted to do with our column on youthministry.com, was to draw attention to movies that might not be on everyone's radar. Pease has done a great job of this with Son of Rambow and (believe it or not) Slumdog Millionaire (before it became the ginormous hit it has). I'd like to write up a review this weekend on just such a movie...

    So I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. I'd love to hear about any movies that you think should go up on a youth ministry website. Not necessarily movies about or related to youth ministry, but movies with a great message. Or, for that matter, just great movies.

    So help me out...

    Comic Con Spotting...

    I love How I Met your Mother. And not just because of this. Although, to be fair, Barney's a big reason. No, I love it for the little reasons. Reasons like this...

    Ted and Marshall have a poster for Comic Con up in their college dorm room.

    Awesome...

    3/12/2009

    AIS8: And Now There Are 11...

    So my guesses as to who was going home last night were way off. So sue me. It looks like an entire island nation couldn't vote enough to keep Jorge in the competition, as he and Jasmine were sent packing. This cuts down the number of contestants to 11.

    Also, a new rule change was introduced. Since the producers of AI don't believe America knows what its doing, there is now such a thing as a "Judges' Save". Once, and only once, this season the judges may unanimously choose to save a contestant from elimination. That week, no one will go home. But the following week, two contestants will meet their doom.

    So I'm 0 for 1 in picks. Hopefully next week, I'll do better.

    Here are some random thoughts about this season:

  • I think they need to put some sunglasses on Scott. His eyes remind me of The Hypno Dog...

  • Does Kris' jaw come unhinged when he sings or what...

  • Megan is hot, but is a complete joke on this show. Rockin' Robin? Really? And what's with her weird dance thing...

  • Anoop isn't as bad as the judges say. He's just not as good as the others. Well, except Megan. But I think he might make it through a little farther based on his personality...

  • Duh... Each show confirms it...
  • 3/11/2009

    Web Wednesday: You Have No Idea How Much You Need This...

    It's Web Wednesday! And I can't believe that I almost forgot to post!

    Have you ever been at your desk and, maybe while making a joke or telling a story, wished you had some sound effects to accompany you? What am I saying? Of course you have. Well, here you go...

    Knock yourself out...

    AIS8: Predictions Guesses...

    Here we are... About to embark on another adventure of selecting the next American Idol. Last year was the first time I set my own predictions. I went 5 for 10.

    So I think I'm going to change things this year. I'm going to make weekly predictions about who's going home.

    So here's my prediction for this week (03-11-09):

    I think Megan Joy Corkrey (for sure) is leaving. And I think (since they're casting off two this week) that she'll be joined by Kris Allen. I think Anoop has too much personality going for him to fall tonight. And Jorge has a whole island voting for him!

    So there you have it! Check back in later to see if your guess was better than mine...

    3/10/2009

    I'm Not Sure I've Ever Done This...

    I'm not sure that I've ever officially made a book recommendation here before. I've reviewed books, I've commented on them, I've even quit them. But I'm not sure I've ever gave one the official seal of approval.

    Well I suppose there's a first time for everything.

    I'd like to officially recommend this book:

    I first read Henri Nouwen's In the Name of Jesus in the winter of 2000 while preparing for a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. And I think I read it three times that day. Yeah, the whole book. Three times. Now, it's only 81 pages long. But still...

    If you're a Christian who's in a position of leadership or, moreover, just interested in a great way to think about relating to the world at large, read this book.

    It's awesome...

    3/09/2009

    Pure Unbridled Joy...

    There are times in our day when little things sneak up on us and surprise us with joy. Which is what this picture just did for me...

    I'm serious. My heart actually jumped a little...

    FACT: Volume 2...

    For previous FACTS, go here...

  • FACT: If you're looking for a song to pump you up, there is none better than Europe's "The Final Countdown"...

  • FACT: If you're consistently misusing your/you're, then you should know it reflects your intelligence. Please go directly back to english class...

  • FACT: If you check the periodic table of life, the symbol for awesome is Jt...

  • FACT: Fish sticks, while being filled with delicious flavor, can also transport you back to your childhood. If only I had my Teddy Ruxpin too...

  • FACT: No one looks good in capris. No one...
  • 3/08/2009

    The Boys...

    About a week ago, I posted on a retreat I was able to go to. And while there were tons of great things about my time with former classmates, my favorite was probably the chance to be reunited with my three best friends from college...

    I met Ray-Ray, Todd, and Dave my freshman year (well, I met Todd sophomore year), and we soon became great friends. Ray-Ray, Dave, and I lived on the same dorm hall and Todd just hung out a lot. All four of us majored (and graduated) in youth ministry. All four of us went in different directions after graduating to pursue serving God in different churches.

    The last time the four of us had been together was in 2002 (I think at Dave's wedding).

    So many things have changed in our lives in the past 7 years. One guy has 3 kids. (Not me.) One guy is a cop. (Also not me.) One guy has gained a little weight. (Nope.) One guy has been on The Price Is Right twice. (BOO YAH!) But no matter how much time passes or how much we change individually, one thing that hasn't and won't change is how much we encourage and support each other.

    One of the best things I walked away from CIU with was my friendships with these three. And I thank God I had a chance to reconnect with them. Even if it did cost me almost all of my sleep over three days...

    3/06/2009

    Late Night With Jimmy Fallon...

    Here's the deal: I like Jimmy Fallon. I don't think he's hilarious. But I like him...

    As a cast member on SNL, he was terrible. He constantly broke character to look at the camera, laughed during sketches, and looked at cue cards. He was good opposite Tina Fey in Weekend Update, but that's because Tina is amazing. She can make anyone look good.

    So it pains me to say this but... I really like Jimmy's incarnation of Late Night so far. I mean, slow jam the news? The Roots? Him and Justin Timberlake trading John Mayer impressions? So far, so good Jimmy. So far, so good...

    3/04/2009

    First Item On My B-Day List...

    Wow...

    I mean, wow. Here's the first item on my birthday list for 2009. It's a hoodie sweatshirt that looks like Batman's costume! Finally, I'll be able to save Orange County from crime without looking stupid.

    So to speak...

    3/03/2009

    My 1000th Post...

    That's right...

    When everyone else said it couldn't be done; we did it. When the waves of oppression wished to whisk us away into a sea of others who had tried and failed; we stood firm. In fact, we peed in those waves. We pretended like they weren't metaphorical ocean waves, but that they were metaphorical waves from someone we vaguely knew in high school. Then, we ignored those waves and pretended to be answering a cell phone call from someone important. Why? Because we knew what needed to be done.

    We weren't afraid to roll up our sleeves. To take off our watch. To furrow our brow. To ask someone else to do it. Then, when someone else chickened out, to try bribery. Then when we realized that we only had $2.63, to say, "Forget you guys! We'll show you how brave we really are!" So we snuck up on it from behind and sucker punched it right in the kidney. Yeah, that's right. We were that determined.

    So what did we do? What no one else was willing to. To go the distance. To fight the good fight. To rock the casbah. To stare the devil in the face and say, "Yeah. I'll take your bet. And by the way, you're going to regret it because I'm the best that's ever been. But when I win, I don't want a stupid fiddle made of gold. Because that thing probably weighs 100lbs. And who wants to carry that around? How about you just cut me a check? Frankly, I've fallen behind on some bills and I could use some help catching up." And you know what? We killed it. We won. And we endorsed that check. Then, we took it to the bank. And after that, we went out and bought a golden fiddle. Why? Because the more we thought about it, the more we realized how cool that thing would look next to our trophy for playing baseball in 3rd grade. We worked hard for both of those things and our grandmother deserves to be able to look at something that proves her grandbaby isn't a loser.

    Maybe one day they'll understand the importance of what we've done. They'll recognize our accomplishment alongside other great events in history. Like the time that guy ate 59.5 hotdogs in 12 minutes. Or that time JFK met Forrest Gump. Maybe they'll see us for what we really are: the champions of the world.

    If there's one thing I want for you to take away from this, it's that we can accomplish anything together. Yes we can. That, and can I borrow some money? I blew all of mine on some stupid golden fiddle...

    3/02/2009

    Church Online...

    I've heard people talk about internet church campuses before. But I have to say, I've always doubted how much they could actually succeed. I mean, fellowship requires people right? But I had all of these doubts without ever having experienced it myself.

    That is, until today...

    Today I "attended" the internet campus of lifechurch.tv. And while I'm still not sold on it as a viable experience as far as fellowship goes, I'm sold on it in regards to teaching. And here's what did it...

    If you click on the picture above (which is a screen capture from my computer), you'll notice a message outline to the right. I was amazed to find it to be (basically) an online word doc. You can highlight, underline, and type your own words into it. Then you can print it off.

    Amazing.

    If I'm ever unable to make it to church one weekend, I know what I'm going to do. Check it out for yourself...

    3/01/2009

    CIU Youth Ministry Grad Retreat '09...

    This past week I had the great privilege of being invited to be a part of a special retreat for youth workers...

    I graduated from Columbia International University in 2002. I can't even put into words how much I loved my time there and how much I took with me when I left. God blessed me with relationships that I still have to this day (more on those in a following post). Oh yeah, and I also got an education...

    A special retreat was held for graduates who are in youth ministry this past week. Monday afternoon through Wednesday lunch I was able to gather with old friends and new and discuss our lives and our ministries. And on the last day, one of my former professors asked us this question: What have you appreciated about this time or what has been refreshing to you?

    I thought for a few moments and then spoke up. For me, the most refreshing part of the week was hearing two simple words that carry with them a magnificently healing power; the words "me too".

    There's something special about hearing that from someone. I think that we each carry within our broken souls a false assumption that we are unique in our hurts. We believe that we are singular in our struggle. Pioneers into a land of pain that no one has ever set foot in before. But that's just wrong...

    We're not Neil Armstrongs of sin. In fact, God's Word says that we can't encounter any temptation or struggle that isn't common to others. But we forget this. Satan uses our shame to isolate us from the fellowship that God has designed us for. And sometimes, we need to hear someone who is walking a similar path as us say "me too".

    There's something about those words that carries with it a power greater than even an answer to our problems can give. A power that builds a bridge between two people. A power that heals...

    And I heard those words a lot this week. I said them too.

    I hope that my new and old friends alike were able to experience something similar. Because for me, it was an experience i won't soon forget...