9/25/2009

Power Rankings: 14...

Power Rankings are a weak substitute for quality content. Like Drew Carey on The Price is Right. Unless I write them. Then they're like Bob Barker in his heyday: full of zest, charisma, and karate...

1. The University of South Carolina Football Team For the second time in school history, the Gamecocks knocked off a top 5 ranked team. With a solid performance against Georgia last week, and this win, is it too early to predict an SEC championship? What about a national championship? Hey, we're 3-1 after all... (link)

2. Iron Man 2 Set Visit Wait, you mean there's news about Tony Stark's Goatee and it's not ranked #1? Yeah. The Gamecocks' win is that big of a deal. Anyway, Entertainment Tonight visited the set of what is sure to be the greatest movie ever filmed. This makes IM2 post #9... (link)

3. How Many People Are In Space Right Now? I know you probably lose sleep over this question every night. And, no. I'm not going to tell you the answer. You have to click the link... (link)

4. Face Character From Saddleback's HSM Happy Series A volunteer at Saddleback created this cool Flash character to use as an upfront character. So simple. So cool... (link)

5. Monty Burns For NYC Mayor Sounds like the best option to me... (link)

9/24/2009

Jennifer's Body...

My review of Jennifer's Body just went up on youthministry.com! And I've got to say; this might be my favorite review that I've written. Even if it's for one of my least favorite movies of the year. Click on the link to check it out! Make sure to rate it and leave a comment while you're there...

9/23/2009

Ask, and You Shall Receive...

A few days ago, I was on my way home from somewhere. I can't remember where. But rest assured; it was awesome. As I drove, I fiddled with the dials on my radio. Now, it's important that you know, radio in Columbia is about six to eight months behind radio on the west coast. This is mainly due to the fact that they continually play the same songs over and over again ad nauseam. So there's not much room to fit new songs into the mix. And don't get me started on the Christian station that my alma mater runs... As my fingers did the dialing, my ears caught the sound of a melody they had never heard before. So my fingers paused, as I wanted to take in this new sonic delight. (Not to be confused with this sonic delight, or this sonic delight.) It was a band called Owl City.

I had seen a few friends tweeting and facebooking about them for a week or so, so I was curious to learn more. After I got home, I hopped on grooveshark and listened to their whole album. I thought it was really different than most of the music that I tend to gravitate toward, but I liked it!

So I hopped on my twitter and wrote this:

Dear world, I would love it if someone would buy me @owlcity's new album, Ocean Eyes. If you're interested in blessing me, message or DM me.

I didn't think it would actually lead to anything. I mainly just thought it was funny to ask. You know?

Well, within the hour, someone had written me asking for my address so they could send it to me! It was an old friend from high school who I haven't seen since 1996. We're going to hang out a little later this week. So I get a sweet CD and get to hang out with an old friend! Awesome...

Oh, and guess what came today...

9/21/2009

Body Double 30: Maid Men...

Wow. It's been a while since I've posted a Body Double. But after watching last night's Emmy Awards broadcast, I knew I had one to work with...

If you're not watching Mad Men, you're making a mistake. Plain and simple. The star of the show is a handsome gentleman named Jon Hamm. Who, up until last night, I thought looked like someone, but could never place who.

Then it hit me...

Jon Hamm totally looks like a real life version of Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid!

What do you think? Do we have a Body Double...

9/18/2009

Community...

Yesterday, Dr. Olshine called me and asked if I'd like to meet him at the alma mater to hang out. I, of course, accepted.

After finally finding a place to park (as there's a ton of construction going on right now), I began to walk to the cafeteria to meet the Doc. As I walked, I began to reminisce about my days in college. For me, college was one of the best times of my life. Second only to my time, post-college, working as an intern at Saddleback. (And, years later, as a volunteer.)

And as I thought about my time at CIU, I was reminded of my time at Saddleback. Why? Because, at both places I found community. I found people who I had things in common with (or not). People who were like me (and weren't). People who, even in our differences, I came to love like family.

And that's when I came to the realization that one of the key components in my happiness (or contentment or whatever word you want to use) is in my having community.

Now this isn't that new of an idea. As I've written about it a few times before. But I don't think I've ever quite realized just how valuable community is to me until now. Until I've had such a limited one.

Of course, this fits right in with how God has created us to do life together, as a part of a body.

This isn't so much a post intended to communicate some truth I've discovered to you, the reader. It's more of a post to mark a realization I've made. I want to recognize something that's important to me (and to God) and mark it so that I can remember it in the future. Especially considering the future is still so cloudy...

9/16/2009

9...

My review for the movie "9" just went up at youthministry.com! Click on the link to check it out! Make sure to rate it and leave a comment while you're there...

9/15/2009

Oh Hi Uncle Rick...

Oh man... I love the internet/technology.

Yesterday, I posted on something that was partially inspired by a tweet from Rick Warren. I've been really inspired by his 140 character messages in the past couple of weeks, and always look forward to reading what he puts out.

Sometimes on my twitter, I tweet a series of thoughts I call "Things I Love". So far, there have been nine volumes: the latest of which was earlier today. I said...

Things I Love (Vol. 9)- 1) Mashed Potatoes, 2) Blogs, 3) Football, 4) @RickWarren's tweets, 5) Fish, 6) The Beach, 7) Rainbow Sandals

Well this afternoon, not only did I get a message saying that Rick had started following me on Twitter, but a few seconds later, I got a direct message from him! It said...

Josh, I love Jesus, family, church, pastors, hot sauce, Cinabons, guitars, tshirts, ocean, mountains, & joshtreece

How cool is that?!

Thanks for the encouragement, Rick! Keep sending out those awesome tweets...

9/14/2009

I Should Do This More Often...

I've always been fascinated by how our brains work. Not so much with the actual biology of it all, but more with the way that we retain information. Or, more specifically, how we retain certain information. For instance, I can quote line after line from an astounding number of movies and TV shows. I can tell you who was in each movie or TV show. I can tell you what else they starred in and with whom. I can tell you how much the movie cost to make, what it made in the theaters and who directed it. I can even tell you how many (if any) awards it won. But I can't tell you a single sports statistic. (Well, unless it has to do with Brett Favre.)

Why are our brains able to so easily retain some information and not others? Why do some things stick in our minds like cake to a pan without the pre-grease, while others slide off into the black like a teflon pan covered in olive oil? (Cooking simile? Check.) Who knows?

What I do know is that a lot of people (myself included) use this intellectual enigma as an excuse for why they aren't memorizing scripture.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've got a few verses tucked away. Your tried and true John 3:16s, Jeremiah 29:11s, and 2 Chronicles 14:14s (among others). But, for the most part, scripture memorization is a spiritual discipline that I've never practiced as much as I should.

And in recent weeks, I've been convicted of this... big time.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling more anxious than I have in a long time. You know. The kind of anxiousness you feel in your chest. And as I began to pray about it, God brought part of a verse to mind. Something about the "peace (not Pease) of God that transcends all understanding". I didn't know where I could find that verse (or what the rest of it said) But I knew that at that moment, I could really use that type of peace (I could have also used some Pease, but that's a different story).

So I looked up the verse and it turned out to be Philippians 4:6-7:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. TNIV

I immediately committed it to memory. I've held tight to it, and have been encouraged by it, for weeks now.

But I still didn't really begin memorizing any other scriptures to add to my mental arsenal.

Then, last week, I read this tweet by Rick Warren (who, B the W, if you're not following on Twitter, you're missing out):

"A preacher's greatest tool is MEMORIZED Scripture. If it's stored in your mind, the Spirit can remind you when you need it."

Wow. That's totally true. There's not really many situations when the Holy Spirit is going to need to remind me of my favorite line from Paul Blart: Mall Cop (which, by the way, is "You're like a really good meal. You make me feel stuffed... with feelings"). But I can't count how many times a day I could use wisdom from God's Word.

So over the past few weeks, whenever God has led me to a particular scripture, I've made sure to write it down (or underline and bookmark it in my Bible) so that I can begin to add to my mental arsenal. Here's a few that have "stuck like cake":

  • John 3:30
  • John 14:1
  • 2 Corinthians 5:15

    I want to make a conscious effort to improve in this area. I hope you'll do the same...
  • 9/11/2009

    OMG, LOL...

    It's no secret that I'm a huge Brett Favre fan. (I mean, proof can be found here, here, and here.) It's also no secret that a lot of people are disappointed in him and confused and angry at his decision to play for the Vikings this year. But one thing that isn't a secret is the inevitable post season speculation as to whether or not Favre will return to play just one more year.

    Which is what makes this commercial so incredibly funny...

    Alright Brett. You get a pass for having a sense of humor about yourself.

    But now that we're into the season, I can't promise that pass will last long...

    9/07/2009

    Free Chick-fil-a...

    I heard a few days ago that Chick-fil-a was running a special promotion on Labor Day where they'd be giving away a free sandwich to anyone who wore a sports team logo. This, of course, delighted my little (and probably fat filled) Southern heart. So I took full advantage. How, you may ask? By going to more than one Chick-fil-a. Duh.

    But I wasn't just impressed with the quality and overall deliciousness of their sandwiches. I was totally in awe of the tremendous service and great attitudes of the employees. Now, these two things aren't exactly special at a Chick-fil-a. They're both on display every time I've visited. But today, in one of the most crowded times I've ever visited, I saw the staff display them in the face of high traffic. Which, if you've ever worked in the food service industry, you know is tough to do.

    Their staff was so friendly and attentive! Not only that, but they continued to go the extra mile (as usual) even when super busy. I had decided early on that I wouldn't ask for a refill of my drink so that I didn't bother anyone. But one of their staff came to my table and asked to refill my drink!

    I couldn't believe it!

    So thank you, Chick-fil-a. I had a great (free) lunch and a wonderful example of how to serve others in a stressful time. I'll be coming back soon...

    Curious Josh: Labor Day...

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

    I have a friend whose second son is due this Friday. So, naturally, I've been making jokes about him showing up a little early on Labor Day. Get it? See what I did there. Editor's Note: Hey, I didn't say they were good jokes. And all of my awesome jokes led me to wonder, why do we celebrate Labor Day? Is it just a way to mark the end of summer? Or a way of knowing when to stop wearing white? Nope.

    The holiday originated in Canada out of labor disputes ("Nine-Hour Movement") first in Hamilton, then in Toronto, Canada in the 1870s, which resulted in a Trade Union Act which legalized and protected union activity in 1872 in Canada.

    The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City.[1] In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the US military and US Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.[2] Cleveland was also concerned that aligning a US labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair.[3] All 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday.


    Of course, it also marks the beginning of college and pro football. Which means it's awesome in my book. Check out the rest of the article where I got this info here...

    9/04/2009

    I'll Take the W...

    Ahh... football. I've missed you so.

    Last night, college football officially began. And who kicked of the season? My University of South Carolina Gamecocks. Last night they beat N.C. State in one of the most boring football games I've ever watched. But I don't care. A win is a win.

    And so, with one win under out belts, we head into Athens, Ga to face Georgia on the 13th of this month. I sure hope we can keep winning...