Friday, December 28, 2007

The Progression

"Get to know Jesus well because the more you know him, the more you'll love him. And the more you love him, the more you'll want to follow him. And the more you follow him, the more you'll become like him. And the more you become like him, the more you become yourself."
- Ned Erickson, Group Magazine Jan/Feb 08

Monday, December 24, 2007

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas to all my friends.

I am having a good time back in Ohio. There is actually snow this year and I got to go snow-bladeing (thanks Courtney!).

I will try and post more about my trip when I get back.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Off to the (just south of the) great white north

Well, I'm heading out today for a Christmas visit to see family and friends in Ohio. I'm looking forward to the break and the potential for a white Christmas. I'll be gone for a week and I get to fly home, so that means I don't have to drive straight for 12 hours (huzah!).

I'm not taking my laptop with me (shocking, I know) so I'll be out of contact for the week. If I snap any good photos, I'll try to upload them here to this blog.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My personality

I discovered this quick little personality test this morning that I thought was interesting. It pinned me as a "Strategist." What do you think... do I seem like a strategist to you?

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Friday, December 14, 2007

His Love Endures Forever

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever."
Nestled in the Psalms is Psalm 136. As I was reading this morning, I couldn't help but notice the cadence and rhythm of this song. After every line, there is the phrase "his love endures forever." This got me thinking... as I reflect on God's creation, the world and everything in it - God's love is manifested in every crack and crevice of this universe.

I wake up in the morning - His love endures forever
I take a warm shower - His love endures forever
I eat breakfast - His love endures forever
I drive a car to work - His love endures forever
I have a family - His love endures forever
I live in a stable, rich country with many freedoms - His love endures forever
I have a bad day - His love endures forever
I am strapped financially - His love endures forever
I'm feeling lonely - His love endures forever
I don't feel like getting out of bed - His love endures forever
I loose someone I love - His love endures forever
The earth feels like it is crashing down all around me... His love endures forever

Insert your own statement about life, the universe or anything - His love endures forever

We live in a world that is wrapped in the love of God. Sure it doesn't feel like it, but I believe it is God's love that keeps things from falling (completely) apart. It's the love of God that caused Him to send his only Son to die a brutal death so that we may never have to be separated from His love. It's the love of God that caused Him to create us in the first place... to give us a choice, a free will because love isn't complete unless there is the capacity for reciprocation and an option not to love.

Give thanks to the God of heaven - His love endures forever

Friday, November 30, 2007

The year ahead

I am sitting here at my desk today and my mind keeps drifting to the year ahead. Do you ever find yourself dreaming...drifting...pondering? I've been here in Alabama for over 3 years now and I can't help but feel like I'm in a great need for some change in my life. I don't know what that means and no I'm not planning on leaving my church.

God has given me a personality and mind that dreams and likes to plan ahead but I don't feel very capable of doing that right now in my life. I feel like there's a big nasty ugly hairball clogging the pipe that is progress as of late and I don't know how to remove it.

Who am I becoming? Do I like where I'm at (physically, emotionally, socially, metaphorically)? What are my plans for the future? Where does God fit into all of this? Where should the focus of our student ministry be for the next year (yes, I know... Jesus - but what specifically)?

Talking to my Youth Pastor today (thanks Jeff, you really do need a blog) I came to the very scary realization that I'm actually approaching age 30 (I'm 27 now) and I still feel like a have a world of growing up to do before then. 5 years ago I would not have thought I would be where I'm at today in life. Somehow, I thought I'd be further along. It's hard to explain I guess.

Just some things I'm wondering... hoping for... dreaming for.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Savior on Capitol Hill?

I watched part of the Youtube Republican debate last night on CNN and I can't help but think of this song by Derek Webb.
I’m so tired of these mortal men
with their hands on their wallets
and their hearts full of sin
scared of their enemies, scared of their friends
and always running for re-election
so come to DC if it be thy will
because we’ve never had a savior on Capitol Hill

you can always trust the devil or a politician
to be the devil or a politician
but beyond that friends you’d best beware
‘cause at the Pentagon bar
they’re an inseparable pair
and as long as the lobbyists are paying their bills
we’ll never have a savior on Capitol Hill

[Bridge]
all of our problems gonna disappear
when we can whisper right in that President’s ear
he could walk right across the reflection pool
in his combat boots and ten thousand dollar suit

you can render unto Caesar everything that’s his
you can trust in his power to come to your defense
it’s the way of the world, the way of the gun
it’s the trading of an evil for a lesser one
so don’t hold your breath or your vote until
you think you’ve finally found a savior up on Capitol Hill

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Wii is sick :(

The holidays are upon us! *shudder*

Christmas time is a double-edged sword but there are some redeeming moments. One bonus is that you can always find great deals and when it comes to entertainment releases, there are tons of options to choose from. I've been very excited to start playing the new Mario Galaxy game for the Wii. The game options for the Wii have started slow but have recently picked up with games like Metriod Prime 3 and (a new fave) Zack and Wiki (the only kids that would be playing this game might be Albert Einstein as a child).

To my dismay, I've recently discovered some little black flickering lines appearing in my more graphics intensive games which means I must relinquish my entertainment system... sad day. The good news is that Nintendo has rockin' customer service and they are going to repair or replace my Wii to fix the problem. The bad news is... I'm getting Mario Galaxy in the mail this week and will be sending my Wii away via UPS this week. Sad day!

Oh well, at least I still have Netflix :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving

So it's been a while... 15 days since my last post. Yeah yeah, so I've been a bad blogger. I really don't have a good reason for not blogging, just haven't felt like it.

Well that is a about to change. Today I promise... ah bullocks. I'll try to do a better job of keeping things up to date. I'm finally reading somewhat regularly again so perhaps I'll have more fuel for the blog fodder.

This week is Thanksgiving - one of my favorite holidays. It's a little sad to be away from family, but I'll be spending the holiday at one of my student's homes with his family. I'm just thankful for having somewhere to go (and free food :)

Speaking of thankful - what are you all thankful for this Thanksgiving? I was thinking recently that when it comes to being thankful to God, the best thing we can do is to show our thankfulness with how we live out our lives. We can say we are thankful, or we can show it.

Here's a list of things I'm currently thankful for:
  • God's provision for my food, health, and finances
  • Great friends that check in on me from across the country
  • Talents and abilities God has given me (some musical talent, aptitude with computers, intelligence [debatable])
  • All the cool little electronic devices that keep me entertained/distracted
  • A loving family
  • A car that runs
  • Crazy fall weather that confuses me and getting caught in 70 degree weather playing football in pants and long sleeves
  • God's patience - that he's not as legalistic as I can be
  • An awesome group of teens to minister to
  • Great mentors who are willing to bop me over the head when I need it
So what are you thankful for this season? Go ahead and lead a short list in the comments section.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mute Math Concert

I haven't been very good about keeping up my blog recently and for that I am sorry. It's been hard motivating myself for the last few weeks and so I have only posted blog "fluff" in the meantime. Hopefully that dark cloud of unproductiveness is beginning to pass and I'll try my best to post some meaningful/engaging posts a few times a week. We will see.

Last night I went to see Eisley and Mutemath in concert at a venue in downtown Birmingham. Everyone I've talked to has told me that Mutemath's live concert is spectacular so when I learned Friday that they were performing (I went to a Derick Webb concert) I gobbled up a ticket before I left Workplay (the venue). Well to my heart's delight, the concert was amazing! I love both Eisley and Mutemath so it was certainly a feast for my senses. Here's a bad quality video I took at the concert. I wish the audio came out better, but it is a cell phone ;)

video

Here's a picture of Mutemath's bass player on a stringed bass:


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween


Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays (it was the free candy). As I grew older I've discovered the nasty clash between the holiday and many Christians. The interesting thing is that Halloween has it's roots in a holiday called All-Saints Day (wikipedia).

Instead of taking a pagan holiday and making it Christian (Christmas & Easter), the world has taken a Christian holiday and made it secular. If you're a Christian, I'd encourage you tonight and tomorrow to think about all of those Christians who were martyred for their faith so that we could know about Christ. Snuggle up with Foxes Book of Martyrs and read some real life freaking stories this Halloween.

Me? I'll be enjoying my candy :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Music discovery

I'll admit it... I'm a musicaholic - it's true. Music has always been a passion, an outlet for me. Once in a while I'll come across something that cuts straight to my heart. Tonight I have discovered such a CD. I just got a promo email from a band called "The Glorious Unseen." I checked them out not knowing what to expect and... wow. Make sure to check out their myspace and if you like what you hear, pick up their album for $7.99 from iTunes. Here's a video montage from their first track "Hear Our Prayers" - great worship music.

The Light Of Things Hoped For - Prologue

"in perfect orbit they have circled
as the light of many worlds falls softly on their skin
and days here pass like minutes
one moment of brilliant daylight will shift into the next
a flash of dark behind some distant lost moon
and then it is over
like the pause before waking
sleep is replaced by light, and life and hope
it is the light of one far away sun
that has beckoned them to leave
and the hope of home that has lifted them from slumber
the hope that; though the dark may come
the sun also rises"

-Brave Saint Saturn

Friday, October 12, 2007

Keeping my friends hooked up :)

If you are a regular reader of my blog, I like to alert you to awesome freebies from time to time. Today if you use the popular social bookmarking site Facebook, there is an offer from Ticketmaster for 5 free iTunes downloads if you sign up for their group. Here are the details:

Log in to Facebook Search for "ticketmaster live" Join the group Redeem the 5 free songs link Leave the group if you want Badabing! 5 free songs!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

By: Matt Redman

Monday, October 08, 2007

Life update

Well, I just got back from our District Youth fall retreat at Poplar Point Camp. With 50 students and adults, it was the largest fall retreat in recent years. We had a blast learning about the EPIC story God has for our lives and how we can get involved with that story. Pastor Luke was our speaker and he did a bang-up job.

Since I was in charge this weekend, I gave my usual 110% and came back totally wiped out. I slept yesterday from when I got home around 2 until 5:30pm - then I had to force myself to stay awake until bedtime. Suffice it to say, I need a break for a few days.

If you are one who prays for me, please be praying extra for me these next few weeks. If you want to know more specifically, feel free to email me and ask. I've been really feeling down since I've got home this weekend and could really use a pick-me-up.

As a part of the pick-me-up process I got a few new toys today to occupy my mind for a while- a new iPod "classic" for my massive music library and a new Wii game - Metroid Prime 3. Distractions are great right?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Another Amazing Jars of Clay Song - Lyrics

.:: He ::.

Don't try to reach me, I'm already dead
The pain when it grips me, for things that I've done

Well I try to make you proud, but for crying out loud
Just give me a chance to hide away
Exhaustion takes over, will this someday be over?

Chorus:

Fearful tears are running down
The pain you've laid don't speak a sound
Don't take my heart away from me
And they think I fell down

Daddy, don't you love me?
Then why do you hit me?
And Momma don't you love me
Then why do you hurt me?
Well I try to make you proud, but for crying out loud
Just give me a chance to hide away
Exhaustion takes over, will this someday be over?

[Chorus]

A teardrop falls from up in the heavens
Drowning the sorrow of angels on high
For the least of the helpless, the hopeless, the loveless
My Jesus, His children, He holds in His eyes

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Top 10 favorite last tracks on an album

I thought I'd list my favorite ten ending songs on albums I own. These tracks are chosen for musicianship, how well they fit with the overall album, and overall awesomeness. On some of these albums there are hidden tracks or short little outros after the closing song, but you get the idea...last real song. Enjoy the list:

10. "Always" - Newsboys (Step Up to the Microphone)
Yeah I know, Newsboys. It's an old song of theirs and it holds a lot of meaning in my heart.

9. "The Sun and Moon" - Mae (Everglow)
This concept album is like a storybook start to finish. The closing song on Everglow fits well with the story and leaves the listener a sense of finality to the album.

8. "Twenty-Four" - Switchfoot (the Beautiful Letdown)
I was so happy when I turned 24 yrs old and could sing this song. I like the honesty of the song and it wraps up my favorite Switchfoot album well.

7. "World Without An End" - Five Iron Frenzy (All the Hype Money Can Buy)
The acapella ending of this song wraps up one of may favorite Five Iron ablums. The song is very worshipful and wonderful.

6. "The Lark Ascending" - David Crowder Band (A Collision)
Ok...this isn't a legitimate "whole" song, but it is amazing none the less. As David says "it swells." In the B-Collision CD, you can hear an extended version of Lark Ascending - beautiful violin work.

5. "Deathbed" - Relient K (Five Score and Seven Years Ago)
This is my favorite 11 minute song ever (it's my only favorite 11 minute song too)! This song tells a remarkable (fictitious) story of a man and his up and down life. The lyrics are cleverly written and there are horns in the end part (my personal fave).

4. "Daylight" - Brave Saint Saturn (The Light Of Things Hoped For)
I pretty much scream the ending of this song every time I sing it. The song wraps up an album that tells the story of lost astronauts trying to make it back home. The album (and the one before it) is full of metaphor and great spiritual parallels. Jesus is our daylight.

3. "Constellation" - Juliana Theory (Understand This is a Dream)
There was a time in college when I played this song every morning before I went off to school. This song has such a great musical build and is a great ending to a solid album.

2. "Worlds Apart" - Jars of Clay (Self Titled)
This song makes me want to cry every time I sing it. It's simple, it's honest, and it's brilliant.

1. "Every New Day" - Five Iron Frenzy (Our Newest Album Ever)
this is my number one for many reasons, mostly because of what the song means to me. I can include the last song on The End is Near: "On Distant Shores" with this one since it shares the same incredible ending. Another song I love to scream at the top of my lungs in :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gluttony, Homosexuality and the Church

My head is spinning lately at all the diverse amounts of theology and theological discussions I've been digesting. One the the hot button topics in Christian thinker circles today is the emerging church and the relevance of the church to culture.

Questions like: where should a church change it's ways to minister to the culture around it? What doctrines/theology is essential and what can we agree to disagree on a Christians? What is the Gospel and how is it lived out? Are we as concerned with serving the poor and the oppressed as getting others "saved?" Was the bible meant to be picked apart and be used for "proof-texting" or is there a larger narrative structure of truth to it?

Another hot-button issue as of late in the Church at large is that of homosexuality. Is it a sin? Is it something that one has from birth? Can someone be a homosexual and a Christian? Can someone who is homosexual serve in ministry?

Let's take that last question: "Can someone who is homosexual serve in ministry?"

Well, lets say that we answer "no" to that question.

"Why?" - well because someone who is caught in unrepented habitual sin should not serve in Christian leadership.

Seems like a good answer. The bible calls Christian leaders to live lives above reproach.

Now what about gluttony?

"Huh?"

You know...gluttony. It's a sin too, you know? What is gluttony? Overeating. Greedily consuming more of something we need than we need. Most people who are overweight struggle with the sin of gluttony.

Here's a question: "would you let your Christian leaders lead if they had a habitual sin that has not been dealt with in their life?" No?

How many overweight Christian leaders do we have? Many right?

So if a practicing homosexual has no right to serve in Christian leadership a practicing glutton has no right to serve in Christian leadership as well...right?

What do you think? Are we highlighting some sins and neglecting others? How "legalistic" should we get?

So I invite you the reader to pick some questions from this blog post and discuss them in the comments section. It could be fun :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Follower of Jesus? You're a Missionary!

"I think if you are a follower of Jesus, everything you do is a life of mission and ministry. I actually think the "call to ministry" language was invented by Christians to excuse the disobedience of everybody else. If you are thinking of going into full-time ministry—are you a Christian? Too late." - Rob Bell, The Wittenburg Door Interview

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

En Fuego 07

We had a blast Saturday at En Fuego - a one-day music festival in Verbena, AL. We truly braved the elements (both extreme heat and rain). All in all, it was a great day and re-confirmed that Skillet has one of the best live shows out there. Here's a video clip.

video

And here's a grainy cell phone pic

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Would you like a free Robbie Seay CD?


I just read on ShaneBertou's blog that artist Robbie Seay is offering his new CD FREE OF CHARGE. All you have to do is sign up for the Relevant Magazine and Robbie Seay e-newsletters. No strings attached (other than those).

I got my album today :)

Get yours here

Friday, August 17, 2007

Down on the farm


Tomorrow I get to embark on a new part in my life journey. This part is called "working with your girlfriend's dad." After our camp board meeting (they made me secretary...scary), I am heading over to Rachel's house to help her dad out building a fence. You see, Rachel's family raises cows...to sell for mean (sorry vegetarians). It's been a while since Rachel's immediate family had cows so they need to completely overhaul their fence. That's where I come in. I get to do some hard work and get to spend some QT with Rachel's dad. Should be interesting.

Other than those things, I've not been up to much. Rachel's back at school and students are back in school. My schedule is becoming "normal" once again, and I'm starting to get back in some sort of routine. Hopefully that new routine will include a healthy dose of updating my blog regularly. We will see...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Psalm 67

"My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken...

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Selah"

Monday, July 30, 2007

back in action

Well, I'm back in Alabama and I hit the ground running. I'll try and post up some pics and stuff from my vacation but long story short, it was great. I think I need a vacation from my vacation, but I digress.

I'm super psyched about the upcoming fall and school year, things are starting to come together with where we are going at Invert. Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Multimedia message

I am here in Ohio safe and sound. Take a look at the beautiful sunset we were greeted with :-)

Friday, July 13, 2007

LIFE 2007, a wrap-up

It's Friday, and I'm finally able to breathe again after LIFE Conference in Orlando, FL. We had an amazing week with lots of really good growing opportunities, top-notch speakers, seminars, activities, and service projects. This year at LIFE, we had somewhere around 7,500 teens in attendance. Over 1,700 students came forward to commit their lives to full-time Christian service (3 from my group of 8 students).

Saturday morning, we took an offering for continued C&MA work in Africa that blew away all previous records: over $100,000. This didn't include the dozens of iPods, pieces of jewlry, diamond rings, and even a pair of shoes. You see, the students at LIFE were told to give sacrificially. Teens today want to make a real difference in the world by feeding the hungry, giving aid to the sick, and aiding the poor. I believe God is raising up a generation of not only givers, but a generation that is willing to put their actions where their money is and go. I was blown away by the generosity and sacrificial giving showcased in this year's LIFE Conference.

I am very excited to see how teens all around our country (and around the world) are going to step up and into the adventurous and abundant life that God our father promises to us his children. Heck, 38% of my student ministry has already committed to a lifetime of serving God. Imagine if just 38% of our churches became missionaries or pastors in their communities and around the world. In a church of 1,000, that would be 380 pastors and missionaries! AND THIS IS JUST THE START! God is good and I'm glad to be apart of what he is doing in the lives of the teenagers he has put in my care.

7,500 Glow Sticks

Check out what happened at one of the sessions at LIFE Conference this last week.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Super Sumos (I'm on the right)


@ LIFE

Well I finally managed to get to a computer. Our hotel Internet costs money and...you know - I'm cheap ;)

The conference has been great so far! I'll try to send some pictures and more info from my phone later. I'm looking forward to the beach Monday. It's been raining all week so hopefully it won't when we go.

God is working in some pretty incredible ways with our teens, keep us in your prayers this week.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Economy of Mercy

Switchfoot - The Economy of Mercy
"These carbon shells
These fragile dusty frames
House canvases of souls
We are bruised and broken masterpieces
But we did not paint ourselves"

Friday, June 29, 2007

Definitive Proof

Somehow, I'm not incredibly surprised. Now for all of you who have ever called me a nerd/dork, take this test if you dare...

I am nerdier than 95% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Quest for Truth

"It seems almost counterintuitive that there are people who are running hard and fast away from the church and are, at the same time, desperately and earnestly searching for God...Something within you not only compels you to search for truth, but has a soul reaction to it." - Erwin McManus, Soul Cravings

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

When I don't post for a while...

When I don't post for a while it means one of two things usually:

1. I am having a creative lull. Usually that means I have been crazy busy or slightly burnt out...or not using my computer which is funny, because that almost never happens.

or

2. I am traveling and blogging isn't high on my priority list.

It's been a little of both as of late with camp and preparation for LIFE Conference next week. I've been busy like mad preparing for our little Orlando excursion and I must say I am tired of counting change (for a fundraiser). It is nice to think in a week's time I'll be enjoying some high-octane student ministry fun.

In other news, I got a new phone! Give me a call sometime if you would like the new number. I'll be keeping my Verizon account until after I get back from LIFE, then I'll be switching whole heartily to Cingular/AT&T (*shivers*). Suffice it to say the only two things that got me to switch was (1). My beautiful girlfriend and her whole entire family that has Cingular and (2). A sweet new phone with cool mp3 player abilities and a 2.0 megapixel camera.

For those of you who follow, I'll be blogging from LIFE Conference complete with pictures and video I hope. I think they will be streaming live from LIFE so you can watch the main sessions if you would like. Visit www.life2007.org for more info.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yes! I haven't lost my "northern" accent yet :)


What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)

Midland

("Midland" is not necessarily the same thing as "Midwest") The default, lowest-common-denominator American accent that newscasters try to imitate. Since it's a neutral accent, just because you have a Midland accent doesn't mean you're from the Midland.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Veiled Hearts

Let me take a moment and air out some thoughts I'm pondering right now for my talk Wednesday night. I have been doing a study on veils and their purposes in the scriptures. I stumbled upon this fascinating passage in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 where it compares our experience with God with that of Moses when he had to put a veil on his face in order to interact with the people of Israel.

Moses spent time face to face with the living God. This was such an intense experience that it changed his physical appearance - so much so that his people were afraid to look at him. So Moses covers his face when he is with the people and uncovers the veil when he is with God.

In 2 Corinthians Paul compares the veil with the laws of the Old Testament. The Israelites hid behind the Law- behind the rules. They avoided the glorious presence of God by instead focusing on rules and legalism. But the Israelites had an opportunity to speak with God face to face and they retreated (Exodus 20:18-21). Their focus was on the rules, not on the rule-giver.

"Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." (2 Cor. 3:16) Becoming a Christian and following Christ means to live a live that is unveiled. When we come to God, we need to remove all pretense - all barriers. Our inclination is to (like the Israelites) cling to the Law...to rules and legalism. We get distracted by the letter of the law instead of falling in love with the Law-Giver.

Have you ever met a Christian that is more concerned with rules and doctrine than loving the lost? Have you ever met a believer that reminds you of a dried up prune? There is no life in them. There is no visible presence of God in their lives. The radiance of God in their life is fading away.

We need to be people who remove the veil and take our chances with a full dose of the presence of God. 100% unadulterated presence of God. The passage in Corinthians goes on to say "and we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory..." We are to reflect the Lord's glory, unveiled. Our gut reaction might be to go and hide behind rules and regulations - do's and dont's (after all, isn't that easier than pressing in towards God?). But what the scriptures are telling us to do is to strip all of that away and give people a full dose of the presence of God. That means we- like Moses- need to spend quality time in the presence of God.

Living our lives unveiled means that it would be a crime for the followers of Christ to hold anything back from those we come in contact with. The world will see the glories of God when they see Jesus in us. Unadulterated, unaltered, unveiled - pure faith, hope, and love.

What do you think? How do Christians veil the glory of God in our hearts and lives? How do we better remove the veil? Where is the line between holiness and legalism? Are we like the Israelites blinded by the Law?

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm back


Well, camp was great. I've finally recovered enough to start doing normal things again like updating my blog. I must say, camp this year took more out of me than ever before. I guess "pouring yourself out" can leave you empty sometimes. It was worth it though. We had 60 students show up and had a great week of experiencing God together. I'll post some video and pictures up on our District Youth Website when we get it up online for everyone to look at.

In other news, one of my favorite bands: Mute Math is doing the title track to the new Transformers movie! How cool is that? Check out their myspace (or my profile) to listen to it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Off to Camp

This week is teen camp for our district youth. My student ministry and I will be attending along with students from all over the States of Alabama and Tennessee. I'm really looking forward to a ton of fun. This year, the camp asked me to be "program director" which basically means I am the schedule and "go-to" guy. Yeah!

Please be praying for my teens and I this week - pray that God will work in our hearts and minds. Pray for life change and transformation. Pray for safety. See y'all in a week :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Under Bridges

I'm back from Council - I had a great time :)

Here's a song that talks about some of the stuff I'm wrestling with right now - some of which I was reminded of while I was in Orlando.

"Under Bridges" by Brave Saint Saturn
Yesterday while walking
Beneath an overpass
I saw the figure of Jesus
Standing barefoot on broken glass

His beard was graying
Smell of urine filled the air
Asking if I had some change
Anything that I could spare

Emaciated
His shaking fist balled up
Influenza and pneumonia
Begging God to take his cup

So different from his pictures
Breathing air through yellowed tubes
Jesus Christ, dying of AIDS
Can look right through you

And all have hated
Crucified and walked away
Savior of the prostitutes
Drunkards, rapists, and the gays

Under Bridges,
With hands raised
From the ghettos
They praise His name

Broken, crippled
In the dark of night
Raise your voices
To Jesus Christ

Hallelujah

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Council - Day 2

Well, it's the end of my second day at council. So far, things are going well. I've seen many friends and acquaintances thus far and have had some (VERY) interesting conversations.

I'm chewing on a few things at the moment and I don't think I'm ready to share them just yet.

Funny story: I woke up this morning in my hotel room and headed for the shower. I always look forward to hotel showers...somehow they manage to be better than regular showers. Don't judge me, just believe! Now as I was sleepily getting prepared to shower, I pulled the handle to turn on the water. The handle came off. As I held that handle in my hand - I understood why this was rated 2 out of 5 stars ;) Long story short, I managed to screw the thing back on and get the whole sha'bang back together.

Important lesson learned of the day: When Luke says there is free parking at the convention center and everyone else is telling you otherwise, don't believe Luke :)

The general sessions for conference are broadcast live from the C&MA site (thank God the business sessions are not...unless you are having problem's sleeping). Visit the C&MA website if you are interested in getting a whiff of what the C&MA council is like. BTW... Make sure to check out tonight's message they are podcasting the messages so you can listen in- even if you can't watch it live.

Here's a fun link for your enjoyment: "When Ninjas Attack" - for your spring season Ninja preparedness

Monday, May 21, 2007

Off to Council Tomorrow

Every few years, pastors and delegates from our denomination - the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) get together for a general council. It's a time to meet up with old friends, network, receive counseling/training for ministry, and contribute to the ongoing movement of our Denomination (business).

Tomorrow I leave for Orlando, FL for Council. I'll be there through Sunday and I'm looking forward to the needed break. I'm staying solo in a hotel and I'm taking some good books (and the "good book"). I'm looking forward to hearing reports of what God is doing within our humble (small) denomination.

I also get a peek at where our summer youth conference will be held, so I'm looking forward to doing a little of scouting. I'll try and blog from Orlando and post what pics I take.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Interesting Picture Zoom Flash Movie

You could spend hours playing around with this flash movie. It zooms in and creates images from images. Very cool stuff. Check it out:

http://interact10ways.com/usa/information_interactive.htm

Friday, May 11, 2007

Experience Matters

"The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of His presence. The instant cure of most of our religious ills would be to enter the Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and God is in us. This would lift us out of our pitiful narrowness and cause our hearts to be enlarged. This would burn away the impurities from our lives as the bugs and fungi were burned away by the fire that dwelt in the bush."
- A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spare cycles... for God?

I was reading this article today and it got me thinking...

We human beings have so much untapped potential. The aforementioned article explored the concept of boredom and the latent productivity of the human race. Basically, we have much more free time than we'd like to admit and we fill this free time with everything from entertainment, movies, video games, hobbies, staring at the wall... you get the point.

Just look at the vast amount of information and resources available on the internet. Web 2.0 is all about collaboration. Most of the people who blog, manage Wikipedia, contribute to myspace and Youtube are all volunteers. Their doing it for free.

What if we took our "spare cycles" - our spare time - and used it to further the Kingdom of God? I'm not knocking down-time, it's incredibly important to us all. But if I was honest with myself, I would say that I have too much free time.

What if we as Christians collectively collaborated to further the kingdom of God with the time in our margins? What would happen when millions of Christians took 5-10 minutes a day to spread the love of God? A word of encouragement to the lady at the store, a helpful hand to the neighbor next door, a hug to a friend in need, a quick call to an old friend. All of these things don't take more than a few moments, but combined we could make a real impact.

The point of using spare cycles for God isn't to be busier. It's about stewardship. What are we doing with our time? Do we really need to watch 3 hours of TV a day? Do we really need to see 3 movies a week? Do we really need to spend all of our free time doing things that merely entertain us? What if we all gave a little? Imagine the possibilities.

Monday, May 07, 2007

I'm not dead :)

I know it's been a while since I blogged. I guess I just didn't feel like I had anything to share. The summer is almost here and I'm busy as a beaver getting things ready for our student ministry trips and special events this summer. On top of that I'm the program director at our District Summer camp so that has kept me pre-occupied.

On the "Erik has a life" front, Rachel and I will be going to see Spiderman 3 tomorrow night. I've heard mixed reviews, but I'm still looking forward to seeing the movie (especially with the company I will bring with me).

On a similar subject... is anyone getting tired of mega-marketing campaigns associated with the big movies? I guess it's just a product of the culture we live in, but it certainly gets old, fast.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Smile

Sometimes, I must admit I take life too seriously. If you've ever been around me for any extended period of time, would would know that this is in fact true. I feel like I've been more tense than normal lately - I guess I need a vacation or something. This weekend I got to blow off some steam playing paintball with some people from church which was very healthy (it got the kink out of my neck too!).

In the spirit of "lightning up", I leave you with this gem from David Crowder (their first music video).

Friday, April 27, 2007

Our Treasure

"The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness." - A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Particle Man

Here's a little something from my childhood I thought you'd enjoy. Gotta love TMBG :)


Friday, April 20, 2007

It's Friday :)

Not that I usually get excited on Fridays (my day off is Thursdays), but I sure am looking forward to this weekend. Tomorrow I'm driving up to see Rachel and she's cooking me dinner (good deal, huh?) We're going to (hopefully) go to a park and spend some QT outside enjoying this gorgeous weather.

This afternoon a group of teens and I will be canvasing some neighborhoods around our church with information about our special Children's Sunday this Sunday. We'll have a ventriloquist (no, not Josè Halepeňo on a stick), special music and a special kid's message.

As for life, thinks have been fairly uneventful. I'm trying to get back on the reading wagon (yes, there is a wagon) again, but it's been tough. I've also been having some problems with my neck and shoulder muscles tensing up. I guess that time spent playing my Nintendo Wii has made my muscles so massive that they have to tighten up in knots. Oh well. Have a great Friday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm curious...

I was wondering how many of you wonderful readers visit my blog regularly. If you do, how do you keep up? Let me know by responding with one of the numbers below.

(1) "I periodically visit your blog directly through a bookmark or typing it in the browser"

(2) "I periodically visit your blog by clicking on a link from someone else's blog"

(3) "I use a feed reader (like google reader) to keep track of when you update your blog."

(4) "Who are you again?"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

sweet action - "Awakening" video

Check out this amazing video Switchfoot just created (with their own money and "technology" I might add). It's ton's of fun. Gotta love the 80's workout outfit.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Do you Thrive?


This week, our student ministry starts a new talk series called Thrive. The whole crux of the series is the idea that we were created not to just survive, but to thrive in every aspect of our lives. Sure, human beings need only food, water, and shelter to survive but we crave for so much more. God created us to thrive: "God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." -Genesis 1:28

Do you ever get the sense you are just living your life day to day with little purpose or motivation? I admit sometimes I get stuck in survival mode. I eat, sleep, veg out. Living this way is incredibly unsatisfying. It's because we were created to thrive.

In order to thrive we need to understand our identity (who we are and how God views us) and match our identity with our destiny. (future life and decisions)

Are you thriving? We are body, mind, soul, and spirit. Where are you thriving and where are you merely surviving?

I know for me, I have a lot of areas I need to work on, like my physical and relational health. I need to challenge my mind and use my God-given talents more.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What are you doing for Easter?

Every year, our student ministry has a special service that focuses on the Easter story. Last year we explored the meaning of the Jewish Seder by eating a mock Passover meal together (I can still taste the Charoset).

Often times, Christian focus (and rightly so) on the death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. While there is a time to be somber and remember the seriousness of the cross, we as Christians need to focus just as much of our time if not more on the resurrection. This year, instead of "Journey to the Cross," our student ministry will have "Journey to the Resurrection" instead. I eagerly await spending time with our teens focusing on the joy of the resurrection. It promises to be quite the worship party (yes, those two words can go together).

So... what are you doing for Easter? Is your church or family doing anything special?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Doubt Night

For the second year in a row, our student ministry is going to have "doubt night." We strongly believe that a part of being a question is dealing with questions and doubts about our faith.

Everyone has doubts and questions about their faith and the Bible. All too often churches dodge talking about certain tough issues because they do not want to wrestle with them or they are afraid that they might loose people. We think that the opposite is true. If we don't honestly approach our faith and the Bible we fail to engage the very tough issues I believe that God meant for us to explore. I think God wants us to struggle. I have faith that God will honor our honest questions and doubts. Doubting is a form of worship.

So with that said, I invite those of you reading this blog to submit questions about your faith, God and the Bible. Simply leave a comment with your question(s) and I may answer them on this blog or next Wednesday night (March 21) at our Doubt Night.

Jesus and Second Life

Big props go to LifeChurch.tv for making their way into the massive online game "Second Life." They have created an island (not sure if I like the idea of creating a Christian "bubble" of sorts) where people can go and check out videos, resources, and a Christian post secret glass house of sorts.

They have also partnered with xxxchurch.com to bring awareness to the growing "virtual sex" and pornography in the game.

It's a very interesting concept and I'm sure that more Christian groups will join them in the months to come. If you want to read LifeChruch's blog post explaining the project in more detail, click here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Some wise advise for those who blog and use myspace/facebook

Recently, a friend of mine has had some pretty disastrous rumors being spread about him. Where did they come from? Supposedly, from his "private" Myspace. This isn't an isolated incident either. For the last few years many internet users have utilized social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook and creating and posting to online blogs (like this one).

What many internet users don't realize is that people actually read their blogs and personal profiles. In fact, some schools and police departments actively search the internet for information about people. Users of blogs, Mypace, etc. need to realize that if they post any personal information, it has the potential to be read by anyone. That's right. In an age of identity theft and hackers, your information is not private even when a website claims that it is. If you can access your page from any computer, your info is fair game.

I have noticed another bad trend. Most of my students no longer use email, their only source of online contact is through instant messaging and Myspace. While email is a much safer option when it comes to your personal information, many teens are trading security for convenience.

Here are a few tips for protecting your privacy while using the internet:

1. Never give out your personal information (address, phone number, name, social security number, etc). If a website requires some personal info, make sure that it will not be shared with anyone...ever. Do not post your phone number or address on Myspace or other social networking site.

2. Do not put any information in your myspace or on your blog that you don't want everyone in your life (and the world) to know. Do not trust the "private" features of Myspace...they have been cracked before. If you leave yourself signed in to Myspace for instance, anyone can gain access to your account through your computer. This leads us to #3

3. Unless you are the only one that uses your computer, and you have a password - NEVER STAY LOGGED IN, SAVE YOUR PASSWORD TO THE COMPUTER, OR CHECK "REMEMBER ME" IN ANY WEB SERVICE. This is the most common way for others to gain access to your accounts. The second most common way...

4. Never, NEVER, NEVER, give your passwords to anyone, period. Just like gossip, you cannot control the spread of your password to others. Even if your friend never shares your password, they might by mistake allow someone else to access your account.

5. Use email for personal, private communication with other people. Email is much safer than putting your private communication up online for everyone to view. Just make sure you follow #3 and #4.

Blogs and Myspace are great to keep in touch with your friends and family...just don't be stupid with them. Use common sense and be careful what you let the world know about you. One last tip...don't depend on other's lack of computer savvy. Your parents/friends can ask someone else to log on and view your profile. Be warned ;)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Were Jesus Christ's Bones Found In Tomb?

A recent documentary claims to have found the bones of Jesus and his family in a tomb in Jerusalem.

There really is no conclusive evidence other than Jesus' name being on the tomb. The thing is, Jesus was from Nazareth, not Jerusalem. If he was to be buried, it would be in Nazareth and not Jerusalem. Another thing...Jesus was a common name at the time of Christ. There's a reason he was called "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus was the Aramaic equivalent of the Old Testament name "Joshua."

Do you know of any Joshua's? How about in Latin-America where there are thousands of people named "Jesus" (hey-zoose)?

This documentary proves nothing really. There are 3rd party historians who have spoke about Jesus' death, burial, and alleged resurrection. If Jesus had a tomb and was buried there, these historians (especially Josephus, who was a Jew) would have wanted to include that information. Also Christianity was not popular at all when Jesus died and rose again. If Christianity's detractors wanted to stop Christianity in it's tracks, all they had to do was produce the body of Jesus.

Click here to read the whole story.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What brings you hope?

The last week and a half has been an emotional roller-coaster for me. Fortunately, my week has been much better than the last. As I was sitting here this morning, I was thinking to myself about things in my life that bring me comfort and hope in hard times. Here is a short list.

  • Friends
  • Rachel
  • A great song or CD
  • Extended time with God
  • Laughing at myself or at a great joke or story. This works the best when it's the kind of laughing that makes you hurt.
  • Encouraging words or seeing the fruits of your labors (especially in ministry)
  • Sleep
  • Video Games (winning in video games...loosing makes things worse ;)
  • Getting outside and being active

So what about you? What brings hope and comfort to you when you are down?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Simplify your Web, use a feed reader

Many of you might have noticed how blogs and news sites use this nifty thing called "rss" or "Really Simple Syndication." Most of you have no clue what that means. Well, let me explain it for you.

In a effort to make the internet more simple and streamlined, news and blog sites have a striped down, easy to read text file for computer programs to read. What does that mean for you? That means you don't have to visit every website you want to follow or read. Much like you can subscribe to a e-newsletter, you can subscribe to websites so you will know when things get updated. How? You might ask. Simple I say. You just need a feed reader/aggregator. It's a web service that does all the work for you.

Here are some simple steps to using a feed reader (Google Reader).

#1. Visit http://reader.google.com

#2. Sign up for a Google account if you haven't already

#3. Click the "Add a Subscription" link

#4. Find a web page that you want updates from and copy the address from your address bar and past the web page address into Google Reader.

#5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for each blog/website you want updates from.

#6. Make a link to Google Reader in your favorites or bookmarks (I like to keep my link on my bookmark toolbar for easy access).

Now every time you want to see if someone you know has updated their blog or any of your favorite news sites have made updates all you have to do is go to Google Reader. Simple.

*Note: Any page that has one of these images in your address bar or on the page has a news feed you can add to your feed reader. Some sites say "rss" or "news feed" or similar things. All you are looking for is a link to the small *.xml file that has the information your reader is looking for. Google Reader is usually good about automatically detecting a feed on a site when you enter in the site address to add a feed. In rare occasions you may need to copy and past the direct link to the "rss, xml, or atom" feed.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Rotten Week

This week has been extremely trying for me. Monday started of great because I got to spend the day with Rachel and celebrate V-Day.

There has been growing conflict in our student ministry as of late and to be honest, I feel me and our student ministry have a big red target on our backs. On top of all of that, I have a yucky cold I'm dealing with making me stuffy and tired. Oi!

Please be in prayer for me, my student ministry teens, and adult leaders.
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Making an Impact

Student ministry has it's ups and downs. Lately it's been very busy for me and the teens at Brewster Road. We have all kinds of meetings, get-togethers, and programs. Yet through all the busyness, it's hard to tell whether or not I'm making any difference.

Here is some great advise for those of you who are considering full-time ministry- don't evaluate your ministry when you are tired or burnt out. All you see are the negatives.

I can see where God is using me and He is having an impact on the teens that attend Invert. My question to all of you is this... What is the one thing that has made the single most impact in your life while you were apart of a student ministry (youth group)?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

turn your Wii into a media center

In my continuing quest for all things geeky, I have discovered a brand new gem for Nintendo Wii owners. A new program called Orb enables you to view video, pictures, news feeds, and listen to music from your high-speed connected computer.

You use the free Opera browser on the Wii to navigate to the Orb webpage and access your media. Here's the cool part: they recently made the interface Wii friendly and you can connect to you PC through your LAN. That means you use your local network connection instead of over the internet - it's really fast too.

The only downer I've found so far (that I care about) is the lack of support for iTunes DRM-ed music. But most of my CD's I've purchased online I turn into mp3's anyways.

Pretty cool huh?

Here's the website: http://orb.com/

Friday, January 26, 2007

Album Review - Oh Gravity

Switchfoot is one of my favorite artists I own. My first Switchfoot album was "New Way to Be Human" and ever since I've been hooked on this San Diego bands sound and lyrics.

In all honesty, I was a little disappointed by their last album "Nothing is Sound." Sure there were a few solid songs and a few radio worthy singles, but the album lacked a replay value. Not so with Switchfoot's new album: "Oh, Gravity!"

I pre-ordered this album and had it in my mailbox when I got back from Christmas vacation. It's been in my CD player on and off ever since. I think both musically and lyrically this album is headed back in the direction I have learned to love Switchfoot for the most.

Some tracks that stand out to me:

Oh Gravity (title track) - It has a fun and (admittedly) poppy sound. I'm still trying to get my mind around the lyrics, but I get the general push which is a common Switchfoot theme: entropy. The world is falling apart. Gravity seems to be all messed up when it comes to events and happenings in the world.

Dirty Second Hands - this one took me a while to decypher as well. I thought Jon was talking about second hand - like second hand clothing. After reading an article on the album, I found that he is talking about how time is against us. Another poppy song that has a lot of meaning to me.

Awakening - I can't stop singing this song, it's great. Definitely one of those radio crafted songs that sticks with you. I love the fresh feel of this song as well as the message about truth.

Faust, Midas, And Myself - Wow. This is my favorite song on the album. Sorta reminds me of "Something More" off of the album "New Way to Be Human." The song tells a modern day parable of Midas - the man with the golden touch. The song explores the dangers and failings of success and challenges the listener to enjoy what God's given them because "a heart that's made of gold can't really beat at all." Also, if you like the game "Kingdom Hearts II" check out this amazing AMV on Youtube.

Album grade: B+

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I got a Wii! Ouch.

My day has had it's ups and downs. I had a dentist appointment for the first time in over 2 years today. My teeth were in better shaped than I thought although I have a filling to replace. The lady who cleaned my teeth scraped my teeth and gums for waaaay to long, but I made it through ok.

As has become my custom lately, I stopped by GameStop on the way to get my hair cut today and low and behold...










I got a Wii!!!

I was was very happy (to say the least). I've decided that while I did drop $250 bones for the console, I wasn't about to spend another $100 with new games and accessories...well sorta. What I did was buy the "classic controller" so I could play any Gamecube games and virtual console games (Zelda Link to the Past!) and I bought an amazing game (Metroid Prime) for $6. Ah, you gotta love used games :)

The cool thing is that I can borrow the new Zelda game from one of my teens (thanks Justin!) and not have to pay $50 for it.

So you can say...I'm a thrifty gamer ;)

I've been playing Wii sports for the last 2 hours and I must say I'm shocked...I broke a sweat! I've heard about some people loosing weight playing the Wii, so I think I've found my new excercise plan. Just don't make fun of me when my left arm starts to get bigger than my right

Monday, January 22, 2007

Flirttoconvert.com - I'm serious

Rachel called me this morning and shared with me a website she found out about today in her Human Sexuality class- It's a website called "Flirt to Convert." It's a Christian dating service that encourages Christians to use their "hotness" to witness. Flirt to Convert is a supporter of the "Date to Save" ministry. From everything I've gathered, this site is not a joke. Here is the introduction:
Hello, my name is Tamara! As you can probably tell, I'm a Christian woman who loves Jesus Christ and cares for all humans, even the wicked. What you probably don't know is that I'm hot. My picture below isn't really that good. I want to use my beauty for GOD, and want to encourage Christian women (my sisters in Christ) to do the same, according to the Great Commission.
And here's a list of 10 Dating Tips from the site:
1. If he tells your that you are hot...
Tell him God made you hot.

2. If he wants to hold your hand...
Give him a Bible.

3. If he tries to get closer...
Tell him the Holy Spirit is wooing him.

4. If he asks to pay for dinner...
Remind him that Jesus also paid a debt He did not owe!

5. If he reaches his arm around you...
Tell him that nobody will ever be as close to you as Jesus is.
(or ask him if you instead could "lay hands" on him in prayer)

6. If he tries to kiss you...
Remind him that a kiss killed your Savior.
(and you're not ready to "speak in tongues")

7. If he asks to come inside...
Ask him if he has asked Jesus to come inside his heart.

8. If he tells you he loves you...
Tell him that Jesus loves him.

9. If he gets angry that you won't put out...
Clarify to him that W.W.J.D. does NOT mean "Who would Jesus Do."

10. After you dump him...
Tell him that Jesus Christ will never leave or forsake him.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about a site like this one...I think I'll laugh!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

No Wii love :(

Well, I got up extra early today to try and purchase a Nintendo Wii. Target didn't have any (rumor had it that they would), and I couldn't get to best buy until an hour after they opened. Minutes before I got there, they sold out (24 units!). Oh well, I guess I'll get one eventually.

If you've noticed, I'm slowing putting the pieces of my blog back together again, we'll see if I can get it to 100% by the end of this week.

In other news, I finally caught up with the TV show 24. Somewhere in season 4, I decided to start watching the show, so I rented the DVDs from Netflix and started catching up. After 8 episodes Friday and Saturday morning, I was able to watch my 4 hours of 24 I had taped from last week (yes, my VCR is still useful). So there you have it...I'm now an active 24 fan (I did the same thing with Lost and now I'm caught up with that as well). I'll sure miss the no commercial convienience of DVD. Oh how I wish I could afford a Tivo.

Any other TV shows out there now worth watching? I heard Heroes is good.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm design lazy right now

I've been meaning to get back to this blog template...but I've been busy using my creative juices on another project- namely my student ministry website.

I'm in my third year of ministry now at Brewster Road Alliance in Birmingham and when I arrived here, our student ministry was called "Alliance Youth." I thought that was a bit weird, so I temporarily changed it to "BRAC Youth." I figured it to be good that I associate our student ministry with our church less anyone think I had some lone ranger mentality about youth ministry. BRAC Youth was meant to be temporary until I was able to nail down a better student ministry name.

Over two years later, we were still BRAC Youth and it was time for a change. At the beginning of January, we finally launched our new ministry name: Invert Student Ministries. I won't go into the name too much here, but here's a snipped from our website:
The vision of Invert Student Ministries is that we can live our lives in such a way that we are in the center of the beautiful collision between heaven and earth. Invert Student Ministries is passionately, obsessively, and undeniably about the upside-down Kingdom of God and bringing it to the world around us.
"Invert" is all about God's upside-down Kingdom, and as Christ-followers bringing Heaven to earth is part of our mission as believers.

If you get a moment, check out the new site and let me know what you think :)

Friday, January 05, 2007

new blogger template for the new year

I'm in the process of setting up a new template for the new year. My old template was wonderful, but I can no longer make changes to it.

Please don't mind the mess while I tweak things and get them up to snuff again :)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

now this is what I call a parade!

Check out this amazing and elaborate star wars parade setup that marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade Monday.

Happy New Year

I managed to crawl out of bed this morning after our New Years All-Nighter Sunday Night. I spent half of yesterday sleeping, and the other half trying not to sleep. We had a blast and we wound up with more teens than expected (most always good).

I'm not big on new years resolutions, but I am hopeful that this will be a great year. Our student ministry website and name is getting a face lift (hopefully launching January 8th). This Wednesday night is our first worship night of the year and I'm psyched!

Since I don't have any new years resolutions, I'm taking suggestions. Just leave me a comment if you have a suggestion.