Monday, January 29, 2007

Python eats 11 dogs

Look at that snake ! Here is a small write-up about it from Yahoo ..

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 (Reuters Life!) - Guard dogs protecting a fruit orchard in Malaysia have met their match -- a 7.1-metre-long (23-ft-long) python that swallowed at least 11 hounds before it was finally discovered by villagers.

"I was shocked to see such a huge python," orchard-keeper Ali Yusof told the New Straits Times

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was a very busy weekend. The main event for me was 24 RUSH. It was an event name that I came up with. 24 represented the hours the event would take and RUSH was suppose to represent how "fast" it was going to feel. Thankfully, it was a little laid back. Here is a recap on 24 RUSH.

We arrived at the chruch at 8 am and we had an hour and half of fellowshipping, hanging out and playing video games before we headed off to Crackle Barrel for breakfast. After breakfast, we headed off to Indy for Intensity. Intensity involved christian concerts, worship and speaking. We then walkd downtown looking for a place to eat. We ended up at Smokey Bones ( very good ). After dinner, we went to Conseco fieldhouse and saw the Pacers/Raptors play.

After the game, we went back to the church and had a video marathon. We played video games and had movies playing. At about 4:30 am, we decided to slooow it down and rested for about 2 1/2 hours. We then cleaned up and went to church.

I dragged a lot Sunday, but it was still a full evening of ministry.

That was the weekend recap for me. The jury is still out on Intensity. It was good, but not great. I had a blast with the students though.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I Want A Date ...

Saturday ... fun pointless video day .. yeah

Friday, January 26, 2007

Nancy vs. Dick: Blink Contest

Mr. Letterman concentrates on the things that matters :)

No One Like You: DCB

One of the most interesting songs that is done ( I think ) alot of time during conferences and conventions is the song: There Is No One Like You.

Here is a video that was captured from Harvest out in California. It was at an outdoor venue with numerous people in the crowd. Have fun with this song.

Wife, I think you will appreciate it .. enjoy.

Michele Bachmann

Before January 23rd, I had never heard of Michele Bachmann. She flew under my politician radar. So, I am watching the State of the Union speech - yes I watched the whole thing. I watched it because I am trying to stay informed.

There were parts of the speech that I thought were actually good but I disagreed with quite abit of it. Anyways, that is not what this post is going to be about.

After the speech, the President was walking out like a super-star. He was waving, hugging, and signing autographs. Everyone seemed to want to touch him. Well, there was this one particular lady I noticed as I watched it ... that really wanted camera time.

She had her hand on him for a good 20 - 30 seconds and then even as he passed - she kept tilting over the rail to get her face in the picture. Here is a small clip of her "touching".

At least all the people that she represents knows that she was in attendance.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ichthus 2007 Promo

I am looking forward to Ichthus 2007. They put up a promo video. Here is a look at it. I am hoping that I can take a group from church - if not, I will be heading down there with my boys.

Ichthus 2007 Festival Promo Video

Add to My Profile | More Videos

The Inner Voice

This week, I am going to take a page from Leonard Sweet book: Summoned to Lead. I think that this is one of my favorite books that deals with leadership. The information that I am going to list below are a few lines from the book ( pg. 144 ):

I'm amazed at how many church leaders listen to every other voice except the small still voice they hear in their spirit.

You have to make a choice to listen to that voice and move on it, or you'll push it aside or dismiss it as mere "hunch" or "instinct".

If you are listening, your inner voice will tell you the next step, not some authority.

We really need to take time and listen to God. We need to be with Him and have time of silence so we can be in-tuned with this inner voice. We hear so much noise in our lives that we can get drowned out.

At times, I think we forget who we really need to take direction from. In my case, as a ym, it could be SPRC, the SP, church council, adult leaders, students, parents and the average church attendee. But, what about God .. Am I listening to Him ?

A presence is NEVER mute.

My challenge for myself and for you: Go and be in His presence / be still / listen and move on with what you hear.

Benny Hinn - Crazy Televangelist

Thanks to Marko, I just had to put this on my blog.

Maybe I should not have but I remember being at KCC and watching him and making fun of him as he threw the Holy Spirit. I always enjoyed him throwing it up to the upper deck - they need it to you know.

Alright, if you are not a fan of this music - Drowning Pool - you may not want to watch it all - or at least watch it w/o sound. But the song was chosen with a purpose.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Success in YM: Question # 4

I had to use this photo of a "big mouth". The reason for the mouth is to symbolize question number 4 which is the following:

Am I Talking my F or am I Living My Faith ?

I think that I am going to regretfully say that I am currently talking more than living. With that I mean from what my students see. At this stage in my ministry, I am doing quite a bit of teaching - but the teaching is verbal - classroom instruction - not hands on - out in the world doing.

One of the areas we have not tapped into yet is being with the students in regular teaching moments outside of our normal ministry. We need to take steps where we as a group is living more and talking less.

I, myself, will need to step up and lead the charge and begin to be involved in more hands on ministry opportunities.

More Thoughts On That Later.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Cookie Test

I can't believe that I did this ... credit it to my wife - me doing it. She just had to put it on her blog and it sucked me in ... ugh

You Are an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

On the surface, you're a little plain - but you have many subtle dimensions to your personality.
Sometimes you're down to earth and crunchy. Other times, you're sweet and a little gooey.

Success in YM: Question # 3

Question # 3: Am I Focused On The Size Of My Group ?

This is a very difficult question for me to look at and for me to examine. I think that the main reason is because there is often a false impression that huge numbers = huge success and that is just not true.

However, I am tempted at times to want to reach for the stars and grab the numbers so I can point and say, " see, we are successful ". Thankfully, I am involved in a church that does not place the focus there. Yes, we are a church that averages over 600 on Sunday's ( see pointing to a number ) but we put the emphasis on are we doing ministry that emphasizes our core values.

I also have a SP that stands up for me in the following ways: He looks at a person and says, " no, we may not have more than X church on Sunday night. However, the reason for that is simple: we are doing a bible study and they are playing basketball and open gym night - focuses are completely different.

I can also say at times that I do not focus " on numbers " because I came from a YM that had "bigger #'s". In my heart of heart, it is not on the numbers but it is still in me when I am going home on Sunday night and the following scenario creeps in before I can "stomp" it out ...

We had 42 tonight, so .... STOP IT !!!!

It is about the students and adults that are there. Are we creating a safe enviorment for them. Are we striving to be a place where they can be relational and be authentic. Are the things that we are doing .. are they relevant and exciting .. are we fulfilling our vision and mission.

So, I will admit, at times I struggle with numbers but I am trying to make sure that is not where my focus is ... it is about who is there and who we are.

Swallowed By Shark

Survived Being Swallowed


Melo & A.I.

Last night was their first night together. I did not get to watch the game, so I am only going by highlights on Sportscenter, box score and write-ups on Yahoo News but it looks like these two could be dynamic together.

I know it is early and it is only one game but I think that A.I. is really going to step up and want to take them to a championship game and he is fine if he is the number 2 scorer on the team.

He has grown in maturity as he "has aged" and they should be a force to be watched for during the season and as the play-off will come on us. Listed below are statements from both of them after the game:

"We just wanted to show the whole world we could play together," Anthony said after the duo's triumphant debut Monday night. "We know there's a lot of doubt about that."

"That's what it's all about. It's about the kids, and about the fans that love the game and the excitement of the greatest game in the world," Iverson said. "I'm enjoying myself. I know it's my 11th season, but this is a fresh start for me, and it feels like my first. I am having a great time and I love my situation here."

I am actually looking forward to following them. This is the first thing this season that has "peeked" my interest in the NBA this year.

Monday, January 22, 2007

B-Ball and More

This weekend was a very good weekend. It was a very relaxing weekend in a sense but yet the calendar was still filled - if that makes any sense at all.

On Friday, we went over to Illinois. The boys went to see the Globetrotters play basketball against the Nationals and the girls went to Red Lobster. We stayed the night there and then headed across the state-line back to Indiana.

On Saturday, I had a leaders meeting and a dinner with them. It was a casual meeting, even though we did didscuss some vital issues and then we went out to eat at the Other Pub. The sandwich was not bad, but I am not sure if it will make it to my list of places that I must go and eat at.

Then on Sunday was the three servcies, sunday night and confirmation time. Overall, it went well even though while I was speaking, I thought about placing my notes aside and saying, " let's just play ". It just did not seem right last night.

After coming home, I flipped on the game: Colts/Pats. For awhile, it looked liked the Pats were going to steal the show but the Colts came back and won in the last minute. It is going to be a Colts / Bears Super Bowl which will make it interesting here.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Little Teapots!

You gotta love when individuals go out and do video scavenger hunts. Unfortunately, we often get in trouble when we go out an do them. Companies get scared about what people can do with video cameras. It intereferes with these pointless and fun moments.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Critique is Poisonous

Ahhhhhhh, it is starting to heat up. Look at this opening paragraph from Yahoo News: In a critique the White House labeled as "poisonous," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi charged Friday that President Bush is wading too deeply into
Iraq and said it should not be "an obligation of the American people in perpetuity."

Pelosi said Bush "has dug a hole so deep he can't even see the light on this. It's a tragedy. It's a stark blunder."

Individuals are saying that this will hurt the bipartisan goverment that could be taken place ... yup it might.

But, let me say this, " at times, we need to take a long look at a situation and speak truthfully and call it as we see it ".

We are in the process of a strategy change that can cost us a lot more soldiers in the region and a whole bunch more $$. We need to take a strong look at this and give it a correct assessment.

President Bush, Republicans and war supporters remember this when you throw out the bipartisan argument: The bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended removing U.S. combat troops by early next year, and changing the U.S. mission from security to training and logistical support of Iraqi troops.

so, let's fight it out on the house .. let it get a little ugly .. let's have both sides air their difference and views and maybe this can be a great lesson to all of us on conflict resolution.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Religion and Politics

" Religion is so tied up with political manipulation that it is hard to see if there could be a nugget of spirituality in there that can genuinely influence your life. "

Quote by Tom Morello (guitarist for Rage Against the Machine)

For awhile, their music was kept underground because it was considered to be controversial. However, some of their words in interviews that speak about God, church and life at times can ring true and also at times burn with sting because they hit a note that Christians do not like or do not want to hear.

One of the sad things for me ( as a ym ) is that one of the reasons that he got turned away from God and Christianity is what occurred in youth group - that is sad.

However, I do not find it hard to believe. We, as youth groups - churches - and christians can be so " bad on our choice of words ". The reason ( one of them ) that he points to is the fact that he never saw any respect or tolerance for another persons belief sysyem.

One more quote and this quote has to do with a question about people who hear the name Jesus and believe ( early in the article - the slant was on those who never heard ) ......

I do not know. Maybe I would have a more of a positive view of religion if I was impressed by the behavior of those who preach it ( not meaning preachers - anyone who believes ).

This is some of the things that stood out to me in my reading this week. One of the books I am reading / browsing this week is the following: Rock Stars on God: 20 Artists Speak their Minds About Faith

More later ...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Story Telling in YM

Frederick Buecher once said, " It is important to tell our secrets, too: because it makes it easier that way to see where we have been on our lives and where we are going. It also makes it easier for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own ... "

I believe strongly that we need to develop a community within youth ministry where stories are constantly being told. They can be stories that are serious, humorous or stories with no real point. The point of the stories are for us to share our lives together - in community.

One of the aspects of our "vision statement" is that we will be a group of individuals that will be relational and authentic. This cannot occur if we are not willing to tell our stories and listen to the stories of other individuals.

We need then learn how to connect our stories with God's stories. One of the mistakes that I believe that we keep behind close doors ( and not intentionally ) is the fact that WE ARE STILL PART OF THE STORY. The story is not finished.

Also the great thing about telling stories is that we will realize how much we connect and relate to each other. Most stories we hear, we can identify ourselves in those stories and we can share. Also story telling can connect us to significant events and then in itself tell a story.

For example, everytime that I see a crab, I think of Joey and Emily. We were on a mission trip to the Carolina's and during free time, we went "crabbing". They each caught some big crabs and how they were holding them and the pics that we took were very funny.

We joked numerous times about crabbing and how unusual of an activity that "crabbing" is and that if we were back home - we never would go "crabbing". Well, now everytime I see a crab, I am reminded of them and I am reminded of the mission work that took place in the Carolina's .... including Joey being soaked from the downpour of rain as we tried to finish a painting project and then that leads to another story .....

So, what is your story ? Do you share your story ? How does your story interplay with the lives of your students ?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ken to Arizona

The Arizona Cardinals have just hired Ken ( offensive coordinator ) from the Steelers. The Steelers may be losing three coaches this year. While I am a little dis-hearted to see him leave the Steelers, I am glad that he has the opportunity to be a head coach.

Arizona has some great young talent out there with their qb and wr's and I think that their rb situation with James can still be very solid. Ken has a great foundation and I believe that he will do wonders for an organization that has been AWFUL.

So, maybe I will yell out a few GO CARDS next year.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Farting Santa

I have decided to place my pointless video ( Saturday post ) up today. For whatever reason, it did not go up. I probably confused blogger with the fact that it is past Christmas time ....

Sometimes in life, you need to have pointless stuff, right ?

Success in YM: Question # 2

Am I Managing or Encouraging ? This is question number 2 in the self-evaluation process that I am going through. I am in the process of switching to encouraging. Now granted, there are elements that need to be "managed" but I am placing my focus in on the encouragement aspect.

I will give a little example of how I see this occurring in my ministry and how the shift is starting to play out. I first want to share a little with you about my own personal change and how my style is "evolving".

In Kentucky, I was the "lone-ranger". Now, do not get me wrong, there were volunteers that helped out but that is what I regulated them to - helping out and I put them in the place where there was a "void".

In Alabama, I took my ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT degree principles and maxed them out with wonderful organizational charts, place individuals in ministries where they were gifted and passionate, detailed job descriptions and managed them so our ministry would grow and " be successful ". Yes, we are co-ordinators and leaders in the positions and they did a great job BUT I failed them. They may / may not agree that I failed with them but in my deep reflection - I did because the "encouragement" factor was not always there. I did the pats on the back, and the great job .. but ...

In Indiana, I am begining to lay the foundation for a ministry where I am going to be an ecourager and that my managing will take the "back seat". Yes, the organization and management will be there, but that will not be the highlight. The highlight will be the encouraging the volunteers to carry out ministry. I am going to begin the process of doing this with meeting with them regularly. In January, I have 17 meetings set where I will be listening to their hearts and enouraging them to do ministry.

The goals that I am shooting for is to always give them an encouraging word, have everyone involved in ministry and for me to become "invisible". The invisible part at times is scary - especially at times for youth ministers. I think that when we are working together as a team ..... that when someone is "observing" that they will not know who the ym is .... because of the team factor.

So, as I press forward this year, I will be "managing" to make sure how all the areas are covered but I will not "manage" their moves. I will try to be the constant voice of encouragemnt for them.

The tough part .... when the dynamic leaders take a detour and go down the path that you are unsure about. Do you step in and "manage" or do you encourage. It happened this weekend. I encouraged but I wanted to manage BUT my management "intent" may have been seen behind the encouraging words ... I will work on that.

Weekend Recap

Wether it was the High Sunday School class that I taught, the morning messages that I listened to, the Sunday evening sermon that I stumbled through or our confirmation class .. it seemed like all 4 prompted a host of questions.

The weekend was a very good weekend as a family and as a church.

But, back to the questions. We all have a lot of questions about life, about families, about church, about our purpose and we are all striving to find an answer to these questions.

Sometimes, I think that we are to quick to get the answer. I think looking at the question and maybe the journey to finding the answer can be just as important as having that right answer. Also, maybe we need to be looking at why we are asking the questions that we are asking.

Speaking of questions, you should see the list of the questions that the confirmation students came up with. We asked them to write down some questions that they have regarding the church, life, and confirmation. They go across the board from very silly and humorous to very deep thought provoking questions. When we get to those sements, I will post ...

Who should I get at my church to answer the following question asked by one of them: How many ceiling tiles are in the entire church ?

Ugh on the Comp

The weather pic has disappeared and the video ( funny ) from Saturday would not load. Thus, the info on the blog - is not exactly what I wanted. The funny thing - and the only thing you can do is laugh - is that it was a tech nightmare all around this weeked. Some of the other tech woes:

1. The church copier / printer went down on Friday. Thus, everything that I needed to print out and use for the weekend was un-accessible.

2. The youth computer ( youth room ) would not display the images out. The computer worked fine but nothing went out to the screens - so for the worship - lessons - games - nada.

3. Password over-ride. We are switching some users - so username/passwords were greated at the church - we can now not get into the youth financial account ...

The list could go on .. but I will stop. In a weird sense, it was a blessing that this occurred because even though the initial frustration was high and it caused us to want to smash some equipment - it gave us a great time to slow down.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Weather Is Bad

The picture above is from steam coming up from the manhole covers. The nation has been getting hit with bad weather and it is barreling down on the midwest.

Once again, it looks like we will get fortunate and not get hit, but that is not true for everyone. Here are some of the wonderful stories that are coming out:

Freezing rain fell in the nation's midsection Friday, and temperatures plunged from Minnesota to Las Vegas as a storm rolled in that could leave several states coated in ice.

Several inches of ice was expected in parts of Kansas by the end of the weekend.

In Minnesota, the temperature dropped to 24 below zero around dawn Friday in Hallock, in the state's northwestern corner, the National Weather Service said. Winds up to 25 mph made it feel closer to 40 below zero in much of western Minnesota.

If you want cold / freezing rain / ice / snow, this may be your weekend. We will see how all the weather plays out.

For those of you that was expecting a Bush / Iraq post today with it being news day on my blog, I apologize. There is definitely happening after his speech and the House reaction, the Senate action and the world. Maybe, I will post about it after all the dust settles.

I just don't get it ....

Bit doing a little weather post and a reminder for years down the road .. was much more pleasant to write on ;)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Success in YM: Question # 1

Question number 1 from the article that I am expounding on and reflecting on was the following: Am I programming or incubating ?

I think that I am currently in the the incubating stage but I am not far removed from the programming stage. There are "programs" that are going on but these are our regular Sunday night program and Confirmation. We are not doing any extra big programs so we can try to reach 'just one more'.

How am I going to do this or how am I do this .... For me, it is about one-on-one time with my adults. I am investing more into their lives, so they can be fed, encouraged and ready to serve our students. I am also developing student ministry teams. This ministry is in the infancy stages and already "shifting" where I am investing my time into these students lives ( incubating them ) so they can reach out to their friends and develop ministries.

I am hoping in 2007 that I will move far away from the programming aspect and trul;y spending time with individuals. It comes down to this one sentence: More effort into changing lives personally rather than affecting a few impersonally.

It is a natural tendency though I think to add more programs to make it look like we are doing a lot and reaching alot. When you draw back from that, you can open yourself up to "failure" and people questioning our motives. A lot of times, people want to be "comfortable".

In my life stage, I am not happy with comfortable. The tough question for me to answer may be the following: What ministries may I need to "kill" in order to make more room for incubation ?

What about you and your ministry ? Where are you at ? Where are you headed ?

What would happen if we as a whole ( ym community ) would spend more time with our current kids instead of pouring our tired selves and our tired volunteers into new programs to try to reach - just one more ....

Help me think ...

Win-Win in Conflict

The book that I have been reading this week is the following: Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication

It is a book that is written by three different authors: Ronald B. Adler, Lawrence B. Rosenfeld and Russell F. Proctor II. I am trying to read books that are across the board and bring out some information that can be helpful not only to me but the people that surround me.

Recently, I have had a few different discussions with individuals that are going through conflict. I can say that there may be a few members on my ministry team that I have conflict with but we seem to be dealing with it in a fairly healthy manner.

Anyhow, the book mentioned above has a section on conflict. That is the section that I want to focus on today in this post. The best scenario outcome for conflict is a win-win situation.

In win-win problem solving, the goal is to find a solution that satisfies the needs of everyone involved. Win-Win's are esential in relationships. There is a 7-step process that was developed by Deborah Weider-Hatfield. Here is the process:

1. Define Your Needs
2. Share your needs with the other person.
3. Listen to the other person's need.
4. Generate possible solutions.
5. Evaluate the possible solutions and choose one.
6. Implement the solution.
7. Follow up the solution.

If anyone is interested in knowing any of these steps in depth, please let me know and I will share. Please remember, conflict is natural and unavoidable. Since conflict can not be escaped, the challenge for us is to deal with it effectively. If we deal with it effectively, it will strengthen the relationship instead of weakening it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Success in YM

Recently, I have been re-evaluating the way that I am doing ministry and what I ( we ) as a ministry needs to be doing. In that reflection process, I came across an old article from 2000 regarding Success. It was a ministry self evaluation study.

In it, came a few important questions. The questions were the following:

1. Am I programming or incubating ?

2. Am I managing or encouraging ?

3. Am I focused on the size of the youth group ?

4. Am I talking the faith or living the faith ?

5. Am I speeding up or slowing down ?

6. Am I playing with toys or worshipping God ?

7. Am I devoted to my church or to Jesus ?

Thanks to Tim Baker for writing those questions out and putting them in front of me numerous years ago. Throughout the next week or so, I am going to reflect and blog on these questions as it regards to my current ministry context.

The one thing that I am doing different is "investing". I am committed to investing in the lives of my volunteers this year. I am meeting with them and hearing their stories.

May we take the time and slow down ( oxy-moron ? ) and evaluate how we are doing ministry and ask the tough questions.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I am not sure why but I always try to locate a pic that depicts what I am going to write about. it started back when I was doing my Constantly Emerging blog ( non - existent now ) and the Discovery blog ( blog for the church message ).

Anywhoo, I found the comic to be a little funny. I don't think that my blog falls into that comic category.

If you have been following this week, I have introduced a new style/format to my blog and now the week circle is complete. Each day of the week, I am going to blog about a theme. Here is the final schedule ..

Monday: Weekend Recap
Tuesday: Sports
Wednesday: Youth Ministry
Thursday: Book Reading
Friday: News Stories
Saturday: Pointless Video

U of F: National Champions

It was not even close. The game was a blow-out. The University of Florida absolutely dominated the Ohio State team. A complete mis-match. I have been stating that the Big Ten was over-rated this year and that Ohio State and Michigan was not that good.

I think with both of them getting humiliated in the bowl games, that it brings some truth to the matter.

Listed below are some clips from yahoo.

Florida embarrassed Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and No. 1 Ohio State 41-14 on Monday night to run away with the college football national championship.

Troy Smith, meanwhile, joined a long list of Heisman Trophy quarterbacks — Jason White, Eric Crouch and Gino Torretta, among them — to fall apart in bowl games. He was just 4-for-14 with one interception and never showed off his elusive running.

Moss ( defensive player for U of f )had some tough words for Ohio State:

"Honestly, we've played a lot better teams than them," Moss said. "I could name four or five teams in the SEC that could probably compete with them and play the same type of game we did against them."

So, congrats to the U of F for capturing the National Championship in football. Also, congrats to U of F for being the only NCAA school ever to be holding both the National Championship trophy in Football & Basketball.

Oh, it is Tuesday .. so, Tuesday is now revealed: Tuesday will be about sports.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Long Day

At 8 pm on Sunday, this is how I felt. I was completely exhausted. It was a long day in the life of the church.

On Sunday morning, I had a reading and invite in all three services and did class room check-in's for the middle school and high school Sunday school class. The morning went well. The worship service was geared on the Epiphany. I do like the modern service better ( 2 & 3 ) but the song selection for the message tie in was much better in the 1st ( traditional songs ).

I did take an hour break after the service before gearing up for a long afternoon and evening. In the afternoon, I set up all three meeting areas and last minute read throughs of the schedule for the night and then met with eric to go over the slides for the messages.

Then the fun began.

Last night, was the first night of our new format. We open the doors at 4:30 (instead of 5:00) for open fellowship. Then ministry began at 5 pm. The worship time was good. We do need to work on better seating / viewing options - those in the back - could not see when we stood up. My message was satisfactoy. I should have just let "Pink" do the teaching. I used a song from her last night and did a pp presentation to it. I wanted to use the video - but the video is inappropriate ( IMO ) to show.

From there, we wnet into confirmation class ( those not in confirmation went up stairs ). We have 21 students signed up for confirmation - it is going to be an interesting class.

After confirmation, I had a student leadership meeting. The student leadership meeting is now a teaching time - we did "decision making". Thus, last night in the span of 2 1/2 hours: I preached, taught confirmation and led a student training time ... I was zonked.

When we got home at 8:15, I was a "bad" dad and told the boys to head up to my room and watch disney, so I could stare at the tv down stairs and eat and "recoup".

That worked great until, Isaiah had the worst bloody nose I have seen in a long time. I think after sleeping in ( 8:30 ) I am re-charged. Ohhh, btw, it is Monday and on Monday's is going to be Sunday recap days :) My wife thinks that I am off my rocker for specifying what I am going to write on certain days. Oh well.

BTW, there may be random posts through out the week ( off of the subject at hand posts ).

Saturday, January 06, 2007

T-Rex Laughing: video

So, we are doing daily postings with a theme daily.

So far, we have the following:

Wednesday = Youth Ministry

Thursday = Book Reading

Friday = News Sories

Saturday = Pointless Video

So, here is the first pointless video. It is a tribute to my youngest son, he loves T-Rex .. this one .. I am not sure about though.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Hogzilla Killed !!!

Is the "urban legend" proved to be fact today ? It is reported that Hogzilla was killed. CNN has reported the killing with video footage. Here is the article:

FAYETTE COUNTY -- An urban legend comes to life, and meets its death in northeast Georgia.

A boar weighing 1,100 pounds was shot and killed in a Fayette County neighborhood.

Residents say the wild hog had been tearing up their yards for years.

These so-called "hogzillas" have been spotted and killed in south Georgia in recent years, but the Department of Natural Resources is trying to determine if the pig shot in Fayette County this week is a state record.

People passing by the Coursey house are amazed by the boar hanging from a tree in the front yard. William Coursey, an avid hunter, shot the pig in a neighbor's yard.

Coursey says the boar is one of four that had been roaming the neighborhood, uprooting yards for seven years. He says the other three animals may have been killed previously.

He says he thought it was myth until now. Coursey and his son took the hog to a local weigh station, where it weighed in at 1,100 pounds. It's an estimated 9 feet long.

The Courseys believe the hefty hog may be the biggest ever, based on statistics they say they found in a local hunting magazine.

Experts say the large pigs are "feral," meaning they were once domesticated but now run wild. They can be dangerous, and the DNR urges that you call wildlife experts to remove the animals.

WoW, what a story. So, it is Friday and the week is winding down. On my blog on Friday's, I am going to highlight an odd / strange / crazy news story.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


On Thursdays, I am going to share with you information that has caught my attention in weekly reading that I do. From the picture above, you may think I have been reading Pooh, which is a possibility with my 3 year old ... but it is not.

One of the books that I have been reading is Risking Church: Creating a Place Where Your Heart Feels At Home by Jim Kallam Jr.

In the book, he has this statement that resonates in my heart: My heart longs for friendships that are lasting and friendships where love expressed is the prominent feature.

Individuals all around us are looking for this community. They are looking for relationships and friendships that last and love. I yearn for it and as I look at my relationships, there is no one that I can point to and go --- they are that good friend.

At times, I am envious of my wife. She has some really close friends, even though they are not in our town. As, I look at my current context, there are a few individuals who I think that I may have the ability to have this type of relationship -- time will tell.

Later on in the book, Kallam says: " Friendship requires the ability to see a friend at his or her worst and look beyond all that is ugly to what could be. It's standing with someone in the darkest of nights and allowing the light of Christ to pierce that darkness ".

The path of friendship isn't always a smooth, gentle walk. It is often messy. I pray that in 2007 that I will begin to develop a true friendship.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Having Presence

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am going to have a "format" for my blog in 2007. There will be random posts and stories but I am going to use particular days to focus on particular "issues" in my blog posts.

On Wednesdays( which is today ), I am going to have a YOUTH MINISTRY post. So here is the first post for the new method:

Change is going to happen. I am in a stage of ministry right now where I am in the midst of numerous changes. We are changing everything and that is not much of an exaggeration. Most individuals will look at that as 'unhealthy' and not wise. But, we do have a vision on where we are going and all the changes are relevant to our mission and vision.

But, change is difficult especially in the context of youth ministry. There are and will be numerous individuals who do not understand and will question our reasoning but as leaders, we need to be the change agent and bring those individuals along.

One of the things that I am committing myself to this year is my presence. I am going to be delegating a lot of my office work and administrative duties out. With my new found time and re-arranging other ministry duties: I am going to have presence in my leadership team.

Presence is critical to substantial change (quote attributed to Mark-O). Thus, with numerous changes on the horizon, I am going to be spending time with them and investing heavily into them. I will listen to them, I will encourage them and I will keep panting the picture of where we are going and how all the pieces are/will come together.

We, in the youth ministry, can not be afraid to change. It is a daunting task but we can do it. We can make the change happen. But, before we can make the changes, we must recognize where we are and where we are wanting to go and then the changes can be mapped out.

There are great quotes on change. I will leave you with one of my favorites:

"Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." by John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Best FB play of the Year

The 'Statue of Liberty' play to win the game.

BSU had blew their big lead and was losing with one minute left in the game.

They came back to tie the game on a great hook and ladder which may be the second best play of the year and sent the game in OT

Oklahoma quickly scored. BSU scored and decided to go for 2 pts for the win.

Watch the QB .. he is going to fake a pass to the right, put the ball behind his back and hand it to the RB - Ian.

Congrats to Ian proposing after the play !!!

Best Commercial On TV

This commercial seems to be linked to the Bowl Games so many of you may have not seen this.

But, I think this is one of the funniest ( subtle ) commercials out there.

I will go get some chips and salsa for their creativeness :)

Water & Sanitation

Ever since 2001 when I went to Ghana, I have had a heart and passion for Africa. I have to admit, I have not done enough - sometimes anything - to really help or curb the ache in my heart ( that terminology might not be right ).

One of the things that really 'woke' me was seeing with my own eyes, their water and sanitation needs. I saw little children bathing in "ponds" where animals bathed / used restroom and ....

I saw moms going to the same "pond" to wash their clothes. The scene went on an on. Some of the towns / communities were "blessed" that they had a well with clean water. So, folks were happy to walk miles to get some fresh water.

Why do I bring this up ? Because I came across a sobering statistic. Are you ready for a statistic that SHOULD BLOW YOU AWAY ?????

We could give everyone in the world clean water and sanitation for 8.5 BILLION DOLLARS. Now that sounds like quite a bit of money and it is ... in a sense. BUT ... here is the statistic that is MIND-BOGGING .. We, as Americans, spent 9 BILLION DOLLARDS on Black Friday. For those of you who do not know: Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving - where we go out and spend $$ on all the good deals for Christmas.

We could solve alot. I know that numerous people give. I know many people have a heart that just sacrifices over and beyond. But, think about it .. we as Americans could solve a huge world problem ....

Then, of course, we could look at the $$ we have put into the war and we could not only solve water and sanitation but we could have solved .......

Maybe if we were peacemakers, our world would be different.

Thanks Rob for verbalizing what has been turning in my soul and heart and what I have been trying to communicate. Do we really get it ??

Jan. 1: Bowl Games

I have to admit that I would love to have a play-off system for college football. HOWEVER, because we have a bowl system ... Jan. 1 brings 14 hours of football. The games this year were fantastic.

At 11 am, I began watching the Tenn vs. Penn State game. In the end, PSU won the game. I only watched it for 30 minutes though .. I switched it to the Auburn / Nebraska game. In the end .. Auburn won. I only watched the game till halftime though because at 1 pm the tv had to be switched ..

At 1 pm. WVU took center stage for me. They were playing Ga Tech. It was a lot tougher and stressful then I was hoping for, but in the end, WVU pulled it out. It was great to watch the game with some of my ute leaders.

Then came the Rose Bowl. USC / Michigan battled it close in the first half but in the second half .. USC blew it open and took Michigan down.

The pic at top comes from the BSU vs. Oklahoma game. This game was unbelievable. The 4th quarter and OT may have been the best example of football that I have ever seen. Congratulations to BSU for the upset win over the Big Twelve Champs.

This is where I wish the play-off system was in place. I want to see BSU to move on and see of they could win it all. Can a 'non-major' win the National Championship ? We may never know or never see because of our current set-up.