Monday, March 26, 2007


I am currently putting the finishing touches on an article on Suicide. I am not really sure how I am feeling about the article. But my deadline for it is tomorrow, so I am hoping that it wraps up nicely.

I hurt for individuals who are struggling and they see this as the best and sometimes, the only option for them.

I will let you know how it turns out.

Locked - Out

On Saturday, I got locked out of my house. The wife and the kids were over an hour away and there was no one else with a key. Thankfully, the beautiful weather that caused me to open a window to watch the game - saved the day. However, there are two things that made this interesting:

1. The dog is the one who locked me out.
2. I had to hurdle / scale / climb a 7+ ft. fence with extremely soggy watered down grass on the other side.

Oooooh the fun.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Frap ...

I could agree with this drink. I do not go there too much. In Alabama, I would go there with some of the utes'. I have gone there twice in '07 but have not had this .. maybe I will try it. On the description of me ... ummm, i guess ( at times ).

White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

One of a kind and forward looking, you're the first to introduce a wacky new trend to your friends. And even if your ideas seem weird, they get adopted pretty quickly.

Raw Lyrics

Do not let the name of the band, the album title or album cover make you think that this is a "christian" album that I am promoting.

For that matter, if you go to the store looking for it - you will find parental advisory labels on the cover. Recwntly, I was flippin' channels and heard something about them - so I checked some of their stuff out.

They are pure metal and some of their lyrics will make you cover your ears .. but they are raw and from them and where they are at in their life journey .. read their lyrics and see what you think

Blacken The Cursed Sun

Seize the darkened day, there's only hell to pay.
And no left to see this prodigal return.
Sweet apathy's black toll,
You'll mourn the traded soul.
I'll dig a deeper hole, sanctity a breath away.
Just a breath away.

Blacken the cursed sun,
You're not the only one.
To have sunk so far and low,
There is no tomorrow.

A tragedy on display,
A sickness for all to see,
I will kill this part of myself that I hate and that I see in you.
It was always mine anyway,
There's somethings you can't take away.
I choose not to feel a thing,
Sanctity a breath away.
Just a breath away.

Blacken the cursed sun,
You're not the only one.
To have sunk so far and low,
There is no tomorrow.
Blacken the cursed sun,
Blacken what's yet to be done.
Blacken because now you know,
There is no tomorrow.

You're just a breath away.

Better to die quick fighting on your feet,
Then to live forever begging on your knees.

Can we still be saved?
Does your god hold a place for us?
Is there time to repent?
Will we rise from the dead?
Can these sins even be forgiven?
Is there still hope for us?
Were we ever even alive?
Is any of this even real?

Hell no.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Forgiveness: Sorta

WoW, what a tough word to digest. Tonight, forgiveness was the topic of our Worship. I think that my wife's mind moved swiftly to the indivual who fell sleep at the wheel and crashed into her. She found it "ironic" that this message came the day before we go to court for the verdict.

I have forgiven the man and the situation but that does not mean that I am going to drop everything and not make him ( his insurance company ) pay for our medical bills, all our items we lost in the wreck and some emotional drain that it caused on the family.

As I was thinking about this ( the case tomorrow ) ... I have had two drives that have been extremely difficult. The two drives are days that will be etched in my mind forever. They are September 6, 1997 and June 18, 2006.

On September 6th, I was driving from the Pittsburgh International Airport to Magee Hospital not knowing if my 2 day old son was still surviving in NICU and also not knowing what my wife's condition was as she was facing immediate surgery to save her life. The thoughts were unbelieveable. There were many pounds on the steering wheel as I blitzed to the hospital at high speeds.

The second drive was on June 18, 2007. We were moving from Alabama to Indiana. There was a gap between my wife and me - she was ahead in the car and I was in the back with a 26 foot U-Haul. I get a frantic call that I disconnected because I was in heavy traffic. I called back 5 mins later ( approx. ) to hear my wife frantic - kids screaming and an EMT that took the phone to explain that my family was in a bad car accident.

In the 26 ft. U-Haul, I floored it. I was instructed to come to them immediately. Thus, when traffic stopped, I took the 26 ft. U-Haul on the shoulder blitzing on that at 70-75 mph. For 15+ minutes, I did not know what I was going to witness.

It was chaos .... more later.

*** Post didn't really focus on forgiveness **

Monday, March 19, 2007


This weekend, we had a high school lock-in at the church. The pic above is a pic of most of the students that attended the event. We had a great time hangin' out and socializing.

the guys really liked playing dodgeball, basketball and riding their skateboards in the church - who would not have fun doing that in the sanctuary and fellowship hall of the church.

the ladies enjoyed lounging around and chatting all night and watching the movies on the big screen.

we had about 34 kids there and they put down the food. the one problem ... they could not hold onto their cups .. where did they go ??

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

5th & 6th Grade Ministry

Our student ministry name is The Journey. We believe that each one of us is on a journey and we are all at different stages, but yet we are still journeying through life together. We are about to launch ( less than 3 months ) a new ministry called Route 56 - not too original I know - but it works - especially with our theme.

I am looking forward to this ministry. It is going to be a transitional time for our students. One of the great things for us is that this is going to be a joint effort between the children's ministry and the student's ministry. Also, the sixth graders will also still be able to be part of the middle school sunday afternoon/evening ministry.

We will essentially have 4 components of our ministry. We will have the following:

- Sunday School
- Last Friday ( event on the last Friday of each month )
- Quarterly Event
- Summer Trip

The Last Friday event will rotate between a service project and a fellowship event. The quarterly events will be geared for big fellowship outings. The summer trip may be a pre-teen mission trip that will kick off the new Route 56 ministry.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Does Anybody Hear Her ?

It has been about 5 days since I last made a post. I have been in a little bit of a funk lately and a little overwhelmed. So, here I am at midnight, finally doing a post.

This post is going to be a music video. I have heard the song numerous times, but the song never really registered. It was a song that I enjoyed the music, the words were nice sounding - but I never paid attention to the words. I hate when I do that. There is so much to learn through songs. I love lyrics that are "raw".

Anyways, this weekend, I had WOW 2007 video in - testing out our new projector. The video came on with this song and I really listened to the message. It touched my heart strings.

You see, we as Christians, are pretty nasty at times and we get this holier-than-thou mentality. We squash people around us and do not even blink a eye. We give lip service to saying that we want to show God's love but a lot of times, it is a bunch of crock. My question to you is this: do you really hear them?

Please take 4 minutes, watch the video and answer the question.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Formalize Goals

Okay, so we will start off a little light and maybe even irrelevant to the topic at hand. But, I wanted to show it because I love "despair".

Anyways, when you are in the dreaming process and you are trying to make the dream a reality, there is a time and a place for goals. It is not enough to just have them out there - but you need to list them and formalize the goals.

Currently in our ministry, we are in the process of some big changes. We are going to be moving from one ministry to three ministries. That in itself is going to be a goal. We will "formalize" this by putting it in "concrete". We will state to our team and to our students and to our parents the following:

We are making a switch from one ministry to three ministries and these ministries will be "over-lapping". This new change will be implemented by August of 2007.

Now each of the three ministries will have individual goals within their ministries. Each group will state 3 - 5 goals that they hope to accomplish during the 2007-8 school year.

If you do not formalize the goals, they will not happen. Write them down, share them with indiiduals and implement ministry components that will make the goals a reality.

Indiana Canine Assistant & Adolescence Network

The photo above is a picture of Jacob listening intently during a presentation that was at our church yesterday.

History on ICAAN

ICAAN, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

ICAAN was founded in Indianapolis, IN in 2001 by Sally Irvin, Ph.D. Dr. Irvin's interest in creating connections between behaviorally at-risk individuals, animals, and persons with physical disabilities led to the initiation of this non-profit organization.

The ICAAN program began at Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility, initially working with two incarcerated adolescents. Interest has grown rapidly and the program has now expanded to included offerings at three central Indiana locations. Since ICAAN's beginning in September of 2001, ICAAN has placed 11 skilled companion or assistance dogs with children and adults in Indiana. Additionally, ICAAN has placed 17 in-home therapy dogs and has provided education and rehabilitation to over 250 at-risk youth and 68 adult offenders.

ICAAN is seeing amazing results. The pic below is a pic of Martha doing a demonstration how how she turns on / off a light.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Act NOT React

Act NOT React is gonna be my slogan for awhile. Too many times in churches we sit on our hands and we re-act to what is occurring and happening around us. To me, that has to change. We need to ACT.

I am going to take this approach in my life and in my ministry. We must act first if we want to keep moving ahead. It may be the tough thing to do in some circumstances ... but it is the risk that we must take.

Changes Are Coming ???

What is The Buzz ??

For me, it may be the changes that I may attempt to change in the student ministry. There are going to be numerous changes that may be occurring when the new school year comes around.

I am bolding may because I do not want individuals that read this to state it as a FACT. One of the things that I have always been concerned about is the "transitional" years. For us in ministry, I think that there are two particular grades that are tough. They are grades 6 & 9.

So, one of the changes that we are looking at is using these grades as transitional stages in our ministry. What does this mean ? Well for me / us, I think that it will mean that at both level these students will have one foot in each department.

How will this work ? I am not sure ... I have not seen many ( really any ) that have attempted this so I am treading unchartered water. I am sure there are ... I just have not witnessed and read about it. At the present time, I can not reveal my thoughts / plans. I want to present them to my leaders ( March 12 )and Parents Committee Meeting ( March 19 ). This will be interesting though ...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Foot Washing Service = Hazing

Ok, I usually am not one who would comment on this type of an issue but I decided on this one, I am going to comment and use my blog to put this issue out there. Most of the times when I hear Christians 'whine' about unfair treatment .... I think that they go overboard and are being ridiculous ... but this is different.

Here is the scoop:

“It’s ridiculous that a public university would kick a ministry off campus simply for exercising its First Amendment right to free speech and to model Christ’s ministry among its members,” These are the words from the attorney who filed the lawsuit against Savannah State University.

I am sure that you are asking what did they do ??? Well, this is what the students did and what the school did to them ....

The School action ......
On April 10, university officials informed the group it that it was suspended from campus. Suspension is the second highest sanction against a student group under the Savannah State University Code of Student Ethics. Suspended groups are denied access to university benefits and facilities.

What the students did do cause this action ....
The university complained that the ministry had engaged in “harassment,” because its members shared their faith with other students, and “hazing,” because its leaders washed the feet, as Jesus did with his disciples, of new members during a worship service. Foot washing is an ancient Christian custom reflecting Jesus’ service and love for his disciples. The university took the position that foot washing was “an activity which endangers or is likely to endanger the physical health of a student, regardless of the student’s willingness to participate in such activity.”

And it did not end because the students did the following and the school did the following:

On Sept. 11, university officials applied the highest sanction, complete and formal expulsion from campus, alleging that the group violated its suspension when some of its members individually participated in a contemporary Christian music event during the weekend.

Here is the story

Lawsuit ... here we come. I will be interested in seeing what happens.

Weekend Recap

Well this weekend was a very long and tiring weekend, but it was good.

On Friday morning, we ( church staff - 7 of us ) headed to Montgomery, Alabama. Due to numerous stops, a long lunch and B'ham traffic, we did not get there till a little after 7 ( 6 their time ). We quickly ate and then went to the first general session ( 2 hours ). The worship was blah to me but his talk was good. We then went to the Wingate to check-in and then we went to Up-The-Creek to unwind and catch our breath.

On Saturday, we had 4 sessions ( I went to 3 ). During the 4th session, I had the op to talk to the former YM from Frazier ( left last week ). So, I took that opportunity to listen to him instead of the fourth session ... These were the sessions I attended:

- youth ministry ( 7 - 12 grade )
- transitional ministry ( 5 - 6 grade )
- youth worship arts ( it really was glorified youth choir )

We then went out to eat at Jim & Nick's ( YES ! ) and then back to the church for their contemporary worship experience. After the service we went to Wing's before retiring for the night.

On Sunday, we left a 7 am. We made much better time coming home. We got back a little after 6 pm ( we lost an hour ) and I hung around with the students - adults had everything under control. Then i went home and vegged in front of the tv.

Words from the convention to live by: Act don't React

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Great Presidential Speeches

David Letterman is making fun of President Bush. He has a segment called "Great Presidential Speeches". At times, it is quite amuzing. He lines up "great speeches" of the past and then put Bush bloopers afterwards. Well, someone has put a collection of them together. Their editing skills are not perfect, so you will have to bare with that but here are some of the clips Letterman has used ...

Muffins: Oh My !

Someday, I will learn. When I am surfing someone's blog and I see a video link, I feel an urge to click on it and watch. Well, Marko, had a video on his that was a "hit" from his daughter. Thus, I had to check it out. I REALLY am not sure what to think about it. I kinda sat in silent, a little shocked, mouth open .. going ' umm, this is disturbing " but inside I was laughing and going .. these guys were very creative in having some fun .. So, if you are ready ..