Thursday, July 30, 2009

Very Odd ... Stat Tracker

I only have a few handfuls of people that check in my blog, but occasionally, I get "spikes". Sometimes, these spikes are amusing over why the came here. Here is a sample: the photo is small but if you click on it, it will come bigger.

On Sunday, July 26 (typically a slow day - om 7/19, I had 5 hits), I had 83 hits with 130 pageviews (110 were the same post) and the next day, Monday the 27th, I had 9 hits. All the hits came from a 2007 post on born again lazy .... weird I tell you.

In case your curious, here are the top 4 posts (reviewed)

# 1 - William Paul Interview

# 2 - Badaboomz-Ale-House-Grill

# 3 - Gandhi-Christianity

# 4 - Ray-Boltz-Out-Of-Closet

My highest day by far was on November 5th, 2008 with 185 hits and they were almost all on my Ale House Grill post, a cook linked to me because of the burger.

Words of Thanks: Ray Nagin

Words of Thanks - New Orleans Mayor, C. Ray Nagin, New Orleans City Councilwoman, Cynthia Willard-Lewis, and ELCA Presiding Bishop, Mark Hanson express their gratitude.Mayor Nagin's delivered his remarks to the Youth Gathering on Saturday night, July 25th at the Louisiana Superdome


On Saturday night, Mayor Nagin came out during the general session and gave a special thanks to us. Here is the video:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We Will Rock (Love) You

The House Band did a "parody" to We Will Rock You - it was We Will Love You. Take 4 minutes to watch - feel the energy of 37,000 Lutherans ... see, we can have fun.

By the way, are you truly loving people ?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back In Ohio

I am back in Ohio.

It was a great trip to New Orleans. We had an absolute blast.

The 19 hour drive down there ( 2 days - hotel stay in Tuscaloosa ) was great and very uneventful. We did run into some heavy rain in Alabama and Mississippi, but nothing that was over-bearing. We decided to park in the Park-N-Fly by the airport and ride the shuttle to the airport and then ride the hotel shuttle in (smart move). All of that was fantastic and smooth.

Our hotel was unbelievable. It was the nicest hotel that I believe that I ever stayed at. The hotel was the Chateau Bourbon and is located at the corners of Iberville and Bourbon and Canal ( a whole block ). It is in a fantastic location - great walking distance to everything.

The one thing that I love about NOLA is the food, it is out of the world and we had some great times at the restaurants. There is probably only one that I would cross off my list for the next time that I am in the city and that would be Deanie's. We only chose that because it was very late - Sat night - and it was next to our hotel.

I think that my favorite few hours of the trip was our Saturday morning walk to Jackson Square to go to Cafe Du Mounde for beignets. We sat on the steps across the square and enjoyed the morning. We then walked back to the hotel and swam for 90 mins - we were the only ones in the pool and then went to the Red Fish Grill for lunch on Bourbon Street. Those 5 hours were a total blast.

The main sessions were great. It was wonderful being there with 37,000 people worshiping God. The house band was excellent, the variety of speakers were very good and the musicians were good (especially Skillet).

Our drive home was once again excellent and this time we stopped in Cullman.

The 7 youth and 3 adults that went made up an excellent team and I am extremely thankful for them. I also am very thankful for the awesome support of their parents and churches who made this happen. It will be an experience the youth will not forget.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Post 1,000

I have had numerous blogs before Thoughts From Jeff but a couple of years ago, I switched to Thoughts From Jeff for the "catch all" of most things. In the blog, I throw everything in here and that drives people crazy because they never know what to expect.

I am logged in tonight/this morning from New Orleans. i was going to make a post on The Gathering and share a few thoughts about The Gathering and New Orleans and as I did that, I noticed that this will be my 1,000 post on this blog, so I decided to make a note of that - not that many people care about it.

I am going to put a video up that is poor quality - a great thing to do on my 1,000 post; right ???

The video is from the Skillet concert that ended a few hours ago. The song is called Last night and it is a very powerful song. As mentioned, the quality is pretty bad. I "filmed" it on my old camera that is not meant for videos of this sort.

However, I wanted to show it because of the pyro and the excitement that you can see of the 37,000 people that are at the gathering. I am at over 500 photos already. I am not sure what I am going to do with getting some of them on the blog. They are all loaded on facebook if you are there and a friend of mine. Maybe, I will do my Top 20 when I get home.

I am looking forward to tomorrow - it is Cafe Du Monde morning. Yum.

I am out, I should have done something fancy for this post, like my top 10 posts of all times .. but that is too much work :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

What A Week

Last week was fantastic.

We had our Vacation Bible School at the church and it was excellent. We had a really great time. Our theme for the week was Superheroes and the kids seemed to really get into it; especially on Friday when they were able to come as a superhero of their choice.

The thing that I am holding onto are the connections. We have some wonderful individuals that live in Wooster and they came to be part of the VBS and the time together was great.

Also, I had the opportunity to meet some of the children of the community. I "knew" a good many of them from Cornerstone and around town but never really spent time with them and this week, I had the opportunity to do that - they are a wonderful bunch and I look forward to partnering with them in various ways ......

This week is also going to be hectic but fantastic. In 22 hours, we will be departing for New Orleans. We have 7 students and 3 adults who are headed down there. We will meet up with 37,000 people down there - great times.

Tomorrow, we will travel about 12 hours and spend the night in Tucaloosa, Alabama. It will/should bring back some Alabama memories. We will be in NOLA from Wednesday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. We then begin the trek back and we will once again stay in Alabama over night before getting back to Woo on Monday night.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vacation Bible School

Night 3 was a great night. We had 66 kids and we talked about Gideon and having courage. Here are the pics of night 3 set to the song On and On. This is the video that we are showing on day 4 (thursday) closing:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Salvation Is Here

Here is the song Salvation Is Here. I put VBS pics (the first two nights) to it. I just finished it and we will be showing it during our closing session tonight. They love seeing their pics on the big screen and it will also reinforce the song - they will be singing it at the closing program.

We had 73 kids on night one and 67 kids yesterday. We are having fun and the kids seem to be enjoying the Superheroes theme.

Monday: Kid Confidence: Daniel
Tuesday: The Forgivenator: Esau

Tonight is Guts Girl with us looking at Gideon. I will share more stories and more pics later.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

VBS is Upon Us

On Monday, VBS starts. It has been a very long week wrapping everything up. There have been many 12 hour days. Thus, I have not been in contact with many people.

I am looking forward to the week, it should be fun. We have 58 kids pre-registered. I am not sure how many of them will show or how many more we will have come that have not registered.

Almost everything is set.

Ready, Set, Go.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Matt Moniz: A Hero

BOULDER, Colo. — Matt Moniz, the 11-year-old Boulderite who became the youngest person ever to summit Argentina's 22,841-foot Cerro Aconcagua last December, has set his sights on a daunting new project.

Starting Friday, he and a group of family and friends will attempt to climb 14 of Colorado's 14ers in 14 days to raise money for an ailing friend, Ian Hess.

So far, Moniz has raised about $14,000. Details of the climbing project are on Moniz's Web site,

Way to Go Matt ! I hope that the journey goes well for you and thank-you for compassion and your willingness to help your friend. We, adults, have a lot to learn from you.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Fall 2009

I have taken a few hour break from my Vacation Bible School preparation and have been working on calendaring for the fall. I am really not sure what direction that I want to lean. A lot of it may rest on a few of my confirmation students. I would like to switch confirmation to Sunday night and move "youth" to Wednesday night; at least, I think that is what I want to do .... BUT, I am also looking at the "upper elementary" age and what we might be able to place on the calendar. We have a good potentioal there. I am not sure if that would be a Sunday afternoon and if we would do 1 or 2 times a month. We will have to see.

I also have been looking at weekend trips for each group and how that will play on the calendar and how it will "mesh" not only with each other but other things on the church calendar. I feel that I am at a dance. I need (want) to dance with a few different folks but I cannot have the dances overlap ....

Maybe, I will put that aside and focus back on VBS. I think that i am going to have fun with one group and have 3 Chris's be the group leader ....

Back to planning ....