Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Entertainment: WayCool Site.

Have you ever come across one of those web sites that you just have to let everyone know about? Well, I have found one. This site has archived over 5 billion sites all the way back to 1996 (thats ancient by internet standards). Any way just click on the logo above and try it out. It was fun looking at the Apple web site from 1996. My how things have changed.

Apple Website 1998

Apple Website 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ministry: Bad Christian T-Shirts.

In light of the "Awards Season" I would like to recognize the "Worst Christian T-Shirt". As much as I don't want to admit it, I have owned and worn bad Christian t-shirts. Its like one of those things we cant avoid in the Christian culture. I was looking through some websites and was trying to find what I considered to be the worst of the Christian t-shirts. Are these designers serious? Im not bashing or anything, but these people are a little off and in my humble opinion weird.
Drum roll please ....................................
To find out my choice for "Worst Christian T-Shirt" click on the picture.
Now, what's your choice?

Ministry: Student Life Tour

This weekend I took twenty-some-odd students up to Melbourne, Fl. for a mini-conference put on by StudentLife. If you are not familiar with this organization, they put on camps, programs (Internet based Bible Study), mission trips and the tour. The featured speaker was Erwin McManus and the worship guy was Charlie Hall.

Friday PM: We arrived on Friday night about 7:00 PM and right off of the bat Charlie kicked in. If you haven't bought his latest release, you should get, its off the hook! Then Erwin (he made fun of his own name!) talked about Initiative. He used a fantastic analogy about his son jumping off of the roof into his arms below. The students seemed to really enjoy the first session. From here we took off for our hotel a couple of miles down the street. We went to bed fairly early for a group of our caliber, midnight or so.

Saturday AM: We awoke early so we could tear up a continental breakfast (you know the free ones at hotels). We arrived at the hosting facility at 8:00 AM so we could get good seats. I'm one of those guys that likes to sit up front. Our designated "runners" went right to the front row and saved us all seats. Charlie led us in worship, then Erwin talked about Influence. As Christians we should be influencers not influence by the world.

Saturday PM:After a lunch break spent at the local mall food court, we began the afternoon session with Charlie Hall and band leading us with "Marvelous Light" and other worship songs. Then Erwin closed out the conference with a message about Risk. It was an amazing message to students (and me) about the important of faith based risk. When the tour was over we all hopped in the cruiser and drove to Melbourne Beach for a time of worship and sharing on the beach. This was a very cool time where students shared what the Lord spoke to them about over the weekend.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

This week I experienced my first Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference. I wasn't sure I would be able to attend until Sunday just because of my schedule and other potential conflicts. Well, I did get to go and below I will share 4 Highlights from the Conference:
1. Chuck Smith - For the first time in my life I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Chuck teach in person. What a cool experience. I have heard some of the great preachers and teachers of out time, but I can honestly say this man brings the Word more effectively than any of them. Pastor Chuck may not be dynamic (he candidly talked about this, it was really funny), or flashy (dude had Sansabelt pants on!) but he "brought it" as BM says. I couldn't get over the grace and truth in his delivery.
2. Reconnecting - Whether it was hanging out with my boy Mark Rod or Jim Young or the ride up and back with Chris Tress, it was so cool just talking to guys who are doing ministry just like me, but in another context or region. I love what the Lord has called me to do and there is nothing more encouraging than being sharpened by others that do the same thing. Thanks Mark, Chris, Jim, Greg, Raf, Brody, BJ, Michael and all the other guys that I was able to reconnect with in just the slightest way.
3. Panel Discussion - On Tuesday, there was a panel made up of a bunch of Calvary guys. Chuck Smith, Bob Coy, Bob Franquiz, Don McClure, Danny Hodges and MC Gayle Erwin. I felt like I was sitting in someone's living room while these guys talked about anything from "Brokeback Mountain" to Israel and Palestine. Great dialogue. I love hearing some of Chuck's "inside" stories.
4. Daily Grill - I know this is real shallow and all, but the restaurant at CC FtL is unreal! I felt like I was in some nice spot downtown. The food was off the chain! They had this awesome brick oven pizza, amazing pasta and oh yeah, brownies that rocked my world (I only had one). This place was great for hanging out for lunch and dinner. I had some great conversations with some of my boys in this spot.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Entertainment: Young Chuck Norris

Heres a little something for ya'! A great SNL skit mocking the inamous Chuck Norris, one of my personal favorites. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Entertainment: TV Revolution.

Last year Penny and I began a subscription to TiVo. Our television viewing experiences have never been the same. What's so amazing is the fact that we can record every show we want and watch them whenever we want. We can fast forward through commercials and pause live TV! Well I wanted to compile a list of the show Penny and have a Season Pass for. This is probably the coolest trick TiVo offers. You can record the same show on a schedule, and it actually works as opposed to the old VCR timer days. Here's my list, enjoy!

LOST - of course. This is a given for us. Quite possibly the greatest mystery drama ever on TV. What's great is we can rewind to the parts where we may have missed a crucial part of the show.
Invasion - we watch this because it is actually a good mystery. It's not in the stratosphere of LOST, but its still intriguing.
The Office - the only comedy that is worth watching multiple times (not that I do that.)
Cheers - yes the Cheers, where everybody knows your name. This show never gets old. I can watch episodes of this when ever I want. Its one of those shows I like to chill out to. I have actually been to the real Cheers in Boston. The bathroom is really small and Norm is not there.
Scare Tactics - a very erratic schedule makes it hard to follow, so TiVo follows it for me! I love to see people get messed up and freaked out. One that you have seen here on Life & Times is the Rat Boy experiment episode. If you have not seen it, click here !
Miami Vice - Tubbs and Crockett live on at my convenience! When ever I feel like getting a good laugh at some really bad acting, effects and cheesy styles all I have to do is press the "Play Now" button.
CSI: Miami, Biggest Loser, SportsCentury - some other shows that I record and watch at my convenience. Honestly, I don't watch all of the shows and their episodes. It's just really convenient to have them on the hard drive of my TiVo component. If you don't have TiVo yet, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Entertainment: 2 Great Movies.

Glory Road - 40 years ago, coach Don Haskins went on the recruiting trail to find the best talent in the land, black or white. 7 blacks and 5 whites made up the legendary 1965-66 Texas Western Miners. They were mocked and ridiculed for their showboating and flaunting of black players on the court. Yet, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, Haskins and his Miners came together as a team united to reach the National Championship game against powerhouse Kentucky. I love the story, the accuracy and that fact I was entertained and moved without any language issues or questionable content. My suggestion, go see it. It will rock your world!

End of the Spear - This is the story of Mincayani, a Waorani tribesman from the jungles of Ecuador and five young missionaries, Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming and Roger Youderian who are speared to death by the Waorani in 1956. A series of events unfold to change the lives of not only the slain missionaries families, but also Mincayani and his people. I appreciate how the love of Christ is exemplified. but not in your face. This is definatly one of the best produced, filmed and acted Christian films ever. I will purchase this movie when it is released on dvd.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ministry: iPod & God

Thanks Dave Caolo. Just click on picture to read more........

Friday, January 20, 2006

Family: My Dad & Chuck Norris

As a child of the '80's I am very familiar with cheesey action films. My dad and I used to rent or go see each and every one. There were several actors that typically acted in them: Sylvester Stallone, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, etcetera. But there is one actor that stands out from the rest, you guessed it, the one and only Chuck Norris. He starred in such masterpeices as Delta Force 1& 2, Missing In Action 1,2,&3, Lone Wolf Maquade and Invasion USA. For 10 years on CBS he played Cord Walker in "Walker: Texas Ranger" . To this day, Mr. Norris is considered one of the great American movie heros. I think its due to his legendary ability to monopolize the father and son male bonding, movie watching experiences.
One particular web site put together the top eleven Chuck Norris Facts:

1. Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried. Ever.

2. Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

3. Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

4. The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

5. If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck Norris, you may be only seconds away from death.

6. Chuck Norris has counted to infinity. Twice.

7. Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting implies
the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.

8. The Great Wall of China was originally created to keep Chuck Norris out. It failed miserably.

9. A Handicapped parking sign does not signify that this spot is for handicapped people. It is actually in fact a warning, that the spot belongs to Chuck Norris and that you will be handicapped if you park there.

10. In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone else has ever gotten.

11. There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Entertainment: Gay Cowboy Movie?

On Monday January 16, 2006 movie director Ang Lee won a few Golden Globe Award's for his new gay cowboy movie "Brokeback Mountain". Think about it, this is the same guy who directed the "Hulk" movie a few years ago. For some reason he was inspired to make, a gay porn flick about cowboys! You have come a long way Ang. From what I hear there is explicit and graphic sexual scenes between the actors, Jake Gyllenhaal (October Sky, Jarhead) and Heath Ledger (The Patriot). These guys go from acting as American heros, to some cowboys who can't seem to figure out their sexual identity. Come on! Isn't it obvious that this is just Hollywood's latest attempt at making the sins of homosexuality and sexual immorality normal and excepted in our culture. It is trivial to me that this movie can be awarded for such fodder. Look out Oscars!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Entertainment: Weird Web Stuff.

I was born in Kentucky, so I understand the whole redneck thing, or at least I thought I did until I saw this. A Bumper Dumper! This is a real product! Boy, Uncle Booger is a real genius. Who would of thought to put a toilet on the back of a truck? Well, Uncle Booger did. After finding this, I thought I would love to hear from you. So lets share each others bizarre "web-finds". Post some of your interesting finds and I will publish your best.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ministry: Starbucks.

For Christmas my wife gave me a Starbucks card with like $15 on it. Pretty cool gift, too bad I used it in just 3 visits! The whole Starbucks thing totally amazes me. People (including me) will pay $4 for a cup of coffee all because of the environment that is created. Honestly, does Starbucks coffee taste $3 a cup more than the competitor? NO. Its all about environment. I can sure learn a lot from Mr. Starbuck (if there is such a guy). So with this in mind, I have compiled my own list of things I have learned from Starbucks, enjoy, or maybe share some things you have learned from Starbucks.

4 Things I Have Learned From Starbucks:
1. Excellence. When you walk into a Starbucks franchise, you always notice specific things, the warm colors, cool lighting and inviting sitting areas. The quality of the products used such as tables, chairs and light fixtures is amazing! They use high end items so that people will have a high end experience. I believe excellence is what separates Starbucks from the rest.

2. Pay Attention to Detail. Of the thousands of visits I have made to Starbucks all over the country, I have had one bad experience at a Starbucks. Its because the employees want to serve the customer because they believe in what they are selling. When I walk into my local Starbucks the staff there knows me, and are eager to serve me. They always know "the usual"..........tall sugar-free vanilla soy latte! That's detail.

3. Be Consistent. Starbucks offers the most consistently good product out there. The product isn't just the coffee or drink. Its the sugar free banana bread, the background music (today some Aretha and Otis Redding!), the consistently pleasant employees, the tables, the chairs, the smell and even the ridiculous prices! All consistent. Dependable. Something we could all use a little more of.

4. Availability As I drive around the area, here in South Florida, Starbucks are everywhere. I mean you can't go five miles without a franchise close by. In my town of Jupiter right now we only have one, before long there will be another (in the spring). If I want a tall sugar-free vanilla soy latte, I am always within five minutes of having that warm cardboard wrapped cup of Starbucks latte.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Entertainment: Too Good to be True?

Have you gotten those emails that seem too good to be true? You know the ones about free iPods? Well I've done a little investigation and found out the free iPod thing is real. Im one of those skeptical guys when it comes to this stuff. But I was just on the Unofficial Apple Weblog and read an article by a guy who has been successful in getting a free 30 GIG 5G Black video iPod. After being convinced that this is the real deal, I went on and tried it. Supposedly after 5 people hit your link and sign up you get a free iPod of your choice. I have chosen the black Nano. Now, I ask you, my blogging friends, can we try this? Let me know what you think. My link! Just click on it proceed and pass it on to others.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Entertainment: A Waste of Time?

If you have been checking out "Life & Times" for any amount of time, you know I love sports. Thanks to a friend of mine (a fellow sports junkie) I am a Fantasy Sports competitor. Last year I competed in my first league, a baseball league. I was so into it, that I joined 3 other baseball leagues. Then football season started. I got 3 more teams. Then basketball season, 3 more teams. Do I qualify as a junkie yet? If you haven't gotten involved in Fantasy Sports yet, your missing out. Missing out on countless minutes of investigating and strategy. Dropping players, adding players. Auto drafts and live drafts. Its crazy! I must admit, Im hooked. It's cool getting a taste of what its like to manage a team. Last week I finished 2nd in one football league (Ligers) , 7th in another (BrownHornets) and yes , I won the championship (CrackJaw) in another league. For basketball, Im 2nd in one league (FuriousFive) and 9th in another (BrownHornets). So, what are you waiting for, sign up today!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Entertainment: Who is Robert Goulet?

Let me be honest. Before Hurricane Wilma hit the South Florida coast I had no idea who Robert Goulet was or is. Seriously, I had heard his name here and there, but I never knew about this guy. Well, after watching Will Ferrell impersonate Goulet with some friends (Wilma-time) I was intrigued. After MONTHS of investigation, I have for you some info on Mr. Goulets long and....uhmm...Prestigious career. Here it is:

"Recess: School's Out" (2001) (singing voice) .... Michael 'Mikey' Blumberg (singing)
"G-Men from Hell" (2000) .... Devil
"Toy Story 2" (1999) (singing voice) .... Wheezy the Penguin
'Weird Al' Yankovic: The Videos (1996) (V) .... Himself (You Don't Love Me Anymore)
The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991) .... Quentin Hapsburg
"Wrestlemania VI" (1990) (V) .... Himself
"Beetle Juice" (1988) .... Maxie Dean
"Scrooged" (1988) .... Himself
"Kiss Me Kate" (1968) (TV) .... Fred Graham/'Petruchio'
"Carousel" (1967) (TV) .... Billy Bigelow
"I Deal In Danger" (1966) .... David March
Brigadoon (1966) (TV) .... Tommy Albright
"The Daydreamer" (1966) (voice) .... The Singer
"Blue Light" (1966) TV Series .... David March
"I'd Rather Be Rich" (1964) .... Paul Benton
"Honeymoon Hotel" (1964) .... Ross Kingsley
"Howdy Doody" (1954) TV Series .... Trapper Pierre

........As you can see Mr. Goulet is a very, versatile actor/performer. So for those of you that have always wondered, Mr. G. has played anyone from himself to the devil to Mikey from Recess (you know, the cartoon). Heck, he was even on Howdy Dowdy! All I can say is...........Goulet!

Great video of a hip hopping Goulet.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Best of 2006: TV

The Office - Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, Jim & Pam. Need I say more? Ok, how about Dunder Mifflin, Scranton, Chilies and Jan Levinson. Need more? How about "Thats what she said!" or "If luck weren’t involved, I would always be winning." or "Why tip someone for a job I’m capable of doing myself? I can deliver food. I can drive a taxi. I can, and do, cut my own hair. I did, however, tip my urologist. Because I am unable to pulverize my own kidney stones."

LOST - as much as season 2 dragged on and on, I still stuck with this show. It has lost some of it's luster but it's like crack TV, I cant get enough. Please no more flashbacks! I just want to know all of the now details, NOW!

Deal or No Deal - I have admitted here on Life & Times my like for this prime time game show. What is so great about this show is that it is brainless and any shmo can play it. People get all worked up thinking that they could pick a better case than the contestant. Howie represent us bald folks well.

Dateline - Internet predators busted. Crimes solved. I love how Stone Phillips takes you step by step through a crime or Chris Hansen walks up to a dirty old man who is anticipating a 13 year old. I never knew how many twisted messed up crimes of passion went on in this country until I watched this show.

30 Rock - Alec Baldwin steals the show in this outrageous SNL-influenced comedy. I think this show helps solidify the new "Must See TV" on NBC, along with My Name is Earl, previously mentioned The Office, Scrubs and late night with ER.


Family: Welcome Dad!

My dad has joined the world of blogging. I would encourage everyone to check out his blog out. The title is "Old Guy Stuff" and he rants about such things as God, Family, Corvettes, Harleys, Mountain Bikes, Guns and other things American.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Best of 2006: Movies

"Apocalypto" - Mel Gibson's epic about a young Mayan man trying to survive. Read my review here.

"Deja Vu" - An unbelievable movie about a cop that gets involved in a a crazy investigation turned time travel caper. Doesn't get good reviews. So what. Denzel's latest. Need I say more?

- Another sappy but true sports story about a guy who goes from a bartender to a pro football player for the Philly Eagles. Not bad for Marky Mark.

"United 93" - An interpretation of what may have happened on United flight 93 on September 11, 2001. It really welled up some of the emotions from that day.

"Madeas Family Reunion" - Tyler Perry plays an old school crazy old lady who takes in a troubled teen. Hilarious, quirky and good moral of the story. Family and God's love are the most important values.

"Click" - A funny movie about a guy who gets a special remote that can operate his life. I'm a sucker for an Adam Sandler movie.


Ministry: 2006.

I'm a big Tozer fan. I have been reading "The Pursuit of God" again and at the end of each chapter he has a prayer. I know its kind of wordy and what not, but its challenging. This is my prayer and hope for '06.

God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, any love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

-A.W. Tozer