Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Entertainment: Game 5.

We all know it's in D-Wade. it's the ability to score at will; it's including his team mates in the game; it's sharing the spotlight with Shaq; it's taking the game over in the fouth quarter. it's in D-Wade. Is it in Miami to beat Detroit? Is it in Shaq to continue dominating the inside? Is it in Udonis Haslem to be the needed rebounder and hit the open jumper? Is it in Antoine Walker to be self-controlled and not chuck up three's when there is no one inside to rebound? Is it in Gary Payton to keep his mouth shut and let D-Wade lead this team? Is it in Pat Riley to have his guys ready to win in a hostile environment? Is it in the Miami Heat to de-throne Detroit as the beast of the east or will they have to wait? My answer. Tonight is the night. Beat the Pistons in Detroit. I say it's in Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat to capture a game 5 victory and move on to the NBA Finals!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Entertainment: Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is the day when we remember our fallen American soldiers. There haved been hundreds of thousands of men and women who have sacrificed their lives to defend the freedoms of this country. I am forever grateful for this. Think about it, without the freedoms we have here in the US our worship would be restricted and the internet would be government run. If I wanted to take an afternoon and fire off a couple of hundred rounds from my Glock .40 I wouldn't be allowed. There would probably be no National Basketball Association so we wouldn't be able to enjoy the incredible talent of Dwyane Wade on the hardwood! Speaking of which, today Miami plays the Detroit Pistons in a crucial game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. What a way to celebrate the freedoms and sacrifices by watching and enjoying a great American sport! Thank you soldiers! Go Heat!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ministry: One Crazy Summer.

It's that time of year again, graduations and summer break. I can't believe it! It seems as though the school year lasted but a couple of months! As a youth pastor I am hopping from school to school, venue to venue, it's nuts. Last week a student from Jupiter High School was in a fatal car accident. This made for a lot of phone calls for counseling and encouragement. Then this week I was requested to attend the JHS graduation practice where the staff was going to present a video of the student who passed away. They asked me to be there for possible grief counseling. Thursday was 8th grade "graduation" in the morning, our last campus lunch at Jupiter Christian School in the afternoon and JHS graduation in the evening. Next week will be crazy again as Jupiter Christian has Baccalaureate, which I will be participating in, then Thursday is their graduation. On top of all of this we are preparing for our crazy summer ministry schedule. This includes a middle school Summer Surprise (Super Hero Bowling, Busch Gardens retreat, beach cookout and a day at a water park), high school Summer Tour (service project, night out and party), Summer Camp (StudentLife, Stetson University) and a mid-summer Worship Encounter. Who said a youth pastor has it easy?

I ask the Lord for strength and endurance. That He will use this summer to impact students lives for His kingdom.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Entertainment: Why I Like LOST.

I believe the ABC hit show LOST may be the single greatest television show of all time. Last year my wife started watching it from the get go and I resisted. At the end of the first season there was a review episode. After watching it I was hooked! Here is why I like LOST.
The Mystery - Most LOSTies would agree with me on this one. The greatest draw to the show is the incredible mystery. Behind every character, situation and relationship is mystery. You want to know the answers. What is the Dharma Initiative? The Hanso Foundation? Is Walt really someone special? Who are "the others"? I could go on and on.
The Characters - I love the people on the show. From Hurley to Eko to Jack to Locke. Each person is unique and complex. I would have to say the character I like the most is Sayid, the Iraqi communications officer turned interrogator. He has proven to be a valuable asset to those in the LOST community. He's smart, tough and has a cool demeanor. I loved it when he interrogated "Henry Gale". Here is my order of next favorite characters: Jack Shepard, John Locke, Kate Austen and Eko.
The Island - What a beautiful place. The island is it's own character. There is mystery, intrigue, beauty. How about all of the hatches, the old boat in the middle, the airplane wrecks, etc., etc. Where in the world is this place?
"The Others" - I love "the others". Who are they? What are they on the island for? How did they get there? Why did they want Walt so bad? Why do they want Jack, Locke, Kate and Sawyer in exchange for Walt? If it wasn't for "the others" the show wouldn't have its appeal. I still think that the LOSTies led by Sayid should go and kick" the others" butts!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Entertainment: I saw "The DaVinci Code" movie.

Last night a bunch of us from our young adults ministry at church went to see the movie. I was expecting superior film making with Tom Hanks and Ron Howard involved. Well what I saw wasn't exactly superior film making. It was a snoozer, lame at best. I just could not get my attention off of Hanks hair-do and his skidish liners throughout the film. People can say what they want but this movie was horrible and to add insult to injury it really convinced me that Mr. Brown truly does have an agenda: to bring down Tom Hanks from the ranks of great modern actors. Oh by the way, the whole Mary/Jesus controversy was presented like a cheesy, non-factually based conspiracy theory that gets tangled in confusion the further it is discussed.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Entertainment: Why I like "The DaVinci Code".

A couple of months ago I wrote this. Since the big movie comes out Friday I figured I would re-post it. Enjoy.

Dan Brown's book "The DaVinci Code" has been a huge success in many more ways than just a NYT's Bestseller: it is soon to be a blockbuster movie starring Tom Hanks and directed by Richie Cunningham; many other books have come out like "DaVinci Code for Dummies" and one I have read "The DaVinci Deception". It is obvious that our culture is intrigued by the whole "DaVinci Code" fad. Many Christians are ticked off about this book/movie. I'm not. It has done the opposite for me. Here is why I like "The DaVinci Code"........

I have had to brush up on Church History. Church history is one of those subjects I have kind of avoided for a long time because I convinced myself that it was irrelevant. Well, thanks to Dan Brown I have changed my mind and I am aggressively researching our Christian history. It has been a joy looking into the early days of persecution to the middle ages of silence and ignorance. I would challenge everyone to better understand and know Church history. My pastor suggested a really good, simple, yet very informative resource here. Check it out.

It keeps you on your toes. Because of all of the recent buzz about the conspiracy attached to the book and upcoming movie, I have had to be more prepared to give an answer. I have always thought it was important to know what I believe, but this "DaVinci Code" deal has really challenged me and convinced me of better knowing my faith. This is a great thing and again, I'm thankful for Dan Brown and his novel for stirring me and keeping me on my toes.

It proves Jesus impact. Have you ever heard anyone write a fictional book about Mohammed? What about Buddah? Or Confucious? Isn't it amazing that a man that lived 2000 years ago still gets people so worked up to the point of trying to change or manipulate His life and legacy. This just proves to me that Jesus impacts this world more than any human in history.

People are curious about Jesus.
Along the lines of the last point, Jesus is like a lightning rod. The fact is, people like to question His claims and legacy. People want to investigate more and try to add their own little spin to His life. Do you remember the movie from the middle '80's "Last Temptation of Christ"? It was one of those weird, twisted yet accepted by the Academy movies that just was pure sick fiction. Only Jesus, the perfect, Son of God that died for the sins of His kids and resurrected on the third day, could do that.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I have just watched the Miami Heat beat the New Jersey Nets to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year. It seems as though they are playing their best basketball of the year at the right time, the playoffs.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Entertainment: Weird Stuff.

Do you ever catalogue weird things in your head? For instance, the other day we were going to see my parents and there was this trailer parked on their street that really caught my attention. Written on the side and rear of it was "South Florida Racing Pigeon Combine". What the heck is this all about? I have never heard of such a thing. Who in the world races pigeons? That's just weird. Another weird thing is this 9/11 conspiracy video that I watched (really, I did). It was just weird watching all of these news clips from 2001 that seemed so long ago. That's weird. It just seems ancient. Something also weird about the video was the narrator. He was really monotonous. Another weird thing is that new Toyota SUV called the FJ Cruiser. Wow is that thing, weird. It kinda resembles a Play-Doh container. How weird would it be to see a FJ Cruiser towing the "South Florida Pigeon Racing Combine" trailer?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ministry: Why do I do it?

I have been in full-time ministry for a short time now, only about 4 years. It has been really fun, exhausting and fulfilling. When one does the church ministry vocation thing it puzzles a lot of people (some of my former co-workers), intimidates some others (ohhh, now your a "man of the cloth") and lets face it, impresses others (my son is a "pastor"; or "hey brother, can you pray for my...."). I have recently been asking my self, "self, why are you in ministry?" After much contemplation, I have come up with a few answers to that question.

I'm Called. Since I was 16 there has been this sense of urgency that is in my DNA for ministry. There is nothing that I enjoy more than serving God and people. I think it is just so amazing that the Lord calls people to do specific things. Some are called to be accountants. Some bus drivers. Others construction workers. Me, I have been called into Christian service.
There's nothing else I could do. I drove a forklift for ten years at Costco Wholesale. That is about the extent of my non-ministry expertise. I couldn't imagine having to dig ditches or count number or predict the highs and lows of stocks.
Eternal Perspective. I love the fact that being in full time ministry drives you to have an eternal perspective on everything. When I am mentoring a young person or counseling a n adult, I am always reminded of eternity. That's why I do what I do, eternity. The Bible says "He has also set eternity in the hearts of men". I live this every day.

There are other reasons, but these are the one's that are obvious for me. I don't know if you ask yourself this question, but I'll ask you. Why do you do what you do?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Entertainment: My New Toy.

A couple of months ago I realized how behind I have been when it comes to technology and keeping my schedule in order (the two work together you know : ). I always tote around a legal pad of paper with my weeks schedule and break it down by day. I also keep a to do list on there as well. After seeing Mark R. I was kinda jealous of his Treo 650. At that time I thought to myself, I need to get caught up! After months of investigation and waiting for my cell contract upgrade time to approach, I went to the Cingular store and picked up the latest cool smart phone, the 8125. Here are my thoughts on this gadget after owning it 3 days:

It aint easy! These tech toys take some getting used to. They make it sound so easy at the Cingular dealership, but in reality it has taken three days to figure out how to POP my GMail to the phone. Hopefully this week I can sync my Google Calendar and church e-mail. Word is out the new PocketMac app for the Windows Mobile 5 will be available soon. I really cant wait. Then I can run Mac stuff on the PocketPC. Brilliant!

I'm the envy of a lot of tech toy junkies! I haven't really shown of my new toy a whole lot, but when people see it I usually get the same response, "Dude you suck!". You gotta admit, its a beautiful piece of equipment.

It is fully loaded! Seriously, there isn't a whole lot this bad boy cant do. Powerpoint. Yep. Word. Yep. Web browser. Yep. WiFi capable. Yep. I could go on and on. This is a very capable tool and I hope I can unleash just a little bit of it's potential. Word is, you can watch TV on it too! Not that I would do that, but its cool little addition to a plethora of mad skills. Oh, I forgot to mention the still/video cam with flash. It takes pretty sweet pix!

Anybody out there own one of these that can offer me some tips?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Adoption: May Update.

We have some great news concerning our adoption. Two weeks ago Penny and I sent off our paperwork to our agency who in turn sent it to our Russian representative! As of now all we are waiting for is our Homeland Security paperwork to clear then we can get Russian approval. Very cool stuff and a major blessing! Please keep us in your prayers as we are in a lonely, potentially long and grueling waiting period (up to 14 months from now!) We know God has called us to adopt these babies into our family so the wait will be worth it!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Entertainment: Why I Like the Drudge Report.

There is one web site that I have hit everyday for the past five years, the Drudge Report. Matt Drudge has nailed the whole internet reporting thing. Its all about being resourceful and utilizing other news reporting websites. There is a reason that this site has been one of the most viewed web sites in internet history. Here is why I like the Drudge Report:

Simple - Looking at the Drudge Report is not an exhilarating experience. There are no cool effects or videos or anything like it. It's just a simple layout: headline, news bullets and links to some select journalists and news sites. Its just simply effective!
Consistent - One thing you can count on with the Drudge Report is the very consistent updating (by the minute), look (it hasn't changed in 10 years) and reporting (both sides of the story). Consistency is a very unusual characteristic, especially in web news reporting.
Easy to use - As a web junky I have learned to appreciate ease of use when it comes to browsing a site. I believe Drudge has become a fixture because you can always count on this. Just click on a link and BOOM, your there. No Flash, weird backgrounds or unpredictable videos or music. Its just plain white background with easy links. Beautiful!
Cutting edge - What Drudge may be missing in pizzazz for look, he totally makes up for it in cutting edge content. I don't know where he gets his leads, but he is the first to report the news. Whether it is some Hollywood gossip or actual meaningful news, he is on it.