Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Told ya' so.....

See it here for yourself. Rocky Balboa is being promoted as a faith based film. Go to the the video clip in the right hand corner and check out what Sly has to say. Sounds to me like he is trying to relate to Evangelical Christians, maybe? Please let me know if your church plans on doing some Rocky themed service. Don't forget to order your Rocky Balboa Outreach Box!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Adoption Update.

As most of you know we have been doing the whole Russian adoption thing. Brutal, that's the only word I can use to describe it. We have experienced exactly two weeks of joy through the whole year and one half process thus far. The first week of joy was when we initially decided to move forward with adopting two kids and the second week of joy was in September when we received our referrals and pictures of our kids. Since then, it has been a horrible time of waiting and anticipating "the next step". If you think about it and your a person of faith, please pray for us. If you are considering going the Russian route, really think about it and be prepared to go the long haul. There is nothing that makes sense about some of the "formalities". They change, they add, they take away. There is nothing consistent with Russian adoption. Non of it makes sense (I think I said that already). So if you are willing to take the chance of disappointment and potential bitterness, GO FOR IT!!
All of this to say, there is no update, none. As soon as there is, "Life & Times" readers will be the first to know.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

UM Football

Well the U has let go of Larry Coker as head coach. I'm anxious to find out who will lead the football team for the next several years. I think whoever becomes the new general at the U will have a tremendous opportunity and may even compete for an ACC championship right away with 19 returning starters next season. Here is my list of potential coaches in preferential order:
1. Greg Schiano - head coach at the resurrected Rutgers University. Pros: He is the the former defensive coordinator at the U. Successful head coach, great recruiter, motivator, strong personality. My choice, hopefully he is drawn back down here. Cons: he is a hero in New Jersey. Coaching in the nations largest market with a great fan base. No reason to leave RU except to lead a team to the National Championship.
2. Rob Chudzinski - Tight Ends Coach for the San Diego Chargers. Pros: Chud is the former offensive coordinator for the 'Canes. He ran the offensive when the U was putting up massive numbers. Very successful as a coach in the NFL. I think that he would be a tremendous leader and face for the program. Could help lead an anemic offence. Cons: It's hard to bring a guy form the pros to the collegiate level and no head coaching experience.
3. Randy Shannon - Defensive Coordinator for UM. Pros: has a great report with players. He is hard nosed and has been the leader of the only upside from the program. Would bring a strong presence to the locker room; well know in the community. Very capable head coach. Cons: has never been a head coach; part of the previous regime.
4. Others - Barry Alvarez (former head coach, Wisconsin), Jim Grobe (head coach, Wake Forest), Gary Patterson (head coach, Texas Christian), Dennis Erickson (head coach, Idaho)


Monday, November 20, 2006

Campus Ministry: Part II

This is part 2 in series where I share the the steps I took become visible and available on local school campuses.

4. Go to lunch - the key to having a successful campus ministry lies in your ability to get on campus during school hours, specifically when students are at lunch. Here you will find students are easy to connect with and are very relaxed, no hustle bustle here. On one campus I usually bring some blow-pops with me and make sure I hand them out to our students. If you chose to go the candy route, check if the administration allows this. A really cool thing about going to lunch is every student goes, so you will see all the students from your ministry and their friends. It's a great opportunity to be visible and available. I have been able to laugh with students and counsel students at this time. Get the schedule from the schools you plan on going to and time your arrival based on the bell schedule. All in all it's only about 2 hours of in your afternoon, worth while for the potential impact.
5. Don't be shy - to this day, I still get butterflies in my stomach as I park my car in the visitor space at a school. There is just something about school that still haunts me. I cannot let this keep me from from going on campus. Once on campus it is easy to sit off to the side and just watch. I have learned to migrate around, introduce myself to students and engage in general and sometime in depth conversations. It is amazing what type of relationship you can begin with students by just being visible and available. Remember, do not be shy. The students will not bite and they typically will be friendly and responsive to your courage!
6. Go to extra-curricular activities - here in south Florida prep football is a huge hit. Every Friday the whole town goes out to a game so I figured it would be a good idea to introduce myself to the head football coach at one of our schools. I told him who I was and that I was here for him, whatever he needed. He invited me out to the practice the next day. This is where he totally shocked me, he introduced me to the whole football program. "This is Chris, he loves the University of Miami and is a reverend that will be around if you guys ever need to talk or pray." Reverend? I know weird, but cool. This has become an invaluable relationship (with the football program). They have invited me to pray before every game, attend banquets and roam the sidelines during games (where I have prayed with injured players and talked with guys about spiritual things). If you have not made an attempt to become visible and available at extra-curricular activities, go do now!

Next week I will discuss Portable Student Ministry Weekly Environments: Where? When? How? What?


Old School Cartoons.

As a child of the '80's I love those old Hanna-Barbara cartoons. You know Huckleberry Hound and Snagglepuss. Great stuff. There is a cool site that daily posts episodes of the Hanna-Barbara 'toons. It's called "Saturday Morning Fever" and you should definitely check it out. I wonder if they will post some Johnny Quest episodes?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Holy Crap!

If you have a Mac with iSight go to this sight, it's kinda creepy.
Thanks Scott for the info!


Campus Ministry: Part I

In the summer of 2004 I had the opportunity to have a one on one lunch with student ministry guru Mark Oestreicher. He's a real easy guy to talk to, not pretentious. I confessed my lack of student ministry experience and then proceeded to ask him what his first act would be if he was to become a pastor in a portable student ministry. He responded quickly with "Campus, I would be on campus. Lunch, activities, football games, you name it I would be there". At the time I had been on campus occasionally, usually for the student led club or for a football or basketball game. But something hit me with his response. I was reminded that the campus is the students mission field and I needed to be visible and available there. Students are on campus at least 35 hours a week and all of their social connections trickle from here. The campus is the realm of influence for each student. I decided at this point that because our church actually met on the campus of one of our high schools I would move forward with MarkO's advice. The next 2 weeks I will share with you the steps I took to become visible and available on local school campuses:
1. Investigate your school district - the particular district I live and minister in is huge. I did a little investigating to find out if I needed to do anything special in order to go on a local campus. They told me only if I was to do some one on one counseling would I need to get the background check and district credentials. They pointed me to the local school administration with whom I made an appointment with immediately.
2. Meet the local school administration - I met with one of the assistant principals at the particular school where I wanted to be visible and available. He was very warm and receptive and got me the proper volunteer and visitor credentials. From this point it was cake. he introduced me to all of the other administration and told them I would be hanging out during lunches each week.
3. Get dirty - I have befriended the head of maintenance and told him I would like to help out his team in between lunches by picking up trash. He gladly received my offer and in doing so I am considered an ally with the working staff. Serving with these group of people has been a tremendous blessing and a good testimony.

Check back next Tuesday for the continuation on Campus Ministry.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Portable Student Ministry

I just recently read the book "Nomadic Church" by William M. Easum and Pete Theodore. Good read, especially for those of us serving in a church without a permanent meeting place. To be honest the book was more of a reminder to me that God uses portable churches just as uses churches with permanent buildings. There are alot of churches out there that are meeting in various places, such as schools, theaters, clubs, bars, etc. and I happen to be serving in one of those churches as a student pastor. I believe from the few years experience I have I can offer some insight and possible help to other student pastors serving in "Portable Student Ministry". Each week I will share some ideas and thoughts on "Portable Student Ministry". Hopefully these posts can be helpful to you or the student pastor in your church.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Are you obsessed with LOST?

Lettermans Top 10 Signs You Are Obsessed With LOST!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Numbers Game.

I am a pastor of teen age students. We have around ___ students in our database and we average around ___ students in attendance combined in our three environments. One of the easy things for pastors to do is fudge the numbers. You do this of course, to impress people, to make you feel good or you may just be delusional. Why can't we just be honest about who comes out? Why does it matter so much that we have to lie? Heck, why does it matter that we have to ask fellow pastors "how many do you have?" It was a couple of weeks ago another pastor (at a mega-church) asked me "how many do you have?" I answered with "I don't know around __ or so". A bold faced lie. I thought to myself, "I'm not going to fall prey to this crap so I'll low ball him", but I lied. After thinking about this I felt convicted and resolved in my heart to avoid the question at all cost and when it is asked to answer honestly. That was a real eye-opener for me. I must be honest.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rocky and the church.

Eric at "Foolish Blog" posted about an e-mail he received from of all people, Sylvester Stallone! (READ HERE) It seems that a marketing firm is trying use the Christian church and our deep pockets to sell the latest Rocky movie. Can you see it now, the local church sending flyer's out to the whole community to invite them the pastors series on "Rocky: How to be a winner!". Do you remember last years "The Chronicles of Narnia" the same thing. A bunch of churches jumped on the whole thing. Weird huh? Any thoughts?

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Voted.

In 1990 I voted for the first time. I haven't missed an election since, even in the basic local elections I vote. Today I went to my precinct and cast my vote. To be honest this was probably the least excited I have ever been to honor my right and privilege as an American citizen. I really don't have much to say beyond this. I'm watching the news right now and all of the talking heads are happy that the Democrats have possibly taken the House and possibly the Senate. Like I said, I'm not that excited. Then again, if the Republicans had retained all of their seats I wouldn't be excited either.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Day off.

Today was my day off and we went to the mall. I got to enjoy the seasonal taste of a Pumpkin Spice Latte from every ones favorite coffee place. It was wonderful to say the least. Down here there isn't a whole lot that reminds you that it is fall, but when you down one of these bad boys, instant reminder! Any way, I look forward to Starbucks seasonal flavors every year. Today (Monday) is the day we catch up on some TV shows and enjoy the scheduled shows "Deal or No Deal", "Heros" and "CSI:Miami".
There is nothing like ending your day with a classic Horatio Caine-ism!


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Famous people.

I was just sitting here thinking about some of the most famous people I have met. Kind of ridiculous, but interesting. Here is the list of my 5 most famous encounters:
George W. Bush (President of US) - He was in town for the 2000 campaign. Of course here in Palm Beach County he has never been popular so there was only about 200 or so people in attendance and he went around and chatted with everyone. Pretty nice dude for a politician. He actually talked to me, I'm sure his life will never be the same.
Bill Russell (Basketball great) - I was at a Miami Heat game versus the Celtics like 3 years ago and he was sitting a few seats away. I went over and started a mini conversation with him. He shook my hand and pretty much engulfed my arm. No joke, the mans hands were gynormous!!
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (wrestler/bad actor) - The Rock was once a backup d-lineman for the U. Those in Ohio or Nevada or something that stands for The University of Miami. There was a spring game at the Orange Bowl and they let people on the Field to talk to the players and he was one of the guys I talked to for awhile.
Alan Thicke (another bad actor) - Back in the day I did some independent TV work and Alan was a guest host with me. Surprisingly nice guy and very willing to talk about his days as "Growning Pains" dad. We actually did kind of a mock-"Growing Pains" game and he was very willing to go along with it.
Roy Jones Jr. (former boxing champ) - At one time West Palm Beach had a minor league basketball team and Roy was a partial owner. He did this promo on the steps of city hall where he gave out a bunch of tickets to a playoff game. Me and my friend were the only ones that showed up. He was really nice, but I couldn't understand a word he said.
.......I would consider this a pretty light weight list.
So who are some of the peeps you have rubbed shoulders with?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

iTunes saved "The Office"

Newsday (A New York daily newspaper) has an article about iTunes being the savior of my favorite TV show "The Office". Could you imagine life without Dwight Shrute? Here is a quote from the article:

"I'm not sure that we'd still have the show on the air" without the iTunes boost, says Angela Bromstead, president of NBC Universal Television Studio, which owns and produces "The Office." "The network had only ordered so many episodes, but when it went on iTunes and really started taking off, that gave us another way to see the true potential other than just Nielsen. It just kind of happened at a great time."

Read the whole article.