Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Student Ministry review

We have our large group meeting for our student ministry every Wednesday evening. Last week may have been the best we have ever had. Really. It was one of those evenings that you ponder on after and think to yourself "God is doing something ridiculous here". Jeff our worship guy really got the place going right off the bat. His dynamic leadership is such a wonderful asset to our ministry. The students really respond to his style and personality. He lead us with a ministry fav Uniteds "Take it All". We have a group of students that a lot of student pastors would love to have a part of their ministry. They really don't care what people think of them, so when a song like "Take it All" is played our students go nuts. They bounce to the vibe (with sweet mixes in the background by our SM DJ Dylan) and openly show their praise to God, its wicked. My hope and prayer is that they desire to praise God, not just vibe to music. Anyway, the praise time was just amazing. I then shared about selfishness. Heavy stuff. Our students were really challenged and so was I. Jeff and our band came back up and finished the night out with some worship and reflection time. Over all that evening was a memorable one. It was a night when I fought sickness (a nasty flu bug) and God used me in spite of me. I was able to talk to some students who were really moved by the evening. That was the icing there. Praying and talking with students who want to live their lives for Jesus. I will never forget 2/21/07.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

5 things that I despise.

1. Arrogant people - when someone is so stuck on themselves it drives me nuts. I don't get jerks, at all.
2. Traffic - this time of year in South Florida is brutal. Cars everywhere, especially cars from out of state or a rental. I think everyone and their mama is down here right now.
3. Hockey - is this still considered a sport?
4. Stupid pull overs - last night Penny and I were driving down the road and a police officer followed me for awhile. He pulled me over. He gave me a warning for having a light out over my license plate. A complete waste of 30 minutes of my life. He had me get out of the car too, how ridiculous. I must admit I was extremely nice (seriously).
5. Clowns - they just scare me, creep me out. There is no room for clowns in my life.

*I experienced or had an encounter in some way or another with all 5 of the above within the last 24 hours. Even a clown.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Anberlin ,"Cities"

Just picked up Anberlin's latest and it is amazing! There is something about this band that I just love. Great vocals, nice guitar, with a little electronica. There is a nice cover of When in Romes "The Promise". If your an Anberlin fan, this new release is vintage. If you have never before listened to Anberlin, don't sleep, download it here, you will not be disappointed.


My day off.

If you have been reading "Life & Times" for any period of time you know that Mondays are my day off. They are special days for me. I really have grown to understand Exodus 20:8 when it says "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy". When God made it law for man to keep a Sabbath He understood the necessity for man to take a day off. He was protecting us and trying to save man from potential life and family disaster! We live in a culture that says go, go, go. Don't be a slacker! I remember it wasn't long ago for me that I would feel guilty for taking a day off (Sabbath). The guilt was based on a sinful worldly based mentality. Through the ministry of my pastor and and other men of God (as well as my wife!) I have realized how sacred and holy a Sabbath day is. I can get my spiritual bearings back. I do this by reading the Bible and praying. I reflect on God's goodness and grace towards me. I can get my physical bearings back by getting some extra needed sleep. I get my mental bearings back by not overloading on information. There are no meetings, planning, phone calls, e-mails or drop ins on my day off. I like it that way. Mondays are holy. Monday is my Sabbath. Do you have a Sabbath?


Friday, February 23, 2007

Rainn Wilson screen cap.

Isn't it great to see Hollywood peeps be supportive of each other?
Hint: Britney Spears t-shirt


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Some thoughts....

I think I'm done with "LOST." Last nights episode was so brutal for me. I just want to know all of the essentials: Where are they? Who are the others? The hatch? The polar bear? Etc...

Dwyane Wade dislocated his shoulder last night. When I heard this news I got a sick pit in my stomach as any hope for the Miami Heat shaking any thing up is over.

I have this nasty flu. It really sucks. Pounding headache, old man cough, sore body, congestion. Please, no sympathy.

Its Thursday! "The Office" episode tonight is written by JJ Abrams of "Alias", "6 Degrees" and ummm "LOST" fame. I wonder what kind of twist he will bring to such a brilliant show.

At our Student Ministry last night I was blown away. It's incredible to see teenagers desire God. More so, to see them make life changing decisions in front of their peers. We are blessed.

Our office is directly next to the Spring Training facilty for the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. I walked over this morning during work outs and stood a few feet away from Marlins ace Dontrelle Willis. All I can say is this: potty mouth!

Our church will be breaking ground on our first permanent facility within weeks. I cant help but celebrate and look ahead. I don't care what people say, being portable is exhausting and pressing. We have been portable for almost 10 years and the reality of a permanent facility is....I'm speechless!

I love the show "House". Although there have been some controversial episodes it's quite entertaining. Thanks to TV-Video I can watch ALL back episodes (as I'm doing as I write this!).

Satans Sex Ed.

My boy Kevin from posted this video on his blog. Check out Satan's responses to questions on masturbation, porn, homosexuality and other "taboos" of sexuality. WARNING: not for the faint of heart.


13 Places To Watch TV Online for Free

If you don’t have cable at home or if you just want to watch TV amd movies while your using your PC, then you should check out the list below which lists the best free online TV services I’ve discovered.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Palm Beach gangs.

I know you may take a double look at the title. You typically don't associate Palm Beach with gangs. It's usually wealth, beaches, shopping, plastic surgery, but not thuggery, gangs. Last night Penny and I were watching ABC Nightly News and caught a whole segment on gangs in PB County. It was poignant and sad. I know this problem first hand through the student Ministry that I oversee here. Just 2 weeks ago I was on the phone with our local gang unit because of a student involved with a gang. He was fearing his life and wanted out. The gang unit said there is no way out, except by death. Crazy. There is another student in our ministry that was involved with a gang at 12. He got out because he was just a runner. He came into a relationship with Jesus Christ just a year later. A story of hope. You can read the transcript of the ABC report here.


The Ten Commandments of cell phone etiquette

Dan Briody of "Info World" came up with the following commandments....

1. Thou shalt not subject defenseless others to cell phone conversations. When people cannot escape the banality of your conversation, such as on the bus, in a cab, on a grounded airplane, or at the dinner table, you should spare them. People around you should have the option of not listening. If they don't, you shouldn't be babbling.

2. Thou shalt not set thy ringer to play La Cucaracha every time thy phone rings. Or Beethoven's Fifth, or the Bee Gees, or any other annoying melody. Is it not enough that phones go off every other second? Now we have to listen to synthesized nonsense?

3. Thou shalt turn thy cell phone off during public performances. I'm not even sure this one needs to be said, but given the repeated violations of this heretofore unwritten law, I felt compelled to include it.

4. Thou shalt not wear more than two wireless devices on thy belt. This hasn't become a big problem yet. But with plenty of techno-jockeys sporting pagers and phones, Batman-esque utility belts are sure to follow. Let's nip this one in the bud.

5. Thou shalt not dial while driving. In all seriousness, this madness has to stop. There are enough people in the world who have problems mastering vehicles and phones individually. Put them together and we have a serious health hazard on our hands.

6. Thou shalt not wear thy earpiece when thou art not on thy phone. This is not unlike being on the phone and carrying on another conversation with someone who is physically in your presence. No one knows if you are here or there. Very disturbing.

7. Thou shalt not speak louder on thy cell phone than thou would on any other phone. These things have incredibly sensitive microphones, and it's gotten to the point where I can tell if someone is calling me from a cell because of the way they are talking, not how it sounds. If your signal cuts out, speaking louder won't help, unless the person is actually within earshot.

8. Thou shalt not grow too attached to thy cell phone. For obvious reasons, a dependency on constant communication is not healthy. At work, go nuts. At home, give it a rest.

9. Thou shalt not attempt to impress with thy cell phone. Not only is using a cell phone no longer impressive in any way (unless it's one of those really cool new phones with the space age design), when it is used for that reason, said user can be immediately identified as a neophyte and a poseur.

10. Thou shalt not slam thy cell phone down on a restaurant table just in case it rings. This is not the Old West, and you are not a gunslinger sitting down to a game of poker in the saloon. Could you please be a little less conspicuous? If it rings, you'll hear it just as well if it's in your coat pocket or clipped on your belt.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Alabama coach picks and eats!

You know the old distusting habit that we all laid down when we were 5 or so? Alabamas hoops coach shows the world he ain't ashamed!


Dwight Shrute hosts SNL!

That's right! TV Squad reports that there is finally a reason to watch Saturday Night Live. Rainn Wilson will host SNL this weekend. Don't forget to set your TiVo! Should be a memorable evening.


The Great Experiment: Update.

It has been a long time since I have reported anything on our entrainment experiment. Last July we decided to eliminate out DirecTV account and try to utilize our MacMini as an entertainment hub. Up to this point, it has been a very successful pre-AppleTV experiment. We have been able to watch every broadcast TV show that we like (unless the shows are on at the same time; there is only 1 tuner!). We have had a few issues with the reception coming in poorly on our antenna, you know, in the middle of watching say, "Heros" and there is a reception glitch at a crucial moment. Sucks. How we resolve this problem is through BitTorrent. I love this file sharing method. It's a great alternative to recording a show via EyeTV Software. Anyway, this entertainment viewing experiment has been a success and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys FREE high definition TV and the usefulness of a digital video recorder. Again, all of this without paying a monthly bill. If you have any questions, just leave a comment and maybe I can help you put together your own HD digital video experience. One huge reason to go this route: record, edit and store every episode of "The Office" without paying a fee! Sold yet?
Here is a item list of hardware and software:


Friday, February 16, 2007

The Blasphemy Challenge on ABC!

A friend of mine (he happens to be a student pastor) told me about The Blasphemy Challenge. It doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is the way ABC's Nightline allowed promotion to the people that over see this project by allowing them to give away DVD's of their production "The God Who Wasn't There". After watching this I was disturbed yes, but more sad for the people who are so bitter towards God who loves them and desires relationship.


Audioslave breaks up.

And the drama of musicians continues. Chris Cornell is leaving Audioslave citing "irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences." I'm bummed because Audioslave could really bring it in my humble opinion. Oh well, another reunion to look forward to. Read the article here.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

I feel old

Last night I was playing dodgeball at our student ministry. As usual, I was dominating until I went to throw a ball at a student (a high school guy) and when I came down on my left leg my knee buckled, bad. All you could hear was a loud crunch and pop. Not good for a 34 year old guy. For the past several years I have begun to regret my years as an athlete in school. 2 torn Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (one on each knee) and a reconstructive surgery have payed the toll on this dude. I don't know if I can hang any more. No more basketball, football or even dodgeball? Come on!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My city....Your city

I live in the city (town) of Jupiter, Florida. My wife Penny and I moved here from West Palm Beach (about 25 miles south) 4 years ago. I think if you are in ministry you should love the city you are in. Honestly, it has taken time, but I do now love this city. Here is a little bit about Jupiter, Florida....
  • 50,000 people live in the city limits with an additional 65,000 in unincorporated land surrounding.
  • Racial breakdown: White Non-Hispanic (89.4%), Hispanic (7.3%), Black (1.2%), Other (2.3%).
  • Average monthly temperature: 74.6 degrees.
  • Below average crime rate.
  • 15% increase in population in the past decade.
  • 2 high schools, 2 middle schools, 6 elementary schools, several private schools, 2 Taco Bells, 6 McDonalds, 1 WalMart and 3 Starbucks.
  • Burt Reynolds filmed "Smokey and the Bandit 2" on our streets!
  • Tiger Woods is building his compound 7 miles up the intracoastal on the upscale Jupiter Island.
  • NHL Hall of Famer Bobby Orr, former NY Jet Joe Namath, singer Celine Dion, and professional video gamer Tsquared (seriously) all live in Jupiter. Word is Michael Jordan, Albert Pujols, Ahmad Rashad (sports commentator) and Alan Jackson (country singer) have cribs here too.
  • The most notable landmark is the Jupiter Lighthouse, was built in 1860.
  • Jupiter is the host to the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins for Spring Training baseball and the Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals for the Florida State League minor league baseball.
  • Our beaches are notorious! They are beautiful, clean, crystal green and surprisingly FREE to enjoy!
  • We have a river (Loxahatchee), the intracoastal and of course the Atlantic Ocean. We are a marine oriented town. Everything centers on the water.
  • We have a very transient population with around 10,000 snowbirds that make their home here just for a couple of months of the year.
Now tell me about you town. What is it like? Is it a growing town? What is it known for? I guarantee you that we have at least one thing way better than you, the beaches, they truly are outrageous!

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Great hit!

I know the guy getting hit is just a punter, but he is an All-Pro punter in the National Football League. This is one of the nastiest hits I have ever seen brought to you courtesy of University of Miami-alum Sean Taylor. Watch and squirm!


Friday, February 09, 2007

Student Ministry and the web.

If you work with teenagers communicate to them via the web. Period. I have talked to student pastors who refuse to go the way of the blogging and MySpace or even YouTube because of the sketchy side. I just don't get this. Yeah there are some creeps out there, but there are creeps everywhere we go, even in church or at the mall. The Student Ministry that I serve in has a MySpace page, YouTube channel, Parent Blog and Student Ministry Blog. All of these are places where we communicate to our students and families anything from activities info, video announcements, student testimonies or just a place to vent. I believe that this will be an important part of the effectiveness of our ministry. I have noticed that our MySpace and Blog have been a real community builder with some students and hope that we will continue to be willing to utilize the technologies and opportunities that we have and will have in the near future. How do you utilize the web in ministry? I'd love to hear some of your creative methods in communicating to people.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cool App.

Have you ever been watching some YouTube videos and thought to yourself "Self, I would love to be able to download this"? I have many times over, especially when I would like to use a video for an illustration or just to have it on my external hard drive collection. Well I have purchased a very cool app call "TubeSock". It allows you to rip any YouTube video in various forms (iPod, Mac, audio only, video for Flash, and PSP). It's a useful little app and only costs like $15. You can download it here.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Super Smokers.

I read an article about Barak Obama trying to kick the smoking habit. Here is a list of famous smokers:
Drew Berrymore, Whoopie Goldberg, Demi Moore, Liz Taylor, Laura Bush (yes the first lady!), Kate Winslet (the chick from "Titanic"), Nichole Kidman, Jennifer Anniston, Sandra Bullock, Mel Gibson, Brittany Spears, Russell Crowe, Meg Ryan, Bill Clinton, Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Al Pacino, Chris Cornell (Audioslave, SoundGarden)

Just a few names of super smokers. Like it really matters!


Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl stuff.

Well all of the Super Bowl hoopla is over. Congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts and their superstar-all world quarterback, Peyton Manning. I just like this guy. I think it all goes back to those cool MasterCard commercials (see here). Dude doesn't take himself too serious and he seems to be a regular guy.
We watched the Super Bowl with a bunch students from our church. Actually, let me rephrase that. We were in the building with a bunch of students where the Super Bowl was on TV. It's amazing to me how kids these days don't give a rip about the game. We ate a lot of good food, had our own halftime show, which is way better than Prince (Prince? Come on!) Anyway, how did you spend your evening watching the big game?


Friday, February 02, 2007

Mustache Man

We are taking students from our ministry to StudentLife Mission Camp this summer. This week I received in the mail a DVD with several camp promos and some very weird extras. This video is the most bizarre of them all. Enjoy.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Adoption Update.

As most of you know my wife Penny and I are adopting 2 kids from Russia. It continues to be a long, grueling process that has pretty much maxed out my patience. Today's Drudge Report headline did not help out at all with the whole thing as it has been reported that in some Russian hospitals (and I'm sure orphanages ) there is ridiculous abuse. If you dare to read the article, it will make you sick to your stomach when you hear of the treatment of innocent abandoned orphans. I know the the Lord is in control and none of this surprises Him, but it still makes me ask the question "why so long?" I just don't understand why the authorities drag out this process, it's so unnecessary. Please pray for us as we await word of agency re-accreditation from Russia.