Friday, November 30, 2007

Looking for toys...

I apologize for the shameless advertising that will follow, but I've been nominated with the family task of finding new homes for some of the kids' toys. Apparently we need to make room for the new arrivals that will show up in our house next month.

Or maybe it has more to do with the fact that the kids just don't play with these anymore.

These things will likely end up on Craigslist or eBay later today but I thought I'd post it here first. If you're interested, or want some more info, let me know.

Read that blog...

Ok, so what makes you read a blog?
Do you appreciate random tidbits of a person's life?
Are you drawn to well articulated posts about the bigger issues in life?
What's your favorite topic to read about?
Do you prefer long posts or short posts?
Do you like pictures?
How many of you use an RSS feed to keep up to date?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

That's a funny looking cat...

For months we've been under the impression that our neighbor's cat has been into our garbage. Tonight while watching TV we hear the garbage bin get knocked over. Upon looking out the window on the door what do I discover? That my neighbor has one of the funniest looking cats ever. And it's apparently hungry, and not entirely camera shy.

So, will an airsoft gun take care of this or will I have to upgrade my firearm of choice?

Nerd alert...

Ok, is this not one of the coolest things out there?

I believe I have fully nerdified myself.

Monday, November 26, 2007

What's that stuff on the ground...

I'm told it's called "snow". It's kind of cool looking. But it put the satellite out of commission, so now I'm watching a CNN special called "God's (Christian) Warriors" which has me swearing at the TV. I don't think that's healthy, so I may have to work on my student ministries retreat video. At least until the power goes out.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Go Blue...

The time is here! Go Bombers!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

How about a guitarism...

It's been a while since I added some guitar stuff, so check this guy out. It's just plain cool.

And if you want to see some crazy capo usage, check this one out.

Soundtrack of my life...

I got tagged by Kerry so I shall comply. I shall also retroactively tag Ben as he already did this. And I shall tag Bryce and Brad. I'm staying with the letter "B" today.

Here it is, The soundtrack of my life. * As decided by my iTunes. * The Rules:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

*Editor's Note: Because I just added a bazillion Christmas songs this week and I share the iTunes with my wife, I decided that I may opt out of any Christmas tunes and anything that obviously "belongs" to my lovely wife.

Opening Credits
Kim Carnes "Bette Davis Eyes" (Too funny. I love this song but it makes me feel like my life story is going to be based in the 80's.)

Waking Up
Goo Goo Dolls "Slide" ("I wanna wake up where you are")

First Day of School
Riley Armstrong "A Lot Can Happen in a Year" (No kidding!)

Falling in Love
U2 "Walk On"("And love is not the easy thing")

Fight Song
Gin Blossoms "California Sun" (If the fight was with a girl, this might work)

Breaking Up
Toby Mac "Ignition" (This one was a swing and a miss.)

Red Jump Suit Apparatus "Cat and Mouse" (Fitting if I consider the "cat and mouse" I played with my date at my grad. She spent the whole evening with my best friend.)

Toby Mac "Suddenly" ("And suddenly all of it's behind you/ And I'm here to remind you/
That yesterday is gone so say goodbye")

Mental Breakdown
Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam "Lost in Emotion" (Yup...I'm having a mental breakdown as we speak)

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds "Lie in Our Graves" (I'll admit that there are better Dave songs out there for driving, but I'll take it)

Skillet "Your Love (Keeps Me Alive)" (With those creepy, whispery vocals, I could envision a flashback to college days when this song came out)

Getting Back Together
Mat Kearney "Walking Away" (I was thinking it was another miss until I pondered the chorus and the phrase of "walking away from yesterday". It could fit.)

Sarah McLachlan "Building a Mystery" (Ummm...she can sing at my wedding, but not this song!)

Birth of Child
U2 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (If we're talking about peace and quiet, then yes.)

Final Battle
Audio Adrenaline "Clap Your Hands" (Repetitive. It's got some kick.)

Death Scene:
Matt Costa "Wash Away" ("
Sun sinks out of view/ Stars they shine changing hue")

Funeral Song
Spirit of the West "Home for a Rest" (Hilarious! Please play this at my funeral!)

End Credits
Dashboard Confessional "These Bones" (Hmmm...I'll take Dashboard for a closing song. Not my first choice of songs, but it's workable.)

The pains of students...

The death of a high school senior this week in a car accident has really hit the students hard. Some of my students knew him as he used to attend our church. Others would have graduated with him this year. Others were friends with him.

We had to throw away all our original plans for the evening. Instead we sat together. We read John 11. We wept together. Many tears were shed and many hugs were given and received. It was tough. But it was real.

How do you look a group of students in the eye and tell them it will be ok? You can't. Even with the hope of being in the presence of Jesus one day, it still sucks to say goodbye. It doesn't make the pain any less real for these kids.

I drove by the accident scene this morning and saw a group of students huddled over flowers while others embraced and my heart sank. This isn't the way things should be.

These last few days and weeks have hit me square in the face with some of the monumental life issues that students these days are dealing with. It's at times overwhelming. My only hope is that God will reach into their lives in these darkened moments and overwhelm them with His love, grace and mercy.

If you have a moment, could you pray for the students of our community?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Life's little reminders...

As a parent sat and shared their family life with me I was reminded this afternoon of why I work with students.

In the midst of all my other frustrations, God is at work.


Why is it that everything seems to come to the surface around the same time?

This week a student in the community (not currently from our church, but has connections in the past to our church) was killed in a car accident. We have a number of students who attended the same school, so we're trying to figure out how they're doing with all of this.

Wednesday night is our typical ministry night, but I don't know if we should change things up because of the latest events. I would imagine that 60-70% of our students would have no clue about what happened and would have no idea who the student was.

My wife and I are also meeting with some parents today to talk about their teenager. They're looking for ideas as to what to do. I'm unsure what to tell them.

Our student worship team has been missing band members lately and it's kind of a crucial time as we've got some upcoming ministry events that we have to lead at.

I am currently at day #9 without a day off. With a funeral, baptisms and leading worship this Sunday for the kid's ministry the long awaited day or should I say "days" off are not coming anytime soon.

Now we'll top this all off with a healthy dose of disillusionment and frustration.

I know, I know...I'm singing the same old tune. But how do you stop when everything keeps piling up? Is this just me being oversensitive and uncooperative? Is this my pessimistic tendencies sneaking through? Or am I being real and authentic?

Should I change? Do I need to change? How would I even change?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday hangovers...

Maybe that was a poor title choice. Not "hangover" in the typical sense, but "hangover" in the sense of I just spent close to 45 hours trapped in close quarters with a group of teenagers and student ministry leaders.

Driving time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Sleep time: 11 hours
Silence: 35 minutes
Time spent in frigid lake water: 15 seconds
Amount of video: 2 hours
Board Game time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Swinging socks full of flour: 45 minutes

I wrestle with how to answer the question "How was the weekend?"

It was fun. It was tiring. It was frustrating. I was disappointed. I was moved. I was taught. It was long. It was short. It was exciting. It was burdensome. It was random. It was flexible.

I dunno. It just WAS.

My current point of mental processing had me weighing the long term spiritual merits of these weekends away. I don't think there's anything bad to say, but I wonder if we could do things better.

I really tried to design a weekend around the concept of "retreat". Withdraw from the usual routine. Take time for solitude and silence.

We tried not to over schedule with a billion things to do. We were flexible and had to change stuff on the fly. Our teaching times consisted of reading the Bible and listening to each other. We tried to carve out time to just play together and have fun. We unplugged the instruments and let our voices sing about who God is and what He means to us.

But...the questions still haunts me. Did every student have an opportunity to connect with their Creator this weekend? Did every student have a chance to hear that they are loved and valued? Did every student have time to not just hear about God, but to experience Him? What work did God do "behind the scenes" that we may never know about?

I probably shouldn't be in the office or working today. I'm hitting the wall and running on fumes...use whatever metaphor you would like. I just now that this current pace is not sustainable.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I think that's where I'm headed.

I've been shuffling some stuff around in life lately. Some of it has been an active choice on my part and some of it has been reactive and due to everything that's coming down the pipe.

I tend to get like this every once in a while. When you combine budget time with our upcoming student retreat and then mix in all the regular daily details, you will start to see my head spinning.

So, my open letter to you is that you have not been forgotten. Who do I mean by "you". You can decide!

Friday, November 09, 2007

My world is crumbling...

And there is not a thing I can do about it.

Apparently season 7 of 24 has been put on hold indefinitely due to the writers strike. And no, it's not just FOX, it seems to be everyone and everything except for reality TV shows. As if we needed any more of those.

With great sadness in my soul (hey, I'm a shallow person) and in memory of this horrible news I post this following video. It contains
spoilers. And if you don't have any idea about what season 7 has in store and who the bad guy is...brace yourself...this will blow your mind.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's alive...

It's November 7th and this is my first post of the month?!?! Yikes! I'm becoming a hermit.

Thanks to all your music suggestions from last week. When I finally find some time to listen I'll let you know about my likes and dislikes. If I end up buying any of the CD's that you suggested I will award you with 10,000 points. I will also send you an invoice for $9.99 from iTunes.

In random news this past week:
  • Our PROXIMITY Retreat is coming up and our t-shirts arrived last week. I was able to convince most of our worship team (no, not the youth team) to wear a shirt for last Sunday's worship service.
  • Halloween did not provide an adequate supply of Tootsie Rolls
  • My soccer team lost. Big surprise there, eh?
  • People need to lighten up. This applies at so many levels that I can't even start to explain.
  • I enjoyed an evening of driving, burritos and Mars Hill with my small group this past Sunday. It never ceases to amaze me how surprised the border agents look when they ask you where you are going and you say "church".
  • Our new teaching series called "My Life" has us camped out in Psalms. Tonight we're talking about how God matters in our loneliness.
  • I am excited for some of my friends. New jobs, more kids, first kids...and other exciting news that I'm not allowed to speak of yet.
  • The Millennium Falcon is currently under construction at our house.