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I have a beautiful wife, an infant son & a schnauzer. viva la tex-mex. Words that describe or excite: Missional, Glocal, Lead, Innovate, Initiate, Create, Risk, Community

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Irish Kids Say the Darndest Things: The Christmas Story

Here is a clip from youtube that my mom actually emailed me. I couldn't believe it. This is priceless. They have taken the recording of a little Irish girl named Nancy and put her audio recording to animation. This is a must see and hear. It's great to hear her ideas that are clearly "injected" into the story. It is clearly from a Catholic perspective and pay attention to "mean kids" segment and why they are mean, starting about 44 seconds in. The brogue is think so turn up the volume, tune out the distractions, its a great little piece of audio-visual greatness.

Be sure to check out the youtube channel of Monster Distributes because they have other great videos as well, including The Story of St. Patrick, The Story of Lazarus, and The Death of Jesus.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Men, Beware the Doghouse

Ok, this is actually an ad (so consider yourself warned) but it is extremely funny. Most men will see the humor in it and sadly many will be able to relate from personal experience. Think about a thoughtful gift this Christmas for everyone on your list. And Husbands: Beware the Doghouse.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Welcome to Leadership: Your Monkey Butt is Showing!

I have a friend who has recently taken on a volunteer leadership role at church and sadly after barely over a month on the job has been facing a harsh and brutal spirit of criticism from a few people. They are playing the "take-our-ball-and-go-home" game. And with some editing for anonymity I thought I would share it on my blog for all of those of us in ministry and/or in leadership that need encouragement in times of criticism.

Recently I attended a conference where one of the speakers said something that I needed to be reminded of. The thought was good and true. It resonated with my soul at that moment so much that I wrote it down and sent out a Tweet immediately. You may or may not have seen it so I wanted to share it with you now.

"Leadership is a commitment to be misunderstood."
It is true but yet it is one of those truths that even when you believe it, it is not necessarily a comfort. But what you can take comfort in is that God has given you a vision and if it is His vision then you can stick to it and rest in that alone...

...I am saying even if you are frustrated, misunderstood, and on and on, just don't give up. Remain above reproach and then the detractors have nothing valid to say. They will either come around and get on board or they won't but leadership is not about making everyone happy and giving into every opinion.

The speaker went on to say a couple of other things too:
On Criticism--if it's true = respond and change
--if it's not true = don't stoop to consider it

He also quoted this African proverb:
The higher the monkey climbs up a tree,

the more people that can see his (hiney).

I am not sure what that means but I think it means in leadership people are gonna take aim at your backside, or they can see your flaws or weaknesses. Something along those lines. I think that is just to remind us that sometimes people only take time to see the negative and those people will always be detractors unless they change their perspective. [Especially if they are not climbing with you, as a leader you need people climbing with you, but also realize some will only go so high. If your vision calls you to climb higher, others will always be left behind.]

Psalm 42:5 "Why are you downcast, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance."

II Timothy 1:13 "Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."

So all that to say, welcome to leadership.
Hope in God, and HOLD FAST.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

I heard about this movement from Donald Miller this past weekend at LeadNow and then today in a completely unrelated experience involving social media networking I was lead to this video that reveals the heart and vision of Advent Conspiracy. Go check it out and see if your family, small group, church or even business would like to get behind it.

[RT: RonEdmonson]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Senior Adult Hip Hop Choir

Senior Adult Choir Hip Hop

JOY: Java-Others-You

This video asks (and answers) the question "What if St.Arbucks marketed itself like the church?"

[I forget where i originally ran across this so I just want to give credit where credit is due, wherever and to whomever that may be. It wasn't me just so you know.]

But this leads me to a question about my local body that I would like to pose to you. Just yesterday we had a lady FLIPPING out because someone took a cup of coffee into the church auditorium/sanctuary. Now someone called the office today and wants us to put signs up banning drinks from the church service. What would you tell this person and how would you handle this situation?

Monday, November 10, 2008

I want to go to Heaven...

This line has been around for awhile at least...but it reoccurred recently while listening to the new disc by The Streets 'Everything is Borrowed.' The song title is 'Heaven for the Weather' and the whole line is:
"I wanna go to heaven for the weather, hell for the company"

Now there are all kinds of folks with similar sentiments to this lyric.  What do you think is the missional response to someone that feels this way. To be honest I am a Christian and I feel this way sometimes in that I would much rather be around unchurched people than "church people". I would rather be around the irreligious than the religious.

Missionally speaking we are called to represent the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. How do we do it in such away that draws people towards it rather than drives them away?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

That's Terrific Sal

Today I have two videos that have made the blog circuit so you may have already seen them, if not enjoy and pass on the hilarity to your cyber friends and neighbors.

The first thing to note is that the music is catchy, fun and it surprised me with the ska/reggae beat and a pretty sweet baseline. This is definetely from the early 70's, take note of the fly away collars.

Second, note the vocalization is still more church ensemble than rock or ska band, so it lends alot to the creation of the cheesiness. Not to mention the matching outfits.

Third, note the guitarist and his uncomfortable use of the "sex face" as he plays added to the fact that he is way to cozy with throwing his hip thrusts into his guitar. I was gonna describe the guitar as a Sunburst pattern but then I realized it was actually blushing.

Fourth, of course last but not least note the lyrics, at one point he actually says "Jesus came and found me, and He touched me down inside..." and wait for it, wait for it the rest of that line is too good to spoil here. So click play and be prepared to watch this over and over again for the next few days.

[ HT: Ed]

This second video just goes to show we really have to ask the right questions about being relevant to the culture, because at one time I am sure this group sincerely thought they were being relevant and cutting edge, never knowing they would end up a viral video punchline reinforcing every cheesy Christian stereotype available.

[HT: SK]

It was so bad and SO viral that it ended up on The Soup , see here and also PopTub, here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Moby on Brittney, Fame, and Insecurity

I found this video on yahoo, of Moby being interviewed by fans and he makes a great statement about fame and the human condition. Watch and share your thoughts.
[updated: sorry you have to watch the commercial first]

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fat Guys in a little suit (sorta)

Hey I found this on my computer and had forgotten all about it. It was after one of the greatest 5th quarters of all time. We had over 100 students show up to wrassle and joust, play games and watch videos in the Attic, and eat tons and tons of horribly-bad-for-you food. At the end of the night when everything was wrapping up our pastor and our mission team leader decided to try their hand at the Sumo Suits. So now here it is submitted for your viewing pleasure.

Untitled from michael mcminn on Vimeo.

PS. I posted this on a cool new site called Vimeo, I like it much better than youtube or any other video posting site I have found so far. Go Check it out if you have your own personal videos to post.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spaghetti Grows on Trees

A Video in Honor of National Atheists Day

See who falls for this one, a classic April Fools joke of the highest order. Anytime you can fool someone AND do it with a BBC style British accent, you have taken it to the next level.

Mr. Smith goes to Church

I recently had the opportunity to attend Uptown Fellowship, the contemporary service of Church of the Incarnation in North Dallas. COTI is an Episcopal congregation and the liturgy was something very foreign to this southern fried baptist boy. I have two former Dallas Baptist classmates that are involved there. One in leading worship and the other more recently just began attending. I really enjoyed the worship experience as a whole and thought I would share and reflect here with you.

I did learn that the Sunday after Easter, in liturgical circles, has come to be known as Low Sunday. Becuase it follows immediately on the heels of Easter Sunday which has experienced so much build up through the season of Lent, this Sunday has come to be known as Low Sunday because the Gospel reading and homily always relate to the story of Doubting Thomas. The speaker also joked that it was Low Sunday or 'Cannonball Sunday' because of the drop in attendance compared to Easter Sunday. The joke is because attendance is so sparse you can fire a cannonball into the congregation without fear of hitting anyone.

Here are my observations:
1. Everyone was warm and friendly, I felt welcomed and comfortable. They did nothing to acknowledge guests or visitors, nor did they do anything to identify members. No name tags, no awkward welcome where the guests remain seated and members stand to greet them, or vice versa. While some would think this was a bad move I liked it. The only time I felt out of place or awkward was when I had an internal concern in those "what to do next" situations. Which I will address in the next point. Finally, as far as welcome, greeting, etc, at one point we all turned to those around us greeting each other with "Peace be with you."

2. As the service progressed there were a few times I wished they had at least briefly explained the flow of the liturgy. Of course, then it could be said that would interrupt the flow of the liturgy itself. But my discomfort was most apparent when it came time to participate in communion. From my background I am used to remaining seated as the tray is passed down each aisle. In this more liturgical setting you rise and approach the front single file to receive the sacraments. I was really freaked out when the first group went up on stage around the altar and "had several moves" to perform. I was thinking to myself, I am going to look like an idiot. Well turns out they were the servers/helpers (this was not explained, so I am making an educated guess) because the rest of us did not go up on stage but merely up the aisle to the priest/rector.

3. To me this took away from the experience of what Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper, is all about. I am partly to blame, maybe I just should have relaxed more and not been so worried about "making a mistake" or even "looking dumb." But I think some simple instructions would alleviate this for newcomers and even give those who partake weekly more of a verbal reminder of what HC/LS is really all about. In the Baptist tradition we partake of the LS about once every quarter. This has always seemed too long of an interval but I know I truly look forward to it and when we partake it is the central part of the worship experience that week and usually the entire message and service focus in on the meaning. The meaning seemed lost in the ritual, and to be fair, in my own insecurity about "how to" in this new setting. I was glad that at least from seminary and other experience I knew about the practice of intinction. This is the practice of dipping the consecrated bread into the wine, rather than drinking from the same cup as everyone else (granted the holder wipes the cup each time and others had already drank directly from the cup but it sure made me feel better. I am not much of a germ-a-phobe overall but drinking after others gives me the willies.)

4. The music was contemporary and the dress of everyone present was casual. They used two large flat screens to either side of the platform to display lyrics, prayers, and responsive readings. These seem to be the three main elements that made Uptown Fellowship different, I think they would even say Emerging, than their parent services at Church of the Incarnation. And other than the HC/LS the screens really helped me as a newbie enjoy and follow along as a participant in worship rather than a confused outsider. The music was impressive as well. I didn't know quite what to expect but the songs were recognizable to me by the likes of Crowder, Tomlin, and even Agnus Dei by Michael W. Smith. They were contemporary yet the band was simple, acoustic guitar, a trap set, piano and upright bass. The piano, limited sounds of the smaller trap set, and especially upright bass just really made the music warm and deep as opposed to having just a straight-ahead rock sound.

5. The message was delivered by a women. I will leave the theological debate for other bloggers who seem devoted to those things. I will admit, however, that due to my background I made a conscious effort to listen and focus on the message rather than the medium. The message was on Thomas and his doubt the week after the Resurrection. The message was well delivered, applicable to our daily lives, and held my attention.

Overall, given the chance I would consider visiting again to broaded my experience and perspective. It is always difficult and sometimes unfair or misleading to base everything on one visit. Although the reality is for many others, churched or unchurched, the first impression is the only impression you get to make.

Go to Uptown's Flickr page to see the sets from their series called Theology Live, a very well attended series of theological lectures at local north Dallas pubs.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Pray for Juarez, Mexico

Just minutes ago I got incredibly sad and disturbing phone call. The call was to inform me that our annual summer mission trip to Juarez, Mexico has been canceled. I thought it was a joke or mistake until the news over the phone sank in and I realized they were serious. Drug Cartel violence has broken out in Juarez and the article I just read says as many as 30 people were murdered on Easter weekend alone. Please pray for the city, people, and churches of Juarez.

In the relationship our church has established with the city of 6 million across the border from El Paso, TX we have helped a thriving church planting movement that has been a blessing and encouragement to me every time I have gone over. We generally go once during the Christmas break and again during the summer. We know many churches and pastors in Juarez and I would ask you to pray for them during this time.

Pray for all the citizens of Juarez.
Pray for any tourists that maybe trying to get out safely.
Pray for the pastors of Juarez and their congregations.
Pray for the city, state and Mexican national government officials.
Pray for the police and military.
Pray for the hearts and minds of the criminals.

Call me or email if you would like to know specific pastors and churches to pray for. It may be over protective but I don't want to expose any of them to become targets by listing them here for all to see.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Some Stuff from Around the Web

Deadly Viper "is a movement designed to help leaders finish strong and live a life with no regrets." " Whether you are an executive at a large company, a daring entrepreneur, a gifted salesman, or serving at a non profit or ministry, Deadly Viper is for you." "Deadly Viper facilitates conversations between leaders, staff members, small groups, teams, colleagues and friends." (all quotes from the website) The Deadly Viper bloggers are Jud Wilhite, Mike Foster and Anne Jackson.

The XXX Church guys have been engaged in the Porn Debate for awhile now but they appeared on Nightline. Watch the debates online here.

Just made the switch from being controlled by the man (i.e. microsoft office products) to downloading the free and incredible OpenOffice suite of products. And if you are into graphic design on a budget check out GimpShop a freeware alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

Web 2.0 stuff you should be aware of and using if you are not:
Twitter! a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
Jott...converts your voice into emails, text messages, reminders, lists and appointments
Utterz share & discuss your news instantly (voice, video, pix & txt from your cell to your blog and social network instantly)
for more Web 2.0 applications and sites go here.

Viddler.com and Blip.tv are sites you need to check out if you are a video content creator, aspiring internet video director or video blogger. Go ahead get famous if that's for you.

Ethur is a website for an initiative that "exists to create spiritually focused projects that change culture." So go, check it out, do good, and create a spiritually focused project that changes culture.

Timothy Keller videos here, here and here - here.

Project RedNow ...is an experiment in the art of wonder.

The Movie Box is your one stop shop for any an all upcoming or current movie trailers, wanna see a movie trailer, look no further.

And last but not least, I will leave the theological commentary to my many brothers out there that are willing or already have jumped on this, but this is odd and humorous at the same time...
Ed Young, Jr. impersonates Joel Osteen

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Elijah (testing the pilot of a new sitcom)

This is long overdue. I have created three separate accounts attempting to upload videos of my son Elijah to youtube for all to see. 3rd times a charm right? if this is successful then assume there will be more to follow. Much more, since this is now 19 months overdue.

"I have to be perfect..." and 8 other ministry family heresies.

In doing some spring cleaning I came across a great little book and I felt a strong desire to share with my fellow compatriots in ministry and parenting. Timothy L. Sanford, M.A. (and MK, missionary kid, for the uninitiated) wrote a helpful and healing book called I Have to Be Perfect (and Other Parsonage Heresies): The Preachers Kids Manual of the Holy Heresies You May Have Grown Up With and How to Find Your Way Back to the Truth.

Now that is a mouthful but let me tell you being a pastor myself and also being married to a PK this book is great on two levels. First it brought some needed clarification in my life and better understanding for me of my wife and where she has come from. Second it is a great warning and helpful guide in helping me be a better father to Elijah and husband to Becky. After all my greater calling is to them as my family over and above my calling to the church. An added bonus is that when we served in Colorado we actually went to a conference lead by Timothy L. Sanford at Horn Creek specifically for PK/MK's over this topic.

Without sharing more than she would like or more than you need to know, Becky and her family did not have an overall enjoyable experience during her dad's years in ministry and there is family baggage to prove it. But this book's insights are worth sharing and contemplating, for discussion and expounding.

I want to share the myth's Tim points out and leave it at that for now. We will see if this generates a need for more from the book down the road.

The Four Holy Heresies about Myself:
1. I have to be perfect
2. I should already know
3. I am here for others
4. I'm different

The Four Holy Heresies about the World:
1. I can't trust anyone
2. I can ruin my dad's ministry
3. Other people's needs are more important than my own
4. I am damned if I do and damned if I don't

The Holy Heresy about God:
1. God is disappointed with me

Ask yourself as a parent in ministry do you allow yourself, other staff members, or church members to perpetuate any of these myths to your spouse or children? What do you do as a parent in ministry to put your family above your job? To protect them from neglect or misguided ministry principles?

To end I would like to make a note that the book is not bitter, nor does the author have an ax to grind. The book is informative, consoling, and embraces forgiveness as a means of transformation and restoration for those who feel abused or hurt by "growing up in the ministry."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

ER offers a harsh critique of liberal theology?


Daryl Hall Cool, Again?

Saw this on yahoo news: Famous 80's Musician is Totally Hip Again

Ok, my only question is when wasn't Daryl Hall cool?

In another music note also on Yahoo: The Worlds Cheesiest Love Songs Playlist

Crank this in your office and see how long it takes for someone to hurl a stapler at your head, or even worse cause you be the first ever office person to be given a swirly since middle school.

Top 5/Bottom 5 Candies

I have decided to create a new installment to my blog and am open for suggestions but wanted to start with this one on candy. Everyone had their favorite candies as a kid and even now, but what about the candies that were a complete and utter whip. You know there were the greatest and then their were the ones that were just a beat down. This does not contain candy bars that will be separate and specific Top 5/Bottom 5 for the future.

Bottom 5
Necco Wafers: These seem to be the first candy ever invented (though I have not done conclusive research) because they appear to have been invented before anyone thought of the idea that candy should taste good.

2. Wax Lips/Wax Bottles:
Isn't this really a form of punishment, make a kid suffer the horrible taste of wax for a slight sensation of momentary liquid flavoring. The reward is definitely not worth the effort.

3. Fun Dip:
Why by this messy, boring candy when you can just eat a sugar packet or pour sugar into your mouth straight from the dispenser if that is what you are craving??? (or only slightly better Pixie Stix)
4. Black Licorice: This actually may be one of the first forms of candy but come on, it tastes like medicine!
5. Rainbow Coconut Bar/3 Color Coconut Bar: Just plain gross, a mean sadistic trick to make kids think coconut is candy.Honorable Mentions:
Candy Buttons (also by Necco) just plain lame and sometimes called Dots on Paper (seriously?!), Now & Laters (I know I will catch some flack for this but they are the evil twin of their much better counterpart Starburst--only N&L's make your teeth stick together so you can not get your mouth back open)
Sugar Daddys (or the lesser none, Slo Poke, these are again an example of a candy that requires too much effort and not enough reward, unless you like having to pry your jaws apart with a crow bar. And their counterpart, aptly named Sugar Babies, are the same great flavor without the extended period of lockjaw.)
Candy Corn: Seriously???
Hard Stick Gum that came in novelty cards packs. Just plain gross.

Danger Alert
: Deadly or at least Injurious Candy worth mentioning--AstroPop
The original Astropop was a cone shaped hard candy sucker that was Red, Green and Yellow and the pointy end faced up and the candy widened at the bottom towards the end of the stick. As you licked the original AstroPop the point became a razor sharp, needle point dagger of death that you could use to stab your little sister or poke your own eye out. Unfortunately they have corrected this and I was unable to find a picture of the original version of this candy, but imagine the above picture (top of blog) inverted to where the pointy end is up.

Top 5
Honorable Mentions:

Bit O'Honey: They may be too sticky for some but they are a great one of a kind flavor, that I enjoy.
Lemonheads: When you want something sour there is only one choice.
Nerds and Smarties: Small, tangy, sugary sweet, packaged in small amounts so you don't wig out on an over the top sugar rush.

5. Rolos: Easy. Caramel, chocolate, bite size. Greatness

4. Pop Rocks: If these don't make you smile and scream fun then you must be a Nazi or a Catholic School Headmistress.

3. Goo Goo Clusters Supreme:
This is strictly a Southern treat. Milk Chocolate, Pecans, Caramel and Marshmellow. Of if you prefer, Original, which replaces Pecans with Peanuts.2. Starburst: If it is not evident by my previous choices I am a chocolate lover but when it comes to fruity goodness Starburst can't be beat. They are softer and easy to chew than most fruit candies and they pack a powerfully strong flavor in each bite size candy.
1. Peanut M&M's: Chocolate covered peanuts in a hard candy shell. Pure Genius. And truth in advertising: They do not melt in your hands, but the ad says nothing about the color sweating. But for those who want to complain all I have to say is "They come in a bag!" Eat 'em as you go.

Video Clips for Messages

I am always looking for video clips to use in our Wednesday night outreach service or occasionally to use as an illustration for out Sunday School program or to go along with a small group lesson. I thought I would share some sources that have repeatedly served up some quality videos that you can use or, if you have the capabilities, choose to make your own version.

First lets begin with some channels on Youtube:
Watermark Church (Dallas) Creators of the forever memorable Offering Linebacker, but for impact I truly LOVE their Signs video.

Watermark Student Ministry which hosts over 70 videos
my personal favorites include Wake Up Clown and Passionately Ninja and the Lettuce Commercial series (spoofed off of the SNL Digital Short)

I originally found these two GENIUS GEMS on the Gateway Church Student Ministry vodcast, but that since has disappeared from Itunes so I found them on Youtube...if you haven't you must see and use these two nuggets of audio/visual AWESOMENESS.
David and Goliath
Noah Builds an Ark

I showed this over a year ago and I have at least one student per Wednesday, usually more, beg, seriously beg (in the sniveling, groveling, grabbing of my pants leg sense of the word) to see this each and every week its a hit:
Hotel, Hotel from none other than the PDYM guys.

and also from them produced for the PDWorshipConference, Filled with the Spirit

For some very odd reason the Skit Guys do not have their own YouTube channel but they have some great clips posted there if you search them. But you can go here to see the guy who has produced several videos for them, which includes The Workplace series, and others. Including this one I had never seen before, No Code Baby, spoofing the Da Vince Code AND Vanilla Ice. Why didn't I know about this when it was relevant.

Another great source is Keypoint Church on Youtube, and if you search them on Itunes podcasts you can download even more.

Some videos are just plain scary like this Church Produced Crossdressing Video???

Sometimes you don't need a video to make a point, you just want something humorous and energetic to kick-off the night. So here are some other choices:
Freestyle Walking (at 4 minutes in there is a word you may find inappropriate, or search free style walking to find your own favorite version, or make your own.)
Rhett and Link's Channel
(including my favorites: Unicorn Rap, Cornhole Song, Don Imus Song, Facebook Song, Addicted to Lost Commercial, the list goes on)
Many of you know of Ask a Ninja but what about Hope is Emo, Part 7 could be my favorite, and the theme song is great, produced by the same peeps. You can also download HopeisEmo from Itunes podcasts.

Just for Fun:
the Minisode Network Channel takes your favorite old shows like Voltron, What's Happening?, and the Facts of Life and distills them into short 5 minute episodes.
And for fans of NPR and/or David Sedaris

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

For Your Enjoyment (Kosher, yet rated PG)

I have not blogged in quite sometime. I have been very busy, lots of irons in the fire and plans to renew my blog are in the works but for now here is something I found entertaining and I hope you do too.

As a youth pastor and student of culture I occasionally catch some videos on MTV, VH1, BET and CMT. The reality is you can check in about every 6 months before the rotation has changed that much. I have seen a couple of Soulja Boy songs (which this is a spoof of) and if ever there was a video that needed spoofing. This is much better than the mindless, pointless, artless and soulless original it mocks.