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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

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