Monday, December 31, 2007


Bulls... 110
Magic... 112


96... 96... Overtime!

Jim Clark
Student Minister

Sent from my iPhone...

Bulls up

Bulls up by 2... 36.5 seconds left...

Start of 4th quarter

Bulls down by 2 points at the start of the 4th...

Half time

Bulls... 54
Magic... 48

End of 1st quarter

Bulls leading...

Bulls game!!!

Here are our bulls seats!!! Pretty awesome!

Bulls vs. Magic...

I've got some Bulls tickets for this afternoon. I'm pretty excited. I've been to a Bulls game before... a couple of years ago... but I haven't sat as close as we're thinking we'll sit this afternoon. They are taking on the Magic for a little New Years' Eve action at 1 pm. It should be fun. Jeff, Clayton and Boone and I are taking in the game. Should be fun.

I'll post some pics from the game or after I get home. Go Bulls!!!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Reading update...

The Christmas holiday slowed down my holiday reading plan. I began "The Christmas Story" a couple of weeks ago and I just finished it tonight.

But I'm getting back on track. I've got a couple of more weeks before the next semester begins on January 22nd. With brings a fresh load of required reading. So, tonight I began reading "Prince Caspian" from the Chronicles of Narnia (book 4 in preparation for this summer's release).

The book itself is only about 100 pages in my copy. So it won't likely take long. But I thought it would be a fun little holiday reading.


Preached this morning!!

I preached in main worship this morning.

I always get incredibly nervous when I preach in adult worship. It's not a rational thing. I always get incredibly nervous. Everyone always says that I do a great job... but I still feel nervous. Working and speaking to the students doesn't really make me nervous like the adults do on Sunday morning... which I think is backwards to what most people would think. (I think most people would be more comfortable with adults than students.) And I actually teach less time-wise with the adults than with the students. So, who knows.

But I think it went well this morning. We talked about having a regular Bible reading plan. Here is the outline:
If you make one New Years’ Resolution this year, make this one:
-Begin a REGULAR Bible reading plan.
“Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” Psalm 119:1-2

It will -EMPOWER your worship.

-INCREASE your service.

-IMPROVE your evangelism.

-BETTER your relationships with others.

-DEEPEN your personal connection to God.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

Tips to making it happen:
1. Write down YOUR GOAL.

2. Choose a READABLE translation.

3. Schedule A TIME that works.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
“With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” Psalm 119:14-16

Action Steps:
DECIDE if regular Bible reading is a goal for you.

DETERMINE to push through the difficult times.

DEEPEN your study of Scripture with new and challenging ways of engaging God’s word.
“Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.” Psalm 119:129-131

The Bottom Line:
Reading God’s Word is FOUNDATIONAL to following God.

Once the audio recording is available online, I will post a link so you can listen, if you want.

Thanks to those who prayed for me this morning. I know that several of you, my faithful readers, did and I appreciate it.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

preaching tomorrow...

I'm preaching tomorrow morning...

So... It's 8:32 pm... time for a final run through and then bed...

After the sermon is posted online, I'll link it in case any of you are lacking for something to listen to.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Chick-fil-a and home...

We hit Chick-fil-a in South Bend on the way home tonight... (why wont
some one open one of these in the suburbs???) That's twice and both
times were great. Then it was on to home...
Good travels.

Jim Clark
Student Minister

Sent from my iPhone...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Workin in a food court...

Sounds like it ought to be a line in a country song...

But it isn't. I'm teaching in adult worship this weekend and so Steve and I are meeting to do some "worship planning." I'm in Grove City, PA in the food court at the Prime Outlets. I'm about to be "one of those guys" who sits and punches on his computer and talks on the phone when he could be shopping...


The Wifi is strong. And I thought I'd get in a quick blog before we begin!

We'll be home tomorrow night! More blogs then...


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Best present of the year!!!

Jackie and I got these little trucks for our nephew Alex. It was my
favorite present that I bought this year. Alex actually pulled it
from his dad twice. Classic!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas dinner is set!!!!

Christmas dinner is ready!!!!!!

Christmas at the Clarks is wrapped up..

We've finished with the loot... And it was good lott... Now on to the
grub!!! Christmas was great. Too many good things to mention here.

Presents ready!!!

Here's a picture of the loot waiting to be opened... Good stuff and

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ready for a car show...

I spent most of Sunday afternoon fiving my 2001 PT Cruiser a good
cleaning... In prep for some new window vent-visors... It looks good.
Almost ready for a car show...

Saturday, December 22, 2007


We arrived in Ohio late last night... About 2 am... Tonight we are on
our way to dinner and then National Treasure. A great day of vacation.

Jim Clark
Student Minister

Sent from my iPhone...

Friday, December 21, 2007


We rocked some Chick-fil-a tonight... It was awesome!!!

Jim Clark
Student Minister

Sent from my iPhone...

Leaving for Christmas travels today...

Jackie and I are hitting the road this afternoon for some Christmas travels, and joining 53 million others according to "The Weather Channel" and "AAA."

We are heading to Ohio first this year and will be there until Christmas afternoon and then we'll be heading to Meadville for a few days. I doubt that I'll be able to make actual posts except occasionally. (I am planning to be on the internet for some sermon work with Steve next Wednesday or Thursday...)

But I will try to keep my blog updated with some mobile posts. Before I go, though, I would like to wish each and every one of you, my faithful readers, a Merry Christmas!!! And a Happy New Year. May your Christmas Day be filled with joy as you remember the birth of God's one of a kind Son, Jesus Christ.

I Am Legend... was incredible yesterday!!

Yesterday was the first day of my Christmas vacation.

I celebrated by spending a couple of hours playing "Rock Band" with Jeff and Steve. Then Steve and Todd and I took in "I Am Legend" on the IMAX at Randall 15.

It was incredible!!!! Visually stunning!!! A fascinating story that I loved from start to finish. I'm not usually one to get startled at movies when something is scary or something jumps up suddenly. But there were a few times during the movie when I just about jumped out of my chair.

The movie itself was incredible on the IMAX screen. NYC looked totally abandoned... which was the intent... and the storyline kept me guessing until the end.

Plus, Will Smith turned in "Tom Hanks in Cast Away" performance that was incredible. Most of the movie was featuring him and "Sam"... his dog with some flashbacks to fill in the story line. I think what I enjoyed about the movie is that it didn't end all "happy and neat." I won't ruin the ending and what happens in case you are planning to see it.

But if you are, I would definitely see it before it gets out of theaters. It's incredible.

We also had another motive for seeing it on IMAX. For those who venture to IMAX to see "I Am Legend," they are treated to the first 7 minutes of "The Dark Knight," the new Batman movie coming out next summer. Let me just say... "WOW!!!" I had my concerns about Heath Ledger as "The Joker." But I don't anymore. It was incredible. I already can't wait.

So there is a double pleasure for seeing it on IMAX if you can... The Dark Knight preview and I Am Legend. Certainly worth the extra price of admission.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jackie sporting her new Cubs T-Shirt

I talked Jackie into opening one present tonight. She gave me a sweet tumbler from Starbucks that allows me to brew French press coffee from anywhere... which will be nice over the next week or so while we travel (my parents drink decaf) and this summer at CIY. I love coffee... especially good coffee and this will let me make it anywhere.

I bought Jackie a "Ryan Theriot" Cubs jersey. There is a longer story there... that I can tell if there is enough clamoring for it. But here she is sporting it and looking "Cubs-sexy."


DC Talk download!!!

I have always been a huge fan of dctalk. I was even in the mosh pit when they visited Bristol on the Jesus Freak Tour. Oh, what a night that was!!!

I would love for them to put out a fresh album. I have loved the solo stuff, but it would be great to have some collaboration stuff. I have loved Tait's efforts... I've seen him a couple of times in concert and can't wait for a new album. I have loved Toby's stuff... it's great. But I haven't really gotten into KMax's stuff. It just really hasn't wet my whistle.

But his latest album, is called "The Blood." It's still early to know for sure if I'll pick up the whole album. But thanks to a tip from Corry Mann, there is a dctalk song on the new album... It's called "The Cross." I just downloaded it... well worth the buck... and its just making me want a dctalk album more.


Hope-Anti-suicide video

Here is a pretty cool video that some students at a local high school... St. Charles North put together. One of my students, Paige, is in the video. It's pretty sweet.


Check it out HERE.

Scariest Holiday Greeting ever!!!

Want to see something scary...

Check THIS out.

Now if that doesn't make you want to have a Merry Christmas, I don't know what will.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shopping like crazy

We spent all of the day shopping. On at our last stops was Cold Water
Creek. I found a cozy place to sit while Jackie shopped...

I miss our fireplace.

Google searches leading here...

It's 10:20... I'm sitting on the couch waiting to go Christmas shopping. So, I'm kinda wasting time on my blog. Here are some Google searches leading here to my little blog:

-copy transformers dvd to iphone
-tony dungy christian
-guitar hero legends of rock playlist
-free nooma
-southwest commercial funny
-free nooma video
-itunes on my iphone
- go cubs go playoff edition lyrics
-comment post ads iphone comment post ads
-southwest airline commercial funny tv
-payton manning christmas carol
-iphone diet
-dawson snow field goal
-guitar hero 3 for mac multiplayer
-family feud game for youth ministry

Well... it's shopping time... time to roll...
Catch ya'll later...


Last 10 visitors...

My blog has been getting a ton of hits lately... thanks to those who are checking it out. I'm getting close to 5500 visitors since I started the counter a year ago.

I'm also averaging 25 visitors per day. Here are the locations of the last 10:
1. Ketchum, Oklahoma
Cohasset, Massachusetts
Hong Kong
Middletown, New York
Franklin, Indiana
Chicago, Illinois
Connersville, Indiana
Pompano Beach, Florida
Manchester, United Kingdom
Meadville, Pennsylvania

Man... Lots of visitors from lots of places. If you don't see your location on there, keep coming back and maybe you'll make the next list.

7 Days until Christmas!!


Batman - The Dark Knight Trailer

I can't wait!!!


Check it out HERE.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Excitement for all the wrong reasons... Survivor vs. Christmas

Last night, I found myself getting excited.

I was watching the Season 15 finale of Survivor... easily one of my favorite shows... and a show I would love to be on but don't have the guts to try out for. It was the finale of this season, which always includes a 2 hour final episode and then the one hour reunion show where they bring back all those who were voted off plus the winner and they talk about various aspects of the season. It's always great fun.

But in the final 10 minutes of the reunion show, they always show a snipet of the next season. It is scheduled to be some new players versus some veteran players from previous seasons. But I found myself getting incredibly excited about the prospect of the new season.

Then this verse went through my head:
"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary pondered these things and treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." Luke 2:16-20, NIV.

Obviously all those words didn't at the same time... that would be ludicrous. But the basic idea did. A couple of weeks ago, I used this section of Luke as a talk with our students about evangelism, especially in the Christmas season...

But last night as I thought about these words and my excitement over something, relatively speaking, as stupid as Survivor... I began to play with a very "sharp stick." (definition of a sharp stick: something fun to play with but is entirely capable of poking out your eye.)

I began to think about this: When was the last time that I got really excited about God the way that I just did about Survivor? Now, I want to avoid something here. I want to avoid that impression that that's somehow a cliche statement.

What I mean is this... we are right now in the throws of the craziest time of the year. All of our schedules are absolutely packed with so much stuff that must of us don't have time to sit down... much less have a real conversation with most people... or even direct our thoughts toward God and the Savior that He sent into this world.

Most of us are wrapped up in things that have very little meaning in the grander scheme of things... gifts... parties... cookies... shopping... traveling... wrapping gifts... checking lists... conversations leading to gifts... and more gifts...

Now, please don't get wrong... I really like gifts. I REALLY like gifts. But in the greater scheme of things, are gifts really what Christmas is all about?

But then, what happens in the Christian world... we turn the craziness of the holidays into something that we perceive to be more spiritual... time with families... time in church... reading the Christmas story (Luke 2... Matthew 2... Twas the Night Before Christmas)... taking digital pictures... not that any of those things are wrong either. I love time with my family, reading the Christmas story and taking pictures.

But somewhere in the midst of this holiday our amazement at the coming at Christ (Luke 2:7) and the second coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16) are both lost. Either we're wrapped up in the gift-giving or we're wrapped up in the gift giving and we miss it all together.

As I said earlier, I find myself playing with this sharp stick. I'm not trying to add more noise to the holiday... Lord knows it has enough noise already... and I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad (again... I like spending time with family and I like opening gifts). But I feel like we're missing something GREAT for something good or worse yet... something worthless.

But I'm not sure what to do with all that. In this situation, the stick is poking me. I love Christmas. I really do. I'm not trying to come off like the Grinch or some charismatic preacher telling you shouldn't shop, buy presents or drink eggnog. That's not me at all.

But I guess I'm pointing the stick at me. I got incredibly excited last night about Season 16 of Survivor and immediately told everyone I could about it (although because of these thoughts, I managed to hold off the urge to blog about it). God sent his Son to this earth to be born in a manger, to die on a cross for my and your sins and to return a second time for his church, and I don't get as excited about that as I should or as I did about Survivor...

Just some thoughts...


Dark Knight Trailer

There has been a great deal of chatter on the Internet about "Dark Knight"... the new Batman movie coming out next summer.

I stumbled on one of the trailers this morning. It looks awesome. Check it out HERE. I can't wait!!!!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Priceless Peptalk by Payton Manning

This just makes me chuckle...


Check it out HERE.

Southwest Airlines Tv Breaks Commercial Very Funny

This commercial totally cracks me up.


Check it out HERE.

a rare evening off...

I had a good morning at church this morning. It was nice to be able to relax and enjoy church.

Tonight, I'm chillin' at home. I took a nap this afternoon to get ready for 3 hours of Survivor tonight. I love hanging with our students. But it's nice to have a night when nothing is going on as well. Put my feet up... post a couple of blogs... and relax.

By the way... I think Denise has it wrapped up tonight... Gotta pull for the school lunch lady!!!


a rare morning off...

So today is an unusual day.

Since September, we've been doing our middle school worship service on Sunday mornings at 9:50 am. Which has been incredible for our middle school ministry!!! In many ways... that are too many for this post... but might be good for a future post.

But today is the first morning of our 3-week holiday break... both for Sunday nights (High Voltage) and Sunday mornings (Live Wire). We're taking a break for a couple of reasons. 1. It gives our students time to worship for the holidays with their parents. 2. It gives our students freedom to travel and not feel like they are missing something. 3. It gives our volunteers a brief break for family occasions and worship.

But I realized this morning how much I have missed coming to church and just being here. I'm not teaching. I'm not leading. I'm not organizing anything. I'm just sipping some coffee and having some conversations. Usually on Sunday mornings, I'm running around like my hair is on fire and I'm trying to keep it from getting in my eyes... but this morning is different. Call it... a change of pace.

And it's been a beneficial morning. I already had one conversation and lined up a volunteer for our middle school ski trip on February 18th (shameless plug!). But it's nice just to walk around and relax a little.

Right now, 1st hour worship is happening and I had time to post a blog. Jackie and I are planning to worship 2nd. It's good.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Book... Half Done...

So... having wrapped up my required reading for class on Thursday, I began a new book tonight... that I am half done with!

A couple of years ago, one of my students, Elisabeth VanderBand, gave me a copy of a "Christmas Story" by Jean Shepherd. She had heard me use an illustration about loving this movie... and indeed, it is my favorite Christmas movie... she bought me a copy.

It's great. This is the second Christmas that I have read it. I started tonight and I'm almost half done with it.

I love casual reading...


Christmas shopping and snow!!!

The snow has been crazy here this winter. This is more snow that we have had any of the other 2 winters that we have lived here. There has been a couple of inches of snow on the ground for the last couple of weeks and then this week, it was covered and sealed with ice.

Tonight we're getting a couple more inches of snow.

I was out in the snow some this afternoon as I joined the shopping masses and shopped for my wife. She was working... But I hit a couple of places and picked up some stuff. I would share... since she never reads my blog... but just in case she gets crazy, I'll refrain. But I've got a little more money to spend on her. But I got most of what I am planning. Fun fun!!! Lots of people.

It's starting to look... and feel like... Christmas!!!


Check out this pool!!!

You can check out the address HERE.

But that looks like a pretty cool pool. But I would still feel weird by swimming all the way out to the end...


4.00 baby!!!

I just got my grades from this past semester this morning... They are posted on our seminary network... I scored a 4.00 baby!!! I landed a pair of A's in Biblical Worship for Today and Christianity in the Reformation Period. That makes all those long days of reading and writing worthwhile.

That brings my cumulative GPA for LCS to a 3.74. I transferred in a stinky B minus from a class at Emmanuel School of Religion that I might retake...

But not too shabby for this semester. (I'll end the shameless bragging now...)


Student Ministry Progressive Christmas Dinner...

Last night, we had a couple of great Student Ministry Progressive Christmas Party Dinners. Everyone showed up and from what I heard from the high school group, had a great time. I know the middle schoolers had a blast... I was with them. All in all it was great!

Thanks to the Hutto/Mortons, Brooks and Reffett(s) for hosting the high schoolers. And thanks to the Cerezos, Gallaways and Alfords for hosting the middle schoolers.

It was a blast!!!


Friday, December 14, 2007

Apple Get a Mac Ad: Santa Claus

This is pretty sweet....


HERE it is...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Resource at

I posted my Star Countdown on Check it out HERE. It's pretty cool to be able to share resources with others like this...


Reading is DONE!!!


Many pages... much reading... done.

This semester is wrapped up. Monday, grades will officially be posted. But as of today, I have a 97.9% in my Biblical Worship class and an A/A- in my Reformation history class. So, I'm thinking another semester of A's.


P.S.: I'm glad to be done... I'm going to watch movies tomorrow and not read anything...

Upside down Christmas tree...

So Melanie... One of our staff members... Has an upside down Christmas
tree... Here is a pic...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Underground Newsletter

We just published a new Underground (middle school) newsletter today.

We posted information about our upcoming Middle School CIY Believe trip to St. Charles, MO on March 7-9. Information about the Underground Ski Trip, which begins it's sign ups this weekend for February 18th. And more.

If you didn't get a copy of the Underground newsletter, email me ( and I'll make sure that you get one.


scotty pichard sings the christmas carols

Here's a little love for the holidays from some friends at Saddleback... Enjoy...


Thanks Taffy for this classic...

Click HERE to check out.

Some thoughts on the Golden Compass

One of my best friends went and saw the Golden Compass a couple of days ago (I know I can hear the gasps...). He had some really great thoughts about it. Here is a link to Chris Genders' blog. It's really a great article...

Here's a little snipet:
"With all of the controversy swirling around about the movie and the books, I quickly decided that I was going to make a determination on my own rather than relying upon the words and thoughts of people that I don't know. (This is something I challenge everyone to do - to approach what they read, hear, see with a critical eye in an effort to determine for themselves what is true or false.) So I decided to go to the movies last night...

"I do not want to encourage or discourage you from watching this film or reading the books and making up your own mind about it. What I would say is that if you allow your children to watch the movie or read the books, do not be personally uneducated. Be intentional about watching/reading it with them. You will need to talk with them about it...

"In the end, this movie and these books are simply an attempt to do what thousands of others have done throughout history. And yet Christ still remains standing when the dust settles. Are there problems within the religion of Christianity? Absolutely. Are there problems with Christ? No way...."

Great article Chris!!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This semesters classes are done...

I've got some pages yet to read...

But all of this semester's classes are wrapped up!!! It feels good... now I just need to finish my reading and then I'll be FREE!!!

Until January...


New Indiana Jones Movie Poster

Looks pretty awesome to me...


Lots O ice!!!

Man... It was icy this morning. The roads were pretty slushy. But they were drivable... when we left around 5 am... after we got to Yorkville... about 5:45-5:50, the roads began to get better. When we finally made it to I-55 at Dwight, things were great... just rainy.

Here (Lincoln), its rainy and most everything is coated with ice. And there is a little wind in the air which could be bad for power lines.

But we're here. We'll see if we make it through all of the classes with power issues.

This is the final class day.


Monday, December 10, 2007

700 pages... 5 days...

This Friday is when my Reformation History reading report is due...

I've got about 700 pages...
And 5 days...

Whew... That's going to be a lot of reading.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Good weekend...

My folks were up this weekend.

We had a good weekend. We didn't do much. We were planning to go into the city on Saturday, but my sister came down with a "stomach something or other" and we didn't do much. But we watched Elf and hung out some. If the idea was spending time together, which I think it was, then we accomplished our goal.

All in all, it was a good weekend.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

No go for Chicago...

Addy got sick on the way into the city... So we rode the train...
Grabbed a snack and then back to the house..

5000 visitors...

Quietly this past week I passed the 5000 visitor mark... I've been averaging between 20 - 25 visitors per day... somedays as many of 30 or 35...

Keep reading... Now, I just need to get some posters...


Friday, December 07, 2007

Mom having a starbucks..

My mom had never had a starbucks... Until tonight...

Apple Get a Mac Ad: Now What?




Reading all day... and then Parents!!!

I'm spending most of the day reading...
I'm working on "The English Reformation" by A.G. Dickens for my Reformation class...

Then this afternoon, my parents and sister are coming in for a weekend visit. It should be fun and probably will spawn some mobile posts of pictures and what-not.

Should be fun!!!


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Prince Caspian Trailer

This is rockin' awesome...


Check it out HERE!!!

Underground News!!!

I just sent out a brand new Underground newsletter... In there you will find information about
-MS Believe (in St. Charles, MO... March 7-9)
-MS Ski Trip
-All-Student Worship

Check it out.

If you didn't get a copy and would like one, drop me an email:


Cold out there!!!

It was cold this morning...

The Official morning temperature at the Clark household in St. Charles was 3.3 degrees... Wow. That's cold.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Golden Compass Post...

This is a simple post...

I just wanted to shamelessly promote a post from Monday about the Golden Compass. Click HERE to check it out...


Dark Knight poster!!!

I stumbled on this poster this morning for the new "Dark Knight" Batman movie coming out next year. I found this HERE.

This movie looks like fun!!!


About 4 inches...

Looking out the window this morning... over the pages of A.G. Dickens "The English Reformation"... I would say we got about 4 inches of snow last night. It's actually pretty beautiful outside right now.

The roads were pretty slick last night... but the snow is nice. They are calling for some more today and maybe some tomorrow... fun fun!!!


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gotta love the snow!!!

Tonight we got about 3 inches... With maybe another one overnight!!!
Its like we're back in PA...

Apple Get a Mac Ad: Misprint

New Mac Commercial...

Gotta love it...


Check it out HERE.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I just knocked out "Obedience of a Christian Man" by William Tyndale

I've been like the seminarianator this weekend. I knocked out "Authentic Worship" by Batemann on Saturday.

Tonight, I knocked out "The Obedience of a Christian Man" by the man who inspired my internet handle, William Tyndale.

I've got a couple of historical books to knock out this coming week and the first part of next week...

I'm covering some major pages...


Center for Parent/Youth Understand... the Golden Compass...

I have been watching and reading some of the plethora of emails floating around about the upcoming movie called the "The Golden Compass." If you haven't heard at least something about this movie, it's a movie that set to open in a couple of days/weeks (I haven't paid that close of attention to it). But basically it is very similar in style to Chronicles of Narnia (in fact, the author Phillip Pullman openly admits to using some of Lewis' imagery...) but the movie has a very different agenda.

Phillip Pullman is what is being called an Evangelistic Atheist. Meaning, he doesn't believe in God and he's not afraid to tell you about it and wants to tell you about it.

Well... I have been watching the emails roll in... and they have been rolling in... and probably will roll again from Christians all saying the same thing... "Don't go... It's evil..."

And my thought has been... it's a movie... it's Hollywood... why shouldn't we expect this? I'm not saying that it's right... but I'm saying I'm not surprised. Hollywood wants to make money and it made tons of money on Lewis' Chronicles... why not try this?

Today, I got an email from the Center for Youth/Parent Understanding... feel free to check out their website, its extremely informative. And part of what caught my attention was an article that's coming out in their winter issue of their magazine called "Engage" by Dr. John Seel.

Here's the snipet that I would like to highlight and you can feel free to go and read the remainder of the article which is very short... but Dr. John Seel says this:

"The most powerful aspect of culture is the way it shapes our moral imagination. As Einstein observed, 'Imagination is more important than knowledge.' Books and films such as The Golden Compass are opportunities for important discussions with our children about truth and the nature of reality. We need not be defensive or judgmental. God's truth will prevail. All that is at risk is casual Christianity and unreflective belief. Assertive atheism can be a good thing, if it encourages us to become serious seekers of truth. Many will simply use such films to justify their rebellious attitudes toward authority. That shouldn't surprise us. More important than blaming atheists for what they think and write is to acknowledge the failure of Christian believers to provide thoughtful, winsome, and life-affirming alternative in our culture. This is the challenge of our time.
"It would be easy for us to not meet this challenge head-on and simply flee from our protest the books and the film. Sadly, many Christians have taken such an alarmist approach. But anger and protest often communicates insecurity. A Biblical response calls us to go much deeper."

To which I add: Amen!!! Well said Dr. Seel!!! And thanks to CYPU for putting together some good thoughts!

If you would like to download this article, click HERE.


Ohio State heading to the Championship Game!!!

Championship Game!!!!

Just like I predicted!!!

Ohio State playing for the National Title against LSwho?

Bring it Tigers...


It's 4:22 am...

What in the world could I be doing up???
Why, reading William Tyndale, what else? And trying to wrap up school stuff for tomorrow...



Saturday, December 01, 2007

WVU falls!!!

Ohio State could be in the National Championship Game...

West Virginia lost to Pittsburgh (surprise!!! I assumed they would win big time) 13-9.

At this point (4Q, 14:00 to go), Missouri is losing to Oklahoma (as I predicted) 28-17 and they are driving again.

***Edit: Oklahoma just scored again... 4Q, 11:00 to go... OU 35 - Missouri 17...

Ohio State could be in the driver's seat!!!

Go Bucks!!!

Blitz read complete!!!

I just finishing flying through this book. It's Authentic Worship by Herbert Batemann.

This is the final book required for my "Biblical Worship for Today" class at Lincoln. I use the term flying because I read this 300 page book is less than 2 days!!! I am required to turn in 5 discussion questions for class on Tuesday.

It was a pretty decent read. A little heady and meaty in places. But overall pretty good. There was a great chapter on the lack of Scripture reading in our congregations today that left me with something to think about. I struggled with Webber's chapter on communion (because I couldn't figure out if he was advocating "Transubstantiation," "Consubstantiation" or something in the middle. My sense is the latter... and the lack of clarity annoyed me.) and the final chapter by Stalltman on multiculturalism in worship (not because I disagree but because he seemed to advocating a rejection of American culture in worship for the inclusion of worship elements that are abrasive for Americans because they are accepted by other cultures more readily).

Overall... it was decent. And again, it left me with somethings to chew on.


The Snow Storm of the Century has begun...

As least, that's what the Weather Channel is calling it... or at least acting like it.

They are calling for quite a bit of snow here today, mixed with ice and freezing rain. (So I'll have to go and find some candles... if the power goes out... I'll have to keep working regardless.)

But officially at the Clark household in St. Charles at 11:54 am, snow was reported!!!

Bring it on...


Go Oklahoma!!!

I'm pulling for Oklahoma to be Missouri today... If that happens... Ohio State might slip into the national title game...

Go Sooners!!!


Friday, November 30, 2007

Spot... Up close and personal...

Spot... Up close and personal...

Christmas Progressive Dinners!!!

We've got a great Christmas Party lined up for December 14th for both middle and high school students. We are planning a Progressive Dinner (everyone travels to different houses... eating a different course of the meal as they go). At the final homes, each ministry will have a $5 gift exchange.

It will be a total blast. Now, I'm just waiting to see who has the best lineup of food before I decide where I'm going... hehe...

Frontline (High School) will be visiting these families:
-Morton/Hutto (appetizer)
-Brooks (main course... spaghetti and breadsticks)
-Reffett (dessert and gift exchange)

Underground (Middle School) will be visiting these families:
-Cerezo (appetizer)
-Galloway (main course)
-Alfred (dessert... brownie sundaes... mmmmmm...)

Student are signing up for the Progressive Dinners right now. It starts at 6 pm and concludes at 9:30 pm and costs just $10!!! That's a pretty good deal...

I can't wait!!!


Good use of a power cord...

My wife found an interesting way to use her power cord today... As a

Library... Again...

Another day off...
Another day in the library...

Jim Clark
Student Minister

Sent from my iPhone...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Come on SNOW!!!

There is some snow predicted for the Chicagoland area for the next couple of days!

Which is great for me! This week, we are putting out the sign up sheet for the High School Ski Trip on January 21st. We are heading to Cascade Mountain in Portage, WI. I can't wait. I love the ski trip.

This will be a great trip and I'm really looking forward to it because the High Schoolers go now... the Middle Schoolers go in February... Jim goes both times!!!


I missed out today...

I'm kinda bummed right now.

Today we were supposed to host a Purpose Driven Youth Ministry Community Lunch here at FVCC. I always look forward to these. It's a chance to sit around a table, talk about ministry and life and most importantly, get some encouragement.

Except no one showed up.
I knew that no one was coming. I had sent out the invitations. I emailed... I called... Everyone "couldn't come." Or didn't even bother to respond. Major bummer!!!

I missed out on some encouragement. I missed out on some connection. I missed out...



Winter is here.
Its about 28 and cold...

Jim Clark
Student Minister

Sent from my iPhone...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

12 Days of Simply Youth Minstry Freebies!!!

My friends over at Simply Youth Ministry are doing their 12 Days of Christmas Freebies again this year. They did this last year and it was great. Every day, they release a new freebie for download.

Today was a Powerpoint game that I am planning to use this weekend. Its great. Check it out HERE.

I'm all about freebies that are free... always good... and good freebies that I will actually use.



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Long drive...

These rides home are so long...

Jim Clark
Student Minister

Sent from my iPhone...

Staying ahead of the wave...

Schoolwise... I'm paddling like crazy and at this point in my week, I'm staying ahead of the wave. Today, I had a major project due in my worship class (which I will turn in in about 15 minutes). Next week, I've got a reading assignment due for worship and a journal due for reformation. So, for the next week, I'm going to be paddling as hard as I can.

But I did get a little reprieve. My prof (and adviser) for reformation history pushed back our reading report due date to December 14th. Which gives me an extra 3 or 4 days to finish up my reading for that class... and that's a welcome relief!!!

Back to paddling...


***Hey Chris... I thought you might like this picture!!!***

Sunday, November 25, 2007

5 Best Things to Say When Caught Sleeping at Desk...

This week is going to be a long week with lots of school projects to finish up as the semester draws to a close... I might need a couple of these. I found this HERE.

5 Best Things to Say When Caught Sleeping at Your Desk:
submitted by Liz Kroll

5. "They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen."

4. "This is just a 15 minute power nap they raved about in the time management course you sent me to."

3. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the Whiteout. You probably got here just in time."

2. "Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?" And the NUMBER ONE best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk...

1. Raise your head slowly and say, " Jesus' name, Amen."


BCS standings...

Today, Sunday, the new BCS standings come out.

Over the weekend, #1 LSC lost... we knew that. But #2 Kansas lost as well... which I called... WVU won... which I was hoping would happen.

Today Ohio State is #3...

If Oklahoma wins over Missouri this weekend... and I'm officially give it to Oklahoma. WVU has to play Pittsburgh, which WVU will win.

But if Oklahoma rolls like I'm calling, then Ohio State will be back in the running for a BCS Championship against WVU!!!!

Go Bucks!!!

Christmas Lights Gone Wild

A student showed me this this morning (Thanks Will). I just had to post it. Fun fun...


Check it out on YouTube HERE.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm really beginning to hate the library...

And I'm not talking about the public library.

I spent half of my Saturday today down at Wheaton College in their library. Today actually wasn't too bad of a day to be in the library since most of the undergrads are still on Thanksgiving break. But I'm getting tired of seeing the inside of libraries... Wheaton... Lincoln... blah... It's a nice enough library. I would just rather be spending my Saturdays on the couch watching college football or something.

But I guess I'm going to have to get used to it...


Ohio State back in the BCS Championship game???!!!???

Last night, LSU fell to Arkansas... 50 to 48 in 3 Overtimes!!!

LSU was #1... not any more...

Tonight, Kansas #2 and Missouri #4 square off (I give it to Missouri...)

West Virginia #3 is playing Connecticut #20...

#1 is no more...
Either #2 or #4 is going to lose...
If #3 were to go down (and there's a chance...)

Guess who might be back in the BCS Championship Game!!!!! (I bet you won't really have to guess...)


Friday, November 23, 2007

PDYM Community Lunch


And food!!!!

That's what the PDYM Community is all about... minus the food. But it's all about building connections between local youth workers, having conversation about what's working and what's not in student ministry and get encouraged to continue in the ranks of youth ministry.

I'll be hosting a PDYM Community Lunch next week (November 29th) at Fox Valley Christian Church in Batavia, IL. If you are local, I'd love to have you join us for lunch at 12:30 pm.

If you have questions feel free to ask at


4:22 am... no "Black Friday Shopping" for me!!!

As the title says... It's 4:22 am.

'Why are you up?' you ask.

Well, I was planning to go "Black Friday Shopping" this morning. It would have been the first time ever!!! Jackie just left for work (Starbucks opens at 5 am here in Chicagoland...) and I was planning to hit one sale that starts at 5 am (a couple at was at the same Thanksgiving Dinner as us yesterday had a whole plan of attack for today... yuck!.

My sister and I are trying to pick up a present together for someone in our family. But the phone just rang and she picked one up at a sale in Ohio about 10 minutes ago (5 am EST). So, I'm going back to bed. I've never been "Black Friday Shopping." I just don't get it. It doesn't seem like much fun... elbowing people... getting up early (it's now 4:26 am)... going out in the cold (it's about 21 degrees here)... fighting people... rushing...

I think I'll just go back to bed. I had too much turkey and dessert yesterday anyway...

It's 4:29 am.



Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving (thankfulness...)

It's Thanksgiving. I'm sitting here on the couch waiting for the Packers vs. the Lions coming on here in a few minutes. And so I thought I'd take a couple of minutes and share some things that I'm thankful for (in no particular order).

-my Savior
-an incredible wife (who cares enough for our family and its finances to work on Thanksgiving... even opened this morning at 4 am... ugh!!!)
-a great group of students that I get the privilege to work with every week (most of which have been throwing turkeys and mashed potatoes at me on Facebook all day)
-my great parents (whom I spent an hour and half with on the phone today... and would love to be eating turkey with them today... my dad and I have the habit of "carving the turkey" in the basement together so that we can eat some before we take it upstairs and mom doesn't know... don't worry... she never reads my blog anymore unless I tell her...)
-a couple of good football games (Packers v. Lions... Cowboys v. Jets...)
-the Pauleys and the Reffetts (who invited my wife and I to join their families for Thanksgiving and we're actually taking them up on it)
-the Jacksons, the Jansons and the Watkins (who also invited us for Thanksgiving... but we didn't take them up on it)
-a great church family that I have the opportunity to serve at FVCC
-great staff relationships (Steve and I had lunch yesterday for an hour and a half... Chinese buffet day!!!)
-having my Cruizer back (it was in the shop this week... rental cars stink!)
(I said in no particular order... its mostly off the top of my head)
-a pretty good Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade today (I'm a sucker for the holiday parade thing... and I'll watch the Rose Parade on New Years Day as well...)
-my education at Lincoln Christian Seminary (although right now I'm in the midst of deadline time... so I'm wondering how thankful I really am...)
-friendships (which aren't as far down the list as it would appear... too many to mention...)

I think that's probably good enough...
If I think of some others, I'll add them later.

Wherever you're at today, have a Happy Thanksgiving. And remember to be thankful for what you have regardless of what the television tries to convince you that you don't have (at Sears, JCPenny's, etc) that you have to go out at 5 am tomorrow morning and buy.

Psalm 100:3-5
"Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations." NIV

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Starbucks TV commercial

A pretty cool little commercial... and almost a little rip on Caribou...


Click HERE to check it out on YouTube...

Snow TONIGHT!!!!

It's official!!!

Here in St. Charles at 8:30 pm, there was snow reported!!! Maybe if it sticks around until the morning... or accumulates enough to see... there will be pics here.


Snow tonight???!!!


The Weather Channel is calling for 2 to 3 inches of snowfall for the Chicagoland area tonight. Will it be a white Thanksgiving???

That would be awesome!!!


Rock Band was fun last night

Last night was a lot of fun.

If you haven't, check out a couple of "live blogged" pictures from last night's Rock Band-athon (I took them on my iPhone and put them right on my blog from Jeff's...). Boone, Clayton, Will, Matt, Jeff and I rocked out on Rock Band for about 2 hours together.

If you don't know what Rock Band, it's Guitar Hero with drumming and singing involved for XBox. It really was a lot of fun and I think there's an inner drummer trying to get out.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More rock band

Yeah... More!!!

Rock band

Some of the high school guys playing rock band.... Rock on!!

Cool Lighthouse Pic... Pigeon Point

I stumbled on this picture today on my usual stop... Digg...

Check this out HERE. It's a great picture!!

Here's a snipet of the story: "Once per year at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse they shut down the weak insipid modern (presumably electric) light and switch over the the 5 kerosene lamps and fresnel lens of the original, as it was 135 years ago."


Monday, November 19, 2007

Phil Dawson Crazy Field Goal

This was awesome...


Check out YouTube HERE.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rose Bowl Bound!!!

Ohio State: 14
Michigan: 3

Big Ten Champs!!!!

Rose Bowl Bound!!!!


Ohio State... Still leading...

Here's what I'm getting tired of...

Ohio State is still leading... 4Q... 13:52... 14 - 3!!!

The commentators are basically pulling for Michigan... Chad Henne this... Chad Henne that... Llyod Carr... blah blah blah... Its like I'm watching a game being televised on local TV from Ann Arbor rather than a nationally broadcast game by a national network... Brent and Kirk stink!


Ohio State... 14... Michigan... 3... 3Q 13:51

Ohio State: 14
Michigan: 3
3Q 13:51

62 yard run by Wells!!!!

Go Buckeyes!!!

Ohio State... 7... Michigan... 3... 2Q 10:07

Wells scores!!!!

Ohio State: 7
Michigan: 3
2nd Quarter... 10:00 minutes left...

Go Buckeyes!!!

Today's the BIG day at the BIG house...

That's currently the record between the Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines...

Today, it goes to 6-1... the Buckeyes winning 6 out of 7 games. And gets a little revenge from last week's game of no-calls versus Illinois (that probably cost them the game).

About 90 minutes until the game!!!



Friday, November 16, 2007

Google searches leading here...

Here's another volume of Google searches leading to my little blog... which is now averaging 30 visitors a day!!! Wow!!!

-Apple PR lady
-Guitar Hero III crack
-Big Ten Network rocks
-can i download my music from itunes to iphone
-legends of rock playlist
-starbucks song of the day
-man vs wild fake
-iphone my show song
-ministry song guitar hero
-what you eat on space
-start of change, youth ministry
-Go buckeyes commercial
-Apple Podium Commercial
-"Judy Gregory" + myspace
-iphone diet
-purpose driven youth ministry outline
-why Michigan football stinks

Always amazing... Especially the "Judy Gregory" one...