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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Swimming Tiger...

I saw this story online tonight and the pictures were pretty awesome. So I thought I'd post one and link to it.

Here's part of the story:
Most cats do not like getting wet - as anyone who has tried to bathe a moggie will know.

But as these pictures show, there's always the exception to the rule. For the cat in question is a large male white Bengal tiger called Odin.

Six years old, and at the prime of his life, Odin lives at the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Zoo in Vallejo, near San Francisco. He is about 10ft long from nose to tail, and is an excellent swimmer.



Jim



Eat This Book (Bible) Part 01

This is a pretty funny and creative commercial spoof. Enjoy!

Jim

My Fountain of Youth in Youth Ministry...

I can remember exactly where I was and when it was that I made the decision to answer God’s call into full time youth ministry. It was the summer of 1999. I was serving at a week of Junior High Camp at Round Lake Christian Assembly outside of Lakeville, Ohio. I had just completed my four-year degree in ministry at Milligan College and was preparing to enter graduate school at Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, TN in September.

But for several different reasons, graduate school didn’t seem like the right fit. I was restless with classes that only talked about ministering to students. I was eager to begin. Shortly before beginning the fall semester, I agreed to help out a friend with his week of junior high camp. And I’m glad I did. It was during that week that God laid on my heart the desire to minister to students full time. As I looked around at the other counselors who were serving that week, I realized that they were doing what I wanted to do in terms of serving, leading and guiding students toward the cross and the Savior. My heart was changed that week. A few months later I found myself working the “best job ever” in a local church.

Fast forward to the present… This week I found myself lying awake in bed for the countless time. I was thinking about everything and nothing all at the same time. I was thinking about problems that had come up over the weekend. I was thinking about tasks that were looming and not yet completed. I was thinking about obligations that I had made but had been either unwilling or unable to follow through with. I was thinking about church office politics (and how much I hated it). I was thinking about lessons that needed to be written, messages that needed to be finished, emails that needed to be sent, phone calls that needed to be made, meetings, to-do-list items, projects, trips, calendars, attendance…

And then the question hit me: Why don’t I feel the same way about ministry now that I did eight years ago when I first began after that week of camp at Round Lake?

The question hit me like a ton of bricks. It certainly wasn’t something that I was really ready to consider at 1:47 am but since it seemed I wasn’t getting much sleep, I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed a glass of milk and pondered the question in the darkness of my kitchen.

Where did I go wrong? What was my problem? Was the problem with the ministry? the students? the volunteers? the church staff? the parents? that I wasn’t feeling the love and enjoyment that I had once felt? Was it a problem with me? Was a problem with the church? Was it a problem with the students? Was I reading my Bible enough? Am I getting enough fiber? These were questions that I didn’t have answers for.

Then it dawned on me. The last time that I felt honestly excited about youth ministry wasn’t all that long ago but had come from an unlikely source: volunteering in youth ministry. The problem as I am beginning to see it is that the longer I am in full time youth ministry the harder it is for me to volunteer with students in ministry. Now that I have more experience instead of volunteering for a week of church camp, the camp staff wants me to lead the week. Instead of experiencing the excitement of a trip to an amusement park with students, I am organizing one. Instead of hanging out at a table with students during an event, I’m upfront teaching and leading. All my ministry energy is going into the leadership of ministry to students but not directly into the students in ministry.

It began to make sense. Part of the reason why I can feel so burned out in youth ministry and youth ministry can loose it’s joy is because most youth leaders are always leading, giving, teaching and organizing and never following, getting, hanging and joining in with youth ministry.

So here’s what I’m doing. After writing this article to share some of my struggle with you, I looked up our area church camp schedule and am planning to send an email to the dean (in the morning) to see if he or she can use any more volunteers for their week of camp. But it doesn’t have to be church camp, it could be Young Life, a local high school trip, or some other opportunity that will put me into a direct hang out role with students. I need some time volunteering and hanging with students to get back my fountain of youth in ministry.


Just a few thoughts from the trenches...

Jim

Monday, May 28, 2007

Intense LineRider

I have seen some intense Lineriders... But I think this one is the most intense that I have seen.

Enjoy.

Jim

Freedom Jazz Dance - Beatbox Flute!!!???

I stumbled onto this video through Digg.com. It's pretty cool and fairly addictive. Check it out.

Jim

Captian America has passed...


I saw this story today on the Kane Country Chronicle website...

It seems Captain America has fallen...

Here is a snipet of the story:
NEW YORK (AP) — Captain America has undertaken his last mission — at least for now.

The venerable superhero is killed in the issue of his namesake comic that hit stands Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported. On the new edition’s pages, a sniper shoots down the shield-wielding hero as he leaves a courthouse.

It ends a long run for the stars-and-stripes-wearing character, created in 1941. Over the years, some 210 million copies of Captain America comic books, published by New York-based Marvel Entertainment Inc., have been sold in 75 countries.

But resurrections are not unknown in the world of comics, and Marvel Entertainment Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada said a Captain America comeback wasn’t impossible.


Sad... Rest In Peace Captain America...

Jim

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Chicago at nighttime!!



About 6 weeks or so ago, my parents visited from Ohio.
We went downtown and enjoyed the city on Saturday and ate at the Cheesecake Factory... always excellent!! After eating dinner, my dad had been wanting to get up and see the city from one of the highrise buildings. So we went upstairs in the Hancock Building (the Cheesecake Factory is in the basement). These are a couple pics at nightfall from the Hancock Building.


I have to admit that I didn't think they came out at all. In fact, I just looked at them tonight and had forgot they were on there until Jackie and I took some photos of our Anniversary Dinner and we wanted to get them printed. I thought you, the faithful reader, might enjoy them.



The first pic is of the Chicago skyline with Sears Tower. The second pic is of Navy Pier.

Enjoy!!!


Jim

High Voltage - BASICS Week 7 - Scripture Memorization

Tonight was a great night. We wrapped up the BASICS series and played some "Trashketball."

Here's the rundown:
Lesson Topic: BASICS Week 7 - Hiding God's Word in My Heart
'Fun Factor': Above Average
Volunteer Involvement: Below Average
Music: N/A
Student Involvement in Music: N/A
Lesson Quality: Above Average
Length of Lesson: 32 minutes (with video clip)
Student Response: Average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 7

Here is the outline from tonight's talk about Scripture Memorization:
BASICS Spring Training
Week 7 – Hiding God’s Truth
High Voltage – May 27, 2007 – Jim Clark
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

Two Rhetorical Questions:
What do you have committed to memory?
What occupies space in your memory?
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Some promises from God’s Word:
-God’s Word GUIDES me.
Keyword: DIRECTION
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another in with all wisdom. Colossians 3:16
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 6:6-8

-God’s Word FEEDS me.
Keyword: GROWTH
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty. Jer. 15:16
Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. Proverbs 23:12

-God’s Word STRENGTHENS me.
Keyword: TEMPTATION
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9-11
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Psalm 119:15-16

Some goals for a growing Christian and God’s Word:
DESIRE it… DELIGHT in it… DEVOUR it… DISPLAY it…
Blessed is the man (person) who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

Some ideas for developing the practices of Bible Memorization:
1. Determine if the benefits are worth the EFFORT.

2. Gather some verses to MEMORIZE.
Verses that: challenge/protect/guide/promise/encourage/instruct

3. Commit to a PLAN to develop the practice of memorizing Scriptures

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8

The Bottom Line: Memorizing God’s Word isn’t simply about information… it’s about TRANSFORMATION.
--------------------------

Discussion Questions:
1. What are some of the random things that you have committed to memory and why do you think you memorized them? School? Personal? Repeated use?
2. What do you think would be the benefit of memorizing Scripture on a regular basis?
3. What sort of plan can we begin to help you with the discipline of hiding God's Word in your heart?
-------------------------

Jim

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Blimp!!!

Jackie and I walked outside to take a walk this morning. As we walked out, there was a weird buzzing sound, like an airplane flying too low.

We looked up... and there was the Goodyear Blimp!!!

It was buzzing around the Tri-Cities all day long... who knows what for... but I snapped a quick picture.


Jim

A Great Article on Change in Youth Ministry

Here is a snipit of a great article written by a friend of mine in the PDYM Community, Judy Gregory...

Here's a taste:

In the coming days, however, the organizational chart for our youth ministry is going to take on a radical new look that will impact everyone. We’ll go from staffing based on program to staffing based on shape (or gifting). I’m excited about this change and, if it were possible, I’d make the official switch tomorrow. Personally, it will free me up to do some youth ministry stuff that I’ve wanted to invest myself in for a really long time. However, realistically, it will take months to make the transition. Why? Because in addition to title changes, the “way” we do youth ministry is going to change as well. It’s not just about who is in the driver’s seat - everyone in the vehicle, including staff, students and parents - will have to make a turn. The whole youth ministry will reposition itself to move in a new direction. In light of that, here are a few things we found that we need to obtain or navigate in order to lead change effectively.

1. Approval. We need to cast vision vertically by ensuring that that those above us are on board with the change.

2. Advice. We need to talk about it horizontally. Who do you know that has a “youth ministry mindset” that can provide great words of wisdom? These need to be people who live and breathe youth ministry and probably have been around the block a few more times than you. I talked about our change with a friend of mine down south. His words, “Judy this is an incredible idea on paper. In fact, I’ve wanted to move this direction for a really long time in my own youth ministry. However, I haven’t seen it work anywhere yet for one reason and one reason alone…in order for it to succeed, your youth ministry staff has to trust each other. Most youth ministries don’t have that level of trust among their staff members.” Those were great words that stuck.

3. Advance. We need to determine who needs to know and in what order. We place a high value on our leadership team. They are sharp. Long before we “officially make the change,” we wanted them to be some of the first to know, to hear their thoughts and answer their questions. It’s especially helpful since many of these are parents who have students in the ministry. They loved the idea. The only concern they had was the potential that we would move our middle school gathering from Wednesday to Sunday nights. A lot of our middle school leaders guard their Sundays for family. We love that and we’ll need to take that into consideration. In the coming days, more than likely, we’ll cast the vision for the change to parents and students at the same time. Because of the conversations that have taken place vertically, horizontally and among our leadership team, I anticipate the change to go smoothly. Most of the questions and concerns will have been voiced and addressed in the previous conversations, so we’ll come into that parent/student meeting well prepared with the vision tweaked.

What I’ve found is that most leaders love change - in fact it makes their heart beat fast. However, the majority of the rest of the world hates it. It makes their heart beat fast but for all the wrong reasons. In light of that, we need to learn to lead change effectively, with much thought and consideration. It’s one thing to crush a cone, it’s another to crush the people you love dearly.


You can find the whole article here.


Jim

Woman walks her baby with a segway...


Boy are we lazy...

Pushing our baby with a segway...

Amazing...



Jim

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Conversation with a former student...

I had a 20 minute conversation on the phone tonight with a former student of mine fromo PA. He enlisted in the Navy and is currently stationed in Hawaii. Previously when we talked, he was in Boston... but I haven't talked with him in a while...

And then out of the blue, he calls tonight just to chat...

We talked about a lot of things... 20 minutes will do that... but it was great to see that some of the seeds of the gospel planted a few years ago in a kid that most of the I thought wasn't listening, paying attention or even caring, have begun to take root. He is actually turning out to be a fine, respectable and honorable man who is putting his life on the line defending America.

Thanks Brandon for what you're doing!!!

Jim

Guitar Hero 3 playlist

I saw on Digg.com a story about an early release of Guitar Hero 3 songs...

Here are a few that have been released:

The initial list of face-melting awesomeness includes:

• Paint It Black (by The Rolling Stones)
• Cherub Rock (by Smashing Pumpkins)
• Sabotage (by Beastie Boys)
• The Metal (by Tenacious D)
• My Name is Jonas (by Weezer)
• Knights of Cydonia (by Muse)
• Rock And Roll All Nite (as made famous by Kiss)
• School’s Out (as made famous by Alice Cooper)
• Slow Ride (as made famous by Fog Hat)
• Cult of Personality (by Living Colour)
• Barracuda (as made famous by Heart)



It looks like it will be an awesome game... I can't wait!!!



Jim


Wok In Lock In pics...


12 hours...
Zero sleep...
Way tooooo much Guitar Hero...
Here are a few pictures of the goings on at the Wok In on Friday/Saturday night.


Will and Matt play Guitar Hero... Will is even playing with a little "heart and soul"!!!







Here is Boone (the eventual winner of the GH2 Tourny) jamming out on Guitar Hero!














Much soda was drank... Blake enjoys a Dr. Pepper...












Here I am laying down my own jams on GH2... and losing to Lily!!!
















We even went all the way back to elementary school and played some 4 Square...












We spent some time around an early morning campfire on the church's porch...















And wrapped the whole thing up with a scrammbled egg, pancake and bacon breakfast...










It was a total blast... And I didn't even put any pics of the laser tag... Great night!!!

Thanks to Grant, Todd, Andi, and Jeff who pulled the all-nighter with me.

Jim

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shining Redux

I love this video clip... sounds like a great, free-good movie... until you watch it...

Jim

Balloon Race Time Lapse

A pretty trippy little video of some hot air balloons taking off in time lapse.

Jim

Weekend in Review - BASICS week 6 - Getting Involved with BIG Church

Here is this past weekend's outline... Sorry for my forgetfulness...

BASICS Spring Training
Week 5 – Having Quiet Time In the Midst of Madness
High Voltage – May 13, 2007 – Jim Clark
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

The Birth of the Church
Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” Acts 2:12-13

Awe = God was a draw… People followed his ways…

Mocked = Many people walked away… went the way of the world…

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

What’s your response?
World’s Message God’s Message Church’s Response
-I’m all I Need Orphan without Christ GATHER
-I plan my life God gives direction SEEK
-I’m in control God is in control WORSHIP
-I can use people God uses people RELY

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4-5

Getting Involved in the Church Body

1. Commit to God’s plan for the church.
Jesus said… “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

2. Refuse to confuse attendance for spiritual growth.
Jesus said… “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

3. Find your role in the church body.
Then we will not longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who the Head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:14-15

The Bottom Line: The church isn’t perfect… but, God’s power is amazing. Will you mock and walk or be in awe and be drawn to Christ’s body?


Jim

Weekend in Review - BASICS week 5 - Spending Time with God

I realized this morning that I have failed to post the last two weeks of weekend outlines... for week 5 (May 13) and week 6 (May 20)...

My apologies...

Here is week 5:
BASICS Spring Training
Week 5 – Having Quiet Time In the Midst of Madness
High Voltage – May 13, 2007 – Jim Clark
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

The World is… Noisy
God speaks in… The Quiet
How do I do this? Get Quiet
Result: Centered
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 1 Kings 19:11-13
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. Psalm 23:2

The World is… Distracted
God speaks in… The Intentional
How do I do this? Get Alone
Result: Certainty
She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Matthew 10:39-42a
Very early in the morning while it was still dark he got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

The World is… Multi-Tasking
God speaks in… The Focused
How do I do this? Get away
Result: Control
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6
After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. Mark 6:46

The World is… Non-Stop
God speaks in…The Slow
How do I do this? Get connected
Result: Closeness
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31


Action Steps:
Make time with God a priority.

Take the time regularly.

Spend time with comfort rather than guilt.

The Bottom Line: Spending quality quiet time with God will help me follow him better.


Jim

Monday, May 21, 2007

Post 300!!!

Here is post 300!!!

Woohoo!!! (Confetti falls... flash bulbs explode... congratulations all around...)




Jim

24 Finale

I just finished watching the season finale of Season 6 of 24. And I must say... the ending was awesome!!! Defiantely a must watch!!!

Totally incredible. Where will Jack go now??? And what will I do until January??? Go crazy??? Yes!!!!



Jim

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Not posting YouTube... AGAIN!!!

My blogger blog doesn't seem to be posting YouTube videos AGAIN!!!!

This is driving me crazy...


Building 429


I don't post about music hardly at all.

But I got the latest CD from Building 429 in our box of Interlinc music a couple of weeks ago. And I must say... it is getting a lot of rotation on my IPod. It's really a good CD and I find myself listening to them a lot more.

If you can... I would highly recommend picking this one up or if you can't... hit ITunes and download away...

Jim

Friday, May 18, 2007

New Transformers Trailer

That's pretty awesome!!! I can't wait.

Jim

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Transformers Movie TV Spot

This looks pretty darn awesome!!! I'm looking forward to it.

Jim

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Survivor Fiji Winner: Earl!!!


Most people who know me know that I am a Survivor junkie. I've seen them all and have an opinion about every single episode. I love the show... and would love to get on it someday...

Last night was the final night and one of my show favorites won.... Earl. But the greatest thing about his winning is that he won honest. He didn't lie. He didn't cheat. He didn't backstab and the only time that he did he admitted it, owned it and moved on.

Earl was a great player...

As opposed to Dreamz who lied, cheated, back stabbed. In the show, episode 11 or 12, he made a deal with my show favorite Yau-Man for a $600,000 truck to give Yau-Man the immunity necklace if he won it in the final four... Dreamz agreed... swore to God that he would do it because it would be a good example for his son. But when it came time to pay up, he refused and forfeited on the deal. He said it was because he was playing Yau-Man and never intended to... but that is a lie... I know it and everyone who watched the show knows that's a lie. But I guess it makes him sleep better at night to claim that it was all just part of the game.

See the reality is... you can't compartmentalize your life like that. Dreamz claims that it was just a game and just because he lied, cheated, back stabbed and went back on his word in the game, doesn't mean that he would or does do that in real life.

But I believe that the game is a microcosm of life. If you lie, cheat, backstab and go back on your word in the game, then you do in your life. Why would it okay to do it in a game on national TV if it's not okay in your life and not part of your person in reality? You can't separate out those two things. People act according to their nature... whether it's on TV or in their office or at home.

The worst part of Dreamz' whole deal is that he claims to be a Christian...
There's a great witness for you...

Christians are called to a higher standard Dreamz... hopefully you understand that someday.

As for the show, it was a great season! I was so pumped to see Earl win. He was the second best player... Yau-Man played the best game but was sunk when Dreamz went back on his word. But it was a great season.

Next season... China!!!

Jim

Straight A's baby!!!

This is my first official Tuesday morning without having to go to class... and man was it nice to sleep until about 7:30 rather than dragging my butt out of bed at 4 am to get ready for the 3 hour drive. Today... I'm planning to clean my office some and get my fishtank up and running...

But I got my grades yesterday off the internet... both A's!!! That gives me a GPA of 3.67. Pretty awesome!!!

I was doing a little calculating this morning in the shower... I now have 21 hours completed... 54 more to go... That's 9 semesters... 4 1/2 years (unless I step it up a couple of semesters and pick up 3 classes)... but that means that I've got roughly 120 more Tuesday/Wednesday mornings...

Ugh!!!

Oh well... for now, the Tuesday mornings are nice...

Jim

Monday, May 14, 2007

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY FROM MR T

It's hard to beat Mr. T. singing a song about Mothers... Enjoy!!!

Jim

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Youth Ministry volunteer team

I saw this on Marko's blog... it's a pretty funny commercial with a great spin...

Jim

Dumb Family Feud Family

This video is halarious!!!! Alligator...

Enjoy!!!!

Jim

Saturday, May 12, 2007

That Middle School Thing pics...

Here are a few pictures from today's that Middle School Thing... (Thanks Jeff!!!)



First we hit Pizza Hut from some great pizza... Adam is surprised by the camera.









Then we headed down to the fun center... We had a little Water War... Brooke and Laura show us out to get good hangtime on water balloons.













David got a little 'too' wet during a water war...
















Chad, Jeff and I tee-ed up for some mini-golf. (Jeff pulled out his driver for this hole...)













But the highlight of the day was the go-carts. Here, I'm getting strapped in to lap the field in the final race of the day.












Here I am putting on a driving clinic... notice several students... Adam, Chad and Laura trying to keep up with my "speed"!!!!










It was a great day!!!

Jim


That Middle School Thing was awesome!!!

We had an incredible day today. Today we did the first "That Middle School Thing" event. It was a great day... about 70 with lots of sunshine... we hit pizza hut and then the Sugar Grove Family Fun Center. And it was a blast!!! We really did have an incredible time... riding go-carts... playing mini-golf... getting totally soaked (which I did) on the bumper boats.

It was great. Hopefully I'll be able to get up a few pics later on. Especially of me killing them on the go-carts... I'm an animal!!!


Jim

The Promise - Saddleback Church

Here's a video that my friend Josh Griffin posted from a conference they are hosting at Saddleback church in Orange County California. It's a pretty awesome video...

Jim

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day Mom... Hope your day is great!!!

Jim

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jim's Crib MTV Spoof #5 (of 5)

#5 of 5...

Jim

Jim's Crib MTV Spoof #4 (of 5)

#4 of 5...

Jim

Jim's Crib MTV Spoof #3 (of 5)

#3 of 5


Jim

Jim's Crib MTV Spoof #2 (of 5)

#2 of 5

Jim

Jim's Crib MTV Spoof #1 of 5

Here are some videos that we did last year... they were fun.

Jim

Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his dad's Black #3

I heard an unconfirmed report tonight from Boston Fox 25 that Dale Jr. has signed with Richard Childress Racing to drive the Black #3 made famous by his father, the late Dale Earnhardt.

Here's a clip from that article...

NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr. will soon be racing under the same legendary #3 Chevy that his dad used to race in.

A source with direct knowledge of negotiations tells FOX25 that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finalized a deal with Richard Childress Racing Thursday night and an official announcement will be coming soon.

This might be enough excitement to bring me back to NASCAR full time!!!

Jim

Dale Earnhardt Jr leaving DEI - WOW!!

My interest in NASCAR has been waning over the last three or four years... but I saw this in a text message today and my thought was...

"Wow!"

Click HERE to read the story.


Jiim

Accountability - BASICS Week 4 - Weekend Review

Here is the outline from Sunday night. Sunday night we talked about the need for personal accountability and building quality relationships.

----------------
Lesson Topic: BASICS Week 4 - Building Relationships that Matter (Accountability)
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Above Average
Music: N/A
Student Involvement in Music: N/A
Lesson Quality: Average
Length of Lesson: 37 minutes (with video clip)
Student Response: Average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 7
----------------
BASICS Spring Training
Week 4 – Friends You Can Count On
High Voltage – May 6, 2007 – Jim Clark
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

Life wasn’t meant to be lived in isolation.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

God designed us for relationships.
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18

Part of Growing in your relationship with God means finding good friends who:
"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45

-Challenge
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Heb 10:24
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

-Encourage
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

-Correct
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:6
When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Galatians 2:11

-Stick around
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble. Proverbs 25:19

Good friends who hold me accountable for my:
-Actions
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1

-Attitude
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Action Steps:
1. Consider the benefit of having someone who will keep you accountable.

2. Take the step and get connected.

3. Make yourself available for relationships.

The Bottom Line:
Relationships are key to life. Why not develop relationship that help you grow closer to God.
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Jim

A Week In Life

Here's a video that I did last year for a week that we talked about being wise with your time... it was fun to watch it again.

Jim

Shhh... Be Still and Know that I am God

Here's a little video that I put together this week... I love it.

Jim

Apple Get a Mac Ad: Choose a Vista

New Mac Commercials...
This one is the best...
#1 of 3.

Jim

Beginnings... a Movement and a Church

Here's my project for Restoration Movements...

Apple Get a Mac Ad: Genius

#2 of 3 new Mac commercials!!!


Jim

Apple Get a Mac Ad: Party is Over

A couple of awesome new Mac commercials were on TV last night. This is the one that I didn't see... but I saw the other two... But all three are great!!!

Jim

Beginnings... a Movement and a Church

I tried to post my new Restoration video here earlier... but it didn't post. So here is attempt #2.

Jim

Domino PCs: The Real Thing: 86 PCs in a row! The Original

As a Mac lover and user... this video is about the only good thing that I can think to do with a PC... Thanks for sharing!!!

Jim

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Can't seem to post YouTube videos...

Up until Saturday, everything seemed to be awesome in terms of posting videos from YouTube to my blog... Saturday... nothing...

Any ideas anyone?
Everything seems fine and then it won't let me post anything here from YouTube. Last time I had to go in and manually set it all up again. Do I just have to do this periodically? What's the deal?

Jim

6 more credit hours completed!!!

Tonight I can relax as I've got 6 more credit hours towards my MDiv completed.

Today was the final day of class for me for the Spring 2007 semester. I wrapped up a semester of Intermediate Hebrew and completed a week-long intensive week class in Restoration (Stone-Campbell) Movement history.

Overall, it was a good semester. I really enjoyed both of my classes, although Hebrew became tedious at times... its seemed that Dr. Hall felt that the 'only' thing that I had to do all week was to look forward to another word-study. But overall, it was good and I enjoy Hebrew.

I'm hoping to hear back about my grades soon. I know that I have already gotten an "A" in Restoration Church History. I'm thinking an "A" in Hebrew as well, but I'll have to wait for the final notification.

Whew... Another 6 hours in the books...
Time for some Guitar Hero!!!

Jim

Friday, May 04, 2007

Earliest of the year 9 hole outing

Today was one of the earliest times for me getting out on the golf course for 9 holes of action. Usually I wait until mid-July before hitting the links, but Jeff O and I spent this morning chasing balls around at the Fox Valley Golf Club.

And I was surprised... not only did I play this early... but I also played pretty decent (at times).

Thanks Jeff for asking (paying!!!)

Jim

Spiderman 3 Recap

Man, last night was crazy.

That's the first time since the re-release of the Star Wars triology back in my college days that I made the effort to be at a movie's opening showing. We went to the 12:01 am showing of Spiderman 3 last night... and I've got some thoughts...

It was a crazy mix last night... a crazy mix of high school students who somehow talked "mom and dad" into letting them go to a 12:01 am showing of a 2hr and 15 minute movie on a schol night. But there were also some there who might still be reading comic books and living in "mom and dad's" basement at the ripe old age of 38.

But the experience was a fun one none the less. And a tiring one as I crawled into bed last night at 2:45 am.


BUT IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO SEE IT AND DON'T WANT TO BE INFLUENCED BY MY THOUGHTS... STOP READING NOW... I MAY SHARE SOMETHINGS THAT MIGHT RUIN IT FOR YOU AND I WOULDN'T WANT TO BE GUILTY OF DOING THAT WITHOUT WARNING YOU.

INSTEAD, GO AND VISIT THIS PAGE... IT'S A GOOD ARTICLE... IT WILL GET YOU READY TO SEE THE MOVIE...




For those of you who are still reading. Here are a few thoughts.

My first experience is just in the area of seeing it on IMAX. If you get a chance, the screen size is incredible. There is a little space at the top and bottom like a traditional movie... but you're still watching it on a 3 story screen and that's pretty cool.

The one thing that I really liked about Spiderman 3 was the effects and combat/battle/fighting scenes were really good and very well done. At the very beginning, they catch you quick with a battle between Spiderman and Harry Osborn that catches your attention fast, doesn't give up and influences the rest of the movie. So, those effects were pretty darn awesome. Every time they put out a new one, it's better than the last one. Same is true here.

There are two things that I didn't like at all.
1. The cheese factor was too high in most of the movie. There are a couple of scenes of Toby McGuire/Spiderman/Peter Parker dancing around a Jazz club sticking it to MJ after she dumps him. It was too cheesy and be honest, unnecessary. But there was another scene where Peter Parker is walking down the street noticing all the "hot" girls, dancing and playing it up. Again... unnecessary, cheesy and too long (at one point I thought about slipping out for popcorn the scene was so long).

2. The plot took three twists that were stupid. This movie introduced one of the coolest spiderman villians, "Venom." But it also introduced "Sandman" and Harry Osborn's "Hob Goblin" (I think/thought... someone might correct me on that). That was fine. The problem was, Sandman and Venom teamed up to fight Spiderman. It was a stupid plot turn that reminded me of one of the worst movies of all time, Batman and Robin (with George Clooney as Batman and Chris O'Donnell as Robin) and Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy (Arnold S. and Umma Thuman) teamed up against Batman and Robin. Sandman and Venom teaming up just had that stupid thought behind it of how many bad guys can we get into one fight.

Secondly in the stupid plot twists arena, Spiderman had to team up with Harry Osborn ("New Goblin/Hob Goblin") in order to beat the Sandman/Venom duo. As with the Batman and Robin movie, it was just hokie and uncalled for.

Finally near the end, Spiderman and Sandman have a "touching" little moment where Spiderman comes to the conclusion, along with the audience (kicking and screaming) that Sandman is really just misunderstood and Spiderman should have forgiven him for what he's done. I found myself thinking, "Am I watching an action movie with Spiderman in it or a movie on 'Oxygen?'" While I'm on this topic... there was way too much crying in this Spiderman... They cried their way through too many scenes...

Overall, I would give it a "B." Its definately worth the ticket price to see it... especially if you can see it on IMAX. But its certainly not as good as either of the first two. And unless they change the writing and plot lines, if they do a "4" and "5," they aren't going to be received with as much grace.


Just a few thoughts from a guy who stayed up way too late last night to watch it before most people!!!

Jim

Thursday, May 03, 2007

TONIGHT!!! Spider-Man 3 Teaser Trailer

Tonight is the night...
I'm so excited already and I've still got about 8 hours to wait. But it's going to be awesome!!

Jim

National Day of Prayer 2007

Today is National Day of Prayer in America.

And I have to admit that today was the best National Day of Prayer that I have been apart of ever. And I don't know if it was just because I was so busy leading up to it, that it gave me a great chance to pause and reflect and pray for our country. Or because our Teaching Pastor did such a great job leading it. Or what it was... but it was great.

If you haven't had a chance to pray yet, take a moment and pray for our country.
Pray for: The Church
Government
Families
Education
Military
Media

Jim

PDYM Community Lunch reflections

We just wrapped up our Spring Purpose Driven Youth Ministry Community Lunch here at FVCC. And it was a good lunch. The conversation was great. It's always great to sit (as Doug Fields would say) knee to knee, eye to eye and talk about youth ministry. These times always thrill me. Hearing what's working in other ministries... see what isn't... talking big picture and strategy is exciting.

What always frustrates me about these lunches are the folks who never show up. Community and building relationships ought to be vital to all student ministries. And so why not make a little time to build relationships with others and encourage one another? I don't get it. Especially from some who claim to value relationships and connections.

I guess it comes down to priorities.
It's what you make time for and what you don't. If strengthening your ministry and your person, then you make time for those things that help you that way. If it isn't, you don't. Because you really make time for what is important in all areas of life (family, friends, TV, etc).

I feel that building some of those bridges ought to be a priority and it frustrates me when others say that they do, but then their actions say otherwise...

Jim

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I'm a Christ Follower (Mac vs. PC Parody) Part 06

Here is number 6... again, trying at bit too hard.

Jim

I'm a Christ Follower (Mac vs. PC Parody) Part 05

Pretty good... But they are starting to try a little too hard.

Jim

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spiderman 3 Thursday Night!!!

I've got my ticket to see Spiderman 3 on the IMAX on Thursday night! Midnight (baby!!!) with a staff members and a couple of college students from FVCC.

It will be awesome. I'm pumped!!!

I promise a full-blog update for those of you who will wait until the masses show up on Friday.

Jim

Snot Sucker?

I saw this on Mark O's blog... I couldn't believe it so I went and read it myself...

Here is a clip from the write up. You can't make up stuff this good:
"The Nosefrida is a remarkably effective tool for sucking snot out of a kid's nose. It's basically a flexible plastic tube with a mouthpiece on one end and a snot-collection chamber on the other. You put the mouthpiece in your mouth, press the open end of the snot-collection chamber against your kid's nostril (it doesn't go very far inside the nose), and SUCK."

The best line in the article is this one: "It sounds disgusting and bizarre..." Duh!!!


Jim

BASICS Week 3 - Bible Study - High Voltage Outline April 29, 2007

Sunday night we continued our 7 week study of discipleship called "BASICS Spring Training." Here is Week 3's outline with a weekend wrap up.
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Lesson Topic: BASICS Week 3 - How Do I Study This Thing? (Bible Study)
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Above Average
Music: N/A
Student Involvement in Music: N/A
Lesson Quality: Above Average
Length of Lesson: 37 minutes (with video clip)
Student Response: Above Average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 7
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BASICS Spring Training
Week 3 – How Do I Study This Thing?
High Voltage – April 29, 2007 – Jim Clark
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
3
This book contains:
God’s character and the reality of His nature.

God’s message of love for all.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18
God’s wisdom for living today.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:10-11
God’s perspective on my life.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Tips for Effective Bible Study:
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:7-8
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalm 1:1-3
1. Go specific with goals.

2. Go consistent.

3. Go achievable.

4. Go comfortable.

5. Go for it.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25
Action Steps: Realize the need to spend time in God’s Word.

Set reasonable expectations.

Take your study to the next level.

The Bottom Line: If living God’s way is your desire, you can’t do without quality time in His word.

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Questions for discussion:
1. What do you spend most of your time doing aside from school and sleeping? What does this say about your priorities and what's important?
2. Do you feel that studying God's word on a regular and consistent basis would encourage you in your relationship with God and others? Why or why not?
3. How could you go about including regular Bible study in your weekly schedule?

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Overall, it was a good night. The Bible study week is always my favorite whenever I teach on this subject because Bible study is one of those things that connects with me.

Jim

ITunes... Shuffle Up and Deal

It's Tuesday morning... 1 More Tuesday to go before summer break!!!

Man... Tuesdays are going to be great mornings to sleep in.

Oh well, here's another ITunes Shuffle Up and Deal (ITunes, with shuffle turned on and listing the first 5 songs regardless of what they are or how much shame might be involved...)

1. Escape by the Turning off their self-titles album.
2. Beer for My Horses by Toby Keith off the Unleashed album
3. Ballroom Blitz by Sweet off the Best of Sweet album
4. Hold Fast by Mercy Me off the Coming Up to Breathe album
5. Apathy by Grammatrain off the Lonely House album

Well... there you go. Now, shuffle up and deal!!!

Jim