Saturday, June 30, 2007

CIY pics 5 - Friday!!

Friday was an incredible day. I think you'll know what I mean here in a few pictures.

We started off Friday with a little Tunak Tunak Tun dance off. Rory grabbed my Bears jersey and a sharpe and joined in and made it on stage!!!

Here's Rory on stage. He didn't last very long. The girl who won it was really good. But Rory did a great job too!!!

After the Dance Off... we moved into a little D-Group time for the final time this week. And it was a good time. The Spirit was really moving and it was really an incredible time in God's Word.

Celebration time was a great time as well. Jared and Clayton get into the worship!!!

Greg Frazee and crew rocked the house on the last night.

Following Mark Christian's challenging time from God's word, we moved onto His Time. Since yesterday was Ravynn Buie's birthday, we took some time, sang "Happy Birthday" and had some cookie cake.

We wrapped up the night, literally, with another group Cinnamin Roll.

But I saved the best for last... at the invitation time following the message, Marisela accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. We had hoped to baptize her in the creek before going to bed, but a thunderstorm prevented us.

So we got up first thing in the morning and did it. Here is a very cold, but very excited "Child of God!!!"

It was a great week of CIY. I'll have one more day of pictures from Saturday here at Woodlawn Lakes Christian Camp. But I'll have to get them uploaded tomorrow... the mosquitos are biting!!!


Friday, June 29, 2007

CIY pics 4 - Thursday!!!

Thursday started out with the Tanuk Tanuk Tun video that I posted a couple of days ago. Here are some of our students doing the motions... It's amazing how much this has taken over this week. They even had a dance-off this morning!!! Amazing.

There was a guy who spent all night praying for some of the hurting kids here at CIY. Wednesday night, they wrote their hurts on these plexiglass windows and he spent 11 and a half hours overnight praying for them. Here's Gary still praying as we were getting ready for morning Encounter.

Marisela is having some Encounter Time with God.

Here, Paige and Sandy Oler are having some quiet time. (These pictures of the week are my favorite... just a student... a Bible... the Creator of Heaven and Earth... and 25 minutes of undivided attention...)

We moved out of morning Encounter Time and right into D-Groups.

Here Bekah, Marisela and Elisabeth dig into an activity in their conference notebooks.

Here, Jared and Ravynn dig into the D-Group lesson.

Here, Rory and Alyssa dig into the lesson during D-Groups.

Today (Friday) is Ravynn Buie's birthday... we're planning to get a cake, the students have all made cards and yesterday, while we were at Misaki's, we got some of the Greg Frazee band and others from CIY to sing "Happy Birthday" to Ravynn.

While at Misaki's... which was amazing by the way... our chef, Sun, amazed us with some flame while he was cooking our mushrooms. And they were good!!!!

Everyone got a good meal... Here, Jared and Ann are all smiles.

Following Misaki's, we headed over to the mall for some much needed exercise. Bailey and Ann take a quick break from the shopping and rest. Thursday was a fun day.

Although there aren't any pictures from Celebration and His Time last night... They were both excellent!!!

More pictures tomorrow.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

CIY pics 3 - Wednesday (Green Day!!!)

My tail is dragging. In fact, this morning, Mike and I got up about 20 minutes before breakfast. Neither one of us could get up. But, we're up and we're moving. Here are some pictures from yesterday.

We started off the morning in the usual way... with morning Encounter Time and D-Groups. Here Boone, Marisela, Elisabeth and Clayton put on a little skit.

Bekah, Bailey and Amanda get into the action with their own skit. (You can see why today is the day brought to you by the color green... we all wore our official CIY lime green shirts!)

Marisela and Elisabeth decided to take a step of faith and sponsor a little girl from Tanzania.

Elisabeth, Marisela, Ravynn and Alyssa show off their Wednesday colors!!!

Before dinner, the group paused and took a group picture together in the official group T-shirts!!

The group took some time to eat together. Always a big hit!!!

We wrapped up the day... literally... with a group Cinnamin Roll. (if you don't know what that is... check out Day 1 (I think)).

By the way... there are many more pictures. These are just a few of the best ones and the few that I can get posted in the 20 minutes before D-Groups begin each morning. Hopefully we'll be able to have more of them for a Sunday morning coming soon...

Until tomorrow morning...


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tunak Tunak Tun (Best Copy)

Here is a funny little video that we have been watching this week at morning Encounter and walk up time. I have no idea what it means... in fact, if someone can tell me, I'm all ears. But this is pretty addicting.


CIY pics 2 - Tuesday!!!

Again... sorry that it took us so long to get some pictures up. I hope you enjoyed yesterday's (Monday's) pics. If you missed them, click HERE.

Here are some pictures from Tuesday!

Tuesday morning, after a little breakfast, moved us into an incredible time of Encounter. Encounter is a time of 1 on 1 with God. It's about 25 minutes of guided morning devotions.

Bekah and Paige are digging into God's Word.

Alyssa Reimers is spending some time in the pages of the Bible.

Elisabeth VanderBand is writing down some morning Encounter thoughts.

After morning Encounter time, we moved into D-Groups... 90 time spent in God's Word.

Boone, Jared and the others are grabbing some lunch.

Part of the theme for Tuesday was knowing your "true" identity in Christ and taking off the mask that we often wear and allowing ourselves to be visible to our friends. As part of the D-group time, we made masks. At Celebration, they asked us to wear them, take them off and then leave them behind. Here, Jared and Clayton share their masks.

After an incredible night listening to Brad Stone, we wrapped up the night... literally... with some His Time and a group "Cinnamin Roll." A "Cinnamin Roll" is where we put someone in the middle and everyone joins in hugging them.

Tuesday was a good day!!!

Wednesday pics will be up tomorrow!!


CIY pics 1 - Sunday and Monday

Sorry for the delay in getting some of the CIY pictures uploaded for your viewing pleasure... especially parents. We had some trouble with digital cameras (great when they work... stinkers when they don't) to upload the pictures to my computer.

But I think we've got our problems worked out and we'll try to get some pictures up for you to see.

The first set are from Sunday and Monday. After a long ride in the van on Sunday, we made it to Hopwood Christian Church on Milligan's campus around 9:00 pm (EST). We grabbed some pizza and some z's and jumped in the van on Monday to go to Laurel Falls.

Jared and Boone have their towels and they are ready to head to the Falls.

On the way to the Falls, we stopped by McDonalds for a little breakfast. Paige, Bailey, Bekah, Amanda and Boone took a second under the "It's McParty Time" sign for a quick picture.

The group took a moment to take the official CIY picture at the bridge on the way out to Laurel Falls.

Here's a look at the falls!!!! Aren't they incredible!!!

After hiking out to the falls, swimming for over an hour, soaking in God's creation, we headed back to campus and got registered for the Conference! After dinner, we headed down to the Chapel for Celebration. Here, Paige, Bekah, Bailey and Rory are waiting for things to get underway.

Greg Frazee and his band took the stage! And man, did they lead us in some worship!!! (Click HERE to visit Greg's webpage.)

Those are a few of pictures from Monday. Today is Wednesday and I've got some great pictures from yesterday that I'm hoping to get posted soon. So, if they aren't up yet, check back soon!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cubbies have taken 2 from the Sox...

Today I spent most of my afternoon watching the Cubbies beat up (again) on the Sox. They creamed them yesterday and then put it on them again today. Tomorrow they will sweep them.

Here's a snipet from
"Pinch-runner Angel Pagan scored on Ryan Theriot's suicide squeeze with one out in the ninth inning on Saturday to lift the Cubs to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox, and take a 4-1 lead in the Interleague series."

Click HERE to read the rest of the story.


Christ In Youth Summer Conference... Next Week...

For those of you who are regular readers, next week will be a bit different.

Tomorrow, I will be jumping into one of our three vans to take our Student Ministry to High School CIY Summer Conference. (Click HERE to visit their site.) I will be leaving tomorrow (Sunday - June 24th) and won't return until next Sunday (July 1st).

While I'm gone, I will be posting. But it won't likely be my typical stuff. Typically I'm posting video clips, youth ministry stuff, etc. But next week, I will be posting pictures from the week. You're free to view them if you like, in fact that would be great. But just know that next week's postings will be a bit different.

Now that I've posted this disclaimer, I can move on with confidence.


Friday, June 22, 2007

24 Season 7... Female President has a story about next season's 24 (Season 7). Click HERE to read the whole story... Here is a brief clip from there:

"Geena Davis, call your agent.

Word on the street is that the Commander in Chief on next season's revamped 24 will likely be a (drumroll, please) woman. Casting could begin any day now on the sure-to-be-plum part. A show rep, however, cautions, "Nothing about next season has been absolutely decided as of yet."

I love my 24... I am already looking forward to Season 7. But sometimes they are pretty lame in reflecting the drive-by-media and it's hopes that the uglier of the two Clinton's is set for the White House. The media seems to think that Hilary is a shoo in... but if she's nominated, she'll be destroyed by any/all of the Republican candidates.

But, Season 7 of 24 will be great regardless!!!


Indiana Jones... Harrison Ford is back!!!

Harrison Ford is back in the fourth installment of Indiana Jones. I just got done adding the previous three to my Blockbuster Total Access Que so that I can watch them before seeing the fourth.

Here's a little clip of the article and a link to the SOURCE.

"Check out the first official image of INDIANA JONES 4 of Harrison Ford as the man himself! I have to say, he’s looking pretty good for a guy in his 60s. You can definitely tell that he has aged, but I think it’s a good look. Apparently this photo was taken by Steven Spielberg himself!"


New Transformers TV Spot

This looks pretty darn awesome!!!! I can't wait. I'm planning to go on opening night, July 2nd, with a couple of friends. It will be great!!!


Apple iPhone Ad: Surprised (YouTube on iPhone)

Today seems to be iPhone blogging day... This will be cool... combining two great things together.


AT&T getting ready for iPhone day...

Eight days before the iPhone arrives, AT&T is planning for extra security and a flood of customers next Friday.

The company has hired 2,000 temporary workers to help keep things rolling on iPhone Day (previously known as June 29th), according to CNN. It doesn't sound like these folks will be pressed into explaining the intricacies of AT&T's monthly data plans or selling Bluetooth headsets, but instead they'll help make sure rabid iPhone fans don't bum-rush the doors in hopes of securing an iPhone.

Click HERE to read the rest of the story...


30 pounds!!!!

Well, the iPhone diet officially ended a couple of months ago. (Click HERE to check out a previous post...) It died when we needed/decided to buy the PT Cruiser.

But about 6 weeks ago, I began a different type of diet. It's a diet based on a popular book called "You On A Diet" by Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen. (You can pick up a copy for yourself on

Beginning on May 19th, I weighed in officially at 288. This morning, after my morning walk, I weighed in officially at 270.5. That's 30 pounds since the first of the year. On January 1, when I began the iPhone diet, I weighed in at 299. This morning is almost 30 pounds.

I was pretty pumped to say the least. My hope was that before CIY Summer Conference next week, I could make it into the 260's. I'm close with one more day to go... tomorrow. My hope is that when I get back from CIY S.C., I'm in about the same spot as I am now.

It's pretty exciting. I'm going to need to put a couple of new notches in my belt... I'm on the smallest one and I need it to go a bit smaller. My hope is to get back to my college weight (242) and then get back to my high school weight (225 was my senior high school football program weigh in amount). We'll see!!! I'm confident.


Evan Almighty looks good...

Evan Almighty looks like it will be a pretty good movie. I'm going to have to take it in at some point in the next couple of weeks...


Another iPhone sighting!!!

June 29th is right around the corner. I'm kinda bummed that I'm going to be out of town when June 29th rolls around. But as soon as I get back, and watch the Transformers movie, I'm making tracks to an Apple store to play with the iPhone.

There's been another iPhone sighting... It's looks pretty sweet... over this guy's shoulder.

Jackie and I have worked out a deal. She'll let me buy one if I wait until mid to late August before picking one up. That will give them some time to get the "bugs" worked out and heighten the excitement!!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It was a great night at Summer Study last night...

Last night was a good night at Summer Study. Summer Study last week as at the Jacksons' in Aurora, this week it moved to North Aurora and the Paprockis'. The study was good. Attendance was good.

Then the hot tub was a big hit.

Some kids hit the pool. These guys hit the hot tub. Shortly after taking this picture, I chased a couple of them out and jumped in there myself. It was nice!!!


Mike Yaconelli

I saw this posted on Mark O's blog... this is an incredible video. It has been a while since I saw it. I miss Yac...


True Heroes

We live in a day and age where we have really messed up values in terms of who we consider to be a hero.

If you asked most kids who their hero is, they will mutter something about some sports figure making millions of dollars and not really making any impact on their community (not they aren't talented... and not that some aren't making a huge difference... but most just take their money and buy some "Bling" and a Cadillac).

Last night, on the news, they were talking about these 9 true heroes from Charleston. When I heard the headline for the story, it caught my attention, mostly because my dad was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years or more and was the Chief for a long time. So, whenever they talk about firefighters, that means something to me. Because I spent a lot of time hanging around the firehouse as a kid.

But if you are looking for a Hero... you don't have to look any further than Charleston. These guys are True Heroes. I pray that God's Spirit would be with these fine men's families.

Click here to read the full story from Here's a little snipet:
"One coached football when he wasn't fighting fires. Another cut hair at a barbershop. Yet another was known for quoting the Bible. They called each other nicknames like "Squirrel" and "Lightning."


Monday, June 18, 2007

Drive Time Devotions

I saw this post... the voice over is a friend of mine. But these Drive-Time-Devotions are awesome... I try to listen to one every morning on the way to the office. I know I sound like a commercial, but they are good.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm going to make it official... I'm a Cubs fan!!!


For about 3 months now, I've been secretly (to everyone but my wife) undergoing a regular ritual... a baseball game...

Well... I've been watching the Cubs' games.

I know... shocking... Especially to my friend from Geogia who is probably picking himself up off the floor right now. Up until this point, I have been a Chicago-White-Sox-hating-Cleveland-Indians-fan. I've always been a Tribe fan, ever since I was little... I was there for the first season at the "Jake" when it first opened and while living in Meadville, watched almost every game.

But the reality of the situation is that living here in Chicago makes it pretty hard to watch Indians' game on a regular basis. But I can watch every Cubs game. So I've been watching them. My dislike for the Sox has given me toward the northsiders... plus a couple of games at Wrigley have encouraged it.

So, I'm going to make it official here on my blog tonight... for all of my readers out there...

I'm a Cubs fan...

Even in the wake of a 11-3 loss to the San Diego Padres, which I'll probably have to get used to being a fan of one of the most cursed teams in the Majors... Although the Derek Lee fight yesterday was pretty crazy.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

iPhone New York

Pretty sweet... pretty sweet...


Summer reading plan... 372 pages down...

This morning, I finished "House" by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti.

It was a pretty good read. But I'm a sucker for anything Peretti writes.

This summer... I'm on a plan to read 3000 pages. At this point, after two weeks, I've got 372 pages done and I'm 128 pages behind. My hope in reading 3000 pages is to increase my reading speed before a monsterous church history class this fall that is heavy on reading.

Next on my reading hit list... "24 Declassified: Trojan Horse" a 24 spin off novel. And I'm also currently reading "Volume 1 of the Millenial Harbinger" by Alexander Campbell and "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell.