Saturday, May 31, 2008

Preachin' in the morn...

I'm preaching in the morning.

I've ran through my talk a couple of times tonight. I'm opening a 3-week, all-Jim series on sex called "Slow Fade." Tomorrow, we're kicking it off by talking about some lies and some truths about sex. It should be an interesting morning. I'll be interested in the reaction.


Facebook App that is must have...

Usually, when I see someone recommending an App for Facebook that "I must have," I'm skeptical. But this morning I saw one from Jason Christ that truly is... MUST HAVE.

Here's what he wrote:
"Yes, that’s correct. I found a Facebook App that you must install. It’s called fbCal. Once installed, it creates an iCal file for your friends’ birthdays and another for events you register for on Facebook. The events aren’t useful to me, but the birthdays thing is great... Great stuff if you’re using Google Calendar or any number of other calendar softwares that support iCal imports. MySpace needs something like this now."

I installed it this morning, took a look and like what I see. I use iCal to keep up with my calendar and birthday/anniversaries. I like it. Especially the automatic updating birthdays. Good deal! Thanks Jason.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Zelda and the blinds...

Our cats... Zelda and Zoe... have this weird and funny habit of wanting to have a clear view outside. So, they will jump onto the chair, bed, desk or whatever is in front of the window, then use their paw to pull the blinds down so they can see out.

This is Zelda illustrating for you.

Funny cats!!


Cubs back up record... come from 8 runs down!!!


Bottom of the 4th inning, the Cubs were down 8 to 0. Then 9 to 1 in the start of the bottom of the 6th and they came back to win over the Rockies 10 to 9. In fact, I had given up and was only listening on the radio as I ran to the Post Office and Meijer. When I checked the score in Meijer, I thought I was misreading it. But I wasn't!!

-Fukudome homers!
-Edmonds homers!
-Blanco homers!
-DeRosa homers!

Wow!!! The Cubs back up their "best record in the MLB" record today with a big, big win! Go Cubbies!!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cubs... best in the Majors...

So, the Cubbies beat up on the Rockies tonight... Securing the best record in baseball 33 and 21... Way to go CUBBIES!!!


Podcasting with Doug Fields and Friends!!!

I'm podcasting with Doug Fields... Josh Griffin... Matt McGill...

Check it out HERE.

Good stuff!


Ever had one of those times...

... when you were ready to get some work done... but every song that came on the iPod/radio/etc was too good to turn down so that you could start working??? I had one this morning...

-The Wallflowers... "One Headlight"
-Switchfood... "Awakening"
-Five for Fighting... "100 Years"
-Day of Fire... "Run"

Wonder what's next??


Thursday morning group...

So I get to Thursday morning Bible study this morning. I pull into the parking lot at about 6:04 am, feeling pretty good that I got down Randall Road and only hit one red light (a sure sign of God's grace on my tardiness in getting out of the house this morning).

Only to pull into the parking lot and see NONE of the vehicles of the other members of the group!

Suddenly I felt like you do when you're on a road trip with a bunch of guys and you make the mistake of being the last one out of the gas station, only to find that the car isn't where it had been parked. And that sudden feeling of panic sweeps over you. Only to turn and see your buddies all in the car on the other side of the parking lot laughing at you. But as I turned, no one was on the otherside of the parking lot.

Hopefully this isn't a hint (like: Quit coming to Bible study... we don't like you and decided to switch locations without telling you. Take the hint!).

Now, I'm betting that's not reality, but you know those thoughts pop up when something like that happens and you aren't on the 'in.' Hopefully I'll get the lowdown later on.

Instead, I caught on my Bible reading... finished Simple Church... now I'm going to write my sermon for this weekend... Week 1 of the "Slow Fade" series (more on this later).


Book #4... "Simple Church"

I finally finished book #4 (and I know, I'm way behind... but I have plans to start catching up soon).

It was "Simple Church" by Tom Rainer and Eric Geiger. Overall, this was a good book. I read it much too slow. It reads really fast, but the staff at FVCC are reading it and discussing it together in staff meetings. I really should have read it and then came back and reread chapters before each meeting. Instead, I read it a chapter or two a week over 6 weeks when I really should have read it in a week, as it's only 9 chapters.

I would recommend this book for anyone looking to simply ministry. Thom and Eric provide a pretty good framework for making some changes and sending you in an intentional direction. In fact, often as I was reading it reflected some of the principles that I have been familiar with (and are currently practicing) in our student ministry.

The one criticism that I have of the book is that often it leaves you with the sense of needing to make some of those changes but without the "teeth" to really make the changes. Some of the tips for making changes are tips that I could have written without reading the book and most people could come up without reading the book. But if you are looking for someone else to give you the "kick in the pants" that you need and say things that you are already thinking, then "Simple Church" might be a good place to start. But if you are looking for a more "teethy" understanding of how to make changes, you might start somewhere else.

Overall, I'm glad that I read it. It was a good read. I just wish that I would have read it quicker. A book like this should not be spread out over 6 weeks of reading.

Now... on to other books!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gamerscore... defined...

I guess I realized after my last post that not everyone would be familiar with the term "gamerscore." Thankfully, Wikipedia came to the rescue.

"The Gamerscore(G) is a measure that corresponds to the number of Achievement points accumulated by an Xbox Live user. These Achievement points are awarded for the completion of game-specific challenges, such as beating a level or amassing a specified number of wins against other players in Xbox Live matches. Initially, retail Xbox 360 games offered up to 1,000G spread over a variable number of Achievements, while each Xbox Live Arcade title contained 12 achievements totaling 200G. These possible totals per game have been raised to 1250G and 250G, respectively; see below. Achievements became a potent system seller for the console."

I just thought since I'm going to be an XBoxer and I'm already thinking about my Gamerscore... I realize that I'm a little weird... so I thought I would define the term. (Thanks CG for the thought!!)


Sorry... low blogging...

Sorry that I haven't been blogging that much lately... I got an XBox on Monday and I've been playing that. But I promise, I haven't forgotten about my blog. I'm just a little preoccupied. Plus, my gamerscore is up to 300!!! (Got nothing on THIS guy!)


Monday, May 26, 2008

XBox 360 Elite baby!!!

So, I finally talked my wife into fronting me the final $200 that I needed to pick up my new XBox 360 this afternoon!!!

So I swung by and picked one up. I also grabbed Madden 08 and a second controller. I used a birthday gift card and picked up Tetris at BestBuy earlier. Jackie likes to play Tetris and I thought we could play together.

I'm planning to get XBox Live. But it's going to be a bit before I get the Wifi antenna and the money for the subscription unless someone steps up and helps me out or I have a couple of good weeks at garage sales and on Amazon!! But I'll get there sooner or later!


My little helper...

I sat down this afternoon to write the final small group lesson for this school year for this week. (The one project that I didn't get done last week before the weekend.)

So I grabbed my Bible and my laptop and proceeded to get down to work, only to find that Zelda wanted to help. More than likely, she only wanted to lay on the Bible. (She has an affection for laying on papers and books.) She made it almost impossible to work.

I think she just wanted her picture taken. Once I did, she moved on. So funny!


Bulls' Noah arrested on pot, alcohol charges

Why doesn't THIS surprise me???

"Bulls center Joakim Noah could face a suspension at the start of next season after he was charged with marijuana possession and an open-container alcohol violation early Sunday morning in Gainesville, Fla."

This guy has been bad news since they drafted him (i.e.: He was suspended in January for a verbal tirade toward assistant coach Ron Adams, an incident that garnered even more publicity because Noah's teammates voted to recommend a two-game punishment after he was originally docked one game.). I've never really cared much for him... and that's only been amplified since he's been here. But this doesn't surprise me too much. Maybe the Bulls should trade him before he gets into some serious trouble.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

darth vader sings the blues

i was watching Star Wars tonight... when it got to this scene, this video was all that I could think about. YouTube has screwed me up for life...


Check it out HERE.

Anniversary Weekend AWAY!!!

Jackie and I had a great weekend away. I didn't realize how rarely we get away on a trip just the two of us that has no connection to Student Ministry. But this weekend was that.

Jackie didn't know anything about it. But:
  • Friday morning we flew to Pittsburgh.
  • Went to a Cubs game at PNC Park (Cubs won 12-3!)
  • Stayed a hotel in Cranberry Township.
  • Visited the Starbucks where we went on our first date.
  • Visited Mount Washington where we went on our first date.
  • Ate dinner at the Iron Bridge where we got engaged.
  • Shopped all day on Saturday in Grove City (bought two new pairs of shoes!!)
  • Rented a car, flew and stayed in a hotel all on our credit card miles and for about $30 total for all three!!!
  • Had a great weekend!!!
Here are a few pictures from the weekend. There are more on my Facebook page (HERE) if you care to look.

First picture is Jackie hanging with "Jake Blues" at Midway while we were waiting for our flight. The second picture is me hanging with Robin at Red Robin's.

Here is one view of PNC Park.

The Jumbotron scoreboard at PNC Park. I thought to myself several times over the course of the game that I'm glad that Wrigley doesn't have one of those annoying things. It was a total distraction from the game.

Such a great picture!!!

Big "Z" pitched and pitched well.

The Cubs went on to win the game... Then the game was followed by a great fireworks display.

Then we headed on Saturday to the Iron Bridge. It is easily my favorite restaurant in the world. They have some of the best "Surf N Turf" (with Prime Rib... ooh baby!!).

As you can tell by this picture, I was really excited when we finally got a table!!!

After dinner, we headed up on Mount Washington, where we went on our first date. We enjoyed the city as teh sun was going down the lights were coming on... it was beautiful.

I even got a kiss for all my hard work and planning!!

It really was a great and relaxing weekend. I was looking forward to it so much and it was definitely up to par.

Good weekend!!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Cubs win 12-3!!

Cubs celebrate with some fireworks and a win!!

Getting ready

Getting ready for the Cubs game... In Pittsburgh!!! Go Cubs!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Outta here for the weekend...

I'm wrapping up the last 30 minutes to back TV shows... currently CSI Miami's season finale.

Then, I'm headed to the bedroom to pack and get ready for Jackie's and I's weekend out of town. So, it will get a little quiet around here. There may be a couple of random pics posted and some Twitter stuff. But probably no substantial blogging until Monday...

Hope you have a great weekend.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Apple iTunes Store ad: Coldplay

New iTunes ad... Looks cool.


Check it out HERE.

HUGE Anniversary plans for the weekend...


I have HUGE Anniversary plans for my wife for this weekend. This weekend, technically Sunday, is Jackie and I's 5th year wedding anniversary. Since this is a bigger year... like the 1st, 5th, 10th, etc... I thought I would do something special.

I have huge plans... only a few of my closest (Jeff, Todd, Steve...) cohorts know what they are... and I'm not going to tell you (my faithful blog readers). Sorry... there are a few readers who might give away my plans and they are top-secret.

So, you'll have to wait until Monday. But they're good. And they're secret. Fun stuff. I can't wait!


Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull tonight!!!

So right now I'm pretty much sitting on the couch wasting time waiting to go and see the new Indiana Jones (and the Crystal Skull) movie.

Myself and several of my closest friends are catching a 12:01 am showing of the summer blockbuster tonight!!! It should be awesome!!!

This has been a movie-rific week for me. Last Thursday I saw Iron Man, Saturday I saw Prince Caspian and then on Monday, I saw it again. Finally tonight, I'm catching Indiana Jones.

It's good to sit in the theater and enjoy a show! Especially with some great friends!

(Although... I just realized that I never blogged about Iron Man. Sorry... my bad... totally an oversite. It was good. The ending was cheesy and I would have liked more action after Iron Man was completed. But pretty good... for someone who turned his back on Spider-Man... My bad.)


New Student MInistry Webpage...

Over the past few months, I've been working on a new cyber-home for Fox Valley's Student Minsitry. Today, is new and launched.

Feel free to drop by and check it out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Prince Caspian (round 2)

I promised on Saturday that I would give a review of Prince Caspian. Well... I haven't had time. But I thought I would throw one out there.

Last night, Jackie and I had an impromptu date and decided to go. While we were out for our evening walk, we decided to grab some wings at BW3's, play some trivia and then go to a 9:15 pm showing.

I honesty think that the second time around was better. The primary reason is that some of the lines, because many of the actors are English or other than American, were difficult to pick up. In fact, a couple of the lines are still a mystery to me because I didn't catch them either time. But I thought it was great.

What I didn't like:
  • I thought there could have been more Aslan. Every time he roars, I get chills. Give me more Aslan.
  • It could have been wittier and more clever in places. There were several places where it seemed appropriate to throw in a joke, so they did and it really wasn't that funny of a joke or the line seemed pointless.
  • More magic. The magic was minimal compared to previous. But maybe that's in line with the overall theme of this movie.
  • More Narnians... Again, goes with the theme... but could have used more. (After you see the movie, you'll understand this one...)
What I did like:
  • The visual imagery of this one is striking. Several times in the previous movie, the settings seemed forced and fake (especially a lot of the ice shots). But this one seems more realistic.
  • Aslan!!! I love that lion... what an incredible character.
  • Good drama. The suspense was even high the second time around and I already knew what was going to happen.
  • It's great to be back in Narnia with old friends. I'm glad that the whole cast was back. That might seem like a small thing, but having the same cast back in a sequel is essential.
Overall, I thought it was a great movie. It's definitely a "MUST SEE" in the theaters. Good, good stuff. In fact, I think I'm going to re-read some of the books and read them all the way through this summer again! I'll be looking forward to what's next.


Downhere was incredible!!!

I think that all the stress was worth it.

Pulling off these concerts is a pretty stressful thing. One of the most stressful things about it is knowing the financial side of things you have very little control over. We can advertise and prepare but unless people buy the tickets, you're in trouble. And you can't make people buy tickets, or at least not when you want them to. Several people asked me over the course of the time how ticket sales were doing. They were always doing, but not as good as I would have liked. When they asked me how I would have liked them, I told them that I would have liked a sell-out!!!

But it was good. We sold more tickets than last year (World on Fire Tour) and our attendance at the show was better than last year (although I don't yet know how much better). Plus, the spirit was just better than last time. There was more energy in the room.

Overall, it was a great show. Downhere did an incredible job. The crowd was really into the show. We had a great group of students who came out and really seemed to have a good time (plus I had three incredible students who came out in the afternoon and did whatever I needed done... they are true servants. Will played "goofer" for me while Shelby and Sarah came out last minute and helped out in the kitchen. And I couldn't have pulled off the show without you guys!!!). Of course I couldn't have pulled it off without an incredible team of volunteers who helped me out and my right arm on some of this stuff... Steve, who's worship team pulled off an All-Star performance as the opening act.

Downhere was great to work with. They were accessible and relaxed. It was really, really good.


Sunday, May 18, 2008


Downhere live at FVCC!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Prince Caspian

I'm catching Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian tomorrow with 19 of my best friends. We're taking a group of students and a couple leaders to catch the 2:55 pm afternoon show.

It should be great. I'm totally stoked and looking forward to it.

I'll give a review tomorrow night.


Straight A's baby!!!

I checked my grades tonight.

Straight A's again this semester!!! That brings my cumulative GPA to 3.79 with 33 credit hours done. Pretty good!!! I'm genuinely happy with it. And I'm glad that it's over (check out some thoughts HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE on the semester...).


Friday, May 16, 2008

Graduation and Promotion...

This time of the year is always a difficult time.

Tonight at 6:30 pm, we officially welcome 12 new middle school students into the student ministry. But last week, we officially recognized 10 graduating seniors. This is always both a tough time and and an exciting time.

It's exciting because we are getting some new middle schoolers. Most of the time, these students have been looking forward to getting into the student ministry for a year or sometimes two. I know this year, we've had 5th graders slowly walking past the middle school room during "Live Wire" on Sunday morning getting a good look inside for about 3 months now. So some of these students are ready to go. And we're ready to have them.

But it's also a tough time. We are graduating some incredible seniors. Many of these seniors have been super-involved. We've traveled together. Talked. Hung out. Challenged. These students have discovered their spiritual gifts in the student ministry. And come August, they won't be a part of the student portion of the ministry (with at least one of the seniors, we are already talking about plugging him into the middle school ministry as a leader). But it's tough to say "good-bye" to what you know and love and say "hello" to what you don't yet know and don't yet love.

So, tonight will be both interesting and exciting. Exciting to look into the eyes of the 7 students who are coming to the middle school welcome dinner. But interesting to see where the next 7 years will take us.


Switchfoot This is home on Tonight Show (remastered)

Switchfoot was on the Tonight show Tuesday night. I couldn't make it up to catch it "live"... as "live" can be.
But it was pretty darn good. And then, when isn't Switchfoot.

Check it out HERE.


Apple... PC sings the blues...

This is great... especially the dog at the end.


Check it out HERE.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Triple overtime Thursday morning group

We had some really great discussion this morning.

It was interesting. We went into like triple-overtime in group. It was 7:30 (30 minutes after guys had to start leaving to get to work) and four of us were still standing around talking about the topic of prayer from Matthew 7:7-12. Good stuff carrying over to next week!!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Airwolf for sale!!!

It's becoming known that I'm a bit of a 80's-90's TV junkie. I really enjoy shows like the A-Team, Quantum Leap (which I have the entire collection on VHS), Knight Rider, and Airwolf.

My buddy Steve pointed me tonight to an auction on Ebay where they are selling an Airwolf replica. Wow!!!

Check it out HERE.

If you would like to donate to the "Buy Jim An Airwolf Helicopter Fund," please email me at All donations would be appreciated. Now, where did I put that $35,000 I had laying around...


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Apple Error free...

This is a fun little commercial...



Check it out HERE.

Zoe and Zelda...

Jackie and I were getting ready to go for a walk (in a thunderstorm) and I snapped this picture of Zoe and Zelda. They crack me up.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Skit Guys... Why She Gets A Day

We showed this video from the "Skit Guys" today in church. Pretty good stuff. I love Tommy and Eddie... Tommy gets a weird look in his eye that scares me a bit.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!!! Thanks for looking all those times that I said, "Hey Mom... watch this!?


Check it out HERE.

Such a lazy day...

Today was one of those days where I just felt "off a step." It was one of those days where I just couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something was off a bit. And not just with the student ministry programming but inside my head as well. Live Wire and High Voltage were both off a beat. I'm sleepy. And even picking up a book that I'm reading... Simple Church (and will review in the next week or so)... that I usually get into quickly, was a struggle.

Kinda weird... not really sure what to do about it.

Maybe hit the "hay" and hope that I get up tomorrow on the right beat.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ebay... SOLD!!!

I posted some stuff on Ebay... See HERE if you missed it.

I also posted it here on my blog and twittered it too. Jumped up to go and grab a shower, came back and had a call from an awesome dude in Texas... David Norman... one of my PDYM buddies... who wanted to buy my Guitar Hero stuff.

I said "SOLD!" Gets him some great stuff for his kid and saves me the hassle of going through the auction. Now I've just got to find a box.


Ebay central around here...

It's like Ebay central around here.

I'll clearing out my Playstation 2 stuff, plus a computer game steering wheel... Just thought I would put a listing here.
  • Playstation 2 HERE.
  • Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero Encore plus guitar HERE.
  • Guitar Hero 2 plus guitar HERE.
  • Microsoft Steering Wheel controller HERE.
Check them out... bid if you want!


Playstation 2 re-listed

I've relisted my Playstation 2 on Ebay.

I tried to sell it a while back, but some fraudulent stuff (see HERE) popped up with the buyer. But I've got it relisted. If you want to check it out and bid on it, see it HERE. Hopefully this puts me in the ballpark for buying my XBox 360 soon!!

Edit: I also have my two controllers and three games listed on Ebay as well. Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero Encore plus controller are listed HERE. Guitar Hero II plus controller are listed HERE.


Zoe and Zelda...

I realized that I hadn't posted a recent picture of Zoe and Zelda together. Here you go.

Zoe is on top and Zelda is on the bottom.



Recent Google searches leading here...

Here are a few of the recent Google searches bring new folks by my blog. I'm always amazed at what makes the list:
  • iphone diet
  • Guitar hero: Legends of rock playlist
  • love Erik Survivor
  • Erik Reichenbach
  • NOOMA Free
  • survivor -micronesia and erik
  • Tunak Tunak Tun lyrics translation
  • survivor 16 erik immunity necklace
  • erik dumbest survivor ever
  • jim clark starbucks
  • who plays+chicken dance
  • james william clark
  • michigan stinks
  • saddleback church ministry program
  • rock river christian camp
My post from the other night about Eric Reichenbach brought me some good traffic. Interesting what shows up.

I also have some good referrers:
Good stuff.


Post 1000!!!

This is post 1000!!!!

Unbelievable that I've found enough stuff to post 1000 times... a far cry from Josh Griffin's 3000 post mark... but I'm gaining... probably not fast enough... but we'll see what we can do about that...

Next stop... 1500!!!

Keep reading... the best is yet to come!!


Saturday morning cartoons...

This is the second Saturday in a row that I've had some good Saturday Morning Cartoons. I've discovered that the WB has cartoons on on Saturday morning. I watch 30 minutes of "Tom and Jerry" and then an hour of "Spectacular Spider-Man".

We don't have the Cartoon Network. And most of the kid shows are just stupid on Saturday mornings. So I appreciate the WB putting some good old-fashioned cartoons on... and Tom and Jerry are pretty good.

I used to watch cartoons like this when I was a kid... some 20 years ago. So this takes me back a bit. In a good way...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Good Dinner tonight!!

We had a great dinner tonight.

Tonight was our Senior Family Dinner. It's a night where we invite out our graduating Seniors and their families and spend some time hanging out. We try to do it a couple of weeks before graduation before all the craziness of graduation and parties begin.

Tonight was a great night. Clayton Brooks, Matt Gallaway and Skye Peavy were present. This is a picture of the food spread. All in all, it was a good night. Good conversations. Good encouragement. Good opportunities.

It was good. And the food was from Boston Market and it was good too.


Zoe checks out her new litter box...

Zoe checks out her new litter box.

Jackie and I have just about had it with Zoe and Zelda's litter box. They use it so frequently that it is constantly dirty. So we broke down and bought an automatic litter box that cleans itself.

We put it together, we set it up, Zoe jumped in to check out and decided to take a nap.

I like things that work on their own. I'm hoping that this solves our consistently dirty litter box problem. But as I wrap up this blog post, I'm wondering why you need to know all this...


a blog for those starting out...

Youth Ministry can be rough. It can also be incredible and exhilarating at times as well.

I've been doing fulltime Youth Ministry for almost 10 years now. One of the most humbling things about doing youth ministry is that now, at least one of my former students is doing youth ministry himself. There's a whole domino effect there that is both incredibly humbling and insanely scary.

But I remember those first days (and I feel like Screwtape writing to Wormwood here). Sitting in my office... looking around... dreaming... planning... vision casting... trying to figure it all out... It can be a very exciting time.

This past week, one of my former youth ministry students, Kraig Bishop, began his own youth ministry in Ironton, Ohio. He's also started a blog (CHECK IT OUT HERE) to catch some of his thoughts... Here's a couple that caught my attention:
"so i've read all the books and taken all the classes and last friday they even gave me a piece of paper that says i have a bachelor of science degree. saturday i drove a big uhaul from Knoxville, TN to Ironton, OH while my parents followed in my car. we moved all the boxes in saturday and went to church sunday morning. by monday morning at 7:55am, i was sitting in my office trying to decide what to do."
"i love the people of this church. they are some of the most warm and loving people i have ever met and they care about the youth of this area. i have never had my hand shaken more times than i do every single day here. i love it and i can't wait to get even more started than i already have gotten started!"

Feel free to drop by and check out the recent learnings of someone trying to get started.


PDYM Community Lunch... Batavia!!!

I'm sure... if you're like me and if you're getting this, there's a good chance you are... because you're in youth ministry... that right now is a bit of a crazy time. Summer is coming. Graduation is right around the corner. Promotion Sunday is coming (when you get a bunch of new squirrelly 6th graders and lose a bunch of great Seniors... or get some great 6th graders and lose some... well, you get the picture). Plus you've got things like vacations, VBS, camp, etc, etc, etc coming up. Things are busy.

But I would like to invite you to slow down and connect. I know you may not feel like you need to or that you have time to. But I need to and if I need to, then there's a chance you should too.

We (myself, Simply Youth Ministry, Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, Doug Fields, Josh Griffin, Neely McQueen, Rick Warren... just kidding on the last one...but he might agree if he knew I was writing this) have set up a Community Lunch date for Northern Illinois on Thursday, May 22nd at 12:30 pm. The lunch itself will last until about 2 pm. There will be an exclusive Doug Fields' teaching, conversation about ministry and a time of prayer for each other... plus the great time of connecting with other youth workers and sharing stories. I would love for you to come and I'm sure that if Doug or Rick were writing this letter, he would agree. The cost of the lunch is just $6 to $7 for a boxed lunch. I would love for you to come. If you would like to bring some volunteers, that would be great too.

My hope and prayer is that it would be a time of connection and conversation.

If you would like to come, please shoot me an email and let me know and how many so that I have adequate food. If you have any questions, feel free to email me ( I'm looking forward to hanging with you and hearing about what God is doing in your student ministry!

Doing youth ministry alongside you!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I love Survivor... but Erik Reichenbach???

Those of you who know me well know that I'm a Survivor junkie. I have been enjoying Survivor 16, Fans vs. Favorites.

If you haven't watched this week's (May 8th) Survivor... Stop reading...

If you have... Is it possible that Erik Reichenbach is the dumbest Survivor ever??? I was actually beginning to pull for the dude, especially since he was the last guy (I can't stand Natalie... I have never like Parviti, Cirie irritates me... I can stand Amanda and she's become me newest favorite (since Ozzy and James are gone).

But this dude had the immunity necklace around his neck and he gave it up... He's crazy. And maybe the dumbest Survivor ever!!! Unbelievable!!


FVCC Snapshot...

FVCC began a weekly snapshot email today.

Steve (our worship and media guru), Emily (our office manager) and I worked on the project. It's really a great looking email product. It's got a link to the weekly sermon, links to small group and Ready, Set, Grow opportunities, a coming week calendar and two or three big events that are coming up. It should be a great and effective way to get the news out about FVCC happenings.

Today, we emailed it out to everyone in the church's database. Everyone then had the option of opting out. If you didn't get one and would like to keep up with what's going on at FVCC, click HERE and enter your email address in the join our mailing list on the left-hand side above the service times. You'll get your's on Mondays.

Yay... AT&T + Starbucks = Free Access

Last week I noticed that the little freebie at Starbucks had started. That was cool. I can get my iPhone online easlier at Starbucks... always good. Then it was abruptly pulled for no reason.

Seems to be back.


Bean counter... why 'Yes...' I guess...

This weekend we are planning a game involving Jelly Beans...

Basically the point is that our students will get one cup with one bean in it, they will eat it and then guess the flavor... most right gets a bag full of Jelly Belly's.

I just thought that it was an unusual picture if you would have walked into my office as I was working on this game. (And I did have to eat a couple... purely for setting up the same sake... It can be tough to tell the difference between colors/flavors and I didn't want there to be an issues of wrong answers...) The flavors will go from easiest to hardest. It should be fun. Some of them seem pretty obvious, but without the guide on the back, it's hard to pinpoint the flavor.

I just thought it was funny...

Here they are all ready to go for Sunday.

And who said that ministers don't use math... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8... 1, 2, 3...


podcast is LIVE!!!

The SYM Podcast is LIVE RIGHT NOW!!!!

Check it out HERE. Join us...


Back on the diet...

It's been almost 8 months since I was seriously on a diet. For those of you who are regular readers, you'll be reminded that last year I lost close to 50 pounds. I've put a few back on over the school year. My lowest weigh in was 247.5 back in September... THIS was the last post on the subject.
This morning I weighed in at 260.0. So, not too bad for a winter of schoolwork and horrible eating. But we're back on officially this morning. I have salad to look forward to at lunch today... which makes me almost want to just skip lunch... but I won't.

I'm heading for 200 pounds. Hopefully I will be able to get down to about 220 before school starts back up in late August. School is really hard on my diet. And then we can finish off the last 20 pounds in the fall.

We'll see.

Then I walk into the office this morning. Now, let me provide a little context for you. Today is Thursday. This morning I went to my weekly Bible Study at Panera Bread... where I have been used to having a bagel (or at least what they call a bagel...) with cream cheese and usually a breakfast sandwich. This morning I had neither. Just a coffee since I had eaten breakfast before I went in. I get to the office about 8:30 am and what do I find... a plate of brownies sitting in front of the door... ugh!

But so far so good... but it's only been 2 hours... but I've stayed out of them. We'll see if we can make it. Maybe I'll grab them on the way out and hide them somewhere where I don't have to see them...


Monday, May 05, 2008

I'm free!!!

I just hit "PRINT" on my final paper of the semester... it's been a hard couple of weeks, but it's officially behind me!!! Thanks in part of my incredible editor who does a great job of helping me say what I want to say... my wife!!!

I'm done!!!
I've got class tomorrow, but all I have to do is show up.

Now the biggest thing on my plate are catching IronMan, the concert in a couple of weeks, and maybe picking up an XBox 360!!!


Free iTunes from Starbucks over the weekend!!

We gave away a whole bunch of free music download cards over the weekend from Starbucks!!

Starbucks has brought back their "Pick of the Week" promotion for a short run... which I've been making use of myself. The other night Jackie brought me home a whole load of them and we dealt them out Sunday!!!

It was a "Counting Crows" and "Hilary McRae" video!!!

Good stuff... and FREE!!


Saturday, May 03, 2008

help from one of my cats...

I'm really going to be glad when this paper is done... and I think my cats will be too. I grabbed the last cup of "Breakfast Blend" this morning, pulled up a chair to work on my paper... this is the last day for reading, the writing starts tomorrow night after High Voltage.

Zoe, one of our kittens... who is now more like a 6.5 pound cat... decided to help. So she climbed into my lap, laid down, I snapped this picture, then she proceeded to being a bath.

I'll be glad when this thing is done... Saturday... Sunday... and Monday... 3 days...


Friday, May 02, 2008


I just saw my first Prince Caspian trailer on TV... so I thought I would post one on my blog. It comes out on the 16th... we're hoping to take some students on the 17th...
It looks awesome.


Check it out HERE

Thursday, May 01, 2008

This made me chuckle...

I had a pretty good morning reading for my Muslim paper.

As I wrapped up, I saw THIS on Seth Godin's blog and it made me chuckle. Hopefully you enjoy it too.