Sunday, May 31, 2009

FVCC Students' Dominican Trip Video

I have a Google alert set up for Fox Valley Christian Church.

Today, it alerted me that "Goodie" Amanda Braisted posted the video from our D.R. trip on her blog. It's HERE. But she also posted it on Vimeo so I can finally post it here with sound. Check it out!!

Fox Valley Christian Church from Amanda Braisted on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Our cats...

...favorite Saturday afternoon pasttime. Notice the robin in the

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chick-Fil-A in Aurora, IL

I love Chick-fil-a.

That's no secret to anyone. I have loved the food and franchise since my time in eastern Tennessee and at Milligan. And anytime I head south down I-65, I always stop at the Chick-fil-a in Lafayette, IN. (I almost know the employees by name...)

I love the sandwiches.
I love the sweet tea.
I love that they play Christian music.
I love that they are closed on Sundays.

So I was stoked this morning to hear (thanks M.M.) that they may be coming to the Chicagoland area. (I read the story HERE.) I hope that it works out. And I think that the franchise will find the Chicagoland area a great place like Sonic did last summer. (For almost a month, wait times to get into the Sonic were well over 2 or 3 hours during their peak meal times.)

If it is coming, I will be there on opening day. (First 100 people get free chicken for a year!!!) I might have to get the sleeping bag out.


Check out some of my previous thoughts on Chick-fil-a HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE if you doubt my love for this restaurant.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ferris Bueller's Ferrari House Now For Sale...

... and I forgot my checkbook this morning.

Actually I saw THIS on the news last night. The local Fox affiliate was given a tour of the house since the house is here in the Chicagoland. It is an impressive structure. But it really left me wanting to watch Farris Bueller's Day Off.

This is the house that was used in the movie for Cameron's house, which held the ferrari.




Sunday, May 24, 2009

6th anniversary

Jackie and I had lunch today at Applebees. It was the site of our
first sudo-date. It wasn't really a date, more like a 'wanna grab
lunch?' after church. But we thought we grab some lunch and celebrate
our 6th anniversary.

Where does the time go?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Best night for summer study

We are making plans for the upcoming high school summer study. (If you aren't involved in our ministry, please don't vote... Thanks!)

Take a second and give us an idea of which night would be best.


Errett and Burnet in Cincinnati

I blogged while I was in Cincy (HERE) about planning to visit the Spring Grove Cemetery. I did.

It was fun walking around in a strange cemetery (not that any cemetery is that familiar) looking for a couple of graves.

But I visited quite a few. I visited the Fillmore family plot, R.C. Foster, J.J. Challen, as well as the two pictured below:

Here is the marker on the Errett grave.

This is the marker at the D.S. Burnet grave.

I just thought I'd share... since I was there.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the Milky Way Galaxy... pretty cool...

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Saddleback's WORD2U

I stumbled onto THIS today from my good buddy Josh Griffin at Saddleback. Since Jackie and I just backed down our monthly minute total on our cell phones to pick up unlimited text messages on both phones, I thought I would sign up.

I got my first one instantly.

Pretty cool to get a shot of God's word every morning on my cell phone!

Today's was from Galatians 6:9 : "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." NIV


Town Hall For Hope with Dave Ramsey (Entire Event) - PART 1

A couple of weeks ago, Fox Valley hosted the Town Hall for Hope. During the event and during the regular radio show, it has been commented that the information shared in the Town Hall for Hope should be shared. So we posted the entire event on YouTube.

You can start the playlist HERE or click there after you watch the first video to view the second and all nine videos.



Apple's "Get a Mac" Web ad: "Elimination"

This made me laugh. Enjoy!


Check it out HERE

Sunday, May 17, 2009

On being a best man...

This weekend was a great weekend.

I was honored and humbled to stand up for my best friend growing up as his Best Man. I was also humbled to be handed the microphone at the reception. As someone who speaks a lot (a couple of times every weekend), I love to speak and feel comfortable on stage with the mic. But this weekend at the reception, I was seriously nervous. I haven't felt that way about a speaking engagement for a while.

But one of the great things about this weekend is that I thought about things that I haven't thought about for a while.
  • church camp... when Dale Harlow, my youth minister growing up tried to convince 5 of us that Jason from Friday the 13th was coming to get us. Brad Davis and myself ran like little girls, another of group fell down and cried like a little girl while Aaron, the groom this weekend, planned to stand his ground.
  • travels with our church... Orlando... Indianapolis... all those trips to Columbus... Cincinnati and other Bible Bowl spots along the way.
  • a trip to Kings Island in Cincinnati with some buddies from college.
  • taking a road trip and listening to the Macarena on the radio... and thinking it was 'cool!' Man, were we wrong.
It was like a tidal wave of thoughts, memories and conversations washed over me this weekend. Thoughts from the past... thoughts of the future... and good times in the present.

It was amazing to stand up for my friend. I would do again... a million times.

What an honor!!!


Friday, May 15, 2009

The groom with his bib...

Courtesy of his mother...

Free morning in Cincy... Cemetery!!!

So last night it dawned on me. (And not the reality that with cable TV, Internet and comfortable place, I start blogging almost instantly... although that is true. Maybe I should start a buy Jim Internet... keep going and posting new material... (like Justin with his help me buy a laptop promotion). Naw!)

But what dawned on me is that I'm in Cincinnati... Where some cool Restoration Movement stuff happened.

I got up this morning, grabbed some free breakfast (always good) and I'm going to head up to Spring Grove Cemetery, north of downtown Cincy. I'm going to go and visit D.S. Burnet's grave and the grave of Issac Errett.

D.S. Burnet was a close personal friend and travelling companion of Alexander Campbell. I didn't realize until I read R. Richardson's "Memoirs" that D.S. travelled with Campbell as much as he did. D.S. died shortly after Alexander did.

Issac Errett travelled with Campbell. Shortly after Campbell's passing, Errett began the Christian Standard, in 1866, which is still publishing today.

That's how I thought I would spend a couple of free hours this morning.

Maybe I'll post a picture or two later on. And no, I don't think it's weird to go walking around in cemeteries... :-)


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wedding in Cincy!!

Last night, I actually downloaded some Eddie Rabbitt (I'm Driving My Life Away among a few others)... For those who are keeping track, that song was released before I was born. But I know every, single word!!!

But that's kinda described my spring. I had the D.R. Trip, a couple of class trips (one with LCS and one solo to discover if I could find Thomas Campbell's house in Cambridge), a conference and this weekend. It has been a crazy 10 weeks with lots of trips.

This is the final trip until summer gets here and I go to CIY in Michigan.

But this weekend will be special. I keep in touch with almost no one from high school. In fact, I keep in contact with none of my high school friends who went to my high school. The only guy that I keep in regular contact is getting married this weekend. And I get to be his best man!!!! It will be a very fun weekend.

The only negative is that with all the travels, Jackie wasn't able to join me. So I'm solo this weekend. But hopefully the travels are about to let up for a bit.

Now go... listen to some Eddie Rabbitt (with two "T"'s).


Monday, May 11, 2009

CIY Believe dialogue... again...

So last week, I started a bit of a dialogue with a buddy of mine in Georgia... who is way smarter than me (in fact I had to read his entry three times and think about it for four days to come up with something to post... especially since he stated that he would be looking for one).

You can find Nate's second post HERE.
And you can find my first post HERE.

Technology and Youth Culture
I agree with Nate on a couple of points. First off, are our students totally addicted their electronic gadgets? Yes. today I mailed in our registrations for CIY Believe's bigger brother program CIY Move (which is a weeklong version that spawned the weekend version for middle schoolers, if I have my CIY timing down). One of the features of this event in the past has been the expectation on CIY's part that we would not allow our students to keep any electronic gadgets that might distract from the week. This included cell phones, iPods, DVD players and others of the sort. Every year this elicits no small amount of whining, begging, pleading, scheming and attempting to keep electronics from well-meaning adults. (This every year requires me to threaten to EBay any electronics discovered after the deadline to ensure that we have collected them all... which I at this point haven't had to do.) But CIY threw us a curveball last year when they asked for students to bring their cell phones to a couple of sessions... not cool. Actually, it made all of the youth ministers who have abided by the expectations look like the youth minister equivalent of the "big bad wolf" in view of several youth minister who didn't.

Are Adults Any Better?
But here's my point. Are students addicted to their electronics? Absolutely! Are their adult counterparts any better? No way!

In fact, just a couple of nights ago I was hanging out with a group of folks from our church. In the midst of the conversation, one of the adults remarked that he had gotten a new cell phone and had joined the iPhone club (Yay!). He had a blackberry before, but had worn it out. Another of the adults commented that he had worn out the roller ball on his Blackberry three times. Granted, this individual is a business man and uses his phone a lot for business purposes. But furthermore, adults aren't much better at not being addicted to their little electronic drug. In fact, I would have to admit that I first read Nate's comments on my iPhone. And even now, I sit in Starbucks on my laptop using their free Wifi.

So, are students to blame for their electronic gadget addiction? Sure. But they are in part a product of their environment. Does that make them innocent? No. And should youth ministers be cautioning our students against the excesses of electronic addiction? Probably... but only realizing that some may be as bad as their teenage audience. (This youth minister might be in that later category... depending on who you ask...)

Now, this is in no way a condemnation of technology. I am quite possibly the biggest techie that I know. Just the other day, the worship minister at my church (who doesn't blog or twitter, so I have no way of introducing him to you if you don't already know him) and I were talking in the office about the potential benefits of Twitter in the worship service. This service/addiction isn't that difficult to figure out, but it still has many over the age of 40 scratching their heads. But I am a huge technie.

So to blame the students for their electronic addiction isn't exactly fair. Our soceity at a whole is addicted to their electronic leashes.

I'll kick it back in Nate's direction...

A Word of Caution
I do want to issue one word of caution that some have missed in the previous message. This dialogue is a friendly dialogue for the purpose of learning and growing and Kingdom advancement.

This is NOT a debate or an argument! It is a friendly discussion.

I received one comment on this thread that saught rather than adding to the conversation to rundown Mr. Gilmour's reputation as "worldly," "haughty," "lofty," and "self-endowed." This sort of commenting will not be tolerated. This is a friendly discussion between TWO kingdom workers... one in the youth ministry and one in the college classroom.

I would certainly have expected better from a member of the CIY group.

If you would like to impune the reputation of either Mr. Gilmour (which sounds way too formal, but we'll go with it) or myself, go and get your own blog and post over there. If you do choose to post over there on this topic, we'll read your postings and comment appropriately. Therefore, your comment (Mr. Jefferson) has been removed.

An Invitiation:
For everyone else... If you're following along and would like to comment, we (Nate and myself) would more than welcome your thoughts, insights and comments. But let's keep them civil.


This was fun!!!

I was browsing through my Google Reader (which is the only way that I can keep up with my blogs).

And I noticed THIS little entry from Justin, who's been working with me over the past school year.

Check it out (HERE).

I appreciate his thoughts, energy, enthusiasm and organization. I'm gonna miss him until CIY (when we'll hang out all week) and then till fall.


Star Trek 2009 was awesome!!!

I have to admit:

When I heard last year about the new Star Trek movie coming out this May, I was a little skeptical. Part of my skepticism was in that aren't Shatner and Nemoy like 70 years old. When I heard that it was a prequel, I thought that will never work.

Then I saw the trailer. HOLY SMOKES!!!

I went Thursday night (9:50 IMAX showing).

And it was AWESOME!!!

I was always a fan of the Next Generation, but was a little young for the original seasons. But I've seen the movies and enjoyed the show. So I've been a bit of a fan of the series.

Let me just say... "You NEED to see this flick." It was easily the "Iron Man" of this year. It's incredibly intense and action packed, with enough Trekkie "lingo" to keep the true trekkies happy. The storyline was great and CGI (thanks S.O.) was incredible, but believable. The guy who directed it, also directs one of my favorite shows: "Fringe."

But maybe the biggest thing was Zachary Quinto as Spock. The vast majority of the characters, no offense to anyone, could be played by a lot of actors or actresses... Kirk, Scotties, Uhura. But not Spock. It took a special actor to do that. And Quinto nailed it!!! He had the mannerisms, the look, the line delivery. He was Spock!

It was a great flick. If you're headed out to see a movie, take in this one. It's awesome!!


Thursday, May 07, 2009

National Day of Prayer

Today is National Day of Prayer.

Take a few moments today to pray!!!


P.S.: I do find it sad and disappointing that this is the first time in 9 years that there isn't a National Day of Prayer remembrance at the White House.

CIY Believe dialogue...

It's been many years since my undergraduate education at Milligan. My time there was invaluable. Not just because of the education, but because of the friendships and worldview that I gained. I don't have any biological brothers... just a sister that I love to give a hard time to. But because of my time at Milligan, I gained several "brothers."

One of those is Nathan Gilmour.

He is seriously one of the smartest dudes that I know.

While most of us are still trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives and wondering if we will ever grow up, he was just named a Professor at Emmanuel College, in Georgia!! Seriously!!! I'm 32 years old and one of my best friends is a college professor!!! Wow!!!

We both have some serious experience in the world of youth ministry. As many of you know, who are faithful readers, I've been doing youth ministry fulltime as a career and a calling for nearly 10 years. Nathan, or Nate or Nate-dogg to me, has been doing it about as along as a volunteer. (Which may in many ways make his opinion worth more than mine... the outside opinion is usually the better one.)

Recently he attended a CIY Believe date in Georgia. And made some posts about his experience (HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE). I took issue with a few of his statements, in the sense of open dialogue and learning.

He posted my response HERE. Here's a snipet:
"I think a lot of what CIY does is try to grab their attention and hold it for long enough to share the message of the gospel, and I think they are trying to do it in a way that does a couple of things:
1. It ministers in a fresh way to kids who are Christians already (because don’t we all need a kick in the butt every once in a while when we get off track)
2. It opens the message up to those who have never heard it before.

In my group, for instance, two of my 18 were kids who had never been to church before. They came because their friends said, ‘You’ll like this… it will be fun.’ Now, have they gotten saved? Not yet… but who knows what seed has been planted in their hearts and minds?"

As I said, Nate is a smart, smart dude... way above my intellectual level. But we thought maybe we could have some open dialogue on some of the topics of students, church, worship, conferences and the such. This is NOT IN ANY WAY a "Nate is wrong and Jim is right" thing. This is an opportunity for dialogue, discussion and learning. Are there some things that youth ministry could do better at? Absolutely!! Let's talk about some of those things...

We welcome your input and participation.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Somedays feel...

... like this...

Thanks Failblog for summing it up so well.


D.R. Trip Updates... Day 4: Tuesday (March 31)

My sincerest apologies for not getting these blog posts up about the D.R. trip quicker. (The last post was HERE.) My life lately... between preaching, school and everything else... has been sucking me dry of all of my extra energy lately.

But I am committed to getting a post up for each day. So, here is Tuesday, March 31.

Tuesday was a day all about work. We thought that we worked hard on Monday, but we didn't know anything yet.

Luis, pictured here, introduced me a few others to his good friend, the sledgehammer. We spent a lot of the day knocking down the walls of the old cistern and...

And then digging out the dirt and rocks. It was a long and hot day. Fran is shoveling here with me. He was an incredibly powerful worker and I was a wimp. He could work for hours... me, only minutes.

But our day's labor's earned us a trip to get ice cream at Bon. And it was good. Here, Brittany and Kathryn are enjoying their's. It was fun getting ice cream, but somewhat difficult because none of the employees spoke any English...

Ah the difficulties of serving in a country where you don't speak the language.


Sermon from the weekend...

Hey all...

Those of you who keep up with my life, especially through Twitter, know that I preached over the weekend last minute in adult worship. If you want to listen, and I will warn you that the audio is not good at this point (Monday, May 5, 2009) and we are hoping to get it fixed in the future, that would be great. For some reason the audio on the recording was "way" up so it sounds like I'm yelling... but I wasn't.

I felt good about the content and delivery (although the delivery may not come through until we've had some time to 'fix' it up a bit). So I enjoyed it.

So... without further adieu, you can listen to the sermon on Romans 12:2 (check out Romans 12:2 HERE) HERE.


Apple to buy Twitter???

I saw THIS come across my blog-reader today from several sources.

Here's a snipet:
"TechCrunch's Michael Arrington is reporting that rumors beginning to float around the blogosphere are stating that Apple is interested in purchasing Twitter for US$700 million in cash. Twitter, in case you've been off of the planet for the last two years, is the magical "social networking" tool that has you answer the question "What am I doing right now?" in 140 characters or less."

In thinking about, it's got me wondering what Apple has up it's sleeve... They don't typically buy things just for fun and to offer $700 million in cash means, to me, that they want it pretty bad.

Personally, I really enjoy Twitter. (You can find me HERE.) My wife, not so much.
I enjoy that it lets me keep up with friends from around the country over the course of the day and week... friends that I wouldn't be able to keep up with otherwise.

But part of me wonders what Apple is planning to do with it if they get it (if they even want it)? And all of me hopes that they haven't figured out some way to charge for it or add advertisements or something crazy like that.

It will be interesting to see what transpires between Apple and Twitter. They've got my attention for sure.