5 comments Saturday, January 31, 2009

Things had generally been quiet since that fateful night Super Youth Pastor first got his powers. It seemed as if that night had lasted weeks and yet the past months have flown by as if only a single week. SYP was always amazed at how time worked like that. The Recluse had been coming to Youth since that night and didn't seem that out of sorts, but SYP knew something big was coming so he busied himself learning how his new powers worked.

He stayed up late every night honing his sarcasm, staring into the darkest corners, and listening to the whispers of the very shadows. SYP knew he had other powers but didn't seem to have control of them. He knew he was stronger than he use to be but couldn't seem to summon the strength at will. There seemed to be a lot of things that he couldn't seem to control. He would think about it from time to time and just as he began to consider that a lack of concentration might be the root of the problem he would lose focus because of one distraction or another. Each night it was the same thing staying up until dreadfully late trying to increase his abilities and living his quasi normal day starting just before noon the following morning, or is it just later that same morning.

Super wife would eventually come and convince him to go to bed and he would get some much needed rest before starting all over again. He knew something was coming and he wished it would just get here before the monotony killed him. Boredom seemed to literally suck the life right out of him. All of this was going through his mind as he fell asleep just as the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon.


He turned to see what was going on and saw the flashing cell phone chirping cheerily to let him know there was a message waiting. SYP looked and saw the Sickly Student had sent him a text message. It was 9am on a school day so he didn't need to read the message. As he rubbed the sleep from his still groggy eyes he knew that it would say she was ill and didn't make it to school. The only real question was if she was in the hospital or on her way.

He shook his head trying to clear the stupor from lack of sleep. As he read the message he was relieved to see that the Sickly Student wasn't in the ER yet but might have to go soon. He offered a quick prayer and wondered why one of his powers couldn't help the poor girl. He sent a text back letting SS know he had prayed and would continue to pray. SYP then took a long shower to try and wake up. He wanted sleep, but he knew it wouldn't come now. He had just too much to do for his mind to settle. The Naïve Intern has somehow convinced SYP that the Youth needed a lock-in. At first it seemed like a good idea and Super Pastor gave it a distracted green light. Then the trouble started. Just after all the Youth confirmed their attendance SYP's leaders started having conflicts. Super Wife couldn't get a babysitter and so she had to take care of the kids. SYP's assistant had a family emergency that took her out of town for the remainder of the month. All of the parents that normally helped seemed to end up with one crisis or another getting in the way. In the end only the Naïve Intern, and Griz, an old volunteer that seemed to think the Spanish Inquisition held back too much, would be joining SYP that night. Super Wife promised she would drop in if she could find someone to watch the kids for a while.

The water began to get cold so SYP finished rinsing off and grabbed a towel. As he worked on his super cool hair he heard the phone chirp again. Without looking he finished his hair and grabbed the clergy ID for a trip to the ER. Fortunately he wasn't a worship leader so the hair didn't take all that long. As he headed out the door he confirmed the Sickly Student was at the ER. He took the SYPCycle and didn't worry about helmet head. He knew the mussed hair from the helmet was cooler than anything he would be able to replicate with a brush.

SYP got to the hospital and was waved through the door. He didn't have to ask where SS was, he walked back to her suite. Well he thought of it as her suite since she was there so often. It sickened him to see her ill. She was always happy though, even with the various IV's, sensors, and other equipment attached to her. She was one of the good ones that was sure. He could rely on her to do almost anything. He had recently made her a student leader and trusted her to run a small group.

They talked for a while and the entire time SYP was trying to think if any of his power might help. In the end he knew he couldn't do anything and so they prayed together and SYP went to get the rest of the lock-in plans. He hoped the Sickly Student would be well by then. If she could make it that would be one more person he could get to help. She might not be an adult or even one of the older Youth, but despite her illness she commanded a great deal of respect from everyone around her.

Days later the night of the Lock-in had come. SW had found someone to watch the kids early that morning so she could come help with clean up, but none of the other leaders or parent came through. SYP felt a sense of dread as the Naïve Intern bounced excitedly around the common room getting games and pranks setup. NI had the best games and without Super Wife around SYP knew he would be able to enjoy the mayhem, but Griz would be the only responsible adult there and that bothered SYP somewhere in the back of his mind. SYP cheered up some when he saw the Sickly Student show up. She would also be responsible, but lax enough that SYP could still go wild himself.

He heard squealing tires and saw Angry Dad pulling away as the Recluse slinked away should hunched more than usual from the weight of his backpack. SYP had stopped worrying about fall out so he smiled and greeted the Recluse warmly. Of course he got very little reaction but that was normal.

Will the Sickly Youth ever get well? Is Griz going to string up Youth? Why is SYP worried? Join us next week as SYP v. the lust crazed zombie teens begins. Same SYP time same SYP blog.

Comments Friday, January 30, 2009

This month begins a multi part story arc in which Super Youth Pastor and his polar compatriots combat lust crazed zombie teens at an all night youth party, AKA the Lock-in. What are you favorite lock-in events and games? What pranks have you done? Your help will shape exactly how SYP survives the horrors of LCZTs.


I am trying to be a nice person. Over at SCL there is a nice fun blog post about the end of time. There have been some funny comments and some serious comments. I don't agree with 100% of the comments and I did respond to someone who posted something I didn't totally agree with, but I feel I was generally nice about my comment focusing on some places where I felt there was agreement and bringing out how there might be more to the story.

OK, now someone has posted something that is just plain beyond hair brained. I want so bad to tear this insanity apart there in the blog but it is not my blog and not my post and I quite frankly do not trust myself to be kind in my comment.

Instead of saying how stupid a person must be to believe that the tribulation began in 1988 and how the dates are unbelievably arbitrary with way too many potential variations to nail down a single year much less a single day based on inaccurate calculations of misunderstood scriptures I will say that I am going to just walk away and hope someone will take up this challenge in my stead.

Just so you understand, this is me not flaming someone. You really don't want to see my light the fire of stupidity upon the head of an unsuspecting idiot. Well, you might want to se it and I will certainly enjoy it but then I'd feel bad.


I love technology. I've stated that many times. Today I want to explore what I would do without all my tech in honor of the people that are existing without power due to the ice storms.

A couple of years ago there was a massive series of ice storms in Springfield, MO that left the town devastated. My house lost power the first night and was one of the last to get power back. We were in the city and so did get power back sooner than more rural areas often do but we were unprepared. In total we lost power for 9 days and we did not have any means of heating the house without power because our gas furnace required electricity to run. It got below freezing a couple of those days so things were pretty miserable. I was eventually able to get a generator and we got heat in the house as well as lights and TV. I didn't try hooking up my computer because I don't trust a generator not to cook my computer.

As bad as things were we still had a ton of modern conveniences though. My cell phone worked and so did our cars. We were able to travel to warm places and take my daughter to the ER when she came down with bronchiolitis. She was admitted to the hospital and eventually got pneumonia but all of that was dealt with pretty quickly by the doctors and hospital staff so she is perfectly healthy now. I was even able to take my laptop to work and get on the internet so life went on with few hiccups.

I wonder, though, how things would go if I were suddenly transported to the 1800s. I watched a show on PBS a few years back called The 1800s House or something nearly the same. They took 3 families and set them up in a setting based on the 1800s and let them try to survive without modern conveniences. In the end they had experts see if their preparations would have gotten them through the winter. None of the families would have likely survived.

I think one of the big things that the families missed was community. If people were going to survive they likely couldn't do it on their own. People tended to have larger families and stayed closer to their families. One of the USA's greatest holidays is Thanksgiving. This is a celebration of community in which a group of people would have died in the winter except a larger community came along side them.

I don't know if I would survive if I ended up without my modern conveniences. I don't know if I could find, hunt, and grow all my food instead of going to the store and buying it. I'd like to think that I could but I know I would have to completely change my thinking.

I've been reading some interesting studies on the population explosion. It is interesting to note that most third world countries have large families and strong communities. It is also interesting that modern countries are trying to go into these places and teach them that they should use contraceptives or get abortions to keep families smaller and more sustainable. I think we are generally getting the cart before the horse when we try and force our culture onto a people that don't have the kind of technology to allow our cultural norms to exist.

I guess this didn't go the way you probably thought it was going to go. That is the nature of the twist. I have tried to think what things would be like if I were to step into the 19th century and then apply what I think would help me to survive against other early industrial societies, what we call third world countries. If we put ourselves in another's shoes we are more apt to understand them, but for some reason we like to try and make them wear our shoes instead. Funny that.

Comments Thursday, January 29, 2009

So I"m back at work today but can't seem to focus. Kinda sucks, but I've been able to get some of the things in my giant piletodo done so I don't feel too terrible. One of the things was to figure out what I wasn't able to load new sermons. Turns out I'm a little neeeerrrrr. Hope that didn't offend anyone but I"m tired so ...

Anyways, I have a new sermon up over at Sermon Blast.

Check it.


I figure some people might want some idea what I look like. I'm trying to stay anonymous but I have made a few attempts at making a likeness of me that is highly stylized so it isn't perfectly clear who I am. The first attempt looked too much like me so I tried making a mask like the Phantom of the opera. It looked cool since I knew what it was suppose to be but I thought some people might not understand what I was trying to do and I didn't feel like explaining it all the time. The next attempt turned out rather nice and I played with it some more by adding in lips, a nose, and a more complete jawline.

I think the image gives a pretty good idea what I look like without revealing enough information for anyone to ID me outright. I debated the colors to use and decided the brown on brown was a very popular color scheme. I almost went with the red and blue superman colors since I am going that route. Speaking of Superman, if he can clean up his hair and put glasses on to fool the world's best investigative reporter Louis Lane then my image should hide my identity rather well.

So what do you think?

OK, I've made a new image. I don't know if I like it. It is less dark for now but I don't know if it is any better. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

This is my first draft of super youth pastor. You can't see the logo too well so I'll post it below.

Don't forget to let me know which image is best. Maybe I should just use the SYP logo.


So the weather is still less than wondrous so we cancelled church tonight. This means no follow-up so I thought I would explore some of my plans that I discussed yesterday a bit further. I'm sure everyone is aware that the church isn't perfect. It has never been perfect mostly because it is populated by people who are imperfect. The church is in fact the sum of its parts. Funny how that works.

I'm not interested in tearing the church apart. Plenty of people do that so I don't have to waste my time. I am interested in how we can make the church better. One of the biggest flaws that I see in the church is really more of a problem with perception. People often see the church as a place obsessed with taking. I can see where this becomes an issue because almost everything costs money and so we have to get the money if we want to spend the money. We also need volunteers to do the work. This means that we really do ask for plenty of handouts. There have been some churches, or rather individuals that have taken advantage of this but most churches and individuals don't.

This creates a very difficult situation because we can't altogether stop asking for money and volunteers. If we did that we'd have to shut the doors to the church. This means that we must find another way to alter this problem of perception. The only other way to treat this issue without resorting to shutting the doors of the church is to find ways to serve the community without asking for anything in return. This is an issue I have been thinking about for quite some time. One of the solutions I am planning is a community awareness class for new parents. This does several things.

First this allows us to reach out to people who are in an ideal place to receive the Gospel. It is well known that the best time to reach a person for Christ is before they turn 18. After that people are must less likely to respond to the message, but there are major life events that make people more receptive. Having a child is huge. It is also very overwhelming and new parents need a sense of community if they want to succeed as parents. Personally I couldn't imagine trying to raise my kids without the support of my family and church.

This brings us to the second accomplishment. It creates a stronger community. New parents get to meet other new parents. They will find friends going through what they are going through. Hopefully they will also get plugged in with more experienced parents that know what it is like to get so frustrated with your baby who won't let you sleep that you just don't know what to do. We need people who have been through this so we know we aren't monsters when we feel like screaming at the baby. We need to know that other people worry about the same things we worry about and we need to know how to find help when we are at our wit's end.

The third is simple education. When my first 3 kids were born in another state they had a mandatory CPR and First Aid class before parents left the hospital. I had to go through the class 3 times. It only took about half an hour but I think it was time well spent for new parents. Here they don't have that. There are so many parents out there that don't know how to help a choking infant or how to do infant CPR. This is pretty important. I am working with the local hospital to get this added to our program for free. That is pretty awesome. There are some other ways that we need to educate young parents. We need to teach them how to install car seats right and even when to go visit the doctor. These are all very real and very simple needs. They are also things we can do for free if we work with other agencies trying to do the same thing.

Finally it helps us to develop community relationships. This isn't the same as my third point. Specifically I'm looking at relationships between the church and other community organizations. When we work together it helps the church to give back to the community without needing to ask for money and volunteers or at least as many. I am trying to work with some other groups that are interested in the same goals. The local hospital has a grant to provide community education for CPR and First Aid. The local police force auxiliary helps with child safety checks and education. I am trying to get a doctor or nurse from a pediatric office to agree to talk about other health concerns. All of these relationships strength the community in general and I hope they will strengthen the perception of the church.

This is one of my ideas for reaching people in the 20-40 age group as well as helping to change the perception of the church in our community. Anyone else have ideas or suggestions about things I should consider doing with this event?

8 comments Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So I don't have any follow up to my YA class because we are snowed in. Well we aren't really snowed in. Once we get out of the neighborhood the roads are pretty good but it has been snowing all day and we have about 4 inches on the van and ice on the way. This frees me to brainstorm a bit about some places I'd like to go with my YA class. I have talked to my Pastor about changing our Sunday Evening service into something geared towards a younger group. Right now our church looks like a box of cotton. I am quite serious when I say that 70% of the people in church are over 50. This isn't a terrible thing except that a church mostly made up of baby boomers and older is a church that will be gone in a generation.

I want to remake our evening service into something geared towards people between say 20 and 40 and have taken the first steps to reaching that end. I'm not sure when everything will be in place. I'm even considering a different venue for the service but I do want to find some way of integrating this service with the church as a whole. I'm not sure how we will pull this off but I trust that as we move forward it will work out so long as we seek God every step of the way including these early steps of talking about the very idea.

One of the things I am considering is using the YA class as a follow-up to the Sunday Evening service. I have already thought of a name, "Dig In." It is a play on a phrase I use relatively often, "dig a little deeper." I think it would be great to go into some of the details of the sermon that don't make it into what I say, or to open up discussion to what was actually said. I wonder if anyone has done anything like this and how they handle it?

2 comments Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Well January is drawing to a close and so is my month of Football. I love the sport so I reserve the right to mention it in the future. Next month I will be talking about love, lust, and sex. This is pretty obvious but it must be discussed. I wrote a column for our local paper on the subject and that is kind of exciting. To finish out the subject of football, however, I must discuss the Super Bowl.

I have watched every Super Bowl since I was about 12. I am not a huge fan of NFL football though so I rarely have a vested interest in the outcome of the game. Often I chose the team I'll be rooting for based on who my friends are pulling for. This does not mean that I cheer on their team but rather go for their opponent. There is something to be said about trash talking. It adds to the game when you get to jump up in your friend's face and yell, "in your face." I can enjoy any game but if I get to stick it to a friend I find it more enjoyable. In fact, I can deal with my team losing if there is enough smack to make me crack a smile.

The real point, though, is the Super Bowl Ads. I can't think of anything that describes America better than the Super Bowl Ads. Companies spend millions on a few seconds to try and get us to spend millions on their products. What else could summarize what is driving America better than that? We, as a culture, expect people to spend obscene amounts of resources for the return and we are driven to have our decisions made in seconds. I am careful to use the word resources because this is more than just money. Time and energy pay off quite a bit as well. I don't have millions to spend on a Super Bowl ad but I do have the time and energy to pour into my Youth. I think that is the key to everything though. We have to work towards things like a company works towards the Super Bowl Ads.

They know those few seconds will make or break their company. The energy they put into getting the perfect commercial has to pay off. Some of those spots are aired to this day because they were so great. We need to remember that we are given a few seconds of the lives around us and that we must be prepared to make the most of them. I'm not talking about church marketing, which does need more consideration. I'm talking about witnessing. We can't just name drop Jesus or throw down the Roman's Road out of the blue. We have to be prepared. I love how Paul appeals to the people gathered at the Acropolis. He walked around and saw all the great altars then lays out the plan of salvation in a way they would relate to.

The way we do this is to know our Bible, know our audience, and most importantly know our God. If we know our Bible we won't just throw out the Roman's Road or john 3:16 for every opportunity we have. Sure those are great but there are lots of other passages we need to be ready with. We also need to know out audience. The people we talk to will react to different things. Some won't care how many scriptures you can quote. I'd wager most won't care to be honest. Paul didn't quote tons of scriptures when he spoke to Gentiles because they weren't familiar with the scriptures. Some people will want you to know all the answers and some will be happy that you can say "I don't know" to the hard questions because it means you are honest. The only way you have any chance to be those things when the time is right is to invest in relationships before the time is right. Finally we have to know God. If we really only have a few seconds with most people then we have to have every advantage there is to be had. If we don't know God by talking to Him daily then we will miss when He is ready to set us up with exactly the perfect opportunity, timing, and even words to change a person's eternal destiny.

Comments Monday, January 26, 2009

So I was out of town and had planned ahead to get my blogs posted but blanked on getting one up for Monday. The good news is it is still Monday so I should be able to keep my plans to post every day except Sunday. I was out of town for my grandma's funeral and had a couple of interesting thoughts. My family lives up on a mountain in northern Alabama/Georgia. The mountain more or less straddles the state line.

Anyways, while visiting my family I came to a couple of conclusions. First, and most obviously, my family ain't right in the head. Sure every family has one but I think about 30 families are missing theirs. I should make myself clear that I include myself in this list albeit much less severely than the rest. There is something about the mountain that brings out the worst in them. I have some cousins that are actually quite normal. One in particular I hadn't seen in about 10 years. Her mom got all the crazy so her and her sister are pretty well normal. She pulled up in a nice newer Lexus and I pretty well didn't recognize her even when she gave me a hug and said "Good to see you Nicky the geek." She lives quite a ways away from the mountain but it didn't take long being up there on the mountain before a professional woman was posing for pictures with her mouth gapping open full of half chewed food. Her sister also lives quite a ways from the mountain and has a law degree and two different bars but not so much a job. The stories … oh the stories. These are the normal ones as far as my family goes. Like I said their mom got all the crazy so they are pretty well sane but coming up on the mountain makes them crazy. This is one of those things I think most people would have noticed in my family but I never really saw just how crazy they were until this weekend because we've never all been together at once. It is usually just a couple of my mom's siblings and their kids at a time. My mom has 12 brothers and sisters (13 counting her) and all the cousins makes for quite the impressive turn out. In the future I'll share some of the stories from my family. They are quite impressive.

My other realization is that all of my family has grown up. Pretty much all the cousins have kids of their own. Many of them have had kids for quite some time since on the mountain there are very few things a person can do for entertainment. This means they get into sex, drinking, and drugs at an early age and so become parents and grandparents at an early age. The kids thing isn't what makes me believe they have grown up. No it was the way they kept getting onto their kids for things we all did there are grandma's house when we were kids. I had just pulled up when my cousin "C" walks out yelling at her 7 year old boy for going up to the creek without telling her. I about fell over laughing when the chastised boy walked back into the house. I ask, "how many times did we wonder down to the creek growing up?" She said we never did that so young. Now I know I was no older than 9 when I remember going up to the creek with her and two of my other cousins and started dropping big rocks off the bridge onto a huge snake sunning down by the creek. I am 2 years older than "C" and so she couldn't have been older than 7 when we all wondered down to the creek that day by ourselves without telling anyone.

At some point they all grew up but I somehow avoided the worst of it. Sure I made a point to know where my kids were at all time and didn't let them near the crazy dogs and stuff but I also encouraged them to climb the trees and took them down to the creek and generally all the things my cousins were freaking out about their kids doing. Let's face it, we all did these things growing up and we survived. Sure being up on the mountain makes us even crazier but we survived. I figure I've grown up enough and my wife will keep my in check on the rest.

2 comments Saturday, January 24, 2009

Last we saw Super Youth Pastor he had turned his back on Angry Dad in fear of what he had nearly done with his new powers. As he walked away Super Youth Pastor was struck from behind.

Super Youth Pastor whirled to strike his attacker and found the Recluse standing over him. The Recluse seemed much larger and Super Youth Pastor could not tell if he had grown with his anger or if standing confidently for once showed his true size. The one thing Super Youth Pastor knew was that he could not strike down the Recluse. He understood what had happened. He made a mistake in attacking Angry Dad like that. No matter how much he deserved it the Recluse only saw his dad being hurt.

The Recluse struck again. *POW!* A powerful blow knocked Super Youth Pastor back into the street. Super Youth Pastor wished he had brought Super Wife along. She would have stopped him from making such a stupid mistake in the first place. She would know how to diffuse the anger that was controlling the Recluse. His body told him that he could wrestle the Recluse to the ground, but he knew that would only make things worse.

Another blow. *BAM!* This time he was crushed to the ground. Now his body was telling him he needed to make a decision, much more of this and he would be overwhelmed.

This time he saw it coming. He still didn't have the heart to strike back but he easily dodged the strike. As Super Youth Pastor's mind raced he saw everything going on around him. He saw the tears running down the Recluse's face. He saw a moth fluttering near the streetlight and he saw Angry Dad beginning to stand to his feet.

Things were getting out of hand. How was Super Youth Pastor going to take on both of them when he could bring himself to strike down either of them. All the while the Recluse was raining punches and kicks down on him which he easily dodged, blocked, and parried harmlessly to the side. That is when Angry Dad started laughing.

"Is that the best you can do boy? I've seen snails move faster than you."

The Recluse began to shrink back into himself.

"Come on boy, if you're gonna hit him then hit like a man not those weak little boy punches."

The Recluse stopped all together then.

"Bah, just go inside you worthless brat."

As he turned to walk back in Super Youth Pastor said to him so very quietly, "I'm sorry. I really screwed up tonight."

The Recluse didn't acknowledge him and Angry Dad only glared, too cowed to say anything himself.

Super Youth Pastor got back into his car to go home and talk to Super Wife about what happened.

What new evils await Super Youth Pastor? Will he ever come to grips with his powers? What vile plans will the Recluse concoct now?

Join us next week. Same Super Youth Pastor time, same Super Youth Pastor blog.

4 comments Friday, January 23, 2009

There is not twist. See how that works? When I first took over in Youth I started doing strange things with their chairs. Originally there was a point to it. I took all the chairs out the first time I preached and talked to them about being a servant and how someone has to serve by getting everything setup and ready for them even thought they don't see that. That went on for a couple of months where I found ways to move the chairs around each week and somehow tie it into the sermon, then one day they walked in and the chairs were just setup like normal. They looked around trying to figure out what I had changed and even asked me several times.

I made the big announcement that the difference was that I had left things alone. It was something I was gearing towards because sometimes that kind of things happens. So much stuff in our life gets switched around all the time and then one day we wake up and feel like something if wrong or different and we are going through our day looking for what has changed waiting for the other shoe to drop and generally missing the fact that we are having a good day with a back to normal life. We can obsess over those things and totally miss out on life. Sometimes the big thing in our life is that things have been going pretty much normal.

I think that is a cool illustration of how we can drive ourselves crazy worrying about things and not even know what we are worrying about.

Comments Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm going to be out of town this weekend if all goes well. I writing Saturday and Monday's posts right now and scheduling them to post on time. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get online to respond to comments much if at all. I did get my laptop back this week, so praise God, but I'll be in the hill country of Georgia/Alabama and hot spots aren't super common out where I'll be. In fact where we are staying doesn't even get cell service unless you walk to the end of the property and get a lucky bar.

Please pray for my mother since we are going for a remembrance for her mom. Also pray for us for a safe trip. My youngest daughter woke-up this morning with very short shallow breathing and crying that "it hurts" so she is at the ER right now so pray for her. Depending on what happens that might really mess with our plans this weekend.

Just to keep you updated on my daughter. We got back from the ER with her a little bit ago. They said the x-rays looked good and she doesn't have pneumonia. She does have an ear infection and bronchiolitis. They gave her more breathing treatments and a steroid shot and that got her breathing into some semblance of normal. Now she is on steroids, antibiotics, and breathing treatments. The Dr. said we can travel so we are still planning on leaving tomorrow.


So tonight in Youth we had no adult supervision. Well, that isn't entirely true but my wife was home with the kids and my second in command was working late so that left me and my younger adult volunteers who are 20-22. It is sad to think that the 20 year old was the most mature person in the room. I almost did something really stupid. Some of the kids had some energy drinks and I thought, "without my wife here to stop me I can run over to 7-11 and pickup a monster just to see what happens. She won't be able to stop the potential carnage." then I made the mistake of saying that.

The problem is this, I don't drink coffee very often and I've never had the modern energy drinks. I don't drink sugary stuff anymore either. I have more energy that the rest of the youth and have been recently informed that I'm must more ... I'll use the words spontaneous and energetic than previous YPs. I am generally willing to do all kinds of crazy things and my wife has her hands full keeping me in line. All of this without the energy drinks.

I figure there are really only two possible outcomes. Have you seen Hoodwinked? You know when they give the squirrel coffee? Yeah that is potential reaction number one. I've seen how the teens get on the energy drinks and they start of much more mellow than I am and have built up an immunity. I'm sure I would handle it just fine if I got on them back in HS. I moved from DP to Mnt Dew to Jolt back then but then I backed off in college. Now I don't need the other stuff to keep me energized so the added stimulus would be like throwing gasoline on the fire.

The other option is the sudden shock to the system might just kick my 30 year young heart into super overdrive. In some ways I think having someone a bit more mature around to deal with that kind of possibility would be a good thing. Oh well maybe next time.

10 comments Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So Monday I was wrestling with the idea of swearing. I like those gray areas in life and many of my discussions in my young adult class deal with them. Is it right for a Christian to get a tattoo? Things of that nature. As I wrestled with it I began to try and build up different sides to the argument, since I like to play devil's advocate in my class to generate more discussion. This morning I read Jon's blog, Stuff Christians Like and it dealt with the same subject. Then tonight in class we ended up talking about this. It wasn't part of our topic. We finished the book of Revelation and it came up. Some others discussed it and I was like, "wow I've been all over this the past couple days." So I am listening and moving forward with this one even though it looks like I'm just copying Jon.

It occurred to me that a cuss word does not have any inherent power. We assign it the value we feel it deserves. This is why many use the words like punctuation and place holders in their speech. Often words change meanings to that what was acceptable becomes improper. I have a few King James Versions of the Bible. In those Bibles they refer to a donkey with the word ass. This was a perfectly acceptable word and was not profane at all. I can validate this with the fact that it was in the Bible and by definition it cannot be profane in if it is in the Bible. If you didn't get that you need a dictionary. It was not too long ago that the word bitch was the proper term for a female dog and was only used in that context. It is still the proper term for a female dog, much as doe is the proper term for a female deer, but I imagine quite a few Christians had a couple heart flutters when they saw I had written the word even though I was using proper terminology and context.

If these words have no power then why is there a problem with saying or writing them?

Well that is because you took what I said out of context. I didn't say the words had no power, I said the words have only the power we give to them. The discussion over on Jon's blog chastised me because I had begun to believe my own argument until I read a couple of the comments there. The biggest problem with swearing is what it does to the people around us. We are a light on a hill but when we cover ourselves in the things of the world we cannot be seen. We are the salt of the Earth, but when we mix ourselves with impurities we lose our saltiness and must be tossed out into the streets. When we are not distinctly different from the world, then we offer nothing to the world. We should be striving to rise to a higher standard, even if that standard is something not absolutely required by God.

If I were to let lose a string of expletives around a group of carpenters that swear every other word because I hit my thumb with a hammer they would take note. It is nothing for the rest of them to do it, but if they know I am a Christian and I don't normally talk like that they notice those things, and I will have begun to hurt my witness with them. If I join in with the crude jokes s I can fit in then I hurt it yet again. If I go get a tattoo so they will think I'm cool and start smoking or whatever ... you get the picture.

I think we tend to ask the wrong question. We ask "is it OK to cuss?" This is just another way of saying "how close can I get to the world without being part of the world?" I think the real question we need to ask is, "How close can I get to God before I leave this world?"

Comments Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some of the most memorable moments in football are a result of celebrating too soon. In fact I think the single most amazing play, so unbelievable that it is simply called The Play by those in the know, is the final minutes of the 1982 California/Stanford Game. This is an amazing John Elway, yes that John Elway, does a perfect job of moving the football down field in the final minute of the game setting up a field goal which leaves Stanford ahead by a single point and 8 seconds on the clock. The premature celebration cost them 15 yards on the kick off, but it was near impossible for the bears to get the kind of yards they needed, get the ball out of bounds to stop the clock, and make a game winning field goal in 8 seconds. It was so improbable that the band entered the field after the first tackle not noticing the ball had been lateraled keeping it alive. The Play is so amazing that I am embedding it here for you to fully appreciate what happened.

This game will certainly go down in history alongside so many other events that occured due to premature celebration.

How many times do we shoot ourselves in the foot because we star celebrating too early? Like I said last week we must endure till the end. If we think we have arrived and start celebrating we are only setting ourselves up for a fall. Consider the hotly contested finish in the 100m fly this summer where Michael Phelps edged out Milorad Cavic by .01 seconds. This amazing finish is because Cavic chose to glide the last couple of feet stretching for the wall while Phelps took one last stroke and powered for the wall. He collided with the wall his hands moving forward and down from the last stroke that stole the gold.

Consider what Paul says to us here:

1 Corinthians 9:24, Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

8 comments Monday, January 19, 2009

Ever go to a popular blog or other similar digital entity where there is a race to have the first comment? The blog owner posts the blog and people will not even read the post they just leave the comment "first." If it is popular enough you will have two or three people that think they got the first comment who are actually 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively. It is annoying and juvenile and generally doesn't really tell us anything. I'm not sure when this phenomena started because it predates the Internet by many years. It is quite prolific in churches even.

go ahead, open your phone book and tell me how many churches are listed as "1st Holy Church of the First people to say we are First." OK it might say 1st AG or 1st Baptist or whatever but there it is. I honestly don't know why we insist on such things. What does the name "First ..." tell us about your church? If there is only one Methodist church do they still call themselves "First Methodist" so there won't be any confusion when another Methodist church comes to town or do they wait till the other church gets settled in before slapping "First" in front of their denomination so there will be no doubt who was there first?

If you have been following along I'm all for competition but I also know that there is no sense in claiming "first" while before the game is over, so I doubt this is a claim to victory. This means that the only useful information I get from the name of "First Lutheran" is that they are Lutheran. I prefer to know something from the name of a church. At least tell me what part of town your church is found in. In Springfield, MO they have Central Assembly which is in the middle of town and James River Assembly which is down by James River. They also have 30 some other Assemblies but fortunately no "First" so good for them. I'm not saying to get some trendy name, just stop using that tired old braggadocios (hows that for a $10 word) title that tells us nothing about your church.

What is your church named? Does it convey the right thing? What should your church be named?

The church I'm at is a "First ..." It doesn't convey anything good. If we want to tell people what we are about I'd have to say "Church of the Old and Tired." Of course I'd like to see that change so maybe we should put a spin on it "Church of Imminent Victory" where it is understood that upon death we receive final victory ... we just keep that to ourselves and it sounds much better.

PS. Please don't read too much into what I've said. I do mean it but this is also Looney Lundi so I'm being sarcastic not serious.

3 comments Saturday, January 17, 2009

Shortly after being brought from the brink of death do to a terrible accident in a super awesome game the new Super Youth Pastor rushes back into the game he had barely survived. With his new super powers he wins the game with such style that the entire youth group is impressed. Everyone but Cool Kid and the recluse that is. They sat back in their respective corners plotting.

Super Youth Pastor, able to here all plots against him even if they are not spoken, knew that his only choice would be to reach out to these two before they teamed up against him. Cool kid would be much to hard to reach right now, because Super Youth Pastor was threatening his power of cool with the way he had shown everyone up in the game. This meant Super Youth Pastor had to find a way to reach the Recluse. Super Youth Pastor had tried for years to reach him, but that was when he was just youth pastor, so maybe he had a chance.

As everyone was leaving Super Youth Pastor tried breaking the ice but recluse would have none of it. As the Recluse turned to leave that is when Super Youth Pastor saw the mark on the Recluse's neck. Normally the long stringy hair of the Recluse covered this spot but Super Youth Pastor's new super sight illuminated the just healing bruises. He knew the Recluse would be walking home and made a play at offering a ride. Somehow the Recluse accepted and Super Youth Pastor pulled the car around. It was a long quite ride but Super Youth Pastor was feeling pretty good until they pulled up. The car had barely stopped moving when the yelling started.

Angry Dad came storming out yelling obscenities. He took one look at Super Youth Pastor and simply said, "What are you looking at !@#$%^!?!" Maybe it was the excitement of having new superpowers or maybe it was the fear that Angry Dad beat the Recluse, but Super Youth Pastor wasn't about to just walk away.

This was the first time that his super sarcasm kicked in. Each sarcastic remark struck like a blow.

"I'm looking at a real big man ..." and Angry Dad fell backwards.

"What learn to walk recently?" and he was on his knees.

"Yep you really should spend more time in prayer," and a small cut form on his cheek.

The sight of actually drawing blood with his cutting sarcasm snapped Super Youth Pastor to his senses. What kind of damage could he do? How would he help if he became like those he stood against. There had to be a better way. Super Youth Pastor turned to walk away.

That's when the first blow came.

Will Super Youth Pastor ever learn to control his sarcasm? Who hit him? Will he survive to learn the better way? Join us next week same Super Youth Pastor time same Super Youth Pastor blog.

Please help with the ongoing saga of Super Youth Pastor. If you are in ministry share your frustrations so Super Youth Pastor can take them on as villains. Was someone in your ministry a real hero recently. Let Super Youth Pastor team up with them. Just want to see Super Youth Pastor in some absurd situation? Let me know.

8 comments Friday, January 16, 2009

Once in a great while I wonder what it would be like to still be in high school. Generally I think I'm very happy to be out of the drama that was MHS. Still, I remember how much fun I had.

Some people are terrified at the thought, but I work with teens so much that I try to get in their head the only way I know how; to travel back to who I use to be. Fortunately I have my handy Delorean to assist my mind the trip to the past and back to the future.

One thing I remember when I was in high school was wondering what it would be like to be in the future. I love sci-fi and so I always hoped that the future we saw in the movies would be the future I got to live in.

Generally speaking the movies weren't too far off. Between cell phones, video phones, bluetooth headsets, laptops, and various other such things I feel like I am in the future in many ways. I'm waiting on cars that drive themselves and fly though. I know the technology is in place but the practical reality is not yet here. That is very frustrating to me and quite disappointing to the high school me.

Sure I can put an entire library on a Kindle and rooms worth of songs on an iPod but I keep coming back to the same question, "Why don't I have a jet pack?"

So what things that we take for granted feel like the future to you? What things do you wish were here now?

5 comments Thursday, January 15, 2009

I am wrapping up a discussion on the end with my Young Adults but I am just starting a two part series on the end with my Youth. Many of my Youth have confided in me that they are disturbed about current events and claims that the world will end in 2012 based on the Mayan calendar among other things.

Tonight I went over Matthew 24 because I believe what Jesus said abut the end is much more important that pretty much any other passage. If you haven't looked into it the passage basically says that things will be bad but those things aren't really the end. When the Gospel is spread through the world though, then the end will come.

I also quoted Jesus where he says no man will know the day or hour and talked about various past claims regarding the end of the world. It makes me feel better to know that the past claims to the end of the world have been bust, based entirely on the fact that those events are in the past of course.

Anyways, the Youth are continuing to grow, but with quite a few more girls coming than guys. Maybe I'm just that good looking ... or not, but somehow I got to find a way to get more guys because, well, girls are weird. Not that guys aren't but guys are the kind of weird I can relate to.

I figure I need to plan some more things that guys will enjoy, like Paintball. I know some girls are into that stuff but only a small number compared to the guys so I'm hoping that will draw them in. If you've got some ideas on how to get mroe guys into the Youth group please let me know.

5 comments Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My mother's birthday is today and this morning her mom passed away. I am sure you can imagine the kind of double pain this will cause her so please pray for her.


So tonight we got through a big chunk of the book of Revelation. I have been covering the End Times for 3 months in my Young Adults class and we are almost done. We started with a time line (actually multiple time lines) showing how various parts of the entire Bible need to be understood for any study on the End Times including the major books like Daniel and also all manner of other passages from Genesis to Exodus. Someday I might post the file with some notes explaining it. It is huge, printed on tabloid paper so it takes a bit of explaining.

Anyways, we then went in depth into Daniel and Matthew 24, which are very important to understanding Revelation since much of the imagery and how it is used in Daniel is used in Revelation and the events in Matthew 24 lead right up to the end.

We have gone chapter by chapter through Revelation looking at what it actually says instead of taking a time line and forcing the passages to fit our assumptions. To be honest I changed some of my views a little about the exact order and layout of everything going on.

Well, today we covered what I'm hoping will be the next to the last class on the book. I feel like I've been doing more teaching that discussing these past few months. It really isn't what I started out planning. I ask questions but apparently the ideas are just beyond their grasp before I explain them so I get very little discussion until after my teaching and then it ends up being more my answering questions. I'm looking forward to moving on to something that will generate more discussion with my group offering their own ideas rather than accepting everything I say. I teach enough, I'm ready to push them past my teaching and into interacting with the subjects.

Hopefully next time we go over the subject some of them will be more willing to debate. Of course it isn't likely to happen next week, but then we get to move on.

6 comments Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I am told that it is important to know how to lose with dignity. This is called sportsmanship. I understand the concept, but the problem is that I really hate losing. I can put on a good face but in reality I despise every part of it.

I hate losing when I'm playing a game. I hate when the team I"m rooting for loses.

If you have been following along you know I'm a big OU fan. You should also know that they went to the NCAA National Championship game again this year. Actually it is impressive the number of times they have been to the big game since Stoops took over. A total of 5 trips in 10 years but only one win. That is beyond frustrating. I can't just smile and shake someone's hand. It makes me ill to lose.

In college I took racquetball for a required PE credit. I am competitive and pushed myself despite being severely overweight at the time. The coach insisted on pairing the better players with the worse players for doubles to "even the odds." I hated it. I was yelling at one of the guys I was paired with because, despite being in much better shape than me, he would stroll around the court generally getting in my way and causing us to lose. His response, "chill man it is just a game." Sure it might be a game but I want to win. More than that we are graded on how we play and I want an "A." He was costing me two wins.

The fact is that I desire to win, and I think it is a good thing to be honest. Sure we teach kids that they should be happy to play. they have entire leagues that won't even keep score so no one will have their feelings hurt, but in the real world we are playing a game and it is not something we can afford to lose.

I look at the church in America and most Christians think that there is no score at the end of the game. They forget that we are in a race to the finish, and quite frankly there is no second place. We must push on because the prize is our very soul, and the soul of everyone around us.

I hate to lose and I hate to see people lose. That is my passion. It is the passion that will drive me and the passion that will keep me. It is the reason I get up and preach when I'm sick and tired of telling people the same thing to watch them not listen all over again. I know that if I keep pushing and praying then eventually someone will respond and we can push together. I know that this is how the world is changed, by people who hate to lose and don't believe it is possible to lose with dignity.

I'm sorry if you are offended by this idea, but losing shouldn't have dignity. It should make you ill so you do better the next time. When you accept the idea of loss you will no longer care. Look around you. Tell me that we, as Americans, haven't lowered the bar because we generally believe that losing is dignified. Now read your Bible and tell me that God has ever considered for one moment that a loss is acceptable.

Sin is a loss and He doesn't accept it. He expect us to achieve perfection. That is the standard. Sure we will fail but perfection is so important to Him that He gave His only son, the one who did live a perfect life, so that we could have the opportunity to win. Are we going to toss that sacrifice aside and wonder aimlessly into hell with all our friends, or are we going to fight with our very last breath to win and bring as many with us as we can?

Personally, I hate losing so I plan on winning.

14 comments Monday, January 12, 2009

Actually I don't but this is Sunday morning and generally the best time for pastors to quit. Since I didn't do a big event this weekend I will survive but I can understand the sentiment. You work hard, you preach your heart out, you try to model the life and get next to nothing.

Sure Jesus Christ, you know God's own son, did all that and ended up deserted on a cross, so I guess a bit of frustration isn't really all that bad, but it is frustrating none the less.

Still I think it is important to keep to what God has said and to keep spirits high I thought I would try to come up with the top ten worse things that could happen and then pray they don't.

  • 10-I could still be in high school. Sure I loved high school, and I love working with teens, but the drama is off the charts and I'm glad I'm not still there.
  • 9- I could be in (name of state I don't want to live in). Hey where ever God has called you is great but if God wants me to go to certain places I expect very clear direction. On the other hand if God calls me to Hawaii I just need to not hear a "no."
  • 8- I could be the Senior Pastor. Not only does he get to deal with everything he is blamed for doing he also gets to deal with all the stuff I probably really did do. I don't know how he does it and I'm glad I don't have to.
  • 7- I could be living in the 80s. I admit I love a couple of movies and the cartoons from the 80s but I'm glad they are over. Why are people trying to bring them back? If they bring the mullet back I'm moving to another country where mullets are illegal.
  • 6- I could be married to Kate from John and Kate plus 8. Sure the 8 kids would be fun but I would drive that poor OCD woman so crazy that she would kill everyone in their sleep. That would make me feel bad.
  • 5- I could be the Children's Pastor. Sure it seems fine, yo don't go crazy as quickly but in the end you have to go much more crazy. For Youth you reach the level of crazy where you know you are crazy but aren't sure it is a bad thing with children you reach the level of crazy that you actually stop believing you are crazy. For any Children's church pastor the fact that you just said "I'm not crazy" is proof that I'm right.
  • 4- I could be on "What not to Wear." That has to be incredibly insulting when you think about it. Sure you get $5k for clothes but they basically are telling you everyone secretly thinks you look like crap.
  • 3- I could care more about money. This is why I'm not Senior Pastor material. I would forget to take up offerings. I don't have lots of money and I'm happy. The only time I worry about money is if we have a need we can't meet. Since God is faithful that really doesn't happen to us no matter how little we have. I am a living testimony to why you should tithe.
  • 2- I could take myself more seriously. Hey I know things are bad sometimes but I don't really take it that seriously. I only really worry about one thing and that is people going to Hell. If I can do something to help them see the light then I'm happy all those "Christians" griping at me for being too extreme aren't my problem.
  • 1- The number one worse thing that could happen ..................... (that's a drum roll) I could be a full time missionary. I love full time missionaries. I love missions. I also love snow buy I pray God doesn't send me to some snow bound place. Missions, like snow, is great for a little while and then I can go back to my comfortable life here where my daily struggles rarely involve insects known to carry small children away.
Of course many people are happy that they aren't the Youth Pastor and that is fine. We are all called to different things and we are given the desires f our heart, that is to say the desires we have in our heart have been given to us by God so that we would seek after those things. This is not to say that anything we desire is permissible because there is a big difference between the desire of our heart and other more physical desires.

Hey look I worked a sermon in. If you are in ministry and are considering turning in your resignation today I hope you laughed a little and remembered what God called you to. If you are not in ministry and wonder why your minister is so burned out on Monday morning, well know this, we pour ourselves out and that leaves us feeling a little empty, but God is always faithful to top us back off so we can do it again.

Comments Saturday, January 10, 2009

I learned something new. I am sure most people know this but you can use the blogger post editor to schedule your posts. This means I can write something the night before and have it post the morning of. This is pretty cool since I tend to write my posts in the evening. Now I can make sure all my posts are published at the same time everyday.

This is something I would have never discovered if my computer didn't die and I didn't lose access to the program I normally edit and publish my posts from. Now I need to figure out if I can make my regular program do the same thing.


So my laptop is down and that means recreating some of the posts that I had written until I can finish sorting through all of my documents, renaming them, and sorting them back into their folders after having to recover my corrupted backup. This will be the first post I’m actually trying to retype and so I need to put my mind in a time machine while I try to remember all the funny things I had said. Unfortunately I don’t have access to a Tardis so I will not be traveling by much larger on the inside blue phone booth. Instead I’ll have to try and get my brain up to 88 mph while I imagine a y shaped LED display.

Great Scott I’ve gone too far, hold on while we head back to the future before my own mother falls in love with me. If anyone asks my name is Marty McFly that way we don't mess with the time line.

Well we are back and that was close so I’ll have to just try this the old fashioned way.

Last week I wrote a post about how I want to be a Super Hero. This is certainly true there is no doubt to it. Steph at the Red Clay Diaries was kind enough to suggest that, while it was a very guy post, there should be a Super Youth Pastor, so a great big thanks to her for the idea for today’s silly post. Let us look into the Super Youth Pastor and his powers etc.


  • Able to see in the dark so that he can spot kids making purple (or other colors) on movie night or after chapel at camp.
  • Able to literally cut people down to size with biting sarcasm.
  • Much like a snake is immune to its own venom he is completely immune to sarcasm.
  • Strong enough to wrestle the entire Youth group at once.
  • Super hearing to know all the plots against him.


  • Does not know his limits.
  • Easily baited into monologing (traditionally a Super villain weakness but whatever it’s true).
  • Often found siding with the trouble he is trying to stop.


  • The Cool Kid.
  • Hyper Overprotective Mom
  • Uncaring Dad
  • The Recluse.
  • Super Senior Pastor (occasionally).
  • The Church Mafia Against Change (CMAG).

Often Joins Forces With

  • Super Senior Pastor (often).
  • EvangelGuy
  • SuperWife (Helps keep him on track countering his weaknesses)
  • People For Change (PFC)
  • The Concerned Parents Brigade (CPB)


Super Youth Pastor was a regular guy till he made the mistake of letting the Youth come up with “a great game.” There was a horrible accident that should have killed him, but Super Wife and EvangelGuy had plans for him. They took him to the CPB who had been warring against Hyper Overprotective Mom and Uncaring Dad. They did have enough resources to help with the transformation by themselves and knew only Super Senior Pastor could call on that kind of power. SSP was always stuck in the middle of CMAG and PFC trying to keep the peace and so was unavailable. CPB joined forces with with PFC pushing CMAG back long enough for SSP to come to Youth Pastor’s aid. When SSP called down the power Youth Pastor was transformed into Super Youth Pastor. He was better than before and rushed back to finish the game. The rest is history.

Did I miss anything? What other Villains must Super Youth Pastor fight? Who else does he team up with? Will he ever survive the game? dununununaaa....

I thought it would be fun to run with Super Youth Pastor but I would also like some help. Next Saturday I'm going to continue the story but the comments on this post will help shape the story. Feel free to suggest new ... well, anything for the story. I think this will be a great way to explore some of the craziness in the church. My goal is to end each week on a cliff hanger al a the original Batman TV show. So join us next week, same Youth time same Youth blog.

22 comments Friday, January 9, 2009

So I had a very nice post written just for today to welcome everyone that visited because I was a guest writer for Jon over at Stuff Christians Like, but alas technology has conspired against me and my laptop is all alone in some service center waiting to be poked and prodded by cold unfeeling technicians. OK, admittedly the cold unfeeling part might be nice for a laptop. I tend to get angry and heated. Still, my laptop has the file I want sitting there in a little directory carefully named so that I can find it easily. Being a good geek I took the time to backup all of my files.

Sure I wouldn't have access to the convenient program that lets me edit my blog posts before sending them out, but the file would be there in my nice little folder carefully named so that I can find it. Then disaster and detestation struck. That last part is an inside joke only a few of you will get but the laughs will be worth it. If it is important for you to get the joke you will need to read my blog from Wednesday and the comments. Of course it won't be nearly as funny after the work so sorry.

What was the disaster, well nothing less than two of my larger directories, and all sub-directories, was corrupted. Literally 16 GB of information lost. Fortunately I am a geek and I was able to recover the files but i need to sort through mountains of document files because the recovery process doesn't put them into nice little folders with clear names like they were before the corruption.

This brings me to the freaky Friday switch of the day, as opposed to the switch that would have been funnier but didn't work out. I had asked Jon if he would be interested in pulling a real Freaky Friday and write something for my blog as well. It would have been grand, but he is busy writing other things like his book. Since I want him to finish the book I guess I'll accept that as an excuse.

Now where was I before something distracted me? Oh yes, my switch for the day. It occurs to me that this whole idea of blogging can only exist in the information age, but I thought it would be fun to see how it would work in other ages. Going backward:

  1. The Teenage: For someo of you this might not be the first age we cross. The internet has been around since I was a teenager so it counts. The natural existence of the blogosphere during this time prior to the existence of blogging was summed up in a teenagers journal or diary. Now I never kept anything like that but I did know people who did. The thought that anyone could read and respond to these would have scared a god many teens straight. Teen girls every where joined together against younger brothers crying, "I'll kill you for reading my diary." It was a grand time.
  2. The Newsage: People still read the paper and watch news on TV. I know this must be true because they still print papers and make News shows. I generally don't and huge portions of my generation don't. Back in the day, though, they had an editorial section in these papers where people could write in and comment on what otehr people have said. This would be printed allowing for debate. I would say intelligent debate but the reality from wha tI've seen is that the paper wasn't all that discrimenent. Certainly very close ties to blogland. I would say that if you mashed the comics and the editorial with instant updateing you get almsot exactly what we have here.
  3. The after church gossipage: The next best thing to blogging is finding out all the latest dish at church. Nothing travels faster than the speed of rumor in a church. This can be demonstrated by the fact that a rumor has less mass than a photon. Rumors are often based in fiction and fiction is not real and something that is not real cannot have mass, which is how they spread so quickly. I'm sure you have always wondered how that worked, bu there is it in simple math and physics that cannot be contested.
  4. The Stoneage: Yes even back then they had a version of blogs. On the backwall of the cave they would draw pictographs telling of their conquests and such. Then someone else would edit the post and complain that a moose has two antlers not just one, but enver mind the critism it really was a funny picture. Oh it was a wonderful age, but alas it was not to last.
I wonder if anyone can think of other ages and how blogs might have been represented in them? Please leave your ideas.

7 comments Thursday, January 8, 2009

Well, I don't know for sure that it is dead. It will take 3 weeks for service to make that call. Personally I think they should have just junked it and given me a new one. For the cost of the parts I know it needs I could buy a computer and I wouldn't have to wait 3 weeks plus make an extra trip to Best Buy.

Normally I wouldn't mind making the extra trip to Best Buy. I am a geek and they have named their service support Geek Squad. They even had this card there at the Geek Squad desk that said something about having the support of 11,000 geeks. It seemed funny until I found out I had to wait 3 weeks for them to either fix my laptop or junk it. Very frustrating.

Oh and why don't I want to make the extra trip? Well, Best Buy is about 50 miles away now. This means I drove 100 miles round trip today to return without my laptop. They couldn't let me just say the laptop needed to be sent into service I had to bring it to them for them to make that decision. The second I explain the problem in the store the girl started getting it ready to ship out and told me it would take 3 weeks turn around. Now I have to drive back in 3 weeks to either get my laptop or get a replacement. Honestly I'm hoping for a replacement. It has been just over a year but a replacement will have more everything by far right now. I looked at what they had and trust me the replacement is what I really want. A replacement would be worth the 200 miles of driving and possibly even the 3 week wait, but just barely.

This also meens my software I post to my blog with is unavailable so I'm using the built in interface and a very old flickering monitor so please excuse the typos.

2 comments Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm likely to give away my secret identity if I keep going, but I started a new blog until I can get the church website squared away to feature some of our sermons. The two sermons posted are a series that was done by a guest speaker and are about death, grief, and comforting the grieving.

Check it out


So I was browsing for some old HS friend a bit ago and it occurred to me that I am very much a product of my environment. Specifically I love Oklahoma football. I can't help it I just do and it is nice that they have been doing so awesome since Stoops took over.

What does that have to do with environment and my High School you ask? Well as I was browsing I noticed that the pictures of everyone seemed to include some kind of OU something or other. I am become one of the horde. I don't know if I'm totally comfortable with that, but the other option is to reject OU just because other people like them. Once again I don't think I'm comfortable with that.

I guess what it boils down to is that I move forward with what I like regardless of if everyone is doing it. I don't have to be different. Quite frankly people that try so hard to be unique end up being just like everyone else.

I don't know who really sets the trends, but I know that Indy is hot right now, and I also know that the Indy crowd is kind of ticked that it is mainstream because they moved to Indy when their last hip whatever went mainstream. That is who they think they are. The problem is that they really are just like everyone else around them. They might stick out in a group that is different but the place they feel most comfortable is going to be around people just like them.

that said I know that if I'm in a group of people exactly like me I'm not sure I'd be totally comfortable. I love who I am. I love that I can talk geek and jock and all the other stuff in between. It makes me feel comfortable around everyone, but if I was around a group exactly like me ... well I think the conversations would range in too many topics and we'd all be trying to focus on everything at once and reach critical mass and that would be total detestation for whatever city we happened to be in like when Peter lost control of his powers and nearly nuked NYC.

I love who I am but for the sake of the world people like me should just stay away.

PS. I did not write about football yesterday because my computer at home is not feeling too well. So today I am covering my monthly topic and revisiting Young Adults which didn't happen last night because of the weather.

13 comments Monday, January 5, 2009

Who you ask? Exactly.

Doctor Who that is. I have warned you all that I am a geek. This hasn't been hidden since it is right there in my name. If you are shocked then I guess you need to start considering you own discernment as being at fault. That said, many people don't know who the Dr. is. I have name dropped him a couple times lately and Adelaide has asked me some questions, which I answer below. Let me introduce a few of you to the Tardis and time travel. You may not know if but you can travel through time using many unusual objects not just a Delorian going 88 MPH, which is another post altogether.

The Doctor is a character in a series called
Dr. Who
. Very few people know his real name and it is never revealed in the series. He is simply known as "The Doctor." Of course many say "Doctor who" which of course is the reason for the series name. This series originally aired back in 1963. This was a bit before my time so I had to find out about it years after it was cancelled. Then, to my surprise, it was brought back in 2005. Of course some of the original series fan probably didn't like this new version, but these are my Doctors. Yes I did intend the plural. That is actually a part of the show, the Doctor has been played by 10 different actors now. It is part of the character. Every so often he has to regenerate and so becomes a whole new person. Certainly daring to change up the title character like that, but it really works for the series. Each actor plays the Dr. differently. That is whole point. It isn't just a different body it is a different personality.

The Doctor also travels with human companions. They are really the driving factor in the stories. They help tell the story because the things we don't' understand they don't understand. It is a great device form a story telling POV, especially in the sci-fi genre. The nice thing about Doctor Who is that it has a device built in to explain everything to the people who watch the show. If you aren't a geek like me then you will likely still enjoy this show. There are two places you might start, the first season of the 2005 re-release or the second season of the same. There first is probably the best place because everything gets explained to the companion, Rose Tyler. Of course, you will be expected to suspend your disbelief. They don't explain the how of everything or even the why in some cases. You are just told this is what is happening so you know what is going on. For example, the Doctor's screwdriver is never really explained except to say that it can do almost anything. It is a sonic screwdriver after all nto just some silly old Philips.

So to the questions I was asked.

Favourite Doctor ever?

I really liked Eccleston and couldn't imagine Tennant as the Dr when I first heard he was taking over after the first new season. Then about halfway through his first season I decided his super fun take on the Dr. really made him the most fun of all the Dr.'s and I'm now wishing he could be around longer. Especially since I hear the reason they are replacing him is because they need someone to handle the darker stuff that is coming. I really think he could handle dark quite well, he has in a few episodes.

Favourite assistant ever?

Rose. She just seemed to have the right chemistry, and I really loved the way the whole romance thing kept playing back and forth ... not that it would ever go anywhere. Also, they really did a great job of telling the story of learning about the Dr.'s world through her for the new series. I thought it was brilliant the way the handled her. Absolute least favorite glad she will never be the assistant again is Donna. Oh she grated on me so much. I didn't care for her in that Christmas special and why on Earth did they have to bring her back?

Favourite episode ever?

Favourite David Tennant episode?

Honestly, the answer to both is the same. "The Doctor's Daughter." Admittedly these have the horrid Donna, but Tennant and Jenny were brilliant together. I loved watching her grow into what she was suppose to be and the end when she take off in the shuttle ... just wow. I really hope they bring her back to travel with the Dr. for a little while. It would never work for more than a couple episodes at a time, but it would be great. Running close for favorite in general episode is "Bad Wolf" and "Parting Ways" which was a great two parter. I loved when Rose saves the day like that. Just great, and that future is hilarious and disturbing all at once.

Anyone else watch the Doctor and want to chime in their responses? Do you think the first run or second is better?

8 comments Saturday, January 3, 2009

I've always wanted to. I think it would be the coolest thing. I love a lot of different heroes, but my two favorites are Spider Man and Wolverine. The thing is, that Wolverine, as cool as he is, is not really as cool without his extra strong skeleton. He can recover from almost anything very quickly, but that really isn't that impressive by itself. I've been watching Heroes seasons 1&2 since we got them for Christmas. There are two characters with this same kind of healing ability. They are very important characters, but in reality they aren't all that strong, There are many other characters that are much stronger.

Of course, I have to wonder why they breakup most of the character powers. The super healing abilities aren't really the weakest. There are two guys that fly. Those are some pretty lame abilities by themselves. In the comics heroes often have more than one power. The most powerful have many abilities, like Super Man who has super speed, super hearing, super sign, heat vision, flight, super strength … You get the point right? He's just super.

I always wondered how the comic book creators came up with their characters. Do they decide on powers, then the story for the powers, or are they sitting down when a spider walks across the ceiling and think, "he what about a man that got bit by a radioactive spider … what kind of powers would he have?" I think it would be great to come up with comic book characters. There are a lot of lame ideas out there, but I guess you need some lame ideas. The problem is that they like to run with things that work. Batman works, Spiderman work so this means that we should try and put every animal and insect in front of the word "man" and see what floats. Now we have great ideas like Ant Man and the Human Wasp (just a variant). Seriously there are so many twists on this theme out there it isn't funny.

I think if I were a character designer I'd start by trying to come up with some interesting powers, then build a deep character around that. There has to be some ideas that haven't been done yet. Let's try, how about a power inverter? This character absorbs and converts other powers into a different kind of power. It would be more or less passive to start with, but the character could learn to store up power for use later. The trick is that each power converts to a given other kind of power. For example, a physical blow is a kinetic power. This would convert into … let's say a mental power of mind reading. So if you hit this character they could read minds. The harder the hit the more powerful the mind reading. Wouldn't it be hilarious to watch this guy get hit over and over trying to read someone's mind? "Don't stop hitting I think I'm almost there, he is thinking … oh hit me harder!" It would be like a reverse interrogation torture. Of course other powers would result in other abilities, like if someone tried reading his mind then he could fly. Each power would have a specific ability that it is converted into.

The back story would be harder. I'm thinking a genetic anomaly, but how does the person figure out their powers. That is the fun part. School yard fights, but he start hearing what the other kid is thinking after getting punched? He accidentally gets electrocuted and is suddenly has x-ray vision. Lots of crazy things before it is all figured out. Then the real learning starts. It would take a while before he figured out how to train his body to retain excess power like a battery. Eventually a suit could be constructed to apply some of the forces to help generate the powers, like magnetism that is changes into healing abilities, so electromagnets in the suit activate to make him heal and other forces might trigger impervious skin. The possibilities are really endless. The hardest part will be keeping track of what each force is converted into.

Any ideas on the Inverter?

3 comments Friday, January 2, 2009

If you have been following along then you know that this year I will be attempting to have more order in my life and this blog. You also know that Fridays will be all about switching things up and that this month is about football. Thus I am interested in what the other side of the street thinks about Football. Rather, I should say the other side of the pond. I personally love football. Specifically I'm a fan of High School and NCAA football. My favorite all time team is the Oklahoma University Sooners. Somehow we got another strange upside down and confusing season full of upsets that led to OU getting a shot at the NCAA Championship again. Of course this is all straight forward, so where is the switch?

Well, over in the rest of the world football is what we call soccer here in America. It actually makes more sense. I never did get why we call a sport that typically focuses on holding and throwing the ball "football." Soccer, henceforth called football, is a huge success in most of the world. Their football superstars rival the stars of any sport here in America. Despite all of that I've never really thought about the game much. I played one season of soccer, fullback if I remember correctly. I think I would have had more fun as a center or forward. I don't think I would really want to be a goalie though. Way too much responsibility there, even if it is the only position that is allows to use hands.

I think the main reason that I prefer American football is the same reason I don't really get into hockey. A great hockey game is usually won 1-0 or 2-1 or whatever other very low score, and the same is true for football. American football, on the other hand, is scored differently. Of course the lowest possible score is 2 points. It is impossible to score only a single point until you get a touchdown. Each touchdown is worth 6 points. This means that the scores get much bigger faster and that makes it seem more exciting to me, even if the final score is 12-7, which probably is only a total of 3 scoring drives and a single extra point.

There is also the hitting factor. In football it is usually frowned upon to have more physical contact than needed. This isn't to say there aren't hard hits and "tackles." Anything excessive, though, can earn you a black card. In American football, however, the harder the hit the better the game. I still remember one of the hardest hits I've ever seen. Super Bowl XXXII in 1998 John Elway got hit hard 2xs at 37 then jumped up and went back for more. Here is a link to an article on the hit, http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/espn25/story?page=moments/68. I'm not saying it is the hardest hit, just the hardest I've seen.

Here in the states football is starting to become popular. I'm not sure it will ever surpass American football in the South, but it is definitely growing in popularity. Especially women's football, which is significantly more popular than women's American football. I knew in theory that there had to be a women's American football league, I had just never seen any games. Actually I still haven't seen any games but in looking into it I have found it does exist. Maybe next week that will be my flip, but with a twist based on a conversation that I had with one of my teens earlier this week.

Let me know what your thoughts are on the football/American football debate. What side of the fence are you on? I know several people view this site from outside the US so please convince me why football is better.

Comments Thursday, January 1, 2009

So last night into this morning we had a party. I learned a lot of good things from the experience. I also used some of the things I learned from others and found them to be a success. The Source, linked under blogs and websites I like, is an excellent place to find all kinds of things for Youth ministry. I used some of their tips and I'm glad for it. So let's see what I learned.

  1. If the place you are using will be used prior to your event spend more time getting details and working out exactly what is going to happen. The adults were using the fellowship hall until 10, and our party started at 10. We had reserved it first, but they ran late because of prayer, which really made things rough getting started. Now I'm all for prayer, but at that point it would have been nice for them to move to the prayer room or sanctuary. This is a detail I should have worked out before hand, but now I know.
  2. Plan more than one thing. This is something I learned from The Source, and I'm glad I listened. We had a movie night planned, but I also had several card games and a place to just chill. Most everyone spent time in various places, so it worked out nicely and I think added to the overall fun. I think if I just had the movie people would have bored quickly, even though it was a super awesome movie.
  3. For New Year's Eve you need a timer set a few minutes before the countdown. I accidentally got caught up in a card game and almost missed it. We all did. I didn't have time to get things switched over from the movie, which had just ended, get the party favors and such handed out, and do the "Happy New Year!" thing. Next time I need a bit more organization just before the big moment.
  4. You can bring everyone together, but it takes a lot of work. Don't worry if things break up into the normal clicks, that is why you need more than one thing going on so each group will have fun.
  5. Finally, girls are still weird and I still need to get more guys in my Youth group. Seriously it seems like each week we get more girls coming. When I started we had a small majority of girls, now we are about 2 to 1, but last night it was 3 to 1. The guys aren't leaving, but very few new guys come to the group. Honestly, if the guys figured out that the odds were stacked so well in their favor here then the Youth would double next week.

Anyways, I had a great time, I think everyone else did. We ran an hour longer than planned but that was fun too. I learned a few more things, like I do with every new experience. I hope those add up to making the next event run better. Let me know what other bits of wisdom you might have from similar experiences. I'm always looking for ways to save myself from making a mistake.