6 comments Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I like the show Chuck. It is funny and geeky. If that isn't your cup of tea then why are you reading this because that is what I aspire to be. The show, like another of my favorite shows Psych makes regular 80s references, but unlike Psych they are often pretty subtle.

Last night Chuck, who is an accidental spy, is pretending to be a Dr. while checking out a patient who is believed to be a member of a terrorist group based in Afghanistan. He meets the patients personal physician and goes through this "Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, and Doctor" sequence that is almost identical to the one in Spies Like Us. More than just the line is the concept. He is told to operate on this terrorist, which he can't do, at one point just like the movie. Also in the movie it is a member of the Taliban, which we all know now are terrorist (freedom fighters depending on the side you are on) in Afghanistan.

Anyways, to top it all off Chevy Chase is going to be on next week's episode, so I'm feeling very much like I picked up on some very intentional and subtle writing. Yep I'm a geek, but if you are shocked and surprised ... then again I ask, why are you here?

4 comments

If you haven't figured it out this month has been serious on Tuesdays. I've been talking about sacrifice and Lent and stuff like that. I'm really not feeling like being serious. Actually I feel very much like being serious which is why I can't be. It is like having a big red flashing button that says "danger do not push." You know I'm gonna push it. I figure I have a 10% chance of dieing by activating something clearly marked as "warning, danger definitely under no circumstance do not..." 10% seems like a small chance when you take it at face value, but consider a few important things.

First, most people have less than a 1% chance of that death. Much less.

Second, let's face it how often have you seen a button or switch with that kind of warning label? Yeah that means there can't be many but if I'm within a few miles I figure my instincts will kick in a take me to the source of my destruction. I just can't pass up something like that.

Third and finally, the other 90% is related to the same kind of accidental death just not involving a clearly labeled button or switch. I'm living proof that curiosity can kill more than just cats.

I can't help it I need to know what things do. My last words will most likely be, "fascinating" or "So that's what that does."

What does all this have to do with why I can't be serious right now? I feel like I have to be serious. I'm tired and a bit cranky, plus this is my serious post day. Everything tells me to do it so I'm being defiant. That is just how it works.

So in an attempt to find humor in frustration.

So I need to clean the floor in the Youth room. We have an old floor cleaner but it is broken. I can get it to spray chemical but not water. I took it apart and there is no physical reason I can find. It is just obstinate. (on a side note I do understand how I frustrate my wife by being the same but unlike the machine I can appreciate how funny it is to irritate people) We called someone with a floor cleaner but that one is broken to. It will spray but not vacuum.

Now for some reason my solution isn't acceptable to my wife and the other lady. I say bring the other floor cleaner over. I have one that will vacuum but not spray, they have one that will spray but not vacuum. I have a hammer and duct tape, we can franken-cleaner them into a single working unit.

Speaking of franken, did I ever tell you about my frankenphone? It is my single greatest achievement. Sure some people are proud of their kids, and mine are awesome, but this is more awesome. A few years ago, when I was a carpenter, I was very abusive to my phone. It wasn't intentional, but the silly thing kept falling from heights. I think it might have been depressed because all the newer cool phones could play mp3 ring tones but it was stuck with the old polyphonic tones. Anyways, one day it leaped to its death and broke the LCD. Fortunately I had acquired an identical phone when a friend upgraded theirs. I was using the replacement as a charging station so I could run my battery dead and have a backup in place.

I switched the sim cards and presto I was back in business. Then the new phone got depressed seeing all the other fancy phones. It jumped off while I was going up the stairs and damaged its circuit board beyond repair. So there I was with two dead phones and my cheapskate alarm went off. One phone had a dead LCD and the other had a dead circuit board. A short time later I had pulled the circuit board from both phones and put the good one into the phone with the working LCD. Next thing you know I had a working Frankenphone. The new phone seemed much more durable as it lasted another 2 years before I upgraded. The Frankenphone now sits in a place of honor awaiting its call to the big game. One of these days it knows the new fancy phone will give out but the will of the Frankenphone will endure. It will rise from the shelf and takeout any new fangled electronic device as it establishes world domination.

Don't look at me like that. I am not an animal.

BTW did I mention I'm distracted by the revelation of shiny candy? You got to get past a nekkid buttler but it is there are the bottom of this post (I made two references to rear ends hehehe)

2 comments Monday, March 30, 2009

I have started way too many speeches that way. I enjoy having fun. Often the most fun things are at the expense of others. After all, "it's all fun and games till someone gets hurt, then it's freakin' hilarious." Seriously, the best games involve twists that result in people getting messy. When I say people I do mean someone other than myself, but for the sake of the Youth I'll take it on the chin from time to time. Not the chin so much as my entire face actually, but whatever.

Last night was Youth service in church. Once a month we get the evening service and I try to plan fun as well as sharing with the adults what I do with the Youth and what they can do for the Youth. Last night we had a great improve skit and ended up playing a game I hadn't planned on. During our drama practice I told one of the girls what she missed the previous week in Youth. When she heard about the Dance Dance Revolution game she begged me to do it during the service that evening.

Please understand that we have a very uptight sort of church on Sunday Evenings. There are lots of people over 60 raised in a denomination where almost everything was a sin. Movies, women in pants, drinking, and dancing were all evil sins when they were growing up. They aren't quite that bad, but trust me when I've said something about these kinds of things I've received some interesting looks at the very least. Anyways, I did the dancing game but apologized up from. OK sure it wasn't an apology so much as a qualified warning.

The game went great. I got one of the Youth's grandmother up there and 3 Youth and a mid 20's guy. The dancing was completely hilarious and everyone was laughing and taking pictures. I'm glad I didn't let my better judgment stop me. Of course I have now set a really bad precedent. Not so much for the church but for myself. Next month I get an "anything goes" service. The denomination national youth day is next month and I've been given the morning and evening services that day. I'm already planning for the service. I want something completely memorable. If it is my last service I want it to be something they will be talking about for years.

So before I start I need to say I'm sorry.

4 comments Friday, March 27, 2009

Over on The Fellowship of the Traveling Smarty Pants Candace Jean July 16 posted a blog about a man who has a prosthetic finger with a built in USB drive titled Does NtG Have a Motorcycle? "Or table saw?" is written at the end of the post. I'm afraid I have both and have also experienced some pretty bad hand injuries over a few years when I was a carpenter. I thought it would be fun to review some of them.

The first major injury was a couple months after I became a carpenter. I needed to plan the edge of a door down using a power hand planer. I didn't feel like taking the door down making a few passes putting it up and finding out I needed to take off more so I tried doing it with the door in place. I had a guy helping me to hold the door and only the top third or so needed planning so it should have been safe enough. The problem is the guy holding the door decided to let go for some reason and the planer and door swung his way. I shifted my grip to keep from planning his face but my left ring finger went over the edge guard and I felt a thump, thump, thump on the side of my finger. It didn't hurt at all and went I first looked at it there was no blood so I didn't think it was bad. Just as I voiced that opinion the blood started flowing rather quickly. The guy I was with just froze so I had to get him to snap out of it so I could get help. I tried for an hour to control the bleeding but finally gave in and went to the Dr. I didn't get stitches. Not enough left to stitch according to the doctor. They put a kind of gel-foam bandage on it that they use for burns and the skin grew back though there is a noticeable scar and that finger is narrow on that side.

Sometime later I was trimming shims from a new door install and stabbed myself in the hand. This was all my fault because I was using a dull blade and applying way too much force. Anyways, the blade went in about half and inch and it was about half and inch long. I should have got stitches for sure. I had to push stuff back into my palm and use butterfly closures to hold that tissue in. I got good bandages and pressure on it and stopped the bleeding … mostly. I had to keep changing the bandage for a week because flexing my hand would open it. I did clean everything really well and kept applying antibiotics so it never got infected. The scar is very small. I think it is smaller than it would have been with stitches but I was blessed that it didn't get infected or worse.

I had a few other minor injuries after that with several small scars on my hands but nothing that should have been seen by a doctor till a few years ago when I was working on an evil house. We had just acquired this house and had to do lots of work on it. I kept getting injuries on this house. My blood is all over the place but two of them were really bad. The first was when I was working on the roof. They were pushing us to get finished so a couple could move in that was expecting a baby at the end of the summer. I had to trim the old overhang where we didn't replace the decking to match the new so the drip edge would fit right. I was working off the ladder and using a circular saw. The ladder slipped and I reached to grab the roof so I wouldn't fall. Unfortunately I grabbed right where the saw was and cut my middle and ring finger on my left hand bad. That is the same ring finger that I sliced the side off of. This is the first time I got stitches. The week after the doctor released me I was working on cutting a 3/8" groove into the trim for the house of blood. I set things up using all the safety equipment and was on the last piece. There was so much saw dust that it was overflowing the bin and covered the floor. I had done lots of wood but we were in a huge push to finish this house. The trim was all that was left. I slipped in the saw dust as I pulled the last piece out and my right hand (only serious injury to that hand) slipped over the feather board I setup to hold the trim pieces against the guide instead of my hand. The dado blade buzzed my finger prints off of a 3/8" section of the ring and middle finger on my right hand. Once again not enough to stitch so I got that gel-foam bandage on them.

Then my last injury came. It was a year before I quit my job as carpenter to become a Youth Pastor. Our nail gun occasionally misfired and I was assembling skirting under a building we remodeled. We completely gutted the place and this was another one of those rush jobs to get it finished. The gun misfired and the nail kicked out of the wood and into my left hand. It went in an inch and a half right beside my thumb. It didn't hit anything fortunately because I saw the nail sticking out and thought, "that doesn't belong there," and pulled it out. There was a small (one inch or so) spurt of blood but then it just dripped down my arm. I got the bleeding under control really quickly but my boss sent me to the Dr. anyway. They x-rayed to make sure it didn't hit the bone. I don't know how it missed but I guess the curve of the nail from the misfire guided it away from the bone. Once again I was really blessed. They put me on some monster antibiotics that made me feel like I had a bad sunburn if I got in the sun at all. This happened a couple of days before I went to see Casino Royal in which James Bond gets shot with a nail gun. Yep I've experienced that so I'm pretty awesome like James Bond.

I still have all my fingers though so I'm pretty happy. God kept me in each of those instances.

Anyone else have any injuries to share?

Comments Thursday, March 26, 2009

Last night was a blast. I'm pretty exhausted right now. We started selling Monster on a trial basis in our snack shop. I'm not sure if this will be a good plan in the long run but to be honest most of the ones that will buy it drop by the store and pick one up on the way in so if I sell then I make money on dealing with the hyper which is always a win in my book.

We had about 50 and the place was pretty well packed. I need to bring up more seating because the seats were pretty well all used. I've been told they had 70 a few years back but I'm honestly not sure how you fit that many into that place. It was feeling pretty cramped with 50. I'll probably start doing break outs again. Not every week to start with but we will build towards an upper and lower Youth group because we will reach our capacity very soon otherwise.

Now for the breakdown of the games.

Foot Signing Contest

This was moderately fun at best. I picked tow girls expecting them to have ticklish feet. They admitted to it when questioned but there was much less squirming than I expected. I would recommend as a simple ice breaker to begin bringing the focus in while getting something else ready that will only take a minute or two. That is what I did with the game and it filled the space of pulling out other supplies just fine. Don't expect a lot from it. It is easy to get started and takes up a couple minutes but that is about it.

Pizza Challenge

This was actually pretty fun. I think the students enjoyed the Pizza more than anything but it added to the excitement. If you can pull it off next time you order Pizza for the Youth it adds to it. We gave the winner a $20 tip and the loser a $5 tip. I also asked the winner some questions. The nice part was that he knew several of the youth so they were really excited to see him win.

Walking on Goldfish


This is just a great game. It got messier last night than in previous nights but every had a great time. We had a few that made it across without killing any fish but there were also a couple of really good reactions so it makes it worth while. The only problem with this game is you can't really go to it very often unless you have lots and lots of new people coming.

Dance Dance EVOLUTION


This went over better than I expected. I planned this as a time killer but once I got enough volunteers together (that was harder than I thought) they had a great time. The dancing was mostly clean and usually pretty funny. One kid threw down with some nice Robot action and a couple of the girls did a waltz step together with the Polka. If you want to get an idea about the overall spectrum of music then you can listen to it. Dance Mix

Goldfish Gulp


Sadly we didn't get to do this. Seriously I'm very sad but there was a miss communication about the fake fish and they were not available for this game.

Call a Friend


Ok I got really lucky twice with this game. We got two volunteers which was good since the first callee couldn't hear and so kept going through "I can't hear you" over and over. Total bust but the 2nd caller was ready to go. Then I made a big mistake and made my embarrassing question "what kind of underwear are you wearing?" I should have made the question "boxers or briefs?" That would have been much safer since the callee was a teen girl. Can you imagine how bad it would have been with the various kinds of underwear she could have been wearing and a bunch of teen boys listening in on the answer. Fortunately the answer was "boxers." Yeah I'm so blessed that didn't go down hill quickly.

Banana Splits in the Mouth


This was the second most popular game of the evening. Let me say that it was a huge mess and I learned a couple of really important things. First, those cheep table clothes are great. They are cheep and keep most of the mess of the carpet. You can pull them into a nice bundle and drop the in the garbage when you are done. Now for the game, I let the ice cream sit out for a couple hours so it was very melty. Not completely melted since it was in a good size sealed container but easy to spoon out large drippy quantities of ice cream and aim for the mouth, which is easier said than done. The other consideration is that the chocolate syrup is easier to get in the mouth but that too much is a very bad thing. I got worried for a brief moment before I stopped the person applying syrup that they were gonna kill our volunteer. Finally, I learned that you do not give a jar of cherries to the person dropping the cherries. The first couple of tries were fine but then they poured the juice and that was not cool. Still, everyone had a blast with this game and it has the advantage of being something I can do more often than Walking on Goldfish.

Once again I ask if anyone has had experience with these game or other fun games you would like to suggest? I have about 70 game on file right now but I've gone through a great number of them so I really could use more ideas.

4 comments

So yesterday I posted about the games for the March game night. If you are curious this is the description of the games.

Pizza Challenge

Find two local pizza places that deliver. During the beginning of the evening, divide the crowd in two and bring up a representative from each side. Hand each representative a cell phone and phone # of two competing pizza places. Have them each order a large pizza, tell the delivery person the situation, and that there's a $20 tip for the one that arrives first. Clearly announce to the crowd which pizza place is coming for each team.

As you are continuing your program, one side of the room will erupt into applause when a pizza driver comes in representing their side of the room. (Olympic or Rocky theme music is a plus!)

Interview the deliverer and give him the $20 tip in front of the crowd. (You can then have up front games lined up where winners get a piece of pizza.)

Foot Signing Contest

Crowd Game: Have 5 students come to the front of the room and remove their shoes and socks. Give each a felt-tipped or ball point pen. On the signal, they run out into the crowd and see who can get the most signatures on the bottom of their feet in the time limit. No one person can sign more than three feet. Can use both feet. Signatures must be legible.

Walking on Goldfish

I described it in the post Fun and Games Basically you get 4 or 5 victims that know nothing of the game. You show them the live goldfish (20 or more in a single bowl) and blindfold them while you "spread the fish on the tarp." Once they are blindfolded you get a can of mandarin orange slices and drop those on the tarp. It is important that they hear the "fish" hitting the tarp and get the crowd excited and making comments about how gross, poor fish ... Then they cross the fish grave yard. I make it a "trust" exercise where the crowd guides them across the tarp but others do a timed trial. I like more crowd involvement.

Dance Dance EVOLUTION

It’s called Dance Dance EVOLUTION because the style of music keeps changing and changing and students don't know what to expect next! Here’s how you pull it off.

Bring 2-4 students up front and tell them you are going to play a CD that they must dance to...without stopping! Best dancer wins.

Make a CD with snippets (I'd say about 30 seconds each) of different genres of music, (at least 10), the goofier the better. Here are some ideas:
The Wiggles (children’s TV show)
Country Song (something with a lot of twang!)
Rock Song (top 40 will suffice)
Polka
Opera
Heavy Metal
Bluegrass
Gospel
Cartoon Theme Show (like Sponge Bob)
Reggae
Rap/Hip Hop (make sure it’s clean)

Individuals compete against each other for the best dance composition. You can have 2-4 students compete at the same time. Judge them for who has the most creative moves, who wasted the least amount of time trying to figure out what to do, the one willing to be the goofiest, etc.

Here are a couple of rules to help you make the game a hit with your group.

1. You can't just do the same thing the whole time. You have to change your dancing each time the music changes.

2. Once you stop dancing for more than 10 seconds, you're out!

3. Make sure the dance moves are “acceptable” by your standards. (Announce this before you begin, or else you WILL see some “dirty” dancing.)

Have fun!

Goldfish Gulp

This is a great upfront game. Supplies needed: gummy fish, 3 REAL LIVE goldfish, 10 glasses half full of water (3 containing real goldfish, 2 with just water and 5 containing gummy fish and water—these 5 are kept hidden from the chosen victims…..er students.

Bring three students up front and show them the 5 glasses with water (3 with real goldfish and 2 with just water). Blindfold the students and instruct them to choose a glass to drink. While they are blindfolded switch the glasses to the 5 containing gummy fish and water. Option: Award a prize for the best reaction.

NOTE: This would be a great game in which to have a live video feed hooked up. At the very least, you may want to record this one for laughs!

Call a Friend

This is a fun easy game. Pick a student with a friend at home. Ask several simple questions but make sure a couple are embarrassing. The student guesses how the friend will answer. Then call the friend and use speaker phone and the mic so everyone can hear the responses.

Banana Splits in the Mouth

Just like it sounds. One person gets a banana split in their mouth while laying on a tarp and the other person delivers the ingredients while standing on a chair.

I'm pretty certain I got all of these games from The Source for Youth Ministry on their Game Pages
. Enjoy.

Also, if you have any game ideas please share. JayDee gave me a great game that almost made this weeks games. I decided to make a theme so it didn't quite get there, but next time I'm totally playing "Egg Head."

4 comments Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I love Game night. It is so fun and the Youth are really getting into the tradition. Over the past few days they have been posting bulletins and such letting their friends know about the fun and excitement. I'm really excited because we have enough new people to play one of my favorite games tonight. Tomorrow I'll have a description of the games (it is scheduled) and then a review of how they went over. Walking on Goldfish will be awesome I can tell you that already. To pique your curiosity (man I butchered that word thank goodness for spell check) this is the order of events that I just finalized after eliminating some games. We've only done two of these games in the past.

March Game Night order of events.

Opening (make announcements blah blah blah)
-Unity
-ATF
-Ask Nick (next week)
-
Order Pizza (Start Pizza Challenge)
Foot Signing contest
Free time while waiting for Pizza and setting up Walking on Goldfish
Pizza arrives interview winning driver
-Name
-Where did(do) you go to school?
-Weirdest thing that has happened while delivering Pizza?
-Favorite Pizza topping?
Walking on Goldfish
Dance Dance EVOLUTION
Goldfish Gulp
Call a friend
Banana Splits in the Mouth.

Closing (thanks blah blah blah)
Remind everyone about Ask Nick and distribute contact info etc.

PS if you haven't already read it find out why I might go to hell in the post from earlier this morning.
PPS. Yes my actual order of events including the blah blah blahs and missing line after the -.

9 comments

Ever worry that you are going to hell? I am specifically talking to Christians who believe that God has saved them. Today I dealt with this twice. In my Yong Adult small group we went through chapter 5 in Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This chapter, more than any other, really challenged me to examine my life as a Christian. Everyone in the group really struggled through it as well.

I think the biggest thing is to remember that our relationship with God is based on grace. We don't earn it at all. Often we begin to think that we are doing well and so somehow deserve heaven. I think it is good for us to come to these places where we realize that we don't deserve it and that we are totally dependent on God.

Anyways, I said that today I wrestled with my final destination twice. I was a very bad Youth pastor today. It wasn't something I did on purpose. Actually that is a big part of the problem. I was involved with a funeral today. I mentioned on Monday that a wonderful woman died and today was her funeral. I was a pall bearer and ran sound & video. I was speaking with the daughter (who is a very nice lady as well and in a few months I'll be asking her and her husband to help in Youth) about what they wanted played and when and I said the dumbest thing ever.

They had a photo show with music that they wanted played as the family came in until the pastor got up to speak. Then I was to fade the music but leave the video running till the singing when I switched to displaying the songs. I said something that I always say when it comes to turning off the audio. "So when pastor steps up you want me to kill the sound and …." Yeah that was the worst choice of words ever. I said as much and apologized profusely but it gets worse. Then I said, "I could just dig a hole and bury … nope, I'm done I am just gonna walk away and stop talking."

Yeah I'm pretty certain that I'm lucky the ground didn't open and drop me straight into the worst part of hell for that. I really can't believe I said something so insensitive much less two things in a row like that.

Anyone got anything that can top my faux pax?

5 comments Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ok, so I'm tossing this out there for input. I need help in how I should deal with the youth minister prior to myself. I was taught that when leaving a church we should leave the church. However the minister prior to myself was never given formal training and so apparently has never been taught this. He still lives in town and commutes to his new position about half an hour away. He comes by the office to chat with the secretary and others he might run into a couple times a month. More than that he is in close contact with one of my Youth workers and for a while there it was causing this guy to stop attending the church in favor of going to the previous minister's new church. The previous minister attends any event such as funerals, weddings, baby showers ... and is keeping his friendships strong with the his former Youth.

This has been a real struggle for me with the Youth and adult leaders because I am having difficulty building relationships with many of them because of the ghost of the former minister that refuses to go away. I have gone back to read my ethics books that say this is not good behavior on his part but none of the books suggest how I should deal with it graciously.

I don't want to burn bridges with this minister but I do need him to realize that he is doing a great deal of harm even if he doesn't see it.

Anyone dealt with this kind of transition issue? Got any ideas? Maybe I should just keep toughing it out, but I've done that for a year now. I would think in that time he should have built up plenty of relationships in his new church to keep him busy. Personally I don't have enough time to keep up with everything here much less here and at a some former ministry so I think he is also cutting his own throat where he is by not letting go.

7 comments

A month ago I posted a geek alert about multitouch surfaces. In one of the comments I said, "With a little tweaking you can combine ir sensor technology and a projector to create this kind of interactive surface on any wall. With a little more work you can make those interactive surfaces follow you from room to room and rotate to any wall in whatever room you are in. You could even "send" you screen around the room by passing it from one person to another."

I have seen the various kinds of technology that would be required to make this happen but today I have seen them combined. Below is the video on this. I"m not saying my comment gave someone the idea, but it is really cool that I mention it about the time they are filming this. Anyways, this kind of technology is right around the corner and the ways that these things can and will be used are very exciting. Like I said above, imagine using it to pass notes around when brain storming. You could write on a piece of paper then pull that paper off the pad and make a pass gesture and everyone in the room will get your completed idea. School use will also be incredibly useful allowing for each student to have displays that can be wirelessly moved up to the board or turned in. Fill out a scan-tron and when you are done the computer automatically computes your score before you leave the class.

Enjoy




Anyone else geeking out just a bit?

Comments Monday, March 23, 2009

I wrote the original not long ago, but I feel the need to write about this subject again. The best things in life I learned from 80s cartoons. In the Transformers Movies, not the Michael Bay smash hit the original one, Optimus Prime dies in the beginning of the movie. As a child that didn't fit with my reality and I hated it. Hot Rod could never replace my hero.



I understand now that this movie followed the path of the hero. Much as Obi Wan had to die for Luke to become what he needed to be, Optimus had to die so Hot Rod could save the day at the end of the movie.

On Friday a dear woman died. She battle cancer for years. God had helped her often along the way and even in the darkest moments of this battle she would share a testimony of the power and grace of God. She is a true inspiration to me.

On Friday a hero died. She did not lose the battle. Instead she won through the transforming power of Christ. She sits with Him now free from the pain she never showed.

These things do not fit well with my own desires even now. Heroes should not die and so I am sad. Not because of the victory she holds now, but because death may not have victory but it does separate us and quite frankly that sucks.

Comments Saturday, March 21, 2009

My SYP post is late today because I watched the series finale of Battlestar Galactica. I watched the show from the beginning and almost gave up on it as they got more and more political. At one point the humans found an uncharted planet and decided to settle. The cylons found them and the two Battlestars in orbit jumped away leaving the surviving human race to a cylon occupation. The cylons felt they could help the humans but only hurt them. The humans resisted the occupation through whatever means they could find including suicide bombing. Essentially the story reflects the writers' view of the scenario in the Middle East portraying the terrorists as the good guys.

That really challenged my loyalties because I hate when shows start getting preachy. They won me back with one of the most awesome moments on TV. The liberation of New Caprica involved several plans coming together. The most awesome part was then Galactica hyper jumps into atmosphere on the planet. As the giant battle ship falls through atmosphere converting air to plasma the vipers launch through the burning atmosphere and Galactica jumps out leaving the plasma to dispurse just before it hits the tent city. This is the reason I watched the show, awesome space battles that really seemed to follow physics.

A lot of space programs have ships maneuvering like they are in atmosphere. Watch the Star Wars films. They have the accelerators on constant and the ships banks and turn as if through air instead of using thrust maneuvers. In one of the earliest episodes of Battlestar Starbuck in is a dog fight with several cylon raiders. She has one come up on her tail. In atmosphere you are limited to facing the direction you are flying so this is a really bad position to be in. In space inertia will keep your course so lift doesn't matter. Starbuck hits her front thrusters and flips to face her attacker while continuing on the original path. She unleashes a stream of death on the cylon, taps her front thrusters again to face back into the fray. That is the kind of maneuver that most people don't quite think about for space battles.

The show began to take on more and more drama within the ships with less and less actual space battles. Then it started getting very preachy but kept dancing around this idea of a single God that is interested in us and our destiny so I watched for those random episodes that could only take place in space.

In the lead up to the finale they introduced so much that I thought they would end up with a spin off just to tie up all the loose ends. I was quite wrong. If you watch the show and haven't seen the finale I won't give away any spoilers. I will say that the ending is mostly good and pretty much everything is tied up nice and tidy. There are a few mysteries that aren't answered but they were intentionally not answered. As far as shows go I feel this ended was quite satisfactory.

When the Stargate shows ended it felt like just another episode without any real resolution of the major events of the series. In SG1 they actually setup the movie they released instead of ending the series. I felt like that was another attempt to cash in on the fans instead of ending the series. In Atlantis they took the team out of Atlantis but left the major threat in the Pegasus galaxy in place with no consideration for the potential future hope of that galaxy. It was a major let down.

With Galactica the show actually ended and it felt like it was actually over. That is a nice switch.

Comments

SYP crashed early that afternoon. Super Wife, the Naïve Intern, and Griz all stayed to help clean up the worst of the mess after the Lock-in of Horrors. It was an amazing evening of Love Crazed Teen Zombies and the Evil Purple. All of the teens were returned to normal and only remembered the fun parts of the evening. They believed it was somehow part of the mystery game planned for the evening. The Janitor was getting everything ready for the morning service so SYP got to finally get some rest.

SYP had only been asleep for a few minutes when the phone started ringing. It was Mr. Grump, the chairman of the board. SYP had to hold the phone away from his ear as Mr. Grump proceeded to tear him down for letting things get so out of hand. Mr. Grump promised he would regret destroying the church that his family built. After a few minutes SYP was unable to take any more. He was already tired and didn't trust himself to say anything kind. He knew that if he couldn't say anything nice he shouldn't say anything at all, so he hung up on Mr. Grump. Over the next several hours the phone rang off the hook as one person after another called to complain. SYP was about to turn off his phone when Super Pastor called. This wasn't a call he could ignore.

"Hello?" SYP inquired meekly.

"Hey, you sound tired."

"Yeah, things have been a bit hectic."

"Listen, I've been hearing from Mr. Grump and many of his friends. It sounds like things were a bit wild last night and we need to have a meeting after church tomorrow. The board insists on being there."

"Super Pastor, You don't know what it was like …"

"I don't need you to tell me now," SP interrupted, "I just called to tell you about the meeting. You need to get some rest now so you can think straight tomorrow. It will be another long day."

"Yes sir."

SYP hung-up the phone and collapsed into his chair. Super Wife rubbed his shoulders as she took the phone from him. It was already ringing again. She saw that it was Mr. Grump so she turned off the phone.

"I just don't understand," SYP lamented.

"Some people forget what it was like to be young, like Griz."

"Yeah but Griz at least helps out. He may not agree with how I do thing but deep down he loved the students."

"Then you are going to have to help them to love."

"I don't know how."

"Right now you don't need to worry about it. Just close your eyes and relax."

Super wife continued to rub SYP's shoulders and he felt himself relaxing as he drifted into a deep sleep. In the back of his mind he knew it was one of her powers, but at this point he didn't care. This sleep would be deeply relaxing and come with no ill dreams.

How will SYP deal with Mr. Grump and the Grumpy friends? What other powers does Super Wife have? Will SYP make it through the board meeting? Join us next week, Same SYP time, same SYP blog.

4 comments Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm afraid for my kids if it is. This week my kids decided to behave like stereotypical pastor's kids. Well, not the baby but what can he do?

Wednesday my daughter got 3 demerits at school (4 equals detention) and one of those was from hitting her best friend. What on earth?

Then my son finished destroying his nap mat. OK, I admit I hate the way they handle the whole nap situation. The boy doesn't take a nap unless he is ill. My oldest is the same but her teacher will make her lay quietly for 15 minutes then let her get a toy that doesn't make noise or a book to keep herself entertained. His teacher makes him lay on his mat and not move for 2 hours. Can you imagine lying still for 2 hours wide awake? Now imagine being a 4 year old. Yeah pretty bad, but still I hate that he destroys stuff. OK sure I destroyed plenty but that is different. I was bored and bad things happen when I'm bored. (Like I said I'm concerned ADHD is genetic).

Anyways, my daughter just started the daycare and wouldn't you know it, she got in trouble on Wednesday too. She normally takes a nap. If she doesn't she gets very cranky. For some reason she doesn't take her nap at day care. I think the change in setting is the issue. She has been pretty good except for Wednesday. She decided to moon the class. She pulled her pants and panties down and had her legs up over her head wagging her bare butt in the air. Maybe streaking is genetic too?

I'm hoping it is just spring fever and that they will settle back down to their normal well behaved selves soon. Anyone else having crazy kid issues? What about when you kids were younger?

Comments Thursday, March 19, 2009

I don't have much to say about last night. We had a good time but I really need to get our new united worship band in place. We are shooting for mid June and the guy that has been playing lead guitar for me just hasn't been "feeling it" lately. Very frustrating. We haven't had worship the past 3 weeks so I tried something different expecting the "not feeling it tonight" response from this guy. I took my Kutless CD down and played some songs that we sing during worship off it. I actually had them asking for more so that was good. I also got some more interest in the worship band when I explained that that was close to the sound I'm really looking for personally.

Anyways, last night did have a couple really awesome points. I have been doing this series on refuge and trying to make a point about the difference between the things we try to use when we need to get away and the kind of peace that God can give even though He doesn't take away the circumstances in life. I have used examples from the Bible and my life the past two week but I asked one of the teens to share her testimony last night.

The short version is that she moved here in 7th grade and didn't have any friends. She felt very along and some really bad things happened to her. She started cutting and felt better but kept cutting more and more, deeper and deeper. Eventually they had to rush her to the ER because she had cut too deep into her leg. That didn't stop her though. She started talking to people in church who encouraged her in her walk with God and she started praying more and reading her Bible. She got out of cutting completely because of God.

The whole time everyone listened. I never get everyone to listen. At the end of service I had a few people respond for salvation including one girl that I have really been concerned about. I think what the student said really went to their hearts more than anything I've said this past year.

In other words I'm going to make a point to start having them share their testimonies with each other. I already know who I'm going to next.

5 comments

I just posted on an article I read so I'm scheduling this one for tomorrow because Katdish can't keep up. (Happy now kat?)

SciFi is changing the name of their channel. It will now be SyFy (yeah you thought the Fy was for something else. Dirty dirty minds need to be cleaned with soap and a pressure washer). In this article they say that the name SciFi is too geeky.

I have several problems. First this is the age of the geek. Look at the most popular shows on TV right now. Geeked out TV. Look at the increasing market for video games and comic based movies. Geek culture has taken over and the flag ship is turning from its geek heritage? Someone needs to fire that PHB (Pointy Haired Boss from Dilbert) before they run the entire channel into the ground. (Yep I held that metaphor till the end. You didn't think I had it in me did you?)

My second complaint is, if anything, SyFy is more geeky because it embraces the web 2.0 look and feel. They are trying to feel more like iPod which is yet another example of the supremacy of geek culture. The problem is that geeks will see that they are abandoning them in their statements and be less forgiving in the reality that the new name is even geekier (holy freak my spell check accepted geekier as a word). If you don't believe me read the comments on this article.

Remember the geek shall inherit the earth. Or something like that. The regular Wednesday follow-up post will come later in the day.

2 comments Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I try to avoid politics on this blog. I have made very few political comments and most of those few are highly sarcastic even if rooted in my true feelings. For example, these are two posts I made on the Presidential election last fall.

I'm Voting for Change
Voting Against a Candidate

Anyways, in both of these I said we had a broken system in which candidates can make all kinds of promises but really only end up focusing on the money. I think we can see the truth in that now, but that isn't really the point of this post. I was reading an article about the $165 million in bonuses AIG has paid out in the past weeks. I am very angry about the whole deal because we shouldn't have bailed them out in the first place. I know that many believe that we must or the entire financial system will fail but the truth is that other institutions that didn't mess around with poor financial models like that will benefit and grow stronger thus showing that smart business wins in the long run in capitalism instead of training people to make money at any cost so the average guy can pay for the stupidity of the rich.

The part that worries me the most is this statement.

The development came as a wave of Congressional condemnation greeted Mr. Liddy on Wednesday over the bonuses paid to company executives, with some lawmakers vowing to do something to get the money back.

“We are the effective owners of this company,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, going on to suggest a lawsuit to recover the $165 million in bonuses. “I think it’s worth trying.”http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/business/19web-aig.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&src=igw
The congressman is saying that congress (aka the government) now owns AIG and so should control them. This is a small step that leads to actual government control of everyone that takes advantage of the bailout money.

I am against the bailout in general but it is out there. We cannot continue to help out businesses with a failed model like AIG but we can't turn around and let the government set a precedent by actually taking ownership of the business. This is a very slippery slope that we are now on. My advice (as if anyone in the government would listen to me) is to walk very slowly and carefully to a safer place. Having walked on many icy hills I've found that to be the best way to avoid breaking my skull open.

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Tonight we did chapter 4 in Crazy Love. This is the first chapter that really burns. The profile of a lukewarm Christian shows how we tend to go through the motions instead of going all in. I warned the group that this chapter was much more difficult than the previous chapters. I told them to make sure they understood that the focus was about love and not works and to avoid the trap of feeling condemned. I tried to make it perfectly clear, but still tonight they were somewhat depressed. The video helped some but there were still parts that were hard to deal with in our brokenness. I did make a point to transition into something more positive.

In the video Francis Chan talks about doing funerals, and how some are very depressing because the life of the person leaves little hope, but some are real worship experiences because of the reality that they are worshiping with God. I asked the group to think about and share with each other memories of some that have passed who are with God and who we can celebrate with in their joy.

I got to thinking about what it will be like when we get to heaven and how different it will be if we live our life totally on fire for God. I talked about how I imagine it was for a man in the church who passed a few months ago. He was in the nursing home witnessing to friends the Saturday night and then woke up in heaven that Sunday morning.

It seems there are some amazing things we can look forward to in heaven, but I think the first two things will be God and what God shows us from our lives.

Think about it. I mean really think about it. What will it be like when you see God? I've never really been star struck. I've met several but they are just people. Actually most have been really cool because they will just talk to you. I think that coming face to face with God is going to be that classic star stuck experience. "OMG, I mean seriously you are … Do you know who you … of course you do. OMG, I mean like wow, your God. It's just. Wow. I have like this problem where I just can't stop talking when I'm blown away, but of course You know that. I don't even know why I'm talking but … you know the whole creation thing. Wow. And like everything. Wow." I imagine I would go on for a great long while making a total fool of myself but God is totally awesome and gracious so He lets me do it without trying to stop me because I have to get it over with and He doesn't make me feel foolish even though it is. Come one I said OMG twice and like an idiot I would probably say the letters even though I hate that. I don't even say OMG in real life but … well it is God so totally accurate right.

Anyways, after all that is done with I can see God telling us we did a good job (I figure a lot of us will go through this with God) and then when we are busy thinking of all our failures at not living up to what we should have, because come one we are in front of God so we really get that we failed, He takes us by the shoulders and gently turns us because we need to see what is coming. He then shows us all the things that we did right. So many little things we thought were insignificant that became huge. Like that time you were in the missions service and felt God tell you to give all you had to the offering. You only had $20 but had planned on going out to lunch after service. What could $20 do but still you gave. Then you see the lives that were changed because of it, and more and more things just like that. The big things you thought were awesome paled against the times you honored God in the little things.

Just like that ray Boltz Song Thank You for Giving to the Lord. I'm not sure if we are supposed to shun him now that he "came out." I'm not a very good Christian when it comes to shunning. I always get confused about who we are against and why. Opinions seem to change too often. At one point we weren't suppose to support Amy Grant but it seems it is acceptable again and what about Sandi Patti, I haven't heard about her in a long time. Anyways, I'm gonna post a video and if you can get past the "oh but he is gay now" thing then watch the video. If you are still hung up on it … well take time to pray instead.


2 comments Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Did you know the human stomach can hold about a quart of food? Have you ever spilled a quart of oil? I have. It is amazing how much is actually in that little bottle of oil. It can spread across several feet of garage floor.

I can also say that you would be amazed at how much is in a child's stomach. I woke up this morning, took my shower, got dressed, and went to get my kids ready. This is a pretty standard morning for me. Unfortunately my son came out holding his pants funny. I thought he peed his bed. This is pretty rare for him at 4. The last time was probably 6 months ago. I was informed that he did not pee but had thrown-up. Yep it was all over his bed and on the rug beside his bed. Very nasty.

The good news is I had to get my oldest daughter ready and take her to school so my wonderful wife took over the puke detail. I think it is fair since I had to clean up an unbelievable amount of puke from the car that she provided while pregnant with the boy that puked this morning. I still can't eat at El Chico's because the smell. That was lunch just before the car incident. *shudder*

Anyways, happy St. Patrick's day to everyone. This is my last post in this series for today.

15 comments

I just watched Fireproof and I was less than impressed. Please put down your stones and let me explain myself.

The actual idea was good. The acting was more than acceptable. The scripting was better than most Christian films and many big budget Hollywood films. I think the 40 day love dare is inspired and would work if people really put their heart into it. I liked the clear gospel message. This film has a lot going for it but did not live up the the hype for one very important reason.

I feel like most of the film dumped the entire failure of the marriage on the husband. The beginning was the worst. The wife was totally blameless at that point. She worked hard for 7 years while the husband was focused on his own pleasures. There is a scene where the wife is complaining to her friends and they are all affirming her complaints and the husband is complaining to his friend and the guy is giving him a dose of reality.

I agree that the Kirk Cameron's character needed to step up to the plate and make things right. I just wish the film had shown how it takes two people to make a marriage work or fail. The wife wasn't blameless but I felt that it showed her attachment to the Dr. as something natural because of her lack of intimacy with her husband. If this is true then it should have shown the porn problem as a natural development because of marital problems. No one would accept that though.

I love that Kirk Cameron's character eventually overcomes the parasite of porn by throwing his computer out. I think that is the solution for some people. If your eye offends you cut it out. That is a powerful statement and is true. I just wish they had focused on the wife's faults other than trying to find emotional intimacy outside her marriage because her husband didn't provide it.

I feel that the only time it showed that a wife might have some fault was when the big reveal came at the end of the movie that the husband's mother was the one that did the 40 day love dare with her husband. In that it still felt really lopsided because there was this whole dynamic that made her out to be the one with the problem and the dad was somehow perfect.

In my experience it is usually both sides that are wrong. I know I'm getting hung up on this one detail but look around. Time and time again men are told we can't be men. We are told that we have to set aside our desires and even our gender. Guys aren't the kind of leaders in church and prayer they should be because church is feminized so often. Then we get this movie that is propagated as being so good for marriage and it tells us the same things that our entire culture has been saying for years. Those same things that are resulting in a divorce rate that climbs every year.

Guys listen to this. Love your spouse as yourself. Serve her, do for her, be the hero but also remember that God made you a man and not a woman. You have been made different so your spouse and complete you and so you can complete your spouse. Study her and find out where you complete her. Don't just give in to the idea that you need to emasculate yourself because you are a terrible male creature. Your wife needs your compassion but she also needs your strength.

Women listen to this. Love your spouse and submit. Let him be a man and appreciate those attributes. Build him up and stroke his ego. It is more fragile than he lets on. Remember God made you different for a reason. You need your husband to complete you and he needs you to complete him. Don't let this culture emasculate him but let him become a powerful spiritual leader in your home and community.

I think that this is what the movie really wanted to say but it was made by people who have been raised in a culture that depreciates the value of men because women were depreciated for far too long. Instead of husband and wife working together in unity they are in competition and right now the deck is stacked.

I think it is time to set those things aside and grow closer to God through our marriage.

Now if you want to start throwing those stones pick them back up, but first could you please explain why I'm wrong? If you agree with me let me know I'm not alone.

2 comments

I have several updates I want to make and don't really feel like waiting. To make things easier on me in the future, looking back for something I wrote, they'll be separate posts. Just a warning.

Ok, so I first became aware of the new NBC show Kings earlier this year. I don't really watch commercials since most of the TV time I have is spent watching stuff we DVRed. This means I get to skip through 30 seconds of commercial per button push, which is pretty cool.

The first few commercials I could have sworn that they said something about "what if one king ruled the world?" Seems about time for Hollywood to start convincing us we need a single world government. Well it looks like that changed because the last few commercials made it clear that the king only ruled the greatest country and that David really does defeat Goliath. OK now I'm actually interested so I look into it and the show is suppose to be a modern remake of the book of Samuel.

Spoiler Warning, I am summarizing the first show below.

I recorded the show Sunday and watched it last night. They change a ton of stuff. If you aren't familiar with the story from the Bible you won't find most of the similarities. David's dad dies in the war with Gath when the nation is formed. His mother, Jessie, is the matriarch. David goes to fight in the war not just drop off supplies with his brothers. He doesn't bravely face down a giant but full of fear and great fortune triumphs over a tank from the Goliath series. The King is Silas and his son is Jack, who is gay and a real jerk. In one scene Silas tells him that he must not be what God made him to be because he cannot be the future king like that. Very interesting slight of hand where he admits that God made him gay and in the same breath becomes the anti-gay fundamentalist. Jack doesn't like David at all because David saved Jack, who was captured, when David took out the Goliath tank and became a hero.

There is quite a bit more going on. There is a Reverend Samuels. I think I like him best. They do talk about God and Silas embraces God to start with but begins to distance himself from Him. The Reverend denounces Silas as king.

I'll keep watching it but I fear this is not the affirming show it could be. I believe this is a show that will subtly tear down God and setup the idea of a ruler that deserves our respect and worship.

Speaking of the antichrist (take the middle finger of grammar), I did realize something while watching this show. David was instituted by Samuel the prophet. Jesus was by John the Baptist, who was of the lineage of Levi and so a priest by birth. The antichrist will have a false prophet that will convince others to worship him and such. Interesting parallels that merit further thought.

Anyways, that was free. Anyone else watch the show Kings? If so what did you think of it?

2 comments

I have heard about people fasting all kinds of things. I wonder how many of them are really sacrificing anything. I'm not trying to condemn people or judge their sacrifice, but it seems to me that there is something to what we sacrifice. Look back at the story of Cain and Able if you don't believe me. Cain made a sacrifice that wasn't acceptable and God made it clear that He wouldn't take a second rate sacrifice.

When it comes to fasting, the Bible seems to assume food, but I think that is because the people didn't tend to have available the things to give up that we do. I don't think that the problem is really what we sacrifice but how we do it. If I sacrifice music it wouldn't be as big of a deal verses if my sister made the same sacrifice. I listen to music while I'm working but if I don't have the background noise I'm fine. I hardly ever listen to music other than while I'm working. My sister, on the other hand, loves music. She owns hundreds of CDs plus her MP3 collection and she plays the piano daily. It would be a huge sacrifice for her to give up music for a few days or weeks.

I think we often pick a second place sacrifice. I'll give up a meal instead of all me meals. I'll give up sodas instead of the computer. I hope you get the picture. I give up important things but not the most important things. I talk to a lot of people and know I'm not alone in this. I want to give up something big but chicken out and pick something that sounds big. Not so other people can think, "Wow, look what NtG is giving up for God." I don't even tell people what I'm giving up most of the time. I want something that sounds big to me without actually being so big that I'm afraid it is too big.

Even know I feel challenged to sacrifice something huge but I'm afraid to really do it. What about you? Have you ever given up something that was really big not just pretend big? Do you ever feel like some things should be sacrificed but instead give second place? Am I just a big pansy?

1 comments Monday, March 16, 2009

I am planning on visiting someone this afternoon that is dying with cancer. She was healed a few years ago but it is back. Her husband was healed before that and it has not returned.

I have only been here a year but have known this lady to be amazing. She worked with young children in the church until January when her illness became too much. She has gone down hill quickly and now needs someone with her 24/7.

It breaks my heart and I want to see her healed or released. I don't really want to pray that though because I think it would be so much the better to see her healed. She is not afraid to share what God has done for her. Even in her sickness she shared many small blessings God gave to her.

Please pray for her healing. Cancer seems so big and scary to us but we know our God is bigger.

Her name is JoAnn.

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I use to be afraid of thunder storms. When I was 7 we moved from Southern California to Oklahoma. Let me say that our first tornado warning was about more than I could take. I was camped out in the closet that whole night scared to death that I was going to die. Each flash of lightening and peal of thunder made me quake.

This went on till I was 11 and we moved to Guam. The first typhoon was completely different. I really enjoyed watching it move in and the fell in love with thunder and lightning. It got to wear I always slept best in the middle of huge storms, even after moving back to the Midwest I would sleep through the worst storms and wake completely rested.

This is, of course, because thunder makes everything better. Thunderstorms, thunder ball, The Thunderbirds, Hulk's Thunderclap, and most importantly Thundercats. Combine thunder with awesome cat people and get one of the best shows form the 80s. Not familiar with the show? Then catch the intro.



1 comments Saturday, March 14, 2009

I don't know if you've seen the 30 second bunny movies but they are hilarious. They remake movies in 30 seconds with animated bunnies. You'd think the title would have given that away but lots of people don't see ti coming. He killed me with a sword, ow weird is that?

Anyways, there is something else I love. Yep Chad Vader. If you didn't watch the first season go find it on YouTube. I could give you a link but I'm being lazy right now and think it will help you build character to find it yourself. Just like when I was a kid and didn't know the definition of a word so my parents made me look it up in a dictionary. I wonder if kids still do that or if they jut type it in Google?

Wow I better post this soon before the ADD takes over completely.



Oh look a hummingbird.

1 comments

So I have been holding out for quite some time. What have I been resisting? Simply put I have never been on twitter. That has changed and I am now part of twitter.

Mostly I have avoided it because I am a major tech geek. Things like that are like bright shiny coins in a small box. You put those boxes on places with monkeys and then the monkey reaches in to grab the shiny but can't get it out with a clenched fist. The monkey refuses to let go of the shiny and you get a mostly healthy monkey.

Each new shiny traps me in a whole new way so I've tried to avoid getting into to many things because they are too hard to get out of.

Be warned.

That said, if you twitter you can follow me http://twitter.com/PuriChristos

3 comments

Last week SYP wrapped up a month long night of fighting against the evil purple. Well, technically the story was 6 weeks long but only because I put an introduction in January and the dénouement in March, but those weren't really integral to the story line. Anyways, I'm mapping out another story line, which I could have written an introduction for, but I wanted to talk about SYP for a bit.

I want SYP to evolve into something for more than just myself. Right now I am writing this to burn off some stress. SYP gets to confront issues that I can't. Like taking on purple directly. I'm sure anyone that has worked with Youth wished purple would take a physical form so you could take it out directly. In reality you have to deal with a lot of garbage because you can't confront the problem the way SYP did. In the next story arc SYP has to deal with some grumpy deacons because of what happened at the lock-in.

I'm sure that I would have something like this going on if we had a lock-in melt down like that, but the story is based on my own reality more than the natural extension of the last story. Youth has been growing and the people coming don't seem to have much church back ground. They act like you would expect and that is perfectly fine with me. I am working on teaching them but God is the only one that can change them and only when they let Him. Last Wednesday there was a group of brand new students that was run off by a well meaning grumpy old man. They were on their skate boards in the parking lot (which is a touchy issue right now) and I had to talk to them about toning it down because they were really pushing the edge of reason when they first arrived. They had calmed down quite a bit when this guy walks out and gripes them out. They had come with another group of skateboarders that have been coming for a while and when they got yelled at they tried to get the other group to leave with them. The group that had been coming stayed but the new group split. This well meaning grumpy old man ran off 6 kids that needed to hear the gospel over skate boarding. That kind of thing really makes me mad.

I hope these kids come back but they may never consider it because of the way they were received. This is the place that I am in right now and so SYP will be harsh with the grumpy deacons. I will say that this is not a reflection on the deacons at my church. They are pretty awesome and have supported a lot of my anti-establishment kinda thinking and actions.

After dealing with the grumpy deacons SYP will have to fight Apathy, which will also take physical form. The Youth group will swell from less than 100 to over 200 (what do you expect after that lock-in) but SYP won't be able to get the volunteers because of Apathy. This is also a huge problem I am facing. A couple months ago we were running 15-20 and now we are running 30-50 in a given week. If everyone showed up at the same time we would have about 70 students and I only have 5 reliable adults including myself right now. I need help in several areas but can't seem to get through to the people in church. I'm about to go into the highways and byways like the servants in the parable of the Master's feast.

Like I said before, I really want SYP to be a fun vent for others as well. I know a lot of people that read my blog are in ministry of some kind and so share in ministry frustrations. What kinds of things would you like to see SYP battle in the future? What are you going through right now? Do you relate to some of the issues I've been facing and have ideas you think I should try or SYP should try?

6 comments Friday, March 13, 2009

An update on how awesome my daughter is. She has recently started using the computer. We got a Charlie Church Mouse Kindergarten program form my mother-in-law and decided to let her start playing it earlier this week. She watched me start it one time and now we have to watch her because she will hop on the computer and start the game whenever she feels like it.

Now she is browsing the internet. I mean as I type she in cruising around Disney online. I put her on the page then went to get something before trying to find something she could do and a minute later (maybe less) I walked back in and she was in Pixie Hollow. I had to setup her account because she can't spell (she is only 5 after all) but then she started making her own fairy all by herself.

Yep, she is my mini geek. Now I just need to go find her a mini geek tee-shirt.

Found it

3 comments

Normally I focus this blog on ministry related things. That is kind of the point since I named it "My Experience as Youth Pastor." I have some pretty cool kids though. If you don't know I have 4 kids from 8 months old to 5 years old. Life tends to be hectic but fun. They are so funny but the oldest is really the most interesting right now. She is just starting to get jokes. She would laugh at stuff before but never really jokes unless others laughed and she was just laughing along.

I don't know if you've had kids yet but they go through several stages of humor and understanding jokes is one of the later stages. My mother-in-law still doesn't quite get it. It is so funny watching her think through a joke and laugh about it when she understands the play on words, but it is even funnier watching her try to make her own humor.

She is starting to tell knock knock jokes, but doesn't fully understand what makes things funny. Here is one she told me the other day:

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Me.
Me who?
Just me silly.

Followed by much laughter from her. She also tries playing jokes. Her teacher was sharing with me today about some of her jokes during class. She kept asking questions during the test and the teacher couldn't answer them. In the past she has really struggled with her phonics tests in large part due to a speech problem she has and so asked these kinds of questions. Her teacher has always had to tell her she can't answer them for her on the test and will say "what do you think it is?" Her teacher has expressed to me in the past how bad she feels to see her struggling with the test and unable to tell her the answers to the questions she asked. My daughter played on these emotions asking her time and time again during this test only to respond with "gotcha" and marking the right answers. She totally aced the test and also got a major sarcasm bonus.

She is really catching up in phonics and reading, doing great in numbers and math, and performing at a 5th grade level in sarcasm. I can't tell you how proud I am of my daughter.

2 comments Thursday, March 12, 2009

I originally posted this back in November. I am just now getting around to preaching this series. I posted a sermon I preached on my Sermon Blast blog. Someone asked if it was something I preached to the Youth. Unfortunately it was not. We don't have recording equipment in the Youth building. Well technically I took the CDR from the Youth Building to the sanctuary because we didn't even have it hooked up. I found it by accident while looking for something else. Anyways, I try to never preach down to the students so what I preach to them is only a little different from what I will preach to the church. There are two main differences. First I tend to use a lot of YouTube videos and other things like that. The other reason is based on attention span. I might have planned that same sermon for the Youth but would have broken it into two or three parts and preached those parts as a series.

The following is a pretty good example of what I preach to my Youth. This isn't word for word but gets the high points. Some additions or explanations are in red.

How to not survive a nuclear bomb

50s TV announcer dude (5TAD): Hey Timmy, how are you today?

Timmy: Fine I guess.

5TAD: What has you down there young man?

Timmy: Well I heard something about the Soviets planning on blowing us all up with nuclear bombs.

5TAD: Timmy, don't worry, if you follow these simple rules you can survive when the reds attack.

First, always carry a newspaper. It may not seem like much but our top scientist have reinforced your common newspaper with special ink to protect you from radiation.

Second, always know where your fallout shelters are located. You should cover your head with the news paper and go to your closest fallout shelter.

Third, get under your desk or up against a wall at school. Those desks have the same nuclear proof ink to protect our nation's children.

Timmy, if you follow these simple rules you can be safe in any nuclear disaster.

Timmy: Gee thanks Mr. Announcer Dude.

I actually read this using voices for the characters. I thought it would be funny and did get some good laughs although I did get more laughs later when for some reason I got distracted and started quoting Charlie the Unicorn and the Banana King.


 I'm pretty sure that is an accurate transcript from a 50 public awareness broadcast. These are some of the rules about dealing with nuclear attacks. I still see fallout shelter signs everywhere. The Bible College I worked at had one down in the basement of one of the buildings. Sure this room was behind a locked door and sure it was full of dangerous chemicals and had huge natural gas lines running through the room, but it also had a nice sign letting all in the know that it was the place to be if someone dropped the bomb on the city. Of course it was BYOS, that is bring your own supplies. No water, food, or first aid stuff so hopefully you remember to bring what you will need for a few years. Of course it was still better than a lot of other shelters I've seen. Some are open on three or even 4 sides. The slightest breeze would blow fallout into the shelter.

I think this is a good example of how we setup refuges in our life. We have places in our life we go to when things get big bad and scary, but those places aren't ever as safe as they look. We don't have the resources to try and survive while hiding out and we often find ourselves hiding behind a wall we setup to keep others away only to get stabbed from behind because there was nothing to cover out backside.

I think God wants to setup real places of refuge for us. Like the shelter from Blast from the Past. Well stocked and very safe. He wants us to find refuge with others so we can bear each other up and most of all He wants us to find refuge in Him. He is like Helm's Deep, or Minas Tirith, a fortress that has never been breached. The only way the enemy can strike us in the refuge of His wings is if we walk out of that safe place to try and find a safer place own our own.

I switched this up after the fact pointing out how these places failed and how in Blast from the Past the family in the shelter wasn't prepared for reality. I felt this really set things up for the main point and conclusion better.


 


 

   Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
       will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
       my God, in whom I trust."

Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
       and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers,
       and under his wings you will find refuge;
       his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night,
       nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
       nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
       ten thousand at your right hand,
       but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes
       and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you make the Most High your dwelling—
       even the LORD, who is my refuge-

 then no harm will befall you,
       no disaster will come near your tent.

 For he will command his angels concerning you
       to guard you in all your ways;

 they will lift you up in their hands,
       so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
       you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
       I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
       I will be with him in trouble,
       I will deliver him and honor him.

 With long life will I satisfy him
       and show him my salvation."

The main point and conclusion are tied together after this. I set the passage up by talking about David and how he never had a place of refuge. You can figure out the details if you are familiar with David. The short version is that he faced the lion, the bear, and Goliath with only his sling and Saul turned on him as did nearly every ally he ever had so that any place of refuge he had was lost. He found his shelter in God alone and we can also. When we are in that place where nothing is working and we feel completely alone God can be our peace. We need to have a relationship with God if we expect that kind of peace.

I shared a bit more than this but this should get you an idea of what I preach to my Youth.

2 comments Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We are just getting into Crazy Love in the Young Adults class I lead. Tonight was Chapter 3, which I feel is the key to the entire book. Chapters 1&2 are nice but not required to grasp the book. They set the stage for why we should love God but Chapter 3 explains it. If you don't get this concept then you will fall into the idea that the book is promoting a works based theology. That isn't it at all though.

That said I am kind of disappointed in the discussion on the chapter tonight. I was really hoping that there would be some good talk but I had to really coax anything out. I'm not sure how to encourage more discussion in the group. Tonight I suggested they take notes while reading so they can talk about it instead of trying to think on the spot. Hopefully that will help.

On Monday I met with other Youth Pastors and started planning out several of our summer events. Pretty much every other week is something this summer. I'm not even sure how we will get through it all to be honest. On the upside we will be working together so no one of us will need to bear the entire burden and that is pretty awesome.

At some point during all of this we are suppose to have a 2 week vacation to visit my in-laws. This is one of those vacations that I will likely need a vacation to recover from.

After the summer I'll be starting my graduate program.

Needless to say I have a lot going on, but there are a ton of awesome resources for Youth workers that are crazy busy. A really good one is Youth Specialties. Check out the community link and free resources. That is where it is at. They have so much stuff available for free to help you get started. Most of those things recommend or even require their books and such, but if you don't want to buy or cannot buy take what they offer and you will be way ahead of the game. If you can buy then support them so they can continue to make so much available for free.

3 comments Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So this is one of the more impressive videos out there right now. At first I thought the scrolling text was a really lame effect but then about halfway through I understood the effect and it became way more awesome.



Also, I have a new sermon up so check it out.

That is all.

7 comments

Seriously, why get caught up in this whole Lent thing? If God calls me to sacrifice something then I'll do it in my own time in my own way not just because the calendar tells me to.

Last week I talked about Lent a little and how through our sacrifice we join in a small way with what Jesus did. Everything about Jesus' life on Earth was sacrifice. The moment Mary conceived Christ there was sacrifice. Mary sacrificed her place in society not knowing if she would be killed or put away quietly never daring to hope that Joseph would be moved to keep her. Jesus, of course, sacrificed all of heaven to become a man. He is baptized then immediately goes on a time of fasting and prayer in the desert for 40 days and spends the next 3 years on the road to the cross. Every word He speaks and every step He takes it towards the cross. From a literary perspective the Baptism of Christ is the climax, the point where Jesus says that he is moving to the end game that is the cross and resurrection. The garden and the cross is the emotional climax of the story driving home the actual cost of our salvation. Sacrifice is the key to it all.

Why, though, should we join together in sacrifice instead of doing it on our own? Well we should sacrifice on our own through the year so the question is flawed. Really the question is, "why should we join together in sacrifice in addition to doing it on our own?" To put it simply; because we are a community and must share in community. The Bible says we are the body of Christ and this means that we need to do some things together. Communion is for the body not just a few pieces of the body. By joining together we join in Christ. That is powerful.

There is more to it than this though. By joining in our sacrifice we find encouragement to see it through. If we make a commitment only to ourselves and God it is easy to break. That is why I have such a big problem with New Year's resolutions, they are so easy to break.

But Jesus says to keep your fasting a secret. Actually he doesn't. He says when you fast don't go around looking ill and stuff so people will know just how holy you are. He is speaking about a very specific problem that he was encountering. Quite frankly I've seen plenty of this from the other side of the fasting/sacrifice as well. "I don't let anyone know when I fast or what I'm fasting because I'm much too holy …" Ok people don't say the much too holy part but we know it is there.

Listen, if you are not into the whole Lent thing that is fine. Jesus never commanded this kind of thing, but he did explicitly say you shouldn't compare yourself to others and judge yourself to be more holy. He spend lots of time coming down against the self-righteous because no one really fits that mold except Him. I think it is better to try and understand than to condemn out of our own ignorance.

2 comments Monday, March 9, 2009

Yesterday was a long and hard day. I had to leave just after song service from church because one of my Youth was in a pretty bad accident. She normally comes to church on Sunday, unlike 90% of my Youth, and was there but left part of the way through song service. I've been working the sound board lately so I saw her leave but couldn't catch her to see what was up. I did feel it was important to pray for her so I did. She got called in to work and was on her way home for her clothes when she lost control of her car on some loose gravel spun out into a ditch and flipped the car onto its side. The side of the car was pretty torn up but the impact didn't even crack a window or set off the airbags so that much is good. Also she didn't have so much as a scratch on her. She was very shaken up about the whole thing because she got that she could have died right then and there. Not quite 18 and faced her own mortality. I pray she gets it now.

It is interesting how much happens after or even because of accidents in 80s cartoons. Two of my favorite cartoons basically start because of an accident. In the original Transformers they came over in the Ark which crash-lands on Earth millions of years in the past and in Thundercats their space ship crashed stranding them on an uncharted planet. Personally I would blame the navigation system.

I have a GPS and most of the time it is a wonderful thing, but I don't trust it. I find that I have the urge to turn when it says even if there is a red light. I have also experienced bad directions more than once. The GPS has tried taking me to the wrong side of town for a few addresses. Fortunately I don't trust the GPS and try to always have directions so when the GPS is telling me to take one route I can ignore it and go the right way instead of crash-landing on an alien planet.

A couple weeks ago we went on a ski trip, and Maggie (a Magellan GPS) plotted the trip and took us over a rather large mountain through parts of West Virginia that I'd rather never visit again. Scary, deep country places that tourists don't want to know about. After we got to the place I asked the leader of one of the other groups what route they took and it was not the directions I followed. On the way back I figured I'd give Maggie another chance and apparently all of our mocking convinced her to take us a different route. Actually she took us the exact route that the other leader recommended. It seems odd to me that I picked all the same settings but got two different routes.

If I had remembered my lessons from 80s cartoons I would have checked on this before we left and never trusted the machine. Pretty much everything else has taught me that machines are trying to take over the world after all. The only reason we got out alive was I didn't stop to ask for directions. "I see your lips moving but all I hear is banjo music."

PS sorry for the late post, I didn't get this submitted like I thought.

Comments Sunday, March 8, 2009

One of my students was in a pretty bad car accident today on her way to get ready for work. The car spun out on some loose gravel that washed into the road and ended up flipped onto its side in the ditch.

Praise God, though, that she ended up climbing out of the passenger side without a scratch on her. Please pray for her.

Comments Saturday, March 7, 2009

Just so you know, there is a whole lot of nekkid in Watchmen. Seriously, they show the full monty many times on the glowing blue guy. For most of the movie he isn't wearing anything at all and everything is shown swinging in the breeze. Other characters are shown nude as well as a couple of sex scenes and a near rape scene that was more than a little graphic.

Short version is, don't waste your money.

Comments

This is the conclusion of the story. For previous installments please visit part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5.

SYP had never been so happy to see his wife. Just when it seemed all hope was lost she came in and saved the day. He had never been so tired either. All night he had been tracking down the Love Crazed Teen Zombies and battling the evil Purple. The Cool Kid claimed to be responsible for it all but somehow he slipped off during the clean up. That was pretty bad too. The building had been hosed down during the fight against the LCTZs. It seemed to be the most effective way to convert them back to their senses. The multipurpose room was the worst. Griz had activated the sprinkler system when all the remaining teen zombies had been rounded up into that room. That was also where the fight with purple took place. A great pillar of purple hued salt stood where Super Wife had destroyed the beast with her glare. SYP wasn't sure how to dispose of it. Who knew if it might somehow cause another outbreak? It would be best to seal it up permanently.

One of the doors was completely destroyed also. The plot went much deeper than the Cool Kid. When Griz went for the Pizzas he was knocked out and tied up in his own vehicle. It took him hours to get loose and when he got back to the church he noticed his building keys had been taken as well. When no one answered his knocking he had to break in. SYP was glad they had made so much on the lock-in. He guessed most of it would go to repairing the damage.

The one highlight seemed to be that everyone had a great time. They didn't remember their time as LCTZs but they do remember all the fun "games" and "staged" fights with over the top special effects. Everyone kept asking when the next lock-in would be. No one had any idea about who the original killer was. Of course the rest of the drama was interrupted by flesh craving zombie drama so it was unlikely anyone would guess. In the end SYP did a random drawing and one of the new kids he had never met won the Wii.

By the time parents started showing up the students were dry and ready to go. Fortunately the broken door was on the other side of the building from where the teens were leaving. None of the parents seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary. The Cool Kid had driven himself and his car was gone.

SYP called the Janitor so he could get in early. They had cleaned up most of it by the time he got there. SYP was especially concerned about the pile of salt and the broken door so they made sure that was finished and at least temporarily secured before anything else got started.

"What did you do?" asked the Janitor when he arrived late in the morning.

"Yeah sorry about all this, but hey look on the bright side, it's still cleaner than after VBS."

"Still cleaning glitter out of those classrooms."

"Need us to stay and help?"

"No, you'll just get in the way. Get some sleep cuz you know the Board will be talking to you tomorrow."

"Thanks"

"Don't thank me just yet; I'll be talking to them tonight."

SYP just smiled and took his wife by the hand as they walked out to their car followed by Griz and the Naïve Intern.

4 comments Friday, March 6, 2009

There is a lovely discussion going on between some lovely lady bloggers and I learned long ago not to get in the middle of a cat fight, but it can be fun to throw gas on fires. Pardon my mixed metaphor but if you assume the cat fight turned into a wildfire it makes more sense. Actually I have a very funny story about why you don't get in the middle of a cat fight. I was on a swim team and one day two girls got into a serious fight. The coach tried to get in there to break it up but ended up getting clawed and bitten, so he did the next logical thing, he picked up the fur ball and chunked them both into the pool. The stopped fighting when they realized they couldn't breathe underwater.

So anyways, this is a response to a comment made over at Kat's blog in this post. I almost made the comment there but felt that I didn't want to get in the middle.

I worked with a guy from the Arkansas Ozarks and this really nice guy form like Iowa or something. Everyone would always rip on each other and pull pranks and such but the Iowa guy was just too nice and never really said anything mean ever.

Then one day the three of us are doing a job and the Arkansas guy is just going on and on about something when the Iowa guy looks up and says, "I see your lips moving but all I hear is Banjo music."

I was laughing so hard that tears were rolling down my face.

That is what the waa waa waaa waa wa reminds me of now.

On a side note, if I ever get pulled over in West VA or Arkansas I will likely not survive.

(please remember to multiple all vowels not spoken by me by 5, I left it out to make it somewhat easier to read)

Officer: doya knu wha a pulchyaover sun?

Me: I see your lips moving but all I hear is Banjo music

Officer: whaja satme boi?

Me: Yeah, still banjo.

Officer: GETOUT THE CAR

Me: Hey look he can speak English.

(few days later)

Judge: Y'stan accuuuuuuuuuuuuuuused a saltin n ofisir of te pis. Howdya plid?

Me: (imitates the guitar response in dueling banjos)

Yep I think I'd be there a great long while.