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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Do You Call It?

This is a pretty cool map. My brother Matt emailed it to me and I thought I would share it with you. It tells us - depending on where we live - what we call pop, cokes, sodas, or the pc version - soft drinks. Go here to the interactive web site that will let you click on most states and see how people "voted" and how the researchers got their stats/colors.

Just think...somebody got paid (probably even federally funded) to pull and pile this info together. That's nuts - kinda cool - but nuts. BTW - do you call soft drinks according to the geographic region in which you live? Or by where you were raised? Or something else? Just curious.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Whopper Crunches

Ok...I'm on a roll here today. Can you tell it's my day off and Kelly and the kids aren't home? Anywho. This video is as silly as they come and to be honest - it cracked me up. Good times.

Family Guy Osama Parody

This clip makes me laugh everytime. We've all seen the real thing on the evening news but for the Family Guy writers and producers to come up with a "behind the scenes/outtakes" twist like this is pretty creative. Very funny. And I'm I'm not even a Family Guy guy (except for Brian the that character is funny).

Street jump and climbing

I've seen some pretty cool stuff in my time and this is right up there. This kid is amazing - and with no security to boot! Wow. Kinda puts my jumpin' jacks to shame.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Why Have I Wandered?

Over the last year and half of depression and struggle, I have had a deep desire to not run from God, but seek Him, pursue Him, be still with Him, and allow Him to work on the deeper places of my soul as they are brought to light. One of the ways I've done that is committing to talk with and listen to Him through prayer, music, art, books, and the Bible. Over the past week I have been reading the Old Testament book of Hosea. For some reason I was drawn to it. I just got through an amazing time in the New Testament book of Hebrews. But as I thought about what to move onto next, my mind kept coming back to I decided to go for it, not knowing what God had in store for me.

Hosea is the story of a prophet in Isreal (Hosea) that God tells to marry a common slut and have kids with her. God uses this family as a living example/story/parable of God's love for us. As Eugene Peterson writes in The Message, "God loves us in just this way - goes after us at our worst, keeps after us until he gets us, and makes lovers of men and women who know nothing of real love." Wow. So I went into this experience eyes wide open wondering ever more how God was going to move, speak, and lead.

Then, last night, this verse caught my ear, "My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations." (9:17) And I thought - I'm a wanderer. Like Israel, I've lived life like a vagabond it seems. Moving, taking on school, a new job, another new job, and now school again. Hhhmmm. Kelly and I have felt all along the way like God was moving us in new directions, to new locations, but I sense that God is using this story to remind me of obedience - and maybe my lack thereof. Obedience to Him, but specifically what? I'm not sure.

I definitely don't feel like God has rejected me or washed His hands of me. I know in my head and feel in my heart that He continues to call out, "I'm right here. Trust me. Follow me. Obey me. I love you." And if I'm completely honest, I do drag my feet many times. But maybe there are some areas that I am living in serious disobedience. I'm going to have to have God help me uncover some of those (Pride? Lust? Laziness? Hypocrisy? Finances? Others?). It may take some time and could be - probably will be - painful. Good, but painful.

So maybe I'm a wanderer because of my own choices to "run" and not deal with sin/stuff. Maybe I'm a wanderer b/c God is allowing me to move (or making me move?) until I come to my senses, surrender, and seek Him out on this stuff. And maybe I'm a wanderer b/c of both.

All I know is this: God, you have my attention. My heart, mind and soul are still. I will wait on you.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Benny Hinn: Let the Bodies Hit the Floor!

I saw this video on my friend Marko's blog. It's like a sweet and sour candy: sweet in that it's pretty funny and sour in that it leaves a bad taste in your mouth b/c it's just sad. The song is "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" by Drowning Pool. Fascinating to see how those "outside" the church interpret what those "inside" the church do "in the name of Jesus"...insightful, hilarious, and infuriating!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Super Colts!

Da Bears vs...

...the Colts or the Patriots. Big ups to the Bears and a great second half as they completely dominated the New Orleans Saints. On a side note, this New Orleans Saints story is one of the best in sports history: ravaged hurricane Katrina community, first year coach, bum-shouldered quarterback nobody wanted, and a team and city that completely needed and embraced each other. Simply awesome and, if I'm at all honest, I'm kinda bummed they didn't make it to the Super Bowl. But with that being, I'm stoked for all my Chicago friends and die-hard Bears friends who are pumped right now. Do they have what it takes to make the "Super Bowl Shuffle" come alive again? Maybe, but...

...They have to play the winner of AFC Championship game. Manning - the guy who can't win a big game, especially in the playoffs, now playing in the biggest game of his career, who's got a suspect defense who only of late has gotten hot - vs Brady - the greatest big game quarterback of our day with 3 Super Bowl rings to boot. Wow! Does it get more jacked than this?! NOOO! Should be an awesome game. Here's to Manning shaking one more monkey off his back and the D stepping up to shut down the Pats!

Go Colts! Go Colts! Go colts!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Still Crazy...

...about teenagers after being out of formal ministries for almost a year and half. I'm thankful for that. You know why? B/c I thought that there was a possibility that after being away from jr. high, high school and college students that some how, some way I might lose that "something" for seeing them grow and experience the deep, rich life as people and followers of Jesus.

You know, I still bump around sites like Youth Specialties or The Ooze or DTour Community and get jazzed about serving, leading, and pursuing Kingdom and missional living with kids. Kelly and I still have a number of students come to our house to hang and talk about life, love, friends, and God. It makes me wonder if I should still be pursuing vocational opportunities in the context of the local church(right, Bret and LA?). It's wild. But there is something about living that kind of life in the context of a public or private school with students, families, and the school staff especially as I lives it out much more subversively. That's seems really exciting to me. And as my brother-in-law Donny puts it, "It's not about being excited about the next couple of years, but about the next 20-30 years."

But the tension in living in this time is not only fanning the flame that is a passion for teenagers, but also about working through the fear that comes with past failure, dealing with the words of the enemy that cause me doubt, and simply living a life of faith when it comes to the future. I really envy people that have some level of stability when it comes to the job they have (though I don't envy many of those same people because they have not pursued a career out of passion, but out of pulling a paycheck - and thus are a bit miserable). I so want that, but so want to live out of passion and a sense of this is what I was made for. In essence, I want my cake and I want to eat it, too. That's part of this ideal that we live from our deepest desires that God has planted in us.

I want that.

I need that.

So call me crazy - that's a good thing - for doing what I'm doing. I can't wait to formally get back into the lives of students and help them with all that life deals us. That will be really cool. Different (b/c of environment, organizational agenda, etc), but very cool (b/c teenagers are teenagers no matter where you go). It's crazy I tell you; just crazy!

Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream

I can not help on this day to share one my favorite speeches from one of our nation's greatest heroes and visionaries. This man, his life, and his words inspire me to dig deep in myself to pursue not only his dream of peace and justice, but the kingdom vision of Jesus of peace and justice. The question I ask you (and me) is this: Do you share this dream? Do you pursue this dream? If so, how? If not, why?

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Luke 4:18,19 (Isaiah 61:1,2)

Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Great Quote - Movie

I got Gladiator on DVD for my birthday. I love this movie for it's power and inspiration.

[addressing his troops]
Maximus: Fratres!
[Cavalry addresses Maximus]
Maximus: Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead!
[Cavalry laughs]
Maximus: Brothers, what we do in life... echoes in eternity.

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

1Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. 2"But not during the Feast," they said, "or the people may riot."

3While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

4Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? 5It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly.

6"Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."

10Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Holiday Happenings - New Year's Day Part 2

Sarah and her cousin Maria entertain the old people at the big New Year's day shin dig. You can't buy this kinda entertainment...especially around the holidays! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Holiday Happenings - New Year's Day

I posted early here about what Parker and I did on New Year's Day, but am now just getting around to sharing some pics about Kelly and Sarah's mommy/daughter road trip to the Voet/Adam's New Year's Day Bash. Good times were had by all (except a boy with strep and a dude whose team got beat).

The kids love the big bags at Mamau and Papau's house

Learnings from one photographer to another (Sarah's first camera!).

Is there anything grander than the Princess Memory Game!?

Have audience; will dance.

Aunt Sherry and son John enjoy a beverage - kid beverage - together...mmmm.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Holiday Happenings - Xmas in Dayton

After Christmas Day at our house in Indy and a couple of days working in retail chaos, it was off to my parent's house in Dayton. Here are a few pics of the festivities. Good times were had by all.

Cooper thinks Christmas in Dayton is two thumbs up!

Parker hates that it rains in Granny's house. Such bad luck!

Uncle Budizzle and nephizzle Alizzle. Fo shizzle!

Larry, Mo and Curly

The girls do their best to immitate the Granny cough! Ogh!

Christmas Light Cat

You can pick one of the these light-me-up kitties at a local/internet retailer near you. They will even custom make it (like this one) to look like your cat (or other household pet - picture required). Nativity stable does cost extra, but well worth it!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Kitten Cannon

This may be one of the great online games every created. Simple. Creative. Addictive. Give it a try. All you cat lovers out there may want to steer clear. Have fun!

Holiday Happenings - Xmas Day - Part 2

Bret and Mom

Sarah and the Nutcracker that Parker gave her - she loves it!

Christmas Brunch - What a feast!

Scream if you love powdered doughnuts.

Three Generations of Rings Dudes

Holiday Happenings - Xmas Day - Part 1

What a magical day. It doesn't get much better than experiencing Christmas through the life of a child. We had a great day!

Waking and Walking to Santa's Surprises

One Cool Train Table (How'd Santa get that down the chimney?)

LA and Jet

Come on, Barbie, Let's Go Party!

Ladies, Welcome to the Skylar Gunshow

Holiday Happenings - Xmas Eve

Here is the first in a series of snap shots that were taken over the holidays. First off - Christmas Eve. It was great to have my brother Bret and his fam in from NW Arkansas and my rents in from Ohio.

Parker admiring Uncle Popcorn's pocket knife.

The Last Advent Door

A reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas

Traditional Christmas Eve Dinner: Cincinnati Chile

Three Wise Babes: Leigh Bird, KBSJ, and Granny

The Final Countdown

Today is when the countdown begins. All applications are due to the University of Dayton for the Masters in Education School Counseling program (my stuff has been since Novemeber). I should get a call in the next few days or within the week (I think) regarding the set up of a time for my formal/informal interview to see if I'm right for the program and vice versa. After that - within the month - I should know if I'm in or if I'm out. Whoa. I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch (even though I've put all my eggs in one basket) as to my acceptence, but when I think about it, I do get excited (and scared, unsure, dazed, etc) about what God is holding in His hands for me.

There you have it...straight from the horses case you were wondering what is going with the school dealio. Peace and late until the next update...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Sweater

I share my life with some amazing people. They are apart of the community/small group that Kelly and I do life with at our church. To close out the year, we had our 3rd annual Christmas party and White Elephant gift exchange. Lots of fun. Lots of laughs. Lots (and I mean LOTS) of food.

The moment or should I say moments that I will not forget came during the gift exchange. Somebody (I can't even remember who now...Haynes?) brought this sweat that screamed, "Yikes!" And needless to say it started a feeding frenzy of exchanges where we fought and stole for it like crows over roadkill. I thought I would share a few pics for the peeps out there who will just have to ask the White Elephant gift gods to bring one to their next party. All I can say is that I am so getting that sweater next year!

The Belle of the Ball

Sweaters Rock!

Blue Steel meets Bad Sweater

Two words: Stud Muffin'!

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Day

I've heard this song all over the radio and television today so I thought I would post these intriguing lyrics. Here are the words to U2's "New Year's Day":


All is quiet on New Year's Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it's true it's true...
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I...I will begin again
I...I will begin again

Maybe the time is right
Oh...maybe tonight...

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we're told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

First Post of 2007

You think this post would be deep. Well it's not. It's going to be kind of a downer. I was home today with Parker who is sick. Kelly and Sarah went to the Voet/Adams Rockin' New Year's Day Bash. So I settled down on the couch with Parker snuggled in my arms to watch a little January 1 football and my beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. They took on the Auburn Tigers for the first time in a long time. Both teams had something to prove after seasons filled with disappointment and missed expectations.

It was a game which started out with Nebraska looking like it was going to dominate, but Auburn stayed close and took the lead in the first half because of key Husker turnovers (see the Texas and Oklahoma game). Auburn came out in the second half with their hard hats on ready to work and work hard. They dominated on defense and got the lone points of the second half in the form of a field goal which was enough for the win. Stink. Stink. Stink.

What a bummer. Here's to spring practice and the fall season. War Huskers!

The Hunger Site

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