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Friday, November 30, 2007

Come and...

God has been stirring in my heart lately. For a while there, I wasn't sure about what so I began to listen. Then for my birthday last week, Kelly and the kids gave me a couple of cd's. One of which was the David Crowder Band's, Collision. This is one of my favorite bands. Simple. Powerful. Different. Creative. Check out the cd here.

One of the songs on the disc is called, "Come and Listen."

Come and listen
Come to the water’s edge
All you who know and fear the Lord
Come and listen
Come to the water’s edge
All you who are thirsty, come

Let me tell you what He has done for me
Let me tell you what He had done for me
He has done for you
He has done for us

Come and listen
Come and listen to what He’s done
Praise our God for He is good
He has done for me
He has done for you

He has done for us
Simple, yet what I sensed God is wanting me to do in this season. Listen. Listen to Him. Listen to others. Listen to music. Listen to creation. Listen to His Word. Listen to who He is and what He's done.

So over the next few weeks, I'll share with you what I hear.

"He who has ears, let him hear." - Jesus

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Living To 100 Life Expectancy Calculator

This is a very informative free test to see what you life expectancy is. It walks you through some general questions in the areas of Personal Info (age, b-day, etc), Lifestyle, Nutrition, Medical, and Family. It takes about 5-10 minutes to do. It even gives some general feedback at the end to incorporate into you lifestyle to live longer and healthier. Kinda cool. Click here to calculate your years. Here are my results:

Your calculated life expectancy is 87years.

51 years left, baby (Lord willin')!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Great Moment From the Red Sox Nation

And I don't mean them winning their second World Series. Check out this moment when an autistic young man gets a case of the giggles in the middle of singing the National Anthem. Say what you want about the Red Sox and the Red Sox Nation, but this is pretty cool.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just Run To Him

I'm not much into the mushy stuff in Christianity. In fact, when it gets cheesy (especially on Christian radio) I'm quick to switch stations. However, my brother sent me this via an email and it caught me at a vulnerable moment. This is pretty tender if I do say so myself.



(bu to Matt)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

God Still Loves Us

Viral Marketing is an interesting phenomenon that is finding it's way into the four corners of the world. It's an interesting concept for getting certain people to think about particular brands, products, or concepts. And it seems to have made it's way into Christian community for the purpose communicating God's love for us. There is/are some person/people out there looking to make a difference or at least a statement through this kind of radical mechanism. It's called God Still Loves Me.

I'd love to know who is behind this movement, but keeping it subversive and simple is fine by me (even though some/maybe many of the pics are fake). It is definitely out of the box for me. The ones that are real are definitely pretty cool. Here are a few pics to give you a visual.





p.s. How do you feel about this? Is this good Kingdom methodology? What other messages does it communicate to the world at large? Just curious.

(bu to Subversive 1)

Prayer Of The Weak

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007 - Some Of My Favorite Pics

Brett, LA, Jetson, Skylar, Mesa, Matt, and Toni, you were/are missed! Here are some of my other favorite pics from the big day:





Thanksgiving 2007 - Silly Side Of The Turkey

A family of goofs!





Thanksgiving 2007

Here are a few pics from our great Thanksgiving 2007 here in Dayton The Rings/Solin/Carr clan had a some serious fun (apples to apples), serious football (packers, cowboys, huskers), and serious food (all the fixins). Good times were had by all!





Bath Time Tidal Wave

Just in case you ever wonder what bath time is like in our home (or any home for that matter with small kids) and then multiply it by two! Good times.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Grafted And Grateful

I sit here in my house on Thanksgiving grateful for many things - too many list. But I will highlight one. Today (right now in fact), I am surrounded by four new family members (two more are back chillin' at their hotel). My brother, Blane, and his new wife, my new sis-in-law, Crystal, and her kids Blaze, Melissa, and Hayden are watching Pearl Harbor with Kelly and I. It's really cool.

What's cool is that this gathering today was born out of great pain. The Carr family (new fam) lost their dad a year and a half ago to a brain tumor. Two years ago my brother's family was rocked by divorce. Both very different experience, but both very painful. What's even cooler is that God in his grace has joined us together.

This grafting of two families is very much like our grafting into Christ...powerful, tough, joyous, mysterious and born from brokenness. And through it all something new is being born. Something good is happening. Rough, refining, and redemptive if we are open to it. My bro and my nieces and my new sis and my new niece and nephews are experiencing all the highs, lows, fruit and fragileness that comes with new relationships.

I'm thankful that Kelly and the kids were apart of it this week. Thanksgiving was a chance for all of us to experience a deeper sense of the grafting that God is doing in all of us. With Him and with each other. It's amazing to be apart of it. I am truly thankful for that this year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blog Of The Week

Alright. So you've seen bu (big ups) a few times on this blog to a guy named Marko. Who is he and why is he the Blog of the Week? Well, Mark Oestreicher is a long time friend and mentor. He became the Jr. High pastor at the church that I attended in Omaha, NE when I was in high school. I was a young volunteer who would hang out at his apartment with he and his wife and listen to tunes, ride in his Jeep, and talk about who knows what. I later became his intern in Santa Ana, CA when I was a junior in college. Over the years it's been wild to watch Marko grow as a pastor, husband/dad, leader (president of youth specialties) and man of God. Marko has inspired me to be more creative, administrative, techy, and teachable. For that, I am forever grateful.

And so I was pumped when I found out that he blogged a couple years back. His blog is one of the first I visit in the day. It's full of humor, critique, reviews and encouragement for all people, but especially for those near and dear his and my heart - youth workers (esp. middle school youth workers). Some of my favorite ysmarko posts have to do with books (he devours them), middle school students, and Jesus junk.

Marko is an amazing leader, thoughtful follower of Christ, ruthless name dropper, and good friend. It has been my joy to know he and his wife over the years. I am thankful for technology that allows me to tap into his insight over the miles and over the net. I would not be the man I am today without his influence. Thanks, Goober!

Visit ysmarko here.

Seven Deadly Social Sins

I've got to be honest. I'm not excited about voting in the presidential elections that will take place a little less than a year from now. There is a lot of rhetoric about what to change, what to keep the same, and what is best of the American people. But in the end, it's just words to me from mostly lame candidates playing the political game.

So lately, I've been thinking about what is going to be the foundations upon which I should build my political ideologies. What is the paradigm I will use to evaluate their political perspective? There are principles in the Bible, but nothing overtly political that says, "This is the criteria for voting for the right candidate." I know there are issues of love and justice, but what does this look like?

Then I came across this. Not even sure where I found it, but I thought this might make for a guide post for looking at politicians (as best as I can). It's not perfect, but helpful. Maybe it might be helpful for you, too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Accordion Hero II

Now this is what I'm talking about! Move over Guitar Hero. Step aside Rock Band. Here comes Accordion Hero! I'm about ready to get my polka on!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Prayer Of The Weak

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Where's The Beef?

Just in case you ever wondered and wanted to know what part of a cow your beef came from.

Mmmmmm beef.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Where Have You Gone Joe Dimaggio?

Today is another sad day for Major League Baseball and more importantly its fans. Barry Bonds, baseball's home run king, was indicted today for perjury and obstruction of justice. You can read articles here, here, and here. This video is a bit of commentary from one of my favorite shows, Pardon the Interuption (PTI) on ESPN. So sad.



Update: I want to edit my opening line. "It's a sad day for baseball fans. On the other hand, shame on Major League Baseball for turning a blind eye to McGwire, Sosa, AND Bonds for both home run chases. Shame on MLB for being simply about the shameless marketing and the boat-load of benjamins."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Free Rice - The Game That Feeds People

This a very fun game that is also a great cause. It's called Free Rice. It's goal is to improve vocabulary for free and end world hunger for free. Very fun. Very cool.

I got to 36 and then fluctuated between 33-35. I blame it on fatigue. What can you do?

(bu to Charlie)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wave of Sorrow by U2

Bono and the boys are at it again...putting out another thoughtful, passionate song to stir the heart and soul. You can check out more about the song, give feedback, and hear what else is going on in the U2 universe by clicking here. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Prayer Of The Weak

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This Makes Me Laugh

Hahaha.

(bu to Indexed)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Death Maps And The Crisis In Africa

I recently saw these maps and was blown away. These are death maps: the amount of death on a continent or in a country in relation to the amount of population they compose in relation to the rest of the world. The top map depicts the deaths where as the bottom map depicts population.

Wow. It makes me sick to my stomach especially when I compare it to the U.S.

Often Preventable Deaths/Population


Of the roughly 57 million people who died in 2002, more than 18 million succumbed to communicable diseases, complications from childbirth, or nutritional deficiencies, according to WHO. Worldmapper labels these deaths as "often preventable" because the conditions could have been easily treated with modern medicine.

HIV/AIDS Deaths/Population


In 2002 the region [sub-Saharan Africa] suffered about 80 percent of the 2.6 million deaths attributed to AIDS worldwide. This means that the disease, which goes largely untreated there, killed more than 6,000 Africans a day.

War Deaths/Population



Here is the link to the National Geographic site with the rest of the maps. Those are just as telling, but these jumped out at me as the relate to the death crisis in Africa.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Journey To Reverent Agnosticism

Often when I hear of other worldviews offering their critic of the Bible, Christianity, or Jesus, I either start putting on my thick skin for a sound "tongue lashing" or by getting into my defensive to lash back with all my "right" answers. By enculturation, I have to protect. I dig in my heals to get ready to fight back.

So when my brother sent this link about an agnostic and his lifestyle choice to live biblically for a whole year, the veins in my neck began to pop. But I read anyways. And I liked what I read. His perspective is great on the power of lifestyle and the idea of sacredness. Here are couple of insights from the blog:

Do you think many people are misguided in their “creed over deed” mentality?

[Note from Tim: “Creed over deed” refers to people who value religious belief more than moral behavior. “Deed over creed” would be the opposite.]

I wouldn't say misguided. But I'd say most of us do underestimate the power that behavior has to shape thought.

It's astounding. I watched it happen to myself. For instance, I forced myself to stop gossiping, and eventually I started to have fewer petty thoughts to gossip about. I forced myself to help the needy, and found myself becoming less self-absorbed. I never became Ghandi or Angelina Jolie, but I made some strides.


What would you call yourself now?

I'd call myself a reverent agnostic.รข€? Whether or not there is a God, I believe there's something to the idea of sacredness. Rituals can be sacred. The Sabbath can be sacred. And there's an importance to that.

I'd also say that I'm a fan of cafeteria spirituality. During my experiment, I learned that you cannot follow the entire Bible. It's impossible. You must pick and choose. Everyone does it, whether they admit it or not. Otherwise, we'd end up stoning adulterers on the street.


So check out the rest of the article here. It was a great read has some great insight for those near or far from Christ.

(bu to Matt)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Spot The Difference

This game - Spot the Difference - is harder than it looks, but very addictive!

(bu to Marko)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Blog Of The Week

One of my favorite blogs to follow is from a friend of mine, Charlie Dean. His blog is passionate about his God, his family, his church, his books/music, and all sorts of other things. The other topic I love is a fairly regular critique of the television show, The Office.

But what I really love about Charlie's blog is the exchanges he creates via his posts and readers. Whether it's a book review, sermon wrap-up, or thoughtful question about faith, friends and lay people from his church, Northwoods Community Church, engage in ideas that mean something to them. It's fun to read. Charlie does a great job of creating a space for people to engage new ideas and engage healthy dialog.

Also, when you read his blog, you'll see his family. Seriously, he and his sweet wife, Jen, have some of the cutest kids on the planet. Check it out for yourself. Charlie, save one of those boys for Sarah. The dowry is coming!

Better Your Parenting...Bourne and Bond Style

I thought this was some good practical parenting tips for all you out there with kids. For those non-parents out there, it is still good insight into your parents, your friends that are parents, your students' parents, or your future because you just may be a parent someday.

These insights come from Gregory Ramey, PhD, here in Dayton. They were inspired by a recent visit to the International Spy Museum. You can check out the full article here. But for a teaser, here are some of the insights he relays to us:

"Never go against your gut; it is your operational antenna." No one knows your child better than you. While you should consider the perspective of others, follow the Moscow Rules—never go against your gut.

“Pick the time and place for action.” With teens, discipline judiciously. When you make everything important, nothing is important to your teen. Chose your issues carefully...

“Keep your options open.” Just like espionage, parenting is not a predictable endeavor. Spies needed to be flexible, adapting to the situation and changing plans to deal with the uncertainties of the situation.

“You are never completely alone.” Neither spies nor parents are ever alone. For spies, this was a bad thing—they were always being followed. But parents are lucky. You can always reach out to family and friends for help.

(bu to my mom for the article via the Dayton Daily News)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Prayer Of The Weak

Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Beggar's Night: The Princess And The Driver

We had a great Beggar's Night (night before Halloween). This was the most fun we've had with the kids. They were both totally into dressing up, running from house to house, and saying trick or treat! Last year, it was a Sarah thing. But this year Parker was committed to the candy cause. It was really cool. Here are a few pics of the festivities, plus some shots of the pumpkins (we love you Stuebs!):





The Hunger Site

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