RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Friday, October 31, 2008

Held Up High - Wordle

Found this fun little web site - Wordle - that makes word clouds out of whatever text you give it. In my case, I used my blog and here is what it came up with. You can change, color, font, or text to your liking. Pretty cool. Pic is kinda small so click on the pic below to take you to the larger image.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World On Fire

Great video about injustice in the world and people living in extreme poverty. More specifically, if we steward our money, budgets (personal, household, ministry, or business), and resources wisely how we might use some (if not most or all) of the surplus to battle injustice and help people around the world living in extreme poverty. Here is the link to the World On Fire website that details where the money went that was saved in making this $15 dollar video.

The video hits close to my heart because of the time I spent in Kibera, Kenya, over three years ago. I walked the tracks and streets in the video and met the beautiful people of this unimaginable place.

And so the question after watching is, "What little, insignificant things can you and I give up in order to make a huge difference in the lives of people like this?"

(bu to Mighty Mike via Facebook)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy 75th, Mom!

Couldn't leave the blogsphere today without wishing my mother a very happy birthday! Kelly, the kids, and my sis, Marcie took her out to Tumbleweed for a fun little, food, and laughter that only comes with being with my mom.

I had her walk us down memory lane by telling where she was at at age 25, 35, 45, 55, and 65. It was quite a ride full of craziness, kids, family moves, nursing jobs, and love. And through it all my mom has been a living example of what it means to be a follower of Jesus, a strong woman, life-long learner, devoted and sacrificial wife, faithful friend, and nurturing mother. Not to mention that she's a wild woman who loves to give you advice whether you want it or not, diagnose your illness whether you need it or not, mumble directions under her breath whether you hear it or not, mispronounce the most common of words whether you catch it or not, and pass gas then disguise it as humming whether you smell it or not- outstanding!

It makes me shudder to think where I might be if not for her steady, passionate, and godly influence in my life. Mom, you are simply the best. I am blessed to be your son.

Happy Birthday!

My wife, Kelly, Mom, and my sister, Marcie celebrating the big 7-5!

Monday, October 27, 2008

What Every Fan Wants To Hear From Their NFL Coach

This is one of the great post-game rants of recent years. Mike Singletary tells it like it is about about his perception of lazy, selfish, uncommitted player that are in for them and not the team.

Things That Make You Go Hhhmmm

Two bumper stickers caught my eye today. One I had seen before and another I had never seen.

First one was "Hate is not a family value."

The reason this caught my eye is I began wondering who this is targeted at. Child/spouse abusers? Politicians? Or religious people? If I was a betting man, I'd say it's pointed squarely at us religious types, specifically, evangelical Christians and the religious right. And when I re-read it again in these times of heightened emotions surrounding the presidential election, it broke my heart. When did we religious types start on this slippery slope? How did we let it get to this? How did we let our politics, language and actions start making people feel like we didn't care? It breaks my heart. And I have to ask how did I contribute to the hostile climate where bumper stickers are sold to communicate how a large segment of our culture thinks/feels about so-called Christian? This bumper sticker makes me sad and tells me I/we have a long way to go to change the perception that non-Christ followers have of Jesus people.

The second one was "Vote the Bible."

What the hell does that mean? Is that a non-partisan bumper sticker? Doubt it. Is there a ballot I ask for where I can re-up Issue 10 on Ten Commandments? Is there section on my ballot to keep the Beatitudes going? Does it mean vote simply pro-life/anti-abortion? Does it mean vote Republican across the board? Dare I say yes to all of the above? Here is something that is shaping my take (borrowed from Sojourners) on what "voting the Bible" means to people who call themselves Christians:

1. Compassion and Economic Justice
2. Peace and Restraint of Violence
3. Consistent Ethic of Life
4. Racial Justice
5. Human Rights, Dignity, and Gender Justice
6. Strengthen Families and Renew Culture
7. Good Stewardship of God's Creation

You can find out more about these seven points at Sojourners website. Look for the "Voter Issues Guide." You might not agree with every sub-point underneath these seven major issues, but it should definitely shape how you and I pray and then vote about the who and what on our ballots.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Prayer Of The Weak

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Are You Mr. October?

In light of the fall classic, I decided to try my hand at some baseball games on Miniclip while I lay sick here in bed. This is a pretty fun game. It's the bottom of the 9th and your team is down by two runs. Can you mount a comeback for the win? I wasn't able to, but that doen't mean I won't keep trying (what better things do have to do?), The arcade version of the game is lame. But the bottom of the 9th game is where it's at.

Games at - Baseball

It is bottom of the ninth; rally your team to win the game with only 3 outs left

Play this free game now!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Talks In Transit

We started a new series in the middle school ministry I serve in called Galations: Faith, Freedom, and the Produce Aisle.

Here's the flow:


Get in groups of 2-3 and share an experience that changed how you felt, thought, and/or what you believed about something. music, parents, school, friends, family, religion, etc



(b/c of time I could do this...had to adapt)
Divide into three groups one for each of these passages: Gal 1:6-10, 1:11-17, and 1:18-24. Then answer this question. What do you think this tells you about their faith?


Camping out on this section in Gal 1:23-24
1. Faith is a response to a radical revelation of Jesus that completely changes our life.
A. What do you think Jesus revels about us?
B. What do you think Jesus revels about Jesus?
C. What is the appropriate response to those to truths? Trust and Follow.

2. Faith is influenced and easily derailed by people/groups of people that don't care about you, or you following Jesus.
- by either: A. Taking us away from it
Adding things to it
or both

Big Idea: Faith reveled by God is pure and simple, but never easy; it always changes us in radical ways.

I've got to do a better job of illustrating. That's an area I need to double up on so as to explain something better, flesh out a point, or make it more tangible and real to where a middle schooler is at in that moment.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Keeping the Dialog Going On Poverty

I posted here on how God was leading our family and what God was leading us to do as it relates to fighting poverty in our world. I received this email from a dear friend on some really cool things their church was doing to fight poverty and share the love of Jesus in tangible and powerful ways in their community. I asked if I could post it and they graciously agreed.

This is the kind of thing the Church and people of God need to do more of in our communities, nation and world.

"Hi Seth and Kelly!

Thanks for this great story! We have found poverty right here in the town next door. We are involved with sponsoring about 30 kids with an after school program. This all began with the Episcopal Church that I go to observed that there were all these children in the streets after school let out and had no where to go. Both parents were working and very tired when they finally came home after dark. The church had a room and hired a teacher/actress and another woman to walk the kids from school to the church and there FEED them a good meal and then help them with their homework, then play time until their parents can pick them up. There are computers that were donated where they learn computer skills as well as English. The Mothers have also been learning English.

Other older kids come one day a week and are "big brothers and sisters" to the younger ones. This has been a real bonding for them all. Adults also show up to help with individual homework. Money must be raised to pay the teachers and buy the food provided. We have house parties and invite the community to get involved financially as well as with energy. It has been a tremendous success. Graduates of the program come back and tutor. There is a summer program here too to keep these kids engaged and out of trouble during the months they are not in school. They learn to swim... make things.... become productive. It's been fabulous to watch grow. Our Pastor is a woman who did this same thing down in Hobokin, NJ after 911. She took a drug area and a deserted dog-filled-poop lot and had the Church buy the land and the community built a fabulous meeting place to gather the kids. They even had a dance room with a ballet bar and a wall of mirrors and the Dancers form NYC come to teach the kids. How about that for teaching self-esteem!

This church has also gotten us integrated with the Muslims here who are building a temple. We were invited to their construction site and asked to tell them about Jesus and found that they were most interested with the concept of the Trinity. They are coming to our church soon as well to tell us about Mohammed. Last week we meet for Bible study with the African Methodist Evangelicals (AME Church). We've had two meetings with them at both our churches.... a great way to get to know our neighbors. It's been fantastic, these encounters.
I'm really glad you have found this avenue for your family to get involved too!

Go and do likewise.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Palin On SNL

If you blinked you may have missed it. Gov. Palin was on the late night variety show to have and get some laughs. Good for Palin and stepping up to the plate to poke fun at herself and SNL. Though maybe a bit late for her and McCain to boost their campaign, it was a huge boost for ratings. Funny stuff.

Opening monologue:

Weekend Update and Rap:

Prayer Of The Weak

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Leadership: The Strongest Marketing Strategy

This is genius. It's from Seth Godin's blog.

Yelling with gusto used to be the best way to advertise your wares. There was plenty of media and if you had plenty of money, you were set.

Today, of course, yelling doesn't work so well.

What works is leading. Leading a (relatively) small group of people. Taking them somewhere they'd like to go. Connecting them to one another.

I say relatively because there are few products that need everyone in order to succeed. A tiny sliver of the market is enough. Bill Niman used to run Niman Ranch, a cooperative raising meat for fancy restaurants and markets. That was already a sliver of the huge huge market for meat. He moved on to start BN, a 1000 acre farm raising goats for a subset of that subset. It's enough.

It's enough if the tribe you lead knows about you and cares about you and wants to follow you. It's enough if your leadership changes things, galvanizes the audience and puts the status quo under stress. And it's enough if the leadership you provide makes a difference.

Go down the list of online success stories. The big winners are organizations that give tribes of people a platform to connect.

Go down the list of fashion businesses or business to business organizations. Same thing. Charities, too. Churches, certainly.

It's so tempting to believe that we are merely broadcasters, putting together a play list and hurtling it out to the rest of the world. Louder is better. But we're not. Now we're leaders.

People want to connect. They want you to do the connecting.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bad Timing

This made me laugh this morning. Everyone can relate, but those with small kids understand these feelings. Too funny.

(click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Sponsored A Child Through World Vision And So Can You!

The Rings clan of Dayton wanted to share that exciting news with y'all! It was easy to find a child that touched our hearts. It only takes a few minutes to begin a relationship that will make a difference in the life of a child. I encourage you to start a sponsorship relationship with a needy child today!

We've been talking about it a long time. Then today was BlogActionDay talking about poverty (I posted about it here). So at dinner tonight Kelly and I shared with the kids what we were thinking. And after much clarification (no toys are being sent to them...just money), the kids were all for it. Kelly and Sarah chose a 6 year old little girl from a HIV/AIDS infected area of Kenya. Her name is Jamila. Parker and I sponsored a 4 year old little boy from a HIV/AIDS infected area of the Dominican Republic. His name is Onel.

What a powerful experience simpling choosing these kids (knowing you were not choosing others). I was over come with tears at the gravity of this moment for us as a family, for these children and their families, and the Kingdom of God. And so felt led to share it with you on this day that we bloggers talk and more importantly move to action on poverty. Thanks for listening and may we allow God to use all of us in small or big ways to love those near and dear His heart.

Simply click on the link below to see what you can do to help a child in need.

Grace and peace,

Seth, Kelly, Sarah, and Parker

Blog Action Day 08 - Poverty

"Once a year, gets thousands of blogs big and small to unite and talk about one issue. This year’s conversation is on poverty." What a great idea! Let's get the conversation started and THEN let's get the action going. That, however, is the hard part. At least for me. BlogActionDay has a spot on its site to read blogs, watch videos, and listen to podcasts. Lots of mediums to get informed and inspired to do something for the poor, needy and outcasts of our nation and world.

One of the things that Kelly and I are wrestling with is adopting one child for each person in our family from a third world country from World Vision or Compassion International. We've got to get on board in a tangible way to fully express our salvation and Kingdom mandate from God in the world. Plus, we desperately want Sarah and Parker to know that following Jesus isn't another self-help program, but a radical shift in heart and soul about how we see the world and respond in love to its needs.

Then we have to get our hands dirty. By that I mean, getting involved in with an organization or people that we can see face to face and touch physically. That's where the rubber meets the road. That's the real challenge for a white, middle-class, suburbanite like myself.

I have some other friends out there that are doing some good stuff personally and as a family:

1. My friend Marko and his family - Walk Their Walk

2. My friend Steve Longest - Loving South Africa

Here are some other simple ways to help via the web:

1. TheHungerSite





6. Invisible Children - I posted on it here.

Does anyone in the Dayton area know of anything that is happening in our neck of the woods? If you are visiting from other cities in the US, what is happening there?

Here's a cool piece I watched the other night on ESPN on how one LA rescue mission is using basketball as a tool to help the homeless.

House Cleaning And The Personality Of Politics

Found this interesting article entitled "Political Science: What being messy or neat says about political leanings." Very quick read, but very telling at the same time. It's funny how accurate these things are. Here is a teaser from the first part of the article. Check out the rest for some interesting findings.

Researchers insist they can tell someone's politlcal affiliation by looking at the condition of their offices and bedrooms. Messy? You're a lefty. A neatnik? Welcome to the Right.

According to a controversial new study, set to be published in The Journal of Political Psychology, the bedrooms and offices of liberals, who are generally thought of as open, tend to be colorful and awash in books about travel, ethnicity, feminism and music, along with music CDs covering folk, classic and modern rock, as well as art supplies, movie tickets and travel memorabilia.

Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to surround themselves with calendars, postage stamps, laundry baskets, irons and sewing materials in their personal spaces, according to the study. Their bedrooms and offices are well-lighted and decorated with sports paraphernalia and flags—especially American ones.

(bu to mental_floss)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Prayer Of The Weak

Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dark Knight Meets Toy Story

This video is one of the best re-cut, re-mix, and mix-up jobs I have seen. Outstanding stuff!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Talks In Transit

This past weekend I finished up our series in Transit called The Real Deal: What it means to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. The outlines for the other two talks are here and here.

This week the title was "Just Do It."


Big game of shoe chaos (hadn't done a game in awhile so it was fun to play!)

Opening Illustration:

Three Legged stool - the stool doesn't function right with just one or two legs. We need the third leg to complete the stool so that it can DO what it was created for.


So it is with our spiritual life. KNOWing God and BEing the gospel are not enough to be who God wants us to be. He wants no part of our selfish spirituality that simply gathers religious knowledge or self-centered spiritualists. We must DO in order to fulfill our mission on earth.

Text: James


Text: Micah 6:5-8, James 2:14-26

Mainly stuck with the Micah text and asked this question, "What does it mean to do good?"

Act Justly - Fight for what's right for those who cannot fight for themselves.

Illus: Superman - Fighting for truth, justice, and the American way.

Love Mercy - Caring for those who no one else cares about.

Illus: Lonely kid at school befriended by other kids who saw his need.

Walk humbly with God - All of this can only be done when we choose to daily follow Jesus so as to know Him, be like Him, and live as He did.

Illus: Parker and Sarah holding my hand in dangerous places

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Bible As Magazine

I found this interesting post of "a Swedish adman and former CEO Dag Soderberg [that] is leading a team called Illuminated World that's reinterpreting the Bible as a magazine - complete with sidebars, coverlines, and subheads. He's using the straight text, for the most part, but embellishing it with Bennetton-style photos and pull quotes."

The Book: New Testament
is being backed by the American Bible Society and is another interesting endeavor pursuing new avenues to communicate the truth of God's word. It has a Fall 2008 release time frame. I would love to see how they handle the text. But I will also be intrigued as to how they use photographs and imagery to communicate, highlight, or enhance the words.

Here is the organization's mission statement that is putting this project out there for the world:

"To introduce today’s audience to a revolutionary contemporary Bible, one that encourages dialogue and is culturally relevant, readily accessible and easily digestible for any reader regardless of religious, economic, racial or social background.

Illuminated World does not support or endorse any specific religion. We have no religious agenda. It is simply meant to be a unique vehicle for reacquainting today’s reader with the most important historical text ever written and capture the greatest story ever told as no one has seen it in 2000 years."

Here's a link to the FAQs. I love stuff like this. It's so out of my normal box.

(bu to Boing Boing)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Prayer Of The Weak

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Pointer The Game

Maybe one of the more addicting games out there. The game is called Pointer. You use your mouse to navigate a series of mazes that get progressively harder with each passing level and world. Don't start. It's like computer mouse crack cocaine. So terrible addictive. I got to level world 3 level 5 in about 10 minutes and then the wheels came off. Argh!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets were on the menu today at DECA (Dayton Early College Academy), the charter school I work at. So in honor of that classic food item and great lunch room cuisine, I give you this outstanding comedy moment.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Next Year For The Cubs Is Right Now

Is this the year that 100 years of curses, jinxes, Leon Durhams, goats, and Bartmans are turned around? Here's to my Cubbies making a great run in the playoffs, an appearance in World Series, and finally bringing the mantle of World Champions back to the North Side, the great windy city - Chicago!

It all starts tonight at 5:30 cst with Dempster vs Lowe followed in subsequent games with the arms of Zambrano, Harden, and Lily (not to mention Wood out of the bully). The fate of destiny rest in those hands, elbows, and shoulders.

There is no next year; only now! Go Cubs!

The Hunger Site

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Locations of visitors to this page Add to Technorati Favorites