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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Prayer Of The Weak

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Song Game

So, here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool..

Opening Credits: Man's Final Frontier by Arrested Development

Waking Up: Almost There by MercyMe

First Day of School: Rain In The Summertime by The Alarm

Falling in love: Live Out Loud by Steven Curtis Chapman

Fight Song: How You Love Me by Bebo Norman - now that's funny!

Breaking Up: Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer by Nat King Cole Trio

Prom: Stick With Me Baby by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Life's OK: Jigga What/Faint by Jay-Z and Linkin Park

Mental Breakdown: When The Time Has Come by Huey Lewis & the News

Driving: San Fransico by John Phillips

Flashback: Hear Our Prayer by United Live

Getting Back Together: Trash, Trampoline, and The Party Girl by U2

Wedding: Girls And Boys by Good Charlotte

Birth of Child: I Want To Be A Popstar by Jamie Cullem

Final Battle: Beautiful Day by U2 - Amen to that!

Funeral Song: River by James Taylor

End Credits: It's Easy by Boston

(bu to Kelley Marie H. via Facebook)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Be Ye Thankful

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I sit here in the house thinking to myself, "Holy Wow! I have so much to be thankful for."

- Kelly, my wife. Yikes. Who would I be without her? Scary. I am amazed by her ability to love, serve, care, and have fun in every role in her life. Amazing!
- Sarah, my daughter, for her thoughtfulness and sensitivity.
- Parker, my son, for his silliness and little servants heart.
- I'm thankful for my parents who have stepped up in major ways to help us get through this season with as little debt and much support for our kids as possible.
- For our church that is hurting place. But it's also a place God is still redeeming for his glory and kingdom purposes.
- For my bro-in-law, Don, who's desperate enough to give the ex-youth ministry guy a chance to love kids and share with kids the love of God.
- I'm thankful for our little tribe of brothers and sisters known as our small group/house church. Deep, meaningful community and belonging takes time and commitment and these peeps are taking the steps to make it happen. It's sweet to be apart of.
- Thankful for school as a time to detox, re-think, reflect, and pursue the call of learning about helping kids.
- For Onel and Jamila, the kids we sponsor through World Vision and the chance we have to have an impact on their lives.
- I am grateful Bo Pelini and the restoration of Husker pride and the Blackshirts.
- I am stoked about the Wii and the fun our family has playing, cheering, and laughing together.
- right this very moment, I'm thankful for re-runs of Family Guy...funny stuff.
- For a chance to work at a crazy, creative place like DECA and the crazy kids of dV8 at Far Hills Community Church.
- the Matt Maher CD, Empty and Beautiful. It pushes and pulls me closer to Jesus.
- The Shack. A wonderful novel about seeing God fresh and anew as we walk, struggle, and commune with Him during the dark hours of our souls.
- cherry coke and strong bow cider - the nectar of the gods!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Daily Show's Best Of Thanksgiving

I'm not going to lie to you...this is some funny stuff. Jon Stewart and crew on The Daily Show put out amazingly funny stuff. Their turkey day takes are no less hysterical. Click here to enjoy a laugh between helpings of cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, turkey, and mashed potatoes. This top 8 is turkilicious!

(bu to Mental Floss Blog)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

If You Could Lose Your Faith...

...this would be the way I would do so. And it almost (heck, maybe even might of! ha!) happened to me today.

So it's the first day of Turkey break at UD, DECA, and Kettering Fairmont High School. I have tons to do this week like hang with the family tomorrow for Thanksgiving (can't wait!), a student connection Saturday morning (can't wait, again!), and, oh, there is this little thing called my research paper due next Tuesday (can totally wait!). So what did I do today? I decided to procrastinate on that and be a good hubby and daddy by hanging Christmas lights outside. Go, me!

It was a beautiful day. Sun was out. It was balmy hot...43 freaking degrees! I almost busted out shorts. So I took advantage of the weather. I gave myself the goal of getting it done by the time my sister's family came to the house to drop of their black lab, Harley Sioux as they leave for northern Indiana.

Anywho, I am busting along with the lights and making good time getting them up. I get them where I wanted. Placed in just the right spots on the shrubbery and bushes. While I am doing this I think to myself...hey! Shouldn't these lights be on? I mean they are plugged in. But I don't pay much attention and keep putting out more strands of lights.

When I finally go back to plug everything in (remember the above self conversation)...they are already plugged in! It's the first thing I flipping did! I think quick. GFS? Not tripped? Bad bulb? am I going to check over 1200 lights, Clark Griswald? Blown fuse in house and in light strands. Nope. All good.


Every strand is effing bad...six freaking strands. Nuts.

So what did I learn? Porn won't get me. Money issues probably won't get me. Women prayerfully won't get me. But what will? Those damn Christmas lights! They will most definitely take the Christ out of my Christmas.

So take my advice and DON'T put up Christmas lights this year. You just might lose your faith or never find one!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Light In The Posts

Over the next couple of weeks postings could be few and light. I'm in the last two weeks of the semester here at UD as I pursue my masters degree in education - school counseling. It's also Thanksgiving week and Kelly, Sarah, Parker, and I will be dog watching (my sister's family dog, Harley Sioux), heading to Cincinnati on Turkey day to party like it's 1999 with Kelly's family, writing my final copy of my research paper (looking at high risk kids, dropout, and how a small group intervention concentrating on relational, academic and family skills impacts attitude about school), finishing up a teaching series for middle school students on the book of Galatians.

Catch you on the flip side!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Facebook Of Genesis

This is pretty funny for all you Facebook junkies and stalkers out there. It is what the book of Genesis might look like if written and laid out on Facebook. You can see the full page here.

(bu to Neatorama)

Surfing The Net Good For Teenagers

An interesting report about surfing the internet, playing games and hanging out on social networks are important for teen development, a large study of online use has revealed. Link to article here on the BBC.

"The report counters the stereotypical view held by many parents and teachers that such activity is a waste of time. More than 800 teenagers and parents took part in the three-year US project. 'They are learning the technological skills and literacy needed for the contemporary world,' said the report's author, Dr Mimi Ito. 'They are learning how to communicate online, craft a public identity, create a home page, post links. All these things were regarded as sophisticated 10 years ago but young people today take them for granted,' Dr Ito told the BBC."

This interesting stuff to think about and consider as we look to shape the next movements of youth ministry and education for teenagers/students.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

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.

Procrastination Masked As Color Burst

Found this addicting little game while I should have been writing more for my research paper. Procrastination why does thou tempt me so!?

One click is all you need. Chain reaction is the key to winning! The objective is to burst the number of bubbles every level. There is a minimum number of bubbles to burst to proceed to the next stage. Try to predict where the cluster of bubbles will go. Just click around, sit back and enjoy the show! Left click to fire a burst and start a chain reaction.

I got as far as the level where you have to get 40 out of 50 color bursts. Not bad for a slacker.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blog Of The Month

It's been a while since I posted my blog of the month (really like blog for a season by the time I get to it). In light of the last post and since I've actually had this blog linked in the Blog Of The Month link above, I might as well highlight The Sports Hernia Blog.

This is one sports blog that doesn't take itself too seriously. It pokes fun at players, owners, management, coaches and fans. It's full of whit, sarcasm, and the occasional inappropriate comment, headline, or photo (no nudity). It's all meant in good fun while humbling an industry that thinks a little too much of its own importance.

So while you are enjoying the watch for where your favorite college football team will play a bowl game or wondering if your favorite college basketball team will make it into the field of 64 or if your hometown pro football, basketball or hockey team will make the playoffs, take some time to enjoy the lighter more sarcastic side of the sports world.

Extreme Sports Bloopers

How come this stuff never gets old? Ouch and too funny!

(bu Digg)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tough Decision

On Sunday, I was irritable. More like grumpy. Maybe even a jerk. Not sure why, other than a lack of sleep the night before, but that's still no excuse to be harsh with people, especially your kids.

All day I found myself getting super annoyed at the little things the kids did: talking too loud, running too fast, asking too many questions, fighting too much, blah, blah, and blah. I was quick to be exasperated. I was quick with an irritated look. And I was all too quick to raise my voice.

But as the night went along, God keep nudging me to make things right with the kids by swallowing my pride and asking for forgiveness from them for being a jerk daddy. Just before we read our story at bedtime, I had Sarah and Parker on my lap and said, "I need to ask for your forgiveness today. I wasn't very kind, patient or understanding of you today. I was grumpy entirely too much and ask for your forgiveness for not treating you like I would want to be treated - with love, patience and kindness."

Well, Sarah was quick to throw her arms around me, nuzzle her head in on my neck and say, "I forgive you, Daddy."

I looked over at Parker and he had his head down not looking our way. I could tell something was on his mind.

Me: Parker, I'm sorry. Will you forgive, Daddy?

Parker: more silence

Me: What do you say, buddy?

Parker: I don't know.

Me: What don't you know (in an inquisitive tone)?

Parker: Well...It's just a hard decision.

Me: That is so true, my son. Daddy knows that very well. It is a hard decision.

Truer words were never spoken. Forgiveness is so hard to give at certain times in our lives and to certain people in our lives. But we must. It takes times. A long time sometimes because it's a hard decision. But we must. Not so much for them. But more so for us. For in forgiveness we find freedom.

May you and I learn and grow in forgiving as we have been forgiven.

p.s. Not five seconds after Parker said it was a hard decision, I simply said that it was time for bed (which it was) and he was all over me, squeezing my guts out, giving me a big fat kisses, and telling me he loved me. That just may have been his answer. I couldn't have asked for a better way to get it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

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.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Talks In Transit

Continuing in our series on Galatians: Faith, Freedom, and the Produce Aisle, we now look at a the issue of family as it relates to Paul's letter.

Text: Galatians 3:26-4:7

Title: "All In The Family"


Family. It brings out the best in us and worst in us.

Here I gave two illustrations in my own life from my own family

The Good: Sunday lunches with strangers and outcasts
The Bad: Season of betrayal


We all long for the good in family life. We don't always get it because you, me, parents, brothers, and sisters can be pretty jacked. Some of us come from really good families where we are loved, cared for, and made to feel special as only family environments can do. But even in the best of families, ugly stuff can come out. Others of us have families that fall short of that and it leaves us wanting something more, something deeper, something stronger. Even if we come from strong, healthy families, we want that, too.

Big Idea

(Today we are going to be looking at how) faith in Jesus connects us to a new spiritual family dynamic - one growing in unity and intimacy.

1. Unity - with brothers and sisters in Christ

2. Intimacy - with God, our Father

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Story Of Star Wars-John Williams Style

Sorry for all the video posts lately. But this is pretty good. This guy has way too much time on his hands, but I am so stoked he put in on YouTube!

(bu to Brandon)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Great Exchange - The Golden Thread

I started a repeat/running post here about stories of death/sacrifice awhile back. Here's another great exchange/golden thread story I've found - once again by Bill Reilly.

Here's the full story of a guy names Barry Scott who made his life about sacrifice - a golden thread. A snap shot:

"Barry, the 145-pound Hummer gunner vs. the hell of Baghdad? He was nearly blown up twice, yet couldn't wait to get back on Skype to tell his wife, Amber, about it. "I'm still breathing!" was his motto. "That's what counts!"

Barry, the tiny cop vs. the mean streets of Maryvale, Phoenix's most violent precinct, where he lived and worked? He'd come back from some close shave and call his best friend, Derek Frader, at 3 a.m. to tell him about it. "We'd hear gun shots every night," Amber says. "Everybody told us to move." But Barry loved the idea of helping people in trouble. I'm still breathing! That's what counts!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Tribute On This Veterans Day

To all the men and women - past, present and future - from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for serving me, my family, your family, my neighbor, your neighbor, and the stranger so very well. Words cannot express my gratitude for sacrificing so very much so that we could live so very well. In your loneliest night or darkest hour may you know the thoughts and prayers of millions of Americans cry out to a God who loves you so very well.

And to my brother, Matt, thank you for so very much for representing God, family and country so very well as you serve in the Navy and help fight for freedom and justice on behalf of these great United States of America. I love you, bro!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Mr. Buttlicker And The Customer Survey

This has got to be one of the great scenes from The Office. I was laughing out loud when it first aired and then cracked up again watching it a second time. The classic micro form or management called microjamin. Too funny!

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.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Totlol - YouTube For Younger Kids

I don't know if this is really cool or all a bit sad, but I found this video site (powered by YouTube) called Totlol that has videos that are all dedicated to kid: infants, toddlers, younger kids, and tweens. It seems as thought they are trying to make it very safe, kid/family friendly, and fun/entertaining. Here is what they tout on their opening page:

"Totlol is a video website designed specifically for children. It is community moderated. It is constantly growing. It is powered by YouTube. All videos were submitted, screened and rated by parents. The selection is huge and if you like, you can participate too."

I'm not sure, but do our small kids need more videos? But anywho, if you are a parent, work with small kids, or are simply entertained by silly/annoying videos and music, this is the place for you! From what little I've searched, it looks to be very fun, silly, and safe.

Here is one of my kids favorite songs/videos that is on the site. Not sure where we first saw it, but they did say over and over again, "Daddy, can we watch that elephant video again?"

Talks In Transit

This was week 2 of our series on Galatians: Faith, Freedom, and the Produce Aisle. Last week we focused on Galatians 1 and how Paul's own life communicates the radical nature of what faith is.

This week we focused on Galatians 2 zeroing in on Paul's confrontation with Peter and issues of circumcision. In the words of Michael Scott this week on The Office: Psych! Just reading/hearing about circumcision makes me cringe and giggle at the same time. Can you image what it would do to middle school boys!? Yikes!

No this week we continued to talk about what faith is by focusing on Galatians 2:20.


I got them into groups of 2-4 and had them work through this scenario: aliens have come to Earth where they find you and ask to talk to you about confusing words that we as humans use. Then giving them only about 30ish seconds to chat in their groups, I had them talk about these words: love, hate, popularity, beauty, weird, and cool. Then those same aliens know that you go to church and wanted to find out what these religious words mean to religious/spiritual people: worship, justice, gospel, kingdom, compassion, and faith

Transitioned by talking about our Big Idea from 2 weeks ago (which they couldn't remember...oh, and the couldn't remember that we were talking about the book of Galatians either. MSers really know how to encourage and give confidence to their leader/teacher! haha!).


Galations 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Here (because of time I had to chop off a bit of content prepared) I focused on "...I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." I talked about this Jesus and his love - who and how/how much.

Then I showed this video to illustrate the how and how much. I struggle with whether or not to show this video (which is a fairly well done version of the classic "Bridge" illustration you may have heard or used before). The reason I struggle with using it is because it's fairly emotional and didn't want to manipulate the emotions of emotional middle school students. But in the end I felt like it really illustrated the how much of God's love for us. The illustration breaks down at many levels, but it communicates the how much very well (almost too well?).


I walked them through the Big Idea: Faith is putting my life in the hands of Jesus who loves me and died for me so that I might experience real life (here and now and also yet to come for all eternity).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Just In Case You're Wondering

Hey, all,

Let me just say that I am voting and I am excited to do so! What a great right and responsibility that we have as free Americans!

However, to further clarify the issue: I will NOT be voting for either Obama OR McCain. Both candidates stink and I would like to vote for a do over in order to get new candidates. You can ask Kelly, I have pained over this for quite some time. There are things I like about both candidates and things I detest.

I love the fact that America is on the cusp of electing the first black man to the office of president. That simple fact is huge for American does well to communicate to the world that we are changing. That will be a great day for America. However, I hate the fact that Obama will begin instituting the failed economic policies of socialism and tax structures of France and Germany. I hate the fact that he has voted to legalize partial-birth abortions and life birth deaths (not sure what that term is). But at the same time, I admit that he might just have the best policies that will reduce abortions by helping the poor and funding education (poor women are 4x likely to have an abortion that non-poor women). Why can't you vote against such things and still bring economic justice to the poor and uneducated so as to fight abortion on both fronts? That my family seems hypocritical to me and not the kind of leader I want in office.

I like that McCain will fight to finish the war in Iraq. I hate the strong feelings I have that McCain will continue to seek out others to pick fights with on an international level whether that be Iran or Russia or some other nation. No fact to back that just a feeling I get as I listen to his us vs them mantra in his speeches about the war. I love the fact that McCain is anti-abortion, but hate the idea that he will probably do nothing to reduce abortion outside trying to eliminate roe v wade. I also can't stand that McCain voted for the bailout (with pork and all) and the very next day that stated even though he supported the bailout it would be something he would veto as President. That my family is hypocrisy and not the kind of leader I want as president.

So at the end of the day, who will I be voting for? I will be writing in Ron Paul. He will not win, but I have to vote my values and this man and his ideas/philosophies best represent where I'm at at the moment. Say what you want about pulling votes away from one candidate or another. My country gives me this option and thus I will exercise it. It is what it is.

That, right now, is where I am being lead as I prayerfully consider ALL the issues and understand my kingdom values as a follower of Jesus and American citizen. I hope that clears things up. Here are a couple of post from a godly thoughtful theologian that gives me hope in these times:

It's a great country we live in where we can actively participate in the political process and communicate our feelings/values about that process. May God guide and lead all of us not along Red or Blue lines, but along the kingdom values He cares about and the discernment He gives us about things He does not communicate about (taxes cuts/hikes, abortion, war, government size, etc).

To God be the glory!


Sunday, November 02, 2008

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.

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