Friday, September 26, 2008

Why I Love College Football

I love it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dangerous Faith - Joel Vestal

I have always enjoyed a good book from a self-deprecating author who has a few fresh ideas, or at least a few fresh ways of looking at old ideas.

I have never liked authors who are writing books that are full of common sense ideas that have been repeated time after time and using themselves as the pinnacle of the practice of these ideas.
The authors that say "I did this right at this point in time, because I am a good person, and smart, ruggedly handsome, and can leg press 605 lbs."

These same authors also use the downfalls of others to illustrate the opposite of good. "My friend Bob wanted to go to a strip club so he did. While he was there I prayed and talked to Jesus about it (Jesus appears to me in person). My friend was inside and got herpes from the toilet seat and now when he gets a rash it looks like Jesus to remind him of grace."

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Joel Vestal (note: the above quotes were made up for comic relief not direct quotes from the book). However, I found Vestal's writing to be boring and full of stories about how strong his faith is and how he encourages those around him just simply be being present.

Maybe I am wrong and Vestal is really that good of a guy. In which case he will forgive me for writing this.

I did not have any problem theologically with Vestal's book, I just found it hard to connect with. Judging by the title I thought it would be a book about living out your faith in the face of dangerous circumstances and overcoming the fear of harm with faith in God. What the book is, is a memoir of Vestal's life and trips with little universal advice. Had the book been titled "Joel Vestal's Me" or "Dangerous Faith: The Life and Travels of Joel Vestal" then I would have gone into it with a different attitude.

If you like memoirs from someone who is not self-deprecating then I highly recommend it. If you do not like these types of books then I suggest you pick up something else at the book store.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Japanese Game Shows

I have always been intrigued by Japanese Game Shows...I find them to be hilarious.

I am excited because tonight we are playing several of these games with the students for our "Japanese Game Show Night"...pretty creative title, I know.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Josh Rosenthal Song

Hey guys! Be sure to check on Josh Rosenthal's new song from his upcoming Christmas album. It is available on his myspace.

The song is called "Before I Go" and it is one of his best yet.

Just letting you all know. Have a good one!

Friday, September 19, 2008

so much to do, such little to prove

Are you rushing around trying to get tons of things done? Is time flying faster than smear campaigns in politics?


Why are we so consumed with working as hard as we can in order to prove our worth. I have a few friends who are convinced that they have to run themselves ragged in order to be seen as worthy of the work they do. This is a short trip to a dead end.

We run around working our butts off and spend almost as much energy pointing to the amount of work we do (I know I am quilty of this as well).

I read recently a quote that said "we are a culture that has forgotten how to be." We feel like if we are not doing then we are not contributing to society, or the organization. If we are not contributing then we are worthless.

This is bass ackwards to what we find in the gospel. It is the anti-do gospel. We are told specifically that it is the grace of God that saves us, NOT OUR WORKS. Why do we still hold on to this idea after experiencing the grace of Christ?

Does it mean we can be lazy? No.

Does it mean we should not work as hard? Not at all.

What it means is that it is ok, and important to breathe. Take a break. Spend some time sitting, not thinking about what you need to be doing instead. Soak up the presence of God.

Perhaps it means that we still work as hard to accomplish what God has told us to accomplish...but perhaps it means that we do not need to spend so much time pointing to the work we do.

I believe if we spent the time that we spend in trying to make people notice the work we do and we just simply used that time to energize, rest, pray, and just be, we would be much better off.

So I say today, we all take a break...maybe an afternoon, maybe an hour, and just be. Listen to the voice of God and enjoy it rather than planning out your next move. I will let you know how mine goes soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vintage Jesus - Mark Driscoll

Vintage Jesus is possible one of the best, and well written theologies of the person of Christ. Mark sets the book up with the chapter titles posing a questions such as "Did Jesus Have To Die?", "Where is Jesus know?" and "Is Jesus really God?"

This makes the book great for a reference book so you can easily fine the subject that you are looking for. The books is also full of scripture to back up Mark's standpoints, they are not just made up.

Mark is a pastor that I respect, for theology as well as the way he interacts with culture. I would highly recommend that you pick up this book if you have ever had anyone ask you a question about Jesus that you know you can answer but would love to be able to answer a little more fully.

The book is a fairly easy read so pick it up if you are interested.

Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld

I know some people hate these commercials but this one is absolutely hilarious.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So this past weekend I was in Yellowstone with Meredith and my in-laws. It was incredible.

Not only was I fifteen feet from a Grizzly, I also was about 4 feet from a moose and a Bison. Man it was a good trip.

It was also a good time of recovery. Here are a few images...more later.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why I Love The Cowboys

I love the Dallas Cowboys. There is nothing that will change my mind from cheering for God's team. This only fuels it even more.

The following was copied and pasted from

IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo: Pro Bowler, playboy quarterback and, apparently, a Good Samaritan handy with an air compressor.
Tony Romo Romo
A couple says Romo helped them patch a flat tire on the side of a busy street last weekend after the Dallas Cowboys star returned home from a season-opening win at Cleveland.Bill and Sharon White told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that at least 100 drivers ignored their broken-down Mercury before someone stopped late Sunday. Sharon White said a well-dressed man "with something strange on his chin" walked up and offered a hand.
Romo needed 13 stitches after his chin was split open in the 28-10 win over the Browns. He bent down and helped the Whites get their faulty air compressor to fill up the tire.
Sharon White said she asked twice before Romo confirmed her suspicions about the do-gooder's identity.
"I did something no 50-year-old woman should be doing, but I screamed real loud, and then jumped up and hugged him," Sharon White told the newspaper in Thursday's editions.
Bill White had a different reaction.
"Don't tell me how you guys did," he said he told Romo. "I'm going home to watch it."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

Way to go ROMO!!!

I *Heart* Mormons - David Rowe

The book "I Love Mormons" is a book that came out a few years back, and of course that makes my review timely and relevant.

Rowe's book, however, is one of the best layouts of Mormon theology and is completely full of practical ways to share your faith with our friends in the LDS church. A couple of common mistakes that are made is thinking that Mormons are Christians, or beating them over the head with our correct theology. The firt approach is niave and the second is dumb.

One of the most respectful and appropriate things we can do with someone of another faith is to learn what they really believe and educate ourselves so we can have meaningful conversations and share our faith with those individuals.

If you want to learn how to effectively share your faith with Mormons and understand their faith better then I highly recommend this book.

Kate Micucci - Dear Deer

This might be one of the most random, yet weirdly awesome videos ever.

I dig the song and Kate Micucci's voice Anyway, watch, laugh, cry, blink, repeat.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2 blogs in a day...oh ya.

So recently we decided to make T-shirts for our students to wear on Tuesday to advertise and start conversations with other students at their schools so that they can invite their friends to CREW on Tuesday nights.

I really believe that students should take a major role in the creativity of their student ministry. Without this involvement we create a bunch of students who are disconnected from the ministry because they do not feel any form of ownership of the ministry.

What I did was ask the students to submit T-shirt designs for the new CREW T-shirts. After the entries were in I would then bring the shirt designs to everyone in the youth group and let them vote for the T-shirt. The student whose design won the contest would get a free shirt, and the shirts would be student designed.

I asked the students for random things because nothing strikes up a conversation better than random logos. I can tell you that the students delivered.

For those of you who question the creativity of today's students need to look at this design and recognize that it might be random...but it is certainly creative.

Without further ado...this is the design that was decided on.

A peanut eating an elephant...who would have thought? (By the way...the colors are messed up...the peanut and elephant are actually different colors...not sure how to correct that)

MxPx - Contention Video

I know that as I have gotten older I have added new music to my collection that might not have quite the edge of some of my earlier music.

Even though I listen to a lot more Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Wilco, Ryan Adams, Iron & Wine, Dwight Yoakam, and Sufjan Stevens now days...I still love some good old punk rock.

I never get tired of MxPx. This may not be the best video ever made...but I just like listening to this music and smashing my mind of course.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I hate politics. Church Politics. Government politics.

I am tired of people wearing shirts and using bumper stickers that say "Obama - Our Only Hope"

I would be tired of those people if they did the same thing with McCain. Jesus is our hope...not Obama...or McCain...or a certain political party.

I am tired of politicians who give a bunch of hope filled soundbytes without a plan...and accuse the other party of doing the same thing they are going.

I love watching The Daily Show. I hate people who think it is fair and unbiased.

I hate the fact that politicians familes are the focus of reporters.

I hate the fact that reporters laugh when they are accused of being biased...I don't care that they are...just admit it.

For the record...there are reporters and analystis that are biased on both sides.

I hate the fact that a party that encourages women's rights are making claims that Palin can;t take care of her kids when they have never done that with a guy. A father is just as important as a mother in the life of a young child.

I am tired of Christians who make their decisions based on abortion and gay marriage alone.

I am tired of campaign commercials that highlight the faults of the other (I know it is nothing new...just tired of it). It reminds me of little boys shouting insluts that make no sense on the playground.

I am ready for December.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Gospel & Personal Evangelism - Mark Dever

I recently read this book about sharing the gospel with those around you.

I found the book to be well written and practical...but also a little basic.

I would highly recommend this book for a new believer. It outlines the importance of knowing what the gospel is (differentiating between the true gospel and false gospels) as well as the importance of sharing the gospel and how to do it in a way that is not judgmental or idiotic (that is my word, not his).

One think that Dever hits on is the fact that we are sharing the gospel of Jesus, not recruiting church members. This distinction is so important. I think far too often people believe that if they tell people about church programs that their church offers then they are sharing the gospel with them, this is a tragic mistake. It is not that church events are bad, in fact they can be used to share the gospel of Jesus, but those events are a means to the end, not the end itself.

I would highly recommend this book to new belivers who are unsre of how to share their faith, or church leaders who are wanting to get some ideas on how to teach their new believers to share the gospel of Jesus.

Just a quick sidenote from me on the true gospel...

The true gospel is that we are seperated by sin from God and that Jesus died as a substitute for that sin to be cleansed. Jesus then rose form the dead and we offered to re-enter a right relationship with God apart from sin.

The true gospel is not...

Be good and moral (although it is good to be moral)

God will bless me if I behave (this is stupid, stupid, case you messed that...stupid)

Fighting injustice (sorry po-mos, there is more to the gospel than living green and building a well...although both are good they are not the gospel of Jesus)

Wearing a Chirstian Shirt...I don't care how cleaverly they changed a corporate logo to something is just a shirt.

The gospel, I believe, is best shared in the context of relationship not through standing on street corners yelling at sinners or leaving a tract in a public bathroom. So, if you are a Christian then get our there and make some friends who are not...and love them.