Monday, December 29, 2008
12. Various Artists--Juno Soundtrack
11. Children 18:3--Children 18:3
10. Family Force 5--Dance or Die
9. Capital Lights--This is an Outrage
8. The Briggs--Come all You Madmen
7. This Beautiful Republic--Perceptions
6. Jack's Mannequin--The Glass Passenger
5. Search The City--A Fire so Big the Heavens Can See It
4. Sum 41--Underclass Hero
3. Flogging Molly--Float
2. Weezer--The Red Album
1. E for Explosion--Reinventing the Heartbeat
Saturday, December 27, 2008
13. Burn After Reading. I only put this one on there because it was one of the only movies that I saw in a theater. Brad Pitt did a great job, and the last 5 minutes were awesome. Other than that it was a disappointment. I usually like the Cohen Brothers movies. But this one had a lot of possibility, because it was a great idea, but it just didn't deliver.
12. Fireproof. Come on, it's got Kirk Cameron. Actually it was a pretty good movie. It was a feel good movie. It also made me want to be a fireman.
11. Tropic Thunder. It could have just been Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr., and it would have been worth it. They were hilarious. I just wish it hadn't been rated R.
10. Lars and The Real Woman. This was an awesome movie. It was so funny, and so happy. It was very weird though.
9. The Pirates who Don't Do Anything. We like the Veggie Tales and Parker loves them. It was a good story and had some good songs.
8. Juno. I liked this movie a lot. Jason Bateman is becoming one of my favorite actors, even though he was kinda jerky in this one. The slang from the kids got annoying in the beginning but it evened out after a while. But the story and the characters were great.
7. Kung Fu Panda. I think this was hilarious. Jack Black is funny even when you can't see his face. Plus it was a great story.
6. Iron Man. I know most people would make this number 1 or 2, and it was great, but there were a few I liked better. But it doesn't take away that I liked this movie a lot.
5. Cloverfield. I liked this movie a lot. I thought it was cool how it told the story. It was incomplete because it was from one guy's point of view, mostly. It had a lot of holes in it and it left a lot for conversation afterwards.
4. 21. This made me want to play Blackjack and go to MIT. I read the book first, which was way, way, way better than the movie. But, it was still a pretty cool movie.
3. Hancock. I thought this movie was awesome. Most super hero movies focus on the powers. This one focused more on his personality and the powers were a secondary component. Again, Jason Bateman was in it and had a cool role.
2. Dark Knight. I was skeptical of this movie at first with Heath Ledger being the Joker, but after watching it I became like everyone else who thinks he did an awesome job. This would have been a mediocre movie without him and his character.
1. My favorite movie of 2008 came out in 2007, but I didn't see it until January. It was "I am Legend." I loved this movie and could watch it over and over. I just like the idea of what would I do if I was the last person in a city and had to kill some zombies.
Runners Up: Dan in Real Life, Step-brothers
Movie I didn't like at all: Semi-Pro
Movies of 2008 that I hope I will never see: Mama Mia, Sex in the City
Thursday, December 25, 2008
The Thursday before Thanksgiving, I was pulled into the executive pastor's office. In there with him was the senior pastor and the high school pastor. I had a great morning, and we had a great Wed. night the night before, and I was in a great mood. I knew the church was having some financial problems, so when I was called into his office, I knew it was probably going to be bad. I was preparing myself for a 10% pay cut, which they had done to me 2 years earlier. I was in such a good mood, that I really wasn't too upset about that.
The first thing they said to me was that they were having to lay off 4 people, and that I was one of them. I couldn't believe it. The junior high ministry was basically one of the only ministries in the church that was growing and the only one doing any kind of ministry outside of the walls of the church building.
The second thing I couldn't believe is that they let me go instead of the high school pastor who had only been there 2 months, who has no experience as a youth minister. He was a volunteer, and he's great, but he has no experience in youth ministry and leading a group the size of the youth ministry at Harvest.
Needless to say, I was pretty hurt by this and angered by it. I disagreed with a lot of the things the pastor was doing, and instead of speaking up, I kept quiet and focused on youth ministry. I think that was my downfall, because many of the other people didn't know me. The men who made the decision to lay me off didn't know what I had been doing for the last 3 years. The new high school pastor had been at the church for 10 years and knew everybody, and everybody liked him.
The crappy thing is that the pastor was responsible for the financial problems due to some poor decisions on his part. The executive pastor is just as responsible because he was just a glorified "yes man" who tried to make the bad decisions work instead of fighting against them. Because of their work about 25 people have been laid off in the course of a couple of months, because they closed the school down in October.
So, now I am looking for new ministry to be a part of. I think this is actually going to be a blessing because I'm getting out of there. It's been a while since I trusted the senior pastor's leadership. And really should someone be on a church's staff when they don't trust the senior pastor. I had been struggling with that for a while. The only thing is that I can't imagine a better group of youth or of youth workers. They were amazing. I know God is still going to bless the youth ministry because of the workers that are there. I'm going to miss the kids and the volunteers a lot.
So, now I'm a stay-at-home dad looking for a new ministry to become a part of. We're praying that God will lead us back to California. We haven't heard much yet because churches are super busy this time of the year with Christmas extravaganzas, so I imagine the job search will heat up after the New Year.
I'm going to keep this blog up, mainly for myself, to give me something to do. I'll talk about the job search and the things Parker and I get ourselves into. If you are reading this, I hope that you will become a follower of the blog, just so I'll know if anybody is ever reading the stuff that I post.
Hope you guys are having a great Christmas so far.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Residents of the small
Arkansastown of Springs noticed the homosexual community was growing. But they felt no threat. They went about their business as usual. Then, one day, they woke up to discover that their beloved Eureka Springs, a community which was known far and wide as a center for Christian entertainment--had changed. The City Council had been taken over by a small group of homosexual activists. Eureka
The Eureka Springs they knew is gone. It is now a national hub for homosexuals. Eureka Springs is becoming the San Francisco of Arkansas. The story of how this happened is told in the new AFA DVD “They’re Coming To Your Town.”
One of the first actions of the homosexual controlled City Council was to offer a “registry” where homosexuals could register their unofficial “marriage.” City Council member Joyce Zeller said the city will now be promoted, not as a Christian resort, but a city “selling peace, relaxation, history and sex.”
AFA’s “They’re Coming ToYour Town” documents the story of how and why this happened. And how homosexual activists plan to do the same in other towns.Order a copy of “They’re Coming To Your Town.” Watch it. Then take the 28-minute DVD and share it with your Sunday School class and local church. This is a story the liberal media will never tell, but one you need to know.
And even though I don't want my son being taught some of the things in school that are against the Bible, I feel there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Making a video as though homosexuals are an evil group coming to overtake your city is ridiculous. It's like they are a bunch of extraterrestrials who are coming to take over the planet. I guess I've ranted long enough.
hit to Friendly Atheist
Monday, November 17, 2008
Nathan led worship and did a totally unplugged set. They didn't have microphones or their guitars plugged in. It was quiet, but it was really cool because you were able to hear the kids singing. Usually the music is so loud you can't hear people singing, but yesterday, you could really hear the kids singing. It was awesome.
Charles brought the message, and he talked about living as a child of the king. If God is the king, and He is our father, then that would make us princes, so we should live as princes. So often, we live outside of God's kingdom as someone who shouldn't even be in the kingdom at all. He used an example from the Lion King. Simba believed lies that his uncle told him, and he ended up leaving his kingdom. He ate grubs and bugs instead of the meals that a prince should eat. Until Rafiki (not sure how to spell that...I guess I could look it up, but whatever) the monkey came and told him to look at the reflection in the water. Simba said he saw himself, and it was nothing. Then the monkey said, "look harder," and then Simba saw his dad, Musafa, in the reflection. Then he went back to reclaim his kingdom.
So often, we believe lies about ourselves that keeps us from living how God wants us to, as His children. When we should see God's reflection when we see ourselves, many times we see nothing.
I think Charles did a good job in bringing this message, and I hope the kids caught what he was saying to them.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Last night, we had Saturate, which is a time of prayer and praise. Gideon led worship and did several songs, and really did a great job. I got up for only a couple of minutes and talked about prayer, and read from Psalm 71. When you feel like you are in a pit and there is no way out, God can and will deliver. If you have a friend who you think feels like they are in a pit, pray for them.
Our student leaders got up and circled the room and made themselves available to pray for kids if they needed it. I think it's awesome when a 6th grader goes up to pray with an 8th grader. I also think it's awesome to see that these kids are going to be so comfortable praying for others at such a young age.
I got to spend some time in prayer with Samantha, who had her house burn down last weekend while we were at the lock-in at Malibu. She lost everything. But this girl is awesome and has such a cool attitude about it all. But it was cool having that prayer time with her. And if you can, please pray for her and her family during this time.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
I spoke about Sibling Rivalry things. I used the story of Jacob and Esau. Jacob deceived Esau and stole from him and just all-around treated his brother like poop. So, Jacob ran away because he was afraid. Years and years later, Jacob is told by God that he is to come back to him home land, but Jacob is still afraid. When he gets back, Jacob is so afraid and tries to send gifts and apologies to Esau, hoping that will appease Esau. But when Esau sees him, he runs up to him and embraces him and kisses him. Esau had forgiven and forgotten everything Jacob did to him.
My points were that:
1. we need to be humble (don't think of yourselves as better than your siblings)
2. we need to ask for forgiveness
3. we need to be willing to forgive.
I talked about how God wants us to love our family and puts huge emphasis on that. And nothing that bothers us should separate us from our family. It's really a great story, but I don't feel like I did a good job communicating it. I don't think the kids were connected with me. But, they all still had a good time in dodge ball.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I showed the story of Abraham and Issac, and when Abraham was to sacrifice his son to God. We always look at this from a view that Abraham had such great faith, and we always see it from his point of view. But I took it from Issac's point of view. This kid was carried up a mountain, knowing that they didn't have anything for the sacrifice. They had the wood and fire, but no lamb. Abraham kept telling Issac that "God will provide."
But when they get to the spot there is still no lamb, and then Abraham ties Issac to the altar. Then he raises his knife to slay his son as a sacrifice to God. Most time I've heard this sermon preached, or read about this in commentaries, they make it as though Issac was calm and did whatever his dad wanted. All of the strain and emotion is on Abraham who has to do this horrible act to his son. But I believe Issac was freaking out. I'm sure Abraham had a heck of a time getting him tied to the altar. One, Abraham was over 100 years old and Issac was 12. Two, I have a hard enough time holding Parker down to change his diaper, let alone try to tie a 12 year old up. And once he was tied up, I believe that he was screaming and crying and pleading for his dad to stop. I think he was probably begging for his life. Then a voice came and told Abraham to stop and not touch the boy.
I'm sure Issac was relieved. I'm sure that Issac knew that it was God that had told Abraham to do all of this stuff. But I also believe that it affected Issac's relationship...not to God, but to his father. Issac and Abraham have no more interactions in the Bible after this story. They don't have any conversations. Issac moved away. Abraham didn't even help Issac get a wife, he sent his servant to find him one. I believe Issac loved his father, but I also think this event hurt his relationship with his dad.
Now, when parents go weird and embarrass you or are mean to you, there are 3 things that can happen. First, you can avoid your parents and not really have any relationship with them. Second, you can harbor anger towards them so that every time you see them, it comes back up. Third, you can honor them.
One of the 10 commandments says, "Honor your father and your mother." It doesn't add "only if they treat you right and deserve it." It just ends. So how can we honor our parents.
Ephesians 6:1 says that "Children, obey your parents in the Lord."
So to honor your parents, you have to obey them. Unless they ask you to go smuggle crack into the country or to go and steal bread from orphans, you should obey what your parents say. Even if it's not something that makes sense to you at the time, you should obey your parents.
Second, honor your parents with your words. Instead of back talking, instead of grumbling about them under your breath, instead of complaining about them to your friends, instead of disrespecting them; you should honor them by encouraging them, by telling them you love them. I don't think parents need a pat on the back from their kids and to be told that they're doing a great job, but being pleasant and respectful will go a long way in encouraging parents.
Third, honor them with your actions. Do what you are told without complaining. Clean up after yourself without being asked. Give them hugs. I love getting hugs, but especially from Parker.
Some kids have bad home lives and their parents aren't very honorable. But God still wants us to honor our parents. I think God hates it when somebody hurts a kid, in any way. I think God's heart aches when a kid's heart aches. But I feel that we can't choose our parents, but we can choose to do what is right and honor them.
Sometimes parents will embarrass their kids. Sometimes they'll be mean to their kids. And God still says that we are to honor them with our lives.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Gideon led worship and did a great job. Our game was a messy one, which we haven't done a messy one in a long time. We had kids who were seated knee to knee get blindfolded. Then they had to feed each other a cup of pudding. They couldn't see each other's mouth and it was hilarious to watch them try to feed pudding to somebody's neck.
I think it was a pretty good weekend.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I finished my series on the Fruits of the Spirit by talking about faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Faithfulness means that people see you as trustworthy and when you say you are going to do something, then you are going to do it. Nobody questions you. This should be done in school, chores, sports, or whatever you do. Anything you do, you are going to be honest and you are going to finish, and you are going to give it your best.
Gentleness means that you are gentle. I gave some examples of this, like the mom who kisses a boo-boo and makes it feel better. A dad who gets down and helps his son build a birdhouse or something. People who comfort the sad. And my grandpa, who I really learned a lot about gentleness from last week, who took care of my grandma. (She passed away on Sunday morning and her funeral is going on right now as I type this. Unfortunately I wasn't able to go back for it.) When they brought the hospital bed in for her to basically die in, he told the nurse that it wasn't big enough. The nurse didn't understand since my grandma had gone down to about 85 pounds. My grandpa said to the nurse, "But we're both not going to be able to fit in it." It didn't even cross his mind that she was going to sleep alone. He had a bed in another room about 10 feet away, but instead he pulled up a recliner and slept next to her every night, holding her hand. He's 91, and has aches and pains all over his body, but whenever grandma said anything, he was up and helping her and giving her whatever she needed. He never got frustrated, he was just so gentle with her. I guess I never really saw gentleness as tangible as I did with how my grandpa treated his wife. It was awesome.
Self-Control is staying away from one's desires. Self-control is taught by practice and by discipline. My 2 year old son has no self-control. Whatever he sees he goes for. This kid runs from one thing to the next non-stop. I don't know where he gets the energy. He screams, just for the fun of it, especially when we are out to dinner or at church. He doesn't have the concept of controlling his behavior. So, we have to discipline him, usually time-out or in real bad cases a spanking. He will learn to control himself and that there are some things you can and can't do. Older kids have to discipline themselves. By staying away from something that is wrong, they are developing self-control.
I think it was a good lesson, and I feel the kids understood what I was talking about. I mentioned that living these out is not what makes somebody a Christian, it's your faith in Jesus, but if you have faith in Jesus, these should be evident in our lives.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I think it can go without saying that I am a huge OU fan. Sam Bradford is the quarterback, and he's a Heisman contender as a sophomore. He's awesome. I read this article and thought I would pass it on, because it was really cool how a kid this young is stepping up to be the right kind of role model, not just for kids, but for Native Americans everywhere. Even if you hate OU (which, if you ask me, is like hating Mother Teresea) you should still read this article.
Oklahoma's Bradford serving as role model
Rivals.com College Football Senior Writer
|Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford realizes he has become a role model for many.|
The great, great grandson of Susie Walkingstick, a full-blooded Cherokee on his father's side, Bradford, one of two Native Americans on the OU roster (long snapper Derek Shaw is the other), might give Oklahoma its fifth Heisman Trophy. He gives the Sooners a shot at another national championship. And he also gives Native Americans much more than Saturday afternoon glory: He represents hope and possibilities for tribal communities in dire need of both.
"I am aware of that and it's a great opportunity for me," Bradford says. "If I am a positive role model for younger kids, then I think that's great. But it is a little bit (overwhelming) to know so many kids look up to me."
It's not just kids. Dr. Delores Subia BigFoot, director of Indian Country Child Trauma Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in Oklahoma City, doesn't know Bradford personally, but she is among his biggest fans in a state full of them. She holds up Bradford as an example to Native Americans of what can be accomplished with proper support in a positive environment.
"We work in communities where Native youth have a lot of challenges, so seeing someone like Sam excel is incredible," says BigFoot, an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. "He's such a great role model for other Native youth. He is steady, he performs well under pressure, he's reliable, he's consistent and he's competitive. He's a great leader, and that's what our youth need."
Bradford is by no means the first Native American college football star. Jim Thorpe, perhaps the greatest college football player ever, was an Oklahoma native from the Sauk tribe. He was an All-America in 1911 and 1912 playing for Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania.
Bradford might be the best player with Native American heritage since Washington quarterback Sonny Sixkiller, who led the nation in passing in 1970 and helped revive a Huskies program that struggled in the '60s.
"I can't tell you how many people have come up to me and said, 'I couldn't get my wife to go to a football game until you played,' " Sixkiller told Rivals.com in 2006.
Bradford surely will gain a similar following. He has been a tremendous leader for the top-ranked and unbeaten Sooners. He has thrown for 1,665 yards and 18 touchdowns, with three interceptions. He's second in the nation in passing efficiency and fifth in passing yards per game.
That's a long list of impressive statistics. But BigFoot also has a list of statistics; hers are sad and depressing.
"There are a lot of things that are going on within our troubled communities that make it difficult for children to be as successful as they could be," she says.
• About 40 percent of Native American children live in poverty.
• Native American children live in single-parent families at the highest rate in the United States.
• Despite making up only 2 percent of the population in the United States, Native Americans make up an estimated 8 percent of the homeless.
• Native American children are twice as likely to become victims of child abuse than non-Hispanic Caucasian children.
• Native American youth have higher rates of mental-health and substance-abuse problems than any other ethnic group.
BigFoot says the source of the problems can be traced back more than a century to the loss of land, language and culture that created an environment of despair and cultural genocide. That started destructive cycles, which have been repeated from generation to generation.
Attempting to end that cycle, she makes presentations and provides training sessions across the country. And in those presentations and sessions, she often talks about Bradford, a business major who has a 4.0 grade-point average.
"I promote him all the time," BigFoot says. "Most of the time I'm talking to adults, and I say it would be wonderful if all our children could benefit from the same kind of concern and care that Sam Bradford had. I don't think he was raised in what you would say is a 'traditional' Native environment."
Bradford grew up in an upper-middle class part of Oklahoma City with both of his parents – Kent, a former offensive lineman at Oklahoma, and Martha. He never faced many of the obstacles and issues other Native American youth deal with on a daily basis.
He acknowledges that while growing up he rarely – if ever – thought about his Cherokee heritage.
"It was never really a huge part of my life growing up," Bradford says. "My parents didn't talk to me a lot about it when I was younger. When I got to OU, I heard it was inspirational. But I probably haven't embraced it as much as I'd like to."
That hasn't stopped Native American youth from embracing him. Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah, Okla., is a boarding school owned by the Cherokee nation that serves students in grades 7-12 who are members of Native American tribes.
|Even Native Americans who don't consider themselves football fans are keeping a close eye on Bradford.|
"Everyone in our locker room has an issue, whether it's poverty, a broken home, divorce or whatever it may be," Scott says. "They all have a problem. It's amazing to sit down and listen to some of their stories. I didn't have to go through those things when I was 15 or 16."
Scott said he has 58 players on his roster and that only six have both parents in their homes. Some players' parents are in prison. Some parents are illiterate. Some abuse drugs and alcohol.
"I had a kid score a game-winning touchdown, and his mom and dad weren't there," Scott says. "After the game he told me, 'Coach, I don't know where I can stay tonight.' And you wonder why they have a hard time in school. But we don't let it be a crutch for them. We tell them there are better opportunities, and if they want better opportunities, they can change their situation."
Seeing Bradford excel has made that seem more believable.
"Regardless of whether they're athletes or non-athletes, Sam Bradford gives them something to identify with," Scott says. "They look on television at the NFL or NBA, and some of those things they can't identify with. When it became public that Sam was Cherokee, you could see it in the students that they could identify with him as a role model.
"He gave them an opportunity to see themselves and say, 'I can go to college.' "
Scott says he would like to invite Bradford to speak to the students at Sequoyah because he means so much to them and other Native Americans across Oklahoma. Until then, others such as BigFoot will be talking about him.
"A lot of Indian people, who not necessarily are involved with football, are watching him more and wanting to know more about his performance," BigFoot says. "Even the ones marginally interested in football are highly enthusiastic and ecstatic.
"There is a lot of pride."
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I'm going to start with a picture in need of a caption. Whoever comes up with the wittiest, funniest, most creative caption will win. Here's the picture:
Monday, October 6, 2008
I had some other things go on that I really don't want to get in to that much (like I nailed a dog in my car somewhere outside of Wichita Falls). But we got up to Oklahoma City and had a pretty good tie considering what we were going up there for. We saw my grandma, but she didn't remember who I was, but she remembered Parker and Suzy. Weird! We hung out with my brother and his family a lot. He has a son who is about 6 weeks younger than Parker so they played a lot. We also took them all out to a Pumpkin patch that had a petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides, and a corn maze. They loved it.
We saw grandma again on Saturday, and she wasn't looking very good. She couldn't stay awake. We knew it was just a matter of time. She passed away on Sunday morning around 3 a.m. We had to leave around 7 to come back to Texas. It's sad, but she's been sick for years and we have been preparing for it for a while. I'm sadder about my grandpa having to be alone after being married for 60 or so years.
On the way home, we picked up Suzy's brother and sister in Dallas who decided over the weekend to come out for a visit, which added to the weirdness. I'm happy they came and think it will be a fun visit, but it was just all pretty sudden. Anyways, that's pretty much what happened over the last couple of days.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I read this book in it's entirety on our plane ride to New Jersey. It was a real quick, real easy read. It still has a lot of the same characters and the same humor as the first one. It more focuses on the relationship with his older brother, Roderick, who can be tormenting to his little brother. I liked the first one better, but there were still some parts that were super funny and I would still recommend it to anybody who works with Jr. Highers or who is a junior higher, or if you're sense of humor stopped maturing around 6th grade.