Friday, May 30, 2008

The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in 3 Acts

I just finished reading the new Chris Farley biography. It was a book that I couldn't put down. I've always been a fan of Chris Farley since he first started on Saturday Night Live. I loved Tommy Boy. I even really liked Black Sheep. There was one part in it that even when I think about it I crack up: where a big rock hits their cabin and it sends Chris and David Spade falling out of the cabin. Chris goes and takes down the door, and every time I crack up. I even liked Almost Heroes and Beverly Hills Ninja. So, I was excited to read his biography.
It was a lot of testimonials about him from others. They had friends from his childhood, people who went to camp with him, friends from college, coaches, SNL writers and actors, and his family. The first few chapters are about Chris' school and early career, and there were some stories in there that made me laugh out loud. At one point I had laughed so hard that I spit all over the page. It's hard to get people to laugh at something they are reading, and to get somebody to crack up is nearly impossible, but some of the stuff he pulled was awesome.
The end was more about his addictions and his death, and it was so sad. He was such a good guy who couldn't kick his addictions. He volunteered to help elderly people. He would go to hospitals and just hang out with kids in the cancer ward. He was always trying to help people. All of friends said that he was always encouraging them and building them up to feel like a million bucks, even when he was in high school. I didn't really know about any of that, but it makes me like him even more.
I remember I was driving home for Christmas vacation from college. It took about 9 hours to get home, and as soon as I got into the city I turned on the radio, and that was the first thing I heard, that Chris Farley was found dead in his Chicago apartment. I didn't even know him, but I went through the stages of grief. I went through denial: "it's not him, it's some other big guy," actually came out of my mouth. I think it was because he seemed like somebody you could hang out with and talk to. He was just a very friendly guy, and that came out in his public life that I saw. And in his private life, his friends and family say that was who he was too. I wish his life didn't end with that tragedy, I think he could have done a lot more good for this world. But if you like him, or even if you didn't, it's a great book to read.

Here's one of my favorite sketches that he did, but it wasn't on Saturday Night Live, it was with Tom Arnold (of all people):

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Odd News

I really like reading the "Odd News" section on Yahoo! Today there was a really odd one, that had the headline, "Nude Maid Accused of Really Cleaning Up." It's short so I'll just post the whole thing here:

TAMPA, Fla. - A nude maid is accused of really cleaning up at a Florida man's home. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said a 50-year-old man hired the maid from the Internet on Friday to clean his Tampa home.

Authorities said the woman arrived at the home in a one-piece, light colored dress. She took off the dress and cleaned the house for $100-per-hour. Sheriff's office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said the man told deputies he left the maid alone in the bedroom to clean.

When the man's wife came home from vacation, she discovered $40,000 in jewelry missing from their bedroom.

Police are investigating.

This is weird. First of all, who freakin' wants to work as a nude maid. Who comes up with these ideas? Second of all, why did this man decide to hire a naked maid when his wife was on vacation? (Well, I guess that's pretty self-explanatory). I but he had some heavy explaining to do. This is just weird. I guess he didn't really expect her to steal anything, because, really, where could she hide it without having to walk funny.

But it just goes to show, guys are idiots. If you read this blog, I hope that you will please never consider hiring or becoming a naked maid. I mean that's just degrading.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today's My Birthday

I'm 32. I could have my Driver's License twice now. The first 16 years went by so slow, and the next 16 years flew by. I can't believe I'm already this old. Here's a funny kid trying to sing Happy Birthday/

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunday Morning Impact

For the last few weeks, when talking about Sunday mornings, I've been kinda grading them by mentioning different sections of the morning, and describing them as good or great or whatever. I was thinking that I'm not really a good judge of that. I will never give myself a great, because I always think about things I could have said better. I'm never going to give anybody else lower than a great because I don't want them to feel bad if I didn't like their message or the way they led worship. So I'm just going to not do that anymore and just describe what we did and what the kids learned about.

Our game was one that I had played when I was a kid. It's an oldie but a goodie. We had some kids come up and I gave them pantyhose and a tennis ball. They put the tennis ball in the pantyhose, all the way in the foot. Then they put the pantyhose over their heads and had to swing it around. The partners would walk towards each other and when the pantyhose got interlocked they pulled away. Whoever had their pantyhose fall off their head first was the loser. It was fun, but didn't go as well as I had hoped it would. The kids couldn't seem to get the tennis balls spinning around their heads.

Gideon led worship and did a great job. And I'm not just saying that. I think he was great and he's getting better every time he leads.

I started my opener by asking kids to think about the grossest thing they have ever seen. Then I asked a couple to share what it was. One kid talked about dropping some of his underwear with a "little brown skid mark" in it. He had just changed into a swimsuit and was carrying his clothes with him. That story cracked me up. I talked about a guy who I saw taking a dump between 2 cars behind a Blockbuster. But it was a diarrhea dump, and it was just spraying out. I about threw up in my truck when I saw it. Even now thinking about it kinda makes me a little sick. Then I talked about another homeless guy who had some gross feet. Suzy and I were walking around the Mission in San Francisco looking for a good Mexican restaurant, and we came across this homeless guy. He must have been about 400 pounds. We were talking to him, and I looked down and noticed he was barefoot, and his feet were the grossest feet I have ever seen. His toenails were so long that they curved under his toes. His feet were covered with a green mold that could have been socks it was so thick. It was just disgusting. Then I told them about a girl at City Team who washed homeless people's feet. If this guy had walked in, she would have washed his feet, cut his nails, and helped him. I don't know if I could have done that. I talked about her passion for homeless people. Then I talked about the kids and what their passions are. If they are a believer in Jesus, then Jesus is asking them to minister now. It doesn't have to be a big thing like ending world hunger. It just means that they are to meet needs that are in front of them. And if they have a passion, how can they use that to minister to others.

I think there was some good discussions in the small groups. My group had some good discussion. The 7th grade boys group said they had a really good discussion. So hopefully the kids were able to take something away from Sunday morning, that they are to be ministers now, not when they are older. If they wait, they'll miss out on so much that God wants to do through them.

Wed. Night Impact

I'm a little behind in my blog. I didn't have a computer all weekend, which was good for me. So, I'm going to catch up on a few things today.
Last Wed., we had a pretty good Wed. I spoke about Bartimeaus. He was a blind man in Mark 10 that Jesus healed. Bartimeaus heard that Jesus was walking down the street, and so he started calling out for him. Everybody was telling him to shut up and leave Jesus alone, but he started calling out for Jesus even louder. Jesus heard him and asked for him. When Bartimeaus got to Jesus, he was asked what he wanted. Bartimeaus asked for sight, and Jesus healed him. Bartimeaus immediately began to see and then began to follow Jesus.

A couple things that we can learn from that story. First of all, being blind was a bad thing. It was seen as a punishment for sin, either your sin or an ancestor's sin. So they were usually an embarrassment to their family, as well as a financial drain, because they couldn't work. So many became beggars. They had to rely on others to take care of them and give them something to eat. So when Jesus asked him what he wanted, he said he wanted sight. OK, who wouldn't ask for sight? My point is that he didn't ask for money or food that would have helped him right then. He didn't ask for a house or for a wife to take care of him. He knew what he needed and he asked for that. He didn't give Jesus something easy to do. He knew sight would change his life, and he had the faith that Jesus could give it to him. Sometimes we don't ask for our real needs. We ask for things that don't matter in the long run. We ask for things that we think would be easy for God to give us. If God wanted to, he could make us all millionaires. He's got the resources. But what do we really need. We can learn a lesson about faith from Bartimeaus.

Second, we can learn gratitude from Bartimeaus. As soon as he was healed, he immediately began following Jesus. He didn't go and try to find his family. He didn't go and try to get some food or some work. He didn't go and find friends. He didn't even go to see something beautiful that had only been described to him. He followed Jesus. Let's say you're swimming, and somebody throws you a floatie thing so that you can suntan in the pool. You might say thanks, and then never think about it again. If you're drowning in the ocean with sharks circling you, and somebody throws you a floatie to pull you out of the water, you're going to be a lot more grateful. You could never say thank you enough times to show your gratitude. This guy was saved from a lot; a life of blindness and extreme poverty. He was super-grateful. We were saved from a life without God, from hell. I know I don't think about it sometimes, but I'm really not as grateful to God as I should be. I always am looking at what I want God to be doing now.

The last thing we can learn from Bartimeaus, is Jesus at all costs. Even though everybody was telling him to shut-up and telling him that Jesus didn't need to be bothered with him, he just kept screaming all the more. Do we have some discouragement in our lives that is keeping us from calling out to Jesus? Are we worried about past sins? Are we worried how others might see us. Are we worried how we see ourselves? All of that shouldn't matter. Jesus doesn't care. He wants us to call out to him. We need to get to Jesus at all costs.

That was Wed. Night.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

13 People who should take Paula Abdul's place on American Idol

Last night I sat with Suzy as she watched American Idol. I hate this show. I actually hate almost all reality t.v. Suzy loves it, all of it. I end up seeing some of it because Suzy doesn't miss an episode. I think one thing I don't like about it is that Paula Abdul is an idiot. I get embarrassed for her when she gets up and starts dancing behind her chair. Everything she says is stupid. She tries hard and it comes out dumb. Paula Abdul didn't say anything helpful or intelligent. She sounds like a crazy homeless person. So, here are some other "has-beens" that I think could take her place and do a better job.

1. Brittney Spears--She's not going to say anything intelligent (because you have to have some intelligence) but at least we might get to see her get mad and pull out an umbrella and beat up Randy. "If you say 'dawg' one more time, I'm going to shave my head again!"

2. Debbie Gibson--I think she's going by Deborah now. I saw her in an interview the other day, and she didn't seem quite as drunk as Paula.

3. Tiffany--Then the contestants can start singing "I think we're Alone Now"

4. Tina Yothers--The little girl from Family Ties. She tried to sing in a band, so she knows a little bit about music. Plus she's kinda scary looking, so it could be like a car wreck, where you just can't look away. That could be good for ratings.

5. Peppa--From Salt n Peppa. I think it would be fun to hear Simon say "Peppa, what do you think?" and try to be serious when saying it.

6. Baby Spice--We can always use another English accent.

7. Belinda Carlisle--From the Go Go's.

8. Christina Aguilera--She's been performing since she was little, so we know she can't think for herself. So the American Idol people can tell her what to think, and then she can say it. She'll always be under their control.

9. Whitney Houston--I know some people don't think she's a has-been, but she definitely is. She hasn't come out with anything in years except for a cocaine addiction. This will add some drama to the show, because Bobby will try out in every city trying to rekindle his "singing" career.

10. Brody Armstrong--She's the wife of Tim Armstrong of Rancid. She was in the Distillers. She never got that big, but she's tattooed all over and has the punk rock attitude. She'll speak her mind, and I think she's as funny as anything.

11. Courtney Love--If they really want some melt-downs, she's the one that could do it. She'll never say anything intelligent because the drugs ate up 97% of her brain years ago. I'm surprised she can function at all. But she could definitely give Simon some heartburn by having to sit next to her and listen to her dribble all day. This would be funny just to see how Simon handles her.

12. Gloria Estephan--She's got that Latin attitude. Every interview I've seen her in, she seems to be intelligent, and she's actually had a career that lasted more than 1 album. Unlike the first 11, she would actually add something to the show besides drama and more stupid talk.

13. Jessica Simpson--She still won't say anything good, but at least she's prettier than Paula.

Here's a video of Paula at a time when I was embarrassed for her because of how stupid she looked and sounded.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Free Rice

This is an organization that is helping to feed starving people. Please watch this video, and then go to this site. You can help feed people all over the world from your living room.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Baptist Children's Home

Saturday, we took the kids back to the Baptist Children's Home. This time we worked with the Migrant kids who have been caught crossing the border. They were from Guatemala, Columbia, Honduras, and Ecuador. many have ridden trains to come here. Some are looking for family. Others are looking for work. But they were caught, and they are housed at the Baptist Children's Home until they can find family who will sponsor them or until they get deported. Their ages are anywhere from 13 to 17. I read a book called Enrique's Journey that talks a lot about these kids who are traveling to the US and what they go through. You can read about that here.

We go out there and play soccer and volleyball with them. We make a ton of hamburgers and hot dogs and eat with them. Some kids dance with them. Others make necklaces and bracelets with them. It's always a lot of fun.

We played some 7 on 7 soccer on a small field. These kids are amazing. It's like the soccer ball is attached to their foot. They make quick passes and hard shots. If they dribble, they rarely lose the ball. It was 7 of us against 7 of their guys. They pretty much could have scored any time they wanted. They took it a little easy on us. I scored the first goal for our team. I got a header. I was happy about that. I think we only scored like 4 or 5 all day. They probably scored about 20. In the end I got asked to play on their team. I thought that was cool. Maybe they just wanted to make it harder for their team.

Only 2 people got hurt. Luckily, it was adults. Mitch got kicked in the "woo hoo." I was the other one. I play hard. I was running for a ball and I tried to save it from going out, and when I kicked it, I turned around and started to fall back, and I rammed the wall of the house, right on the window. It has a brick window sill and I hit it hard with my arm and back. I got a cut on my arm. I'm surprised I didn't break the window as hard as I hit it.

We had a great time. Our kids did great with meeting the kids and hanging out with them. There is a big language barrier. But somehow it seems like we overcome it and can have a good time. I played soccer and cooked the entire time. But when I looked around, it seemed like all of their kids were talking or hanging out or playing with some of our kids. Here are some pictures from the day.

Sunday Morning Impact

Game: Great
Music: Great
Lesson: Great

This week was a great week in regard to the things that we did. Our game was one that we played about a month ago. It was called dish towel dodge ball. We have a bunch of dish towels tied in knots and then they play dodge ball. The last 2 kids who don't get hit are the winners. We had about 10 dish towels going. It's a lot of fun to watch. Especially, since there are so many towels going around that some people get hit from somewhere that they aren't even looking. Aaron Brandt and Jamiqua were the winners.

Nathan Keith led worship, and it was the best that I've seen him. He's getting a lot better. He did a couple of old songs and a newer song called "Cornerstone." I just think he's getting more confident in his leading of worship. We also had a ton of Jr. Highers playing in the band. Well, maybe not a ton, but at least 4.

Dr. Joe gave the message. He just got back from a mission trip to the Philippines. He helped take care of the sick. He talked about helping kids who have parasites crawling under their skin that you can actually see. He told the kids to look for ways that God can use them. God gave each one of them gifts and talents for them to use. He uses his medicine. His 10 year-old son played basketball with the kids in the Philippines. He talked about how they could get involved with serving God and serving others. He's very funny, and the kids always like it when Dr. Joe speaks.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wed. Night Impact

Last night I spoke about being a loser. I've had a lot of moments in my life where I have felt like a loser. Either because of stupid things that I've done and moments of idiocy, or because of ways others have treated me. But does that make me a loser. No. God sees the potential in me. He doesn't define me as what I've done but who I can become. And throughout the Bible, and really throughout history, God has used some losers to do his work (I use "loser" here, but mainly I'm talking about people that no one else would expect or people who have failed in major ways).

I think this is because of two reasons. One, these people are usually more dependent on God. They are more humble and realize that they need God to accomplish major tasks. They don't rely on their own gifts and talents to get them through a tough situation. Second, God likes to use the underdog, to show His glory. He will take the least-likely person and accomplish huge things. David was just a kid when he beat Goliath. Moses was a loner who was running away from his past when God called him. And this continues to happen throughout the Bible.

So I spoke about John Mark. He met Jesus when he was a teenager. He hung out with Jesus and saw miracles and listened to his teachings. He was with Jesus the night he got betrayed and arrested. In fact, it says that he got scared and a guard grabbed him, and then Mark ran away, out of his robe, naked. A few years later he went on a mission trip with Paul and Barnabas, and sometime along the trip, Mark left them to return home. We don't know if he got scared or if he just missed his momma, but whatever the case, he left before their work was done. A few years later, Paul and Barnabas were wanting to go on another mission trip to visit the churches that they started. Mark wanted to go, and Barnabas wanted him to go, but Paul absolutely DID NOT want him to go. In fact, this caused a big fight, and Paul and Barnabas split ways. Paul went one way with Silas, and Barnabas went another way with Mark.

How do you think you would have felt if someone you looked up to absolutely didn't think you were good enough to go with him. I bet he felt horrible. I know I would have. But Barnabas, who's name means "Encourager," saw the potential in Mark. Over the next few years, we don't' hear anything about Mark and Barnabas. The story of Acts decides to follow Paul and his ministry. But I think Mark went under Barnabas' wing. I think Barnabas taught him how to minister and teach. I think Barnabas encouraged him and built him up and mentored him.

The next thing we hear about Mark is in a letter by Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:11). Paul specifically asks for Mark because he is helpful for his ministry. This was probably about 20 years after Mark had abandoned Paul on their trip. But somehow, Mark had redeemed himself, that even Paul had complete trust in him.

So there are 3 things that we can learn from John Mark. First, we have to keep going. Just because we face some discouragement, whether it's from failure or from others, we can't give up on following God and being used by God. Second, we need to have people in our lives that we can learn from and that can build us up closer to God. I've had several in my life, and now I get to pass that on to others now. I still have people that I look up to that I can call from time to time to help me out and give me some encouragement and direction. Third, we also have to help redeem people. We need to allow people the chance to build trust and build back up. What would have happened if Mark had been so discouraged by Paul that he decided to stop following God as a missionary. Well, we wouldn't have his Gospel. There's no telling how many churches were started because of him and Barnabas. God used Mark in huge ways despite his failings and his immaturity. So, just keep going; get someone in your life who can build you up; and allow people to redeem themselves. See people with the same potential that God sees them, not as what they've done but by what they can become.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Last week, a cyclone hit Burma. So far, over 60,000 people have died. A lot more are missing. The UN thinks the death toll is going to surpass 100,000. That's a pretty good size city that is going to be dead. The Burmese government is run by the military, and they are awful. They treat their people worse than Sadaam treated his. And now, that the cyclone has hit, and people are stranded, and disease is rampant, the government is letting in outside aid, and if they do, it's limited and restricted.
I just read an article on yahoo. that said the food that is being sent to Burma is being taken by the government, and then they are distributing lower quality and even rotten food. To me, this is horrible. I know our government is trying to help the people, which is great. However, I feel they aren't doing as much as they can. I'm wondering if it's because Burma doesn't have any oil. If they did, would we have stepped in already.
Anyways, my friend Jay Pratt is in Burma now helping with some relief. He has been living out there for about 5 years, and he absolutely loves the Burmese people. As soon as the cyclone hit, he started trying to make plans to get there to help. (He's been in the States because he is getting married in June). He's trying to negotiate with the Burmese to allow Christian organizations the opportunity to send in relief. He said they have 90 tons of supplies they want to bring in, but the government won't let them bring it in. So, this blog is asking for prayer for Jay, but most importantly for the people of Burma who have been affected by this cyclone. Also, pray that this oppressive government is taken out of control in Burma.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday Morning Impact

Game: Good
Music: Good
Opener: Good
Small Group: Good

I think this was a pretty average Sunday for us. Nothing super special happened. It was good, and I think the lesson the kids were taught was a good one. But the energy just seemed to be down a little bit. I'll blame it on the wind.
In our game, the kids had to go out and find people who met a certain criteria. For example, they had to find somebody who had hair longer than 5 inches. They had to find somebody who had been out of the country. There were several little things like this. The first 2 to finish got a prize. I think it was good because kids got up and got around and had chances to talk to people they might not ordinarily talk to.
Gideon led worship. He always does a good job. But like I said, the energy was down a little bit. He did some new songs, and they were good. I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not.
Our lesson was about ministry, and how we are required by God to serve others and love others. I talked about a bunch of needs that are happening all over the world. From hunger, to slavery, to the lack of clean water and medicine. Problems are happening all over the place, and we can't just sit back and figure it's too big of a problem to not do anything about. We have 3 more lessons over this idea, and I'm excited about it. I hope the kids can think of some ways that they can help and influence others.
Overall, it was a good week.

Wed. Night Impact

I know this is a few days late. But I had a bunch of pictures from this Wed, and I wasn't able to get to them until today. We had a "Friends Night" last Wed. and we rented a set of sumo suits
and the bouncing boxing. The kids had a great time, and here are some pictures from those games.