Friday, April 29, 2005

pride & prejudice

i am very prideful. for me much of that pride comes in the form of wanting to do things at a pretty high level. i want the things that i do to stand out as original, creative, and quality. i believe that allot of people don’t see this because i try to do the opposite of what my prideful self wants. my prideful self wants to do things that i receive the credit for so instead i try to be laid back and pass credit towards other people. this doesn’t always work and therefore allot of times i do things for my glory rather than for GOD’s glory.

i tell you the above to set up the following – i had a very prideful moment tonight. i try to walk montana, our basset hound, every other day or so. i love walking montana. it is a very peaceful time during which i can either just enjoy the quiet or take my ipod and listen to music or messages. tonight i decided to listen to a rob bell message on community when my prideful moment happened. during the intro bell talked about what he had discussed during his previous two week’s messages. apparently during the previous weeks before this message on community bell had talked about about the concept of “journey” within the scripture. i hadn’t heard the message but all i was concerned about was how similar his message was to my message from this past week at “the view.” all i was worried about was that anyone hearing my message might think that i stole ideas from rob bell.

how stupid is this? first, rob bell is an amazing speaker. i have taken ideas from him before (though i ask permission via email first and give him credit during the message when i do). if i had known that he was speaking on journeying before i spoke on it you better believe that i would have listened to the message and gladly used ideas if they fit. second, the only reason i was worried about rob bell messages was that i simply didn’t want anyone who heard my message thinking that i had not come up with the message myself. it was entirely about me wanting the credit from what others considered a good idea. this is pathetic. finally, i continually forget that everything is dependent upon the HOLY SPIRIT and not me. it’s not my skill (of which there isn’t much) that reaches people and brings healing. nope it’s the power of GOD. this is why sometimes messages that I think are great don’t seem to move anyone and other times messages that i thought completely sucked end up with people running towards GOD. HE does all the work i am merely a very poor instrument and therefore HE should get all the credit.

so part of my healing is telling y’all how prideful i am.

my name is robert and i am a very screwed up human being.

the greatest pen ever

the bic atlantis pen is the greatest pen in the world. i love it for general writing and doodling but especially love it for writing in my moleskine journal (allot of other pens just don't feel right on the thinner, finer moleskine paper).

here's a flash diagram of how this wonderful writing instrument is put together.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

shoe testimonies

even the (shoes) will cry outi figured i would post a couple of the testimonies that were given with the shoes that we used as remiders of journeying with GOD. these testimonies were written concerning shoes that people donated to be a part of our worship service.
    At first glance, they seem insignificant, even useless. They’re just a beat up pair of running shoes, not even fit to be given to Goodwill. When I was little, my mom would call them “grass cutting shoes” because that’s all they are good for. But listen closely and hear the story they have to tell.

    Where did I get these shoes?
    I bought them in San Francisco, Ca. The whole family lived there for a summer. Just before that trip, we paid off some major debt that had stacked up over the years. For Susie especially, it was a first sense of financial freedom. She accepted the summer of fun in the California sun as a blessing from God, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. These shoes were the first thing that I purchased for years that didn’t make Susie cringe when balancing the checkbook. Why is that relevant now? Without freedom from debt, following God’s call to be missionaries would be impossible.

    Why did I get these shoes?
    Over the two previous years before staying in California, I lost 70 pounds. A lot of that is attributed to a rigorous, daily exercise routine in which I wore out my shoes. These shoes were bought as part of a continuing physical maintenance program. Why is that relevant now? Without freedom from obesity, following God’s call to be missionaries would be impossible.

    Where have these shoes been?
    Frankly, they’ve been all over the world, but no place as important as Chattanooga, Tennessee on June 05, 2004. What happened there changed my life. Very few would be surprised to know that I was at an Audio Adrenaline concert. Very few would be aware that for a month before that concert, I’d been dealing with a call to foreign missions. I was (and am) working with Audio Adrenaline to raise funds to build an Orphanage in Haiti. The mission work was called “The Hands and Feet Project” after AudioA’s hit single. While pondering and praying over the logistics of a national fund raising plan, God was calling me to a more permanent position on the foreign mission field. During the Chattanooga concert, I accepted the call. I cried the whole way through “Hand and Feet” and have at almost every concert since that day.

    Why are these shoes here?
    These shoes are here because I have pretty feet. There’s nothing special about my feet. They stink; they need Desenex on occasion; I get an ingrown nail from time-to-time. But I am the Hands and Feet of Jesus. I bring the Good News to others and it’s my feet that make that happen. According to God’s word, that makes them pretty.

another one:
    My name is Susie Austin and these are my shoes. I remember when I bought them. They looked awesome in the store and I got a great deal on them. The first time I wore them to work though, they HURT my feet so bad. I had blisters on my heels and it felt like a vice had been clinching my toes for hours! Luckily, I am not one to give up or waste money, so I was going to do whatever it took to break in these shoes. Many days and many miles down the road, they have become a staple in my wardrobe, a part of me. It just comes natural to pick up these shoes and wear them almost on a daily basis.

    Last year, God began preparing me for a new challenge in my life. He began gradually breaking me into an uncomfortable area that He wanted me explore. Throughout, these past months as I’ve walked in these shoes, I have experienced “blisters” as my plans have been put on hold. I have felt the vice clinch my heart as I have had to make life changing decisions…I have had to learn to walk an uncomfortable walk in order to go where God is leading.

    The funny thing is, kind of like these old shoes, I am not exactly sure when God “broke me in” to the peace and comfort of knowing that He is in control….but I know that He is. I now thank God for the assurance that all the uncertainty, all the searching and all the breaking in it took was worth it.

    Now it’s time for a new adventure with God, I am ready to break in another pair of new shoes.

oh yeah

cub scouts #2
i just wanted to say that i love my kids.

i love my wife too and i'm ready for her to finish this semester's school work so i can spen more time with her again.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

the view - april 27, 2005

it's kind of weird how things work out on worship services. tonight we did our service on journeying with GOD. as i discussed in a previous blog entry we setup the whole student center to teach the message. i figured it would take students and adults about 15 minutes to go through what we had setup. the first three people to go through it just walked straight through without considering any of it. truthfully i was hurt and ticked. we had spent allot of time on the whole things and they just blew through it. i'm such an idiot. the remaining people spent 50 minutes going through what was supposed to take 15 minutes at the most. they just kept on praying and praying. it really put me in my place for getting all pouty about the first few people rushing through.

anyways i posted pictures of the night below (it was dark in some rooms so the pictures are kind of grainy) and here's the powerpoint from the evening.

the crosshandship
refreshmentthe walking labyrinth

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


this has been around for awhile now and thus many of you have probably seen it already but amaztype is incredible. i've goofed off with it before but i finally put it to use for a graphic for a powerpoint presentation and it looks wonderful. i first heard about it from youthblog.

you put in any word you want and the website makes a flash image of the word out of book covers that contain the word. you can then click on any of the book covers and it will give you the information on the book. of course, you can also just take a screen shot of the word and convert it into an image for use in anything you want.

in this case, it is the title for our worship service tomorrow night.

typogenerator does basically the same thing using any phrase you type in and composing an image from various images it finds from google images. here's an image i made with "typogenerator" from the phrase "not all who wander are lost."

we may die young but at least we're happy

msn health & fitness - is your town down?
baton rouge has one of the lowest life expectancies in the nation but at least we're happy. baton rouge has been rated the fifth happiest place in which to live within the united states. that makes me happy.

Monday, April 25, 2005

preparations for "the view"

wednesday's plan
above is my "cat scratch" dry erase board drawing of the flow of the worship service wednesday, april 27, 2005. we're going to be dealing with being on journey with GOD - an abraham experience. the way we are doing this is to turn the entire service into a physical journey. here's what will happen:
  • everyone usually just walks into the the student center auditorium in preparation for the service. wednesday they will start outside and begin walking around the building as a part of the service.
  • this first leg of their walk around the student center will be surrounded by reminders and symbols of beginning a walk with JESUS - these are being developed by a student within the youth ministry.
  • the second leg of the journey around the student center will be surrounded by reminders and symbols of hardships we sometimes face while walking with CHRIST - these are being developed by a student within the youth ministry.
  • the third part of the journey will be surrounded by reminder and symbols of times or refreshing within our walk with our LORD - these are being developed by a student within the youth ministry.
  • the students will then enter the building and walk a labyrinth - to calm their thoughts down and focus on conversing with GOD. i have two students who are setting the labyrinth up.
  • the teens will then enter a room that is full of shoes. for the past three months i have been collecting shoes from individuals who had profound experiences with GOD while wearing those shoes. they have written down a summary of the experiences they had and those experiences will be attached to the shoes. the students will be able to enter the room and browse through the shoes and written testimonies.
  • the students will then enter the auditorium for singing and a message that focus on being on journey with GOD.

if you click on the above picture it will take you to flickr where you can view an image that i marked with the flow of the view. i'll post pictures after we finish the service.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

the greatest practical joke ever

the following story was done to me which should make it not funny (because i'm such a nice guy and no one should ever do anything bad to such a nice guy as me) but it's so good that even i think it is funny. therefore, for you're amusement i will tell how i have been abused.

i received an anonymous homosexual proposition today on my cell phone. this afternoon i received a phone call with a "724" area code. my usual habit is to ignore phone numbers that i don't know and wait for a message. so i ignored this phone call until the message arrived. the message said, "i found your number at barnes and noble in the bathroom and was wondering if you would like to get together tonight i'll be staying at the marriott and if you are interested in getting together tonight call and let me know." it sounded homosexual to me and i asked a few other people what they thought about a random guy calling and asking me to get together. they all agreed that it sounded gay.

of course, the real question was how did my cell phone number get in the bathroom stall of the barnes and noble book store?

that's when i remembered having a discussion with alan a few months ago about phone numbers in bathrooms. i need to admit something here. i'm fascinated by "bathroom poetry." i can't help it. when i see something written on the stall i just want to read it. i was discussing this with alan a few months ago and we both started wondering if anyone actually ever calls the numbers that are so often a part of the writings found on bathroom stalls. i suggested then that it all might just be a practical joke that friends pull on each other. we both thought that would be a great joke - leaving your friend's real phone number on the bathroom stall for people to call. apparently, alan thought it was too good of a joke to pass up because he went to barnes and noble and wrote my cell phone number on the bathroom stall.

alan admitted to the whole thing tonight when i confronted him on it. the problem is that i think the whole thing is hilarious. i mean it's really hard to get mad when i think it's simply a great practical joke. of course, i'm going to write his phone number in the bathroom of a sleazy truck stop now but i still admire his vigor in getting the first attack.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

summer calendar backgorund

summer mine copy
here's my first attempt at using photoshop to create a background for our summer calendar. the photo was mine so i don't even have to pay for that. i think i'm going to have to goof off with some other photos but i do love the idea of using a "pineapple" within the calendar because it is a traditional symbol of welcome.


the past two years i have gotten the graphic background for our summer calendar from sarti design and i've been real please with them. i would just buy their "elements" package for the summer calendar background and consider the rest of the images "gravy." the problem this year is that sarti doesn't have a new "elements" package out and thus no new summer calendar image.

this left me with three options:
    1) use an old image
    2) track now another graphic design company that sells cheap images
    3) learn enough adobe photoshop to do my own

i chose option number three and i have been working on images try to get one a like. i'll post them when i am finally satisfied with one or two of them. it hasn't really been as hard as i would have thought that it would have been, but of course, i'm not finished yet.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

today's schedule

7:50 a.m. arrive at church & spend a little time updating my itune's
library so everything will register properly on my ipod (swapping from
realplayer to itunes was not seamless).

8:15 a.m. try to teach an older church member how to use the projector
and sound board so that she can show a dvd for her bible study only to
find out that she doesn't even know how to operate a dvd player (the
10 minute training suddenly changed into a 30 minute quick overview)

9:15 a.m. go to court with a church member who is struggling through a
custody hearing. i get to discuss "hope" with her in the courtroom in
which her fate will be decided.

10:00 a.m. receive a phone call from a youth who graduated two years
ago and has been transferred to iraq. my only job is to give as much
comfort as possible for 30 minutes

10:50 a.m. arrive back at my study and begin working again on our summer calendar
publication (which is two months late because of budget issues at the

11:55 a.m. leave for lunch but get called form the school saying my
youngest son is sick so i rush back up to the church (where our school
is) and find out noah has a small headaches (headaches are a big deal
with him). we decide together that a little tylenol should take care
of everything (which turns out to be great because if i had checked
him out of school he would have missed a pizza party at school and
noah doesn't miss pizza for any readon – the boy loves it).

12:45 p.m. since i no longer have time to rush home, eat and get back
for my 1:30 p.m. appointment i go to cane's and get some chicken

1:30 p.m. meet with church member discussing life insurance.

2:00 p.m. chase life insurance agent away to meet with my 2:00 p.m.
appointment with a teen helping him to prepare a testimony for
speaking with some kids.

2:10 p.m. the teen still hasn't arrived

2:15 p.m. start listening to a different teenager on how his life
sucks – some call this counseling. basically i just listened to him,
directed his conversation back onto topic a few times, and helped him
realize that GOD is not demanding that he become someone else's
picture of who he should be.

3:15 p.m. receive a call from one of our teens saying that one of the
11th & one of the 8th graders at our school had been in a car accident
and were in the icu at one of our hospitals but no one was sure which

3:30 p.m. receive several calls form other teens who are worried about
their friends but don't know what hospital they are at.

4:30 p.m. finally figure out which hospital the student's are at. i
take the boys home and wait for pam to get home from work before
leaving for the hospital.

5:40 p.m. leave for the hospital and meet with the teen's dad and try
to reassure him that god is watching over and they are loved. the
hospital is full of eighth grade girls who are there out of "concern"
(and a need to be in the midst of the action)

7:30 p.m. arrive back home and thank GOD for two things 1)an
incredible family that puts up with allot, and 2)a calling that every
now and then gives me the chance to be a part of god making a

born into brothels

i was finally able to see born into brothels last night and it was disturbing and amazing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

i'm just a bus driver ...

me & jonathan
every now and then in preparing for a message or a series of messages i will spend a half day or whole day at a place that inspires or teaches me concerning whatever the message is about. for example, when i was talking about suffering i spent the afternoon in a local emergency room working on the message but also just soaking up what was going on around me. awhile back for a message on community i spent the day at a mall watching people (the mall is a place that looks like a great community place - a large gathering area - but instead is a place of disconectedness). i try to do this every now and then and i find it very helpful.

in the near future i will be speaking about being on journey with CHRIST and therefore i figured i would spend the day traveling around baton rouge on it's brcats public transportation system. the public transit service in baton rouge is not a very big deal. it's a good system, it's just that it's not a very popular thing in louisiana to use public transportation and thus everyone tries to use their own vehicle instead. so i went to experience brcats for myself. jonathan, our minister of belonging, decided he wanted to go with me so i had a buddy for the day (really only about a half day). having a buddy meant i couldn't really "write" anything while i was traveling but it did make for an enjoyable time. i'm still processing the day trying to figure out what to say from it. it may turn out that unlike most of my "message field trips" this one may not "produce" allot. all i know right now is that it was a good time.

benedict xvi

so our catholic brothers and sisters now have their new pope but my question is how do you feel about yourself when everyone is referring to you as a "transitional pope"? basically benedict is the papal equivalent of eating a cracker in-between items of a tasting competition (wine, chili, etc.) to remove the taste of the previous bite you had. how lousy is this for benedict that he was pretty much chosen because the roman catholic cardinals figured he would be bland enough and die soon enough to prepare for another more significant pope?

interestingly i think the same thing happens with long term evangelical ministers. if you have a long tenure, significant pastor/minister at a church it doesn't seem uncommon to me for the next pastor to be at that church for a short while and then move on thus preparing the way for another more significant pastor. it's a "transitional pastor." of course, that doesn't usually involve the death of the "transitional poastor" and a "transitional pope" will need to die before the transition takes place.

Monday, April 18, 2005

24 play by play

dave barry has done another "play by play" on tonight's 24 episode. it's quite humorous. you can view it by CLICKING HERE.


i love flickr. if you are not familiar with flickr let me briefly describe the site. it is simply the best photo blog/sharing site on the internet. it's a wonderful community within which to be involved in and i love it.

i loved them before but i love them even more after what they have done today. today, they added another year to my pro account that i purchased back in december. they also doubled the photo transfer amount that i had with my pro account and then gave me to "free" pro accounts to give away to friends. flickr has simply been a great experience to be involved in.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

the new york times > washington > frist set to use religious stage on judicial issue

the new york times > washington > frist set to use religious stage on judicial issue
    As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.

i hate being lumped in with the people involved with this. why is it that conservative CHRISTians can be such incredible pains? i'm conservative in the majority of my believes and i really despise being associated with these lunatics simply by association of beliefs. why can't we just calling these actions what they are ... politics!

pure and simply that's what they are. one party is trying to gain power over another party. it's happened since the creation of our country. getting bush's judges appointed is not a "holy war". it's not a battle that is going to save faith in america. in fact, CHRISTian faith has nothing to do with wether these judges get into office or not. so can we please quite acting like it does?

CHRISTian consumerism?

i don't usually ever criticize other churches - or at least i try not to. i figure that none of us actually get this CHRISTianity thing right and between all of us maybe we'll at least do a decent job of worshiping CHRIST. yet this week i saw something that i just have to say something about and it concerns a church bookstore.

personally i am not a huge fan of church book stores. i actually would love church book stores if they really had anything to do with spiritual formation. my problem with church book stores is that nowadays they usually have nothing to do with spiritual formation at all. you won't find classics of CHRISTian thought or books dealing with the depth and mystery of CHRIST within most church book stores. nope, what you'll find is a bunch of self-help crap and dumb trinkets for sale. that's where my criticism comes in. in my opinion church bookstores or only slightly better than lifeway book stores which are only slightly better than family CHRISTian bookstores.

this past wednesday one of the teens within our student ministry showed me a stick of lip balm. it was custom printed "God Chicks" lip balm with the church's name on it. i figured it was just a trinket that the church gave out to get people to remember some message or event that they were doing. personally, i think giving things out that remind people of what the church has done or is doing is a great idea. we need to help people remember significant times within their lives and small everyday items are a great way to do that. of course, i was wrong about the church giving the lip balm out to remind people. nope, the church book store was actually just selling the lip balm just for the purpose of having something to sell. she said it had been given to her by a friend who saw it in the church book store and thought she would like it so she bought it for her. what in the world does lip balm have to do with the kingdom? i mean give me a break. what does selling specially printed lip balm have to do with spreading the gospel? this idea has to be even dumber than "testamints. this comes from a good, strong church that i would expect better from.

why is it that we feel the need to sell junk in the name of CHRIST?

if you really want to see something that will make you sick go to the site starts off with a flash presentation of john 3:16. i guess the implication is that GOD so loved the world that HE freed us to buy crap.

Friday, April 15, 2005

family guy

awhile back for a variety of reasons my family and i decided to get rid of all but the most basic cable package. we now only have abc, nbc, cbs, fox, upn, pbs, and wgn (along with 7 or 8 home shopping and public service stations). this means that if a show is not on a major network i simply can't see it until it reaches dvd. i've seen a few rereuns of the family guy but i've never been able to see many of the episodes. yet so many of the people i hang around with talk non-stop about the show. they say it is better than "the simpsons". i found that statement hard to believe so i decided to rent one of the dvds and watch the show.

so now i have watched the dvd. while i think it is a funny show i would by no means compare it to "the simpsons." it's simply not in the same category. "the family guy" is a good, funny show. "the simpsons" is the greatest animated show ever and one of the best televisions shows ever. that's the difference between the two.

pastor's retreat network

awhile back pam, my wife, found the pastor's retreat network - an organization whose purpose is to provide sabbath times for pastors and their spouses. they believe in this so strongly that they provide the service for free.

even though the room and board is free for pastors i would still be willing to bet that they are very rarely "booked up." it seems to me that we pastors do not do a very good job of "sabbath-ing." we have so absorbed the culture of this world that we think that part of our gospel mandate is to be constantly busy. we have to spread the good news. we have to shepherd our people. there's so much for us to do. we are very busy people?

was JESUS busy? when we work so hard at "doing" things for the gospel do we convey JESUS very well.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

the view - april 13, 2005

wednesday night at the view we shared stories of our visit with our friends at the beautiful feet church of fort worth, texas. we told these stories from two places in the back that had been set up to convey some of the meaning we experienced. so much of what we experienced at beautiful feet was about the restoration of lives and the junk that we humans need to be "saved" from. so we set up two stations for people to speak from. first was a station that was composed of "junk" - many of the people who went to beautiful feet went to this station to express the junk that they realized was in their lives and the junk that they had seen there that was separating people from GOD. the second station was a station of restoration and it had physical reminders of some of the physical work that we have seen done at beautiful feet - many people went to this station to talk about the change that they saw GOD make in their own lives and other people's lives.

overall, it was a cool night. i loved hearing the kids and adults talk with such depth. they weren't saying "oh it made me thankful for all i have". no they came away saying "the homeless men and women were just like me - they had the same needs that i do." it was great.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

if JESUS be lifted up

i'm pretty excited about what we are going to try and do this coming sunday. as you may or may not know this coming sunday is earth day. for some reason years ago some evangelical leaders most have gotten together and decided that we CHRISTians aren't supposed to care about the earth and therefore we have given the whole ecological movement over to others. this means that earth day in baton rouge is mixed up with a random new age labyrinth project (labyrinths aren't new age - i love them - but the vision behind this project is not CHRIST centered) and metaphysical alternative healing sources (touch therapy, aurora reading, etc. typically there is quite a bit of not necessarily CHRIST-friendly stuff surrounding some earth day celebrations.

when i heard about the events or baton rouge's earth day on the radio i had a sudden desire to be a part of the event. so i called the contact person and asked if we could be a part of the "alternative healing" booths. the alternative healing section is where you go to learn about different strategies for healing. this means "healing" tecniques such as vibrational therapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, healing touch, reiki, herbal remedies, aromatherapy, nikken magnetic therapy. so i aksed the contact lady if we could join the "alternative healing" section of the event. i explained to her was that within the CHRISTian tradition there is a long history of praying for the healing of individuals and washing people's feet. i asked if we could set up a booth among all the other "healing" booths simply for the purpose of praying for people who ask for it and washing their feet. i promised we wouldn't try to push anything on anyone and would not ask for or accept donations and that all we wanted to do was praying for people in the name of JESUS asking for their healing.

i seem to remember JESUS saying in scripture that if HE is lifted up that HE will draw all people to HIMSELF. so if we could go and pray for people and thus lift HIM up in the midst of earth day then HE would accomplish something good. we wouldn't have to be obnoxious or forceful or anything like that for something good to happen. GOD would simply take care of what needed to happen just by us being there to pray for people.

the contact person said she liked the idea and would probably come and let us pray for her but that allowing us to come and do that was not her decision so she would pass it down the line. yesterday i received another call asking more questions. that person's response was also positive but they said they couldn't make the final decision. so right now i'm still in limbo waiting and hoping that this sunday we will get to be in the midst of 40,000 people praying for individuals and trusting GOD to be GOD in their lives. i really hope we get to do this.

SIDE NOTE - please don't read this as an anti-earth day post. i believe GOD created the earth and therefore it is special and sacred and should be taken care of. if i remember right that was the first job given to humanity ... to take care of what GOD had created. earth day is pretty cool and most of the people involved have no problem with CHRISTianity. we evangelicals have just dropped the ball on the environment and therefore earth day is not the normal place to find us. it should be though.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

the ministry of powerpoint

the graduation announcement
seven years ago i became involved in my first youth oriented worship service. this was when i was in carthage, missouri and i really didn't want to do it at the time. it was suggested by a church member who i respected and i did it mainly just because he felt strongly about it. we structured the service as a worship service as just another worship service only with a slightly different flavor. thus it was for everyone rather than just for teens. it was a different approach to worship rather than a truly alternative youth only worship service. of course, this post is not really about a discussion concerning separate youth worship services (which i'm not really a fan of).

nope this post is about a graduation announcement that i received this week. one of my teens from carthage is graduating college in may. he sent me a graduation announcement and on the bottom wrote "i thought you'd like to see what that kid you taught to run sound is up to these days. thanks for giving me a start. daniel" daniel was the first person i ever taught to run sound and a/v equipment. every sunday he was there helping set up and get ready for the service and then helping to tear it all down again after the service. for three years we worked together. turns out that the kid had a real passion for it and decided that it was the profession that he wanted to train for and follow. so in may daniel will be graduating with a degree in mass media studies for the purpose of working with a/v equipment.

who knew that running sound and powerpoint for that little service would start off a career?

ahead of the curve?

i know that i'm not ahead of the technology curve for the rest of the world but apparently i am for baton rouge, louisiana (which isn't saying much). nobody i have talked to about podcasting has had the slightest idea what it was. this includes our church computer guy. when i realized how easy podcasting was i thought it would be a great idea for the church worship services (which we put on the net in an mp3 format). i went to discuss the idea with rob (the computer guy) and he didn't have the smallest idea of what i was talking about.

i'm not sure if this means that we are ahead of the curve for the area or if our church is simply that far behind the times.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

the simple way

i'm very excited over the fact that i'm going to get the chance to go to philadelphia in october and spend some time with the folks at the simple way. the simple way is a church that is based on the concept of community. many of the folks at the simple way live together at the church, work together, and all of them are consciously involved in each other's live during the week. ever since i heard the story of the beginning of their church (it's an incredible story that i will try to link to if i can find it) i've been wanting to spend some time getting to know the folks at the simple way.

so i have my wife's consent (she wouldn't call it "consent" but i do), i have the time on the church calendar, and i think i'll have the money necessary to get to phillie. now all i have to do is actually be able to contact them. i've been calling the simple way for two weeks and a lady named rose has been calling back. we've played "phone tag" the entire time. what i have discovered through the various messages is that it should be no problem for me to go to the simple way.

UPDATE - i finally got through to the simple way and had a great but short conversation with justin. he thinks october should be good but needs to run it past the group. so i'm almost there. he did recommend that i read "schools for conversion: 12 marks of a new monasticism" which is put out by some friends of the simple way.

Friday, April 08, 2005


after a little bit of effort and allot of time waiting for the youth ministry domain name to kick back into gear i have finally been able to set us up with podcasting ability. here's what i had to do:
  • obviously we had to convert the audio from our youth service to an mp3 format and store it on our website.
  • next, i set up a blogger site for the mp3 files so that i can use it's atom feed. i set the "link" feature of the post to the url of the mp3 file and just for extra insurance i setup the text of the post as a link to the url of the mp3 file.
  • third, i went to feed burner and used their smartcast feature (it's under the "additional services" section of the feed you set up with feed burner). this gave me a new site feed url. this is the address that i have posted for people to subscribe too. the site feed for receiving the podcast is

now we can podcast our worship services to anyone who wishes to automatically download the mp3 files of our weekly services. sometimes i love technology.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

the next step

i've decided that i'm going to try and start podcasting the music and messages from the view, our youth worship service. this whole thing is new to me so it will take a little while to figure out the specifics of the whole thing. since, i just ordered an ipod today i figured i should start podcasting the services.

of course, i also have to wait for our youth ministry site to be up and running again. for some reason our domain name expired. the reason i say "for some reason" is because i remember and jessica, the youth administrative assistant, remembers sending the check for renewal of our domain name. anyhow i called the company last night and charged the renewal. they said it would take 24 hours for the domain name to kick back into gear.

the u.n. sucks

article - the observer | international | "how many more must die before kofi quits?"

the u.n. sucks! the article puts it pretty clearly too. ironically this article is all about consistency also (like my previous post). the point of this article is that the u.n under kofi's leadership has betrayed the very ideals that "the left" has stood for both in the u.s. and the u.k. yet "the left" has supported the u.n. against "the conservatives" because they view being against the conservatives as their primary role. they abandon their ideals because of politics and needing to be different from "the right."

it would be nice if we could consistently support freedom in the world (even if it is proposed by the u.n.) and consistently fight evil in the world (even if it is in the u.n.).

jim wallis on schavio

i ran across the following quote in the lastest (april 6, 2005) issue of sojourner's sojo mail:
    Personally, I cannot understand why parents willing to take care of their disabled daughter were not allowed to by a husband who had moved on to another life and family. Terri Schiavo was severely mentally disabled but was not dying, and we don't decide to end the lives of many similarly disabled people, even children, whose mental capacities greatly diminish their quality of life. As my wife, Joy Carroll, put it, "the issue is not their quality of life, but the ethical quality of our society." And in situations of medical, scientific, or legal complexity, the morally safer course is always to err on the side of life. However, it became painfully clear that for many political partisans the issue wasn't so much the life of this young woman but other related political issues and agendas. And a leaked Republican memo about firing up the conservative base of the party and even defeating Democratic opponents in Florida were way out of line.

wallis' point is not exactly about terri schavio, rather he is talking about being consistent across the board. we do not live in a very consistent society. thus our republicans love to protect fetuses and execute criminals while our democrats love to do the exact opposite. neither group can truly claim to be "pro-life." instead they are "pro" their political party. we really are a screwed up group of people.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

looks like j.t.

my dark side
Originally uploaded by lomokev.
i was talking with j.t. about flickr and while i was talking i ran into this image from lomokev (one of my flickr contacts) which actually looks like j.t. so i decided to post the photo as an example. hey j.t.