Monday, May 30, 2005

trinity service

jonny baker mentioned on his blog home's trinity worship service. i wish i had seen it before we did our service on the trinity.

SIDE NOTE - if you are involved in creating, directing, and/or organizing times that lead to people worshiping GOD then you should actively read jonny baker's blog. he regularly creates and find the most amazing stuff.

what a rip

as i have mentioned before i'm going to the simple way in philadelphia for a week in october - something i am very excited about. to add to the adventure of the trip i thought i would travel to philly by greyhound bus. i haven't taken a commercial passenger bus on a long trip since i was a kid and i thought it would be fun to take one. i knew it would take a good bit longer than an airplane or train (36 six hour each way). still i assumed that i would meet a ton of people on the trip and it would surly produce some excellent stories. pam wasn't very keen on the idea but she loves me and loves my adventures so i was pretty sure i could convince her to give in.

the problem occurred when i actually looked at making a reservation. to travel from baton rouge to philadelphia via greyhound bus actually costs more than it would cost for me to fly to philadelphia and rent a car or take a taxi to the simply way. it was going to cost $270 to travel by bus versus $215 to travel by air. i was amazed. how can greyhound survive when it actually costs more to travel in a less comfortable manner? this is where my cheap side kicks in. i simply can't justify to myself paying more to travel by bus.

i guess greyhound is making allot of money off delivering packages.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

when it rains it pours

yesterday i commented on it raining and me desiring for it to continue. well i received my wish and then some. it's been cloudy since yesterday afternoon and this morning during our 9:30 a.m. worship service/sunday school hour it cut lose. it began to storm and continued to storm throughout the hour. in fact, it rained so hard that it knocked down a large limb from one of the oak trees in the church parking lot right on top of two cars. thankfully nobody was in the cars.

when the second worship/sunday school hour ended and people were transferring to the next worhip/sunday school hour it was still raining hard. of course, nobody had brought an umbrella because the weather men & women had been saying it was going to rain for a week. so everyone who came into our 11 a.m. sunday school class was soaked. it was quite a site and made for a good bit of laughter. i like laughter.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


it's finally raining here in baton rouge, louisiana and it's about time. i need some heat relief. it's been in the mid-to-high 90's all week. hopefully the rain will last for a few days and keep cloud cover over my fair city. it would be nice to have a few days of my air conditioner not running constantly.

SIDE NOTE - did you know that the non-electric version of air conditioning was developed in persia thousands of years ago? you can read about it here.

Friday, May 27, 2005

chicken curry

supper time
back in january pam and i "adopted" two lsu students from india. we have sam and bajji over to the house every so often and go and do things with them every now and then. they're allot of fun and we both love learning about india from them. last night they wanted to cook an authentic indian meal for us. they came over to the house and made chicken curry, some type of flat bread, eggs scrambled, and a few other snacks. even though our kids didn't think much of the meal pam and i thought it was amazing.

sunday sam and bajji are setting up a cricket game to teach me how to play. i've always wanted to play but simply can't figure out the rules. i've read the bbc's description of the rules and it still doesn't make any sense to me. sam and bajji say that you have to play to understand the game and thus they're going to teach me sunday afternoon. i can't wait.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


this dilbert strip basically describes how i feel about the majority of facts quoted by most speakers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

when the bride of CHRIST doesn't act like the birde of CHRIST

my church is going through some rough times right now. the whole thing started out with a legitimate disagreement on how the school and church should work together. one group of people had one view and another group held another view which our pastor holds. personally, i don't have a problem with members of the church disagreeing with each other. actually i usually think that dialogue over disagreements is a good thing - it helps us to figure out what to do and how to do it.

the problem with this disagreement is that it became personal very quickly. we now have people who are willing to do whatever is necessary for their side to "win." anonymous emails and letters are being mailed to church members, rumors are being spread about my pastor's family, the newspaper and television stations have been called, and various other dumb things are now going on. it's all very stupid. just the sort of things that members of CHRIST's bride should be involved in. right?

my pastor and his family are the ones being hurt now. he is a genuine servant (unfortuneately a rarity in the world of pastors) and a very honest, transparent, open guy. i love him and can't stand seeing him hurt. i really don't think the original disagreement has anything to do with what people are doing to him now. i believe that now it's all about hurting him and winning. it's all pretty evil.

yet another quiz

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

it's rather funny to me that i "tend to shy away from organized religion." either i have a odd way of "shying away from organized religion" or i'm simply so shy that i can't yet express my shyness concerning organized religion.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

the ministry of getting others involved

alan at the bar
julie in the manlift ... i mean womanliftthe gang
i did something right today (which is not always true). most anytime we are doing something around the student center (setting up for something, adding something, changing something, etc.) i try to get kids involved in doing it. we painted our little cafe and there were five kids and one adult doing it. we tore the carpet up from the student center and there were teens involved. it's not that we want the kids as free labor (though that's nice), or that we want them to have ownership of the ministry by being a part of making it happen (though we do). nope, we get kids involved in doing things because good conversations seem to happen when we do physical work with teens. so today i wanted to get a few kids involved in helping us put our new light bar up in our student center. because of the physical nature of the work we were going to be doing i decided to call guys to help us (stupid sexist pig that i am). unfortunately the guys i called last night didn't work out and thus it looked like it would merely be me and alan working on the light bar.

that was true until lunch. at lunch julie and laura came by to say "hi." besides saying hello they asked the fateful question "what are y'all doing today?" when i went on to describe what we were doing they asked to see my diagram of it and then started asking questions about it. after seeing the diagram i asked if they wanted to see what we had done thus far. julie went ballistic. turns out she wants to be a aeronautical engineer and is fascinated by fabricating things (i've known her for four years and this was new to me because she usually the one of the people we turn to for photography and creative work). we went over to the student center and i showed them the work we had done thus far. then i asked if they would like to help. they stayed for the next two hours helping with the man/woman-lift, placing bolts on the supports, and then drilling holes in the bar itself. it was great. in the end they even signed their names on the top of the bar as a physical marker of their involvement in the project.

who would have known they would have been so fascinated by a man/woman-lift? i didn't and thus the only thing i did right in this was actually asking if they wanted to help when they showed up of their own volition.

Monday, May 23, 2005

double post

i usually try to avoid posting the same entries on this blog and my other blog but something happened today that makes me laugh just thinking about it. so i decided to post it here also. here goes.
my youngest son, noah, had a "caddyshack" moment earlier today. his second grade class at parkview went swimming at the bocage racquet club today. the day was fun for a little while but then something happened. pam was talking with another mom at the event and suddenly noticed that a lifeguard was reaching with a long pole into the swimming pool and all the kids were forming a very wide circle around whatever the lifeguard was trying to capture with the pole. it would appear that one of the kids had really decided to "drop the kids off at the pool." oh yes someone had "dropped a load" right in the middle of the bocage racquet club's swimming pool. the employees chased out all the kids who had actually stayed in the pool and then super-shocked the pool. i sure hope someone shouted "DOODY!" when they found it.

i would have paid money for it to have merely been a baby ruth candy bar and for the pool guy to reach over and take a bite of it.


i love "hand me downs." i know some youth ministers complain about getting the "big church's" left overs because they feel like it belittles or degrades their ministry but that's not me. nope i love getting older stuff for free. today i received four ellipsoidal lights to replace four of our par64 cans. we use 9 par64 cans to illuminate our stage (and circle when we worship "in the round" - which is pretty frequent). these had been "hand me downs" from "big church" about two years ago. they have worked decent and their price was perfect - free. today i got the 4 ellipsoidal lights that our music minister had just lying around. the lights are in perfect condition they had merely been replaced because our church auditorium "needed" newer better lighting fixtures. the ellipsoidal lights are much more focusable than par cans and thus more controllable. putting these in means i have the opportunity to place better lighting and and use the older lights to illuminate "worship stations" in the back (now we have to improvise lighting for those stations).

all this for the greatest price ever - free. i would much rather use budget money for ministry and i don't consider lights ministry.

the diagram above is my cat scratch from my journal of what we are going to do.

SIDE NOTE - the last hour of "24" is on right now. woo hoo!

Sunday, May 22, 2005


lunch @ deangelos
this afternoon has been a time of potluck ideas. first, i received the following email from one of our juniors:
Some of us were at cc’s tonight and Coleman asked what a pot luck was and that reminded me about our pot lucks that we have for Sunday school and I thought we haven’t had one of those in a while and maybe we could have one before the seniors leave! Its just an idea, I thought it might be kinda fun! Well im off to the land of studying! See you Sunday!!

then after reading that email (and smiling to myself) i read andrew jones' post on pot lucks.

i love pot lucks. i think they are one of the greatest examples of community and hospitality within our CHRISTian faith. it's not just a meal together but a journey together. we not only eat together but we all contribute to the meal. we're in the whole thing together. that's why i love pot lucks and one of the things i am most proud of that has happened within the youth ministry this year is the fact that i have introduced a group of 11th & 12th graders to pot lucks.

if all of us believers had a pot luck with other believers once a week our faith would be much stronger.

a simple reading packet

when i went to church this morning i found a nice surprise in my mail box - the reading packet from "the simple way." they sent the packet to prepare me for my time with them in october. the packet is composed of various articles that will help me to understand how to interpret what i will experience. here's what is in the packet:

i've scanned over it all (and so has pam) and it has made me even more excited about going ti e hang out with the people of "the simple way."

Saturday, May 21, 2005


so i was reading a post of ginkworld that mentioned audioblogging. audioblogging has been around for awhile but it's always been on a paid service. personally i'm cheap and therefore i don't want to directly pay for something that is basically a joke - i.e. audioblogging for me. when i listened to the audioblog it said that blogger was doing this. that got me to searching a little and low and behold i found which will post on your blogger site for free. all you have to do is set up an account and then call the phone number and record your entry. for me it's a long distance number (1 - 661- 716 - BLOG) but with my church cell phone now going nationwide that's covered too. it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play


i have to confess that i am addicted to the anime cartoon "yugioh". my kids found the dueling card game a couple of years ago and went from that to watching the television show on saturday mornings. of course, trying to be a good dad i decided to watch it with them. the problem is that i soon became addicted to the show. i know it's a children's cartoon but still i like it. i realized how bad it was a little while ago when i was watching the season finale with my kids and started getting irritated because me kids kept talking. how pathetic is that?

Friday, May 20, 2005

darfur: a genocide we can stop

darfur: a genocide we can stop

the above link leads to several internet petitions for taking action in darfur. or if you are a u.s. citizen you can write directly to president bush by clicking here.

rwanda is one of the most "CHRISTian" nations in the world (i'm not sure that a country can be "CHRISTian") and the church didn't do much good during the rwandain genocide. hopefully by acting for justice the bride of CHRIST can do something of value in darfur.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

a good night

sometimes you have services that suck and other times you have services that feel good. tonight's service felt good. i won't know wether GOD spoke through the service until later when i see if HE has worked in kids lives or not but i have to say that the service definitely felt good. i like services that go like that.

the night will continue to get better and better because i'm presently watching the episode of "24" that i had to video tape because of a garduation ceremony i needed to be at and then at 12:02 a.m. tonight i'm going to see "star wars episode iii: revenge of the sith".

Monday, May 16, 2005

the business of church

church marketing sucks: businessweek goes to church

church marketing sucks has a post on it right now from kevin d. hendricks concerning businessweek's cover article on the business of church. in that article it is pointed out that the willow creek assocaition ranks among tthe top 5% of 250 major brands. since when isCHRIST's church every be a marketing empire? since when is CHRIST's bride supposed to be an organization with so much economic power?

the most telling thing to me is the title of the business week article is its title "earthly empires". to quote the article:
So successful are some evangelicals that they're opening up branches like so many new Home Depots (HD ) or Subways.

is this what the modern evangelical church looks like to those outside the church? does it look like we who are supposed to be focused on the things of GOD and HIS kingdom are instead building earthly empires? apparently businessweek thinks so. so much for following the meek and mild suffering servant. the whole thing saddens me.

my wife puts it this way - we CHRISTians are stupid people.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

wifi revolution

i am spending the next two days at a local retreat center for a school class retreat. the place is in the woods in between two small cities of about 1,800 and 4,000 people. each of those big, thriving metropolises are 15 to 20 miles away. basically we are in the boondocks. this translates to no cell phone coverage which is not really a bad thing except for the fact that i'm supposed to be on call this week. of course, the irony of this to me is that while i can't be reached on my cell phone the retreat center campus is covered by wifi. thus i can surf the net in a place that i can't even use my cell phone in. i think that's pretty cool.

anyhow here's the video from the first day of the retreat.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

graduation season

every graduation i have ever been to has been the exact same. being a youth minister i go to quite a few commencement ceremonies each year. i love being there for the people who are graduating but i pretty much hate all the ceremonies that i've been to. it's that time again - time for the boring ceremonies that i write notes while sitting through.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

video ministry?

the video equipment we have within the student ministry has opened up some connections with students via homework. for the second time i have been able to spend time with a teen because they needed help making a video for class homework. it has worked out great.

Monday, May 09, 2005

the real id act

tomorrow (tuesday, may 10, 2005) the senate is scheduled to vote on the "real id act". here's what sojourners had to say about the "real id" act within their april 13th issue of sojomaill.
The United States' long-standing history as a beacon of hope to people around the world fleeing political, religious, and other forms of persecution is under assault in Congress. A bill, soon to be considered in the Senate, contains provisions that will make it impossibly difficult for refugees fleeing persecution to seek safety in the United States by obtaining asylum.

Under the bill, known as the REAL ID Act, trivial details - like a woman's failure to recall her date of high school graduation - could be used to deny her asylum, even though she has fled from genocide, rape, forced abortion, severe domestic violence, or the threat of honor killing. Another provision of the bill would allow a torture survivor to be delivered back into the hands of his persecutors; the bill prohibits a U.S. federal court from preventing his deportation back to his oppressive home country while his case is still pending.

The REAL ID Act is based on the false argument that asylum laws in the United States are open to exploitation by terrorists. Current law already bars people who present a security risk from getting asylum - asylum seekers already undergo rigorous security and background checks from the time they apply until their cases are resolved.

basically, aside from quite possibly messing around with the civil liberties of american citizens, the act will make it much more difficult for political refugees to find asylum within the united states. so much for the "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

you can let your voice be heard by going to this link.

Sunday, May 08, 2005 East Waynesville Baptist Church pastor says nobody ousted for political beliefs East Waynesville Baptist Church pastor says nobody ousted for political beliefs
this is absurd - just in case you haven't heard about this click the link and read the article. there seems to be some dispute concerning whether or not the pastor of this church kicked members out of the church because they voted democratic. yet to me it is blatantly obvious that there was a republican agenda was pushed within the church.

first statement - why do they always have to be baptist?
    every time i hear a news report concerning CHRISTians doing something stupid all i can think is "please don't let them be baptists!" i don't really want any CHRISTians getting bad press (or more particular doing anything stupid in the first place) but it just seems like my denomination has more than it's share of bonehead moments.

second statement - when are we evangelicals going to be more concerned with doing what GOD wants within politics rather than just being pawns of a political party - republican or democrat?
    it simply blows my mind to think of how we american CHRISTians have sold ourselves to political parties instead of standing up and speaking prophetically to all involved within the political process.

stop the insanity!

who would i be?

today i got the chance to go worship at the church i went to in college. i loved that church and still do. it was an incredible church of people who loved each other and it still is. it is a fantastic church and i am incredibly thankful that i'm not there. about four years ago i seriously talked with the pastor about interviewing with the church to become their youth minister. i really liked the pastor. he was a great guy to talk with and i knew that i liked the church. yet, pam and i felt that it wasn't what GOD wanted for us and therefore we ended the conversations with the pastor (the youth minister there now is a great guy who came over and did our disciplenow for us at parkview).

when i went to the church today all i could think of was how thankful i am to be at parkview instead of the church from my past. i have been in baton rouge for four and a year years and pam and i have grown in some new directions since being here. my ideas on social justice and worship have changed dramatically during my time in baton rouge. these were both concepts that i had been dealing with before coming to parkview and in fact i would not say that the staff or church have been major influences within the shifts in my thinking. yet it has been here in baton rouge that my view of what worship is and a growing emphasis on social justice as an important part of CHRISTian faith have developed.

while i was visiting the church from my past i just kept on thinking what i would be like if i had ended up there.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


today i received an anonymous letter. it wasn't about the youth ministry or about me. no it was concerning the school that is a part of the ministry of the church. we've been going through a span of rough feelings concerning some changes in the structure of the church's and school's relationship with one another. there are people with strong feelings on both sides. apparently a person on one side of the debate decided that the best way to get their view point out was to send an anonymous letter to the parents of kids in the school. what a coward! i hate it when people send anonymous letters - "grow some balls." only a coward sends a letter without signing it. this letter wasn't directed at anything that i have to do with and it still infuriates me. coward! if any of you by chance know the person who sent out this anonymous bulk mail letter please tell them that i think they are a COWARD!

the view - may 4, 2004

jonathan's station
last night at "the view" jonathan, our minister of belonging, wanted to do a worship station on trusting GOD during difficult times. this seems only appropriate since he lives with type iii gaucher's disease every day. he has experienced more physical and social suffering than i ever will (imagine having co-workers at old navy throw tennis balls at your hump). jonathan knows a thing or two about walking the hard road and he did a good job of conveying how GOD strengthens those who look at HIM.

jonathan volunteers two to three days a week within the youth ministry. there are somethings that jonathan can't do because of the gaucher's (heavy lifting is out, anything involving heights isn't going to happen, and sometimes small print work screws with his eyes) but he is willing to learn new things, he'll try all he can to accomplish what he can, and he will be there with you when you do the stuff that he physically can't. pretty much every tuesday and wednesday he's my buddy for the day and does everything with me. each day i grow more and more thankful for him being around.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


jonny baker either brims with more creativity than the majority of human beings put together or he steals from the best sources in the world. i usually lean towards him brimming over with creativity (i love reading his blog) but i have to admit allot of the sources he cites are equally amazing. today baker posted concerning the fileshare at there some really cool shockwave files on the fileshare. i can't wait to figure out how to best use them as a part of a worship experience. for those of us who do not brim over with creativity it is nice to be able steal ideas from great sources such as jonny baker and

Monday, May 02, 2005

wrong place - right time

i had a real cool experience today. the dad of a youth who graduated two years ago had a heart valve collapse and was rushed to the i.c.u. a local hospital. our senior pastor, bill, and i went to the hospital to visit with him. we went to the icu waiting room looking for family members but couldn't find any. since it was visiting time we figured the family was probably in the room visiting with the dad and therefore we thought we would hang out for awhile. while waiting we accidentally overhead a doctor telling two women who were not related to the dad we were trying to see that they would need to consider signing a "do not resuscitate" order on their son/brother. it was a rough experience for them. bill and i stayed waiting for visiting time to end hoping that the family from the father we wanted to visit would step out. the doctor's conversation with the mom & sister of the dnr patient became more difficult and eventually the doctor just point-blank explained what he wanted them to know and left the mom and sister crying in the hall way.

it was at that point that we realized JESUS was standing in front of us waiting to be comforted. i got the chance to walk over, introduce myself, and ask if there was anything we could do. all they needed was a chance to talk through what had just happened and then pray over it. so that's what we did. we listened, and listened, and when they had said enough we prayed. after we prayed the doctor had come back to walk through everything once again. bill and i decided to try and leave a note for the dad we had come to visit. it turns out he had been moved to another hospital an hour or two before. the whole time we had been at the wrong hospital yet it still felt like the right one to me.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

crash and burn

i hate it when i am really excited about a bible study and it simply crashes and burns. that's what happened this morning. right now i'm in a time period where sunday mornings are simply not my favorite things. that happens from time to time. i don't feel like we're doing anything exciting and challenging right now and therefore it's sometimes a bit hum drum. i know myself well enough to know that most of these feelings come from my emotional cycle and that the feelings will disappear when the summer arrives. of course, my 11th & 12th grade sunday school class is a different story all together.

i usually look forward to my times with these kids each week. we usually have great discussions on scripture and how JESUS is changing our lives. i really enjoy the whole thing. i thought i was going to have the same experience today. i was really looking forward to what we were going to be discussing. i was convinced that it mattered and that the teens would get into discussing it. boy was i wrong. i don't know what was going on - probably a large dose of senioritis - but our discussion pretty much ended before it ever had a chance to get started. it was ugly.

after the lesson i quickly left the building feeling pretty dejected.

still i know that sometimes that garbage just happens. it could have been any combination of things - poor communication skills on my part, a lesson that wasn't just right for that time, a gorgeous day outside that had everyone wanting to get out of the building, young love, young hatred, who knows what it could have been. sometimes, no matter how well i have prepared, no matter how excited i am about what we are going to be dealing with, no matter how important i think the topic is ... sometimes for various reasons it's just not going to connect, the students' minds will go else where, and the whole thing is going to flop.

i know this is just going to happen every now and there nothing i can do about it. of course, that doesn't mean i have to like it when it does happen. i don't like it. in fact, i hate it.

on the good side - i have a student whose dad is a tour bus driver for the u2 vertigo tour and today he brought me one of the the tour's stage staff t-shirts.