Thursday, June 30, 2005

bride in canceled wedding throws party for homeless

bride in canceled wedding throws party for homeless - how cool is this? what a great thing to do with a party that would have just been wasted otherwise.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

newsletter article for july

back in february i said that i would start placing my monthly youth ministry newsletter articles on the blog. every month i'm desperate for some idea to write about and len evans had mentioned posting these things for others to be able to get their desperation ideas form. it sounded like a good idea and i decided to start doing it. unfortunately i only did it once. so here goes my second attempt. here's the my article i placed in this month's youth ministry newsletter.
i love being with the church.

now i say “being with the church” rather than “going to church” because of the fact that CHRIST’s church is not made up of buildings. no, the church is made up of humans. JESUS CHRIST’s church is composed of all those who believe in and desperately try to follow the LORD. i love being with people like that.

sometimes i hear people say that they can’t stand the church because the people who make up the church are so messed up. they say that “church” people do the same stupid things that everyone else does. they say that “church” people are just as mean as everyone else in the world. the truth is that they’re right about the people who make up the church … we are some messed up people.

yet what i love about being with the people who make up CHRIST’s church is that as messed up as we still are CHRIST has already made a difference in our lives and is changing us. as i type this i can hear people right outside of my study talking and laughing. these are people that i know and love. i’ve heard how JESUS has made a difference in their lives. i know some of the story about who they used to be. they’ve been changed by a loving GOD and that’s why they are a part of CHRIST’s church. they may still be messed up (no more than i am) but JESUS is still working on them and changing them into HIS image. that’s why i love being with and hanging out with CHRIST’s church, because there is nothing more exciting than seeing people’s lives completely changed. that’s what happens when you hang out with CHRIST’s church.

that’s why i love being with the church.

you have to be pretty desperate to use it but if you are that desperate go ahead and steal away.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My Web 2.0 BETA

just in case you aren't a part of flickr and haven't heard form their blog i want to let you know that yahoo has started a limited beta run of their my web 2.0 social networking search engine. you can read the my web 2.0 blog to find out about it but basically it kind of like, only yahoo-style. if you want to be a part of the BETA test jump on it quick because it is a limited BETA.

sometimes this is too true

i saw this cartoon on doug pagitt's blog. too funny. of course, i've never done anything like that at all. :) i mean really, who would ever steal one of rick warren's messages and pretend like it was their own? if you're going to do something like that you should at least choose a rob bell sermon. :)

freaky bikini clad falling woman

this is just plain freaky. it's a flash animation of a bikini clad woman falling through various bubble type things. it's hard not to watch it (because of it being weird not because of the bikini). anyhow, you can watch it shere.

Monday, June 27, 2005

the quest for the camera

so now i'm trying to figure out how to earn, steal, or print enough currency to purchase a nikon d70 (which looks like it will probably be my choice camera instead of the canon d20). earning a spare $1,000 is not an easy thing for me. thus my plan has been to make a "deal with the devil" per se.

about four years ago i started publishing the discipleNOW/retreat curriculum and bible studies that i write and putting them on the net (under which i have since shut down). my desire was that small churches could use this material for free and that larger churches that wish to use the material would pay a small fee that would cover the costs of the website. the site worked well. in fact, it worked too well. the whole enterprise started to take too much of my time. originally all i had wanted to do was help out some ministers in smaller churches who couldn't afford to buy their material. i wasn't wanting to be an entrepreneur. i was constantly having to fill orders and that was more than i had ever wanted. so about 8 months ago i became tired of the whole process and dropped it. since quitting the website i've still had people calling and emailing asking for any new material i had.

so i've kind of decided to set up another website to let people use the discipleNOW / retreat curriculum and bible studies i write for my own ministry. yet this time i'm going to use a little more modern technology to enable the whole thing. i've set up another blogger site in order to upload adobe acrobat versions of the material i have published. this way smaller churches can print copies of the material for free. all i have asked is that if someone from a larger church uses the material and they have it in their budget i would appreciate them "spreading a little love my way" via paypal. pam, my wife, says it will never work because youth ministers will never give money for something they can simply take for free. that might be true but i really hate the thought of going back to selling the stuff so that's a chance i will simply choose to take.

of course, the "deal will the devil" is really placing google adsense ads on the blog. today i actually earned $0.94 through these things. now i only need 1,063 more days like that and i will have enough to buy the camera.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

digital photography

klaproos.freecoolsite.commy amazing wife said the other day that she thought my interest in digital photography had reached the point that she would agree with me shelling out the money necessary for me to purchase a digital slr camera (i lean towards a nikon d70 or a canon eos d20). she says i should use the pastor appreciation love offering all the pastors in the church get each october but i don't feel comfortable with that because i would rather than continue to go to family things. so this means that i am free to buy a camera that i don't have the money for.

thus i need to figure out a way to raise $1,000 or just keep dreaming about a great camera. if any of you want to send a few hundred my way i would greatly appreciate it. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

something new

i'm bone dead dog tired (whatever that means) right now. it's been a long but fun week.

earlier this week i had the privilege of eating lunch with j.t., the youth minister at jefferson baptist church here in baton rouge. we ate some rather large cheeseburgers at cheeburger, cheeburger and had a great conversation concerning exploring the possibility of together developing and setting up some alternative worship experiences. neither of us know what will come out of the dialogue but we're open to continuing it and maybe bringing some other people into it. if nothing else it was very refreshing.

BTW - to the right is a rather ticked off looking j.t. oooooohhhhh! scary!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


property of ...
tonight at the view we are commissioning one of our own to go to nicaragua for a month and work with our friends there in spreading the good news of the kingdom of GOD.

here's the flash file that i'm using to open our discussion on acts 13:1-3

Monday, June 20, 2005

mohler on public schools

here's what southern seminary president albert mohler says in his commentary article "needed: an exit strategy" concerning how souther baptists should respond to public schools:
I believe that now is the time for responsible Southern Baptists to develop an exit strategy from the public schools. This strategy would affirm the basic and ultimate responsibility of Christian parents to take charge of the education of their own children. The strategy would also affirm the responsibility of churches to equip parents, support families, and offer alternatives. At the same time, this strategy must acknowledge that Southern Baptist churches, families, and parents do not yet see the same realities, the same threats, and the same challenges in every context. Sadly, this is almost certainly just a matter of time.

i have a friend who is a fan of mohler so rob please forgive my comments on your future seminary president. anyhow, mohler's statements are stupid. come on. do we really need to pull even more into our little "CHRISTian" ghetto? more and more we pull into ourselves in an attempt to "protect" ourselves from the "evil" influences of the world and thus more and more we have absolutely no effect on bringing new believers into the kingdom of GOD.

wouldn't it be a great thing if the southern baptist convention resolved to become increasingly involved within the public school system to help correct it's problems? i guess that probably won't be considered very strongly.


i really wish that there was a group in baton rouge like worship freehouse or grace. there may be one but i'm unable to locate it. it would be nice to regularly get together with some people who are dealing with the same mental struggles that my wife and i are. it would be nice to hang out with some people who are struggling through what it means to be the bride of CHRIST.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

God's given me a gift. I shovel well. I shove very well.

the stage
it's strange how GOD answers prayer. for at least the past year and a half i have been praying, and wanting, and desiring to split our student ministry into a middle school and a high school group. we average 70 to 100 kids on wednesday night and it's not the usual mix. instead of being about 55 to 60% middle school and 45 to 40% high school we are always more like 60% high school. each year we loose middle school students and gain high school students as the year goes on. it has been obvious to me that we are doing something right for high school students, but something that doesn't connect as well for the middle schoolers.

but here's the issues. our church has this butt kickingly large private school that uses ever other part of the church on wednesdays till 6:00 p.m. and we start our worship services at 6:00 p.m. so for the past year and a half i've been talking about the need to split our group but unable to figure out a place to have a second group. that was what was going on until yesterday. this week is our v.b.s. and the student center is being used by one of the groups. in the past i have taken down all the v.b.s. decorations and then put them up after we were through. i wanted to do something different this year so we moved to the stage that is in the new gym area. we closed the curtain on the stage and it became another room. in fact, it became a very cool room. it had a real "beatnic" feel to it. on the stage we had the following:
  • directable par64 stage lights & colored floods.
  • a projection screen that covered the entire back end of the stage.
  • room for 70 to 80 chairs.
  • drapes all over the place.
  • a thick sound dampening curtain on the front end of the stage (which we used as the back of our room).
  • a pace that is actually acoustically better than our present student center.

on top of now having a room that would be great for an additional service that room is located right next to a full gymnasium which gives us a great place to do some games and expend the energy that is coursing through the veins of our middle schoolers. it's perfect for doing a separate middle school service. in fact, i got so excited about the whole thing that i have already asked our adult leadership to begin praying about the possibility of the whole thing and i've called 5 out of the 7 people that i will probably need to talk to in order to make it happen. after a few weeks of prayer if things still look good we'll move to doing a test run sometime in august or september. we'll try the whole thing out for 4 to 6 weeks and then get everyone together to see how it went. then we'll either test the whole thing again, scrap it, or put it into action.

so here's the plan as of now:
  • pray and pray some more - prayer has led to this option (an option i thought was impossible a mere month ago) and prayer will lead to it's answer.
  • gather the leadership necessary for this to work and get them caught up in the vision of reaching our middle school students in a way that is new to us.
  • gather the resources needed (sound system, video system, computer, game supplies, etc.) we have allot of this already.
  • organize the whole thing - this service would need to run like clock work and have everyone involved in the leadership of it on the same page.

of course, i have some strong fears about this thing too:
  • i fear the group growing. i know i'm supposed to want the group to grow but truthfully growth means that i don't get to be involved in each kid's life and i hate that. a wednesday night that becomes more attractive to our middle schoolers and really meets their needs probably means that we will draw more youth. this is a good thing but also means i head even more down the path of being an administrator. i don't like that path.
  • while two groups will eventual lead to two more connected groups it does initially mean that there will be a feeling of disconnectedness. we'll go from being all together to being separate. a group that used to be one will become two. that's got to feel weird.
  • i'm scared of organizing this whole thing. because of the time crunch of using the stage everything at the beginning will have to be mapped out to perfection. there are allot of details that have to be mapped out and that scares me.
i guess that's all for now. i'll write more on the move to a middle school service if GOD leads and the whole thing develops.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

bbc news | technology | micro$oft censors chinese blogs

bbc news | technology | micro$oft censors chinese blogs
i have mixed feelings on the story behind this article. basically the article says that in order to do business with china micro$oft has given in and agreed to block blogs that have "banned expression" within them. micro$oft says this is not a statement of the company's politics, rather they follow the laws of whatever company they operate in and this censorship it is just the price of doing business in china. so micro$oft has banned blog entries that use words like "freedom," "democracy," and "human rights." yahoo has done the same thing.

my mixed feelings come from the fact that i do want companies to operate within the law. yet, my heart cries out that microsoft (and yahoo) should say that if this is the cost of doing business in china then they won't do business in china. the money simply can't be worth the cost.

one of the reader comments on the article says:
As all companies, Microsoft is at making money and in the modern world, ethics is not good for business, which is sad but you can see it almost anywhere if you have a look at the world.

i simply can't agree. companies are not amoral entities. they are composed of people, people who have ethical standards, and thus those companies have to operate within the ethical standards of those who compose their numbers. even in their pursuit of "the almighty dollar" our businesses still have to operate within the ethics of their people. otherwise we are all doomed.

Monday, June 13, 2005

preaching at church

our pastor was sick yesterday and i was one of the individuals called to fill in for the morning message. after preaching i made a new discovery concerning preaching to groups that are primarily adult. in the past i said that i didn't like preaching to mainly adult church services, rather i would like to stick with youth and those who love youth. yesterday i realized that this isn't quite true. there is one thing that i do like about preaching to primarily adult groups - the positive feedback at the end of the message.

yesterday i preached at two of our worship services and then spent 15 to 20 minutes after each service listening to members of the congregation tell me how they liked the sermon. truthfully, it was a nice bit of ego stroking and i have to admit that it was enjoyable. i love teens but i can go months without hearing a positive or negative word from a teen concerning any messages i've done. of course, i dod "cheat" and read the blogs of so of my kids looking for what they say about each week's message. still, yesterday i received more compliments from the too church services that i preached than i have received from our youth worship service in a year's worth of services (maybe two year's worth).

now don't get me wrong - i still prefer delivering messages to people involved in youth ministry and specifically my teens. teenagers let you know if you are connecting or not. if my youth get bored they go to sleep, start talking to the person beside them, or begin passing notes. i can tell if i'm connecting with my kids or not. most of our church adults on the other hand, simply stare straight ahead - i can't read them at all. with nice, passive, polite, "let's pretend that we're listening when i'm really not" adults i can't figure out if things are tracking or if i'm losing everyone. i really don't like that feeling.

so basically me desired plan is to speak to our adults once every six months or so and get the ego stroking that i need every now and then. the rest of the time i'll spend on my kids - the ones that i really like doing messages for.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

yet another quiz

everyone else seems to be doing this quiz now and thus i will be a good little mindless sheep and follow the crowd. so here are my results:

You scored as Neo orthodox. You are neo-orthodox. You reject the human-centredness and scepticism of liberal theology, but neither do you go to the other extreme and make the Bible the central issue for faith. You believe that Christ is God's most important revelation to humanity, and the Trinity is hugely important in your theology. The Bible is also important because it points us to the revelation of Christ. You are influenced by Karl Barth and P T Forsyth.



Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Reformed Evangelical




Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


Roman Catholic




What's your theological worldview?
created with

the cool thing is that i'm not emergent (i'm neo-orthodox) and yet i am emergent. ;)

i feel so much better about myself having settle once and for all what i am. at least i think i feel better.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

church invitation t-shirt

i absolutely love whoever came up with this t-shirt. it's brilliant.

i can't really think of a better more honest invitation to church. i like it so much i'll probably rip it off ... uhmmm ... i mean borrow it, while giving full credit to the people who deserve it. ;) anyhow, i'll probably use it someday.

lost in translation

worship station - the view - june 8, 2005
sometimes what i have in my mind doesn't come across well when we actually do it. the above "worship station" is one such situation. wednesday night at "the view" i was talking off of james 4:8 about we believers focusing on one thing. soren kirkegaard says that "purity of heart is to will one thing" and i thought that would make for a great discussion. the message was okay - not great, not terrible. as a part of the message i wanted to set up a worship station in the back of the room to help people to consider what (or more importantly who) their "one thing" was. for me looking at myself in a mirror has always been a challenging thing. for some reason looking at myself for an extended time causes me to have to consider what GOD thinks of me and thus what i think of myself and how it relates to GOD's thoughts. i was hoping to do a station that held the same effect for others. instead the whole thing came across as boring - at least to me. it just didn't seem to make it from my mind to actual practice. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

SIDE NOTE - i think my mother is reading this blog now (which is fine and dandy but strange because i don't really think that she would find any of this interesting). she usually reads my other blog. if you are reading this HI MOM!

Friday, June 10, 2005

important issues?

i read aboutlifeway's survey of top ten issues facing the church first on steve mccoy's emerging sbc leaders and i was blown away. here's the list (developed by visitors to lifeway's website:
    10. Abortion
    9. Homosexuality
    8. Relevance
    7. Marriage
    6. Apathy
    5. Doctrine/Worldview
    4. Evangelism
    3. Leadership
    2. Discipleship
    1. Prayer

i can't believe that social justice issues didn't rate at all. how absurd is it that "leadership" makes the list and "taking care of the poor" doesn't. what is wrong with us? how can we (southern baptists) ever hope to be considered "relevant" when we don't fight for the needs of those who have been pushed to the margins of the world? i know we do allot of good in social justice issues (providing food, bringing clothing, etc.) but when do we actual fight for justice? maybe our "prayer" and "discipleship" would improve if we were focused on praying for the things that are important to our LORD and the marginalized are important to our LORD.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


the ceiling
budget crunches suck. our church is presently going through a small budget crunch right now. it's not a major shut everything down "money crunch." no, it's a "let's tighten our belt" budget crunch. it means that we need to spend less on what we are doing but we don't have to stop doing everything. those far it hasn't been a huge deal. i've had change a few things that we were going to do (i.e doing a different less costly mission trip, etc.) but i haven't had to drop anything that we were going to do. until today.

since, i've been at parkview i've wanted to change the way we use interns. when i first came here i was given two intern positions. the problem with intern positions is that the intern almost always has another thing that has priority in their life (usually school or another job). whatever it is all that matters is that there is almost always something else (besides GOD, family, and their own being) that pulls at their priorities. because of this my experience has been that interns are rarely completely passionate about the youth ministry and often (but not always) what they do comes across as a job that they enjoy doing but not a passion that they have got to express. to a large extent student ministry is my "voice" ("vocation" comes from the latin word "voca" meaning "voice"). what i do is an important part of expressing who GOD has made me and thus i try to pour myself into what we are doing youth ministry-wise. interns are pulled in different directions and it's hard to get one whose "voice" is youth ministry (mainly because they are just beginning to discover what they "voice" is). that's why i moved to get rid of the two part time, year round interns positions and instead we now have alan the assistant youth minister whose "voice" is definitely ministry.

with the above paragraph said i love interns - just not for a full year. instead what i would like to be able to do is "hire" 6 to 7 interns ever summer. the difference between a summer and a year is that being an intern for a summer gives you a good taste of ministry. that taste helps a person to discover if ministry is their "voice" or not. that's the reason that i would like to have 6 to 7 interns every summer - i want to be a part of helping future ministers discover their "voice." this summer was supposed to be the first step toward that goal. the personnel committee approved 1 intern for this summer with the understanding of bumping it up to 2 next summer. i told them my whole desire of wanting to give kids a "taste of ministry" and they agreed with it and jumped on board. i even had the perfect candidate ready for the positions - a girl that i know would do a great job. the problem is that the budget went south and now the personnel committee has to focus on other things. so they nixed the intern position (because it had not started yet).

i don't blame the committee - they were doing what they had to do. but it still stinks.

Monday, June 06, 2005

the summer

the youth ministry summer is rolling and i am already tired. this is not a good sign.

on the good side i got to hang with my niece and a member of the youth ministry today as they tried to eat a one pound cheeseburger each so they could get their pictures on the wall. they succeeded and i was greatly impressed. i have been even more impressed with the teens in our youth ministry reaching out to people. they always do a great job of reaching out to the "foreigner" (anyone who doesn't seem to "fit" for one reason or another). i've seen them reach out to new kids, socially awkward kids, kids with terrible diseases, etc. it regularly blows me away. it has been particularly pleasing to experience it first hand. my two nieces have been with our family for the week and our teens have reached out to them in great manners. they been asked to spend the night, go out to eat, go for coffee, go to a movie, and much more. i love watching this and i love my teens.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

sing it barry

alan, the assistant youth minister at parkview is speaking at the ring tonight on growing in our love for CHRIST. i tried desperately to convince him to start his message off by asking for the lights to be dimed and playing barry white's song "can't get enough of your love" but he is too much of a chicken to do it. it thought it would be a great intro and set the perfect mood. as we all know setting the perfect mood is really important when it comes to love. :)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

coward #2

it's been a long, enjoyable day with my family (both nuclear and extended since pam's nieces are staying with us for the week) but i needed to take a second to call a coward a coward. another anonymous postcard concerning the drama that is presently going on in our church arrived in the mail today. previously we have had anonymous letters but now someone has started sending out anonymous postcards. the picture above is today's postcard which as usual has no return address as well as nothing on it indicating where it has come from. COWARD! i hate anonymous letters and anonymous postcards. i took the picture of the postcard after i had thrown it in the garbage. that's what becomes of anonymous letters and postcards.

Friday, June 03, 2005

6th grade kidnapping

over the past few years i have had the feeling that each year i haven't done a good enough job of connecting our new 6th graders with the youth ministry. they've always seem to come around when they were in 7th grade but i just haven't been able to get them into everything while they were in the 6th grade. this year i want to things to be different. so the youth staff came up with the idea of "kidnapping" the 6th graders for the first wednesday night of the summer. we sent letters out to their parents explaining that we wanted to come pick up their kids and make a big deal about their first night within the youth ministry. the parents were on board and we were excited. all we had to do was actually kidnap the kids.

so here's what we did:
  • alan dressed up (somewhat against his will) like the "old man" character from the six flags commercials.
  • we got a school bus and loaded it with youth and signs bearing the 6th graders' names.
  • we drove up to each spot that the kids were at and picked then up with blaring music ("we like to party" by the vengaboys - the six flags commercial music) and alan dancing - it drew quite a few stares.
  • we then brought them up to the student center for ice cream and hamburgers.
  • we had a "sixth grade advice" video made for the evening.
the results have been pretty good. thus far everyone who has responded has had very positive things to say concerning it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

the view - june 1, 2005

tonight we "kidnapped" our new sixth graders (i'll describe that when i get home in about 30 minutes or so) and brought them to "the view" (our wednesday worship service). i'm trying to do a better job of connecting our new sixth graders in the group. i don't really feel like i've done a good job of it in the past.

we made two videos for tonight: 1) for announcements and 2) for a fun introduction for our sixth graders. they're real rough since i had only an hour and a half to make them in.