Back from Camp

Well, I got back from camp yesterday. It was pretty good. I'm just not a big fan of Kids Camp. Teen Camp is more my speed. Kids are pretty much giant stinky germs in clothes. It's just a week of feeling disgusting. We had over 500 kids so you pretty much felt gross all the time. Good luck finding a toilet without crap all over it. And forget about swimming during Kids Camp - you might as well play in the toilet. It's definitely an act of Christian service for an adult to submit themselves to Kids Camp.

But I had a lot of fun with my buddies Travis and Andy. It's always good to hang with them.

Mollie had her tonsils and adnoids out yesterday. She's doing OK.



I'm at camp till Friday. I'll blog later in the week. God bless!


Finally...A Band That Deals With the Issues

These guys are my favorite comedians currently. They're called Flight of the Conchords and they're from New Zeland. You may recognize the guy on the left from the Outback Steakhouse commercials. Enjoy!

The Church (a.k.a. - Miss Thang)

I was talking to friends last week about wives and women and such. I made the statement (and I believe it was somewhat sexually charged) that women are freakin' awesome and they are pretty much God's greatest gift to man (in all the right ways). But I also said that unfortunately you have to be careful with them because they break way too easily (and a man is never more miserable than when he's got a broke wife). When it's good, it's awesome - but when it's bad, it's hell!

Anyway, all that to say I was thinking last night about how the church is always referred to as "she" or "the bride" in the Bible. I don't think this is an accident and we would all probably do well to remember that our churches (which also means us) are in most ways "female".

In the same way that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my wife, I feel very much the same way about the church. I love her. She pisses me off quicker than anyone else. She is pleasing to me. Sometimes she nags me till I want to shoot myself in the head. She gives me companionship that I don't get anywhere else. She won't leave me alone. She appeals to all my senses. She's hard to please. She provides for me. She leaves me feeling empty sometimes. I am stronger when I'm with her. She's always interrupting the game. She encourages me. She's way too sensitive. She loves me and would do anything for me. I can never bring myself to leave her, and have finally decided to stop trying. She's beautiful. She's way too concerned with her appearance, but she looks her best when she's stripped down the way God made her (see Song of Solomon).


Bounty Hunter Evangelism

I just finished watching 4 hours of one of my favorite shows, Dog: The Bounty Hunter. If you have never watched, you really need to. Dog plays on the A&E Network. He and his crew go around catching fugitives with warrants for the reward. He's all hard-core when it comes to the chase, but after he catches his man (or woman) he turns into this super nice guy and encourages them to staighten out their lives or tells them about Jesus. He's also a good family man. I have to admit, I really like the idea of putting a boot some dude's back, macing him, cuffing him, and them sharing the gospel with him. I think some people need that kind of treatment. I'm going to go ahead and state for the record that if God would like to call me to this sort of ministry, I would probably resign being a youth pastor 3 seconds later (only because I would need time to pray about it).


What I'm Reading Now

I'm almost finished with Andy Stanley's Visioneering. It is a really great book about vision-casting, leadership, leading through change, etc... It is actually a study of the OT book of Nehemiah and is very well done. Stanley is very no-nonsense, not overly spiritual, and extremely practical. Recommend to all leaders and any pastor wanting material for leadership training or sermon material on Nehemiah. Good stuff! (7/18/06, 4:28 pm - Just finished it. Great read! Still recommend.)

I'm almost half-way through Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis. This book is honestly the best book I've read in a long time. He's a bit of a philosopher, but he pulls it off in such a way that the average Joe can grasp it. Not to say it's simplistic - this book will definitely make you think. The chapter (or "movement" as he calls it) titled "Yoke" is worth the price of the book all by itself. This is a book that explores faith, tradition, and what it means to live out the Christian life. I think it would be very appealing to someone who is seeking, but at the same time it's extremely challenging for the long-time Christian, too. Definitely pick this one up!!! (7/20/06, 11:30 am - Finished it last night. I have two words to describe this book: AWE-SOME! This should be required reading for the human race!)


War is Hell

All the recent events surrounding Israel are upsetting to me. Not to mention our own involvement in Iraq, stuff going on in the Congo, train bombs in India, missiles flying out of North Korea, etc... I'm really tired of and sickened by war. I'm especially tired of Christians who believe war is somehow sanctioned by God and righteous. Yes, you will find war in the Bible, yes, there have been necessary wars throughout history, but enough is enough.

There is nothing holy or righteous (or even patriotic) about war. Thousands of innocent people die every year for no good reason, entire civilizations are held back from what should be a natural cultural progression. The Middle East is never going to be peaceful. And if there is ever a peace, it won't be brokered by the people they primarily view as infidels. The entire Western world needs to wash their hands of the Middle East and let them experience the natural results of their history. Stop arming nations over there, because 10-20 years later the nation you armed has become your enemy. Stop buying/selling anything from/to them and let them hit rock bottom. Evidently their "rock bottom" is way lower than the rest of the world's.

The US needs to limit its military involvement to national "defense" and helping the truly helpless (situations like Rwanda and other places in Africa).

Christians need to sincerely pray for peace! Praying for the safety of US troops is not the same as praying for peace. We need to pray that God would intervene and end these wars, we need to ask how God could use us to end these wars, we need to pray for the salvation and safety of all troops, civilians, and even terrorists. Maybe we need to physically stand in the bullet path to save people and show them what Christian love is all about. We need to vote for leaders who are committed to peace - not weak leaders, but wise, peaceful leaders.

I know times have changed and this terrorist threat is difficult to combat, but I'm tired of seeing people die senselessly.


Nimoy Does Tolkien

This is a music video that Leonard Nimoy did back in the 60s. I hope he has a different agent now. Holy crap! This is the worst thing I've ever seen. But yet I can't quit watching it.


Why Do I Suck?

How can a person try so hard to live for and like Jesus, but look and feel so little like him so often? I don't know what it is about me that causes me to be so selfish and self-centered. People have helped me out more times than I can count, but I almost always dread helping other people out.

I've got this friend who asked me for a favor that would require a decent amount of my time. He is totally in need so I said yes, but the whole time I'm just thinking about how I wish I would have made up an excuse and said no. I've known non-Christian people with way more generous and giving spirits than I'll probably ever have. It's like Jesus makes some people shine, but he just makes me a half-way decent human being. Without him, I'd be a complete butthole.


Numbers 23-25

I just read in Numbers about Balaam and how he would only bless Israel even though Balak wanted him to curse them. He really stood up for God even when he was threatened. Then I read about how Phinehas drove a spear through this dude and lady's private parts and killed them while they were having an unholy orgy and worshipping a false God. God totally blessed Phinehas and his family for being so zealous to defend God's honor. All this OT reading is making me realize that God doesn't play. There's nothing casual about him or his true followers. You've gotta go a little crazy for him if you're going to follow him!

Star Trek Cribs

This is too sweet. Enjoy fellow trekkies!


God & Country

Yesterday, our church had our annual God & Country Extravaganza. It was great! G&C is a big community event we do every year with food, games, fireworks, music, etc... This year we really went big with everything. Probably the best fireworks I've ever seen, a military presence that included the landing and later departure of a Huey helicopter, bigger inflatables, and a lot more. Last year was my first year to see G&C (our church has done it 4 years now) and I thought it was incredible then. Last year we drew about 500 people. This year with more advertising and better organization, we had a crowd of between 2,500 and 3,000!! It was amazing. In fact, I think "miraculous" is a better word. Our church only averages about 150 in Sunday morning attendance. For us to pull off an event of that size and caliber is a total God-thing. One 14-yr-old boy came to Jesus last night, too, which is another miracle all by itself!


Freakin' Flies!!

About a week ago we left some old bananas sitting on the kitchen counter and ended up with a few fruit flies on them. Now it has turned into a full-blown infestation. They're everywhere and extremely annoying. I set off 6 bug bombs this morning and left the house. I hope it works!


Camp Niangua Linebacker

Our church attends a pretty conservative Christian camp every summer. The camp has some rules that can be a little rough on teens, so some us youth pastors and pastors got together to make this video to ease the rules burden with a little humor.

Can You Say "Oscar"?

This is the greatest movie title ever! Finally some truth in advertising.


The Simpsons...Unplugged

This guy is either a guitar genius or has more free time on his hands than anybody on the planet. Either way, I love this and wish I could do it. (There just aren't enough people paying homage to the greatest TV show ever produced.)

Extreme Blog Makeover

I changed the look of my blog. Hope everyone likes it OK. Everyone else probably all ready knows this, but if you Google "blog templates", you can download tons of free, cool templates for your blog.

Bush Does Bono - Awesome!

This may be my new favorite music video! Enjoy!

Let Freedom Flow?

Yeah, I know it's gross, but happy Independence Day, everybody!


I'm so stoked right now. Jamie and I were in a local antique shop called Heartland Antiques last night. It's a truly great antique shop and very large (Exit 127 off of I-44, next to the Russell Stover Candy Shop). Anyway, we were walking through and browsing when I said to Jamie, "If I ever found one of those ceramic kangaroos that Bruce Willis hung his watch on in Pulp Fiction, I'd buy it in a heartbeat." Ten minutes later, I actually saw one and for $15 it was mine. We couldn't believe it! Here's a pic of the one in the movie.

I got home and did a little research and found that they were all made in 1956 here in the US(they're marked that way on the back), so they're 50 years old this year. Evidently they're relatively hard to find anymore. They are actually personal valets for you to put your wallet, keys, change, jewelry on. I found some guy who ran a Pulp Fiction fansite. He was able to track down a small quantity of them and was selling them for $85 each. However, it looks like you can get one on eBay for closer to what I payed.

Anyway, probably not a big deal to anyone else, but Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite movies and it's kind a cool to own a little piece of it. Here's a pic of mine.