Makin' a Run for the Border

I'm off to Mexico with the teens on Thursday. We won't be back until the following Wednesday night. But when I return I'm sure I'll have lots of great stories and pics, so check back then. Pray for safety for us (and sanity for me - it's mostly JrHighers.) I do get to see an A's game on the way down. We're stopping over night in the Dallas area and the A's happen to be playing the Rangers that night. We'll be staying at our Free Will Baptist Seminary in Reynosa, Mexico for 4 nights and then heading back. We'll be helping the seminary build a building and helping a local church put up a barbed-wire fence. I'm glad Jamie's going with me because she'll help keep me sane. I don't do well away from her for more than 3 or 4 days. Anyway, hasta la vista, baby!


The Girls of Summer

Mollie's playing softball for the first time and she's really doing pretty good. She's starting to do really well at fielding and her batting is getting better. I'm proud of her and it's been fun practicing with her. My job is to keep the books for the team. Technically we're not supposed to keep score, but that's stupid, so I keep it anyway. So far the girls are 1-1-1. Go Stingers!!


Da Vinci Review

Jamie and I saw The Da Vinci Code today. I gotta be honest - I don't know if it deserved all the negative critical reviews it's been getting. I've heard other reviewers comment that it moved way too slow and that the acting was sub-par. I disagree. First of all, it's an "intellectual" thriller, not Lethal Weapon. Second of all, I thought Ian McKellan was awesome, Audrey Tautou was good, and Tom Hanks wasn't bad. Hanks just underplayed the role, which is not something we're used to seeing from him. The movie stayed very true to the book.

Movies based on best-selling books are always overly criticized. The only exception to this is The Lord of the Rings. The only reason TLOTR trilogy was so successful is that it DIDN'T stay true to the books. If it would have it would have droned on for days (which you can do in a book, but not so much a movie). So I felt that, for a movie primarily about obscure historical references, The Da Vinci Code was pretty good. That's not to say I agreed with any of the claims - the whole story is still a complete load of BS - but from a critical point of view, it wasn't a bad film.


Flock of Seagulls Spotted!

You've got to check this out. Some guy compiled links to hundreds of 80s music videos. I love 80s music so this is right up my alley. Very addictive. It's hard to stop watching the videos. They'll make you laugh, sing, and dance along. But if you feel the need to start dancing, "I only want to see you dancing in the purple rain!" Totally rad!!!


My Favorite Sermon of 2006 (so far)

I was thinking of this earlier and decided I wanted to put a link to what I think might be one of the best sermons I've heard in a while. This video is U2's Bono giving a sermon at this year's National Prayer Breakfast in DC. Bono is definitely one of the "coolest" people on our side. Some of his theology might need work, but by and large I think he desires to share the love of Christ.

The Bellucci Code

All right, I discovered a really wild coincidence. All of you conspiracy theorists out there feel free to make more of it, though. (I figured this out myself, by the way.)

Part of the contraversy in The DaVinci Code is that supposedly the offspring of Jesus and Mary Magdalene married a Merovingian king and Jesus' bloodline was passed on through the royal Merovingian bloodline (French royalty).

OK, here's the weird part. The actress who played Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson's Passion (Monica Bellucci), is the same actress who played Persephone in the Matrix sequels, who was the wife of the character referred to as "the Merovingian." Coincidence? Or massive Hollywood conspiracy? You be the judge.

Word to the Wise: DO NOT do an image search of Monica Bellucci or you WILL need to repent. This was the cleanest pic I could find.


Ice Cream = Happiness

Here's an idea for a great way to make kids happy (teens and adults, too, for that matter). I wanted to reward all the Wednesday night church kids for working hard and doing well at a competition. I got the number of the guy who drives the local ice cream truck and had him show up at the church a few minutes after we started. I told the kids how proud I was of them and that I wanted to reward them with a special surprise. We were in the gym and we have this big loading bay door on one end that is automatically retractable. So I walked over to the door and pushed the button, the door slowly slid up and when the kids saw the ice cream truck they freaked out. I had him actually drive it into the gym and the kids got to run up to it and order whatever they wanted. They loved it! I kept my teens in there too (they loved it too). It was an idea that made about 35 people really happy and it only cost me about $50. If I would have just handed them push-ups and ice cream bars, they wouldn't have hardly cared. But there's nothing cooler than picking your treat from the ice cream truck! Plus, I got to have my favorite - the ChocoTaco. (I know. I'm dieting, but I've been good.)

El Codigo Da Vinci

The summer youth season is upon me and my mind is in a rush because I've got about a bajillion events to plan and execute. But right now I've got two main things on my mind: a seminar on The Da Vinci Code I have to give on Sunday night and a teen trip to Mexico next Thursday (thus the title).

I enjoy the whole Da Vinci thing. First of all, it's a pretty good book. Second of all, it's a complete load of horse crap. Thirdly, I get a chuckle at all the Christians who are pouring on the sackcloth and ashes because of this thing. Everyone's so afraid this is going to destroy truth as we know it or whatever, but the Da Vinci claims are so completely ridiculous. They might as well be showing Babe the Pig or something because it would be easier to believe that a pig can talk than to believe the crap in The Da Vinci Code. It's FICTION!!!!!! If this is the worst thing we Christians have to worry about, we've got it pretty good.

I'm looking forward to Mexico. Hopefully, the trip will get me grounded better in reality. More than anything, I hope the teens that go will really get a sense of how BIG God is and what true faith looks like.


11 Things I Love About Jamie

Jamie and I have been married for 11 years so I thought I would jot down 11 reasons I love her.

1. She thinks I'm really funny, but rarely laughs at me. It's kind of sexy.
2. She's an awesome mom.
3. She does this thing that I can't go into detail about because I'm pretty sure it's illegal in Missouri.
4. She's pretty smart, but let's me believe I'm smarter.
5. Her feet.
6. When she's lonely, she talks to the dog alot.
7. She's pretty good at finding ways to come up with money.
8. She always compliments me when I work hard on something.
9. She's my best friend.
10. Sometimes we fight just for fun.
11. Good enough is never good enough (sometimes I love this and sometimes I hate this).


Isaiah the Fisherman

Isaiah caught a HUGE catfish today. Check it out! About 15 lbs.


Web Favs

Here are my current web favorites right now. Enjoy!

WIMP is a huge collection of videos that are easier to download than other web collections.

MONK-E-MAIL is awesome!!! Try it, you'll love it. A great way to communicate and addictive!

Go to this sight to check GAS PRICES wherever you live in the US. It will tell you exact prices at all stations in your area. Who's cheapest? Who's most expensive?

Make your own short Bollywood subtitle movie and send it to someone at BOMBAY TV. Very cool!

RAYRAY PARADE is a difficult but addictive game. Have fun!

I'm Wasting Away to Nothing

I started a diet yesterday. Nothing fancy, just trying to be conscious of my calories and fat grams. I pretty much feel hungry all the time, but I just keep reminding myself that when I'm hungry, my body's eating away all that excess fat. I need to lose about 100 lbs. I'm currently 320 and trying to get to 220. Lots of vegetables and fruits and such. I like fruits and veggies and they taste great, but they just don't satisfy for very long. But so far so good. I'll keep everyone updated on my progress.

I found a couple of great websites for finding nutritional info. www.nutriondata.com is great for looking up random foods and www.dietfacts.com is awesome for looking foods from restaurants and brand names.


Smackdown on the Alter

OK, time for a little venting. It's been a rough week in ChurchLand. I was called a hypocrite in a pretty vicious email for no good reason. The whole thing was because of false imformation, but this person wouldn't accept that. I tried to sit and talk with them and they wouldn't hear of it. After I explained the Biblical solution for conflict management in the church, this person's answer was to quit the church (can someone say "blessing in disguise"?).

Here's the question - why are so FEW people willing to handle conflict in a Biblical manner? What is so hard about sitting face-to-face with someone and at least attempting to iron out a tense situation? Why are people so cowardly when it comes to airing grievances to someone's face (as opposed to behind their back or in a nasty email)? This is so frustrating to me! My wife and I have arguements all the time, but it doesn't mean the marriage is dissolving. Can't we view it the same with church family?

I heard someone at a PromiseKeepers rally say, "You have no more right to break fellowship with a brother in Christ, than you do divorcing your wife." I wish my brothers and sisters in Christ took our relationship that seriously and were willing to have tough conversations once in a while. The right thing to do isn't always the easy thing, but it's still the right thing to do.


The Smell of Devotion

A few days ago I was working in my office and listening to a sermon online at the same time. I've been listening to Mark Driscoll a lot lately. He's great! Check him out at www.marshillchurch.org. Anyway, he referred to some verse that grabbed my attention and I wanted to look it up. I looked around my desk for one of my Bibles and the only one there was a Bible I never read. It just sits there because the pages are brittle and I don't want to damage it. It's my Grandpa Myers' bible and my Dad gave it to me at my ordination service. I was close to my Grandpa so it means a lot to me. He was a pastor as well.

Anyway, since it was close, I grabbed it and looked up the verse. The print is pretty small so I lowered my head closer to the pages. As I did, this sensation overwhelmed me and I immediately started crying. It wasn't because of anything I saw or any memories - it was a smell. I had never noticed it before, but this Bible still smelled like my Grandpa Myers! It didn't smell like an old book or like dusty pages, but when I put my head in it, I smelled my Grandpa. Kind of a sweet smell like Rolaids and some sort of tonic.

Grandpa Myers died about 15 years ago. As I was sitting there crying and thinking of him, this is the question that hit me: How much do you have to read a book for it to still smell like you 15 years after you're dead? At that moment, I was humbled, convicted, and grateful all at once.