Archive for July, 2006

Back From Camp!

July 29, 2006

I just returned from a week of summer camp with a bunch of students from our ministry. We drove a couple of hours north of Jupiter to DeLand, Florida to attend Student Life Camp on the beautiful campus of Stetson University. We arrived on Monday around 11 am to register our group. This is our second Student Life camp so I pretty much knew what to expect. Great programming, attention to detail, speaking, music and leadership. From the moment we arrived I knew it was going to be a good week as we were assigned “close” living quarters (as in close to all of the goings on). You see last year the only complaint anyone from our group had was how far away our rooms were from the hub of everything (like a fifteen minute walk). This year would be different. This is what made our camp experience great….
We brought a smaller group – this year we brought a considerably smaller group to camp than in years past. I think this made a difference in relationship building and getting to know students. When you have a larger group, you tend to miss out on these connections. God really moved in the lives of some of our students. I cant wait to see their response over the next months and years.
Church group time – Student Life has a designated church group time each night for every church group. This was a special time for me to lead conversation and prayer with our group. One night we had a couple of members of the acting group come and chill with us, nice.
We drove our own vehicle – because of this we were on our own time schedule and didn’t have to deal with grouchy bus drivers. Also, we were able to make Wal-Mart runs for special church time treats for the students. One night we had a pizza party, another night, a candy party.
Student Life program – from the Camp Pastor (David Rhodes) the worship leaders (Unhindered) and the acting team (All Things To All People) it was fantastic. The students really enjoyed the Biblical focus by the pastor, the progressive worship by the band and the ridiculously funny and when necessary contemplative acting team. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up for all!

It truly was an amazing week for our whole group. Oh yeah, I was selected Coach of the Day by the SL staff and our students. Very cool honor! That’s what the picture is of.

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Why Satellite Churches?

July 19, 2006

It seems like everyone tries to be controversial in the blogging world. It is really not my purpose in blogging. I have had fun talking about things I like and occasionally, I may stir the pot a little. This time I think I might tick some people off, but so what. Here goes….over the past few years there has been a “trend” in evangelical churches. The trend, satellite campuses. You know, when a church out grows it’s current facility and through the inspiration of men of influence, they get a brilliant idea to replicate what they are doing on their existing campus and start another satellite campus in another part of town or part of the region and sometimes another state. As Andrew Beajon states in his book “Body Piercing Saved My Life” “it’s almost like a Home Depot model for a church” (page 113). This comes from a non Christ following journalist that writes nationally for Spin Magazine. He wrote what I have been saying for years. I think a certain part of the American church movement is very similar to the box store movement (Wal-Mart, Target, BestBuy, Home Depot etc.). You know when you go to a store often times they will ask for your zip code. After a certain time of accumulating info from their customers they decide to put a new franchise in another part of town, it’s just natural for retail to do this. My question is this, should the church model this? Why should we? Isn’t the purpose of the church to magnify God and love people? Is it that important that God “needs” a guy that is so dynamic and such a great leader that instead of raising up other men to go and start a new work somewhere else they just beam in the guy that everyone wants to see, hear or be entertained by or whatever. I just read recently where a church in Dallas started another campus in Miami. No problem with this right. From my point of view there is a problem. The pastor in Dallas will be the pastor in Miami, via satellite. Isn’t that just weird? What happened to raising up a guy who is called to be a pastor and sending him out? Doesn’t this seem like the New Testament model? The Apostle Paul, equipping say, Timothy. I think this satellite trend is destined for failure. When a trend is based on the savy, charisma, entertainment value and just plain charm of a man or the appeal of a style of doing church, something isn’t right. I think church leaders must reevalute their motives. Do we do this (ministry) because of us being so good and gifted or because it was mandated by God. I promise this one thing, this will not be the last you hear from me on this subject.

An Interesting Read.

July 19, 2006

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle wrote this today on his blog…..

Click here for link….

Blog Friendly Browser.

July 17, 2006

I have read about this browser before but I just recently downloaded the software. For all of you who blog alot this could be a revolutionary tool for you. Has anyone tried to use this yet? Let me know what you think.

From: The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
I’ve been trying out Flock Beta 1(v 0.7) which, as we told you last month, has been released as a free beta download. First, I’ve got to tell you that I’m really loving Flock. My favorite features are the built-in blog editor, to which you can drag and drop text snippets from any web site or photos, and the easy-on-the-eyes built-in RSS reader. I also like the developers’ approach, which is to try to make the social dimensions of the web (like sharing photos, sharing bookmarks, accessing RSS feeds, blogging, and searching) easier for mere mortals to discover and use.

Some Great Beaches.

July 17, 2006

I have had the privilege of growing up close to the ocean my whole life. Whether it was in sunny south Florida or the seacoast of New Hampshire there was always a beach close by. To me there is a sense of comfort and This weekend Penny and I took our church interns to the Florida Keys for a little “thank you” to them for their hard work and servants hearts. While traveling the “Overseas Highway” (US 1) I was reminded of the beauty of the ocean and the warm Atlantic waters. Here are the best beaches I have ever been to:

Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica – This is the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. If you aren’t familiar with Costa Rica then just believe me, its amazing, you must go! This National Park has mountains that roll right up to the shore leaving about 20 feet of private sandy beach. There are iguanas, monkeys and sloth’s roaming around and there are great climbing and hiking areas all around completing the unrealistic experience. Oh yeah, the water temp is around 88 degrees, no too shabby. (I actually climbed the large rock to the far right in the picture!)
Three Palms, Jupiter Beach, Florida – We call this “our beach” because it’s literally a five minute drive from our house. Called Three Palms because there was three palm trees right on the beach until last year when our friend Wilma blew one of the trees down. Usually very quiet, not too many crowds. The water is like a crystal green and very warm from May till December. If you ever are in the Jupiter area, this is a must visit.
Siesta Key Beach, Florida – We went to this beach a couple of years ago and experienced the quartz crystal sand. In the middle of the summer this sand is still very cool on the feet. The water is very calm and clear although the crowds can be a pain. Our family vacation will be at Siesta Key this year.
Short Sands Beach, York Beach, Maine – As a kid growing up in New Hampshire this Maine beach was our destination for family beach-going pleasure. The beach itself may not be a beautiful specimen (dark, cold water) but the surroundings are great. The smell of fresh ocean breezes are ample. There is a bowling alley, typical rugged Maine coastline rocks to climb on and the best ice cream known to man all within a five minute walk.
Folly Beach, South Carolina – My sister-in-law was married in a beachside house on this beach. I really loved the small beach town atmosphere. We rented some bikes and rode around till we got to this old abandoned military base that was right on the ocean. We walked around the place and got to the edge of the ocean inlet that leads to Charleston harbor. WOW! It was an absolutely wonderful sight.

So what are some of your favorite beaches?

The Great Experiment: Day 17

July 14, 2006

We have entered into a new era in family television viewing. On Sunday my wife surprised me with a new “toy”. For several months I have been telling her about the direction that we needed to go with our media center. I thought the best way would be with a MacMini, Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. We had experimented a little bit with the G4 PowerBook. Well, you guessed it, the new toy is an Intel MacMini, with keyboard (we had already purchased a mouse). So I am writing this with our new setup. We are able watch DVD’s from it (Waynes World was the first), view web based videos (like YouTube, StupidVideos and others). NBC has been talking up their new webisodes of The Office. They made thier debut tonight. Short but sweet. If you are interested in going this direction with your media center I highly recommend the MacMini as it is just the right size and packs a serious BOOM for speed and accessories. I really hope that LOST and some of the other shows that we favor will be available streaming in the fall. If anyone gets any inside news, please let me know by leaving a comment. I will update on the Great Experiment next week. (Screen capture above – that’s me writing this post on my living room couch with the Bluetooth keyboard on the coffee table, mouse in hand and yeah, Powerbook next to it. Picture was taken with an Apple iSight.)

Weird Web Stuff.

July 12, 2006

Thank you to felllow blogger Bob H. for searching and finding what I would call the strangest of all church web sites, ever. There is only one word that comes to mind, blasphemy.

Click Here

What Weekend?

July 12, 2006

Over the past years I have been involved with vocational ministry I have had to learn many things. One thing in particular is this fact: you do not have a conventional weekend. When I worked a “regular” job, weekends were pretty much what I lived my life for. I remember going to work on Mondays thinking “only five more days till Saturday”. I haven’t thought that way since I became a full time ministry guy. Weekends typically are chock-full of church or ministry oriented happenings. Take for example this past weekend: On Friday I went to a friends church to speak to students at a conference. I was there till Saturday evening around 9, then hopped on the Florida Turnpike south to head home so I could be ready for Sunday morning church, which is always a little crazy, but cool. Then in the afternoon I had to pick up a few items for a Sunday evening high school activity (a bon-fire party). My Sunday didn’t end until midnight (after giving students rides home). Like I said, weekends are a lot different than they were previously in my life. I think I like them the way they are.

The Great Experiment: Day 10

July 7, 2006

10 days ago began the post-satellite TV era in our house. What began as a thought months ago became a reality on Monday, June 26th. Since then there have been no set-backs or withdrawals, just a lot of quiet time, reading and more time spent online researching internet TV. No real big finds except that ABC broadcasts some of their shows online as does sister network ESPN (Pardon the Interruption). We have caught ourselves thumbing through the hoards of DVD’s that we never watch, picking out some of our “greatest hits”. Here are some films that we have watched:

“Office Space” – an absolute brilliant, yet vulgar and offensive comedy. From the guy who brought us “Beavis and Butthead” and one of my all time favorite shows “King of the Hill”. I felt dirty after watching this and had a little confession time with God. You just can’t help but remember some of the great liners of this movie like: “I’m going to ask you…”, “I have 15 pieces of flare”, “That’s my stapler” and on, and on…..
“Dodgeball” – some of the same actors from “Office Space” are in this Ben Stiller produced so-stupid-it’s-funny film. Stiller is a great villain and Rip Torn does a great job playing a shameless retired pro-dodgeball player from the American Dodgeball Assiociation of America. Again, you feel kinda’ dirty after watching it, but it still is very humorous. “No body makes me bleed my own blood.”
“Explorers” – I watched this for the first time in like 1985. It’s a story about a couple of middle school boys that experiment with space travel. Stars River Phoenix and Ethan Hawk. Very crusty graphics and story but very nostalgic for me. If you have never seen this it’s worth the $5 in the Wal-Mart cheap DVD bin.
“Rocky III” & “Rocky IV” – featuring Thunderlips, Clubber Lang, Drago. Classics.

Mall Sales.

July 4, 2006

Penny and I were going to meeting some friends at PF Changs for dinner and we figured we would go to the mall a little early so we could get a gift for a family member. As we started walking through we noticed that every store had huge SALE! signs in their windows. The particular store we went into had a massive SALE! on jeans, which are always an eye-catcher for me. I love jeans. Anyway, the SALE! was unbelievably tempting for us. Penny also saw some items that intrigued her. It was some frilly-girly stuff. Do you ever notice that all of the stores have SALE!‘s at the same time? What up with that? PF Changs didn’t have a SALE! but they did give us a massive plate of chicken fried rice (on the house!) which is way better than a SALE! There was only one store that didn’t have a SALE! Guess which store that was? To be expected, here is that store. Does this surprise you?