Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stupid Street Names

You know somethin that makes me mad?

Stupid street names. In the suburban sprawling area of west st. louis county there are endless neighborhoods that each try to have some disctinct and presitgious name but they all end up sounding dumb and synonomous- Cherry Hills, Wild Horse Creek, Pine Tree Club, etc. There's no cherry trees or wild horses or some exclusive club, only names. But then you've got these lame street signs that are actually in no way descriptive and meant as some sort of enticing advertisement for those who don't live there when you see it on an envelope or phonebook or whatever.

The one that kills me is the one thats on my way to church. Thunderhead Canyon Dr. Come on. Sounds more like the new Indiana Jones sequal than a normal suburban street. Another bad one is in Kansas City where my family lives- Rolling Dr. It's actually a very flat street about 200 yards long with about 5 different types of houses symetrically built on either side of it. Nothing rolling about it. I dunno, somethin to rant about I guess. It's just when you pass by street after street named after something dubiously nature-esque, Thunderhead Canyon is really funny.

Snakes On A Blog

Well, I've done it. I saw Snakes On A Plane. I have to tell you, this movie to me represents much of the struggle of my life. Not really the movie itself, but rather the metaphysical issues it represents.

Let me get this out of the way: It was awesome. I laughed, was repulsed, and even jumped a couple times. Also I should note that the folks I went with were all from my church; 4 of which are on staff. Others included friends, roomates, youth group volunteers, and the chair of our evangelism committee. Thats pretty freaking cool. It was us and 2 other people in the whole theatre, oh ya, and they had a baby with them. Thats another topic for another day. I digress.

What I love about the movie is it's self-effacing nature. The title is so ridiculous yet so appropriate. The plot is so stupid yet encompasses two very common phobias- snakes.....and planes! The acting is so cheesy yet so perfect. The characters are totally off the shelf yet we would be outraged with needless development. Somehow you've got to think that this whole thing is tounge in cheek. We could write a list a mile long with silly summer blockbusters that rely on the same formulas that we all see and then say the same thing: "Why did I waste time and money on that!?" But the thing that makes Snakes On A Plane different is the fact that they're upfront with how ridiculous this all is! I love it!

You know when you see a minor car accident and you know you should just keep driving but you can't stop from rubbernecking? Or how you are completely aware the Jack In the Box Tacos might very well be the worst food on the planet, yet you love them so? Or staying up late playing X-Box is actually not that great of an idea anymore, but you do it anyway? This is the same dichotamy that Snakes On A Plane is for me.

I know it's stupid. I know it's a bad waste of human resources from the beginning of production to the hours and money spent by thousands of people. I know that it's mindless entertainment, 2 hours (well, 1 hour 46 minutes to be exact) I could have spent reading or volunteering at a shelter or....doing anything but watching this ridiculous movie!

Yet, I sort of want to see it again. At the very least, I'm anticipating the DVD for Christmas. *sigh* Oh, how shallow my nature.

Is this what Paul speaks of in Romans 7: 15? "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Am I way out of line for even drawing a comparison with the Apostle Paul and Snakes On A Plane? If I despise shallow crap and they way we live our lives but revel in seeing Snakes On A Plane, how does that add up?

For now, i'd reccomend Snakes On A Plane for anyone who wants a good laugh. Also, go here and send one to a friend.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Catch Up

Hello all my blog people.

I just got back from a Middle School retreat the 25-27, and a High School retreat August 18-20. I'm a little sore, a little sunburned, but still feelin good. This is officially the end of my "summer season" and it's been great, but also brutal. I miss my interns and my family and some friends....only some of them. Ha, kidding. Ok, since that wasn't funny let's move on.

I just finished The Secret Message of Christ. It was really good. McLaren (the author) does a good job of laying out his case for getting back to what Christ was talking about- the kingdom. Not American politics or justifications for this stance or that stance neccessarily, but the kingdom of God being at hand.

I was in a good conversation with one of our Sunday School leaders here at church, talking about books we were reading (like the one above) and he reccomended Steven Hawking's A Briefer History of Time. So i've been checking that out too. In reading about space-time continuims (sp?) i've learned the skill of accepting what I can't grasp and moving on. There's much blog-worthy material here. Basically the most brilliant man in the world (by the world's standards...) literally puts his hope in the stars. Lots to talk about there. I'm reading this to better understand the nature of the scientific community and why the subject of God and science converging seems so incongruous to so many.

I also just noticed I start a lot of paragraphs off with the word I....

Before I left for the retreats, we had a youth group session where the Middle Schoolers could write down any question they wanted to and then we'd read em' and see what we got. It was very reminiscent of sex-ed class in 5th grade. Luckily we didn't delve into anatomical issues, but here's two that we did get:

"When will the world come to an end? Don't want answer of 'never' or 'don't know'."
-I like that last part

here's another:

"If anyone could die any second than why do people bother to be someone? And how do I know if I need to forgive someone before I die?"

Dang. Two blog worthy candidates right there too.

Also, John Mayer and (more importantly) Robert Randolph & the Family Band are coming out with new albums soon. I pre-ordered the RRFB album, and then got an email saying they pushed back the release date from the end of September to October 6. I'd love to send THEM an email saying i'm going to delay my payment and see how that went over. Oh well. Another rant for another time.

So that's whats been going on with me. I get to spend some time with my special lady friend and my family over the next couple weeks. That'll be nice. So, i've got a lot stewin in this brain of mine.

So, with all this in mind, here's Blog topics soon to come:
-The Secret Message of Christ
-Steven Hawking, and time itself
-The End of the World
-Robert Randolph album
-Why John Mayer is a great musician but knows it, and why that is a problem
-SNAKES ON A PLANE REVIEW! Sorry I snuck that one in at the end. I've been runnin around so much, a little Samuel L will do a body good. Yes, I know its tacky and without class, but at least they're being upfront with it.

Sorry this was so sporadic.


Friday, August 18, 2006


Ok, so thanks to my girlfriend and Dustin for your nice comments. In the future I don't plan on using my blog like a personal therapist, but it's important to put your true feelings out there right?

I've been reading Brian McLaren's book The Secret Message of Jesus. It's great, and I promise it's not as provacative as it sounds. Well, maybe it is but not in a 'Da Vinci Code' sense but in a 'holy crap we've really been missing the point' sense.

Somehow I found it easier to read books ABOUT following Jesus, ABOUT reading the Bible rather than the Bible itself. I have used the Bible for my purpose, to extract a lesson so I can look wise. This is much different than ernest reflection and prayer. Gimme grace baby! Thats changed within the past three days though, and i'm hyped about our high school retreat this weekend. I'm also sad because my girlfriend leaves for school Sunday, and I won't be there. I told her I feel like Robin Williams character in the beginning of Hook.

So, it's a big weekend.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

End of My Rope

Ya know, I really think I have the best job in the world. "Director of Youth Ministries". Most of the time, I get paid to do what I think is a good time. Teaching, organizing trips, stupid stuff like frisbee, helping students make sense of crap they're going through. It's great, really it is.

But sometimes I get so flustered by all the demands on time; commitee meetings, staff meetings, personal meetings, meetings to schedule other meetings so that other meetings can be planned, etc. I get worn out and all I do is talk to people.

Basically, thats it. I talk to people. I don't work at a coal mine, or build stuff. I talk to people and get paid for it. So I feel like a pansy when i'm tired, spiritually and psychologically.

I think it's a sign that i'm leaning to much on "adam". Trying to do what I think is right, following MY pursuits, instead of allowing myself to be filled up by God, i'm running on "me" fumes. Not that following God means that i'll be fully energetic all the time, but i'm really feeling the burn here.

Sometimes I just wish I could work at a shoe store. Sell shoes all day then go home and don't have to think about shoes until the next day. I get home and my mind is still plagued with everything I did that day- did I screw it up? Should I have said this or not? Am I leading things in the way that God would want? The pressure is enormous sometimes.

But then other times i'm paid to float on a lazy river in Baton Rouge, LA.

Wish I was there right now.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


So, I know that this is sociologically inscensitive (sp?) as i'm defining the male gender role, but here's a man-test that we gave out at recent Guys Night with Youth Group. I'll post the answers later. Enjoy!

1. How many razor blades does the new Gillete Fusion contain?
a. 2
b. 4
c. 5
d. 6

2. How often would you say you use the word “dude” on a daily basis?
a. Never
b. Accidentally, sometimes
c. Ocassionally/Socially
d. Dude, all the time!

3. Which of these is an awesome car?
a. 2003 Gold Chevy Malibu
b. 1962 Camarro
c. 2005 Mini-Cooper complete with British Flag Paint Job
d. 2000 Mercury Cougar

4. Which of these would you rather eat?
a. Double cheese burger, onion rings, ice cold carbonated beverage
b. A lovely House Salad
c. Whatever Mommy is fixing for dinner
d. Pizza that is cold/left out on the counter/been sitting in a car for a day

5. You become King of the World, what is your first order of business?
a. Use your power to proclaim cheap summer drinks all year round
b. Declare your birthday national pick a flower day
c. Celebrate your victory over tea and crumpets
d. Delegate all your responsibilities and just play Xbox all day

6. What did you think of “The Notebook”
a. Never saw it
b. Chick flick, wouldn’t watch it if you paid me
c. I cried, but tried to hide it
d. I wept openly and now own two copies, incase something happens to one

7. True or False: Although the game that bears his name is cool, John Madden is in
fact, annoying.

8. Name three Stallone movies, no sequals:

9. If a girl tells you that you’re behaving belligerently you:
a. Say “thanks!”
b. Pontificate what aspects of your conduct she could be assessing, and consider change
c. Scratch your head and drool a little bit
d. You didn’t hear her in the first place

10. Yes or No: Butter on movie popcorn

11. Yes or No: Trips to the bathroom in groups

12. Yes or No: Picking your nose if no one is looking

13. Yes or No: Mope heads

14. Yes or No: Celine Dion cell phone ring tone

15. Yes or No: Chili Dogs

16. True or False: ESPN stands for entertainment and sports programming network

17. True or False: Viscosity refers to The degree to which a fluid resists flow
under an applied force

18. True or False: An alternator starts up your car while the battery keeps the engine

19. Fist pound or high five?

20. Cheetos or Pringles?

21. Superman or Batman?

22. Rock-Paper-Scissors or Rock-Paper-Scissors-Shoot!

23. Blonde tip highlights or Facial hair?

24. Building stuff or Breaking stuff?

25. AC/DC or Nickelback?

26. Let’s say you’re shopping for a new pair of shorts. Do you:
a. Look at 7 different stores, trying on multiple shorts per store
b. Ask your Mom or Girlfriend or Sister to pick some out
c. Go without wearing any shorts at all
d. Go to your “usual store” hit up the sale rack and find your size

27. When approaching the urinals with some random dude using one, do you:
a. Opt for a stall even if there’s a wait
b. Take the open urinal, but keeping silent with eyes forward
c. Make conversation with the stranger next to you
d. You don’t use public restrooms because of choices like these

28. The Final Countdown is:
a. A masterpiece
b. Cheesy, but fun to sing
c. Nauseating
d. The new years eve ball drop

29. Which of these gifts to you prefer?
a. Cologne
b. Straight Cash Homey
c. Something practical/useful (tool set, clothes, etc)
d. Gift Cards

30. One of your friends discovers something in the fridge that stinks, almost to the
point of causing vomiting. He offers you a sniff. Do you:
a. Scream “you’re crazy!” and run out of the room
b. Walk over to whatever is causing the stench and inhale deeply
c. Start crying
d. Pretend to sniff and fake a reaction, but you were really holding your breath

31. There are __ lugnuts on a 17inch tire.

32. In Star Wars, I liked Anakin best as:
a. That cute little boy
b. The long haired rebellious Jedi
c. Darth Vader, dark lord of the Sith
d. That blue Ghost at the end of Return of the Jedi

33. When faced with inescapable public flatulence do you:
a. Cough to cover it up
b. Endure the pain and hold it
c. Crop-dust
d. Test the waters

Monday, August 07, 2006


Now that I have your attention, here is a thought provocing article regarding teens and sex.

This is relevant to me as a youth worker, but perhaps more just as a person living in the world. The article cites recent studies and asserts that the more young people listen to sexually charged music the more likely they are to start having sex.

Of course the Recording Industry Association of America refuses to comment, and the dude from the Hip-Hip Summit Action Network says they're just talking about "social and economic realities"; e.g. Kids have sex and the same kids spend lots of money buying music that talks about sex.

Let's not blame this on the record industry. They're just selling records with little social responsibility. I'd ban Kidz Bop before I banned Snoop Dogg, but thats another blog altogether. Maybe the problem is that parents don't teach their kids about the value of sex, Cosmo and Seventeen magazine do. Maybe the problem is that they find misguided phsyical and emotional satisfaction in empty shell relationships filled with sex because they don't find worth outside of that.

So do we burn all our secular CD's? No! But we do acknowledge that Nellie Furtatdo's latest single Promiscuous is number 3 on the iTunes singles chart and thats what kids listen to. I'll admit, it's catchy. Frankly, I wish it wasn't so dirty so I could jam to it in my car. So AS PARENTS of youth and PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT YOUTH we should inform them of the realities of sex, cause right now hip-hop is beating the crap out of us.

I guess i'll have to get rid of my Pussy Cat Dolls CD now huh?

Open letter to Interlinc:

Dear Interlinc,

I guess at some point in time my church was a big subscriber to your services, as I have recieved your 6th letter urging us to renew our subscription. Unfortunately, your attempts to be cute have backfired. "Missing Youth Worker" milkbox pictures and "Youth Worker Abducted by Aliens" headlines on papers that don't exist really aren't appealing, in fact they're just plain lame.

The reason I haven't renewed our subscription is not because I am missing or have been taken captive by martians, no, it's because I don't think the newest Jaci Velasquez album with accompanying devotion are crucial to the ministry here. Frankly, the material is contrived and some of the music is of less than desireable quality.

So, there it is. I know you guys do good work, we're just not looking to pay hundreds of dollars for dime-a-dozen Christian bands and devotionals that are a bit of a stretch. I'm sure Interlinc is a great part of lots of ministries, just not ours. So sending me multiple mailings every month is a lot like a desperate dude that won't accept rejection.

I admire your persistance and consistancy, I do not admire cutesy attempts to get me to pay for something I don't need.

Respectufully Submitted,


Friday, August 04, 2006

HS Retreat Mullet Man Workin For The Weekend

Commercial for our high school retreat!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Grooming Mishaps

So, it's been a rough couple days grooming wise for me. Yesterday my bag-o stuff fell into the toilet, Friday I forgot to adjust the beard trimmer and shaved a line of hair practically off my face.

But the kicker was last Thursday. I go into Great Clips for a haircut. I understand that this is a gamble. So I sit down after waiting for a little while, no big deal. Then the stylist and I have the conversation where I can never remember what guard I am for her clipper thingies and I can't effectively communicate what I want done to my hair.

Ever that dance was over she begins to describe to me how she doesn't have her Great Clips stylist training updated. She doesn't have her "refresher course" but she's been "cutting hair for years". A moonshine stylist, great. So this 60 some year old woman named Claudette is cutting hair all over the place while I can't see a thing due to not having my glasses on.

To make a long story short, she ends up calling for backup from the other stylist; they actually do a decent job, although it was quite the eventful haircut. Which took 45 minutes by the way. Upon finishing our client/stylist transaction she says to me:

"Well, it looks better than when you came in here. You looked like an ape from the stoneage."

I can't top that. Peace.