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Showing posts from December, 2007

His Miracle Story

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Scott Southworth, right, met his adopted son, Ala'a, in Iraq and brought him to live in Mauston, Wisconsin.

MAUSTON, Wisconsin (AP) -- Capt. Scott Southworth knew he'd face violence, political strife and blistering heat when he was deployed to one of Baghdad's most dangerous areas.

But he didn't expect Ala'a Eddeen.

Ala'a was 9 years old, strong of will but weak of body -- he suffered from cerebral palsy and weighed just 55 pounds. He lived among about 20 kids with physical or mental disabilities at the Mother Teresa orphanage, under the care of nuns who preserved this small oasis in a dangerous place.

On September 6, 2003, halfway through his 13-month deployment, Southworth and his military police unit paid a visit to the orphanage. They played and chatted with the children; Southworth was talking with one little girl when Ala'a dragged his body to the soldier's side.

Black-haired and brown- eyed, Ala'a spoke to the 31-year-old American in the limited …

My Year In Review 2007: Worst Films

For the next couple of weeks, I will be giving you my "Top (insert number)" list for a variety of things. From books, to movies, to trips, to music, I will list my personal favorites from 2007.

The following movies came out this past year and I can say for all of them I regret I will no longer have the 2 hours of my life back I wasted watching them. To me all these films lacked either a good story line, good dialogue, good acting, or a combination of all three. Here are my top 5 worst films from 2007:

1) Happy Feet (actually released in '06 but saw in theater in '07)
2) 1408
3) Transformers
4) Vacancy
5) Bridge to Terabithia

My Year In Review 2007: The DVD's

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For the next couple of weeks, I will be giving you my "Top (insert number)" list for a variety of things. From books, to movies, to trips, to music, I will list my personal favorites from 2007.

The following DVD movies were seen this past year for the first time. Some are fairly new and some are classic that I never got around to watching. Some are blockbuster hots while others are lesser known borderline indie films. Here are my top 17 DVD flicks from 2007:

1) Little Miss Sunshine
2) 28 days Later
3) Lucky Number Slevin
4) Usual Suspects
5) L.A. Confidential
6) Life is beautiful
7) Stranger Than Fiction
8) American Beauty
9) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
10) Sideways
11) Punch-Drunk Love
12) Everything's Illuminated
13) Waiting for Guffman
14) Adaptation
15) Best in Show
16) The Pursuit of Happyness
17) In America

My Year In Review 2007: The Movies

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For the next couple of weeks, I will be giving you my "Top (insert number)" list for a variety of things. From books, to movies, to trips, to music, I will list my personal favorites from 2007.

The following movies were seen in theaters or released in 2007 and received at least 3 stars from me. Here are my top 11 movies of 2007:

1) I am legend
2) Into the Wild
3) Pan's Labyrinth
4) The Departed
5) Blades of Glory
6) Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix
7) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
8) Spiderman 3
9) Knocked Up
10) Number 23
11) 28 Weeks Later

My Wanted Wicked Tickets

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Beth and I are HUGE fans of the the Broadway hit musical "Wicked". So needless to say were were jacked to find out the tour version was going to be making a 16 show stop in Charlotte next April. As I anticipated the Nov. 30th sale date, I never could have imagined that I'd be competing to get the hottest ticket in the state. By the time the online sale started at 10am most of the 16 shows were sold out (in person box office sales began at 8am. People started camping out for them at 6pm the night before) Sadly I never got our tickets.

No fear, I just figured I'd be able to find some on eBay or some online ticket broker. Which I have...at a 300%-700% mark up!! Tickets that sold at the box office for $32 are going for $150-$200 and $100 seats are going for over $700.

Would someone please explain this to me: if scalping tickets is illegal how can brokers and ebayers get away with it??

I know this is a shot in the dark but if anyone has or know of someone that has a couple …

My Movie Review: I Am Legend

I went in to "I am legend" with absolutely no idea what to expect or what the movie was about other than Will Smith being the last man on earth after some kind of world wide catastrophe. What I got was one of the best movies I've seen this year.

"I am legend" is half "Castaway" and half "28 days later". It takes the best elements from both films and creates and phenomenal movie that you don't want to end. In fact my only complaint with the movie is that it was too short (1hr 40 min).

The plot is this: Robert Neville, a brilliant scientist, isn't quite brilliant enough to stop a man-made virus from escaping and killing everyone in sight. Somehow, though, Robert is immune. But what good is surviving if you're the last person on the planet? After three years of searching for others, Robert soon discovers that he is in fact not alone; mutant victims of the virus are watching his every move. As Robert realizes that his time may be up, h…

My Thoughts On The Baseball Steroid Controversy

So the Mitchell report came out today detailing his 2 year 20 million dollar investigation into the use of steroids in baseball. His findings were shocking...there IS rampant steroid abuse in baseball! Really? I had no idea? I mean I thought it was natural for guys to become better athletes when they hit 35 years plus. Or for guys domes to grow 5x the normal size. I really thought Mcgwire and Sosa hit all those home runs legit. And you mean Bonds may have lied when he said he never knowingly took steroids?

Look, all this report did was put names/faces on the drugs. Even the most casual fan knew something was going on. We as fans didn't care because we love power in sports. Whether it's our guy hitting the long ball or our ace topping 100mph and racking up 10 K's a game, we want to see impressive human feats. No matter how they may or may not have been achieved. The owners turned a blind eye because after the strike they would do anything to gets butts back in the seats and …

His Story: Jim Grobe

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The following article comes from http://www.prodigalsonmagazine.com/
One of the reasons that we love sports is because there is always the chance that the underdog can overtake the favorite. We watch to see which team that is said to have no shot will prevail over the more powerful or more storied team, giving us the hope that we too can overcome incredible odds in our lives. When these upsets happen, they offer a sense of hope to all of us that we will have a day that we will shine as well.

Last season, the Wake Forest Demon Deacon football team proved that they too could overcome the odds and become champions. In the preseason, they were picked to finish last in their division with the experts believing that they didn’t have what it took to excel in the ACC. They believed in themselves and overcame injuries, history, and skeptics to win the ACC Football Championship and play in the Orange Bowl. A school long known for its’ basketball and golf, with such famous alumni as Arnold Palmer…

My Meeting With the Man Who May Be President: Mike Huckabee (Part Deux)

I arrive at the home where the reception for Mike Huckabee is being held around 5:45pm. The house was a very large, older, multi-million dollar home in a high profile location in Greensboro. Once I found a place to park I made my way to the house and passed Mike Huckabee outside giving a speech to a flock of local reporters and media outlets. Once inside the home I found the person who had been my contact and was nice enough to allow me to attend. I offered to help that evening in any way and she said she did have one thing that needed to be done; she asked if I could pass out "Huckabee for President" stickers to everyone. I guess all my years of passing our stickers for WBFJ at the Dixie Classic Fair did come in useful.

This is where I made what would be the most critical decision of the night. I could stay inside and mingle throughout the already crowed house and pass out the stickers which would require me having to start up conversations with people or I could go outside …

My Meeting With The Man Who Might Be President: Mike Huckabee (Part One)

Last week my friend Ginger emailed to say she was going to attend a Mike Huckabee fundraiser in Greensboro. The "gathering" is a $100-$2,000 per person event. Needless to say I didn't have the money to join her. So on a hunch I emailed the Huckabee folks and told them who I was (a young Baptist pastor) what I did (youth, college, and young adult ministry) and what I've done (served as a presidential volunteer when President Bush came to Kernersville in 2005 - you can read all about that in my blog archive for December '05) I also told them that I'd love the opportunity to meet Mike but there was no way I could afford the cost of the gathering. The Huckabee folks emailed back and said they would pass my email along to the fundraiser host and if they would/could let me join them then they would be in touch. A week went by with no word and to be honest I had forgotten all about it. Then yesterday I receive an email from the fundraiser host informing me that that…

My Time On The Farm

My friend Bob Lightner recently planted a church (May '07) and has found what I think is a very unique nitch for reaching the unchurched. His church is call "Philadelphia Fellowship" ( www.phillyfellow.com ) and is geared toward people who enjoy the outdoor, farming lifestyle. Not that you have to live or work on a farm to enjoy his church, you just have to have a desire to sometimes get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and want to slow down for at least a couple of hours a week. He took a barn on his 93 acre property and converted it into a very nice place of worship. Last night his congregation held the first of a two night living nativity. My family decided to go check it out and was very impressed with what they had done both as a Christmas outreach to their community and as a new church plant.

Having planted a church I know how hard it can be find your God given gifts and then find the right target group for those gifts to be fully utilized. Bob and the p…