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Showing posts from 2008

My Brush With Death

Jacob and I were traveling home from the Wake Forest basketball game last night when I decided to take a short-cut through some back roads that my pastor Mike showed me a couple of weeks ago. Now these roads aren't off the beaten path but they also aren't known for being in the safest of places. So as we are cruising down the road at a steady 45mph a sound similar to a gun shot going off in our car caused me to slam on brakes and swerve into a parking lot on the other-side of the road. It was then that I realized that it wasn't a shot but a very large object slammed into my hood and windshield. I spun the car around quickly to see what I had hit fearing as hard as that "bang" was I may have hit a person. It was then that I saw 3 teenagers standing on the side of the road. As my lights made contact with them they took off. It was now clear that I didn't hit something, something hit me.

I drove slowly up the road to see if I could find the culprits but no such l…

My Top Television Shows of 2008

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Here are my top television shows of 2008:

1) Dexter
2) Lost 3) Dead Like Me 4) The Office 5) My Name Is Earl 6) Scrubs 7) Ultimate Fighter

My Top Video Games of 2008

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1) Gears of War 2 (360)
2) Lego Star Wars: the Complete Saga (Wii)
3) Rock Band 2 (360)
4) Wii Fit (Wii)
5) Dance Dance Revolution X (PS2)
6) Burnout Paradise (360)

Christmas Came Early

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* Note: This photo was taken a few years ago at Augusta when a group of women decided to protest the Masters golf tournament. The guy in the back is holding up a sign that reads, "Iron my shirt". - Priceless

Christmas came a bit early this year as my pastor Mike Willard gave me one of the coolest and most unexpected Christmas presents ever, tickets to the 2009 masters golf tournament in Augusta, GA. Now the tickets for us aren't for the tournament itself, those are as close to impossible to get as any sporting ticket on Earth, but that are to the Monday practice round which is still very hard to get (it requires applying, getting approved, then being put into a lottery to see if you get any tickets.) Some folks wait years for tickets just to the practice rounds. The thing I am most excited about is the chance to see Tiger Woods. Tiger is currently my favorite athlete alive today and it's in my bucket list to see him pay one hole before I die. Thanks Mike!!

My Top Movies of 2008

1) Dark Knight
2) The Bucket List
3) Dan in Real Life
4) Juno
5) Bolt
6) Kung-Fu Panda
7) Bedtime Stories
8) Hancock
9) The Incredible Hulk
10) Baby Mama
11) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Most Disappointing Movies
1) The Happening
2) 7 Pounds
3) Prince Caspian
4) Semi-Pro
5) Step Brothers

The Streak is Over, Movie Reviews (Bolt & 7 Pounds), and more mindless thoughts...

The Streak

Jerry: Oh, I'm gonna puke.
Bania: Puke? That's a funny word. Can I use that?

Some people go through life surprised when they don't puke every time they get sick. I'm not one of those people. I hadn't thrown-up in over 25 years...until Tuesday night. There has been this a nasty stomach bug going around that leaves you head over toilet for several hours. Then as quickly as it arrives it's gone. Once Beth woke up with it Tuesday morning I knew it was just a matter of time before my streak was over. 25 years down the drain.


JERRY: Uh, wa?
ELAINE: What's the matter with you?
JERRY: Uh, I don't feel so good.
ELAINE: What's wrong?
JERRY: My stomach, I , I think it was that cookie.
ELAINE: The black and white?
JERRY: Yeah.
ELAINE: Not getting along?
JERRY: I think I got David Duke and Fahrikan down there.
ELAINE: Well if we can't look to the cookie where can we look?
JERRY: I feel like I'm going to throw up.
ELAINE: Hey, what about your vomit streak?
JER…

My Favorite Will Ferrell Movies

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Get use to the next couple of weeks being full of "My Top" or "My Favorite" list. I guess it's the end of the year so that's just the kind of mood I'm in.
Beth and I finally got around to watching "Semi-Pro" last night staring Will Ferrell. Although it wasn't one of his best, it is worth a rental (Thanks Netflix)
After the movie it got me pondering where were my favorite films "featuring" (cameos don't count) Will Ferrell. Well here they are...
1) Stranger Than Fiction
2) Blades of Glory 3) Elf 4) Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy 5) Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby 6) Semi-Pro 7) Kicking and Screaming

My Top Twelve Favorite Christmas Movies Of All-Time

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1) Christmas with the Kranks
2) Elf
3) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 4) Home Alone 2 5) The Santa Clause 6) Home Alone 7) Scrooged
8) A Christmas Story 9) The Santa Clause 2 10) Gremlins 11) Die Hard 12) Jingle All the Way
There's my list. I know everyone has a favorite and most people will disagree with mine but it's what I like. Am I saying my top 12 are the best? Nope. Just my favorites. I know a lot of people love the classics like "It's a wonderful life", and "Miracle on 34th street" but I see nothing appealing in them. I'm not saying they are bad movie, just not my taste. And while I also enjoy a good Christmas cartoon (Charlie Brown, The Grinch, Frosty, and Rudolph) I see those as more TV specials then full blown Christmas movies.

The Streak Continues

Kramer: "You shouldn't brush your teeth 24 hours before the dentist."
Jerry: "Isn't it you aren't supposed to eat 24 hours before surgery?"
Kramer: "No you have to eat! You need your strength!"

After my latest visit to the dentist I'm proud to announce that the streak is still alive: 34 years and no cavities. Beth may have the brains, looks, personality, likability, and money, but at least I have the teeth.

"King of Kong - A Fistful of Quarters" Review

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There is nothing I love to watch more then a good documentary. Not one that covers a topic that's been seen a hundred times before but one such as "Dirty Driving: Thundercars of Indiana" or the latest I just watched, "King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters". It covers one man's attempt to beat the world record high score for Donkey Kong. Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, just hear me out.

Billy Mitchel is the world Donkey Kong champion with a score of about 850,000. He set that record back in 1982. No one has come close to it since. In fact the 2nd place is about 500,000 points. He is the Michael Jordan of the competitive video game world, only Mitchell is portrayed as an evil and heartless villain. He once held 5 different video game world records at once.
Steve Wiebe has a wife and children. He just got laid off from his job and he fails at almost everything he does. Since he doesn't have a job, he finds something to do to pass the time. He sees…

Yet Again, More Mindless Drivel

I passed a gas station yesterday that had regular unleaded for $1.54.

This has been the coldest fall in recent memory for NC. It even snowed a couple of weeks ago.

Obama's not even in office yet and already he's solved the gas crisis and global warming. Way to go Barak!

ABC canceled one of the most creative television shows in the last 10 years when they pulled the plug on "Pushing Daisies" this week. It never had a chance once the powers that be decided not to bring it back last season when the writers strike ended. This is the second time ABC has pulled a show with a lot of promise. I'm waiting for them to cancel the final season of Lost. Actually they will probably wait until it only has 3 episodes left then can it.

Sports radio personality and icon Steve Czaben has been pumping up this HBO documentary called "Dirty Driving: Thunder Cars of Indiana" for the past few weeks. I finally had a chance to watch it and it may be one of the most entertaining docu…

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger - Review

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A few weeks ago a buddy of mine told me about a book he had recently read and loved. It was called "Dinner with a perfect stranger". The premise: A man who is not a follower of Christ receives an invitation in the mail to have dinner with Jesus. Did I mention this takes place in modern day?

As he was describing the book all I could think was, "This is exactly why I don't read Christian fiction. This sounds ridiculous." When he finished telling me how much it had enjoyed it I politely nodded and gave the ol', "Hmmm. I'll have to check that out sometime." Knowing good and well I would never pick the thing up.

Fast forward to last week. My pastor, Mike, and I were at a Wake Forest basketball game when he started telling me about this great book he had ran across for a $1 at a used book sale. He went on about how much he loved it. The name? "Dinner with a perfect stranger."

I've come to realize in life that when God throws up a suggest…

My Favorite Office Quotes Of Season 5 (5.2-5.7)

Jim Halpert: By any chance did you see Battlestar Gallactica?
Andy: No I did not. Was that any good?
Jim Halpert: Actually not. It was really so-so. [holds up stopwatch to Dwight] I mean I like all the crazy monsters and stuff, you know like Klingons and Wookies and all that but-- Sorry was, there something you wanted to add Dwight?
Andy: Is that anything like the original Battlestar Galactica.
Jim Halpert: You what's weird? It's practically a shot for shot remake.
Andy: Really? Huh. Cool.
Jim Halpert: The story's kind of bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calamazin and he has to return the ring back to Mordor.
Andy: [pause] That doesn't sound right...

Jim Halpert: Everybody, just wanted to make an announcment. Pam and I are engaged.
Pam Beesly: [over phone] Hi everyone!
Oscar: I thought you were already engaged.
Jim Halpert: Nope.
Angela: That was Roy. She was engaged to Roy.
Jim Halpert: Thank you, Angela.
Kevin: I got a gift for Pam and Roy, do I have …

Reviews, Updates, and Thoughts

I haven't blogged in a week. Not because I've been to busy or anything. I've had stuff to say I just haven't felt very motivated to type it out. I still don't but if I wait much longer I'm afraid I'll forget half the stuff I wanted to say.

Reviews
I've read three books in the past couple of weeks. One great, one not so great, and one that was better then expected. The first was "Confessions of a Pastor" by Craig Groeschel. Craig pastors the mega church Lifechurch.tv out of Oklahoma. I usually find most mega church pastors a little out of touch with the realities of a "normal" pastors life but this book was by far the exception to the rule. Craig hit the nail on the head chapter after chapter with his confessions. I felt like I could have written it. Not because I could be a great writer but because each "confession" he had was one of my own. His first chapter, "I confess I can't stand most Christians" hit the gr…

Land of the Lost

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No, I'm not talking about our post election country. I'm talking about the greatest Saturday morning television show of my generation. Well it is now being made into a major motion picture starring Will Ferrell. Here are the details so far:

LAND OF THE LOST July 17, 2009

Cast: Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Anna Friel, Jorma Taccone
Directed by: Brad Silberling
Screenplay by: Chris Henchy & Dennis McNicholas
Based on the Series Land of the Lost by: Sid & Marty Krofft
Producers: Jimmy Miller, Sid & Marty Krofft

Will Ferrell stars as has-been scientist Dr. Rick Marshall, sucked into one and spat back through time. Way back. Now, Marshall has no weapons, few skills and questionable smarts to survive in an alternate universe full of marauding dinosaurs and fantastic creatures from beyond our world—a place of spectacular sights and super-scaled comedy known as the Land of the Lost.

Sucked alongside him for the adventure are crack-smart research assistant Holly (Anna Friel) and…

Obama's Magic

This will be the last of my political rants. I promise. This was written a few weeks ago but I just ran across it today. It would be really funny if it weren't so true.

Obama's Magic
By Kimberley Strassel

And now, America, we introduce the Great Obama! The world's most gifted political magician! A thing of wonder. A thing of awe. Just watch him defy politics, economics, even gravity! (And hold your applause until the end, please.)

To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don't pay income taxes! How can our star enact such mathemagic? How can he "cut" zero? Abracadabra! It's called a "refundable tax credit." It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don't. Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as "welfare," but please try not to ruin the show.

For his next trick, the Great Obama wi…

Boortz Nailed It

I told Beth I wasn't going to comment on the results of our election for fear that I would say something that might offend one of my many friends that support our newly elected presient. But as I read Neal Boortz's commentary today (www.boortz.com) I couldn't help but pass it along. Neal nailed it in every way possible. I'm not to worried about posting this as it is pretty lengthy so I imagine most won't take the time to read it. For those of you who will, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

WELCOME TO THE OBAMANATION! By Neal Boortz

THE "I WANT MY MOMMY" ELECTION

I brought this up several months ago ... a slogan for this election. "I want my mommy." The phrase really says it all. This is not an election where the American voters were looking for someone to protect their freedoms. Instead, it was an election where people were looking for someone to take care of them. Self-sufficiency seems a bit old-fashioned right now. Why work so hard to be sel…

On Election Day 2008, There's No Place Like Home

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Does Humility Matter In A President?

The Audacity of Humility by Katherine Ernst
Does Barack Obama have any? Does it matter?
28 October 2008

The late Tim Russert once described his role on the venerable Meet the Press thus: “I view it very much as a national treasure, and I am the temporary custodian and try to take care of it, and hopefully pass it off in good shape one day.” That might be a healthy credo for a United States president to apply to his office, too. Sure, “custodian” may belie the presidency’s potential to alter the course of history in ways that are terribly profound: imagine a post–Stephen Douglas nation. But the word “temporary” is apt. The Founding Fathers’ insistence on making the presidency a term-limited and duly checked office, no matter how wonderful the guy at the top was, wasn’t just a nifty way to stave off monarchy but a way to make clear that the power was truly with the people: “Hey, Mr. President, you’re out in eight years—maybe four—but we’ll keep voting for your replacement and your replacem…

Warning: Political Content Ahead

My good friend Joel wrote this little piece and I thought it was worth passing along...

Get ready for the liberal supermajority. Not only does it seem likely that Barak Obama will win the presidency, but the Senate Republicans will lose so many seats that they will be unable to filibuster and block seriously flawed bills. An op ed piece in the Wall Street Journal says that this occurred two other times in our nation’s history: 1933 and 1965. The article speculates that Democrats will vastly expand the government to achieve the welfare-state liberals now can only dream of. Once in place, such legislation will be nearly impossible to repeal just as happened in the past.

Here’s a partial list of previously blocked legislation that you can expect the liberal supermajority to pass and the liberal president to sign into law:

1. Government run healthcare for all

2. Greater investigation and regulation of private industry

3. Empowering of labor unions through the elimination of secret ballot voti…

Orlando '08 (Sea World, Magic Kingdom, and Universal Studios / Islands of Adventure)

The family and I took THE trip that every family should take at least once in your life time (not because we love Disney but because it's just one of those things you should do before you die like running with the bulls in Spain). We made the 12 hour drive to Orlando for a few days of lines, humidity, and overpriced bad food. Don't get me wrong we had a great time and the trip was a blast but it did have it's low points. Instead of boring you with every detail, like where we ate and what we ate, I'll just hit the highs and lows.

High: Driving through the night we made it down to Orlando in 9 1/2 hours.
Low: Driving during the day coming back took an excruciating 12 hours to come home.

High: No lines at Sea World or Disney. The longest we waits at SW was 5min and at the Magic Kingdom 30min.
Low: Everyone was at Universal / IOA. We waited forever there.

High: The kids got to "meet" Mickey, Minnie, Spiderman, Curious George, Woody Woodpecker, The Grinch, The Cat in t…

New Stuff From Charlie Hall

I've been listening to the new Charlie Hall CD, "The Bright Sadness" pretty much non-stop. My three favorite songs from the CD have been put on youtube by the band. I thought I'd pass them along...

"My Brightness"


"Mystery"


"Hookers and Robbers"

Lifeway Wants It Both Ways

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I was in our local Lifeway bookstore yesterday http://www.lifewaystores.com/ to pick up a few needed items for church. While there I decided to grab the newest Rob Bell book, "Jesus wants to save Christians". As I was browsing through the book I noticed a warning lable on the shelf underneath it. It basically stated, "Read with discernment. This book may contain thoughts, ideas and concepts that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology blah, blah, blah."

I went home and searched the website that was listed on the bottom of the sign www.lifewaystores.com/readwithdiscernment and discovered that only four authors were being "discerned" against. Bell, Donald Miller, Brian McLaren, and the book "The Shack". Which oddly enough a fellow church member just gave me to read. It seems all four hold different beliefs then what Lifeway, a Southern Baptist Convention book store, agrees with.

I have some real problems with the way …

The Moral Dilemma of "R"

A couple of years ago Christian authors Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker merged talents and wrote the best selling book, "House", which is now being released in theaters. The hype around this film has come less from the fact that a main stream Hollywood studio is a making a major motion picture based on a best selling Christian novel and more from the movie's rating. The MPAA has given "House" a "R" rating and this has caused Dekker and many other Christians to question if the movie should be promoted to churches and Christians because of the moral dilemma it will cause. Dekker claims the movie has very little blood, no sex, and no profanity. He says the MPAA will not give him a reason as to why the movie was rated "R". Dekker also states that the movie's storyline sticks very closely with the book and he is pleased in the final product. I've heard other Christians say they will not see this movie now because of the rating. I think that&…

What Doesn't Kill Her Makes Her Stronger

When Maria was one she fell down our steps (13) at our house. When she was two she passed out at a Doodlebops concert because of a fever and had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Now that she is three I've been waiting for her next traumatic physical accomplishment. he wait is over.

Yesterday Jacob and Maria were busy chasing each other around the house. I warned a few time that they may want to slow down before someone gets hurt. (I sound like my mother) Finally the sounds of laughter were filled with cry's of pain. I was in the next room and just casually asked the kids what happened. Maria was crying but not in a kind of "emergency" kind of way. As she walked into the room with her hand over her mouth the first thing i noticed was the large amount of blood running down her arm. I rushed over and carried her into the bathroom. Once she saw the blood her tears and cry turned to curiosity as she casually asked me where was the blood coming from. After cleanin…

Mexico City Mission Trip Part 5: Final Thoughts

I've had all week to try and put into words what exactly happened on our trip. I can give logistical descriptions of what we did, where went, and what we saw, but there is really no way to accurately describe what happened. This blog will be a bit of a ramble as I am still trying to collect my thoughts. To say this past week changed me would be an understatement.

To be honest I hated Mexico City, but I fell in love with the people there. My heart broke for the hundreds of thousands of lost college students but I found excitement in the fact they all were so open to hearing what you had to say (after we showed them we cared about what they had to say). My heart broke for the people of Tepito, who have been so blinded by the evils of a false god, but joy in the fact that one small church believes that God can still make a difference in such a dark place. My heart broke for the millions of homeless children, many of who we found digging through dumpsters looking for food, but I was mo…

Mexico City Mission Trip Part 5: Passion World Tour

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Friday and Saturday found us at the original reason why we came 2,000 miles to Mexico City in the first place, the Passion tour stop. Back in April a group from our church attended Passion: Atlanta and decided then we would do everything in our power to make it to Passion: Mexico City as volunteers. So we started the process in May of connecting with the good folks at Passion and that evolved into partnering with En Foque to create a full blown mission experience.

Both days at Passion were very long. We'd get up by 6:30am to catch the metro to the arena and wouldn't get home until after midnight. On Friday we had no idea what our jobs would be, all we knew is that we'd be doing some kind of work with Passion.

Once there we found several other volunteers, most were local / nationals along with missionaries from En Foque and other surrounding mission organizations. A volunteer coordinator grabbed six of us NC guys and took us back to the dressing rooms and green room. Our job …