Showing posts from 2006

My Final Book List Of 2006

The following is my final list of the books I read in '06. I had set a goal of reading 24 books and came up just short at 23. You can read which wee my top ten in one of my previous post. - Auschwitz: A Doctor's Story: Lucie Adelsberger - Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church: Mark Driscoll - Generous Orthodoxy: Brian McLaren - House: Frank Peretti & Ted Dekker - Into the Wild: Jon Krakauer - Into Thin Air: Jon Krakauer - It Came From Within: Andy Stanley - Left for Dead: Beck Weathers - Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia: Book 4): C.S. Lewis - Radical Reformission: Mark Driscoll - Seven Principles of Effective Ministry: Andy Stanley - Stop Dating the Church: Joshua Harris (re-read) - The Judge Who Stole Christmas: Randy Singer - The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of WWII's Most Decorated Platoon: Alex Kershaw - The Naked Christian: Craig Borlase - The Unquenchable Worshipper: Matt Redman - The W

My Year In Review: Places

For the next few 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 2006. The following are some of the places I traveled to in '06. Some were vacation, some conferences, some youth trips, and some missions related. So here are my top 8 place I traveled to in 2006: 1) Chicago, IL (vacation) 2) Williamsburg, VA (vacation) 3) Estes Park, CO (conference) 4) Magnolia / Dover, DE (mission) 5) Garden City, SC (vacation) 6) Alpharetta, GA (conference) 7) Elizabeth City, NC (mission) 8) Atlanta, GA (youth trip)

My Year In Review: The Movies

For the next few 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 2006. The following movies are ones which I watched for the first time this past year. Some were fresh and new at the theater while others were older movies I picked up on DVD. To qualify for this list, these movies all received at least 3 stars from me. Here are my top 14 movies of 2006: 1) The Prestige 2) The Lady In The Water 3) Superman 4) Rocky Balboa 5) V For Vendetta 6) Munich 7) X-Men 3 8) Cars 9) Capote 10) Sling Blade 11) Friday Night Lights 12) Kill Bill Vol. 1&2 13) Flags Of Our Fathers 14) Good Night And Good Luck

My Year In Review: The Music

For the next few 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 2006. I've probably listen to the least amount of music this year as ever mostly due to my fixation on our local sports talk station. When I do switch over from talk radio to music it's usually comes while driving around town or an a date with Sasha. Here are my top 7 CD's (why 7? why not?) that I purchased this year: 1) James Taylor "Live" 2) Charlie hall "Flying into daybreak" 3) The Beatles "1967-1970" 4) Johnny Cash "The Legend of Johnny Cash" 5) Matt Redman "Blessed be your name: Songs of Matt Redman" 6) Jars Of Clay "Good Monsters" 7) Michael Buble "It's time"

My Movie Review: Rocky Balboa

Today I treated myself to a pre-Christmas present of the newest (and last) installment of the very popular "Rocky" franchise. I'm a huge "Rocky" fan and I've been eagerly awaiting the opening of this film for some time. Most people I know have just rolled their eyes at a thought of yet another 'Rocky" movie (#6 if you're counting). To me the last 5 break down this way: I & II are epics, III & IV are action movies, and V is a drama. This newest combines all three genres into one great movie. It doesn't necessarily matter if you missed the first five movies because writer-director Stallone gives us a recap, but it certainly helps knowing the history as this whole movie revolves around his past. Rocky gives us flashbacks of previous films, showing us important places he shared with Adrian (Talia Shire, his wife that died). This time Rocky's reason for wanting to get back in the ring is to remove the pain in his soul from losing Adri

My Kid Inside

Working at a major hospital has it's privileges. A few weeks ago Beth learned that Santa would be arriving at 10:00am on her hospital Air Care helicopter on the 18th. The plan was to take Jacob up to meet beth and see all the action. Although I held it in pretty well, I was more excited then him. As Jacob and I arrived yesterday for the big landing, I heard the sound of a chopper above us as I drove up the parking garage. My heart begin to race as I just knew we were missing the landing. I stepped on the gas and Jacob asked, "Why are you driving so fast?". I simply explained that Santa waited for no one. Fortunately when we arrived on top of the parking deck next to the helicopter pad they were taking off to go get the big guy, not bringing him him. As I sighed a breath of relief, Jacob and I found a place next to the landing pad ready for optimal viewing conditions. Before long we heard the sound of a helicopter propeller in the distance. Then the moment arrived. Santa m

His Story

Occasionally I run across a blog and I think, "man, I wish I had written that". Yesterday was one of those days. My friend Ryan posted the following on his blog page and I thought is was worth passing along. This is "His Story"... "It was a fairly pedestrian day in Lower Archdale. At least nothing ostensibly out of the ordinary. This was the true up to the point I left the local Food Lion. I was encountered by something that I would have never anticipated. "Hey would you like to buy a cell phone?" said the man from across the way, "it has a camera and text messaging." In my mind I didn't know what to think. First of all, I thought it strange that someone would go to this length to make a sale. In support of this theory, the man was wearing a heavy work coat, and had a thick grey beard. So I moved to the next logical answer, he had stolen it. Now I'm a very defensive person. It's in my DNA. My father warns me about everything, all

My Football Fantasy

At this time I'm deep into my fantasy football playoffs. After a long a grueling season, all three of my football teams made the playoffs. My regular season finishes were 1st, 2nd, and 4th. This week will be the semi-finals for each league. I have been lucky enough to still be alive in each. can a triple crown be possible? Could I win the championship in all three leagues? A feat of such magnitude would but me along side the all-time greats: Jordan, Tiger, Brady, Jeter, and Ric Flair. I have to admit that when began the season, I was a little worried that playing in three leagues was a bit much. Then my friend told me was was playing in 10. So I guess if he's a "fantaholic" then I'd just be a casual player. Whatever you want to call me, I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to fantasy sports, I have a problem. I'm a very, very competitive person by nature. I want to win at everything. And If I don't win, I'll try harder next time. I also se

My Year In Review: The Books

For the next few weeks, I will be giving you my "Top (insert number)" list for a variety of things. From books, to movies, to trips, to purchases, I will list my personal favorites from 2006. I've never been a big reader but for some reason this year it has become a new habit of mine. I've tried to read a diverse collection of books so not to get to burned out on one particular style or genre. I set a pretty ambitious goal (ambitious for me, maybe not for some) to read 24 books. I ended up reading 23, which still exceeds my total book count for my life up to this point. The following list are my "Top Ten" books of '06: #1 "Into The Wild" by Jon Krakauer #2 "Confessions of a Reformission Rev." by Mark Driscoll #3 "The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of WWII's Most Decorated Platoon" by Alex Kershaw #4 "To Own A Dragon" by Donald Miller #5 "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer #5 &q

My Karate Kid

Waiting for anything stinks. Waiting in line. Waiting in traffic. Waiting to be seated at a restaurant. Waiting for hell to freeze over so you can cash in all those promises from various people you've met in life. Let's face it, we hate to wait for anything or anyone at anytime at any place. What makes it harder is when it's God telling you to wait. I've been drawn to two passages of scripture lately that I needed to hear but don't want to apply. The first comes from Psalms 27:14: "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." I guess God felt like there was no way I'd listen so he repeated Himself. There are times, like now, that I want to jump ahead of God or just jump period. I've done this many times in the past and each time my next prayer after jumping is "HELP!!". So I started to ask myself why am I so anxious for change. What is it that I'm wanting God to hurry up and do? What do I feel I'm having to

My Real Life

This is one of my favorite clips from "Scrubs". The scenario is a woman that is waiting on a heart transplant being perfectly comfortable with death. She says she imagines death being like a Broadway musical (which sets up this final scene)I guess I relate to this because whatever happens next for me, I'm really comfortable with. Here are the compete lyrics from the song. It's "waiting for my real life to begin" by Colin hay. Any minute now, my ship is coming in I'll keep checking the horizon I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing Come crashing down down down, on me And you say, be still my love Open up your heart Let the light shine in But don't you understand I already have a plan I'm waiting for my real life to begin When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened But in my dreams, I slew the dragon And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again And you say, just be here now F

My Reviews Galore: Nacho, Click, & The Judge

"Nacho Libre" My initial thought when I first saw this movie advertised was, "that movie's gonna suck". But then I learned it was loosely based on a true story so it begin to intrigue me. Not enough to see in the theaters but enough to rent. So last weekend I made the trip down to the local video store and picked it up. After the kids went to bed, Beth and I begin watching it. She was asleep in 15 min. I wasn't even tired and it was all I could do to stay awake. The premise is about a guy who becomes a pro wrestler by night to earn extra money to make better food for kids at an orphanage. It was made by the same guy who did "Napoleon Dynamite" which is 100x better then "Nacho". The movie never really took off because the jokes were the same all the way through. I thought the best parts were the strange sub-characters and weird camera angles ala "Dynamite". 1 Star "Click" I've always been a huge Adam Sandler fan sin

My Wake Karma

A couple of months ago I posted a blog about what a "potentially" good season Wake Forest might have in football this season. I changed the colors of my blog to help with the "karma" of what might be something special. The something special just happened as Wake Forest won the 2006 ACC Championship!!! This is only their 2nd ever football championship (1970 was their last). They were led by the ACC coach of the year in Jim Grobe and the ACC freshman of the year in Riley Skinner. Congratulations on a great season and I was proud to do my part, karma and all!

My No.100

To celebrate my 100th blog, I decided to post a video montage from "Scrubs". It highlights one of the shows secondary characters, Ted. Ted not only is the lowly hospital attorney (insert Beth), but he is also a member of a reoccurring quartet.

My Black Friday Adventures '06

3:16am Alarm goes off and I proceed to get ready, dressed, and brush my teeth before heading out. 3:24am Start the car and pull out of the driveway 3:45am As I drove past Best Buy and Circuit City, I noticed there must have been at least 300-400 people in line already at Best Buy. Since Circuit City is where I really needed to go, I made an executive decision to head on over there and get in line. As I got out of my car and approached the front of the store, I was amazed that their were only 70-80 people in line. I just thought it was because I was so early (they were to open at 5:00am). So I took my place in line. That's when things got weird. In less then 10 seconds after getting in line, I heard a mob of people behind me. I turned to see a few hundred folks walking up the sidewalk to get in line behind me. I immediately turned and faced straight ahead trying to figure out what just happened. How did I get in the middle of all these people? I tried to listen to the conversations

My Pre-Black Friday '06

I am a HUGE day after Thanksgiving day shopper. "Black Friday" as it is known in the retail world is my "running of the bulls". There are a few websites out there that have been posting what would be on sale at which stores for at least the past month. And I've been checking it everyday for updates. In the past, my routine has been: Kohls @ 5am, Staples @ 6am (sorry Charles), Circuit City @ 7am and Family Christian Store @ 8am. But this year, Circuit City has thrown a wrench in my plans, they are opening at 5am. So I guess I'll get up dark and early at 4 to go stand in line at CC. They have a ton of stuff I want to purchase for Christmas presents so I'm hoping that will take care of most of my shopping needs. I'm sure I'll run in Kohls and Target before heading home. I'll blog a full report on Friday. Happy Thanksgiving!

My Random Thoughts: The Office, Rocky, and Wake Forest

Check out the new "Rocky Balboa" Trailer: I can't wait!! I'm a huge "Rocky" fan. In my opinion, here are the five previous movies in order from best to worst: Rocky 2 Rocky 1 Rocky 3 Rocky 5 Rocky 4 The Office comes on at 8:35pm tonight and will last until 9:20pm. That's 45 awesome minutes!! Each week this season, every episode has been better then the last. Last week was no exception. Here are some great quotes in case you missed it: Michael: There she is. Jan Levinson. Jan: Michael. Michael: First thing in the morning. Love to start my morning with a hearty bowl of Jan. Jan: Michael. Michael (singing): Just call me Levinson in the morning, baby... Dwight: When you become close with someone you develop a kind of sixth sense. You can read their moods like a book. Right now, the title of Michael's book is "Something Weird is Going On"...colon... "What Did Jan Say?...The Michael Scott Story"... by Michael Scott with Dwight Sch

My Chicago Trip Part 4: Final Thoughts

As I have already said, Chicago as vaulted to the top of my favorite U.S. cities. That's really saying a lot because I love San Diego. Here are some random observations I made and my final thoughts on the trip/city: - Every one there was very friendly. From people on the street, to most restaurants, to places we visited, everyone we came in contact with was very nice. - There are a lot of single people in Chicago. I'm sure it is probably like that in most large cities, but I noticed it there more. More people shopping alone, walking alone, eating alone and just generally alone. - That place is IPod nation. I felt like we needed to go buy one just so we wouldn't look like tourist. Everyone had them and they were constantly listening to them. - We took our best cloths and we were still under dressed. It was the dressiest city I have ever been to. Everyone was always dressed business casual at all hours of the day/night. - Surprisingly it was a very clean city. The streets and

My Chicago Trip Part 3: The Restaurants

Chicago is world renown for their restaurants so Beth and I tried to keep our dinning choices very diverse. We have two rules when we go to a new city and are looking to eat: 1) We try not to eat at any chain restaurants that we have back home (ie: McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Chili's, TGI Friday's etc.) and 2) We try not to eat at any over priced bad food novelty places (ie: Hard Rock, Rain Forest cafe, Nascar cafe etc.)So here is my list of some of the better places we ate. They are not in order of which was best because they were all very good in their own way. - The Village (Italian) Chicago's oldest Italian restaurant. It has been family owned and operated for 3 generations. It is a 2 story building with 2 very different dinning experiences. The 2nd floor is where we ate and it featured a traditional northern Italy menu at affordable prices. The staff was great and the atmosphere made Beth and I feel as though we were back in Florence, Italy. The bottom floor was a bit m

My Chicago Trip Part 2: Places To Go

Instead of having one long mega blog that details all of my happenings while in Chicago, I've decided to break it up into 3 different ones. The first will be my top 10 places I went/did, second my top places I ate, and third my overall thoughts and final opinion on the trip and city. Top Ten places I went while in Chicago: #1) Wicked on Broadway I've never been to a Broadway play/musical before so I don't have anything else to compare it to, but from my experience with "Wicked", I'd go back every chance I got. The theater was gorgeous (Ford's Oriental theater). It was everything you'd think of when you hear "Broadway". The architecture and paintings were unbelievable. We had really good seats, front row of the balcony. I wasn't too familiar with the story of "Wicked" except that it had something to do with the "Wizard of Oz". Basically it's that story but from the witches point of view. It begins with the birth of

My Chicago Trip Part 1: The Beginning

Beth and I will be leaving for Chicago in just a little bit. While there, we plan to check out: The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, The Field Museum, The Museum of Science and Industry, The Hancock Observatory, The Shedd Aquarium, "Wicked" on Broadway, and the Jerry Springer Show. I'll blog my full report once I return.

My Vote Pattern

I ran across this site and thought I'd pass it on. It ask you 10 questions then tells you what kind of voter you are. According to the quiz I am a "Centrist". The red dot on the below image is me. Here's what it means to be a "centrist": CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice. Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what they describe as "practical" solutions to problems. Here is the link if you want to check it out:

My Man Show

On my way to drop Jacob off at preschool today, I was listening to my usual sports talk morning show. They shared a story about a gym in another part of the country that made a new rule of "no grunting allowed". They made the news because they recently kicked out a member for breaking the "no grunting" rule. They also have rules in place that prohibit no do-rags and bandannas. (For the record, I think do-rags and bandannas need to be outlawed nationwide because you look ridiculous wearing them) The female owner of the gym said she has made such rules so other members wouldn't feel intimidated. My suggestion: Make it a women's only gym and get it over with. A common theme that constantly seems to be popping up all over the place now a days is the feminazation of men. Society is trying their hardest to make more and more men act like women. From female clothing designers telling men that "pink" is the new black to no more grunting in gyms. Of all pla

My Renovated Life

As I shared with my congregation this past Sunday, I've been visiting a councilor for about 2 months now. Without getting into the long explanation as to why, what's more important is what I have learned about myself and what the causes were that put me there. I basically was empty. My tank was dry and I was running on fumes. The problem was the only tank I cared about was my spiritual tank. What I've come to learn is God has designed us all with five equally important areas of our lives. And when even one of them get neglected, or four in my case, your life as you know it begins to shut down. What are those five areas? Spiritual: "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Mark 1:35 We need to spend time daily communicating with God through prayer. I was trying my best to keep this tank filled and neglected the others. Physical: “For physical training is of some value...&q

My 1.2 Million Reasons Why Churches Suck

Yet another perfect illustration of a church that just doesn't get it.... There's a church close to where I grew up that I've driven by numerous times. This particular church is a single building on a very busy road. I'm not sure how big or small they may be but by the amount of time the church looks deserted, I think it's a pretty safe bet to say it's not the most active place on the block. So after many years of new construction and higher traffic numbers all around the church, the day has come that the road the church sits on needs to be widened. The only problem is to do this, the state must tear down the church to make room for the new road. So like most instances like this, the state offered this church a nice sum of money to move elsewhere. The amount offered: 1.2 million dollars. Over a million bucks to a church that uses this building no more than and average of 4 hours a week and has probably an average attendance of 120 people. Their answer to the sta

My Book Review: Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church

To make a long story really short, God has been tearing up my heart and soul with a jack hammer for the past 3 months. I felt He was doing some major renovations in my life that would ultimately lead to major renovations and improvements in my family, personal, and church life. As God has tore me apart, he has been very faithful to rebuild my life with care adding one piece at a time. The latest piece was the pastoring kick in the butt I needed. It came in the form of Mark Driscoll controversial book: "Confessions" which happens to be the story of the birth and growth of Seattle's innovative Mars Hill Church, one of America's toughest mission fields. It is also the story of the growth of a pastor, the mistakes he's made along the way, and God's grace and work in spite of these mistakes. Why the Controversy? Driscoll doesn't fit in any category neatly. The story of many "successful" churches have been tidied before going to print. Not here. Drisco

My Movie Reviews: The Prestige and Flags Of Our Fathers

Beth and I enjoyed a rare Friday night "date night" and treated ourselves to not one but two movies. (We had some free passes to the new Grande Theater in W-S!!!) The Prestige The Prestige is a masterful film with terrific storytelling and powerful performances by the cast. Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins)has once again demonstrated why he is one of the film world's brightest up and coming directors. Told in a narrative that jumps between various points along its time line, playing out like a magic act itself, the story is that of two magicians on the rise in their careers. The first, played by Christian Bale, is an expert in understanding the fundamentals of any trick, but lacks showmanship. The second, played by Hugh Jackman, is a master showman who is more entertaining than technical. A tragic series of events pits the two performers against each other in a battle of wits that spirals further and further out of control, consuming both of them and ev

My Observations From Today

I saw a bumper sticker on a SUV today that said, "Gas prices suck". This made me ponder two things: 1) How is that bumper sticker going to do anything to bring gas prices down and 2) If you think gas prices suck so bad, then why are you driving an SUV? Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-SUV. I own one and will probably always own one. But you'll never catch me complaining of what poor gas mileage it may get and how gas prices are to high. If I wanted to get 30+ miles to a gallon, I'd trade in my Xterra for a Sentra. While in the grocery store the today, I saw a bag of chips called "Support our troops". Seriously, that was the brand name. It said a percentage of proceeds from the chips would go to support our troops. I wondered: 1) how can .10 from a bag of chips make a difference and 2) how in the world will they "support" our troops by consumers buying their nacho chips? I picked up a new book today by Pastor Mark Driscoll. He pastors Mars H

My Springer Show

My grandma had two loves: soap operas and Jerry Springer. Even on her death bead nine years ago she would faithfully watch "The Jerry Springer Show" every afternoon. When Beth and I decided to use her trip to Chicago for a conference as a mini vacation, I immediately started to research all there was to see and do there. We have purchased "City Passes" that will get us in to such tourist favorites as the Field Museum, Hancock Observatory, Shedd Aquarium, Adler planetarium, and The Museum of Science and Industry along with tickets to see "Wicked" on Broadway. One of Chicago's more recent favorite attractions is "The Jerry Springer Show". It's based in Chicago and has daily taping during certain months. November being one of those months. They advertise that tickets to see it are free, all you have to do is request them online. So a couple of months ago, that's what I did. Today I got the call. My ticket request had been approved. Beth

My Vote

I sent in my absentee ballot today. Beth and I will be gone on election day so I wanted to make sure my voice was heard. I have voted in every primary and general election since Nov. of '92 and I wasn't about to miss one now. I was raised to believe, maybe not by my parents but by society, that if you were a Christian, you voted Republican. The church I grew up in would have pamphlets each election time you could "pick up" stating who you should vote for and why. I would take that into the voting box with me and vote away. That was 14 years and several elections ago. I've since come to the conclusion that God may not be a Republican. I found a great article back in 2000 from a guy who was feeling the same way I was. the following may be his words but they are eerily close to my thoughts: "I've always assumed that if you are a Christian, you vote Republican. I thought Democrats were inherently evil--a party of atheist, pro-choice liberals who wanted to cru

My Video of God/Cobert vs Dawkins

I think Cobert does a good job of stating the obvious, that man will never have all the answers and once you understand that, faith gets a lot easier.

My Great Train Adventure (and other things)

Jacob loves trains. And that is putting it lightly. So when we heard that the "Great Train Expo" was coming to Winston-Salem today, Beth and I knew we had to take the kids. It was held in the education building at the Dixie Classic fairgrounds. It featured people who came and set up their personal trains along with dealers and vendors selling train stuff. Jacob and Maria found the train exhibits fascinating but their personal favorites from the day was the train they could ride (see above pic) and a "Thomas the Train" set on a table that any kid that came by could play with. Which on side note made me feel good since that is what "Santa" is bringing Jacob, a train table to put his Thomas tracks on. Now going back to the train that Jacob rode, he may have loved it but I hated it. I don't know how I always fall into these things but I must have "ask me I'll do it" tattooed on my forehead. As I was putting Jacob on the train, the conductor i

My Death Wish

"Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side." Psalm 23:4 My two best friends growing up were David and Kevin. We went to school together, played sports together, worked together, went to our proms together, got in trouble together, and were best men in each others weddings. The list could go on and on about all the stuff the three of us got into. But as life would have it, eventually we went our separate ways. The ministry can be a busy place and it doesn't leave much room for friendships outside of church. David pursued his dream of being a cop and ended up working with the Durham Police. Kevin has a gift as a salesman and worked his way up to a big job with CBS in Phoenix. Sadly it had been over two years since I last spoke with David and over a year since Kevin and I had any contact. That was until this past Wednesday night. Kevin called just after nine pm. To say I was surprised to hear his voice was an understatement. My

My Wiffleball Weekend

Me, Brian, and our secret weapon, John "Veeno" Vogel arrived at "The American Children's Home" in Lexington, bright and early at 8:00am on Saturday. We were greeted by 15 other teams made up of over 60 players seeking the most coveted prize in NC wiffleball competition, the Eastern World Series Championship. As we surveyed our competition, there were teams made up of high school kids, guys decked out in their baseball / softball uniforms, old guys, a few girls, and some weekend warriors like ourselves who just rolled out of bed and decided to see what our bodies were still capable of. After going over the rules with everyone, the championship director pulled names from a hat to see which teams would play who first. Our first opponents were "The Slammers" at 9:15am. Our team name was "Ghost Man On Second" in tribute to the "ghost man" rules of wiffleball. Since our first game wasn't until the second round of competition (they had