Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dine to Donate

Dine to Donate is a cool way to eat at Applebee's ( and support dedicated police officers serving abroad. 10% of your bill will be donated to the Centurion Project
when you present a flyer on February 13 and 15, from 12 pm to 10 pm at certain locations. For more information and to receive your flyer, contact Jason Hall at 480-812-5411 or email

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


In case you haven't heart of this, is a good alternative to iTunes for most MP3s you’d want to download, even some of the more rare indie stuff. The MP3s are all DRM-free, unlimited use and transfers, unlike iTunes, and, with one of their subscription plans, you can pay as little as 30 cents a song.

But wait! There’s more! Click here to get 50 free MP3 downloads just for trying the service. And when you’ve downloaded your 50 songs, you can either continue with them at $10 a month for 30 downloads or just cancel your account and you won’t be charged a thing. I did it and it really does work that easily!

So definitely give emusic a try if you haven't already!

Fundys....say what?!

I recently ran across a great blog post by Shawn Wood (author of a phenom book entitled "200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One"- GO read it!) that speaks a lot into the Repulsed sermon series my church is currently doing. I really encourage you to read Shawn's post below....

"On January 27th, 1991 Jesus saw fit to save me. I was seventeen-years old and my life radically changed. Jesus captured my soul and as a result he started changing my heart, my mind and my strength.

As a teen-ager it was as if I had just inherited a Lamborghini and had no idea what to do with it. As I became aware of all of the sin that was around me I put the car in 5th gear and raced down the fundamentalist highway of legalism.

I immediately gave up all “secular” music and ingested a steady diet of Petra, Whitecross and Kieth Green. I ditched all of my shirts with buttons for shirts that said things like, “This Blood’s For You”, “God’s Gym” and “Jesus, never leave home without Him”. That’s right I was that guy.

A few years later as I began to “grow” I learned more about all of the things that Jesus Freaks were supposed to wear, how we were supposed to speak, what hair-styles we were supposed to have and who we were supposed to hate. I graduated from Bible College and headed to seminary as a 21 year old who owned eight suits, parted his hair with lots of gel and could hate with the best of them while listening to “Armed and Dangerous” on my Sony walk-man. Seminary here I come. I was a Fundy and the code of fundy’s is:

To count the number of curse words in television shows and boycott is too many.
To bash secular music and film artists and only listen to “Christian” music.
To wear suits that cost more than a young college kid makes in a year.
To talk about reaching said college students while in that suit.

A few years ago I began to “grow” again and I learned about all of the things that the emerging generation was supposed to wear, how we were supposed to speak, what hair-styles we were supposed to have and who we were supposed to hate (well passive aggressive hate that is we just make fun now). I started attending church conferences and reading blogs and as a 31 year old who owned one suit, but lots of cool and hip shirts and jeans, messed up my hair with lots of product and could hate (make fun) of people with the best of them while listening to “Sufjan Stevens” on my I-pod. U-2 fan club here I come. I was a Hip and cool Fundy and the code of the hip and cool fundy’s is:

To drop a few curse words on your blog or “admit” that you did in your sermon.
To bash Christian music and only listen to secular music.
To wear clothes that cost more than the average Kenyan makes in a year.
To talk about how we need to give more dollars to AIDS support in Kenya while wearing said clothes.

Seems to me that we have the same issues, we have just replaced them with different methods. And though we may have put some of the “fun” back into fundamentalism I think it still smells bad to God."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Need a job or need someone to do a job?

Then you should definitely check out Elance !! I was absolutely amazed by this site! Elance is a global marketplace for freelancers. You search for a job or you post a job you want done, and freelancers around the world will bid on it in a matter of hours. I'm looking into it for myself so I'll see what happens!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We're in this together!

This simple, yet profoundly convicting video does an exceptional job of capturing the essence of many problems we choose to ignore on a daily basis. One of the more powerful elements is that all the footage on the left is of the Hillsong members doing those things that Joel (the narrator) is talking against. Praying this and the documentary to come will truly trigger a world-altering revolution!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fun words

Haven't posted any "Words" in a while so here are some fun ones from Merriam-Webster's open dictionary ...

zephyr (verb) : to move quickly
The man was zephyred into a van by a dark figure.

trafficated (adjective) : containing or supporting traffic
The highway becomes heavily trafficated during rush hour.

yardsail (verb) : to visit or to seek yard sales
Honey, do you want to go yardsailing Saturday?

sandbox (noun) : [U.S. military slang] the combat theaters of Afghanistan and Iraq

masseous (adjective) : having the form of or consisting of mass
Upon examination, the physicist determined the substance to be entirely masseous in nature.

grossify (verb) : to cause feelings of disgust
Ewww you totally grossify me.
irritainment (noun) : entertainment that is annoying
Brittany Spears provided enough irritainment for 2007.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Changing of the guard....

Wow....hard to believe today is THE Inauguration! Someone recently asked me how I felt about Obama becoming our President. The first thing that came to mind was hopeful. Yes, hopeful. Granted I don't agree with all of his views, but I truly believe God will use him as an instrument for positive change in our country and the world. He's an excellent communicator and I believe he'll be one to keep the conversation rolling!

Maren and Jamie Showkeir, co-authors of "Authentic Conversations: Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment" last month applied some of their ideas about the power of conversation to establish truth and create change, in an excellent piece in the Chicago Tribune. The piece "Obama to the world: Let’s talk" , the Showkeirs write: "In our work with organizations, we encounter many people who, as Obama said in his acceptance speech, are "cynical and fearful and doubtful" about what can be achieved. We, too, have been accused of naiveté (and worse) because we advocate choosing optimism and commitment even when a disappointing history whispers, "This will never work." And we’ve seen firsthand the transformation that can happen when people engage in authentic conversations. In this regard, the president-elect is doing a lot of things right."

These include:
•Obama avoids labels.
•Obama understands that authentic conversations require the courage to raise difficult issues.
•Obama recognizes intention is important. Intention answers the question "What do we want to be in this world?"
•Obama believes in collaboration and partnership.

I have no doubt it will be an eventful and memorable presidency to come! And I definitely encourage you to check out the article as well as to check out their book "Authentic Conversations: Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment" and add it to your reading list. It's already on my "books to buy" list!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Looking in the mirror....

I heard a very challenging message at Third Format ( last night on the sin of prejudice. It was such a timely reminder to me that those who aren't believers are of equal value and importance to God and so should be to us. Christ's death isn't only a statement of the extent of God's love, it's also a statement of the worth He places on human beings… all human beings… every single human being. So that whenever you're around people of any kind, shape, color, religious or sexual preference, you're around that which is sacred.

Fred Rogers once said that he always felt like bowing when he was around any human being as if he were in the presence of royalty, because, in his worldview, he was. This is what it means to preach the gospel to every person. It starts with walking alongside people and treating them as those who have been included in that gospel – that they are someone for whom Christ died. Imagine what the world would look like if each of us did this?!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Capital Lights are coming to Tempe...wheeeee!!

Remember these guys I blog raved about back in December?

Well they're coming to Tempe on 2/4 & 2/5. Capital Lights ( will be headlining and A Rotterdam November (
and Philmont ( to open. Tickets are a mere $5 (not bad for 3 bands). I'm going to check if tickets need to be purchased in advance and will let you know.

Wednesday, February 4th
Bethany Community Church
6240 S. Price Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85283
Doors open @ 6:30 pm / Show @ 7:00 pm
Thursday, February 5th
Arizona Community Church
9325 S. Rural Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85284
Doors open @ 6:30 pm / Show @ 7:00 pm

Slumdog Millionaire

Okay, last night this li'l underdog flick swept the Golden Globes, so it further substantiates why I am telling you to do everything in your power to see it!! The movie is striking in so many ways, including its unusual approach in depicting poverty. While most movies sentimentalize or pity the poor, this movie takes a view that’s not all that different from that taken by Jesus in the Gospels.

Based on an Indian novel by Vikas Swarup, the movie centers on Jamal Malik (Dev Patel), an 18-year-old orphan who is on the verge of winning millions on a televised Indian game show. With each trivia question, the picture flashes back to an earlier time in Jamal’s Dickensian youth, detailing the extraordinary education that lead to his knowledge of the answers. who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Intrigued by Jamal's story, the jaded Police Inspector begins to wonder what a young man with no apparent desire for riches is really doing on this game show? When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out...

Director Danny Boyle filmed “Slumdog Millionaire” on location in India, and much of the movie takes place in the poorest sections of Mumbai. Most of the child actors in these scenes are actual slum residents. One reviewer states, "What’s startling about the scenes is not only the festering milieu – the children skip over channels of raw sewage – but also the way Boyle allows the kids their youthful exuberance. He recognizes both their misery and their vitality. Hardly the sallow urchins of a Sally Struthers infomercial, these children are given their full humanity."

It seems to me that throughout the Gospels, Jesus encountered the poor in much the same way. Luke in particular presents a Jesus who spent time not with the powerful and wealthy but rather the lowly and in need, whether it was the paralytic who was lowered through the roof by his friends or the widow who lost her son. In both cases, Jesus approached them not as a superior being who had come to relieve them of their pitiable suffering, but as a caring, fellow sufferer – as a friend.
Interestingly, the few negative reviews “Slumdog Millionaire” has received have taken the movie to task for exactly this sort of egalitarian worldview. Some reviewers have accused Boyle’s picture of being too “glossy.” Owen Gleiberman, writing for Entertainment Weekly, even said that it “ennobles poverty.” Hardly! Like the Gospels, “Slumdog Millionaire” ennobles the poor! YOU'VE GOT TO SEE IT!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Change is coming....

Let's just say I've been working on changing up the look of my blog, but this isn't it by any means! I thought it would be easy enough to find a template from another site and just follow the simple 1-2-3 instructions (am I naive' or what?! haha), but there's a few things I didn't realize. Most importantly, do NOT let your spouse who knows even less than you about blogs try to help you. He really, truly meant well, but he didn't know once you confirm a new template, you lose your widgets. Yeah, so not only did I lose my widgets (my blog role went "poof"), I seriously lost my mind in the frustration of it all. But it's a new day and I know I'll get this figured out eventually. So this is the "in-between look" until I can figure out all the finer points of changing to a different blog template! (Anyone else wonder why Blogger offers so few template choices?!) But if anyone has any advice or would be willing to walk me through this, I'd be incredibly appreciative (and so would Kirk! ; )

Monday, January 5, 2009

Be inspired!

I know I'm late out of the gate, but NEW YEAR BLESSINGS to all of you!! And many thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog!
What I'm sharing today is an amazing true story of kindness and hope (it's a bit long, but so worth the read!) What can we do on a regular basis to model Christ like we see in this article? Imagine if we invested and believed in others like this in our own communities?! Wow! Think of the possibilities!

There are some games in which cheering for the other side feels better than winning.
by Rick Reilly, ESPN
"They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team's fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.

It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

"I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!"

And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?" And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!

"I thought maybe they were confused," said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). "They started yelling 'DEE-fense!' when their team had the ball. I said, 'What? Why they cheerin' for us?'"

It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. "We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games," says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. "You can see it in their eyes. They're lookin' at us like we're criminals. But these people, they were yellin' for us! By our names!"

Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game's last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.
After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that's when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. "We had no idea what the kid was going to say," remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank You, but I never would've known there was so many people in the world that cared about us." And it was a good thing everybody's heads were bowed because they might've seen Hogan wiping away tears.

As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.
The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know."
And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they'd never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.

Anyway, with the economy six feet under and Christmas running on about three and a half reindeer, it's nice to know that one of the best presents you can give is still absolutely free.