old testament card store
Monday April 30th 2007, 8:08 am
Filed under: church, humor


check out bizzaro for more great stuff.

(ht to bobbi)

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international reconnection weekend
Sunday April 29th 2007, 10:55 am
Filed under: personal

weird — reconnected with three friends from other countries this weekend, all disconnected from one another.

first, when i landed in newark, new jersey friday evening (i presented the CORE in newark on saturday), i was standing in baggage claim, waiting for my bag, and i heard someone say my name. i turned to find massao standing there. now, try to follow this: massao suguihara is a brazillian pastor and church leader who’s also the brazillian rep for integrity worship music. and massao is interested in bringing more youth ministry training to brazil. we met, however, in england, at soulsurvivor, last summer. we chatted it up in the speaker’s lounge and made plans to communicate via email. we’ve had major glitches in email communication all year, including this past week. so it was truly odd and out-of-place to run into him in baggage claim in the newark airport.

friday night, the wonderful newark host of the CORE — mike flavin — took me and several others out to dinner. along for dinner (and attending the CORE the next day also), was a friend of mine from ireland, graeme thompson. graeme is one of the development officers for the youth ministry department of the presyterian church of ireland, and i’ve been over to speak for them several times in the past. graeme was in the u.s. to attend the princeton forums on youth ministry this coming week.

then, last night i flew up to buffalo (beautiful buffalo!), where i’m presenting the CORE today. but i took the advantage of a few empty hours last night to drive into canada (to st. catharines) and meet with my friend mark dowds. mark is from ireland, but has lived in canada for years. he has done consulting for for ys for years, and is part of the ‘young notorious sinners’ group of guys i meet with each year.


competitive bunny jumping
Saturday April 28th 2007, 7:18 am
Filed under: humor

occasionally, one stumbles onto a sport of which one had absolutely no knowledge of said sport’s existence. such is the case with this video, from the danish championships in bunny jumping. no — before you start thinking along the lines of “jackass” and assume the sport is cruel anti-PETA 16 year-old guys jumping over bunnies, it’s a combination of horse jumping and a dog show, but with bunnies. watch and see. be amazed.


a few nifty generators
Friday April 27th 2007, 6:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

hollywood sign generator. fun ministry uses, i’m sure.

also some fun ministry uses for this one, the “word puzzle generator” (really a wheel of fortune thing, but the creators are likely avoiding copyright infringement).


modern art generator (i made this lovely piece of modern art, which, in a nifty bit of e-tailing, i could order on the site as a print for my wall, were i so inclined). really fun to play with.



unfortunate headline of the day, so far
Friday April 27th 2007, 6:27 am
Filed under: humor, news

it may be a simple little story about a tiny soccer team in croatia that got paid by sheep, for each goal scored. but the headline is highly unfortunate.


new music recommendation
Thursday April 26th 2007, 3:33 pm
Filed under: music

jon mclaughlin: indiana. wow. just got this in the mail from some record label. didn’t have any expectations whatsoever. but it’s fantastic! sounds like a piano-based john mayer to me (more than the billy joel and ben folds mentions in the accompanying press page). easy to listen to, but not sleepy. fantastic voice, great songs.


“the look”, male youth pastor version
Thursday April 26th 2007, 11:25 am
Filed under: youth ministry, youth work

vonage ad.gif
no, i’m not running ads on my blog. no, i didn’t place this vonage gif on my blog because i want you to know about vonage.

this ad caught my eye this morning on another site for one reason alone: i thought it was a youth ministry ad, which surprised me on the site i was on. seriously, that guy is “the look” exactly, perfectly, for an employed male youth worker. he MUST be a youth pastor. really, he could be the poster-child for the quintessential 2007 dude youth pastor look. all he needs is a ragged baseball cap, sometimes worn backward.

the casual short hair.

the goat.

the nominally hip (at least they were four years ago when he bought them) round-ish glasses.

the slight paunch, brought on by one too many pizza nights.

this guy likely attends the national youth workers convention, or is the twin of someone who does.


jesus junk of the month award
Thursday April 26th 2007, 9:36 am
Filed under: church, humor

i’ll start with this: i’m not sure if this qualifies for the “jjotm” award or not. to qualify, it has to be real stuff, and intended for consumption by christians. i don’t award the “jjotm” to parodies or skewers.

and i’m not sure which this is. mousing over the purchase button brings up a “coming soon” message. and there is a comic edginess to these that makes me actually hope they are not real! but [heavy sigh] they’re just not that different than much of the other jesus junk on the market (like these precious “jesus and the kids” figurines you’ve likely seen). so it is with a mixture of hope and horror that i award the coveted jesus junk of the month award to to ‘we are fisherman.com’ for their series of jesus figurines. the complete list, at this point, includes:
i am strengh (bullrider)
i am faith (football player)
i am freedom (biker) (my personal favorite, btw)
i am hope (homeless dude)
i am victory (soccer player)
i am peace (dove carrying jesus in army camo. really, this is one of the ones that makes me think — and hope — these are fake!)
i am spirit (surfer)
i am youth (skateboarder)
i am life (climber)


(ht to james at think christian)

family guy barf-o-rama
Wednesday April 25th 2007, 6:06 am
Filed under: humor, tv/movies

why, yes, i am juvenille. thank you very much.


excellent teenage brain overview article
Wednesday April 25th 2007, 6:06 am
Filed under: youth ministry, faith, youth work

we linked to this in the ys update email this week (youth workers, do you get that? it’s a sweet e-newsletter, comes out each wednesday; full of helpful links and other bits and baubles. worth signing up for, here.). but for those who may have missed this, here’s an excellent overview article on teenage brain development and what researchers are learning.

i’m passionate about this subject these days, because i believe there are HUGE implications for adolescent spiritual development, how we teach, what we measure and expect, and all kinds of other stuff. i expect to be blogging about this quite a bit more in late may, as we have an adolescent brain specialist coming as our special guest at our jh pastors summit next month.

a tease from the article:

In recent years, researchers have finally been able to get real insight into the workings of the brain thanks to magnetic resonance imaging (mri), using the technology to map blood flow to the areas of the brain that are activated by exposure to various stimuli. By scanning the same group of adolescents over a period of years or by comparing the brain responses of teenagers to those of adults, researchers are putting together a portrait of adolescence that confirms what many parents have always suspected: adolescents might as well be a whole different species. They are, as one neuroscientist puts it, a “work-in-progress.”


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