closed cornfield

i just re-watched the ’05 mustang commercial and found something within it that makes me laugh – i posted it in my entry of november 24th. when the image of steve mcqueen starts driving the mustang a disclaimer pops up on the bottom of the screen. you’re probably used to this because these disclaimers always pop up tell us how the track and driver were special and we should never try to do any of this stuff. here’s what this disclaimer said:

closed cornfield. professional driver

like there is such a thing as an “open cornfield.” it makes me laugh.

pink house shoes

every monday morning jessica, alan, and i meet at cc’s coffeehouse. it supposed to be a time of shaping the future of the youth ministry and discussing the over riding big picture concerns of ministry. sometimes we do this. of course, other times we just sit around, drink coffee, and laugh over what has happened during the past week.

yesterday, i arrived earlier than normal only to find out that alan had done the same thing. so we sat around talked with each other and with the other people we knew who seemed to “pop” into cc’s about every 10 minutes or so. while we were there a young lady walked in wearing a ratty pair of fuzzy pink bed room shoes. this was a little odd but the part that disturbed my thought the most was that the rest of her appearance was made up for the day. while, i couldn’t describe her for a police line up or spot her in a crowd, i do remember that she had her makeup on, her hair was nicely fix, and she was wearing nice clothes that were meant for going out into the world and try to impress someone (i don’t have many clothes like this which is why i remember it). she looked very nice, very awake, and very ready for a day around town, except for the fact that she was walking around with a fuzzy pair of pink slippers.

these weren’t even nice slippers that someone could actually think were supposed to be shoes. nope, they were the type that you just slip your toes in. they were the slippers that women put on to keep their feet warm when they are at home and don’t expect anyone worth impressing to show up – the second rate slippers that do a great job of comforting but look like you should walk around with curlers and a muu muu. the fuz on these things was at least four inches high – so it looked like someone had glued large pink cotton balls to the front of her feet. the shoes were also quite dirty. you could tell that these slippers had been used a good bit.

but apparently my slipper wearing friend didn’t care how they looked because she wore them anyway. she order her coffee and left gliding smoothly on her pink cottny foot appareal. it was nice to see a woman who didn’t care about shoe fashion and wasn’t willing to hurt her feet. rather, she was going to wear what she enjoyed. of course, there is also the other possiblity that she had a pair of “cute” shoes that killed her feet in the car and she would put those on as soon as she got to work. i prefer to think the former rather than the latter.

do this in remberance of me – the ooze – articles

article – do this in remberance of me by steve humphreys – the ooze

an interesting article that summarizes the nature of memory and then comes back to the LORD’s supper. do we “create consumers out of participants” in the LORD’s supper by focusing on receiving the LORD’s supper rather than focusing on remembering “HIS death until HE comes”? it’s a good question.

when we do the LORD’s supper as a youth ministry (which we only do when we are on mission trips or retreats and not able to receive it with the whole church family) we focus on the fact that it is a celebration. we are remembering until HE comes again. one day HE will come again and the feast will begin. we try to focus on LORD’s supper celebration toward the fact that the day of the wedding feast is fast approaching. one day we will be together forever.

sabbath retreat #2

to my knowledge i don’t have “sections” available on blogger for linking together thoughts and entries that are in common. therefore, so as to keep my thoughts and inner workings together on the “sabbath” retreat for youth that i am working on i will start posting things in this entry. of course, i’ll end up finding out how to do “sections” later and that will solve everything. until then i will simply re-edit this post each time.

here are the resources that i am presently working with:

i’ve talked with the seniors and juniors in our youth ministry and asked them if they wish to do a sabbath retreat. the response was great. i was worried that we might be doing too much and actually just making their lives busier than they already are. the teens responded by begging for us to do the sabbath. two teens who weren’t even going to be able to make it to sunday school (when they were going to voice their desire for the retreat or not) grabbed me before sunday school and said “yes! i want to do the retreat!” so it looks like we are going to do this whole thing in january.

desktop wallpaper #2

november 23rd i talked about the wonderful desktop wallpaper swapping feature on the mac and the fact that i had found the incredible national geographic pictures of the year. since then i’ve started using some other pictures that i like allot. brad is a guy who used to live in baton rouge and was a part of the youth ministry. he has a site full of pictures and i really like some of them – the non-people oriented ones because it just feels odd having pictures of people i don’t know as my desktop wallpaper. here’s the link if you’re interested –

p.s. since brad moved to north carolina three years ago and has since graduated and gone to college this post is not a blatant attempt to gain favor with one of the teens in the youth ministry.

new videos

this blog originally started as entries about me learning about how to make and use digital video within the youth ministry in which i am a part. i haven’t posted anything on this topic in a while so i decided to correct this problem. so here goes.

the dry video

    during november during the view we talked about the temptations of CHRIST. as a part of that we talked about those spiritually dry times that we all seem to go through. as an introduction to this i interviewed several people about the times when they feel spiritually dry and then i peaced them together.

JESUS project rules video

    ever year we have our fall/winter retreat at the judson retreat center. it is a great thing. the retreat center has two rules that we constantly have to remind the youth of 1) no gum whatsoever, and 2)don’t eat on the trays. we decided that it would be more fun to convey the rules in a video than just tell everyone. so we took a scene from the ten commadmets and then voiced over it. i recorded the voices digitally using audacity and then cropped them down the the small segments we needed. i then added the segments to the video cuts that i wanted. the kids thought it was incredibly funny. i stole the entire idea from vintage21. they this same thing with JESUS for a sermon series. we figured we couldn’t use JESUS for a rules video without offending people but using moses would be okay.

the church in operation

three of our church members are hurting right now. yesterday morning two of our church members (justin & brandy) were in a serious car accident on the way back from visiting justin’s parents (ric & teri who are church members who recently moved up to the oklahoma). brandy was killed instantly within the accident. justin suffered a broken jaw, severe lacerations around his right ear, and a fractured pelvis. thankfully barry their almost two year old son suffered only a view scratches.

i found this out right when my family and i were starting to leave mobile, alabama. ric, teri, justin, brandy, and barry are all friends of mine. i baptized brandy almost four years ago, i did justin and brandy’s premarital counseling and was then able to officiate at their wedding. about a year and a half ago justin, brandy, and i developed a dedication service for barry and then with their family and friends we celebrated barry becoming a new member of their family. they mean alot to me.

of course, i’m not the only one who thinks the world of them. ric, teri, justin, and brandy have been actively involved within the life of the church and the lives of the members who compose it. they have served in many different ministries (the youth ministry being just one of the ministries that they have actively worked and served within). they have been people that you could count on to help others who were hurting and in need.

now they are the ones who are hurting and in need.

parkview has responded beautifully. people have been within them every step of the way during their pain. the thing i’ve been most proud of has been that nobody been offering stupid, cheesy, meaningless answers like “everything will be okay” and “the pain will only last for a little while.” scripture doesn’t offer stupid answers like that. scripture never makes light of the fact that evil things are just that … evil things. JESUS doesn’t offer platitudes and HE never just says “it’ll be alright.” instead, scripture continually shows a JESUS WHO goes through the pain with you. HE doesn’t always answer “why” things happens rather HE stands with us, shouts out at how bad it hurts, and gives just enough strength and comfort to make it through the pain. humans can go through anything if they have someone to go through it with them. JESUS does that. one day HE will remove the evil. until then HE stands with those who call on HIS name and screams against the darkness.

right now HE is standing with the woodlings and many of HIS followers are standing with them also.

18 bullet holes

i’ve been listening to 18 bullet holes by waterdeep alot this evening – one reason is that a friend and former youth of mine recently commented on it in his blog and the other reason is that it has fit the evening pretty well. i’ve spent most of the evening with two friends and former church members (they moved to oklahoma) mourning the lose of their daugther-in-law this morning and praying for the recovery of their son (both of whom are also friends and former church members) from an automobile accident this morning. i’ll explain more later (it’s 1:04 a.m. here – the blog clock is never right). for now i’ll paste the lyrics of “18 bullet holes” by waterdeep:

18 Bullet Holes
by Don Chaffer

18 bullet holes in the body of a priest
they say he was eating a hot dog when the ammunition was released.
they say he was always fat and lazy but he was an awfully nice guy.
that�s just one more death to show you you never know when you�re gonna die.
you might be facing the beast

sometimes, GOD, i feel like i�m living in a bone grinding mill
and every time i hear the sound i can barely stand still
it�s a thing i can�t quite make out sometimes but it seems to keep getting louder-
one more body from the valley of the dry bones getting ground up into powder
against YOUR holy will

oh, GOD, it hurts so bad to love anybody down here
why don�t YOU come and help me out?
cause i can�t even see clear

the funny thing about the way a girl gets destroyed
about the way that deal goes down
is that everybody pretty much sees it coming at the sister
from all the way across town
and she isn�t always blinded, she isn�t always far astray
she just might not be thinking, she might be having a bad day
but when you choose, you choose, and when you drown, you drown

last night i dreamed that YOU swallowed me into YOURSELF
and i was floating on the sea inside
when i landed on the shore, i saw all these people that i thought had died
i hadn�t seen some of them for ages
they had left without a single word
and when i said something to them, not a single one of them had heard

they were all looking right through everything like it wasn�t even there
some were full of anger, some full of fear
and then I recognized that something very sad
but very beautiful was happening right here
they were all caught outside standing alone in a very heavy rain
and when a raindrop landed on my tongue
i didn�t need YOU to explain
that these were YOUR tears

oh, GOD, it hurts so bad to love anybody down here
oh, that�s right, YOU know so well
one thorny crown, three nails, and a spear
one thorny crown, three nails, and a spear

has the government gone mad?

today my two brother-in-laws, my father-in-law, and i went skeet shooting. this is not something i do a tremendous amount of the time but it is something that i enjoy doing when i get the chance. i get the chance about once or twice a year. needless to say i’ m not the greatest at it.

while i was there i spent a little time talking with the guy who was operating our range. he told me that if they closed the facility (which they might in december of 2004) the guy who owns the property will be forced by the e.p.a. to clean all the lead off the property from the shot that has fallen from the shotguns that are fired there. according to the e.p.a. the approximate cost for this clean up will be between $8 and $22 million. the second the range closes the owner will have to begin with the clean up. if he doesn’t then he will lose the property to the e.p.a.

i personally believe in keeping our environment as clean as possible. i truly believe that we have been given a scared trust by GOD the FATHER to be stewards of HIS creation. we have a responsibility to protect the earth – from those who would abuse it and from thus who would unintentionally hurt it. i understand fining and stopping those who would damage creation. of course, i also think that we should use our brains.

this shooting range has been going on for 50 years. yes there is a lot of lead in the ground because of that. i just can’t believe that even 50 years of lead shot would be so dangerous to the health of society that it must be removed at such a high cost. the e.p.a. says that the owner will have to remove all the trees from the area and then scrape three feet of the topsoil off. surely the resources that will be used to clean this site could be better used in other more environmentally dangerous areas. the real irony of this whole thing to me is that the e.p.a. says that if the site continues to be a trap shooting site then everything is okay. they only have to clean up the site if they stop being a trap shooting facility. if they continue then everything is okay and no clean up needs to be done.

i hate this because it’s stupid things like this that cause sensible people to dismiss all environmental concerns. the stupid things like this keep some people from standing up for the really important concerns.