Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nothing spiritual here...just tv

Okay so just for the fun of it, I thought I would throw my thoughts out here on all things new for the prime time this fall. I'll have to admit, the lineup seems to be pretty good and there are still some new shows to premier so I can't wait to see how the full season pans out. And the cool thing is, we now have a DVR so I can catch the shows that are on during youth or at the same time as another show I want to see...I love technology! So anyway, here goes nothing...

Survivor: Cook Islands- Everyone who knows me knows that Survivor has been my favorite show since it premiered in 2000. I have stuck with it through all 12 seasons, some of which were just "ok" and I have to admit, this year is shaking up to be a good one! I really liked the idea of a racial division among the tribes and those people who have nothing better than do but complain just need to shut up. IT IS NOT CREATING STEREOTYPES-no more than any other season...of course unfortunately this should cease to be an issue to night as Burnett throws in his next new "twist" and shuffles the tribes again. I say let it play out as it is until the normal merge time and lets see what happens. I think the season is going to be great favorite is Cao Boi, but I doubt he'll make it to the end.

The Amazing Race 10- I love this show, but I'll be honest, it is getting a little tired. You can only go around the world and have so many challenges so many times, but I'll stick with it this time solely for the entertainment of the Coal Miner family from about sterotypes, there is your example. They are hysterical least she is. Watch it and you'll see what I am talking about.

The Biggest Loser 3- I liked the idea of starting with 50 people from 50 states, but I am disappointed that they cut it down so quick. I know they sent those people home and they are still competing there, but only 2 will make it back to the ranch. what kind of message does that send to the other 34? I suppose they will all lose the weight, but it still doesn't seem right. I do like this show, I wish they spent a little more time on the people and less on the weigh in, but I think it is okay. This show is losing steam for me, but I will keep watching it because it continues to inspire me to keep fighting my own battle. The only issue I have with it is that obviously these people have an advantage that we don't. They are removed from their "worlds" for three months and excercise for 2 to 3 hours a day with a personal trainer, sure they are going to drop 15-20 lbs a week at first.

Well enough of reality tv though. I am beginning to get a little wary of it, and more keeps coming it lets look at the new dramas and comedies that I have liked so far.

Heroes- There were teasers all through the summer about this new show and I'll admit, the main reason I checked it out was because of those...however after watching the premier episode I am convinced that this is going to be one of the best shows of the season. Sure it plays on my being a fan of comics, but I think the story set up is really cool...people learning they have secret abilities. I look forward to watching this one pan out throughout the season.

Jericho-After two episodes, I am hooked on this show. I think it will rival Lost in its viewership this fall. The story begins with the return of a prodigal son to a small Kansas town followed by the appearance of a mushroom cloud in the distance. Was it an accident, an attack or what? Now throw the whole town into this with no way of finding out and see how the show develops. My only fear in this is how "close" it is to current events. I am pretty sure nothing like this will happen any time soon and it plays on people's fears, but the story is great. Where has the lost son been, who is the mysterous black man that knows so much? Was it just Denver and Atlanta? Watch and see what happens. I am hooked and will watch this all season.

Studio 60-I'm not a huge fan of Matthew Perry, but I do like Aaron Sorkin and the West Wing so I wanted to check this show out. I'll have to admit I was a little leary of this one at first, but have been hooked. If you ever wondered what it is like backstage at a late night show, check this out. The story revolves around two producers who are hired by the show that fired them 2 1/2 years ago after the current producer makes a live rant on the show and gets fired. You would be amazed though at how "true" some of the things were that were said in the speech. I thought it was great and have been watching ever since...can anyone say SNL? It sure reminds me of it just a little bit (circa when Collin Quinn got fired for using Weekend Update to tell Lorne Michaels what he really thought-insert your favorite "f-bomb" here live on tv). Definitely check this one out.

The Class-The only comedy to really catch my eyes this season (sure My Name is Earl and the office are still winners) is The Class on CBS Monday nights. The concept behind this one revolves around a guy who brings back together characters from his third grade class to celebrate the first time he met his girlfriend. I am a little disappointed in the promotion of some things I don't agree with, but the story catches me because we can all think of someone from our classes who is like the characters from the show. Definitely check it out.

So there is dose of what I have been hooked on so far. Some of the returners are going to be turning up the heat I am sure (Lost, ER-which started good this season, and more), and there are some premiering next week (Friday night lights), so I won't make my final decision until later. The only real disappointment for me was that they cancelled Invasion after one season. That show was really intriguing to me.

So what are your thoughts...are there others I need to see and am missing? Do you agree or disagree with me. Let me know.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rock the Universe 2006

So as I mentioned on September 8th and 9th we took the teens on our annual trip to Rock the Universe, a two day Christian music festival held at Universal Orlando resort. This is always one of our most popular trips each year...And one of the most tiring for me, but it is always awesome. This year featured the biggest names in Christian music on three stages. Most of the bands were pretty awesome, I got to see two of my favorites, Skillet (who have a new album coming out October 3rd-GO BUY IT!) and MxPx...But one in particular surprised me that he was on the docket...Remember Al Denson? Curiosity caught my attention and I was going to go see part of his show, but I had to take a teen to the hospital for dehydration so I missed almost all of the concerts Saturday night (but I did get to see the Ohio State Texas game since I was in the emergency room and there was a TV-could it have been divine intervention?) I can't add any pictures for some reason for now so I'll have to wait on those, but it was an awesome event and I can't wait until next year.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Okay, so as many of you know, I ran (walked) my third 5k this weekend. Each time I pull a little more time off the clock even though I still cannot run the full distance. I finished this one (the Marine Corps Aviation charity 5k) in 56 minutes and 29 seconds according to the official timing. This is my best time yet. I tried to jog at first (which is hard not to do when you have 2000 chanting Marines behind you and the race begins with a cannon), but had to walk about a quarter of a mile in because of TERRIBLE shin splints. If anyone knows how to prevent these, please let me know as they are killing my ability to jog a race. I was pleased overall and my time is slowly improving, but the best part is I am down 25 pounds since the beginning of the year. I still have a long way to go, but I'll make it! I did finally get some good running shoes after the race which should help with the shin splints some (thanks Runner's World of Pensacola!). Until next time...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Labor Day delayed...Part 2

I've been in youth ministry now for 10 years and Labor day weekend was actually a culmination of the time that I have spent in my previous two churches. As mentioned before, the main reason we went home Labor Day weekend was to visit the first church I ever pastored in, Main St. Wesleyan church in Elwood, IN. I always tell people it was where I learned how not to do youth ministry...For instance, it was where I took my teens to see a rated R movie when our go kart trip got rained out (come on Robin Williams is always good clean fun right? Did I mention the film was the Birdcage?)-the lesson learned there was always have a backup plan. Of course there were also the times when I took teens home after events one on one without another sponsor and the student was occasionally a girl-lesson learned...DUHHH!!! Thankfully the Lord protected me during my naivete and I am still in ministry today. It was good to see everyone at the church, but after five years of not visiting there, only four people knew who I was at first. I like to think it was because I look considerably different now with the bald head, goatee, and earrings. Once everyone figured out it was me though it was good to share old memories and see some of the teens who are now married with kids...Wow that makes me feel old. I don't know how much of an impact I had there, but there are still a few people around that I ministered to and I have to trust that God planted a few seeds in spite of my many mistakes.

After a large carry in dinner and visiting for a while I headed up to Marion to see a much changed campus and visit my old boss from Good Shepherd Wesleyan, who is now the assistant director for the center for life calling and leadership on campus. I tell people if Main St. Is where I learned how NOT to do ministry, Good Shepherd is where I learned how to do ministry. Here is a picture of Rick and I with his son Andrew in the background...I am beginning to think Andrew will never stop growing since he is almost a foot taller since we left Jackson a year and a half go...

Rick was not only a boss, but a mentor to me, and much of what I have learned about ministry, he has had a hand in. One thing I appreciate most about him is that he ALWAYS pushed me. He would never let me settle. Every time I would think I had reached the top he would follow up with "what can you do to make it better next time." This was frustrating at times, but because he challenged me I grew more in those 4 years than I did in all my previous time as a student and in the ministry. Rick has become more than a boss and mentor, he is my pastor, one of my best friends, and a brother. I think I miss him more than I ever thought I would when we left Jackson.

You have to understand something...For the first year and a half I was there, his family was my family and when Megan and I got married, Cheri (his wife) and the kids adopted us even more to their family. For that matter, we are family...As is illustrated by the picture below with Meg, Cheri, and Julia (who is now a senior-which seems unbelievable to me)...

Megan and I have already made a list of things that we have gleaned from this family that we want to pass on to our own. They are closer than any family we have met. I guess years in ministry will do that to you. Here is one last picture of the kids (sans Ricky who is serving in the US Army and is currently stationed at Ft. Hood. I have had the privilege of watching them grow up and they are like my own brothers and sisters and always will be!

So, we don't make it home very often anymore, but it is great to catch up with family and friends when we do. Thanks guys for being our family and for making this trip awesome.

Well obviously we are back here in Pensacola and last weekend meant Rock the Universe...So I'll have some pics and thoughts on that next time.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Amusement Parks

A little side note before I post the next batch of Labor Day pictures...We took the teens to Rock the Universe this weekend, which I'll blog about soon, but here is a blog I posted on my weightloss blog about amusement parks...

If there is anything that is tough for me being overweight it is not being able to ride roller coasters like I want to. Since I have gotten bigger I cannot ride some of the newer ones as well as some old favorites. This is really frustrating, at times embarrassing, and can make you want to eat more at times. BUT...This weekend we took the teens to Rock the Universe at Universal Studios Orlando and I am closer than ever to being able to ride again! I still couldn't get the buckle fastened on the Hulk or Dueling Dragons, but Meg and the teens pointed out that I was closer this year than last...Which is a good thing. I am walking my next 5k this weekend and it is a military sponsored one so I will get to hear the cadences to cheer me on! The battle continues, but I will not quit!

Labor Day...Delayed

Well I am a little behind on blogging right now as September has just been a blur with youth activities and more, so let me start getting caught up by sharing a bit from our trip home for Labor Day. The main reason we went home was to celebrate the 100th anniversary at Main St. Wesleyan Church (the first church I worked in), but we got to visit family and friends as well. Our first stop for the weekend, after driving all night Friday night was home in Frankfort. After a couple quick hours of sleep it was off to grandma's to go through stuff (which was VERY tough, but all a part of coping) and then to the International Sunflower festival. Now for those of you that know my home town, Frankfort is a very small town and honestly there isn't anything "international" or "sunflower" about it, but every other little town has a fall festival so Frankfort has to have its as well. It was cool though as my niece was in the baby competition and took home second place (although I think she should have won). Here is a pic of here with dad and the trophy, although she doesn't look really happy in this picture...

She looks a little bit happier here with Meg and mom...She really is growing up quickly and at times it is tough not being able to be around her, but it is so good to see her when we can!

One of the highlights of the sunflower festival for me though was getting to see my first grade teacher. There are only a few teachers who I count with having a significant impact on my life and Mrs. Case is one of them. She was the first teacher to set a Christlike example for all of her students and she was always available even when I got older. I am a bit bigger now than I was in those days, but it was great to see her!

It was a great weekend and this was just the start of it. I'll put up more pictures with the next post.