Saturday, June 23, 2007

Movie review-Evan Almighty

Had the chance last night to check out the new Steve Carrell movie "Evan Almighty" with the teens. I have to say it was great. I knew it had a little bit more of a religious spin on it that "Bruce Almighty" but I had no idea it would be an hour and a half full of teachable moments.

Plot wise it is a little slow and sort of predictable, but honestly I was looking for teachable moments this time around. Needless to say I was not disappointed. There is so much material that can be used for discussion about faith in this movie. I personally found that there were several moments where you just have to say "wow"-one in particular for me came in a conversation with Evan and God where Evan makes a comment about "his plans" and God just laughs. I have often wondered how God views it when we talk about "our plans" and I sort of picture it happening this way. That was just one moment, there are several others that you can use.

Family wise I think you are okay with this one, the kids will find the animal humor funny and I only counted one swear word, but there are a couple of references to human/animal anatomy...use your discretion though.

All in all I have to recommend this movie. I think it is worth seeing on the big screen. So here's the final is a bit predictable and is not a blockbuster by any means, but the teachable moments and faith conversation that will come after it make it a winner for me. Grade A+

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Movie Review-Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I'm not going to to lie. I liked it. Again though, I am a comic book junkie who grew up reading Marvel. While the FF have never been my favorite super family I felt like they did a good job with the treatment of the storyline of the books. It sticks to the "dysfunctionality" of the team just like the original comics . It also brings the enigmatic character of the surfer to life which of course is a key part of the FF story lines. I will have to admit though, I was disspointed to see Galactus brought to life as nothing more than a big cloud. Of course we also saw the return of Dr Doom since you can't have a good FF storyline without the Latverian villain.

With all that said, here is what I think. It was definitely better than the first, not as bad as Daredevil, and just a bit better than Ghost Rider. The storyline was decent and although it is a bit campy at times, remember it is a movie about comic book characters. It's not an award winner by any means and truth be told Jessica Alba doesn't look good with a blond wig and blue contacts (okay so she still looks good but it just doesn't work for her). All in all though, not too bad. Grade B-


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What a ride...

Help me to have this same passion, this same fervor, this same desire to pass on the legacy of a life dedicated to following you. Thank you for the example that Mike set for all of us in youth ministry, may we all catch the same type of vision of reaching people. Help us Lord!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

weight loss battle 2007-25 weeks in

Not much to report this week. I am back down 3 lbs putting me at 339, but my body fat percentage is up which is frustrating. I am still having problems being motivated enough to go to the gym and I am tired all the time. I am trying to switch up my diet some for more energy as well. So I guess its good that I am down three, but I still have a long way to go. Oh well, I'll get there eventually!

A Little Leisure Reading...

One thing that I have enjoyed about being done with my masters is the ability to read something just for the fun if it without having to worry about reporting on it or trying to decide whether I understand it or not. With that in mind I have been knocking off novels left and right. Here are my thoughts on two that I have just finished.

The first book is "Kingdom Come" by LaHaye and Jenkins and is the final book in the Left Behind Series. I have been a big fan of the series and have always dropped whatever I was reading to read the newest book. The only books I have not read yet are the prequels and the teen series. Since I loved the series, I eagerly grabbed a copy of this book as soon as it came out. I'll have to admit, I was a little bit disappointed. It is a good read, but seems a little anti-climactic. There just wasn't as much plot as I would have liked to have to have seen. I felt that the authors were stretching a bit to describe the millennial kingdom (no one knows really what it will be like) and although they were using scripture they obviously had to use some imagination which I felt took away from the book. Without spoiling any of the plot the book basically brings all of the favorite characters back together during the millennium and deals with how they handle reaching those born post-tribulation and the opposition that comes from those who follow Lucifer who will be released one last time at the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. It is a decent read, but I would have stopped with the "Glorious Appearing." Grade C-The second book "Transformers" by Alan Dean Foster. This is the official novel based on the upcoming movie. Of course in anticipation of the movie I HAD to read this book. The book is almost always better than the movie so I was really excited to read this book. I have to admit though, I am hoping the Hollywood special effects of the movie make it more exciting than the book. I honestly was a bit disappointed and now my excitment for the movie has dropped somewhat. There were a couple good action sequences in the book, but other than that, it just didn't carry it for me. The whole book builds up to one final climax (as it should) but a really good book will keep you through the whole thing. More frustrating to me was the fact that Optimus Prime and Megatron don't appear until later in the novel. All in all I hope the movie is better. Grade D

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kid jump

final camp video for fun...let it be known, no junior high students were harmed in the filming of this much as we would have liked to harm them sometimes...enjoy!

camp slide-2007

We hit a waterpark in the middle of the week as a "getaway" for the group...on a dare the students asked me to go down the freefall slide, which always winds up in a big splash and the wedgie from hades...for your laughing pleasure...enjoy!

camp Baywatch-2

This was the follow up to our camp baywatch video. The first was such a big "hit" that we decided to do this follow up at camp. Watch out Hasselhoff, Pam Anderson-be on the lookout, PMatt's coming to the shore!

Camp baywatch-1

This was a promo that we did for camp just as an add on to our "top 10 reasons to come to camp." It was just to have fun and get a laugh at my expense

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

weight loss battle 2007-? weeks in

Well its been awhile since I have posted a blog about my weight loss and unfortunately the report this time is not good. I have no excuses other than the fact that I have been lazy and now I am back up to my starting weight this year of 342. This is beyond frustrating for me, but it is my own fault. The human side of me wants to grab a bag of chips and eat the whole thing and just say screw it all...but I can't do that, so it is back to trying to get into the gym at least three times a week and watching what I eat better. Hopefully I'll have good news to report next week.

The battle continues...

Better than I deserve...

"Better than I deserve" is a phrase I have gotten used to hearing on an almost daily basis as I listen to the "Dave Ramsey Show." If you aren't familiar with Dave Ramsey, I would encourage you to become familiar with him, as his ministry has been life changing for Megan and I.

In January we started "Financial Peace University" which is a 13 week study on personal finance that is offered through his ministry. I cannot tell you how much this program changed our life. The whole premise of the program is to help you begin to better understand your personal finances, live by a budget, and get out of debt as quickly as possible. Megan and I since January have paid off almost three thousand dollars in debt, have built up a "baby emergency fund" (no not that kind of baby yet) of 1000 in savings and should be debt free by December of next year...all because we began to live by a cash budget system.

I don't know where you stand financially, but I can tell you that this class and this ministry is a blessing! If you want more information, check out and see what is offered. You can also check out the principles of good living in his book "The Total Money Makeover". Check it out, I promise you won't regret it.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Oh the joys of being a camp director...

Well there are good things and bad things about being a camp director.
  • dealing with angry parents who have homesick kids
  • dealing with noise complaints
  • paying for broken things
  • camp food
  • lack of sleep
  • being the first to arrive for set up
  • being the last to leave due to a broken down van for one of the groups


  • kids having fun
  • stories being told
  • original pranks I wish I would have thought of
  • lives being forever changed

Don't know about you, but I'll take the bad since the good outweighs it any time. Camp was good, I felt it was a good week and all seemed to have a great week. GOD IS GOOD!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Laughing baby

sorry for the silence, I am at camp this week...and I am the director so life is crazy but fun. Since I can't write a whole lot here is something to keep you entertained and brighten your day. I'll post more later!