i’ll start off with the funny stuff. this came from a conversation with some friends the other day:
TOP TEN DVDS THAT NEED TO COME OUT
10. iron eagle: special edition – where we explore the makings of the greatest ‘boy-rescues-pilot-father-from-iranian-prison-with-help-from-retired-colonel-and-high-school-friends’ action flick ever. also, we get a behind the scenes look at how to plan your own military style rescue operation. audio commentary by Melora Hardin (Iron Eagle, The Office)
9. charles in charge: season two – i went through season one in a day. i need my fix.
8. the complete bravestarr – the most underrated cartoon of the 80’s. a talking, biomechanical horse, a planet called ‘new texas’ and a hero that can summon the powers of the eagle, the wolf and the bear to fight the bad guys lead by tex-hex. and the main character spells his name with two ‘r’s. where can you go wrong?
7. full house: the lost episodes – a collection of great episodes that never aired including: “We don’t talk about Uncle Steve”, “Kimmie and the Klan”, “Jesse shaves his head”, and the elusive pilot “Why do we eat on one side of the table?”
6. street fighter: director’s cut – bonus features include audio commentary with jean-claude van damme (subtitled).
5. the a-team christmas special – the a-team is hired by mrs. claus to rescue santa from evil druglords in columbia. can the a-team rescue jolly st. nick and repair his sled in time to get toys to all the boys and girls? i pity the fool who thinks they can’t.
4. perfect strangers – special features include a how-to guide for the ‘dance of joy’, and a tour of meapost.
3. vanilla ice: live at roxy’s – concert footage from his Celebreality Star Tour
2. rad – i’m not even joking about this. i can’t wait to see rad on dvd. if you ever owned a bmx bike this movie is the reason why. also, lori laughlin back in the day… wow.
1. the wonder years – seriously, every other show that has ever been released is available on dvd except wonder years. this needs to change soon. you can take your ‘boy meets worlds’ and your high def tv, i’ll take my old taped copies of kevin arnold’s teen angst any day. at least until the dvd comes out.
feel free to comment back on any shows i may have missed. now on to the regular blog stuff.
permission pt. 1
well it’s about 130 in the morning and i am nearing the end of one of my favorite weekends of the year, the youth specialties conference. it’s a great time put together by a bunch of guys who know what youth ministers need to have available to them. meaning that if you really want to be pushed spiritually you can be, if you want to be challenged in your ministry you can be, if you want to be equipped for the next year you can be, or if you just need some time to kick back and be your old self you can be. so as some of the guys sit back and talk about how theologically sound some of the sessions were, i choose to put that on the back burner for a while and laugh at the fact that i played foursquare with two of my best friends for a long time tonite. it’s been waaaaay too long since i’ve been excited about acting like a kid and that’s what is so great about this weekend, i feel like i’ve been given permission to be whatever for a few days. i’ve feel like i’ve had permission to go to classes and discuss things that are outside of my normal church of christ boundaries. i’ve had permission to disagree with theologians and authors, and agree with men and women who share the same desire to work with youth. i’ve had permission to say yes when i want to, no when i need to and let me think about it when neither one of the first two is an obvious choice. i don’t know why this is such a big deal, except that for the first time in a long while i feel like it’s okay to forget about bills, schedules, routine. there is freedom in having permission.
band of brothers.
i have said it before and i’ll say it as long as i need to. the youth ministers that i call my friends absolutely amaze me. we come from such diverse ministries and backgrounds, but when we get together we all laugh together. a simple lunch turns into a comedy festival, but the real joy is knowing that behind every joke there is a guy who knows what i am thinking. we call ourselves the youth ministry mafia, but band of brothers would probably more accurate. i guess you could make a comparison between youth ministers in general and the 101st airborne, and if you are going to make that analogy then we are definitely easy company, and socal is bastogne. (if you haven’t watched band of brothers yet a: go buy it and b: you probably aren’t going to get this reference.) the way i figure it, youth ministers are the guys that sent to a lot of the big battles first. we truly are on the front lines of ministry. i don’t want to downplay the toughness of the teens we work with, but the youth ministry line is simply more aware of the battle going on. that, and we volunteered. and socal is definitely bastogne. we are outnumbered, outgunned and too stubborn to give up. we have some turnover, but there are a core group of us that are bonded over fighting the good fight together, and as time goes on our ability to look each other in the eye grows stronger because we know the battles that we go through together. here’s the thing about our job; no one knows what we go through. if you’re an accountant, you work with other accountants who understand your work. not so much with us. we operate in ways that only we understand. i don’t mean to sound like an elitist by any means, but i do wish to convey the joy that comes with being able to look a brother in the eye and just know. i know my brothers pray for me, i’ve heard them. they know i pray for them because they’ve heard me. i kid you not, we’ve worn the knees out on our jeans sometimes praying for each other. we pray for each other’s kids, we pray for each other’s churches, we pray for each other’s families, and we pray for each other because we know the Christ has brought us together here, for this job, that no one can do like we do. i also know that behind every fart joke is a guy who knows what it means to teach junior high. i know that when straw wrappers are flying into my drink, someone has just figured out a way to make one of their kids laugh. i know that walking down the street one minute we are going to be talking about some skit from last years camp, and the next we are talking about how Christ used that moment to make something stick for one of our kids. we are a band of brothers, and like the true soldiers that we look up to, we wear the badge of minister with proper respect and pride in the greater cause we serve.
_______________continued a few days later___________________
wreck ’em tech.
i’ve got to give it up for my amigo wreckemtech. he’s one of those guys that has the innate ability to pick up right where you left off, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen them. also, it’s always nice to hang out w/ another single youth minister. i don’t really feel like explaining why, but let’s just say not a lot of guys understand the feeling of having someone at their church pray for ‘the ministers and their families’. anyways, it’s always good to see mi amigo, because he’s always a good reminder of faithfulness to me. keep your guns up.
permission pt. 2
i give myself permission to not do anything big today. i’ve had several days of classes, prayer, and overall busyness. in the next few weeks i have a crazy schedule that starts tonight with dinner with one of my families. so today i’m going to take care of some of the smaller stuff on my agenda, but i’m not going to do anything that requires me to think.
i made a reference to youth ministers as soldiers earlier. you could def make a case for us having a uniform. slightly overweight (too much pizza), receding hairline (too many jr high kids), gotee (makes us look more mature), camp t shirt (something you would never buy at a store) underneath a track jacket, with either sandals or athletic shoes (depending on where you are from) all topped off with a baseball cap. throw in the cell phone, black framed glasses, and some sort of backpack and i have just described at least 75% of the guys at the youth workers convention. the other 25% have a faux hawk.
there were several four-square courts in the exhibit hall at the youth workers convention, something that you will probably not find at any other convention. so sunday night i got relive some of my least favorite memories of elementary school as me, dantheman, wreckemtech and the aussie played foursquare for about an hour or so. i was having fun being as unathletic as possible, and even more so making the rest of the crew laugh. evidently i even impressed one of the females that we were playing with, at least that’s what my friends told me.
that’s how much it costs to provide a years worth of aids medicine for a child in africa. i spent that much on two movie tickets last night. ugh.
i’m always impressed when one person changes the world. this is a brief synopsis of what i learned about the orange revolution. in the presidential elections of ukraine in 2004, the government lied about the results of the election using the national news program to deceive it’s people. while the anchorman was broadcasting the lies that the government had issued, the sign language interpreter in the bottom left hand corner signed that they were lying and that the people were being deceived. deaf citizens watching the broadcast immediately began text messaging everyone they knew and hundreds of thousands people flooded the capital square leading to a re-vote under close scrutiny. simply amazing.
if you’re not watching it, you should be. this is by far my favorite new tv show, quickly replacing (the continually frustrating) lost as the best drama on tv. i like the show because it takes a much more realistic approach to superheroes and how they deal with their powers. if you could fly, would you fly all the time? or would it take you a while to figure out this wasn’t a passing fad? is the ability to read people’s minds really a blessing? or the interesting moral dilemma posed by my favorite character hiro nakamura, do superheroes have a moral obligation to help others? i know a lot of people love superheroes that have superpowers, but my favorite has always been batman, a simple man with an above average will and the bank account to back it up. i like to think that we don’t need super powers to be heroes, we can do plenty ourselves. but it’s always fun to look at shows like heroes and imagine and be inspired.
hole in one.
my new goal in life. i went to a par three course yesterday and was off on one shot by just a couple of inches. now i can’t think of anything else but going golfing and getting that elusive hole in one.
talking to people is easy for me. in high school i learned to master the 30 second conversation while working at the grocery store deli. nowadays, if i feel the urge, i really think i could talk to anyone about anything for at least a couple of minutes. it’s pretty simple, if you’re not sure what to say, find the lowest common denominator. at a ball-game you talk about the last play or the price of hot dogs. at the store you talk about how long the lines are. if someone is tatted up you ask them where they got their ink done. so why is it taking six months to say what i want to say to the one person i talk to all the time?
do you ever go through old pictures and laugh at your old haircuts?
i love my office. it’s on the second story overlooking a preschool and the jr high field. the sun faces the other side of the building so it’s always kind of cool in here and there are mountains off in the distance. i keep my door open all day to let a breeze through, but also because i hear the sounds of kids playing all day long. between the jr high to the right, and the preschool right in front of me, i really am blessed. our preacher asked me one time why i keep my door open all day and he never hears my stereo in my office. i told him to open his windows during the day.
one of my friends is a bouncer at a bar, and he recently said something that has me thinking. he said that people go to bars for a lot of the same reasons people go to church. community, relationships, uplifting, filling a hole… besides the obvious differences in practice, they go to bars because people tend to be less judgmental there. hmm. good stuff to think on.
well, i’m going to go hit some golf balls. one love, one heart.