Filter Through Life

Know-It-All Kid
April 28, 2008, 9:14 am
Filed under: Bible Study, Faith, Ministry, Random Junk, Religion, Teenagers, Youth Ministry | Tags:

We have been teaching this youth how to read the Bible over the last several weeks.  We are reading through Proverbs right now and I think it is going well.  However, yesterday I decided to mix things up and make the class uncomfortable.  I told them they had to split into two groups, read the chapter together and discuss 2 to 4 verses that they liked.  I had them elect one person to present to the class the verses they chose and explain why they chose them, what they meant and how they can apply it to their lives.


Cheri helped the senior high and I helped the junior high.  After reading Proverbs 6, I asked the kids what they liked about it and one of the young men, we’ll call him Cooper, answered “I liked verses 6-8.”


“Wow”, I thought to myself.  That was the same three verses I liked from the passage.  They are:

 6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
       consider its ways and be wise! 

 7 It has no commander,
       no overseer or ruler,

8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
       and gathers its food at harvest. (NIV)


“So, why did you pick these verses, Coop?”


“Well, it’s telling you that you can look at the way ants behave and gain wisdom.  See, they don’t have anyone telling them what to do or anything but they are working hard anyway.  They know what needs to be done and they are doing it.”


Whole E-Cow.  My jaw was agape.  I was expecting something a little more his age, more Sunday School.  Of course, I wasn’t expecting him to pick out this verse either so I shouldn’t have been surprised. 


I exclaimed to young Cooper, “That is incredible insight and shows a lot of wisdom.  I am very impressed.  You know that you have now elected yourself the speaker too, right?”


Shrugging, “Okay.”


I don’t know if everyone was as impressed as I am but I just had to share that story.  I have read Proverbs a dozen times.  I read Proverbs 6 about five times before class.  It wasn’t until one of the last times I read it and after I had read a commentary that verses 6-8 stuck out to me.  I think I have a future scholar in my class.  Or maybe I am just dumb.


Generation: Change – Helping to Change Me
April 28, 2008, 8:56 am
Filed under: Ministry, Religion, Youth Ministry | Tags: , ,

Saturday, my wife and I attended a youth leader’s conference called The Core 2008 – Generation: Change.  We really enjoyed it and took a lot away from it, including about a half-dozen books we bought.  We really needed it.  It was informative, relative and fun.  The speaker, Les Christie, was fantastic and I hope to hear him speak again.  Incidentally, he also has a son named David who recently married a young lady named…Cheri.


So I have been thinking about youth stuff, church stuff and me stuff a lot over the last couple of days and what I can do to improve these things.  There is some room for improvement in the youth and church stuff and a lot of room for a complete overhaul with the me stuff.  I need to start there.  I know if I try to fix the other stuff first then I still have a problem (or two…or seventy-six) with my own junk. 


I have to start by recognizing and admitting my weaknesses.  I don’t like admitting that I have a weakness, or several for that matter, but it is in this area that I could use the help God has given me in Cheri and the Holy Spirit.  I have to stop trying to do things on my own or I will surely screw up and burn out.


This conference was just what I needed and I highly recommend attending if you have the opportunity.  I can’t wait to begin applying what I learned and seeing a generation change.

Oatmeal is a Drink, Right?
April 28, 2008, 8:26 am
Filed under: Daily Living, Food, health, Random Junk | Tags:

I was informed by my doctor recently that I have high cholesterol.  Not the most exciting news since I already have high blood pressure but I guess it was inevitable since I have not changed my diet at all.  Well, I actually started eating yogurt every once in a while but that’s good for the digestive track, right.


I decided I would try oatmeal.  Apparently, among other things, oatmeal is supposed to help lower cholesterol.  The reason I bring this up is because when I made it this morning it turned out like soup.  I poured my hot water over the oatmeal and waited for a several minutes for it to thicken up; it never did.  I drank it down because I didn’t want to waist it.  Yuck!  It felt like I was drinking warm, curdled milk.  Thank God it didn’t taste like it.


So, if I have a smallish Styrofoam cup and my oatmeal, how far do I fill the cup with water to have oatmeal as it should be?  Maybe I should just switch back to bacon and eggs or coffee and donuts.

The Top Five Male Movie Icons of the Next Generation
April 25, 2008, 8:51 am
Filed under: Movies, Question of the day, Random Junk, Television | Tags: ,

Who is the next great actor?  I have been thinking about this lately for some reason.  I guess because I have watched a few phenomenal performances from some of the up-and-comers lately and I have wondered to myself if I am watching the next Paul Newman, Laurence Olivier or even Tom Hanks.  I have compiled a list, in no particular order said for #1, of the top actors of the current generation.  We’ll say they have to be 35 or younger.


#1 – Ryan Gosling

This dude can flat out act and I would watch anything he is in.  Yes, I have even seen The Notebook and he was great.  I just watched Lars and the Real Girl and that has to be one of my favorite movies of the last couple of years.  It is a funny, quirky and wholesome film held together by Gosling’s fantastic performance as Lars, a delusional young man that “develops” a relationship with “Bianca”, a life-sized doll.  Sounds weird (and it is) but it really is one of the sweetest movies I have ever seen.



 Side note: Lars and the Real Girl actually portrays a church community in a warm, friendly light.


#? – Emile Hirsh

I can’t wait for Speed Racer.  It’s not just because Emile Hirsh; that’s just icing on the cake.  I loved Speed Racer as a kid.  It just helps that one of the greatest young actors working today is Speed.  Emile has turned in fantastic performances in everything I have seen him in.  I loved him in Lords of Dogtown and Into the Wild was a fantastic film and  there was no way it would work if the lead did not have some chops.


#? – Christian Bale

Yes, he is Batman.  I mean, he really IS Batman.  He is the best Batman we have seen, and are likely ever to see in a movie but Mr. Bale has done other films.  Reign of Fire was pretty good and Equilibrium was as good as The Matrix (and blows away the other two Matrix films) if not better.  However, if you haven’t seen The Prestige, 3:10 to Yuma or Rescue Dawn you are truly missing something, especially Rescue Dawn.  Bale turns in a remarkable performance as a POW in Laos during the Vietnam conflict (war was never declared, you know).  His physical transformation is topped only by the physical transformation he took on for The Machinist.  It is based on a true story and the respect Bale shows to the character is astounding.


Side note: Steve Zahn was great in Rescue Dawn as well.


#? – Cillian Murphy

Have you seen Sunshine yet?  What a fantastic film; one of my favorites ever.  I just watched The Wind That Shakes the Barley the other day.  I picked it up because he is in it.  What a surprise of a little film.  It is a story about two brothers torn apart in Ireland’s struggle for independence from Britain.  It was a good film and a great performance by Cillian (pronounced Kill-ian).  Go rent it.  But go BUY Sunshine first.


#? – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Okay, this may be a crapshoot but I think this guy is going to be HUGE!  Yes, he is the kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun, get over it.  Have you seen Brick?  Have you see The Lookout?  No?  Not commercial enough for you, huh?  Well, go see them and get back with me.  Then you can catch Joseph as Cobra Commander in Stephen Sommers’ G.I. Joe next summer.


So, that’s my opinion.  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Who do you think is the next big star?

Lack of Self-discipline
April 25, 2008, 7:50 am
Filed under: Daily Living, Random Junk | Tags: , , ,

I missed men’s prayer this morning; I over slept.  I was so stinking tired when the alarm went off this morning I set my other alarm just in case I feel back asleep.  I did just that.  Cheri finally had to wake me up.


I think I was doing gymnastics in my sleep last night because I woke up in the black with a soaking wet head, pillowcase, sheets and body pillow.  I was drenched.  Maybe I felt like sleep jogging last night, I don’t know.  The point is I was tired.  Worn plumb out.


I have been thinking about it this morning, as I was stuffing my Jack in the Box breakfast down my pie hole, and I think I have figured out why.  I have terrible self-discipline.  I think I could change several things about my life with a little more self-discipline.  “How is that?” you say.  Well, I am glad you asked and I will tell you how. 


If I were to discipline myself to eat more healthily then I would probably begin loosing a few pounds.  With that motivation I could convince myself to start walking on a regular basis and loose a few more.  After dropping a kindergartener I might just have the confidence to show myself at a gym.  I know that is totally backwards but I think that’s how most people are anyway.


So, after getting into a little bit better shape I imagine that my energy level would increase, in turn increasing my activity level.  I would then burn my energy and sleep better at night instead of doing nocturnal Tai Bo.  This in turn could theoretically help me not sleep through the alarm or at least stop hitting the snooze.


Then I could make it to men’s prayer every week.

Why Kickball Needs More Feet and Fewer Tongues

We played another kickball game last night.  We played against one of THOSE teams.  You know the team, the kind that likes to talk.  A lot.  Most of the talk was just minor ribbing in an attempt to take our heads out of the game but after a few innings things began to get personal.  There are a couple of guys on my team that have a tendency to let things get under their skin and things began to escalate around the fifth inning.


Right around the fifth or sixth inning we began scoring a few more runs.  After my friend crossed the plate some of the opposing team’s fans (yes, the sport of kickball has fans) began heckling him and he simply said, “Scoreboard.”  I believe it was followed by an expletive of which the correct usage would be for a female canine. 


Apparently, they had heckled him pretty good but what he didn’t know was one of the hecklers was a 13 year old kid.  The father of the child was on the opposing team and he was fairly bent.


At the end of the game, a 9-2 victory for the undefeated BTS Inferno (again, I didn’t make up the name) we always line up to shake, bump, slap hands and say “good game”.  I knew that had the potential to be ugly and it was.  Fortunately, nothing more than some gum-bumping went on.  I don’t think anybody wanted to fight; they just wanted to stick their chest out and let us (especially my friend) know who the tough and cool kids on the block were.  I had talked to my friend during the seventh inning in an attempt to cool him off.  They have no idea what kind of bear they were about to wake up and I am glad he kept his head.


He tried to explain and apologize at the end of the game.  He was contrite and said he got caught up in the heat of the moment and he knew he shouldn’t be acting like that.  They were having none of it.  Finger wagging and scary head nodding was done and then they left.


What started off as simple ribbing nearly ended up in fisticuffs.  What a shame, I mean it’s kickball for crying out loud, not…well…soccer.  Out of the twenty or so people that were on the field I think about half of us kept our mouths shut.  I really wanted to pop of once or twice but I know that I have a witness to uphold and I know what the tongue can do.


James 3:5-6

5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Must Have Tacos!
April 22, 2008, 8:45 am
Filed under: Daily Living, Food, Random Junk

The other day my doctor tells me to change my diet and exercise more.  He also gave me 8 weeks worth of Crestor.  Apparently, my cholesterol is a little high.  Out of the myriad of numbers he quoted I only remember one, 240, which he says is 40 points higher than it’s supposed to be.  I don’t know if I believe him. J


So I now have a new pill to add to my regimen AND I have to watch what I eat.  Well, that’s not anything new but I think I want to start following his advice now that I have both high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 


All of that to say this: I am hungry!  Do they make a breakfast taco that is low in cholesterol?  I need my bacon, egg, potato and cheese taco…with extra salt.