20,000 points

Thursday, February 28, 2008
BTW, if someone ever knocks on your door and tells you that they are having a "communications contest," they are lying, they are only trying to sell you magazines.

That is the second person in three months who has tried to sell me magazines. I guess this is the downfall of living in college apartments.

Oh, and they are good. They invite themselves into your place, get you to like them, so that when you tell them "No," you feel BAD about it! I am sorry, but I am not going to buy a magazine from you because you have manipulated me to feel bad about you.

And yet I still feel bad. Arg.


Long Hair

Just because some people don't believe me:

Yes, I used to have long hair!


Keeping Time

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
This had me laughing so hard! Thanks XKCD!

When you roll over the pic on their site, it says:
"You can identify them ahead-of-time -- they lead with their left foot when the music starts."


Transition to Leader

I won't normally double post, but this one is not normal.

Over at my new AUMC AV Blog, I have written a long post about leadership and my future, and because of the personal aspect of it, I thought I would link to it from here. So...


Introducing: The AUMC AV Blog!

Hey all.

I would like to introduce the new AUMC AV Blog! The blog will feature updates about our current system, as well as news and thoughts on our new building. To see the welcome at the new site:

Or to head over directly to the blog:

Anywho, I just thought I would let everyone know. This is a public blog, so it is not just for AUMC staff, and it is not limited to our congregation. Feel free to share it with anyone that you would like, and if you have any comments/questions, e-mail me or leave a comment on the site!

Thanks guys!



Thanks to a book I will quote later, I have been thinking about something. Each person has two sides to themselves, their flesh, and their spirit. Metaphorically, flesh is sin, and spirit is love. If you live based on your flesh, you favor your own body over other people. You are greedy, selfish, and sinful. But if you live based on your spirit, then you favor other people over your own body. You are generous, kind, humble, and reverent (as well as the other 10 aspects in the Scout Law). IE: you are love.

To me, the metaphor of flesh=sin, spirit=love is clear. Whenever I try to satisfy my flesh, I do things like steal, lie, lust, and I buy things that I don't need (but I want). But when I try to satisfy my spirit, I give money away, I volunteer, I love on other people in ways that my flesh can't imagine.

But the separation of flesh and spirit doesn't stop there. Here is a passage from Ted Dekker's "White." Note that the book is a metaphor, so you might not understand it at first.

"'I'm not saying that I understand it - Elyon is beyond my mind. But his love is boundless. Do you know that when you drown, he's made a covenant to forget your disease? He remembers only your love. Even when you stumble as William does now, Justin vows to forget and remembers only William's love, however imperfect it might be. To say that you humans have it made would be an understatement. I would set William straight, to be sure. Elyon is mostly thrilled. Yes, there is a price to pay. Yes, there is a drowning to be done, but he is thrilled with his bride and desperate to woo others into his Circle... If you were to glimpse Justin's love for Chelise, you would wither where you stand... This is the Great Romance.'"

In the book, Elyon is God, Justin is Jesus, and the disease is sin. People get rid of their disease by drowning, which is their form of repenting. Replacing a few words gets us this passage:

"'I'm not saying that I understand it - [God] is beyond my mind. But his love is boundless. Do you know that when you [repent], he's made a covenant to forget your [sin]? He remembers only your love. Even when you stumble as William does now, [Jesus] vows to forget and remembers only William's love, however imperfect it might be.'"

Thinking about this passage made me think. It says (paraphrased) "When you repent, Jesus makes a covenant to forget your sin. That means he only remembers your love." To me, this makes a lot of sense. If you have two sides of you (flesh=sin, spirit=love), and Jesus forgets your sin (flesh=sin, spirit=love), then what do you have left? Love! This book made me realize that Jesus not only forgives us of our sins, but by doing so, he chooses to ONLY see the love that we have in our lives.

Think about it.


My daddy's a "Top Story"!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
My daddy's a "Top Story"!

OK, not really, but it kinda looks like it. On the front page of the Brenham Banner-Press's website, there is a picture of Michael Kelling removing some bees from a car's tail light:

"Michael Kelling gently removes the tailight of a car, exposing a mass of honeybees that had attached itself to the vehicle Tuesday afternoon. Kelling, whose hobby is beekeeping, collected the queen and hundreds of her entourage by carefully scraping them into a box — all without a single sting. The swarm was apparently seeking another place to set up shop. For people wanting to know more about honeybees, the Central Texas Beekeeping Association is holding an informational meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Brenham High library.Banner-Press/Derek Hall"

But I have the inside scoop! He said that he got a call from one of the reporters that she had a swarm of bees on her car (they showed up after she got to work that morning). By the time he got there, there were only about 20 bees flying around, and she said that they had already all left, and he said "No, they are inside." Sure enough, there they were, inside the tail light of the reporter's car. He also said that because they had moved inside, they were done swarming, and would have stayed there.

I am sure he can elaborate more, so ask him if you want any more information.


Just a reminder...

Just a reminder: while I didn't state it in the letter, any money to be donated for my mission trip has a due date of February 23rd. Yes, I know that is three days from now. I have a feeling that if I receive a check after the 23rd they will still take it, but it is supposed to be in ASAP.

Thanks guys!



Tuesday, February 19, 2008
We have all heard the Creationism/Intelligent Design discussion in an open minded way and have picked our sides.


Maybe not. Maybe a country that stands for free speech is ostracizing any scientist that would question Creationism. Maybe ideas that would be fine in Einstein's day are being met with hostility in MLK's day.

This is the subject of Ben Stein's documentary "Expelled". It is not a debate on our origins, it is a look at the hostility towards any scientist who questions Darwin. Coming out later this month, it looks great!

I would recommend watching the "Super Trailer", as it has a good summary of the movie.


We Clean your Screenz

Monday, February 18, 2008
I ran across this link, and had to share it.

Most people's computer screens are dirty with dust and finger prints and smudges. I found a great link to help with all of that.

Get the free screen cleaner by clicking here.

My screen is now as clean as a whistle!


Quote of the day

Quote of the day:
"My son just told me I'm 20 years past old. I told him to go to bed."
~Leo Laporte



Sunday, February 17, 2008
So, I am watching the new "Night Rider" which appeared on NBC tonight.

Lets see:
tacky 80's remake because the writers are on strike: check
cheesy TV visual graphics: check
terrible writing (see above): check
even worse acting: check
some guy owing a loan shark $90,000: check
in the first five minutes showing:
1) one of the main characters waking up with a naked girl: check
1.5) in the same scene another girl in a swimsuit getting into bed with the two aforementioned persons: check
2) another of the main characters bathing in her bathing suit on the beach at sunrise (can anyone say BAYWATCH?): check
2.5) the aforementioned girl walking into her beach front flat to find a naked GIRL in HER bed: check

Ya, this isn't looking too good.


PS: I was typing that last sentence and had a typo: "Ya, this isn't looking too god." Freudian slip maybe?


So, I am watching the movie "Miracle" (about the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team). I am watching it on TV, and of course, they have gone back in and covered up most of the foul language with other words that are more acceptable. For example, the coach said "Beat those Commies backwards." Really, does that make any sense? Now, if you substitute the last word with another "B word" it would make perfect sense. But "backwards"? This is common practice in TV, to go back and re-record lines that include foul language.

It got me thinking. I understand why most movies have foul language: they are for an adult audience, and adults can handle that language. I personally don't have a problem watching a movie with a few foul words in it. I do have a problem, however, with them using this kind of language in a "family film" such as this, but that is not the point of this post.

I don't see why movie companies don't make two versions of the same film: one clean, one explicit. They do the same with music (clean versions used to be called "radio edits" because you couldn't say foul words on the radio, but even now you can often buy two versions of the same song on iTunes, the "clean" version and the "explicit" version). And I don't mean make the movie, then go back and cover up the few bad words. I mean, while on the set, whenever a bad word is said, film the scene twice, once with the bad word, once using something else. Then, once you are done editing the movie, all you have to do is go back in and splice in the clean scene for the foul one. This means you wouldn't have to call the actors back into the studio six months after the shoot just to dub over the offensive lines. IMO, it would save studios money.

Think about it. If you are going to the movies, and have the option of seeing an "explicit" version of a film or a "clean" version, which would you choose? What if you are bringing your family in to watch it? What if a "family" movie has two versions, one PG one PG-13, that way if you bring your family in, you can see the PG version, or if you are going alone, you can choose the PG-13. It would be trivial to make DVDs where you can choose the clean cut or explicit cut.

Yes, this idea grows on my anger for the rating system, which allows foul and sexual language in a "PG" film (for example, the PG-13 film "Gunner Palace has 42 uses of the word [fuck]). But to me, it makes sense to have two versions of the film. There used to be a website where you could buy "family friendly" versions of films, but because the films were edited without the studio's consent, the site was shut down. Why do the studios not do this for themselves?

I would say that it is because Hollywood is full of liberals who want to inundate our society with their leftist ideas in any way possible, but I wouldn't go that far...

The other half of me says: it is their full right to do what they want. If they want to make movies that are full of foul and sexual language, that is on of their constitutional rights.

What are your ideas on this?


Bonus: Here are a few links you might like:
Parent Previews: a site with detailed information on movies. For example, they rate movies each on violence, sexual content, language, and drugs/alcohol.
CearPlay: A DVD player that censors movies in real time! Just download their database onto a thumb drive (they give you one), put it into their DVD player, and the DVD player knows when and where to cut out the bad stuff.


Saturday, February 16, 2008
I am sick.
My head feels like a brick.
All I hear is the tock tick,
Of the clock, quick,
Run to the sink and try not to kick.
I need a walk stick,
'Cuase the ground is slick.
I need a latté.



Tuesday, February 12, 2008
So I tried running today. I found that it is not fun to run in 50 degree weather...


An Apple a week?

During the 20008 MacWorld Keynote, Steve Jobs said that they had come out with a new product every week so far this year, and "we still have 50 more weeks to go." At the time, I figured it was a hyperbole, but now look:

January 8th: Mac pros
15th: MacWorld / MacBook Air
22nd: Pink iPod Nanno
29th: iWork update
February 5th: updated iPhone and iPod Touch
12th: Aperture 2.0, 10.5.2, AppleTV Take 2

So far, Apple has come out with a new product / update every week since the beginning of the year (minus the first week). I think that Apple is trying to get away from the "two announcements a year" model and more into "we are an exciting company that is always innovating" model. I think that it would be totally awesome if Apple came out with something new every week this year! You can't say that about Microsoft!

Also, this is huge for advertising. The buzz generated by slowly releasing things is much larger than when you do it all at once... at least this way, the buzz can't be blamed on "drinking the Kool-Aid."

What are your thoughts?



Saturday, February 09, 2008
So, I am trying to do more exercise... and past finding excuses not to, I don't mind doing it too much.

I used to live near a park that had a 1.5 mile loop around a lake, and I really liked going there to run. I would run several laps 2-3 times a week.

Then I moved near campus, and the rec center became my friend.

Then I graduated, and I don't feel like paying to get into the rec center, so I have been running around my neighborhood. I think that I found a route that I like:

You can see my apartment by the yellow pin, and you can see the loop that I like to take. I usually run on the North/South roads while walking the East/West sections. While it looks like the running sections are a lot longer, the two totals are basically equal: .85 miles.

Anywho, I am bored tonight, so there you go.

Oh, and the new "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is a lot better than Stephen said it was. Yes, very creepy, but still funny.


Strange from the start....

Friday, February 08, 2008
I read an article from Fox News. I saw the headline, and thought, "wow, this guy is messed up." Then I read the rest of the article:

Cops: Dad Used Utility Knife to Circumcise 2 Infant Sons
DALLAS, N.C. — Investigators say a man has been charged with child abuse in Caldwell County for circumcising his two infant sons with a utility knife.

Authorities said 32-year-old Johnny Eric Marlowe fathered children with his legal wife and another woman who live in their home. One gave birth to a boy at their home in the rural Kings Creek community in November 2005, and the other gave birth to a boy there four months later.

Caldwell County Sheriff's Detective Shelly Hartley said Marlowe denied the women prenatal care in both cases and circumcised the boys when they were 8 days old.

Marlowe later moved to Gaston County and is serving a 150-day jail sentence there on charges of resisting a public officer, assault on a female and multiple counts of child neglect.

Marlowe had a total of 11 children with the two women.

OK, really. So this guy has a "legal wife", a live-in mistress, and ELEVEN children... And ya, who would take a knife to his own children? I am sure glad MY dad didn't do that!

Oh, and for the quote of the day:
'LOST' video game should involve Ben shooting you, inexplicably regaining your trust, then repeatedly shooting you again. Forever.
~Merlin Mann


Totally blessed...

Thursday, February 07, 2008
I have to say that I have been receiving replies from my "Official Graduation Announcement/Christmas Letter/Mission Trip Letter".

I have received letters and congratulations from people, and I want to say that I cherish each reply that I get. They are going up on my wall right next to my diploma. It is a constant reminder of the Grace, Love, and Family that God has surrounded me with.

And of course I have received checks in support of my mission trip. I have already been blessed beyond belief with the money and support that I have received. Remember that if I raise more money than it takes for me to go, then others in my group who are not as fortunate are able to go; or someone going to a different city will be able to go; or someone will be able to go on one of the out-of-country trips this summer; or it will go to a missionary that is already out in the field. Denton Bible Church (the church you are writing the checks to) currently have missionaries in fifty countries! I promise: any extra money will go not to me, but to God's use.

I was just thinking that it might have been a mistake to write my "combo" letters. I should have sent out graduation announcements, waited for the replies ("rewards"), THEN sent out my mission trip letters. If I had done this, I would receive more money instead of people just giving to the mission trip.

Then I thought how greedy that was. As much as God blesses my life with money, He can surely bless others with the same amount of money ten fold! For me, $50 can pay for my electric bill for one month, or it could support a missionary in another country for a few days. Which brings more blessing to God?

So while the greedy half of me is trying it's best to not type the following sentence, the religious half of me says: if you were going to give me money for my graduation, I challenge you to instead give it to God. You can wrap it into the amount that you give for my mission trip, or you can give it back to God some other way (see below). (know that if you have already given or are going to give me graduation money, I still see that as God's blessing on my life... it won't be used for anything outside of glorifying God)

I can make this challenge because I have full faith in God that as much as I give to Him, He will bless me back. Remember that all UrbEx (Urban Experience, the spring break trips) checks need to be in by February 23rd.


PS: If you are looking for a place to give, here are a few that I am directly working with:

Argyle United Methodist Church is currently building a new campus and is raising money for the cost of our new sanctuary. Their mailing address can be found on their website: www.ArgyleUMC.org

CollegeLife is the college ministry of Denton Bible Church. Axcess (Tuesday night worship) has about 600 college kids worshiping a week. Their mailing address can be found under the "Locaion" tab on their website: www.CollegeLife.org

MorningTime Ministries (Cathy Brown) and I produce a 5 minute daily devotional that aires on TV around the world. We are currently trying to get two more shows off the ground. I don't have her home address, but you can contact her at: morningtime [at] sbcglobal.net

PowerFM is a local Christian rock station that plays the best music around. You can support what they are doing at their website: www.897PowerFM.com

Velugu Television Network is the first Christian/Family based TV station in India, and has spread to parts each of Iran, England, Canada, and the Washington DC area. Their mailing address (located in India) can be found on their website: www.VeluguTV.com

PPT doesn't stand for Pizza Party Time (but it should)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
As many of you know, I create the PowerPoint files for our church every week to put the lyrics and other information up on big TVs. Ever wonder how much work goes into that every week? Well, neither do I, but if you did, you could check out my (almost) 2,000 word essay that I just wrote that covers the creation of the weekly PPT files. If you have nothing better to do (like me), go check it out:

If you read it, tell me what you think!


My letter to You

Saturday, February 02, 2008
It has been nearly a week since I sent out all of my letters, so in case you didn't receive one, here is a copy! I should have sent one out to everyone that reads this, but there may be some people that have slipped through the cracks and/or I don't know that you are reading this blog. This letter is for everyone, and is not limited to anyone.



Tell me...

Friday, February 01, 2008
Hey, lets see if any of you can get this to work. I can't get it to work for the life of me...

Go here

In the middle box, scroll down about half way and click on "VTN - Velugu Television Network."
Click on "VTN Channel - English."
Click on "VTN-Daily Morning Devotion."
Click "Watch Now."

Tell me if you see video. And if you do, send me a screen shot of it. I want to see if that is the old version of the show (that someone else did) or the version that I did.


24 hours!

There have been many 24 hour Filmmaking contests (where you shoot and edit a short story in 24 hours), but this one finally caught my attention for something that I want to do:

(click for their website)

If any of you are interested in helping out, and are free March 1st, just drop me a line!