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Sunday, October 26, 2008

ghetto 110 

New Ghetto Blog

Happy Blogaversary

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Cause I have like 2 min to blog, here's a list of films that are on my to see list.

In no particular order:

Burn After Reading
Quantum of Solace
Rachel Getting Married
Synecdoche, New York
High School Musical 3
Rock n Rolla
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
How To Lose Friends and Alienate People

and if you missed my review of Let the Right One In you can find it here, I'll probably go see this one again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

pages pt 3 

pt 1
pt 2

Ok folks we have a winner. Thanks to those that participated. We'll have more contests in the future, so keep on reading.

Rob Bell's next book (fictionally) will be called "That's what HE said!!!"

I liked this one a lot. Not only does it combine my love of The Office, but I like the theological connotations too.

Congrats to Molly. Since I know where you live I'll send the book out soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let the Right One In 

Last night I got to go to a screening of "Let the Right One In"

Here was my twitter review of the movie:
review: let the right one in. vampire movie like none other, off white colors, simple framing, eerily romantic, fantastic art
You have to be brief with only 140 characters.

I almost want to tell you not to see any trailers or footage before you see this movie. I'll link to the trailer, but STRONGLY encourage you not to watch it, I think seeing the movie with no previous knowledge about it, is the best way to go. I think the trailer paints a different picture than the actual movie and may leave you disappointed.

I must warn you though it's a Sweedish movie, done in Sweedish, so for some of you the whole "foreign" concept may be new, but for many of you that may be incentive to go and see it.

The movie can be summed up as a sweet tale of a boy and a girl. It's a movie about friendship and loneliness, the desire to survive and connect. I really enjoyed the art direction, yet at the same time often felt bored by it. I more so enjoyed it, but it was simple. Many of the shots had a glaze to them of the off white of the snow and dreariness of the setting. It led to simple framing and slow camera moves, but in a way these enhanced the movie more than anything else. Even though at times I became bored by them, in the end was very appreciative of the fact that something didn't always have to be happening, as we too often find in American movies.

There's a timeless quality to the movie. It's set somewhere in the past, but you never can really get a sense of when things happen. This might be because of the cultural differences, but in a way it doesn't matter too much. There is an appearance of a Rubik's Cube, and a tape player (no CDs) so it might suggest the early to mid 80's but more or less it's the over all setting of the small community that the story takes place in that makes the movie what it is.

The score perfectly sets tone and mood, while always building tension and suspense. It too has a simple yet profound nature to it.

The acting is primarily between two teenagers, but the acting often is more in what is not said. The glances, the way someone reacts, or even just what is communicated through body language.

Make sure you see this film. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. If you appreciate the art in filmmaking then this is a movie for you.

I'm not too sure of the actual US release date, so you may have to do some snooping. Expect to see it in Independent Theatres, not mainstream ones.

pages pt 2 

pt 1

One more day to try and win your free copy of Rob Bell's newest book "Jesus Wants to Save Christians"

See how to enter in the "pages" post and leave a comment there. Good luck.

Winner will be announced Thursday, meaning you have until Wed at midnight to enter, PST.

Monday, October 20, 2008

ghetto 109 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

ghetto 108 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Here's the thing I promised that I would post on monday, along with a few others.

First a giveaway. If you were following my tweets this weekend, you will remember that I mentioned that everyone at The National Youth Workers Convention, were given a copy of Rob Bell's new book Jesus Wants to Save Christians. I already have one so I'm giving my copy away.

Here's what you have to do to win the copy of the book...

Leave a comment with a made up title for Rob's NEXT book. Funniest (by my opinion) wins a copy of the book. You have one week from now.

The other thing is that my dear friend Lilly Lewin (along with Dan Kimball (I like him too)) has a new book out. I didn't get a chance to pick it up cause it was THAT hot off the presses. It's called Sacred Space and it's about experiential worship spaces and the thoughts behind them. Lilly is one of the most creative people I know and I can't say enough about her. She has taught me invaluable things about worship and living out the gospel. Go and support her, buy her book make it a success so she has to publish a 2nd one.

Thirdly, my other friend and president of Youth Specialties, Marko has a new book. I got mine at the convention, and as Marko stated on his blog, it's not even available outside of the conventions until Jan. It's called Youth Ministry 3.0. I'll get to dive into it as soon as I finish up Rob's book (which I still have a ways to go on). The cooler thing about Marko's book is that while he was writing it, he put portions of it up on his blog to get comments from us out in the blogosphere. If you made a comment on his blog there was a caveat that your comment could be published in his book. I was totally floored when I opened up the book and low and behold I was in it. Marko didn't tell the people that he included in the book that he was doing so, so it was a nice surprise to find my name at the top of the page in the introduction as the first reader comment in the entire book. How cool.

I did finally get to see Marko on the last day of the convention, and we got to briefly say hi, I got him to sign my book and we promised to catch up soon. And he gave me the greatest compliment, saying "that I could have written this book" which was a true honor coming from him. I'm excited to see what Marko's perspective about what is to come in the world of youth ministry. It should be a great read. Marko I'll write the next one.

PS there's a slight chance that I could have ended up in Lilly's book as well, but not sure if I made the final cut, I didn't get enough time to look through the sole copy she had with her. And she hadn't looked yet either, though she told me I had made the rough cut, with a worship experience I created a few years ago. I'll report back later on that one.

I still need to do a final WRITTEN recap of NYWC but that will come soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

vlog 28 

NYWC 08 pt 5 

pt 1
pt 2
pt 3
pt 4

Good morning everyone. Today is the last day of NYWC and I'm sitting here in Chap Clark's Seminar on a monday morning. The room is visibly tired yet, still eager for more knowledge, depth, and understanding. I will not be live-blogging this seminar. It takes too much energy and I really need a table to sit and write on, writing on my lap, hurts my back too much.

Hello to all the new readers. I know my stats spike around this time of the year. I hope you have enjoyed my coverage of NYWC and that you'll come back sometime soon. As always feel free to comment and discuss. And I look forward to hearing from you soon.

John and I will travel back home to LA today for much needed rest and time with friends and family. I personally think there's nothing better than taking a shower in your own shower. The temperature you want, the pressure you want, everything you are used to. Soo nice.

Really looking forward to Marko's talk this morning. I love that guy, such a genuine and open heart.

There will be a few more things that I will share about NYWC before I put it to rest for the year.

I'll see if John wants to do one more vlog when we get home tonight. I will do a final write up when I get home as well as the other secret post that I twittered about. (that one will be cool, at least in my opinion)

Again so if you are a new reader here, thank you for stopping by. And if you're a faithful reader, I do this for you and truly value you and cherish you, thanks for the years of support.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

vlog 27 

2 things: 1 This vlog is a full 10 min long. Just to warn you. 2 It cuts off a little at the end, but basically we were asking for feedback, ideas, creativity. Leave comments or post your own response.

vlog 27
brought to you by seesmic.com

vlog 26 

vlog 25 

vlog 24 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

vlog 23 

Friday, October 10, 2008

NYWC 08 pt 4 

pt 1
pt 2
pt 3

Let the live blogging resume from general session 2.

Tonight we will hear from 3 speakers Jarrett Stevens, Shane Claiborne, and Andrew Marin. Each of them will present for 15-20 min then allow for some time of discussion amongst people and then they will answer some questions that have been texted in to a central number (I'll post the number as soon as it goes live, if you want to send in questions).

So sit tight and follow along.

update 7:48
you can see the "official live blogging" at http://nywcsac.crowdvine.com/pages/356

update 7:53
Lincoln Brewster is leading worship again.

update 7:58
There was one year of NYWC that I lost my voice, and had to just listen to worship, it was a really cool year. I seem to do that more now, because of that experience.

update 8:00
video playing, it always amazes me with the creative stuff NYWC team comes up with!!!

update 8:01
Jeanne Stevens takes the stage to introduce Jarrett Stevens (yes she's married to him)

update 8:03
if you have ?s text NYWC + your question to 47201

update 8:04
Jarrett: "there are 'ends' to our ministries and there are 'means'" "God is the 'end'"

update 8:06
Jarrett Stevens: "God uses many means to lead us to God."

update 8:09
Jarrett: "The temple had become the end, instead of the means."
Matthew 27
Jesus' death rips the curtain in the temple.

update 8:11
Jarrett: talking about his church community 722 at North Point Community Church

update 8:13
Jarrett: We need to be doing something that everyone else isn't doing...

update 8:14
Jarrett sharing about how his community re-envisioned his church community. Ending one thing to be able to start another.

update 8:15
Jarrett: "what are some of the 'means' that have gotten in the way? have they become the 'ends'?"

update 8:18
Jarrett: "GOD IS THE END"

update 8:19
Jarrett: "Your life is the means to the end"

update 8:20
Jarrett: "There may be things in your life or you ministry that you may just need to pull the plug on..."

update 8:21
Jarrett's time is up. "You're the ass that gets to bring in Jesus, Jesus is the point."

update 8:22
8 min to discuss with those around you. go.

update 8:30
Jarrett answering questions sent in by text message.

update 8:32 1st ?: "can we say 'ass'?"
2nd ?: "how do you encourage us to get the 'powers that be' to see the real end and not get caught up on the means?"

update 8:33
3rd ? "you mentioned the tough year you and your staff had. How did you lead your staff through that/keep them encouraged?"

update 8:34
sorry I can't keep up with both ?s and answers see the NYWC liveblog for some of the answers. http://nywcsac.crowdvine.com/pages/356

update 8:35
4th ?: "What did you put in your sipper pocket on your shoulder?"
5th ?: "Does understanding our identity in christ effect the means? how?"

update 8:36
6th ?: "How do you make a church service separate from a production that truly does bring in people? Is it better to be dull with content or bright without content?"

update 8:37
I'm gonna take a break cause I really want to focus on what Shane Claiborne has to say. Follow live blog for now...

update 8:39
A few of the guys from Audio Adrenaline (now defunct) on video talking to peeps (live maybe?)

update 8:40
Marko on stage to give a few announcements.

update 8:41
Ok Marko saying Andrew Marin is next.
I'll continue to blog for now. Andrew is going to speak about Gay and Lesbian issues. Could get feisty in here.

update 8:43
Andrew: "Growing up I was the Bible banging Homophobe"

update 8:44
It wasn't college until Andrew started to actually know people who were gay. 3 different friends over a short period of time. All his 3 best friends came out to him over 3 months.

update 8:45
Andrew moved to the "boystown" in Chicago. To fully emerse himself in the gay culture.

update 8:46
Andrew: "the gay community was one of the most loving and accepting communities... and that put me in a weird place, I didn't know what to do"

update 8:47
Andrew: "The church usually has 2 responses to the gay issue: A. The church tries to convince homosexuals that the church is right and everyone else is wrong. B. The church tries to run."

update 8:52
Andrew is telling some stories about people he knows.

update 8:54
Someone on the live blog wrote: Andrew said: "John's story is about a young guy who really wrestled with his faith because of his same sex attraction. "We drop the ball on John."

update 9:00
Andrew is telling a 2nd story about a student...

update 9:00
the question time should get interesting....

update 9:02
Andrew reading an email he got, that he later found out was a suicide note.

To me the church needs to hear more stories, too often we insulate ourselves too much.

update 9:03
Discussion time, gonna change the battery during discussion time.

update 9:10
Thought: Andrew mentioned the fact that the church needs to apologize to the gay community for how we treat them. I TOTALLY agree.

update 9:11
discussion time over, question time

update 9:11
1st ?: "how often do you cry?"

update 9:12
2nd ?: "Andrew, what specifically does your foundation do?" http://www.themarinfoundation.org/

update 9:13
3rd ?: "What do you tell a student who 'thinks they might be gay'?"
sidenote: I probably didn't get a job at a church because of the way I answered this question. That's another post...

update 9:14
4th ?: "What would your exhortation be for a church that has thus far not been faced with issues of homosexuality?"

update 9:16
5th ?: "Do you believe a christian can condone homosexual activity as an acceptable lifestyle before God? Or should we condemn is as any other sexual sin?"

update 9:23
Andrew off stage, Shane coming up... signing off... going to pay attention, will be back for ? time.

update 9:50
Back from discussion time.
1st ?: "How long did it take you to grow out your hair?"

update 9:51
2nd ?: "How much money a year do you live off of?"

update 9:53
3rd ?: "Do you see you and your lifestyle as radical christianity? Or as an exapmle of what the norm should be?"

update 9:56
4th ?: "How do we introduce these concepts 2 our youth aside from the yearly clothes and food drive?"

update 9:58
5th ? I missed it. Short answer.

update 9:59
general session is ending headed to a late night discussion. Probably going to the one with Andrew Marin from earlier tonight.

John, Aaron and I will do our end of the day vlog later tonight. See ya then.

NYWC 08 pt 3 

pt 1
pt 2

This installment I'm calling it "how I got here".

And I don't mean sacramento (which was drive, in case you were wondering).

How did I get to this place in my life?

Let's start back in college.

I went to a small private college in Spokane, WA, having come from Los Angeles this was a bit of a culture shock. While I look back on that time as good, I don't think I can call it great. I was expanded and stretch and even met some great people, but there are parts of me that find myself looking back on the time and wondering if I could have been doing other things aside from getting into debt.

My degree is in Theology. I was focused on youth ministry and still am.

I currently call myself "a youth pastor in exile" (see this article I wrote)

After college I did not immediately find a job in ministry as I had hoped. I floundered in a myriad of jobs. All the while still volunteering in ministry.

This fall marks my 10th year in ministry.

I am passionate about youth ministry. I have done enough "internships" to be known by multiple presidents....

Finally I did land a job doing full time youth ministry (at 20 hours a week)...

Though that was only short lived. I made it 18 months. Left cause the church and I weren't exactly compatible. Loved the work, had a hard time with the church.

So here I am, well trained and willing, yet in exile from the ministry trying to find a place I mesh with.

I'm a bit of a wild card, I don't like to do things the way everyone else does. I like to think outside of the box. I align myself with the word "emergent". I think deeply. And most of those things don't work well with churches that just want someone to "run a program".

So in exile I remain. Though still connected. Thinking and pondering.

I'll make it to seminary someday, but I still feel strongly that I want to process all the ministry stuff that got stuck up in my head back in college, before I shove even more stuff up there. Maybe I'm being stubborn, but I want to be realistic and have some good ministry (full time for a good stretch) before I head off to ordination-land.

I love coming to events such as NYWC, I get to see old friends, I get to hear from great people, I get to think deeply about the church and life as a minister.

That's how I got here. In the short. In case you are new to this blog or just wanted more about who I am and what shapes me.

If you are at NYWC come find me. I'd love to meet you and just talk about anything. If you are just reading this, leave a comment, we'll dialogue. Feel free to ask questions.

What's your story? How did you get to where you are?

We'll see where God takes me from here...

NYWC 08 pt 2 

pt 1

Live blogging the 1st general session also follow me on twitter here.

Sitting here while Jeanne Stevens leads us through a prayer/reflection time using the lights on our cell phones.

Really am enjoying the fact that the speakers are talking to us from the middle of the room in somewhat of a 'in the round' feel.

Also as someone who's been here quite a few times it's fun to be here with Aaron (who you saw in the video) who's here for the first time. It will be interesting to see what he things of things and to get some perspective from him. Instead of just my jaded take on all things.

Looking forward to hearing from Bishop Sherwood Carthen in a few.

I'll keep updating this post with some more updates soon. Just come back and look for more below.

update 2:34p
Lincoln Brewster is on stage leading some worship.

update 3:00
Bishop Sherwood Carthen about to take the stage, last song of the worship set.

update 3:05
Bishop Sherwood has a nice soft voice. He's relating so well to the crowd.

update 3:07
Looks like he's going to be talking about being spiritual leaders... Challenging us not to just go through the motions.

update 3:09
Bishop: "I think [youth ministry] it should be more than a vocation. I think it should be a call..."

update 3:11
Bishop "you are influencing the lives of the future. But how many of you have not been influenced yourselves"

update 3:13
Bishop: "If you are going to lead... it's going to happen something like this...Then Jesus was lead into the wilderness, to be tempted by the devil..."

update 3:15
The idea of wilderness seems to be a central idea, when we think about our lives in ministry. I know in my life so many times I find myself trying to comprehend the God who leaves me by myself in the wilderness. Yet it is always years later that I realize that it was a good thing to be left alone in the wilderness.

update 3:18
the 'amens' can be heard through out the hall, bring it Bishop Sherwood!!!

update 3:20
Bishop: "If you're in a dry, desolate place right now... It might be because God wants you there."

update 3:21
Bishop: "You can't help anyone cross a line [spiritually] that you haven't first crossed yourself."

update 3:22
Bishop talking about stats of people going to church, saying only about 17% of people (in US) go to church on a sunday... the question is not are they not doing something (or if THEY should come) but the question is are we doing something wrong and not relating to people, notice I did not say preaching to people, let's engage where the 83% of people are and show them Jesus on a sunday, not asking them to come to us. (my opinions, not Bishop's)

update 3:27
Bishop "I'm a knuckle head and I'm glad you [God] uses knuckle heads..."

update 3:29
the man is sweating it for Jesus and bringing it. (yes he's pentecostal)

update 3:30
Bishop: "Leaders, if we don't get a fresh understanding of God, then we won't know what God is doing."

update 3:34
Bishop: "maybe the revelation will come after the wilderness..."

update 3:35
Bishop: "The wilderness is necessary to wash away all confidence in our flesh and to bring a deeper and a more intimate dependance upon God." "The purpose for the wilderness is brokenness." "You can't lead well until you are broken."

update 3:41
Bishop: "If you feel like God has put you on hold, your business is not to hang up."

update 3:45
Bishop: "You cannot give away what you do not have."

update 3:47
Bishop: "what's your wilderness?" "what are you struggling with?"

update 3:48
pause - wipes oodles of sweat from head
Bishop: "I want to pray for you, not because I'm supposed to"

update 3:50
Bishop: "I'm praying you are going to get what you need."

update 3:53
Bishop concludes. Tic wrapping up general session 1.
See everyone later with more updates.

vlog 22 

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

NYWC 08 pt 1 

Tomorrow night I leave for The National Youth Workers Convention.

It starts Friday and goes through Monday. As always when I go, I do the blog thing and I will also be twittering this year's events. So stay tuned for some youth ministry focused blogging and antics.

It's always one of my favorite events, I get to see so many old friends and get to meet new rad people.

If you're going find me. Or twitter me, or whatever...

See ya there.

Monday, October 06, 2008

d'oh x11 

It's been over a year since I was last able to get my hands on one of these.

Which by my count is farrrr toooo long. Before now, it was projected that at 2 times a year it would be another 5+ years before we finally caught up with all of the DVD sets and now it might be even longer. Here's to hoping that we get a 2nd DVD set this year. Otherwise it will be 2 consecutive years with only 1 DVD set released.

Make sure tomorrow to pick you your Simpsons Season 11 DVDs.

The simpsons still remain one of my favorite tv shows of all time. All I ask for is my 2 DVD sets a year and I will be happy to hand over my money to Matt Groening and Fox.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

churchtechcamp pt 3 

pt 1
pt 2

Overall the day was great. Granted I was on like 2 hours of sleep from the night before.

There were about 25 physical bodies that showed up at Fuller for the event and then anywhere from another 25-50 participants online at any given time during the day.

It was a great chance to meet some really awesome new people who have passions for tech and ministry. I was honored to be a part of the first churchtechcamp. I think it will be the catalyst for some more amazing events all around the country as they adopt the format and put together their own events and allow others to participate both physically and virtually.

We covered a range of subjects from ways to (geekily) organize your life and increase your productivity to learning about online prayer communities. There was never a time where discussion was not abundant and fruitful. I think we had to condense the schedule a bit since there was so much conversation.

That being said I did get to present towards the end of the day. My contribution was speaking about my favorite thing Twitter and the use of micro-blogging. It prompted some good conversation and seemed to be well received.

I had a great lunch with old friend DJ Chuang and new friend (but knew of each other) Spencer Burke of theooze.com. I also got to catch up with Ryan Bolger too, which is always a treat.

If you head back over to www.churchtechcamp.com you can find a stream of the day. Unfortunately it's not broken up into chunks, so if you want to see my portion either a)you have to watch the whole thing until the end, or b)get lucky and just happen to catch my portion, it's in the afternoon right after DJ's presentation.

There's a wiki page that can be found here that sums up some of the people and links and other things mentioned during the day.

I still need to respond to John's comment from the pt 2 post. I will do that in a separate post sometime this week.

PS we made it onto the Twitter Blog, as a trend for the day of things people were talking about. Which is a pretty big deal. See our mention here.

Thanks to organizers for all the hard work putting this event together and I can't wait for the next one.

Hello to all my new blog readers and twitter followers. Great to share life with you all.