Saturday, December 29, 2007

posting from new device...

I am testing the ability to type quickly on my new device. This could take a while to get use to but I think this will work out ok. It will probably be easier to type an email so I don't waste bandwidth. Cool. Oh why test? I have a mission trip on the horizon and want to blog about it with out taking my laptop. I am stoked! I just wish Jen was going with me.

Monday, December 24, 2007

the funny things that come out of kids mouths...

Caroline made a comment the other day that was hilarious and I wanted to blog about so I don't forget it when she is 30.

Sitting around the table at Los Marichis...

Caroline: "... she can't eat meat."

Dad: "Why can't she eat meat, Caroline?"

Caroline: "Photographers can't eat meat."

Laughter erupts...

Dad: "Caroline, do you mean Vegetarians?"

Caroline: "giggle...giggle...giggle..."


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

i took a minute out of my day...

There are songs that just hit you. They find you where you are, maybe even tell you where you are at in your life even when you weren't quite aware you where there? I know..that sentence doesn't make sense. It is not suppose to make any sense.

Today, the song in my head is Broken by Lifehouse. I can't stop singing it in my head. My life has a soundtrack. It has a great soundtrack. Everything is put to music in my mind. I dream and it has a soundtrack. Consumed with music maybe? I don't know, but today this song keeps playing. it is today's soundtrack and the more i sing it in my head, the closer it comes to finding a home on Sunday morning at RVCC.

I really dig the acoustic version from MTV Unplugged... it is out on Youtube i think.

Don't is just a bad day and i am sure that the song doesn't describe exactly what is going on in my life. It is just how I am feeling at the moment. (That little disclaimer is for the people who read my blog and call me immediately like I am on suicide watch or something) dang that was funny :)


here are the lyrics...

The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though I still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

The broken locks were a warning you got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead
I still see your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for purpose, they're still looking for life

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain is there healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

I'm hanging on another day just to see what you will throw my way
And I'm hanging on to the words you say
You said that I will be ok

The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
I may have lost my way now, haven't forgotten my way home

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

I'm holdin' on
I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

progressive dinner....

This past Saturday, we had our Annual Progressive Dinner. We had tons of great food, fellowship and fun. There was an impromptu snowball fight and rock band on the xbox 360 at the Purpero's. Here are some pictures of the evening. A great time was had by all. Thank you to the Pekkala's, Moores, Tiu's, and Purpero's for hosting the event! We even had a visit from the Grinch.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

four guys on a road trip....

Well, we are in the midst of our road trip. Four guys, 4 days, a military graduation of our friend John. It has been very good so far. I think God had way more in store for us than a visit to support John. We felt to commemorate our trip, we needed something spectacular! So Ed and Eli spent the entire night on the choreography and Alan picked the music! All we needed was a few hours of practice and it was perfect. Enjoy!

Congrats John! We are very proud of you!

Monday, December 10, 2007

and the Heisman goes to...

It is well documented that I am a sports fanatic. So no further explanation.

Saturday night I watched the Heisman Trophy Award Show. I really did not feel that there was a legitimate contender in the group. My pick is Chris Wells. I am biased. I surely was not rooting for Tim Tebow from Florida. After watching his Florida Gators dismantle the Buckeyes in the National Championship game, I could not honestly support a Gator for the Heisman.

As I watched the great stories about how these kids had to battle against the odds to make it to this point in their life, I was almost disappointed. Why does everyone have to have this "story"? Why can't just one of them be a normal person? I know the media like to elaborate... it makes for better television. Normal people can be inspiring to others? Right? I hope! I am normal, at least I like to think I am :) and my hope is that I might inspire someone... then I wonder... what do I really want people to see about me that might inspire them? Good question.

I listened to Tim Tebow's story. He birth was nearly aborted. His parents had to make a decision about his life! How difficult is that to do? Sacrifice their son so that mother might live? His father talked about prayer in the story. His mother was open to God's will for their lives. Tim just continued to smile. He had every opportunity to talk about his story. He could have went on about the odds that he faced... even before his birth. Tim just smiled at the camera and said,"My faith in Jesus Christ is why I am here today." We hear a lot of celebrities make those same statements in front of the camera, but don't really live them out in their day to day life. Tim went on to say, "My faith in God is first, my relationship with my family is second, my academics is third and football is fourth." I believed him. He said, "My father lived out his faith in front of me everyday." That was the statement that sold me on Tim Tebow. It told me that he really knew about having a relationship with God.

I began to root for Tim Tebow as the Heisman Trophy winner. He is a great example and wants to be that example. He is proof that it comes down to the process of life to make you who you are and who you can be. He is a good grape :) (listen to Steve's message from this weekend). We are given opportunities in our life to influence people, Tim Tebow took full advantage of his opportunity on Saturday night. He proved to the world that your passion for God can overflow into all aspects of your life. He lived out his faith in front of millions of people on campus, at practice, and on game day. He found himself blessed with the Heisman Trophy, but more important he got a chance to share what God can do with a person who is obedient.

Congratulations Tim Tebow!

I am now a fan.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rob Bell...

I have been looking forward to this for a very long time. I heard Rob Bell speak 3 years ago in Atlanta, GA at the National Youth Workers Convention. I still listen to the recording of his message once a month. It had a great impact on me. It still does every time I listen. There are people you just connect with, connect with their style, connect with their teaching. You appreciate their thoughts and how they can translate those thoughts into words that can move people. I long for that type of gift, but it is not in me. I have met three teachers in my life that I can say have reached out to me with their words and have made God real to me. Don't mistake the last comment, I have been touched by many people along my path that have changed my life in one way or another. These three people are extraordinary teachers to me and share their gifts with me. The first is Steve North, he opened a new world to me, a world with Jesus being more than a picture on the wall. The second is Steve Good, he continues to stretch me and change me and I can't wait to hear what is next from him. The third is Rob Bell.

Last night, we sat at the feet of our rabbi. We drove to Cleveland to hear Rob Bell. He is on the "the gods aren't angry" tour. The proceeds of the tour go to an overseas mission. Rob is a little dramatic, surprisingly funny, and amazingly deep. He walked out on stage and began to speak. "There was this cavewoman...".

Rob (if I may call him Rob for the sake of the blog) went on to tell a story about how we as humans from the beginning have felt as if we had to work to gain favor from the gods. The vicious cycle of sacrifice, favor, more sacrifice to increase favor, gods offended, more sacrifice required, and so on and so forth left the human race not knowing where they stood. He told stories of different gods and why they were worshiped and how this type of sacrificial worship is doomed to fail for us. Rob went on to talk about how the one true God changed this with His Son, the only true sacrifice. He talked about father Abraham had many sons...and many sons had father Abraham :), and as Abraham did as God asked and went up on the mountain to sacrifice his first son, Rob taught us about how our God is a god who provides.... He provided Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead of his son. A god who provides. A god with which you know where you stand.

Rob continued this theme though out the talk. Weaving personal stories about people in his life with truth from scripture. He landed on rituals and how over the ages we have become accustomed to rituals. We use rituals to help us understand, cope, comfort and redeem ourselves. I don't feel as if Rob was against rituals, but that we have sort of lost the understanding of why we continue to practice them over the centuries. Rob connected the ritual of sacrifice in the old testament, to the sacrifice of Jesus in the new testament, all the way to the cutting (self mutilation) of todays generation to cope with the craziness in their lives. Rob felt as if the need to cut stems from the need to sacrifice. God chose to sacrifice Jesus at the altar of the cross (Rob made altar references all evening) because we as humans could make the connection. We could find comfort in the sacrifice in some strange way. He wrapped the talk up in an amazing way, tying in that all of this is done out of love. Love wins.

There is no way I can describe the entire talk in two paragraphs. I would not want to attempt that task. Rob talked for an hour and 45 minutes without notes. Impressive! One item worth mentioning... Rob sneezed and in his words, "Twenty one cities in twenty six days and I sneeze in Cleveland. I have been fighting that since Cave woman!". He was shook for a few seconds, but his sense of humor took over and made a great recovery. I am still trying to process everything he talked about to come up with my own conclusions. I can say that it was amazing. I can say that some how I am changed. I have ideas I have never even entertained in my mind. That notion excites me tremendously. I am sure there will be another blog to put down my thoughts, but not tonight. I am still soaking in one of the best talks I have ever heard in my life. I sit here, still covered in the dust of my rabbi. I am sure Rob Bell does not appreciate the rabbi reference, but I have been following his teaching for almost 4 years. Anxiously awaiting his next sermon, book or video. Awaiting his dust...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

when the game slows down...

Have you ever played a new sport and the speed of the action takes you by surprise? I remember the first time I ever played Hockey. I could barely keep up with the puck. I felt as if I were no my heals the entire time. I could never get a good shot on the puck. I was tired from the moment I started. After a few games, the game starts to slow down and come to you. It is like you are more in tune with the pace. You find that you are not on your heals any longer, but you are on top of the game. You think faster. You anticipate better. You come into a zone where everything just clicks.

My daughter Maddie took a 3 year hiatus from soccer. I retired from coaching High School soccer so that I could coach her team when she was a 5 year old. She played for 2 seasons and then told me that she hated soccer and wanted to concentrate on tennis. I was crushed. I love soccer. I love Maddie even more. So we stepped away from the sport... completely. Last spring, Caroline decided to play soccer. She had a great time. Maddie sat on the sidelines on Saturday mornings, watching her little sister have fun. This fall, Maddie told us she wanted to start playing soccer again. A little nudge from a younger sibling was enough to stir her interest in soccer again. She had a great fall season. She played defense all season long, and became a pretty good right back by the end of the season.

She was invited to play on an indoor soccer team for the first time with a group of kids from her original team back when she played U6. It was the first time most of these kids have ever played indoor soccer. The first game was not very pretty. We were crushed 7-2. The pace of the game really overwhelmed the kids. They found themselves chasing the ball alot. They were confused by the wall and playing the carom of the ball. You could tell they still had fun. I knew once they game came to them, it would get interesting.

Last week, I watched the game and noticed that our kids were playing pretty good. The big difference was they were keeping up with the game. It was happening, the game was slowing down. We won the game fairly easily and racked up a number of goals. It was obvious that the game had come to Maddie. She scored two goals and had a few assists. She was striking the ball with force, squaring her shoulders and being very aggressive. It was exciting to watch her have so much fun and some success.

Last night, I had to go bowling for VM Wireless and missed Maddie's game. She was apprehensive about the game, because of a conflict she has with one of the kids on the opposing team. It is a boy from school that bullies her and a few of her friends around. I told her, "Go out and have fun, play hard, be aggressive and don't worry about him. Show him you can play hard and maybe he will leave you alone." A few hours later she called me and said, "Dad, I scored 3 goals and we won 6-4." I was so excited for her! Her first "Hat trick"! She told me last night that she loved soccer and that indoor was getting easier! I am very proud of her. She works hard to improve her game. More important, she is developing a passion for the game that you will find within all great soccer players.

I love that she is playing soccer again and having lots of fun!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Big Wednesday...

I am not sure where to start. My prayer for the evening was that there would be healing, a sense of unity and that God would speak to someone that so needed to hear His voice. I am not sure if all or any of those prayers were answered, but I like to think God is good and makes all things well. I am one to buck tradition. I don't like getting trapped in things we do just because we have always done them that way. At least that is what i tell myself. Big Wednesday had become a River Valley Tradition. Big Wednesday was a tradition that almost wasn't because others (great people mind you) wanted to buck tradition as well. I was onboard with that decision. Why do something just because... is God's heart in that sentiment? Does God want us to keep doing the same thing, just because it sounds like a good thing? I ask that question a lot. Thank goodness God knows better. He orchestrated an evening last night that was absolutely all the things HE wanted it to be and God used people who's hearts were in the right place. I am so blessed that God decided our church needed to continue Big Wednesday at RVCC, it is a wonderful night of worship and fellowship. Not for the sake of the tradition, but for the sake of our spiritual revival.

I have to say that God took care of everything. The words that came out of my mouth, the worship we sang, the unfamiliarity with the worship team and the concern for the success of the event. We measure success in many ways. The room was not full, but it was close. People were singing, very loud. Steve measured the evenings success in baseball terms. God hit a home run. I appreciated that feedback. I don't always measure the success of an event the same way most people might. Tonight, I had to agree with Steve.

I sat in my Jeep for a few minutes after all of the hype had settled and realized what had happened. In those few short moments of clarity, I found myself completely overwhelmed. I heard God. "If you let me, I can fix everything". I think we (RVCC) took a big step towards repair last night. I cried.

One of my favorite John Mayer songs is called "In repair". Although the song has no relationship to this situation, it's title does. We are a church in repair. Through struggle we find character. Through God we find repair. We met with God last night, what a great step to take. He is the remedy. I think... just maybe.. prayer was answered! Amen.

Too many shadows in my room
Too many hours in this midnight
Too many corners in my mind
So much to do to set my heart right
Oh it's taking so long i could be wrong, i could be ready
Oh but if i take my heart's advice
I should assume it's still unsteady
I am in repair, i am in repair

Stood on the corner for a while
To wait for the wind to blow down on me
Hoping it takes with it my old ways
And brings some brand new luck upon me
Oh it's taking so long i could be wrong, i could be ready
Oh but if i take my heart's advice
I should assume it's still unsteady
I am in repair, i am in repair

And now i'm walking in the park
All of the birds they dance below me
Maybe when things turn green again
It will be good to say you know me

Oh it's taking so long i could be wrong, i could be ready
Oh but if i take my heart's advice
I should assume it's still unsteady
Oh i'm never really ready, yeah, oh, i'm never really ready
I'm in repair, i'm not together but i'm getting there

Saturday, November 10, 2007

from the crowder concert

Here is a glimpse from the Crowder Show at Bogarts in Cincy. My ears are still ringing, but so worth it. We were right up front, next to the Subs and Mains. Was loud...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

our very own photo shoot...

Today was a busy day. We had so many things going on, but found a few minutes to play with the camera out in the yard. I am still learning how to use it, i still cant seem to get the shutter speed and aperture correct. I really like the color tones i am getting, but i am losing so much detail. Eye color, skin washed out, and way more mistakes than i really would like to admit. So i guess this is still the trial and error portion of my learning curve. A friend of mine allowed me to take her lens home this weekend to play around with it. It is a 55-200 VR lens. It is pretty nice. It does not do great in low light, but outside mid-day does great! I would be happy with it for the price. Here are a few pictures of our shoot.

Friday, November 2, 2007

it has been a long time..

WOW! It has been a long time! I have not blogged in almost a month. I had to give it up quite honestly. I really had nothing worth writing about. I was afraid that my posts would be negative or taken the wrong way. I have been running into roadblocks for everything so it seems and I did not want my frustration to come across in my writing. So with that being said, here is a easy post to get back in the game...

We had a great time at our last youth event. We had an Amazing Faith Race! Yes, just like the TV show! It was comprised of traveling(in Pike County), challenges, and riddles. We had a great time. I think we covered about 100 miles! It was awesome! I hope everyone had a great time. Big Ups to everyone that helped organize and participate! Here are some pictures!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Crowders new cd...

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you are well aware of my David Crowder Band tendencies. I read his blog, i followed the recording of "Remedy" via webcam, i have tickets to Cincy show in November, i run to his music, i cover his music in worship and i am generally intrigued by him as a person. I could easily go into my usual rant about my inability to write songs. About how my songs are typically simple and stupid to be quite honest. But I won't go there, but i do appreciate how Crowder can mix great riffs and wonderfully pleasing lyrical rhymes.

Of course i was patiently awaiting Crowders new cd "remedy" since April of this year. Well it was finally released on September 25th, 2007. I downloaded and listened to all of the songs. If i can be honest, I was not that impressed. I know it was just a quick listen then off to bed, but very few of the songs really grabbed me. I wanted to be so excited about it. I even told my friends that it was great! I really struggled to find a connection to it. So I put my Shane and Shane cd back in the cd player. I felt the fact that the cd had only had 10 tracks on it and 3 of the songs had already previously been released was a short coming and evidence that Six Steps and Crowders Management group had taken quite a bit of control. I can almost hear the conversation in my head...

Crowder: "So the guys and I have put our brains together metophorically and are pretty stoked about the 15 songs we have commenced preparation of for the new cd."

Management: " David that sounds great, but we see a problem with the number of tracks."

Crowder: "I think 15 tracks is a perfect number, I mean, we put 21 tracks on "A Collision"

Management: " Yeah, about that. iTunes killed us on that one, 21 tracks for $9.99" " We are still trying to recover from that one, we know that your cd was in the top ten of albums on the front page, but we would have taken a loss if it weren't for DCB beating out INXS for Artist of the Year on MSN" " Who would have thought the robots would have purchased so many cd's?"

Crowder: " well...ummmm... we do have some great names for the Cd and some sweet cover art..

Management: "Since we are on the subject...we feel that staying with a letter of the alphabet and a one word theme might not work this time and well... printing costs are starting to rise due to the cost of oil in the middle east, so staying with a 2 color CD cover, one word title will keep costs down."

Crowder: "but we still need to do a continuation of the war on squirrels video, PETA is still all worked up about that one and we were able to spin that into some great marketing!"

Let me state that, In my life I have yet to finish ten songs of my own, so who am i to really complain... maybe he just did not have anymore songs for the cd. Who am I to really say to much, after all.. it is what it is. Christian Music is still an industry. It will always operate that way, and selfishly if I were approached about recording a cd (and I had songs worth recording) I would be tempted.

So the cd has been out just short of two weeks and hitting around 15 play count on the iPod for "Remedy". My opinion is changing. I knew it would. I just had to give Crowders intriguing lyrics, technical loops and heart for God to find its way into my soul. At this point, I don't think there is a song that i skip past while running on the treadmill or driving down the street. I can hear some of these worship songs being sung at the top of our lungs at the National Youth Workers in November. I am already practicing a few of them to lead at RVCC. I appreciate the simplicity and focus in Crowders lyrics on a few of the tracks. The passion from which he finds these songs are amazing. You can feel it. At this point, my favorite track is "remedy". It is simple, passionate, and healing. I can't wait to lead this song next Sunday. I will never be able to do it justice, but the cool thing is RVCC has taken many of the songs we have introduced and made them anthems for our church. I step back from the mic and let them cry out to God. WOW, it is amazing to witness. True worship. They sing them like I remember my old church singing their favorite hymns. We are transforming worship, we are moving in new directions, we are pushing the comfort zone, we are responding to God in ways that make Him the focus. Bands like the David Crowder Band are changing worship, changing rhythm and rhymes, and creating songs for a new generation to cling to and lift to Him.

Thanks for a new line drawn in the sand.... I have more room to work with tomorrow.

He is the one
Who has saved us
He is the one
Who embraced us
He is the one who has come
And is coming again
He’s the remedy...

He's the remedy...

He's the remedy...

He's the remedy...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

i read this on a blog I frequent...

I thought this was great stuff from Tom Brokaw... taken from

addressing the graduating class of emory university, tom brokaw said:

"You have been hearing all of your life that this occasion is a big step into what is called the real world. What, you may ask, is that real world all about? What is this new life? Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2005 at Emory, real life is not college; real life is not high school. Here is a secret that no one has told you: Real life is junior high."

"The world that you’re about to enter is filled with junior high adolescent pettiness, pubescent rivalries, the insecurities of 13-year-olds, and the false bravado of 14-year-olds. 40 years from now, I guarantee it: You will still make a silly mistake every day. You will have temper tantrums and you’re feelings will be hurt for some trivial sleight. You’ll say something dumb at the wrong time. And you will wonder at least once a week, “Will I ever grow up?” You can change that. In your pursuit of your passions, always be young. In your relationship with others, always be grown-up. Set a standard, and stay faithful to it."

As I reflected on this statement. I realized just how much truth was in all of that. I can look back on the last 20 years and realize that my life has been full of Junior High moments. Most of those moments have been my fault. If you ask my wife, she can tell you I am far from being grown up. I know one day that I will be so old that I can't pull it off any more. My hope is that I can act young, enjoy life like I am young, but find that I am grown up in my relationships. I don't have time for any more of those "Junior High" moments. Junior High was the worst 2 years of my

Friday, September 21, 2007

my great friend John.....

Today, was a great day. I got a lot of work accomplished. In the same breath, it was a tough day for me as well. My friend John...well...he is leaving. Today was his last day at work. He is joining the Army. I really did not know what to say to him. I usually have words for every occasion. It is this gift I have, I guess. I can usually say the right thing at the right time. Help people feel comfortable. But today, I did not really know what to say to John. He doesn't leave for another week or so, but it was his last day at work. We have worked together, worshipped together, shot each in Call of Duty and played softball together. He is a great friend. He is probably a much better friend to me than I am to him. He has taught me a lot about creating a piece of software, about becoming a student of the Word, about making decisions about life, giving me advice about missions, and most of all.... John has shown me a person that lives life like Jesus. John has given me a great example to follow.. I thank God for putting John in my life, my fear is that I may never see him again. Until we get to go Home..... I will miss him very much.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

first day of Kindergarten for Caroline...

Today was Caroline's first day of school. Here are a few pictures... I am feeling old, both of my children are in school now and in 13 years Caroline will graduate! Ok..getting ahead of

Shane and Shane...

Last night a group of 14 of us went to see the Pages tour at the Grove City Church of the Nazarene. We had to rush around to get everyone collected in one place and then to the venue in a timely manner. Once there, I was able to relax. We had about 20 minutes to spare and had a moment to socialize with everyone who came. We saw a few of our Scioto Hills friends who had made the trek from Southern Ohio to enjoy an evening of worship.

I have to preface this by saying...Shane and Shane rock my face off. My good friend JD Hortel told me about them a few years ago and I have been hooked ever since. Shane is an amazing guitar player. I am humbled after hearing him play. I love the vocals, the sound and the lyrics blow me away. I just do not know how to write songs like he does. He is gifted from God.

The openers were Monk and Neagle. They played about 40 minutes. They are a great duo. Just the two of them with their voices and their guitars. I highly recommend them. They released an acoustic cd and this is were they shine. I am not as big a fan when they are with a full band. I think this is where they really showcase their talents. Jen and I saw them open up for MercyMe a few years ago and have been fans ever sense.

Bebo Norman was great. I honestly had not heard his new cd. I have only purchased, "I will lift my eyes" from the iTunes Music Store. I love that song! It is quite amazing to sing with our church community, they have really taken ahold of that song and sing it like it is an anthem! Love it! I sang that song at my Grandmother's funeral a few weeks ago, it will always have a special place with me. Bebo shared a powerful moment about how we are called to help the poor. He was talking about a great ministry called Compassion International. It was obvious that he was speaking from his heart.

Last, Shane and Shane took the stage. They opened up with "Vision of You" and "Yearn". Worship was on at that point.... I am going to admit something, it is been really hard for me to worship lately. I am failing at it miserably. Not tonight! I had a raise the hands, deep in my soul kind of worship experience. Shane's lyrics infect me. They weigh on me in a way that I can't describe or explain. Add the harmonies and I am moved. I don't want to even start on the guitar strumming... humbled.

They continued the worship and played some great Shane and Shane songs...Miss you, Psalm 118, and others. One of the last songs was a new one. It was called "Embracing Accusations". Shane explained the fact that he wrote a song thanking Satan.... so I know the feeling...There are songs i always feel like i need to explain, so everyone will be on the same page..know where I am coming from, so not to offend or confuse.

It is an amazing song that describes the battle that we are in with Satan and how he reminds us continually of our failures and faults and that we are cursed (Galations 3). But in that accusation, Satan forgets the next sentence..."Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us," Simply put like the last line of the song..."Jesus saves". At that point of the worship, I may have been crying. How easy it is for us to forget. I was reminded by the words, by the worship to God, by the singing, by the hearts that Jesus's blood was enough. I fight the battle daily and in the struggle I forget about what is most important. I loose sight of the prize. I find in my despair, it is easy for Satan to remind me of my being cursed. I loose focus. Then I hear Shane sing...."Jesus SAVVVVVVVEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS" and it pierces the silence in my heart with joy and redemption!

Fantastic worship! I am sure God was pleased Tuesday night to hear His people singing of His victory!

If you have never heard Shane and Shane...check out a few video's on YouTube. This is one of my Favorite new songs from S&S called "Beg". YOu get to see a little bit of their humor in this one. Great song!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

this was a great day....

Today, Maddie and Jennifer were baptized at RVCC's Annual Baptism. It was awesome. I am so proud of them both! I could go on and on about how this makes me feel, but I will reserve that for another post. Thank you to our Church family at River Valley, they are responsible for helping both Maddie and Jennifer come to the place in their lives they want to publicly show their love for Jesus! Here are a few pictures.... this baptism sponsored by Hall's Automotive, LiveWorship and Nike.... Just Kidding..

Tyler Cornish was baptized too! AWESOME!

Monday, August 20, 2007

this test is full of crap...

74%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Dating Site

Thanks to Marko...

... and I thought at the last moment... this probably was not a good idea...

Last night as a group of girls decided to slide down the giant slip and slide at our Youth event, I thought...It is awesome to see all of these kids having fun together. Immediately after that thought, a large number of High school boys slide took off sliding in pursuit of the above mentioned girls... and at the last moment I thought... this probably was not a good idea. A crash at the bottom of the hill ensued and there was a bloody nose, apologies and a rush to go get ice to keep the swelling down. It was the only accident of the night, but enough of one to make me question if there should have been more rules in place to prevent such casualties. But then again, the scratches all over my back and stomach from sliding off the end a few times are proof that I don't always follow rules anyway.

Friday, August 17, 2007

... finally posting the Charlie Hall picture...

Back in June...I talked about getting to meet Charlie Hall, who has a huge influence on my music. I told you I would post a here it is...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

in honor of the Simpsons....

I was a big Simpson's fan back in the day....which was 20 years ago. What a run that show has been on. I believe it is just as popular now as it was back has been in reruns for 15 years! Here are a few of my early Simpson's favorite moments...

1. Great halloween episodes! My favorite was the Simpson's version of Edgar Alan Poe's "The Raven". Classic!

2. Christmas episode where Marge takes the kids to the mall to Christmas Shop and finds out that Bart is getting a tattoo. Caught in the midst of his really "Bozz" tattoo, Bart's tattoo reads "Moth" instead of "Mother" and Marge had to spend the Christmas money on having it surgically removed. When Homer gets home from work, he finds Maggie sucking on her Binky and poking the bandage on Bart's arm over and over again... while Bart repeats..."OUCH... quit it!"..."Ouch... quit it!". When Homer asks why Bart has a bandage on his arm, he replies, "It use to be a real bozz tattoo until Mom had it surgically removed."... one of my favorite lines. Funny stuff.

This is me... Simpsonized..

Monday, August 13, 2007

we had a great family day at Kings Island...

We went to Kings Island today. We had a great time. It was so much fun riding rides. The girls had a blast. Maddie got sick on the Monster and then got shook up pretty good on the Racers. Caroline is a dare devil...she was not tall enough to ride most of the bigger rides and she had a melt down when she could not ride the White Water Canyon. She was able to ride it last year, but the new owners of Kings Island (Cedar Fair, Inc.) bumped up the height requirements on all of the rides. They have reopened the Son of Beast...they took out the loop. That is one mean ride...WOW! Awesome. I had a chance to ride the Beast again...28 years after the first time I rode that coaster and is is still the best!

Here are a few pictures from our day!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

our Youth group went bowling tonight....

We went to Shawnee Lanes bowling with the youth group from RVCC tonight! We had a great time. It was great to see so many participate again. Our attendance has been pretty low all summer long, but tonight we had 16 people and a ton of fun. Here are some pictures from the event...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

i sat on the edge of my seat....

I sat on the edge of my seat. Patiently awaiting his turn to bat again. The crowd was full of energy, on their feet. You can feel the tension in the air. First pitch...ball 1. Second Pitch was low and away. The third pitch was a slider taken for strike 1. He fouled off the next pitch to bring the count to 2-2. The next pitch was low and away again and the count was full. The flash bulbs were going crazy. Everyone on their feet, including me. The next pitch was about thigh high and it was gone. Mike Bacsik gave Barry Bonds a pitch he could drive out of the deepest part of the ballpark. History! Barry Bonds just hit homerun number 756 to break the record held by great Hank Aaron for the last 33 years.

I have been blessed to see many milestone in Major League Baseball. Pete Rose break the all time hits record. Cal Ripkin Jr. break the Consecutive Starts record. Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa chase after Roger Maris's single season homerun record and countless other great moments in baseball history. I love baseball for the nostalgia and the history. It is still the Great American Past time. I witnessed history tonight and it may never happen again in my lifetime, but then again, records are made to be broken.

Monday, August 6, 2007

i finished Harry Potter the other day...

So, I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I must say it was a great story. i will not tell you anything about the story, in case you have not read it yet. I would hate to spoil the ending ;).

I spent a week ignoring anything and everything Harry Potter until I could get the book and start reading... I did not want to know the ending before reading it for myself. I accomplished that task! Here are a few things that I liked....

1. Our little Harry Potter discussion group at work was dead on...we had the booked nailed! Our theories were good, even though Eli did not like it. Sorry Eli!

2. I loved how Rowling portrayed Neville Longbottom! His story of redemption is classic!

3. The life in the the tent....was boring, but took us through some things we needed to know.

4. I enjoyed watching Harry mature in this book. He had always skidded by on a little luck, great friends and being brave enough to take risks. In this book, he had to be brave because he understood the prophesy, but he really had to piece the history together in his head to outsmart the enemy. It was obvious that He had become the man Dumbledore had hoped he would be while living out in the tent.

5. Snape...You love to hate him. What a great character. Rowling kept me so back and forth on my opinion of Severus Snape that I just did not know where he would land. Fantastic!

What a great series of books. Regardless of whether you like them or not, they are well written stories that have inspired a video gaming generation to pick up great literature and jump into using their imaginations.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I bought a camera...

OK, I finally broke down and spent my money on a new camera! A Nikon D40! It is an entry level Digital SLR and I love it. Of course I still have a lot to learn about al that it can do, but I can already see the advantage of taking pictures with the Nikon. The kit lens is fantastic. It is an 18-55 Wide Angle lens that is great for closeups and snapshots. I am excited to get a nice telephoto lens so that I can pull in some of those great shots. Actually, I really want the ability to get close to Maddie and Caroline during school programs, church musicals, soccer games, tennis matches, etc. Our previous camera is great for snapshots, but just did not cut it for anything more than 20 feet away.

It has been a long time since I was excited about photography. I took some classes in college, but the professor hated every picture I ever turned in to him. At that point in time, I gave up taken pictures of random things. I became a very pointed photographer. I only took pictures of important things like family events, vacations, etc. My Dad was an amateur photographer when I was a kid. I received a Nikon 4004S 35mm Camera when i graduated from High School from my parents. it is still one of my prized positions. It has taken 1000's of pictures with that camera and it still works perfectly.

i am again excited about taking pictures of random things...

BUT...I am no Jaki Good ;)

Monday, July 30, 2007

one of the hardest things I have ever done...

Today, we buried my grandmother. It was a tough week to be quite honest. I am so a first born child. I have gone all week making sure that I was strong for everyone. It hit me this morning in the shower. I sobbed. It has been a long time since I have done that sort of thing. I had been up late making sure that what I was planning to say about my grandmother was perfect. Well, it did not come out perfect, but I think people who attended her celebration were on the same page. But this morning in the shower, this last week caught up with me. I had all of those stories fresh in my mind. I become overwhelmed with love for my Grandmother. As my family slept, I wept. It was uncontrollable. I had all of this emotion bottled up inside of me and it just burst. When i recovered, I knew I was ready to read my Grandmothers eulogy. It felt good to get that off my chest. It felt good to finally mourn. In that grieving I found acceptance.

This was my Grandmother's funeral, but I struggled with the fact that I never really had any closure with the death of my Grandfather. His funeral was not well planned, to no fault of anyone. I think we were all still in shock. Today, I opened with a few words about my Grandparents as a couple. I talked about how they were different, yet complimented each other so well. I was blessed by their example of marriage. I loved them both very much. Upon saying that last statement, I had to pause to take a deep breath. Closure. Finally, I felt like I could finally move on.

I shared all about how Grandma Perky ( which is what Maddie and Caroline have always called her) was all about serving her family, her friends, and anyone else she came in contact with over the years. I shared about how she was a beautiful example of love. I talked about Francis Chan's quote, "Love is when service doesn't feel like service." I described how Grnadmother lived that exact statement. She loved us so much that when she cared for us, it wasn't like work. She lived to do such things for everyone.

I finally tied in the fact that her being a seamstress was no mistake. She spent her entire life always sewing, patching, and mending our lives together as a family. A beautiful example of love.

I felt guilty as family members thanked me for doing the eulogy. I just wanted Grandma to have her time today. To share something about her, that would make her proud. I could not afford to wait eight years for closure, and neither could the rest of my family. I love them too much to allow that to happen again. There was no need to thank me, congratulate me, or even tell me how proud they were of how I shared Grandma's life. She deserved it. I do not deserve the praise. I shared from my heart. I hope I shared from everyone else's hearts as well.

My Aunts and Uncles will never comprehend how much I love them. I try to tell them, but words just don't seem like enough to do justice. My cousins...well, I can't not put into words how much I look up to them, how much I respect what they have done with their lives, and how proud I am of who they have become as people. They all have had a huge impact on my life and the person I have grown to become throughout my lifetime. I can't thank them enough. I just hope they know that when I hugged them today and told them I loved them, it is love beyond measure...

I wanted to share this scripture today, but felt I was going long so I did I will share it now...

1 Corinthians 13

1 I may speak in different languages of people or even angels. But if I do not have love, I am only a noisy bell or a crashing cymbal. 2 I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all the secret things of God and have all knowledge, and I may have faith so great I can move mountains. But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing if I do not have love.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.

8 Love never ends. There are gifts of prophecy, but they will be ended. There are gifts of speaking in different languages, but those gifts will stop. There is the gift of knowledge, but it will come to an end.9 The reason is that our knowledge and our ability to prophesy are not perfect.10 But when perfection comes, the things that are not perfect will end.11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I stopped those childish ways.12 It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me.13 So these three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Virginia Pettit....

This morning around 4:15 EST my Grandmother, Virginia Pettit succumbed to her struggle with cancer. It is a sad day for my family. My hope is that they can see that her life was one to celebrate! We must mourn, it is our nature. My experience with death, though limited, has been that the end of a life is filled with sadness. Since I accepted Christ, my outlook on death has been so different. I don't really have that fear of dying anymore. The cool thing Grandma did not have that fear this week either. She accepted that she was at the end of her time on earth, she seemed prepared to go and I believe she was prepared because she knew she got to meet Jesus today. I have never been more Homesick then now....

I love you, Grandma.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sunday was fun...

We were invited to play at Fire Fest 2007. The brainchild of a few local people who have a heart for the church's in Waverly to work together! There was some anxiety about worshipping in front of people that have watched us grow up. It is so much easier to worship with people you don't know very well. Worshipping in front of people who know so much about you, your life, your family makes you question yourself. It is an attack. Plain and simple. Here are a few pictures from the event from my great friend and the official pilot of the MFE, Jon Mark Hall.

Since I brought it up, I have to apologize. I play with 2 bands. One is an amazing group of guys God has put in my life to help me grow as a musician. Jim, Dale, Roy, Jesse, and Dan are fantastic people, who use their musical gifts to Praise God in amazing ways. Awesome hearts. I love these guys. I do not get to play with them often enough. We have been trapped in a band name since the beginning...I run, i hide, but it is still there. The Marty Ford Experience. My friend Jesse played a practical joke on me and it has stuck. We just can't escape it. I am embarrassed to give the band name to people for events we are playing. I have had Pastors offer prayer for my "big ego", people laugh because they know I am not much of an experience, and people who love it because they know that I far from the egotist the name suggests.

The second band I play with is the group of kids you see in the pictures. They help me lead worship at church once a month. These kids are incredible. They have developed into great musicians, but even better worshippers. I have seen in them a desire to draw close to God in worship. They understand it is a response and it is not for us. I can't express how proud I am of them and the young leaders they have grown to be. I love being around them, their energy and passion is infectious. I love them like they were my own kids.

Here is the reason for the apology.... These kids have no identity when they are with me. What I mean by that is for the one day of Fire Fest, they were official members of the MFE, whether they like it or not. That was painful for me. I purposefully did not give the organizers of the event a band name so the kids would not be stuck in that band name, self promotion sort of activity. My plan sort of backfired. Instead of calling us the MFE...they called us "the River Valley Worship team". I felt awful about that. Don't get me wrong, I proudly stand up and represent RVCC! But there are so many others not involved with Fire Fest that day that are just as much a part of the River Valley Worship Team. I felt so bad that I sent a text message that night to Steve to apologize. I felt I was offending people either way. Call us "MFE" and the kids fall into the same trap I am in and call us "RVCC Worship Team" and the others who did not participate but belong in that name are possibly hurt.

Sunday was fun. I so need a great band name.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

hey Mr. ... would he want my lunch?

There was boy about 10 years old out playing in the street one day. He was having a great time doing what 10 year old boys do at that age. He had not a care in the world. His world was pretty simple. He would awaken every morning to the chores his parents had planed for him to complete. Once through the list it was off to play with the other neighborhood children until it was time to eat lunch.

As the boy played in the street, he heard the sound of people talking. At first the sound of the crowd was faint, but the noise level grew with ever step closer the rambunctious crowd drew. The excitement filled the air, but what was it all about? The boy wanted to find out! His parents were not interested in all of the hype, but the boy had to follow along, he just had to see for himself. He begged his parents to allow him to follow the growing crowd. At this point there were two, maybe three thousand people walking through the town. The young boy needed to be with all of these people. He just knew it. The ever growing mob was full of energy, curiosity, and laughter. The boy thought it was like a parade!

In the house next door, the the family could not sit and watch the crowd walk by with out finding out more about the commotion. So they packed up and joined the caravan. As they were leaving the house, the young boy begged to join them in their expedition. The neighbors agreed and they were off. As they hit the trail, the boys mother, called him back. She had packed him a lunch. She kissed him on the forehead and said, " Be home by dinner", then sent him on his way. The young boy was so excited. The excited mob was like a new world for him to explore.

As they hiked toward their destination, the boy skipped from conversation to conversation, listening in to the stories that these travelers were telling. The stories were amazing! So many tales, could they all be true? He wanted to believe what people were saying, but even a young boy has his doubts. As they all started to gather at the shore line, the crowd had grown to close to five thousand. They were all waiting with anticipation. As they took their seats, the boy realized that he was no longer with his neighbor. He was lost. He had wondered off and as the mass of people started to grow, it became impossible to see anyone.

The boy worked his way to the front of the crowd. He sat intently listening, watching and learning. After hours of study, the boy started to meander around the crowd looking for his chaperones. It was apparent to others that the boy was searching for someone. A young man approached the boy and offered to help him find his neighbors and while they searched they talked about the day. As they continued their perusing, they boy remembered his lunch his mother had packed him. He was so hungry. There had been so much excitement, that he had forgotten to eat and now his stomach was growling. The boy did not want to eat in front of his new friend, but he was so hungry. He scanned the crowd and realized that everyone was without food. The young man asked him what was so troubling? As the boy answered Andrew, he realized that not only the crowd of five thousand were hungry, but that Jesus might be hungry, too. " Hey Mr, do you think that he would want my lunch?" said the boy pointing towards Jesus. " My mother packed me a lunch, it is not much, just some bread and a few pieces of fish."

Did the boy understand the part he played in Jesus' miracle that day? Do you think that the boy was inspired to give up his lunch?

I know I took a lot of license with the story. I was wanting to know more about the story, so I had to make some of it up. I am reading a book called "The Fisherman". It sheds a little light on what may have happened that day of this miracle. I think that the generosity of the boy to give up his lunch was rewarded by Jesus. He feed five thousand people....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

what was he thinking...

How can he approach someone and force his opinion on them like he did? Doesn't he know that most people are offended by others who are so opinionated that they feel as if they must tell you how to live your life? Why do some people feel as if they must point out your faults? It was like he was trying to save him from the obvious embarrassment that was soon to come His way. How could he have been so bold? How could he have been so brash? I am confused about how someone gains such confidence to tell him He was wrong? I know he thought it would be damaging to His campaign. I know he thought his actions were what was best for Him.

Can you imagine how the conversation took place?

Can you believe that he felt as if he knew better of the plans?

Can you believe the arrogance?

What was Peter thinking when he approached Jesus? When he told Jesus that he was wrong to piss off the religious leaders. I think this entire time, Peter felt as if Jesus was damaging his campaign by making the Pharisee look bad. Peter felt that Jesus needed to have a great relationship with them to further His chances of becoming the great political leader Peter thought Jesus was destined to be. Jesus first told the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven". The Pharisee were all over that...only God can forgive sins! Then Jesus, said He owned the Sabbath. If you are hungry, you must eat. Strike two! Finally, Jesus choose to do good over evil and healed the mans hand on the Sabbath. That was the beginning of the end. Peter felt that Jesus was being to over the top. Peter knew that this bold example that Jesus was God was a major setback to His ministry. Peter decided he needed to set Jesus straight.

How bold is that?

How did Jesus respond?

I think Jesus probably chuckled as he corrected Peter. He probably had a smile on his face. He loved Peter so much at that moment for being brave, but probably was humored by his inability to see the whole picture. Jesus knew that Peter was in this thing for the long haul and was probably happy that Peter stood up and spoke, because it allowed a perfect opportunity to teach. When I read the scripture, it feels as if Jesus was angry with Peter. I don't believe that for a second. I sort of feel like Jesus could have been sarcastic in that moment, but not angry with Peter. It says Jesus rebuked Peter. Jesus knew that Peter only did it because he loved Jesus so much. Peter was still worried about the flesh. How could Jesus say, "Get behind me Satan!" and not sort of be a little sarcastic and with a hint of a smile. Jesus did not intend to crush Peter, for He knew that Peter's future denial would be almost insurmountable for Peter to recover from. He needed Peter to understand that He became flesh, but was still God.

Now, I know I am probably wrong about this, but here is what I love...that I am growing to a place where I can have my own thoughts and ideas about who Jesus is. I seem to look so much deeper in to the gospels. I hate being a superficial christian, where my knowledge is only skin deep. I no longer want to just share the gospel by telling the obvious stories that everyone knows from Sunday School. I want to know the gospel intimately. As I understand Jesus in a deeper and more intimate way, then I can give up more and more to Him.

What was he thinking when he told Jesus, "I think you are doing this whole Messiah thing wrong!" I know Jesus had to laugh and that is why I love Him so much!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

so I can't sleep...

I have a million things going on in my head. I am so far behind on my blog. I am disappointed that I have not been blogging regualarly. So i am going to upload a few things just to get them out of my head....

A few weeks ago, I lead Chapel at Scioto Hills camp just outside of South Webster. We worshiped, we prayed, and we learned about 1 Peter. It was awesome! Amazing kids, amazing staff and the entire experience was centered around the love of God. I hope they ask me back at some point. A wonderful experience. Thanks Kayla!

I am on a Chrysalis Team for the upcoming weekend. These are amazing weekends where God becomes so real for high School kids. My prayer is that God will take over and keep our humaness from getting in the way. Fly with Christ!

There is a great new show on my favorite network (USA). It is called "Burn Notice". It complements my two other favorite shows on TV, "MOnk" and "Psych". I am watching "Monk" as I type this along with watching/listening to Brad Paisley/John Mayer Crossroads episode. WOW, I wish I could play guitar like those guys!

I lead worship 3 times on Sunday. Two services at church and one service for the girls Chrysalis flight. I felt like all 3 services went very well. "By His WOunds" may have been my favorite...the response was awesome, everyone really entered in on that one. It was the first time we have done that song...they caught on quickly.

I have great friends in my life. You often take them for granted, but I have been thinking alot about how important their roles in my life are in keeping me walking with Christ. thanks. You know who you are....:)

I want 4 things. I feel guilty. Materialism is something we all struggle with in our lives. I fight it too. Sometimes I cave. Sometime having no extra money wins. Sometimes I just research these things, so that I won't buy. In no particular order... a digital SLR camera, a Navagation System (Nuvi 350)for the Wrangler, an iPhone, and one thing that never leaves the list...a new acoustic guitar.

So I can't sleep. I have decided. I am going to do it. It the thing that is keeping me up. I just can't deny it. It may not mean anything. Nothing may ever come of it. But, I have to jump. I promised Jen.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

so I picked up some reading material...

The family and I went shopping and I sort of went book crazy. At one point in time, i was holding 9 books. I was able to ween that down to 6 book before we checked out. What is crazy about this is that I am not a motivated readier. I might be lucky to read 5 books a year. In the past 5 years that has been about half spiritual/self help and the other half fiction. Honestly, for years i could not get into anything other than fiction. But this year, I have already surpassed my 5 books and I am working on book number 10. I do have to count Rob Bell's Sex God in that list a few times. I have listened to that audio book around 4 or 5 times. Great stuff. TOnight I picked up some books from people who I have been wanting to read, but have yet to drop the money. So I picked up some reading material and here is the list:

The Story of Christ by Scot McKnight

The Martyr's Song by Ted Dekker

Uprising by Erwin McManus

The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren

The Fisherman by Larry Huntsperger

The Bible by God
the New Century Version...I was curious and it was 4 bucks

I have been living out of 1 Peter for a while and so I have chosen to read the Fisherman first. I have so heavy reading to get finished, because I will not want to put of reading the new Harry Potter book when it comes out in a few weeks.

I will post my opinions on the reading as I progress.

Friday, June 29, 2007

this has been a tough week...

I have to admit. Mentally and physically this has been one of the toughest weeks I have had in a long time. I have been away from my family all week. They have been at VBS and I have been teaching/worship at a Church Camp all week. I have loved meeting these awesome new kids, but it has been much harder than ever to be away from Jen, Maddie and Caroline. I have also found out that I doubled booked 2 gigs on Saturday and don't really have a band to play with for either gig. Honestly, I am tired. I want to quit.

My life is changing. I am not sure how good or bad this is at this point in time. I pray that God knows the why and maybe He will let me in on a little bit of it.

Here is the bright spot in all of this... My daughter got saved, my brother and his wife were baptized and the kids at the camp really responded to worship last night for the first time all week. It was amazing. God gave me a glimpse. I am teaching out of 1 Peter....and last night from 1Peter 4:12-13.. " Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." Is this a coincidence? I think not. My best friend Eli said that my message was fantastic last night, i have my doubts, but if it were really a good is because I am living that verse right now. I am personally struggling with trials. I am not sure I can be anymore real to these kids than that! But as I told them last night.... James 1:2, baby...James 1:2

Friday, June 22, 2007

did any one watch...

It is funny that I posted the AFI video the other day, because there was an AFI special on last night. It was the 10 year Anniversary of the very first !00 Years, !00 Movies. The had a vote to see what the top 100 Greatest Movies of all time were as compared to what they ranked 10 years ago. it was a night of great movie clips from great classic movies... My favorite movie was #25...To Kill a Mockingbird. Laurence Fishbourne added comments about one of my favorite scene in the the movie. He said, "The only thing they could do in the courtroom was stand. To show their appreciation for Atticus, it gets me every time." That is close to his quote. I love the scene for the very same reason.

Citizen Cane was ranked number one yet again.

Here is a link to the list of movies in the order from the show.

What are your 10 favorite movies from the list? i have always had a Marty's top 20 list...but it woudl be interesting to see how people rank only the movies from the top 100 list.

Did any one watch this show? I hope you catch on the replay or Tivo. Totally worth sitting down and watching. I enjoy the actors comments as much as I do seeing the clips.

Here are my Top 10 movies from the AFI 100 Years, 100 Movies...

1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. It's a Wonderful Life
4. Lord of the Rings:The Fellowship fo the Ring
5. Vertigo
6. Star Wars
7. American Graffiti
8. Rocky
9. The Shawshank Redemption
10.The Sound of Music

Wow, that was hard to narrow down and put into some sort of order...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

in keeping with the theme of the last post...

AFI 100 Greatest Movie Quotes.... Great stuff!

this is very cool....

This is very cool. I really dig the AFI 100 greatest movies, 100 greatest comedies, and 100 greatest movie moments, etc. These are great shows if you enjoy classic movies or are just a movie junkie in general. Marko had this posted on his blog and I had to put it here... lots of work to make this happen!

Monday, June 18, 2007

How did she become so much smarter than I...

Last week was just a crazy week in my life. It was the week after a vacation week, so it started off behind. I was behind in the yardwork, behind at work and in life in general. It was my wedding anniversary, it was vacation bible school, and it was very busy at work. It took me the entire week to catch up. I am not sure I have fully brought myself back to where I was before vacation.

I can be honest and tell you that it was not the greatest week of my life for the most part. On Thursday, things started looking up when we went to Vacation Bible School to pick up Maddie and Caroline. When we got there, there was a football game going on between some of the adults, so I jumped in to help. After the younger kids rolled out of the church as we were headed to the car, my daughter Maddie says, "Dad, I asked Jesus into my heart tonight!". I was shocked. All I could do was giver her a hug and tell her I loved her. I must admit that I was skeptical. I hate admitting that fact. But, I took a deep breath and allowed the truth of this news sink in deep before I started questioning. I looked at Maddie and she looked so grown up to me at that moment. But, I still had lots of questions. Did she understand what she was saying? Does she understand the decision she claims to have made? She is 9 years old. How can a 9 year old understand the magnitude of this decision?

Later that night, I tucked Maddie into bed. We talked about how it happened. What was said? Who was there? Why she felt like she needed to make this decision now? Maddie had an answer fo reverything. I am not sure I have ever been more proud of her in my life. How did she become so much smarter than I? I was almost 30 years old before I understood enough to make a decision. Maddie is nine! It was obvious that she understood the magnitude of her decision. She was exctied. She knew the responsibility. She is awesome.

I was upset that I was not there. I was dissapointed that I did not get to be the one to reap the harvest. How selfish am I? As soon as the thought crossed my mind, I remembered that sometimes we plant seeds, sometimes we just get to water the seed, but we don't always get to harvest the crop. My prayer is that some of my water is what put Maddie on this path to make the most important decision in her entire life. I am blessed by realizing that fact.

My prayer for Maddie is that she continues to grow in Christ. That she realizes that there will be things along the road that get in our way. We will make mistakes, make bad decisions, and completly mess up. Through all of that, God still loves us so much that He accepts the truth about our sinful nature. He loves us so much that He just loves us in spite of our faults. I pray that Maddie takes her decision and never fails to shine for Christ. Never be ashamed of your decision, always be prepared to share your hope with others. Always show Christ's love with your actions, with your life. Always share with compassion, because Jesus has compassion for us.

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," 1Peter 3:15 NIV

One of my previous posts, I said I was lost. It is amazing how God answered that prayer. Maddie found Christ. I am no longer lost.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary! 13 years! I hope you have a great day!



it has been a while...

WOW! I can't believe it has been this loong between posts. We have spent the last week in Florida on vacation. I got sunburnt. Then I peeled. This is typical when i dont have a good tan before I go to St. Pete. We had a great time. All we did was lay on the beach, lay around the pool and swim. It was simple, but relaxing. My sister got married in Naples, on the beach. We went to the beach on Fort Desoto. It was beautiful there. I washed the car. We ate at a great restaurant called Snappers. I got to eat at my favorite place, the Alvarez. I ordered the No.7. I swam with Maddie and Caroline...alot. We built sand castles. I showered with a lizard, as the rest of the family screamed and the lizard. We played tennis. We walked on the beach, every morning. We did not buy Jennifer anything for her birthday. I played my Baby Taylor daily. We played Minature golf and Smugglers Cove, Caroline and Maddie both had hole in ones. Jen won. Smuggler's Cove was the big winner, we payed 10 bucks a piece to play. We met Uncle Phil's daughter Tonya and her two kids. We were spoiled at the Naples Grande Resort. We were spoiled by Judy and Phil all week long. Phil took us on the boat tour around Teirra Verde. There are millon dollars homes wiht million dollar boats on the docks in front of them. They are all on the water. We drive by them and wonder how poeple pay for all of these things. We went past one house that burnt to the ground later that day. Here is the story...

We drove, and drove, and drove some more. We drove through rain and lovebugs. I had to wash the car. Phil taught me the proper way to wash the car. We caught Pin fish off the dock at Phil and Judy's to feed the Blue Herron that camps out in their yard. We saw cows in the fields, each with their very own Eggret. We had a great time. It was just nice to have quality time with the family. Maddie and Caroline faught like cats and dogs. Jen wore her cowboy hat I bought her in Dallas. HOT!

My highlight of the week was hearing about a Charlie Hall concert at Calvary Chapel. This church was awesome! It was in an old Walmart building. The concert was great. Jen and I had a great time. I got to chat with Charlie for a few minutes after the show. Was very cool. Jen took our picture. Charlie and his band were fantastic. I learned so much worshipping with them. This was my week in little snippits. It is 1:48 AM and I can't sleep.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

my friends Ed made my day....

My friend Ed sent me a link while I was focused in a meeting today that MADE MY DAY!

Watch out now, I can see Caroline and Maddie jamming on Guitar Hero III!

Maybe for Christmas?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I am lost...

Ok, Jesus you are messing with me again. I have been studying 1 Peter. I am writing 5 talks that I will be presenting at the end of June at a Christian Camp in Southern Ohio. I am lost. I have been reading and I have so much material. How do I keep from overwhelming the students? How do I make sense of this for myself? Shouldn't I have a good grasp of all this Jesus stuff before I am expected to teach? I am lost. I am struggling in the process of wading through all of the great information that is going on in 1 Peter and choosing what is most important to touch on.
Here are the themes:

The Hope of Christ

Called to Set our Hope on Christ

Called to be Set-apart

Called to Suffer

Called to Submit

Each of those are the topic I need to teach on for the evening...

Oh, Jesus...give me lives could be me. I am lost.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

the saga continues.....

Again, David Crowders takes on the squirrels again...


This is why I am a fan.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

3 dollar per gallon gas has killed the Sunday Drive....

When I was a kid, my Grandfather loved to take us on a Sunday drive. Pap would pile all of us Grandsons in the car and we would drive. Just drive. He would drive us past old childhood milestones and memories. He would always tell stories about all of these places and things we woudl be driving past, he loved to tell the stories. We would learn about his childhood, his way of life as a young man growing up in Pike County. My grandfather was a twin. He and his brother, Donald were always getting into trouble. They were best friends and did everything together.

Our drives through the country would shed light on all of the mischief that my grandpa and twin brother found themselves. They had many adventures. We heard stories about riding double on a bicycle, on the way to a girlfriends house, and the brakes going out while flying down the big hill on 220. We heard about car wrecks, fishing, war stories and many others i don't even remember anymore. I loved to listen to my Grandfatehr tell stories.

These Sunday drives turned into our own adventures. We woudl drive past Lake White and talk about the big fish we caught. We would jump in the Sunfish Creek when the summer sun was almost unbearable. We would drive up to the Doc's Farm to see if we could see any deer. We watched my cousin Ronnie try to puke into a Pepsi can because he was . We witnessed many things, heard many stories, created a bunch of our own stories over the years, but we could always count on one thing. Every Sunday drive ended with ice cream!

As I drove home from Waverly tonight, I wanted to just drive. I wanted to see the places my grandfather showed me when I was a young boy, but I realized that I could not do that anymore. We are transforming into a society that has to go from point A to point B without straying too far off course. It is just too expensive. We have to maximize our gasoline. The days of Sunday drives and joy rides are almost gone. The 3 dollar per gallon has killed the Sunday drive...

Monday, May 7, 2007

my favorite book has come under attack...

My friend Eli sent me an IM tonight with sad news...

Eli Ruggles
11:07 dude

11:07 what up?

Eli Ruggles
11:07 news is on ( NBC )
11:07 segment just ended about how parents have challenged the 8th grade reading list at some columbus middle school
11:07 they want To Kill a Mocking Bird removed from the reading list

11:08 what?
11:08 that is crazy...

I can't believe it. How can someone attack one of the greatest books of all time. How can they realistically want to eliminate this classic from the approved reading list? I am in shock and horrified that this could possibly happen. This world has become over the top about being politically correct. I understand that there is language used in the book that, by today standards, is no longer politically correct. Here is the problem, To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960. The story takes place in the 1930's. It uses language of the times. So, this has led me on a quest. I found out that To Kill a Mockingbird has been attacked many times before now. It was one of the most controversial books of the 1990-2000's. So maybe this should not be "new" news to me. Read more at the W.

Why am I so passionate about this book? Why do I take this so personal?

When I was a young kid, I read everything I could get my hands on. I loved books. As I got older, I grew tired of reading. Television, video games and sports took over my life and I only read when it was required in school. When I was in High School I had to take an English class that spent half of the school year studying American Literature. Mrs. Wiggins required lots of reading. I just could not get into anything. We were reading classic literature. I was dying. After reading Cliffs Notes to prepare for the tests and sleeping through most of these so called great books, she decided to assign To Kill a Mockingbird as our next book. She looked at me and said, "I really think this book is exactly what will get you interested in reading again". I scoffed at the title of the book and sort of mocked her by reciting the old cliche' "Don't read a book buy its cover?" Mrs Wiggins said, "Just trust me on this one and give it a chance."

I was playing baseball and we had an away game. I knew I had to read the first couple of chapters, but just could not force myself to read on the bus. I threw the book in my bag and focused on the game. After I got home that night, I realized that I had to at least make an attempt to read the first chapter. Mrs Wiggins was famous for pop quizzes and I at least had to know who the characters were in the story. I started reading. I finally put the book down around 4AM. I had read it cover to cover. The story came alive. I felt like I was in elementary school again, when books use to come alive to me. When I was excited about reading stories!

The next day at school, Mrs Wiggins asked me if I was able to get through the first chapter. I said, " I read it." She laughed, "Good, at least you will be able to tell me who the characters are and a little bit about them." POP Quiz. I wrote a book. As she graded the quizzes, we read for our next assignment. I watched as she got to my quiz. She peeked up at me and I quickly glanced back at my book. She laughed and said, " went to the library and found the movie!" MOVIE? There was a movie?

I told her that I had stayed up half the night and read the book completely. She thought for sure I knew that there was a movie, and that was sort of the reason she picked the book. She thought I could watch the movie, since I struggled staying focused on any of the books she had assigned up to this point.

I fell in love with the story. It was my favorite read. It still is my favorite book. To Kill a Mockingbird effected my life in ways I can't explain. It gave me such a great example of why racism is wrong. It showed me that there are still good people in the world. It taught me to stand up against hatred and racism. I looked up to Atticus Finch, he was a man I hoped that I could emulate. I hoped that I could be as brave as Jem. I loved Scout. Dill reminded me of a friend I grew up with in Kingston. I knew men who were ignorant like Bob Ewell and we had our own mysterious character like Boo Radley in the town I grew up in as a child. My heart broke for Tom Robinson and his family. Harper Lee hit a home run with this story. She never wrote another novel. It was converted to a screenplay in 1962 and Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his portrayal of Atticus Finch the following year. You just don't sit down and write stories like this, I think you have to live them.

I have read the book too many times to count. I wrote a college paper for a Philosophy class titled, "Why Atticus Finch is a virtuous man". It has occupied the top spot in my "Best books of all time" list (the Bible is obviously the greatest book;) ) since the day I closed it at 4AM. The movie tops my favorite list too. I secretly wanted to name my daughter Maddie after "Scout", but I knew that would not fly with Jennifer. So I gave the name to our Chocolate Lab. I am a big Third Day and Mac Powell fan and after perusing through Mac Powell's bio on their website, I found out that To Kill a Mockingbird is his favorite book and movie as well. Mac named his daughter Scout, and that is so cool.

It is obvious that Harper Lee wrote a book that has had an impact on lots of people. She wrote a book that was real, true and controversial. She wrote this book in 1960 that used a particular word that today is considered, not politically correct. I do not use the word, I have never used the word. To Kill a Mockingbird taught me that the word is offensive. Please do not allow a few words to destroy the opportunity for a great piece of American Literature to change young students views of racism and hatred. This book won a Pulitzer Prize. The movie won an Oscar. There are so many other books that could be removed from the reading list. To remove To Kill a Mockingbird from the approved list would be like the story itself, to quote Atticus Finch..."it's a sin to kill a mockingbird".