I have been toying around with the template structure for blogger for the last several weeks. After changing to a 3 column layout, I decided to work on a custom header in Photoshop. Thanks to a post over at ChurchCommunicationsPro, I learned how to incorporate a custom header and background to the site. And using a template from Blogcrowds based on the standard minima black, I ended up with a completely new and unique look to the site. I will probably mess around with it some more, just because I enjoy learning something new. But hopefully, the look will be more consistant for a while. If you’re reading this from an email subscription or a feedreader, check out the new look at the site.

Rescued by iTunes

March 6, 2007 — Leave a comment

I am hooked. We really don’t watch too many tv shows, but all the talk about 24 finally convinced me to sit down and watch the season opener this year, and I haven’t missed since. Jack is one cool dude. I love the way the show keeps you on the edge of your seat. At the end of last week’s show, my heart was flying. Man, the tension of unresolved storylines keep you coming back. What if we incorporated more tension and edge of your seat anticipation into our sermons. I think we may underestimate the power of suspense.

But I digress, here’s the problem. I missed Monday’s show! I forget to set the dvr, which by the way is the greatest invention since sliced bread, and by the time I got home the show was over. So … iTunes to the rescue.

I am downloading the entire episode from last night on iTunes. Only $1.99 and I’m caught back up. Pretty slick. Now if I just had an AppleTV to watch it on.

The topic of the new HPV vaccine has been prominent in the news for some time. As a father, I have been watching the reports about the new medicine in order to make an informed decision for my daughter. As a youth minister, I have been watching the story unfold to see how it will affect teenagers attitudes toward sexuality. Two recent stories have really jumped out at me.

First, this story tells how an estimated 1 in 4 women between the ages of 14 to 59 is infected with the HPV virus. That is definitely a scary fact, although I haven’t researched the source of this statistic. If we are to believe this, then it should definitely wake us up to the fact of sexually transmitted diseases in our teens and young adults. As churches, we MUST teach about God’s plan for marriage and sexuality. Not using scare tactics, but really teaching truth. The scope of this problem demands our attention.

The second story broke today. My home state of Virginia is going to require the vaccine for all rising 6th graders. There will be an option to opt out, but is that a wise thing to do? As a dad, I’m concerned for my daughter and the society that she is growing up in. She is a tweener now, not a teen or pre-teen, but not an innocent child either. My responsibility as a parent means that I need to protect her and provide for her safety. I hope and pray that she will make decisions that never put her in a position to be affected by this disease, but I can’t live her life for her.

So does that mean that this vaccine should be given to all young pre-teen girls? For me, I haven’t decided, although I am probably leaning toward this being a good thing. I also think we need to be very careful about the message we give to young girls who will be taking this vaccine. It is not a cure-all for all STD’s. It only vaccinates against one strain of one disease. But it is a disease that leads to cervical cancer in a high number of females who are infected. I really am not an expert about this, so I want to continue to learn the pros & cons of this. But I do think that it is an issue that churches don’t need to ignore. Current hot topics like this are routinely dismissed by churches. Let’s look at the issue, in light of Biblical truth, and not make hasty decisions based on feelings.

What are your thoughts about this?

Solidworks posted a highlights video from the conference in New Orleans. They claim it is the world’s largest 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) Event. You can tell the last day had a Star Trek theme with an appearance by Leonard Nimoy. A little corny, but overall it was fun. I especially enjoyed the emphasis on design and technology.

The site today has been pretty crazy. I have incorporated a new 3-column template on the site. I wanted to organize the site content better, so hopefully this will give me some new options. I based the new template off of the rounders-3 at blogcrowds. Next up is a custom header.

Basketball With the Kids

February 26, 2007 — Leave a comment

We just finished up the Upward basketball season for Luke and Emma. I have really enjoyed coaching and being with the kids. Upward is a good program and it was sponsored locally by Cliffview Church here in Galax. It was a great way to introduce people to a church and teach the kids some basic beliefs about following Christ. Coaching is my one chance to act completely crazy and silly (I was coaching 1st-3rd grade) and share about my faith at the same time. I also enjoy the emphasis on teamwork, basic skills, and sportsmanship. I like the fact that we can take the emphasis off of competition and put it on being Christ-like.

And while I’m talking about basketball, I have to mention that us guys at church had our first basketball practice yesterday. We will be playing in a local church rec league. I’m just a little sore. Well actually, a whole lot sore. I have always enjoyed playing basketball and it feels great to get out and run. My lungs were burning and my legs were feeling like jelly, but it felt great. I did realize how out of shape I am. I can really relate to the chapter in Mark Driscoll’s book titled “Why am I getting meaner and fatter?” I tend to do good in the summer when I can get outside and bike and run, but I struggle keeping in shape during the winter months. That’s pretty lame considering there is a full gym right outside my office.

And one more basketball surprise. I get to coach Luke in the local rec league starting tomorrow night. It’s a league for K-2nd grade. That should be interesting. A bunch of wild and crazy boys with an attention span less than their age. It will be a good chance to model sportsmanship and character to these young men. I can’t wait.


February 26, 2007 — Leave a comment

Jenni and I registered today for the Unleash conference at NewSpring Community Church. I’m looking forward to meeting some fellow bloggers and learning more about NewSpring’s story. I always enjoying learning from other churches. Their community is similar to ours, so I look forward to seeing how they are reaching and engaging their community.

Here are some of the breakouts that will be offered at the conference. Now I’ve just got to decide which ones to go to.

  • Senior Pastors ONLY
  • Leading Authentic Worship
  • Creating Community in Church
  • Student Ministry – The Church of Today
  • Financially Equipping Your Congregation
  • Blogging and Communication
  • The Volunteer Experience
  • Creating Excellent Experiences for Kids
  • The Creative Process
  • Staffing for Success

Here is a clip I found on Youtube from the concert last Sunday night. The sound quality is not so good, but it’s awesome to see a clip from a concert I was at. We kept noticing this little blond girl’s head popping up at the bottom of the screen. We thought it looked like Emma, and it was! So Emma, my little girl, has made her youtube debut.

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