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Posts Tagged ‘Just for fun’

Genesis of Creative Ideas (Or my Excuse to Show Cat Videos)

Before I focused on the Online Campus, I use to direct and produce a lot of creative videos. It was a lot of fun. Sometimes, I would see a video, hear a song, or see a clip and think it would be brilliant to use in a creative piece for an upcoming message. It’s the way my brain works.

Well, in the past week I’ve seen two different cat videos where my second thought was, “How could we use that as a creative piece in an upcoming message?” I like challenges. (My first thought after watching the videos? Awesome.)

Here are the videos, and if you ever see them during a Sunday service you will know who was behind it. 😉

Happy Tuesday.

Future Shock & Pop Culture

One of my first introductions to the concept of Judgment Day was from the film Ghostbusters. It’s a scene late in the film, where Ray and Winston are talking about God. The conversation veers into the concept of Judgment Day, and whether or not they are about to experience it. Even though Ray (Dan Aykroyd) gets the scripture reference wrong (it’s Revelation 6:12, not 7:12), it’s a fun scene. Well, a fun scene for those of us who are old enough to have seen it!

Obviously, for a better explanation of Judgment Day, be sure and follow the current Future Shock series.

Pancakes, The Family, and TV

last night the wife and kids were on the news! For eating pancakes! Yup, life is exciting in Nebraska…where everything makes the news. See it at the link below. Be sure to click on the “Pancake Day” next to the blue camera.

Why I like Snow Days

With our third snow day out of three approaching, I am loving snow days. I love them more than most holidays. Here’s why.

1) The whole family stays home all day.
2) Painting, Wii bowling, wrestling with the kids.
3) Unlike Christmas, there’s always snow.
4) Snow means sledding.
5) My neighbor with the snowblower often does my driveway.
6) Hot meals taste even better. No pressure to do gourmet.
7) A book by the fireplace is awesome.
8) No self-consciousness about gift giving or recieving.
9) No time on the road traveling to celebrate.
10) No sugar-buzz hangover.
11) Doesn’t cost a dime.
12) Snow makes everything look, well…white.

Chuck Norris

After the message about David’s Mighty Men – 2 Samuel 23 – and the profound parallels between Benaiah and Chuck Norris, I have had some great emails, facebooks and other references to the nearly infinite powers of Chuck Norris. Here are some of my favorites:

* Chuck Norris can divide by zero
* If you are playing scrabble and you spell Chuck Norris, you automatically win…forever
* Chuck Norris does not wear a watch. HE decides what time it is!
* Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.
* Outer space exists because it is afraid of Chuck Norris
* Chuck Norris has already been to Mars. That is why there are no signs of life there.
* Superman owns a pair of Chuck Norris pajamas
* Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table of the elements because he only recognizes the element of surprise!

And in case you missed the sermon:
* When Chuck Norris does pushups, hes not pushing his body up, he’s pushing the earth down
* When the boogeyman goes to bed at night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris
* Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make him drink
* Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is hiding.

Oh, and just for fun. Go to Google. Type “Find Chuck Norris” and click “I’m feeling Lucky.” You’ll crack up!


So, I was working out this week and I was recognized by a middle aged lady on the rowing machine next to me. Leading a big church in a mid-sized city, this is not abnormal. What was abnormal was who I was recognized as…follow the dialogue.

Row lady: I know you from somewhere.
Me: Oh yeah? Where might that be?
Row lady: Maybe from politics, maybe TV
Me: Maybe church?
Row lady: Funny. No, I am serious…wait! Wait! I know it you’re…you’re Castle from that TV show on Mondays.

The moment was too irresistable.

Me: Shoot, I thought I could be anonymous in Omaha.
Row Lady: No way, I definitely recognize you.
Me: Yah, well, I kinda get tired of Hollywood…so I fly here every few days to experience middle america again.
Row Lady: Omaha is a great place to get away from the lights.

Soon, guilt overtook me.

Me: I can’t keep this up. I am really not Castle.
Row Lady: Sure, and I’m Hillary Clinton.
Me: Really, I’m not even an actor. I am a pastor…so I should’nt even be lying (forced laugh).
Row Lady: You’re as funny in person as you are on TV. See you on Monday nights! or Maybe next week!

So here are some pictures of Castle…See any resemblance?

Trans Siberian Orchestra

I love rock music. I love great story. I love performance when it is done with excellence. Last night I got all three.

The Trans Siberian Orchestra did their opening shows of the 2009 tour last night in Council Bluffs – of all places. Their primary violinist, Roddy Chong, is an acquaintace of mine from Willow. We had lunch last week – he got me jazzed about the show (and got me tickets – thanks Roddy!). I got to go with Kelle and our two middle kids.

The show erupted with a shock-and-awe beginning. Roddy warned me that the real ‘star of the show’ is the lights (and lasers, and LCD video, and fire…). He was right. I’ve never seen lights tied so well with the music of a show. Everybody in the show was excellent. Amazing guitarists, phenomenal keyboards, and my personal favorite…exuberant violinists. Whoa. What a show.

Even the story was powerful. The Christmas theme of the incarnation and Jesus was obvious. There is, added to it, a wrapping of a heartwarming tale of self-sacrifice on Christmas that imitates God’s self-giving love of his Son. Filled with artistic license, it draws you in and touches you deeply. Most of the band does not follow Jesus, but you’d never know it from the performance. Traditional carols done in a rock fashion draw on The Story in a gripping, engaging manner.

What stuck out to me more than anything was the intangible commitment to excellence. The techinical aspects were great and the music was amazing, but what poured through from the performance was attitude. The exuberance of the performers, their commitment to energy, great timing, facial expressions and putting on a show that has unstoppable was fantastic.

They do it for the love of art, for the love of performance, for the love of the fans. They do it because they dreamed about doing this kind of thing to a packed area for their whole lives. It made me think about what I get to do…what God made me for. And what you get to do…the thing God made you for. Do we pursue the detailed excellence that not only gives a temporary rush, but changes the trajectory of people’s lives AND brings honor to the One who made us for his pleasure? Are we as committed to our pursuit of being God’s ambassadors in the marketplace, church, and neighborhoods to the same degree that the TSO artists are? How can we, motivated by the love of Christ, push the boundaries of excellence…not to thrill audiences, but because it pleases the heart of God?

Thanks to Roddy the TSO for your commitment to artistic excellence and for the way you have inspired me this week.

Cool Bible Resource

There are two Bible resources that every Bible Student should not be without. The first is a great Bible Dictionary. I like the New Bible Dictionary, published by IVP. I use it at least weekly. The other is a great study Bible.

For more than ten years I have faithfully used my NIV Study Bible. I love this Bible. The scholarship, integrity, cross references, study notes etc. are phenomenal. However, I always thought that they could take it up a few notches with more maps, color graphics, charts, and better readability.

Well, enter the ESV study Bible. It is the first Study Bible that surpasses the NIV Study Bible in it’s helpfulness. When you are separated from a document by thousands of years and thousands of miles, the historical notes, 200 maps, 200 charts and timelines are of immense value. The ESV (English Standard Version) is a highly readable translation done by committees of excellent scholars on the cutting edge of Bible Scholarship.

Not only is the Bible a notch up, but the internet resources that come with it are amazing. You can do searches, keep personal notes, and you can follow all of the maps, charts, and timelines with interactive links. You can double the value of your study time by avoiding page-flipping.

Anyway, this is not a paid endorsement. I even think that the publisher, Crossway, is a non-profit publisher. I just got real excited this week when I got this Bible and wanted y’all to know about it! If you’re in Omaha, you can pick one up at parables. More info about the ESV Study Bible can be found at

World's coolest clock

This is the world’s coolest clock – not only tracks time, but population, energy usage, death, illness, crime and other stuff that a statistics junkie like me loves to know!

6.7 Billion people! What are they all doing? Find out here…