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Brainstorming MADE

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We've got a new series of videos we're producing for the PDYM Student Leadership conference in a few weeks. Here's a shot of the white board from Fields' office when the team (Jake, Jason and I) were done last night. It will eventually become the 4-episode story of a regular student named Hillary that is "made" into a student leader who is part of the greeting ministry. Good stuff.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:33 PM |

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Shaun Dances to DDR

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Fun moment from the staff retreat - High School pastor Shaun Blakeney and intern assistant Ryanne Dearden on Dance Dance Revolution at Boomers!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:29 PM |

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Total Embarrasement

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OK, Treece did his latest Shuffle Up and Deal and it spotlights me today. Argh - I'm more than a little embarrased. I need less CCM on my iPod!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:12 AM |

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SYM Podcast Video Up!

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The Simply Youth Ministry Video Podcast is now up complete with links and a new eBay auction featuring Mr. Matthew McGill. Check it out today!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:17 AM |

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Money Doesn't Equal Happiness

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A new study today talks about money not buying happiness. If you're teaching soon on money or the emptiness in a heart, this might make a good reference.
Your next raise might buy you a more lavish vacation, a better car, or a few extra bedrooms, but it's not likely to buy you much happiness.

Measuring the quality of people's daily lives via surveys, the results of a study published in the June 30 issue of journal Science reveals that income plays a rather insignificant role in day-to-day happiness.

Although most people imagine that if they had more money they could do more fun things and perhaps be happier, the reality seems to be that those with higher incomes tend to be tenser, and spend less time on simple leisurely activities.
But according to this study, they DO get more sleep.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:48 AM |

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More Than Meets the Eye

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The Transformers teaser trailer is out now and I have to admit I'm a bit underwhelmed. I love the concept, I think it has intense potential, but that didn't do it for me. Come on Michael Bay - deliver me my childhood in live-action!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:00 PM |

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SYM Podcast 22

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Just finished recording the SYM Podcast Episode 22. Pretty good show, everyone was slammed this week so I "prepped" the show so we started calling it the "Josh-cast." That sounds dangerous, doesn't it? Maybe that was so Fields could have someone to blame if it bombed? Hahahah ...

Anyhow, let us know if it was any good, it'll be up in iTunes tonight with a running time of a cool 40 minutes. Yes!

JG

UPDATE: Audio is up!

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:53 PM |

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Stephen is a Crack Pot

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You need to read Kurt's highlights of the staff retreat and see this great picture of Stephen and his little Suburban accident. Good times!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:22 PM |

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Best. Worship. Video. Ever.

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This is the opening video from the PD Worship Conference this year. Some of my good friends put it together ... they are amazingly talented. Spread it around!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:36 AM |

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Superman Returns Review

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Watched Superman Returns this week in Palm Springs with a gaggle of friends. Pretty solid flick, appreciated some of the nods to the classic films and it definitely takes off on it's own as well. The short version? Solid, I give it an A.

Some observations:
Enjoyed Cars, avoiding Click, and bring on Pirates 2. This is a good summer.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:38 AM |

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The HSM Podcast Returns

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HSM has a weekly podcast you might want to check out. Get an inside look at one of the ways that Saddleback Church communicates to high schoolers through iTunes. Shaun, Doug, Donnie and more join in on the fun each week. Now up to 10 episodes!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:02 AM |

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The Problem with Parents

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Kurt has a great post on problem parents that every youth worker should read. Good stuff, here's some of it as a tease:

We opened our registration for summer camp last night. YIKES! Hundreds of parents showed up to get in line before the 6:00 p.m. opening. Because our camp usually fills up very quickly, we've been forced to create a 'hard start time' to make it as fair for everybody as possible. Now that registration is open, they can sign up whenever they want, but for opening day, it's 6:00 p.m......period.

Of course there are always parents who think simple guidelines and structures don't apply to them (and we wonder why we have students who think the same way...but I digress). Last night, we had one parent who simply couldn't accept the fact that we wouldn't allow her to drop her registration off before 6:00. Despite the fact that there were parents waiting in a long line, she insisted she be given the right to drop her daughter's registration off early so she could get on with her other plans.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:33 PM |

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Our Little Crocs Experiment

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Kurt, Shaun, Doug and I planned a little experiment at the staff retreat in Palm Springs. We would wear Crocs all week and take the abuse, hoping to make a few converts from our clan. We would talk about how comfortable they were, how they were worth the funky look. No one could talk about the gimic we were doing, no one could bash them on the side, we had to pitch that we were in love with them outright and they were the best thing since Wonderbread.

Anyhow, not sure if it worked, but I got a nice pair of sandals out of the deal, albiet they look SO akward and a bit too Euro-stylish for a big guy like me. Kurt can almost pull them off, Shaun actually makes them look cool, but Elliot and I just looked silly.

Oh well, at least they're somewhat comfortable and totally fungal-resistant.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:32 PM |

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Jason Fills in at Passion

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I was gone on the student ministry staff retreat until just a few hours ago, so Jason filled in for me at Passion at Saddleback this weekend. Apparently it wasn't as easy as I make it look, according to his story.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:12 PM |

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Rick in Newsweek

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Heard about this from Pastor Rick as an illustration in last weekend's message, but he made the cover of Newsweek with Brad Pitt. Good times, here's a clip explaining why:

Then, something really extraordinary happens. Warren describes it as a rocket-ship ride. In 2002, he published a book that began with the words "It's not about you." The message was simple: by serving others, you serve God. Since its publication, "The Purpose Driven Life" has sold 30 million copies in English, making it by some accounts the best-selling hardcover ever. It is a phenomenon, a movement. It has given Warren access to world leaders at Davos, to corporate chiefs and rock stars. It has generated "tens of millions of dollars," Warren says—enough for him to pay his own salary back to his church, retroactively, for the past 25 years, enough to launch three foundations. "PDL" allows Warren to "reverse tithe": he gives away 90 percent of what he earns.

Now things get exciting. Another pastor might be content to diversify into "PDL" DVDs and gift books, but Warren is more ambitious. If "2.3 billion people in the world claim to be followers of Jesus," then why not take the next step and mobilize those people to do important things, like stop poverty, improve literacy, feed the hungry, heal the sick? Conventional relief organizations are fine, but why not tap what Warren calls "the faith sector," the armies of motivated religious volunteers who are sick and tired of polarizing rhetoric and professional crusaders? "The old paradigm was, 'You pay, you pray, you get out of the way'," he explains, but in today's global and wired world, troops of caring volunteers can be deployed to communities in need with the push of a button. Such was the case on Christmas 2004, when Warren, awake and online at 4:30 a.m., received news of a massive underwater earthquake via e-mail from a pastor in Sri Lanka. Warren, who has an e-mail list of 200,000 pastors worldwide, notified churches in Thailand and Indonesia, that immediately mobilized volunteers to tsunami disaster sites. "It's universal distribution," he says, excitedly. "There's a church in every village in the world ... the potential sits there like a sleeping giant."
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:05 PM |

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Spiderman 3 Trailer

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Saw this in the theater this week attached to Superman Returns. Looks amazing, and the movie was good, too. Full review in the AM.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:01 PM |

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Big Sale at PD

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Just got an email about the big sale over at PD this week. Looks like some pretty good markdowns. Time to stock up!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:39 PM |

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Text-Only Teens

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Neil sent me over to check out USA Today for an interesting article on teens and texting. Here's a clip:
To be sure, the monthly bills — as high as $300 — were a problem.

But there were other, audible consequences of the fact that Alexandra Smith would pound out more than 1,000 text messages from her Razr cellphone a month: She was chatting — constantly, exhaustively — but she wasn't talking. It got so that Smith's parents were begging her to put the phone to her lips instead of her fingertips.

So these days Smith, 18, is practicing something that came oh-so-naturally to tides of teens before her: the art of vocal gab. Instead of holing up at home and punching out digital dialogue, Smith is making an effort to actually meet up with her three best friends and flex her larynx muscles.

"I figured I should probably go over and learn how to talk to somebody," says the Eugene, Ore., high school senior. "I didn't want to be the dork at college who texts all the time."

She needn't worry. College suitemates, even roommates, pick up their phones to ping each other. Otherwise, they're communicating via instant messaging or the social networking sites MySpace and Facebook.

With their mouths largely shut but their laptops and flip phones open, teenagers' bedrooms are beginning to sound like the library.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:17 PM |

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Rick to Speak in North Korea

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Don't know if you saw or heard the news that Rick is going to teach in North Korea in the near future. This is a big deal, here's a clip from BeliefNet:
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren has been invited to preach this summer to some 15,000 Christians in North Korea, a communist country infamous not only for its nuclear threats but also for its religious persecution. Warren, author of the bestselling book, "The Purpose-Driven Life," said he would make the trip as part of a nearly 40-day journey to meet with the leaders of 13 foreign countries.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:31 PM |

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Back from Palm Desert

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Just getting back in from a few days with the Student Ministries staff in Palm Desert. We took our annual retreat and swam, laughed and learned! Spent some quality time with my wife and some of my best friends in youth ministry. Expect lots of updates and pictures in the next 24 hours and a SYM podcast tomorrow!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:17 PM |

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Tuesday 10PM

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posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:34 AM |

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Spiderman 3 Teaser Trailer Description

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Does this sound like the best Spiderman film to date? Without a doubt.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:33 AM |

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Weekly HALO 3 Stop

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Since I'm interested in the upcoming HALO 3, one of my weekly stops is Bungie.Net. Every Friday they post a weekly update about the game, always including some juicy tidbits and hints. If you love HALO and/or can't wait to finish the fight, make sure you stop there every weekend. And if you're clueless about HALO ... well then, you're not really in youth ministry, are you?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:46 AM |

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Another Reason Small Groups Are Important

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RC sent me this link to a CNN article that had some interesting information on our circle of friends. Struck a chord with both of us about the importance of small groups:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Americans are more socially isolated than they were 20 years ago, separated by work, commuting and the single life, researchers reported on Friday.

Nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they had "zero" close friends with whom to discuss personal matters. More than 50 percent named two or fewer confidants, most often immediate family members, the researchers said.

"This is a big social change, and it indicates something that's not good for our society," said Duke University Professor Lynn Smith-Lovin, lead author on the study to be published in the American Sociological Review. Smith-Lovin's group used data from a national survey of 1,500 American adults that has been ongoing since 1972.

She said it indicated people had a surprising drop in the number of close friends since 1985. At that time, Americans most commonly said they had three close friends whom they had known for a long time, saw often, and with whom they shared a number of interests.

They were almost as likely to name four or five friends, and the relationships often sprang from their neighborhoods or communities. Ties to a close network of friends create a social safety net that is good for society, and for the individual. Research has linked social support and civic participation to a longer life, Smith-Lovin said.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:42 AM |

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Soccer is for Fakers

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Are soccer players good actors or what? Send them to Hollywood!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:42 PM |

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Rick Makes Forbes Celebrity List

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I think of him more as an influencer really than a celebrity - but Rick Warren made the Forbes Top 100 list at number 60 a couple of weeks ago. Here's what they had to say about him and here's a link to the complete list, too:
When religious publisher Zondervan released California pastor Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life," it expected robust sales of about a quarter-million copies. There are now 24 million copies in print, with Zondervan unloading 100,000 copies over the Christmas season alone. And the book achieved mainstream notoriety in 2005 when kidnap victim Ashley Smith said that she used its techniques to persuade her captor to release her. Warren also runs the Web site Pastors.com, where he peddles "Purpose Driven" spinoffs.
Reason he made the list: Intelligent, Trustworthy. So true.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:28 PM |

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Shuffle Up and Rock Out

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Treece has got up this week's Shuffle Up and Deal featuring the first 5 songs on the iPod of Saddleback Church junior high pastor Kurt Johnston. Apparently he likes to rock out ... and $5 says he edited his list to look somewhat cooler than he really is.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:19 PM |

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Father's Day Tradition

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Each year for Father's Day we head to the ballpark for an afternoon of fun. This past Sunday we drove up to Anaheim and hit the Angels vs. the Padres. The sun was killer and we were in the "cheap seats" out in right field. They call it the family section, but that really means the section we couldn't sell for more than maybe $6 a ticket because it feels like a frying pan. The family was covered in a thick coat of SPF 4trillion all day and we manged to stay for nearly 8 innings of the desert-heat slug fest.

It was a great time, though it gets more complicated each year because we keep adding kids. It's so much fun, too, its worth it all. I love being a dad - Angela is the best wife and mother and the kids are all angels.

But next year, I'm hunting for some seats in the shade.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:20 PM |

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The Controller Debate

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Interesting article in Business Week about video game controllers. I think the Xbox 360's wireless controller is near perfect, amazing for a 2nd generation console to get it soooo right. Anyhow, here's a clip, head there for the complete story:
Months after the Wii's wand was introduced, we're still eagerly lapping up every newly released detail. Also stirring up conversation is market leader Sony's decision to implement tilt-sensing in the PlayStation 3 controller. That decision has led to piles of Internet forum "discussions" and garnered the attention of executives from Nintendo and Microsoft, who since E3 have either downplayed the feature, laughed it off or screamed "copy-cat!"
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:05 PM |

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Chic-Fil-A Offers Marriage Counseling

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Another first for Chic-Fil-A, according to USA Today. When will they open one closer than Irvine? I've got no problem driving there and love the people, but I would get to go even more often if it wasn't so far away. What a generous move this is:
With a 57-year marriage as a model, the founder of Chick-fil-A wants to help the marital unions of his workers, too.

S. Truett Cathy, 85, has implemented all sorts of marriage-friendly policies and programs for the 600 employees at his 39-year-old company's Atlanta-based headquarters, as well as for the 900 franchise operators who run its 1,250 fast-food restaurants across the country. Offerings range from seminars and marriage retreats to lunchtime sessions and counseling from on-call psychologists.

And now Chick-fil-A's marriage and family-strengthening policies have earned Cathy an award, to be presented Saturday at the national Smart Marriages Conference in Atlanta, which begins today.

"You can't expect people to do well in their business if they've got problems at home," Cathy says. He says Chick-fil-A spends millions a year on programs to help couples enrich their relationships.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:03 PM |

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SYM Podcast Episode 20.5

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OK, Fields couldn't make the podcast this week, so we put up a temporary show featuring Natalie and McGill. Grab it in iTunes and get ready for next week's real show.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:53 PM |

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No More Black Beans

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I'm sad today ... I've just come to terms with a terrible truth. El Pollo Loco no longer serves black beans. Yes, I called the comment hotline. Yes, I got $1 off my next meal. Yes, I mentioned my sadness to the shift manager. But none of those things solace me.

One of the cheapest and best burrito runs has come to a sad end. The black bean burrito served faithfully for the past 20 years at the infamous California resturant, but the came to an end just months before the contract was to expire. A lot like Dan Rather, from what I gather. The BRC - beans, rice, cheese ... substitute black beans and still just $1.00. Well, depending on the cashier.

Black beans were a staple during the Nixon administration and the free love period of the 60s, their familiar face always a welcome sight inside any burrito. We bid you a fond farewell, Mr. Black Bean, we barely knew you.

I guess I'll have to make them at home now.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:47 PM |

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Poolwatch: Episode 1

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I didn't know how to share the story here, so fortunately Leigh talks about a little pool incident we had over here a few nights ago. My kids are very confident in their swimming ability ... a little too confident. Anyhow, check out his new blog and leave a comment while you're there, too.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:01 AM |

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The Most Anticipated 360 Title In Our House

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The first game on the original Xbox was amazing, and it wouldn't surprise me if the 360 sequel prequel is even better. My kids love it ... or I should say, they loved watching me play it.

I bought it for them, but it was so great I don't think they ever got to play. Well, I couldn't be more happy with this follow-up coming this Fall. The Classic Trilogy Lego Star Wars - it's a childhood dream (... ahem ...) come true!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:33 PM |

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Great Weekend at Saddleback

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I forgot to post about church this week!

It was fantastic, we started a new series called Worship from A to Z and all of the points start with the consecutive letters of the alphabet. This week was A-F and singing was never mentioned once! It was a great time, Pastor Rick taught expositionally through the passage and the story of Jehosophat ("J-Fat" as the kids would have called him). My venue, Passion, gets a bit down in the summer months and we're starting to see that, but it was VERY fun night honoring fathers and learning about worshiping 24/7 in everything we do.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:05 PM |

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My Plate This Week

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Been cranking on PDYM Student Leadership tasks this week, as my job centers around the programming for the event and being the on-stage host. Looks like some pretty busy weeks ahead for the team!

At SYM we're cranking on digital downloads of resources, as well as a new community section of the website with Blogs, forums, polls and more. It's really going to be great at some point in the near future. I think we're shooting for a soft launch of the community section a week from Friday. We've also added tons of new bundles, too, here's some of the stuff that's now off my plate and on the website.

NEW DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES
God's Extreme Makeover
The Power of Sex
Made
Camp in a Can Vol 2 - Fill it Up
Leaders Are Learners: Student Edition
and more ...

NEW RESOURCE BUNDLES
Sex Series Bundle
Purpose Bundle
Made and Exposed Bundle
Transcript Bundle
Junior High Books Bundle
Miles to Cross 5-pack
Fresh Start and 2nd Greatest Story
and more...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:21 PM |

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Carbon Freeze with Action Figures

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My favorite movie of all time, the best sequence ... recreated with action figures. Thanks to Treece for the pointer.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:23 AM |

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Wierd Al Parody of "You're Beautiful"

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So I mentioned the workplace parody of "You're Beautiful" the other day and Ryan let me know that Weird Al had a geek parody of the song for download for free as well. Gotta love Trekkies ... check it out!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:17 AM |

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Blazing Angels Review - Xbox 360

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Just finished Blazing Angels for the Xbox 360 last weekend - great game.

I'm really into first person shooters and flying games the most on my 360, with an adventure game or maybe a sports title thrown in here or there. The control was a bit wacky overall and sometimes the cinema screens you couldn't skip were unfortunate. Actually, now that I think about it, the voice acting was poor and repetitive and the mission difficulty was sporatic. Hmmm ... the camera angles were akward, and the AI of my wingmen was at best passable.

But hey, I still liked it. I'd give it a solid B, though I'm hoping that Over G Fighters (which comes out next week!) owns my 360 for a while this summer.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:08 AM |

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NBA Finals End with a Thud

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The Miami Heat took the NBA Championship last night, pretty exciting finish since there were down a couple of games and came back to win it all. Too bad Shaq's not in LA anymore, eh? But I think the most exciting part of the whole series was millionaire Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. I think I followed him more than the actual games themselves. I just can't tell if he's totally cool or a complete moron.

So I watched him on Letterman the other night, and listened to his comments about Trump and it was all very interesting. I appreciated the perspective on wealth and hearing his journey to billions, though it's pretty difficult to know if the anecdotes were true or not. And I've been reading about his NBA fines and following his blog with great interest. Is he just a spoiled rich guy? Or is he a half-mad genius?

I'm not sure I've still come to a decision yet, but I very much respect a guy who puts it on the line for what he believes in.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:59 AM |

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A Great Father's Day Gift

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Got my dad a digital picture frame for Father's Day, went in on it with my older brother and younger sister. Dropped in a 512MB memory card from Best Buy and filled it with pictures of all three families from all across the US. Pretty great gift since all of us are so far apart. Here's what he wrote to us kids last night:
Wow. Came today and MOM (of course) commandeered it to look THREE TIMES at every picture! What fun. Cannot say “Thank You” enough, kids. What a special and thoughtful gift. And since Josh said it was for “us” because of our anniversary, it worked double time! Not sure if we will keep it in the kitchen, running pix as we prepare and cook, or . . .

Lots of ideas. Lots of love in every pix.

You’ve chosen wisely, grasshoppers.

Proud Pops
Happy Father's Day, old man!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:31 AM |

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Star Wars and Chem on eBay

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Got a few new items up on eBay this week, here's the rundown:

PDYM is CHEM XL Shirt - managed to find another PDYM is Chem shirt as I cleaned up the office this morning. Hey, had nothing better to do since my computer was being upgraded for a couple hours today. Happy bidding!

Jedi Starfighter Mock-Up Packaging - Selling a goodie from my Star Wars collection this week on eBay ... a Hasbro Jedi Starfighter Packaging Mock-Up Prototype from Revenge of the Sith. Got it from a friend who works there from when the film was code-named Birth of an Empire. Check it out.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:09 PM |

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A Heart Like David

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Tony Steward wrote an excellent article on 'Being David When You Serve Under Saul" that all in youth ministry should read. Good stuff. Here's a clip from pdymcommunity.com:

I believe that there are some of us who have the profound opportunity to follow under great leaders, and learn from their wisdom and experience, be inspired by their profound faith and grace with others, and submit to being refined by their sharp and watchful eyes. I believe most of us would leap at the chance to be under a great leader, to learn from them and grow under their mentorship and encouragement.

But, for most of us that is not the case. For many of us our most profound lessons in leadership come from seeing what one shouldn’t do versus what one should do. We see selfish motivation spoken with spiritual language, we see manipulation and control where freedom should be encouraged, and we see insecurity and intimidation where we should see encouragement and confidence.

I have recently had a glaring example of that kind of experience that I would equate to 1 Samuel 18:9-11: “And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. … while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, ‘I'll pin David to the wall.’ But David eluded him twice.

Now, before I go any further, this is not the bitter whining of a rightly whipped boy. All of us have weaknesses, and areas that we can drastically improve in – and it would always behoove us to be open to appropriate criticism and accountability. Needless to say, my recent experience falls on both sides of that fence and my hope is that I can share with you some of the lessons I have learned that have helped me to wade out to a positive and constructive resolution.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:47 PM |

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Stanley Cup

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Apparently, hockey season just ended. Who knew?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:42 PM |

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"You're Beautiful" Parody

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You've heard this, right? Oh my ... funny workplace parody always makes me smile.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:19 PM |

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Superman Returns Early

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My friend Josh got to see Superman Returns early. I'm jealous. And it looks like the movie rocks. Check it out.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:05 PM |

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Nacho Libre Review

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First of all, I have to appreciate the wonder of the marketing campaign.

I think they were directly targeting me, and I sincerely appreciate the effort. I saw Nacho Libre while shopping at the mall, on my Xbox 360, at Angel's Stadium and in my iTunes. I was sent email and backgrounds, given free themes and even a ringtone, too, if I wanted to use it.

Impressive, absolutely impressive.

As for the movie itself, I think it was great. I laughed out loud several times, enjoying great lines, akward situations and painfully brilliant wrestling scenes. Other people had a strong positive reaction to the film, though I've noticed much of the traditional critics' pool could care less. Even watching Epert and Robert this weeked they railed on the film for 15 mnutes.

And I've been quoting Nacho lines all day.

The film has a great style, unique characters and plenty to laugh at. If you like Napoleon, you'll like this. It's not the same, and not quite as good, but Jack Black is great and I truly enjoyed it. The film's greatest asset was Black, but perhaps he was the weakness in the end as well. Napoleon shined because he was an unknown, the entire cast wasn't "B" List - they weren't on ANY list! Black shines because, he's ... well, Jack Black. And while that's fantastic, perhaps casting an unknown would have turned this into an underground hit instead of an almost-mainstream comedy success.

Still, any film that costs 25M to make and scores almost 30M in the first weekend is a smash hit. That's like Superman Returns opening with 250M in July, and he can't fly that high.

Go ahead, watch it, enjoy it, even tell people you like it. Don't be afraid, it's really a fun PG film that Hollywood needs to make more of. Well done!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:54 PM |

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Waterproof Bible

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This is a pretty good idea. Been on enough Canadian wilderness adventure camps to see some pretty good Bibles get pretty messed up during 7 days of canoeing and rain-soaked portages.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:21 PM |

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Great Father's Day Weekend

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Had a great Father's Day weekend, the kids got me tickets to two events: Nacho Libre and Sunday's Angels game. Both were fantastic, a full review of Nacho and a Father's Day Recap coming Monday once I get up to speed on the day. Looks to be a full week!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:55 PM |

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Searching for Direction

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Today I'm at Chic-Fil-A for lunch and taking some alone time to get caught up.

Not just on my follow-up file in my Outlook, which is nice to see dwindling, too - but getting caught up with God, too. I've realized that while I'm not really spiritually dry, I do need Him in a special way for some life decisions I need to make soon. Whenever I stand in a position like this, I'm less of a list guy and like to go with my heart. I see pros and cons as a moment in time present or past, that hardly bring into account what you will bring into the table in the new day. I like to look at a particular culture and then dream about what it could be.

But whether you're a list person or not, we all need spiritual guidance. I want God to show me intellectually on a list, emotionally with my heart and spiritually with His divine guidance. Then, and only then, can I be at true peace with a big decision.

As I read some Scripture this morning during this process, I found the very first verse I read exactly what I needed. Thanks for that, God.

We can gather our thoughts,
but the Lord gives the right answer.
-
Proverbs 16:1 (NLT)

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:39 PM |

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Pics from PDC

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Just got some new pictures from the PDC Conference this past May. Some friends from Penn Friends' church in Michigan won a Church Health Award and we got to hook up and do some fun stuff while they were here in So. Cal. Good times!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:37 PM |

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Wisdom: Don't Be a Fool

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Fools respond with hostility and anger or with laughter and ridicule (Proverbs 29:9). When people react emotionally to the truth, either angrily or scornfully, they are fools. A merely ignorant person expresses puzzlement or confusion; the fool, even after misunderstandings have been clearly addressed, continues to mock, scorn, or attack the truth as something he considers stupid or evil or both.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:36 PM |

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Jack Black on Jimmy Kimmel Live

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Got to run up to Hollywood tonight with some friends (Jonathan, Adam and Josh which you can see in the picture above) tonight to see Jimmy Kimmel Live. Jack Black was on and was hilarious. Also got to hear Australian band Wolfmother which was fine, but nothing like seeing Jack Black and getting pumped for Nacho Libre. Fun!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:50 AM |

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Kurt Talks Crocs

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In Kurt Johnston's blog today he talks a lot about Crocs. Maybe I should get a pair for the upcoming staff retreat, too? Read his thoughts.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:31 PM |

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iPod Everywhere

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I can't think of anything to add to this picture.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:51 AM |

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New on eBay This Week

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New on eBay this week I've got 3 items, and making plans for a few more. Here's what's up for auction this week:
Matt McGill's Sports Instructional Video and Bonus - We put up the shirt off his back and an autographed copy of Small Groups from Start To Finish, too! So funny, right now it's closing in on $50! Check it out, proceeds go to buy goats in Tanzania.

Star Wars Galactic Heroes Vallance - We got this for the boys room when we were in an apartment, and now it won't fit their window in the new house. Happy bidding, proceeds go to more action figures for the boys.

XXXL Chem Shirt - I grew a bit too small for this one, I'm currently in a trim XXL. Good times, bid away.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:43 AM |

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New SYM Podcast Online

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The latest episode of the SYM podcast hit iTunes last night at midnight, I hope you enjoy the show! We crossed the 20 episode mark with discussion about transitioning, pronography and being transparent. Good stuff!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:41 AM |

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Roethlisberger Soup Irony

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This made me laugh today. I know it's not a laughing matter, but still ...
But while Roethlisberger won't have to be on a soup-only diet, he missed out on a $2 million Campbell's Chunky Soup commercial that began filming Wednesday at Heinz Field with other Steelers players. Roethlisberger and his stepmother, Brenda, were to have been the stars of the commercial.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:54 AM |

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Jumpstarting Student Leadership

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Matt and I wrote an article for Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox. You can check out the full piece on pastors.com and here's a clip:
What are four things you can't get enough of?
1 – More time with your family
2 – More sleep
3 – More caffeine
4 – More overnight events

OK, so it didn't make a list of the top four things we need, but as youth workers one thing we all want is student leadership. We've got some volunteers, and we're passionately leading the way, but we would love to have some of our youth accept God's call to lead our ministries. We've all read those "youth" stories in the Bible – you know, David, Jeremiah, Timothy, Samuel – and we sincerely believe God wants to use people early in life, but getting there is difficult.

As youth workers, we strongly believe that students can make a real difference in the world. They aren't just the church of tomorrow; they are the church of today. At least, that is what we hope we can train them to become.

Our hope to develop young leaders through the youth in our church is only eclipsed by our struggle to unlock their zeal. There's nothing more painful than seeing the wasted potential of those entrusted to our care or a life mired early by guilt and shame. It can be a pit of despair for most youth workers, but I'm here to say there's hope.

The hope isn't in the outspoken ones who show up to everything. We all have a few "natural leaders," who rise to the challenge. And if you don't have youth like that, you at least have regular students who are fun to be around, and you can count on them to do some basic ministry tasks. But biblical leadership, and therefore our calling, isn't limited to equipping the cute, fun, or popular – much less the kids that attend every single event. They aren't student leaders; they're stalkers.

We are called to prepare all of our students for the work of the ministry. It's a daunting task, but one that must be attempted if we're to adequately prepare the church. To that end, here are a few practical ideas to help jump-start some of the leadership potential in your students and take your ministry to the next level.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:30 PM |

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Do you Blog or MySpace?

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There's a new poll up this week on pdymcommunity.com - check it out and tell us if you have a MySpace or blog! Then post a link in the comments section.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:07 PM |

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Ostrich Farmers Rejoice!

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So the SYM team went to Fudruckers and I ordered up an ostrich burger. It was more or less a bet from Andy, but I love to eat new foods and this sure sounded like that qualified. Apparently they are selling pretty well. So I ate $4.99 worth of the flightless bird - which roughly equates to 1/3 lb on a sesame seed bun. How great is it that we live in a country that allows us to eat exotic animals on a whim for lunch? And it was actually pretty good, too!

And the ostrich farmers rejoiced.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:21 PM |

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SYM 40|40|40 Sale Videos

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You might have missed the sale, but you can still watch the videos. Good times!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:34 AM |

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Video Game Junkie

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This is from SNL circa 1982.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:31 AM |

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World Cup ... uh... Mania?

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Is there anyone excited about the World Cup in America?

Apparently not, but from my limited international travels I can assure you we are the only country not whipped into an absolute frenzy right now. The World Cup opener - host country Germany versus Costa Rica was a great game. Actually, the game was average, but the breakfast buffet at the Griffins was unstoppable.

Go USA! ((they're in it, right?))

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:43 PM |

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Am I a Good Dad?

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I took the kids to Chucky Cheese's and Krispy Kreme on the same day. I think I'm dancing on that fine line of being a good dad or not. Why don't we just start the mornings off with an espresso, too?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:29 PM |

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Kurt's Monthly Training

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Just a quick note to let you know that we've updated iTunes with the new Kurt Johnston podcast. Episode 17 talks about getting students involved in the summer activities and some fun stuff Wildside is experimenting with this summer. Subscribe today for free monthly training specific to junior high ministry!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:07 PM |

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Great Weekend at Saddleback

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Pastor Tom had a great message this weekend at Saddlback that really hit home for me. I was just reading through Proverbs 8 (on June 8) and the topic of wisdom has been on my heart. I tend to listen to people's advice or offers and rely on my own intuition instead of truly asking for God to guide.

It's easy to get caught up in emotional decisions and jump into something that looks good at first glance. The message this week was asking God to direct in each step of your life, bringing Him into every decision and then being willing to follow Him no matter what. Great end to the quick two-week series!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:55 PM |

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Gnarls Barkley Performs SW Style

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My favorite part of the MTV Movie Awards.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:00 AM |

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Pixar Magic Once Again?

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Took the boys today to catch Pixar's latest film CARS, and they had a blast. They loved the characters and the entire movie, people around us we're commenting on how well behaved they were, which made me very proud, especially since this was the little guy's first movie. That's the main key to me - if they love it, then mission accomplished. And love it they did!

As for my reaction to the movie, well, because it's PIXAR I always grade with no curve. If this was Dreamworks or just straight Disney I would be more forgiving, but because these guys set the bar and then continue to push it so high, I've got to shoot straight.

Visually, this movie is unreal. In some scenes, it looks completly photo realistic. They have again raised the bar visually. The races are amazing, the crashes spectacular, and the amount of life they can put into a cars' front end amazes me. And the couple of airplane and helicopter scenes made me dream of them doing something with a war theme someday that would rock.

I'm split in the story department. This is a different story then Pixar has attempted recently, in my opinion. At first, I just didn't connect to the characters like I have in times past. It didn't carry the weight of the previous stories, I guess? Maybe because all of the other films followed the underdog (Mike Wazowski, Nemo, misunderstood superheroes, ants), so you really root for them to succeed. Lightening McQueen is the star of the show, and he doesn't seem to have any flaws, but of course, that ends up being his greatest flaw. And shoot, it sure had me by the end, and I love the lessons the film teaches.

The personalities were fun. Most were well-developed, the little Ferarri-loving Italian car stole the show several times for me. I was worried about this type of character development (archetype) to be honest, but I think in the end they pulled it off genius.

This film was about the little things. The way the truck's snore was the sound of a jake brake, the way the lights reflected off the cars, the auto alarm bit, brakelights, headlights and, of course, the tractors. Delightful.

The voice acting was great. Having Paul Newman's maturity in the film was great, and it's always fun to see how they'll work that one guy from Cheers into the mix. If you missed the credits, you missed a lot. And tell me you stayed for the short scene after the credits, too?

Although this isn't Pixar's best film to date, it is certainly head and shoulders above all other in the field of computer animation, and better than most live-action, too. I found myself laughing out loud a couple of times, but a bit frustrated that many of the best lines are already spoiled from the trailers.

I think some will be somewhat underwhelmed because expectations are always so high for PIXAR's work, but all in all I fell this is still a solid must-see film of summer, and a GREAT time with the kids.

Final grade: A-

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:59 PM |

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Lunch with Josh

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Fellow blogger Josh and I get together for lunch every so often to just hang out and talk life and youth minsitry - he had car trouble recently and I can't seem to pul away from the OC too often down to San Diego so we've been missing it for a while. But we're back, baby! We ran over to CPK and enjoyed some BBQ chicken and some great conversation. Look for some blog wars soon!

I think my new favorite thing is taking pictures of people and telling them I'm going to blog about them. I usually follow-up the ask with something like, "Yes, I'm serious."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:50 PM |

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WOW Awards at Saddleback

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Friday night was the big WOW Awards at Saddleback Church. It was a great night filled with laughter to honor the hundreds of people that make the church work. Without them, it really woulnd't happen. On a given weekend, over 1,000 people are giving up their time to serve others in tons of different ministries. Got a chance to stand during the student ministries time, and thought I would take some shots of the folks on our left (Leigh and Jana) and on our right (Drew and the co-host of his Area Bible Study. Good times - fun to dress up and eat ice cream!

Thanks to HSM for the T-Shirt and $5 at Starbucks, too!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:43 PM |

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Stuff Edited from the MTV Movie Awards

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Even MTV doesn't air everything that happens live at the awards show. Here's a few of the lowlights that didn't make the final cut:

Borat Sagdiyev had another few off-color jokes about Jessica Simpson. Althought the stuff they aired was already inappropriate, what they edited was WAY over the line, even for them. Edited out.

Everything was filed out of order, then edited back together. Filming started with the Christina Agulera and ended with AFI, the show obviously edits everything seamlessly. Fixed.

Wil Ferrell messed up during the end of his talk as his Nascar character, accidentally calling sponsor Starburst by the name Starbucks. Edited out.

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves went on much longer and their dialogue ranged from moderately funny to pretty rough. The final edit made them look pretty funny, which surprised me. The wonders of television!

Kate Beckinsale tripped making her way across the stage. Forgot about the little step down just in front of the mic. The cameras were pointed at the nominees and not on her at the moment

The Spike Lee tribute was much longer and uncut. In the cut of the show, it was rightfully edited down and tied to LL Cool J's voiceover.

The angels coming out took much longer than they showed. There were at least 60 of them, and it took several minutes for them to fill the stage. In the final cut of the show, everyone found their places amazingly fast.

Good times ... pretty base thing to be at, I know. I'll post some reaction to the show, a screenshot of me at the show and some observations from being there that I think may surprise.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:16 AM |

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SYM Staff Pages

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In the coming weeks, we'll launch a Simply Community section on SYM. It'll have new forums, innovative ways to interact with the staff, Live Person support, product reviews, webcams, active blogs and so much more.

Part of the project includes some new staff pages, so I'll give you a sneak peak at what I'm working on totally off the record. This isn't public yet, and I'm very open to other people writing or submitting ideas for bios. Fire away!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:50 PM |

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60+ Hours This Week?

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Whew. Been a very long week, and it's just Thursday night. Here's a few of the plates that are spinning these days:

PDYM Student Leadership Programming - Met today with some of the HSM/Wildside staff to go over the upcoming conference. We're jamming the 4 days with plenty of videos, skits, songs and activities. We've got a very talented team pulling this one off, we settle on the main schedule next week then pitch it to the rest of the group. Starting to really shape up good for our first pilot event.

Booked Something Like Silas - A great band from San Diego, they'll be with us all week leading songs as well as performing one concert. This is a big score for this small of an event (<500 total). Sweet!

Booked Dana Daniels - he's part magician, part bird handler. He's totally funny, and we're working to get him into the opening act of Student Leadership.

Student Leadership Article for Ministry Toolbox - Matt McGill and I wrote a 1,000-word column for Pastor Rick's Ministry Toolbox on Student Leadership. It's called Jumpstarting Student Leaders in Your Ministry or something like that, I'll be sure to link to it when they take it live. We shot a pretty funny author shot today in a palm tree.

PDYM Newsletter - Sent out the June issue of the PDYM Neighborhood. It had a new poll on MySpace and blogging, a great article by Kevin Valentine on discouragement, and freebies for graduation. I'm happy with this particular issue, I think it's beginning to gain some traction. Neely does such a great job with community.

40|40|40 Sale at Simply - I spent the better part of Sunday putting up the big sale, and the better part of Wednesday taking it down. What goes up, must come down. Lots of work, but I love getting great resources into the hands of youth pastors. The discount doesn't hurt, either. Lots of work though!

Started the PDYM 2007 Promo Video Project - As I mentioned in an earlier post, I met with a dude from the PS3 team at Sony who is volunteering to do the PDYM 2007 promo video. Sweet!

So somewhere close to 40 hours for Simply this week, and maybe 20ish for PDYM. Did some Passion stuff in the cracks, and concentrated on all other available free time to be with the family, have a 10-year anniversary and such.

Who needs sleep?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:34 PM |

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Crowder in the Studio

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Sad news this week on the stage talent for PDYM.

Unfortunately for us, David Crowder Band is in the studio all of March and can't be with us to PDYM. The silver lining in all of this is that hey, we get a sweet new Crowder album, so we're not complaining, just dissapointed. Make some suggestions as to who we should get and we'll put out some feelers.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:25 PM |

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PDYM 2007 Promo Video

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Met with a Saddleback Church volunteer this morning at Starbucks - he works for Sony Computer Entertainment on the PS3 during the day (the team responsible for the Killzone cinematics, if you're a geek you'll be impressed by this) and by night he'll be editing up the sweet new PDYM 2007 Conference video. He's got 4 MiniDV tapes filled with goodness we had Minus Media shoot for us last year, and the deadline to launch with the new website is late summer.

With talent like this, I'm expecting a lot. What a great guy!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:17 PM |

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Xbox 360 Dashboard Update

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My 360 just downloaded a new Dashboard update tonight, which includes over 125 upgrades to the already amazing system.

The best, bar none, is a new feature that lets you download and play at the same time, and even line up items to download in a que. Amazing stuff, this takes LIVE to an even higher level. If you like you can read about all 125 updates here, or just trust me it's the best system with the best online service and everyone needs to get one now.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:13 PM |

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And So It Begins ... the World Cup

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9AM tomorrow morning marks the start of World Cup mania.

Earlier tonight I sent out an invitation for a few friends to attend this glorious television event in magnificent HDTV and ear-tingling Digital Digital. We're starting with an 8:30AM pancake and bacon breakfast, followed by the German opener. I'll of course be wearing my German jersey straight off the back of Michael Ballack ... look for pictures of the festivities in the morning.

We might end up fighting a bit, my friends are rowdy.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:34 PM |

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Wireless at Chic-Fil-A

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My friend Jason just posted on some of the greatest news this side of them putting a Chic-Fil-A in Foothill Ranch. Wireless chicken.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:31 PM |

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Where I Was at the MTV Movie Awards

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Just thought I would post where I was in the pit at the MTV Movie Awards this past week. Click it, baby! Look for me and my cousins tonight on the big show! I tried to get a ton of fist-pumps when the cameras were close. I'm wearing a dark blue shirt and look STUNNING I have to say.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:06 AM |

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June Gloom

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Man, Spring has come and gone, the beautiful days at the beach are now going to have to wait a month

It's now officially June Gloom, and it is nasty out. By nasty I don' t mean bad enough keep the top up on the convertible or anything, just kind of gray outside. Living here is the best for weather, but the next 30 days are going to be nice only hit and miss. Then summer officially begins -yeah!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:57 AM |

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10 Years Ago Today

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Angela and I were married 10 years ago today!

Hard to believe it's been that long - we were married early in life at 21, had five fabulous years together before kids and have been loving the last five with kids, too. We've got Christian, Austin and Alexis, and coming soon this fall our friend Jadin will join us as well.

We've lived in Wisconsin (.5 year), Wyoming (.5 year), Michigan (8) and now finally settled for life in California (2). We've lived in 6 houses, been to 6 countries and served in 3 churches. Youth ministry isn't exactly an easy profession to be married to either, and I admire her for working alongside me in the trenches for that season and now fully embracing the calling of motherhood.

Life is good, and my wife is amazing. Here's a few of the 1,000 reasons I'm still crazy after all these years.

Angela loves unconditionally
I have never questioned her love for me, even when I am a knucklehead and she should have left me

Angela is georgeous
I am obnoxious, which sounds somewhat similar, but isn't something as good to be

Angela is the best mother in the world
OK, I'm a guy, so I can't even be a mom. But if I could be, she would own me

Angela is beautiful
Beautiful is not a word that has often been used to describe me

Angela is kind and considerate
Don't get me started

Angela is honest and transparent
I sincerely want to be, but usually end up being shallow or fake

In short, I love this woman more than I have at any other point in life. Thank you for saving yourself for marriage, being completely faithful in marriage, and putting up with a guy who doesn't deserve you either. You are amazing.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:47 PM |

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Jack Black Plays Air Drum

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I liked this promo from Jack Black and happened to stumble across it today and thought I would post it for all to enjoy. Some friends and I will get to meet on Jimmy Kimmel Live on the 15th, which will be very fun, too!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:28 PM |

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No Baby on 6-6-06

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We've been teasing Andy about his son being born early on 6-6-06, and it turns out people really were avoiding the day. Check this out:

Around the country, some superstitious mothers-to-be took steps Tuesday to make sure their babies were not born on the most bedeviling of dates: 6-6-6.

In New York, "people are canceling left and right because of what today represents," said Liza Washington, an administrative assistant at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of the New York-Presbyterian Medical Center. More than a dozen deliveries were postponed because of 666, which is said to be the "number of the beast" in the Bible's book of Revelation.

Many of the expectant mothers had been scheduled to deliver babies by Caesarean section or after doctors artificially induced labor. Julie Haley, 33, of Reading, Mass., went into labor Monday. As of Tuesday afternoon, she still had not given birth.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:21 PM |

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How Akward Was the Apprentice Finale?

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I just don't think the Apprentice finale hit the mark. While the show has been great, the finale has always been underwhelming. Perhaps it was the 4-minutes of music and awkwardness after the announcement of the winner? Perhaps it was the running out and into the car? Perhaps it was driving away when he should be celebrating with his family and friends?

Akward. Love the show, the right guy got picked, I'm glad it's coming to LA, but man, they've got to figure that ending out.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:50 AM |

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Pictures from Church

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Here's a couple shots of the family with Amanda and Jenny. Had a great time at church, the message was called, "Life Lessons: Don't Give Up" with practical points on facing adversity and frustration. Good stuff!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:54 AM |

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USA Today on Rick and PEACE

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Interesting article in today's USA Today you should check out if you're interested in Purpose Driven, politics and Rick Warren. Here's a clip:

Warren is no liberal. He backed President Bush in the 2004 election and opposes abortion and stem cell research.

But in a refreshing change from today's unhealthy norm, Warren is spending his time and clout not on the divisive issues that have come to define the Christian right — abortion, stem cell research, a supposedly anti-God judiciary and so on — but on a campaign that can bring people together and save many lives in the process.

Warren is taking on poverty and AIDS and on a continent — Africa — that tends to command the least of the world's attention and resources.

PEACE is the moniker Warren has devised for his program in Rwanda. It stands for "Plant churches, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation."

In the tradition of evangelical Christianity, he believes the path to a better world runs through human hearts, and he is counting on churches and their members to lead the way against the seemingly intractable problems pressing down on Africa. "I'm coming from the fact that Jesus said, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' " Warren said at a news conference in November at a global health summit. "So what motivates me is not politics."

As Warren told The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper recently, "The New Testament says the church is the body of Christ, but for the last 100 years, the hands and feet have been amputated, and the church has just been a mouth. And mostly, it's been known for what it's against. ... I'm so tired of Christians being known for what they're against."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:33 AM |

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Another New Look for the Blog

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OK, I got a Blogger template agai, don't really like it 100%, but the bandwidth of the other one was too much so it kept showing up with no style sheet. Anyhow, I'll probably go with this one for a while, then when I find the one I really like I'll roll with that one for real. At least we've got some color again!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:30 AM |

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40-40-40 Sale at SYM

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Just finished getting a whole pile of products up for the 40-40-40 sale over at SYM. It's been a ton of work, but its fun to see people snapping up great resources. We also made a video last week that makes me laugh (I hope you will, too) and there'll be a follow-up video tomorrow night on that same page. Let's just say I ate a TON of sushi.

Check it out and pick up some resources if they'll help!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:06 AM |

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Fun Week with Amanda

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Fun weekend with cousin Amanda and her friend Jenny. Here's a quick rundown of what we did - they leave tomorrow, so sad!
Thursday
Josh picks up girls in convertible
Arrive LAX
Hit Irvine Spectrum Mall
Ang and kids meet up with us at California Pizza Kitchen for dinner
Get settled into house

Friday
Josh and the girls hit Laguna Beach and the Boardwalk
Lunch in Laguna
Join up with everyone in the late Afternoon
Huntington Beach
Dinner at Rubys on pier
Sunset on the beach

Saturday
Sleep in, pool in the morning
2006 MTV Movie Awards Stage Pit Passes - 3:30 PM

Sunday
Grill steaks out on the Patio
Pool and Sun
Saddleback Church Service 6PM
Downtown Disney for fireworks

Monday
Swim, sun, pool in the morning.
Hollywood Walk of Fame Tour and Lunch
Movie at Mann's Chinese Theater
Drive through Beverly Hills

Tuesday
Ang and kids take everyone to Depart LAX
Good times!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:02 AM |

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Just Back from 2006 MTV Movie Awards

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Yo ... just made it back to the house after the LA adventure. Hit the pit at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards, super fun with Amanda and Jenny. Here's a short list of the celebrities we got to see. Full analysis tomorrow, good times.
Sandra Bullock
Keanu Reeves
Eva Mendes
Zach Braff
Rosario Dawson
Anna Faris
Borat Sagdiyev
Colin Farrell
Jessica Simpson
Kevin Spacey
Samuel L. Jackson
Amanda Bynes
Dane Cook
Kate Beckinsale
Jamie Foxx
Owen Wilson
Justin Timberlake
Matt Dillon
Will Ferrell
T.I.
Kate Hudson
Ludacris
Rebecca Romijn
Kate Bosworth
Famke Janssen
John C. Reilly
Brandon Routh
Christina Aguilera
Gnarls Barkley
AFI
Jessica Alba
Flav-a-flave
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:02 AM |

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The REAL OC: Laguna Beach

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My cousin Amanda is in town from Minnesota, and we've got a packed weekend planned for her and her friend Jenny. She flew into LAX and we immediately hit In-N-Out, drove through Long Beach and got them all moved into the house. Then we headed out to the Irvine Spectrum Mall and some California Pizza Kitchen before enjoying a little pool. Prett good first 6 hours under the Pacific Sun.

Today we got up late and went to Laguna Beach for some killer sun, watching the dolphins come up withing 25 yards of the shore and some Jamba Juice. Tonight we hit the pier at Huntington and eat at Ruby's at sunset.

There never going to want to go back home!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:28 PM |

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Tabasco in the Eye

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McGill has one of the best small group stories ever. Read it now, and believe me later.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:26 PM |

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Are The Rockies Really The Angels?

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Interesting article from USA Today about Christian influences in a baseball team. Here's a clip:
No copies of Playboy or Penthouse are in the clubhouse of baseball's Colorado Rockies. There's not even a Maxim. The only reading materials are daily newspapers, sports and car magazines and the Bible.

Music filled with obscenities, wildly popular with youth today and in many other clubhouses, is not played. A player will curse occasionally but usually in hushed tones. Quotes from Scripture are posted in the weight room. Chapel service is packed on Sundays. Prayer and fellowship groups each Tuesday are well-attended. It's not unusual for the front office executives to pray together.

On the field, the Rockies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons and only the second time in their 14-year history. Behind the scenes, they quietly have become an organization guided by Christianity — open to other religious beliefs but embracing a Christian-based code of conduct they believe will bring them focus and success.

From ownership on down, it's an approach the Rockies are proud of — and something they are wary about publicizing. "We're nervous, to be honest with you," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd says. "It's the first time we ever talked about these issues publicly. The last thing we want to do is offend anyone because of our beliefs."

And then the rebuttal, too, from the Denver Post:

"It was just bad. I am not happy at all. Some of the best teammates I have ever had are the furthest thing from Christian," pitcher Jason Jennings said. "You don't have to be a Christian to have good character. They can be separate. It was misleading."

Todd Helton and Jennings were quoted supporting the article's premise regarding religion's role in the clubhouse. But both said they never were asked about religion, and were questioned only in general terms about the clubhouse environment.

"I wouldn't say it was accurate. (The writer) asked me about the guys in here and I said it's a good group. We work hard and get along well," Helton said.

The story stated that men's magazines such as Playboy, Penthouse and Maxim could not be found in the Rockies' clubhouse, but that Bibles were present. Several players read Maxim in the visiting clubhouse during the Padres' series this week. Two separate issues sat on the center coffee table Wednesday.

"I have never seen a Bible (out in the open) in our clubhouse," said pitcher Aaron Cook, who has led the team's chapel service during spring training. "Most of the guys on this team are Christians, but not all of them. And the fact is you don't build a winner around just Christians. If that was the case, everybody would be doing it."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:32 AM |

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It's a Boy!

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Angela and I spent the afternoon at the doctor's office for our scheduled 20-week appointment. Looks like we're having a boy! Everything looks good - so we coulnd't be more excited about that! We have the tradition of picking the name and buying the baby's first outfit on ultrasound day, so here it is: Jadin Caleb Griffin. Scheduled to arrive in late October, and we couldn't be more happy.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:29 AM |

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Funny Jesus Videos

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These videos have been floating around the net for quite a while, and Google Video now has them for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy. Vintage21 Jesus videos.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:22 AM |

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