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Reeled In: Volume 1

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Shot a little parody video to kickoff Wildside's new series on the fish stories of Jesus. Fun!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:32 PM |

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Stuff Worth Reading from Friends' Blogs

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Every weekend I round up the best posts from my blog friends, new and old. The posts have to be between last Saturday and today, and have to have some merit - humorous or somewhat inspiring. Here's what I enjoyed reading:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:36 PM |

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My Xbox Has a Blog

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Read a great post over on 360Voice about the upcoming console war and how/why the 360 is coming out on top at the moment. A great piece if you're into videogames, here's a clip of a particularly good section. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next few months.
Beyond the console: Being a passionate gamer, I don't stop thinking about games when I get up from my console. I want to be able to share those experiences with everyone—and not just my buddies online. Building upon the Identity and Connectivity, Microsoft is taking it one step further. What began as something simple as being able to display your gamercard online for all to see, Microsoft's willingness to share this data with the community has really taken things to the next level. Gamers can now show off their gamercard on their own terms and with their own designs. They can have their console automatically blog about what they play, and they can chart their gamerscore over time. As the community continues to develop and more people work with the data, the possibilities truly are endless. Combine this with Live Anywhere and we will be interacting with our games and friends on a whole new level.

Bottom Line: Microsoft has a clear set of goals. They want to allow gamers to create identities, connect with other gamers, customize the gaming experience, reach out to the gaming community, and take gaming beyond the console. With solid hardware backing this, their software is creating a seamless experience across all games. We know regardless of the game, we will always have these features available to us.
Did you know my Xbox even has a blog now?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:32 PM |

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Movie Review: Flyboys

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It's a great title, and some of the flying sequences are pretty cool. And that's all of the positive things I can say about the film.

The rest of it sucked.

I love planes - and I love this particular piece of history - but terrible acting, weak sets, predictible plotline and at best a questionable reality make this a film to avoid. Anytime a movie is based on a true story I get excited, but nothing could save this thing. Except a time machine where you went back before it was made and shoot the director. You should probably not even go to a theater that is playing this movie, lest someone think you were watching Flyboys.

If you have to see this movie, make it a DVD rental using a coupon, this is barely worth $1.99 for that, and certainly not the $10 I just paid. At least McGill and Fields were there to share in the agony. Nothing better than having a reference point for the forseeable future of a movie "low." And this one sits squarely at the bottom of the barrel. Avoid at all costs.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:04 AM |

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Text to Google

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Did you know you can text Google while you're out an about and they'll text back with what you're looking for? Whether it's a map, a zip code, movie times or the number for closest Wal-Mart, they'll send you a text back with the information in seconds. Ben showed it to me last night at the Fields' house - I tried it today and swore I would tell everyone I could about it. Here you go - enjoy!
1. Start a new text message and type in your search query

2. Send the message to the number "46645" (GOOGL)

3. You'll receive text message(s) with results
Hit this page for full details of all of the commands you can send and so much more. Love it!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:27 PM |

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Segregated Survivor is Over

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Hmmm ... kinda let down by last night's regular television shows. First off, Survivor has already ended the teams divided by race - leaving us with essentially a normal survivor show. And secondly, The Office was the most average episode ever. Not good.
All the hubbub about the Survivor ethnic experiment turned out to be pretty worthless.

Why? Because after only two episodes, producers merged the black, white, Asian and Latino tribes into two mixed-race gangs. No explanation was given for the quick abandonment of segregation; it seemed to pass by so quickly as to mean nothing.

"We're back to America. We're a melting pot," said Parvati, a boxer on the new Raro tribe. "I love it."

Yawn.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:25 AM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Vol 12

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Every Friday you read the actual Google searches that lead to my blog and then I list the ones that I wish led people to the site. Many times people will ask about where I get these from, and I recently changed ways - I use Google Analytics, a free webmaster service from Google that allows you to track traffic, see keywords people used, see what's popular on your site and much, much more.

Actual Google searches that people used this to find my blog
hiv/aids needles hidden under gas pumps
mv4 crack itunes
who said don't believe everything that you read
"hiv/aids needles hidden under gas pumps"
purity rings "under $20"
funny bulletin
super star wars pc download
sean blakeney
youth pastor salaries
hsm-high school musical lyrics
josh griffin saddleback
blogspot josh manning
mnf sucks now
biggest loser youth pastor
minus media+"california"-"windows"+"christian"-"mix"
pastor rick pounds new 2007 collection plate
divas gentlemen's club-minneapolis
jake rutenbar spirit
dont believe everything you read on the internet
america eats +tv
youth ministers daily duties
do people believe what they read on the internet
itunes mv4
+"dana daniels" +promo video
internet punter
t-shirt
myspace joshua peters
no shave november
catalyst conference oct 4-7 2006 andy stanley
deal or no deal "sermon series" graphics
josh manning
legos and ministry
star wars shortened song lyrics

Google searches I wish led people here
talk like a pirate day
odd colored ear wax
Granger Community Church
Andy Stanley's blog
should I quit my podcast
ravioli are quite delicious

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:38 AM |

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The Gathering is Over

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The Gathering is officially over. 3 days of food, fun, brainstorming and teaching ended last night after Survivor at the Fields' house. It was awesome having our state mentors in town - these are the men and women who are living out the biblical purposes in the trenches and committed to helping others. They are essentially the stars of PDYM, the leaders of the network of thousands of youth ministries united under the purposes.

It was an amazing time, look for more updates about it on pdymcommunity.com and the "fine" game we played to benefit Glue Boys. Some of my personal highlights included the rubber balls on the tables that turned into 'ball wars' periodically, seeing Joby's amazing body again, getting new mentor pictures for pdymcommunity.com and giving the mentors tons of free books and resources.

Whew!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:27 AM |

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The Gathering: Kay Warren

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Kay came and shared a bit of her heart today - it was a stirring time talking about her journey in ministry and her passion for those in poverty and stricken with AIDS. She opened up the floor at the end for questions about anything people wanted to ask ... questions about longevity in ministry, criticism, the role of youth ministry on her children and more on her passion for those in need. An inspiring sendoff piece to the Gathering ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:13 PM |

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Giving Kiosks at Church

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Just read an interesting front page story in today's LA Times. Apparently some churches are moving toward giving kiosks as well as passing the offering plate. Love it!
Pastor Marty Baker preaches that the Bible is the eternal and inviolate word of God. On other church matters, he's willing to change with the times.

Jeans are welcome at Stevens Creek Community Church, the 1,100-member evangelical congregation Baker founded 19 years ago. Sermons are available as podcasts, and the electric house band has been known to cover Aerosmith's "Dream On." A recent men's fellowship breakfast was devoted to discussing the spiritual wages of lunching at Hooters.

It is a bid for relevance in a nation charmed by pop culture and consumerism, and it is not an uncommon one. But Baker has waded further into the 21st century than most fishers of American souls, as evidenced one Wednesday night when churchgoer Josh Marshall stepped up to a curious machine in the church lobby.

It was one of Stevens Creek's three "Giving Kiosks": a sleek black pedestal topped with a computer screen, numeric keypad and magnetic-strip reader. Prompted by the on-screen instructions, Marshall performed a ritual more common in quickie marts than a house of God: He pulled out a bank card, swiped it and punched in some numbers.

The machine spat out a receipt. Marshall's $400 donation was routed to church coffers before he had found his seat for evening worship.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:30 PM |

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SYM Podcast 30 is Up

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Just updated iTunes with the new Simpy Podcast. We're still full speed ahead at the Gathering, so you'll have to wait for links. The Matt-cast has finally arrived!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:57 PM |

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The Gathering: Bill Daily

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Bill Daily came and spoke today to the Gathering between brainstorming sessions - he spoke from a marketing background in reaching new students. He's worked for Gatorade, Mastercard and Oakley as the VP of marketing. He's now in marketing at Purpose Driven, finally able to use these incredible talents in a direct eternal setting. Needless to say, he's fully legit and had some very intuitive things to say. Here's a few of the highlights:
Kay Warren is coming up next ... very cool.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:10 AM |

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Pictures from The Gathering

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Couple of pics from The Gathering today - good times were had by all. Great conversations about dealing with senior pastors, pride, resource sharing, kids and more. So great - and ESPNZone tonight!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:20 PM |

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Xbox HD-DVD and Another HALO game?

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Big news today - first off, there's another new HALO game in the works, and director Peter Jackson is having a hand in it. Read about it.

So there's HALO 3, HALO Wars and then this new untitled one. Bring it on, baby! Another reason the Xbox 360 is going to continue to roll strongly into the next generation - the $199 HD-DVD player add on coming this November. It already plays DVDs in 480p, but finally we'll be able to enjoy the fullest resolution 1080i and higher. Yes!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:14 PM |

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Rick and Kay on Cancer in Guideposts

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Just saw a press release that Rick and Kay will be in Guideposts next month talking about the battle with cancer and the batle against AIDS. Should be great!
The new October issue of Guideposts magazine features a cover story by Kay Warren, about how her life-threatening illness became a life-changing commitment to others. Kay and husband Rick Warren, author of the best-seller The Purpose Driven Life, had been making plans to focus their new efforts on serving the dispossessed when her cancer diagnosis put everything on hold. Little did they know that after her recovery one of the first opportunities encountered - to help AIDS sufferers - would become a new path for Kay to follow. Kay tells Guideposts readers how her own battle against cancer gave her a new purpose plus the strength and motivation to fight a larger battle against the AIDS epidemic.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:05 PM |

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Greg Stier @ The Gathering

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We had a special guest after lunch at the Gathering - Greg Stier from Dare2Share came and trained the leaders in the principles of evangelism. He had some amazing stories, excellent teaching and was super funny, too. The highlight had to be opening up a converation with everyone at the end and getting a copy of his new book, Mutiny. We talked about why students don't share, why students leave their faith and how we can raise up a generation of students leaders who share Christ.

Good stuff. Be sure to visit their website, too - very cool redesign!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:56 PM |

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Blogging Shirts are Awesome

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So with next month's fun money (read: Google Ad revenue), I'm thinking about buying a shirt or two. But which blogging shirt should I buy? Current favorites:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:43 PM |

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Gathering: Day 2

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Just headed to a little Chic-Fil-A lunch during Day Two of The Gathering. We've had a great morning, talking about the role of a state mentor. It's been great dialoguing the 5 C's of community and brainstorm about where we're going from here. The funniest moment was that this year we're fining people for funny things like an unexcused bathroom break, a cell phone rining or being from Texas. The cool part is that all of the fine money raised goes to help bring a Kenyan youth pastor to PDYM this year. I already owe $21.

Highlight so far, aside from connecting with amazing youth workers, was watching a clip of Glue Boys. Powerful.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:04 PM |

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Pics from the Set of Shooter

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A student who graduated from my youth ministry back in Michigan sent me some fun pictures tonight from the set of Shooter. He was an extra on the set this week, and also recently appeared in Mark Walberg's Invincible (a fantastic movie in theaters now). Here's part of the email he sent me with some pics last night:
Here are some pics from the set of the movie Shooter we're filming in Philly right now. It's starring Mark Wahlberg and Danny Glover, and is being directed by Antoine Fuqua (from Training Day and Tears of the Sun among others). Not sure when it's coming out. The guy in the one picture with the suit on is playing the President. Us SWAT guys are dressed up in the real deal FBI gear, including the automatic rifle and sidearm strapped to the leg. We had to check them in during breaks so we wouldn't go walking around the city scaring people.
Fun experience ... and some great pics.

JG


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:53 PM |

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The Gathering Begins Tonight

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So fun to get back together with our state mentors tonight - they're here all week for The Gathering. It's an annual event where we bring the men and women who are in the trenches being the Purpose Driven Youth Ministry champions and coaches. Each year we invite about 50 of them to Saddleback, about half new potential mentors and half returning veterans. What a great group - tonight was the kickoff at Fields' house.

We'll be meeting tomorrow and Thursday, got some fun things planned and it should be quite eventful with such great leaders and personalities. Quick shout out to Grant, Eric and Jason, Dan, Joby and Jay, Tom, Jim and Jamison and Danny, Chris and Brian.

Take a second to find a mentor if PDYM strikes a chord with you - we've got them spread out all over the US.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:30 PM |

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The "In-betweener" Volunteers

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Katie had a great observation in this morning's team meeting. She was talking about volunteers and our recent Super Sweet Leader's night.

When it comes to volunteers, there's typically three groups. 1) the newbie or rookie, typically the naive person who joined your team after a big church series on ministry. This person has been to a few events or is just starting in youth ministry. They still have the 'fire' in their eyes. Then 2) there's the veteran youth worker volunteer, the tried, tested and proved leader to students. They've seen the joys and fulfillment of youth ministry and are in it for the long haul. They've typically been a part of your team 4 or 5 years (or maybe far more, possibly even outlasting you), and have a diferent type of 'fire' in their eyes. And finally 3) the short-term volunteer. They aren't new, this is their second or third year, but they're not a veteran either.

Katie's observation is tat it might be best to focus on that third group the most. The newbies definitely need training and the veteran needs constant encouragement, but honestly the most needy part of your team might very well be the "in betweeners." They haven't yet seen the life change of student ministry - they haven't yet seen the other side of conflict or struggle, they are in the middle of a new place, new challenges and potential problems. They might be crying out for your attention, or perhaps this could be part of the reason so few become long term student leaders.

Just a good learning for me today. If you can use it or add to the conversation, comment away!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:23 AM |

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Coming of Age

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For some young men, it's a bar mitzvah. For Hindu tribes its is the Thread Ceremony and for the Gambian you are circumcised at the appointed time where a boy becomes a man. Makes me, for one, glad to not be Gambian. And finally ... for the American lad, it is the rollercoaster.

Growing above the 42" mark on the wall is a big deal in our house - at least it is now, since this is the monumental mark that allows one to ride the Journey to Atlantis roller coaster. And we did just that - my oldest son has been watching his progress for weeks on the wall chart, and finally made that defining scribble on the wall. We promptly head to Sea World ... get the wristband height clearance ... and ride it 3 times. Twice in a row and one more bonus time right before we left. This will be a day long remembered.

My little boy's growing up.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:00 AM |

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The Madden Curse Strikes Again

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Just heard that Shaun Alexander was out with a broken foot this past week. Ever hear of the Madden Curse? It's struck yet again! Here's a clip from a Seattle Times article that shows every cover athelete since they started the tradition has gotten injured or had the worst season ever. I'm telling you, this is starting to get ugly.
Add Shaun Alexander to the list of athletes injured the year they appear on the cover of the popular "Madden" football video game, as what began as a coincidence has come to be characterized as a curse.

Alexander is the sixth consecutive athlete featured on the cover to suffer an injury that forced him to miss at least one game.

"It's unfortunate," said Chris Erb, who is the director of marketing for EA Sports. "We work so close with these athletes, and we root for them to succeed."

Erb has more than a simple rooting interest in Alexander. Erb is from Seattle, attended Washington, and was at Sunday's game against the New York Giants, having flown here to watch the Huskies on Saturday and the Seahawks on Sunday.

"Both personally and for work," Erb said. "I'm really bummed to see Shaun go down."

Alexander has been diagnosed with a fracture in his left foot. He is out indefinitely. He said this offseason that he didn't believe in curses and wasn't superstitious.

"Curse or no curse, everybody, and I mean everybody, wants to be on that cover," Alexander told The Times. "I don't know one person that would say no."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:38 PM |

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Monday Night in New Orleans

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So you know I'm a Monday Night critic since the network change from ABC to ESPN.

They messed with a perfect formula, and I'm dissapointed. So far, NBC on Sunday nights has won by a large margin every week. But not so tonight, I'm happy to say that despite a great Sunday night game with amazing commentary, camera angles and all the usual magic (though the sideline reporter was dressed like a grandma - style that gal up!), tonight's Monday Night Football was the game of the week. Surprise!

Maybe I'm just a sucker for the story - this was the first game in the Dome since Katrina. Essentially this was the grand re-opening of Louisiana to the world. There were generous crowd shots, an underthought national anthem and overthought appearance by Spike Lee. And aside from the very average commentating, it was a delight to watch a great football game on Monday Night again. Anytime there's a good story, a blocked punt, a blocked field goal, a team bouncing back from the worst losing record in NFL history and Michael Vick taking a beating ... well, I'm there.

Week 3: ESPN

The score is 3-1 in favor of NBC as we head into Week 4.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:15 PM |

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Audio Adrenaline is No More

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Goodbye friends, we hardly knew you.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:30 PM |

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Gold Mined from Friend's Blogs

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Each Friday I post the list of notable posts in my friend's blogs. Since I was at Sea World this weekend, I neglected my duty, so here goes:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:17 PM |

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Fire Close to Home

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The Register talks about a fire we could see from our backyard last night. Wild! And here's a picture this morning on my drive in to the office, still lots of smoke filling the air from local wildfires. Someone said that LA looks brown today because of all the smoke.

A three-acre brush fire in O'Neill Regional Park was quickly contained Sunday night.

The blaze in an open area in south Orange County didn't threaten homes or cause injuries, said Capt. Stephen Miller, a spokesman for the Orange County Fire Authority.

The fire was fully contained by 8:48 p.m., and firefighters were left cleaning up hotspots, Miller said.

After the fire authority received the call at 7:28 p.m., authorities sent 20 fire engines, brush and structure responders, water tankers and patrols to the area northeast of Rancho Santa Margarita.

"I love the way we stomp on 'em quick," Miller said. "The whole goal is to keep them small."

Miller said it was unclear how the fire started.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:59 AM |

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Free Purpose Driven Conference in the Gulf

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Fun to see something positive come out Katrina ... I was there the week after it happened and was responsible for Purpose Driven's web response to the tragedy - even travelled to the region with Rick and a team to see everything first hand. Anyhow, stumbled across this in Gulf Live and it made me happy.
Shortly after Katrina struck, Purpose Driven Ministries decided to pair churches outside the Gulf Coast with affected churches along the Coast. Wells said the California Lake Gregory Community Church's senior pastor, Dave Holden, was speaking to the Purpose Driven leadership when the decision was made.

"He told them to give us a church," said Wells. And Lake Gregory was put in contact with Beavers and the Calvary Baptist Church on Market Street.

After getting in touch with Calvary Baptist, Lake Gregory sent four teams to work along the Coast and paid Beavers's salary for three months. They also brought Beavers to California for a Purpose Driven conference.

"I lost one-third of my congregation," said Beavers, who said the trip to California came at a very good time for him spiritually. "I had lost leaders, lost supporters."

In addition to the damage faced by his members, Beavers also had to pick up the damage in his personal life as well. "There were days when I was very discouraged about the ministry. I had hit a low point spiritually about my vision of this church."

However, at the Purpose Driven conference in California, Beavers said his spirit was renewed.

"My vision, my passion for ministry came back," he said. "It changed my mindset.

"The conference encouraged me, and I wanted to bring something back to the Coast. So, I talked about the possibility of doing something here."

Wells said the conference would be different than other conferences. In addition to teaching the material from Warren's book, Wells said he and Holden wanted to encourage pastors, preachers and ministers affected by Katrina.

"It's really been a tough time for them," Wells said. "Ministry is tough and ministry is hard. And, often, the minister doesn't have anyone to turn to.

"We want to explore ways that they can help their community, their churches. And, we want to provide a networking opportunity. We hope to encourage the pastors in the community."
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:01 AM |

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The History of PDL

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The Register had an interesting article about the history of PDL, with some behind the scenes info I haven't heard before. Interesting side note, I'm actually reading Pyro Marketing, the book that's references in the article:
It was the onerous chore he avoided for months: Write the book.

It was to be a sequel to an earlier book, "The Purpose-Driven Church," a church-growth primer that sold a surprising 1 million copies. Now his publisher was on the phone, asking Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren for his next best-seller.

"Rick kept putting them off," his brother, Jim Warren, says. "It was always, 'I'm too busy with the church.' " His publisher persisted, however, and Warren retreated to his book-crammed study and started typing.

"I think when he began to actually write the book, maybe then – he knew," says sister Chaundel Holladay.

Knew that the manuscript he emerged with after seven months of 12-hour days would sell not a mere million copies, but millions. Today, that book – "The Purpose-Driven Life" – is a publishing and cultural phenomenon, with more than 25 million copies in circulation, its catchphrases ("you are not an accident") excerpted on everything from wall calendars to Starbucks coffee cups, and life-saving miracles attributed to its faith-based message.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:01 AM |

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Pirate's Booty

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So this week on the "Talk Like a Pirate Day" youth ministry podcast we talked about a snackfood called Pirate's Booty, which I had never tried before. So Wendy and Kevin show up this weekend to Wildside with a bag of it - just for me to try. How cool is that?

Now knowing them and their healthy California ways, I figured it would taste like a combination of mulched tree bark and tofu with sand poured on it. I'm telling you, these people should buy stock in Trader Joe's or start a small organic farm in their backyard. When I'm eating a green chili burrito and I'll look over and they'll be eating an entire green pepper like it was an apple. That's SICK, man! Anyhow, my expectations were very low for this treat, a) considering the source and b) considering they sell the product at Juice It Up! and Whole Foods.

It's SO good! I don't know if the pirates actually ever ate it or if it's a shameless abuse of our great pirate history, but they sure should have. Basically it's a rice/corn/organic/salty/puffed something or another that's pretty OK. Give it a shot some time, or walk the plank.

Bonus: It's fun to offer some to friends! You can use the phrase, "Want some booty?" which always gets a laugh.

JG


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:32 PM |

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Weekend Emcee @ Student Ministries

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Last weekend I hosted the high school (HSM) services at Saddleback Church, and this weekend I'll did junior high (Wildside).

Last week we were in the middle of the Hooked series on temptation, so we did fun things with live goldfish and played fishing instructional videos. My favorite part was the YouTube video of an 8ft catfish. Amazing. Fields taught on how friends and accountabilty build up a defense to temptation if someone knows your life and knows your struggles. Great stuff, I taught the 4:30 service on Sunday as well, filling in so he could do a birthday dinner with his kids. Then tonight, I hosted the Price is Right for the last week of Wildside's Back to School series, where we did various pricing games with school supplies with the huge finale of Plinko. Good times.

Couple of observations? The junior high audience is way more forgiving to the presenter, everyone laughs at everything, everyone wants to play the game and in general things can last a bit longer and no one seems to mind. Senior highers on the other hand, are completely unforgiving to the presenter, people laugh at some things but not some things you would expect, few want to play any game up front and in general the shorter the sweeter. Except for freshman, they haven't figured out it's cool to not play the games. Give 'em a year, they'll figure it out. So although both weekends were successful and lots of fun, I think that the stage people in high school ministry have a much more difficult job.

I know these are some pretty groundbreaking observations, so I hope you were sitting down when you read it.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:35 PM |

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Friday at Sea World

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Spent a great Friday as a family day down in Sea World San Diego (remember the story getting annual passes?). Plenty of great memories an pictures, here's some of the highlights/lowlights of the day:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:26 PM |

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Review of Lego SW 2

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Here's the review of Lego Star Wars 2 I posted on TFN. What a great game. The kids and I already have 10 hours logged into it together, we had so much fun. Beat it last night, so now we're on to the replay quests for secrets and True Jedi status!
The Xbox 360 version is absolutely stunning.

I'm sure the others are good, but when you see the 360 version in HD, well, it's definitely next generation. The best visual trick has to be the in-focus/out of focus technique to help create a stunning depth of field that helps you stay focused on the action. But that's just the beginning ...

If you played the original game there's plenty that's familiar - collecting studs, using the Force to build bridges and zapping plants to discover secrets. And there's plenty of those great cut scenes that made the prequel trilogy so fun, too - so none of this is a bad thing. But rather than be complacent, the team behind the best family video game of 2006 takes it to the next level and breaks new ground. Now there are vehicles and animals you can ride, turrets you can man and all sorts of new characters with fresh gameplay techniques. The graphics are stunning, the storytelling is masterful, and then there's that whole flashback-to-my-childhood-thing. Here I am now sitting with my kids, completely engaged and laughing out loud right along with them. Three of my very favorite things: Legos, video games and Star Wars.

It delivers. There's no need for a long review - what you need to know is that it is nearly perfect, a blast to play, makes you laugh and is a must-own title. The only possible detraction from this game is the terrible vehicle control scheme. Fortunately it is almost forgivable by the time you get used to it, but you've still got to wonder why that wasn't resolved in testing or focus groups. It's simply that bad. But if that's the worst you can say about the game, you've got to know the rest is amazing.

I've practically played every Star Wars game ever, and this is right up there with the best - and by far the best platformer. And that's saying plenty, especially when you consider the masterpiece Super Star Wars (SNES) that has come before.

Highlights include the skiff battles, escaping the exploding Death Star and ... well, every single cut scene. And with Marketplace downloads coming in the future, this is an amazing title now with no telling of what is to come. This title will not dissapoint - if you've got a family you've probably already got the game. If you avoided it because you're roommates will make fun of you don't wait another second and pick this game up. Who cares if they make fun of you? You'll be having way to much fun to care, even if it is cute.

Seriously, this is as close to a 10 as we could give. This title deserves our highest recommendation. A+
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:23 AM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Vol 11

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Back for the 11th Friday in a row revealing some curious Google searches that lead here. I swear some of these this week are way over the top. Then after that, I'll post some of the searches I wish led to this spot on the web.

Actual Google searches that lead here
pastor steve witt oh myspace
brother yun saddleback
maranatha baptist bible college
before he cheated carrie underwood
josh griffin star wars
mark griffin josh griffin michael griffin
tony kornheiser sucks monday night football
carrie underwood "before he cheated" lyrics and song
myspace todd szymczak
sweet t-shirt mnf commercial
jake rutenbar
teach in north korea
griffin + blog
download grarls barkley song - crazy
son of the bride speech
pdym
group magazine "vince beresford"
josh griffin blog
leland chapman graphics myspace
tonya luster duane chapman
dont believe everything you read on the internet
grarls barkley crazy lyrics
family feud "sermon series" television church
father of the bride speech read by son
timeline of unicorn belief
dennis bellesi
josh manning blog
espn monday night football player introductions
josh manning sucks
play like a champion today commercial
saddleback youth wildside
footprints parody onion
pastor dennis bellesi
rumor hiv/aids needles hidden under gas pumps
josh manning's blog
divas gentleman's club minneapolis
josh putman
ministrycom kathy sharp
star wars shortened
ektelon o3 red breakage problem
how do i start a chic fil-a franchise?
google movies dcla football
gerry rojas saddleback
polydot print
the history of youth ministry vol.1 movie pdym
driven student ministries myspace
frank nike golf "tiger woods" ad "you can be replaced"

Google searches I wish led here
I want to meet Dog Chapman in person
discernment
friend of emergent
fighting fundamentalist
make my day proud
is my car overpriced?
the golden years of youth ministry
Sea World party time

Other interesting stats ... over 1,500 different computers visited this blog this week. 26% of the audience were first time visitors, 7% came through a Google search. The most read post of the week was me being on G4's Attack of the Show, followed by meeting Michael Chang at Chipotle.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:17 AM |

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Youth Pastor Talks MySpace and Ministry

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Just discovered this new post on The Christian Chronicle explaining some virtues and downfalls of MySpace. Thought it was interesting, so here's a clip:
With everything there is good and bad. Myspace has its good too! It can be an awesome tool for ministry. When there are adolescents involved every day with non-Christians around the globe through myspace there are unlimited opportunities for ministry and the spread of the gospel. There are things that we can take from a technology that adolescents will use anyway and make it to be glory for God. Myspace is used by the secular world to promote concerts, TV shows, political propaganda and more. Christian teenagers could use myspace to promote social justice, spiritual formation, mission opportunities, and God’s glory. In a recent camp I attended we were given the task to creatively find a way to help our assigned country in the issues they were having. The students in my group decided to create a myspace that would create interest in Venezuela in order to change the president’s mind about allowing American missionaries into the country. This is a radical, but useful way to use myspace for ministry.

Also Christians have the right and the responsibility to reclaim things for God. Our church has reclaimed a site on myspace for ministry. Instead of worrying over silly quizzes or random comments we have provided a place that while kids are surfing through myspace they can stop at ours and have a devotional thought for the week and comment. Not to mention that this myspace becomes one of their friends and more responsibility is tacked onto how they represent themselves in the virtual world. What the world created for communication of any kind, Christians especially adolescent Christians can reclaim for God’s glory.

Whether your opinion of myspace is positive or negative we cannot escape the fact that it is present and highly used. We can, however, take what is being widely used and steer it into a glorifying direction and reclaim it for ministry. This may be a challenge for us who grew up talking face-to-face and writing with paper and pen, but it can be done and we can help it happen. This thing called myspace can be a tool for His glory!
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:10 AM |

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Tony Blogs Innovative Church Conference

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If you aren't stopping by Tony's blog daily, do it now. He's currently blogging Granger's Innovative Church Conference - a conference in Indiana I wish I could be at right now. He's blogged the 1st 4 sessions already with some great learnings from their staff, and it's some stuff you don't want to miss. Here's a clip from the 1st session:

The people you're trying to reach, your focus audience...

  • are a people with a past. The past will try to condemn them and hold them back. They have shame. They have embarrassment. Many people are hurt and wounded. They believe they have no worth. You have to find a way to communicate that they have value.
  • needs a translator to take God's truth to a world that doesn't get it. That's our call. It's not easy. But it's a great mission.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:04 AM |

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600 Posts

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Having just crossed 600 posts this morning I thought I would toss out some of the highlights for the last 100. I did this at 500 and 400 and people seemed to like to so here goes. Good times - thanks for reading!
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:38 PM |

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Take the Simply Youth Ministry Tour

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We've added a new tour of Simply Youth Ministry to the video podcast feed so everyone can get a behind the scenes look at the offices and some of our upcoming projects. If you're a subscriber, it should automatically download for you in iTunes, or you can also grab it from Feedburner directly if you want to just check it out ala carte.

Get an early look at the new website, new catalog and our new intern Josh!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:09 PM |

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Youth Pastor Salaries

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Found a couple of interesting links if you want to research a fair salary for youth pastors. Kevin shot us this link to an ACU study where you can download data to your hard drive in Excel format - pretty slick, but keep in mind the info is from 2005 so people are already 6-12% higher than those numbers. Also you might want to check out the 2005 GROUP Magazine study on youth pastor salaries as well. Other resources include a 2000 Christianity Today article on pastor's pay, a YS article on the subject and don't forget PayScale, too!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:38 AM |

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New Cocaine Energy Drink

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It doesn't really have cocaine in it, but you can be sure your students will dig this new energy drink for the name alone. Heres a clip from today's Daily Mail:

The high-energy drink is being billed as a "legal alternative" to the class A drug, using a massive hit of caffeine instead of cocaine.

Its maker claims the title is "a bit of fun" but critics slammed the technique as a cynical ploy which could tempt young people into using drugs.

The drink's inventor, Jamie Kirby, said: "It's an energy drink, and it's a fun name. As soon as people look at the can, they smile."

He claims Cocaine is "350 percent stronger than Red Bull" but that people do not experience the "sugar crash" or jitters that he says some of the other energy drinks can produce.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:28 AM |

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SYM Podcast Episode 29

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The show and links are alive. Watch at your own risk! Arrr!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:47 PM |

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Youth Pastor on The Biggest Loser

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NBC cast a youth pastor named Matthew McNutt on the Biggest Loser tonight. We're best friends (on MySpace, hahaha) so I thought I should give him a shout out tonight so you can tune in. If you get a chance to see the show and want a reason to cheer for someone, here's your guy!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:18 PM |

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Google Ads on the Blog

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OK, so when I first posted Google ads on the site, I got some flak from people saying things like I was "caving in" or a "sellout." And at first, it was like $.02 a day so I wasn't too thrilled about it either. Then, people started clicking ads and here were are a month later and I've made enough to buy a video game.

So my kids and I will be playing Lego Star Wars 2 later today on the Xbox 360 because of the ads! Fun!

JG

UPDATE: Some people have written in asking about getting their blog or website set up with Google Ads - so in the right-hand column I've added a little white banner you can click to get set up yourself quickly and easily! -------->


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:33 AM |

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Making a Meeting Great

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Just had a few thoughts today about how to make a meeting great. Thought I would toss it out to the blog world to get some feedback and additional ideas.

It's a hard sell since typically we view staff/volunteer/team meetings as a free or low cost method of training, and I'm not sure that's the best course of action. More importantly it also requires leadership to give out the freedom and trust to give away controlof the event to create a fun atmosphere and support the presenter’s great content.

Staff meetings CAN work, I totally believe in them, they are valuable and can be memorable. Decision makers need to think of these meeting times as an investment to help encourage the staff and deepen the important trainings and message given that day.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:14 AM |

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The eBay Song

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Three of my favorite things ... eBay, Weird Al and YouTube.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:42 PM |

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Talk Like a Pirate Podcast and More

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Just finished a couple of things late this afternoon - the commentary for the All Out War spiritual warfare super series, the commentary for the Hooked temptation super series, and most importantly ... the Talk Like a Pirate Day SYM Podcast. Look for it tomorrow afternoon!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:37 PM |

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New Products on SYM Today

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Been working on getting a whole pile of new products set up in the SYM store this week, here's a list of the latest ones to hit online this afternoon!
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:11 PM |

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Clean Up Day at SYM

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The big boss is coming to the office today so we're cleaning up the office. Here's a shot of Andy with vacuum in hand. This might be the only time he's ever done this - be sure not to tell his wife, she might have a heart attack leaving Andy to be a single dad, and we know what a nightmare that would be. Right?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:42 AM |

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Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

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It's finally here! Arrrr, mateys!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:40 AM |

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California Wildfires

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Not that we can see billowing smoke or anything, but it sure was smokey/hazy to the north today. Maybe this is why?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:55 PM |

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NFL NBC vs. NFL MNF ESPN

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The title of this post only means anything to you if you're into football. The picture above sums up the Monday Night Football lame game - this was the most interesting shot I could take of the game - though Sunday night certainly wasn't exactly inspiring either. Week 2? Another win for NBC on Sunday nights.

Not that I'm keeping score ... of wait a minute, I am.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:35 PM |

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Interesting SYM Podcast Stats

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Here's the Simply Youth Ministry podcast, by the numbers:
Other fun facts: Wednesday is the most popular day of the week to download the show. The most recent episodes are downloaded the most, but of the older ones, episode 00 and 01 always rank in the top few.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:44 PM |

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The Christian and The Movies

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The LA Times had an interesting article today on Christians and movies. When I was a kid, we didn't go to movie theaters, so it's interesting to read about Hollywood getting some good stuff in there. Here's a clip, worth reading and thinking about next time you spend $10.25 for a ticket:
Studio executives say their outreach to these groups should be seen as smart marketing rather than bowing to a conservative Christian agenda. On the one hand, they say, this is a large, motivated, well-organized niche credited with winning the Bush presidency. Why not reach out to them? At the same time, family films just happen to gross more on average than those without such wide appeal. So why not make more and ensure they appeal to the broadest possible swath of Americans?

"People have recognized in Hollywood that it's good business to be in the family entertainment business," said one studio executive who did not want to be identified for fear of alienating critics. "Whether it's Focus on the Family or Rick Warren, the author of 'The Purpose Driven Life,' there are gigantic religious groups that follow people that have a voice. It's a group that understands who their constituency is better than film critics at large….They are very, very driven and very focused. They are not a silent majority. They're very active."

For these reasons, the nonprofits that speak to the faith and family community are being invited to far more screenings than their small staffs have time to attend, a predicament that just five years ago would have been unthinkable.

"They'll send us to a movie, and we say no a little bit more than we say yes," said Jeffrey L. Sparks, president and chief executive of the family-oriented Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. "There's only so much we can see…. Every week I have contact with some studio. We're getting early versions of the scripts because they want to see if we're interested."
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:20 PM |

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The S.H.A.P.E. of My Heart

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A little inside joke to some friends around Saddleback ... either way, you can enjoy the smooth sounds of the Backstreet Boys.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:07 PM |

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Great Softballs of Fire

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It came off the bat so fast I could barely react, the line drive slammed into my calf at full speed. A man with lesser calves would have gotten by unharmed. We went on to win the game Friday night - I drew 3 walks (and had 3 pinch runners) of the 4 of my at bats Friday night. My leg was killing me! So this weekend it's been a combination of ice, compression and Advil liqui-gels. So far so good, I'm hoping to stop limping in a few days. Argh!

JG


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:13 AM |

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Zune: The iPod Competition Revealed

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Microsoft on Friday released the first specs and pictures of the Zune, the next generation iPod-type device. Here's a few of the new features they think will help it rise above the others.
Looks cool! No word on release date (before Christmas seems likely) and price (I would guess $199 to edge out the iPod). Give me Windows Vista and a Zune and I'll be happy. Nice!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:18 PM |

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Survivor Premiere Lowest Ratings Ever

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Survivor is off to a strong start, but it's actually the weakest premiere since the show began. I have to admit I'm surprised, I expected it to be up 10% or more, especially with all of the racial controversy. Here's a clip from Variety:
Weeks of "controversy" helped the race-based 13th edition of "Survivor" get off to a strong but not spectacular start Thursday night.

While the overall numbers were great -- surpassing the demo numbers for the debut of ABC's younger, sexier "Dancing with the Stars" earlier in the week -- the media hype surrounding "Surivor's" racial theme this season didn't seem to have a rubberneck effect on the show. Indeed, Thursday's premiere will actually go down as the lowest-rated opener for the "Survivor" franchise since its original summer 2000 debut.

CBS skein scored a 6.3 rating/20 share among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen prelim fast nationals. That's the best rating for the franchise since February, and on par with the show's fall 2005 debut (6.6/19).

Overall, "Survivor: Cook Islands" attracted an average audience of 17.71 million viewers and notched a 7.7/21 in adults 25-54, easily dominating its 8 p.m. timeslot. As always, skein grew at the half-hour, building 14% in adults 18-49.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:24 AM |

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Dog Released on Bail

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You know how much I love Dog the Bounty Hunter ... but apparently he's been in some trouble with the law of his own lately. Here's an update from the Star Bulletin:

A federal magistrate judge let the "Dog" out yesterday to the delight of his fans who packed the courtroom at his detention hearing.

Duane "Dog" Chapman, star of the reality TV show "Dog the Bounty Hunter," was released to home detention on $300,000 bail yesterday. Chapman had been held since his arrest Thursday by federal agents for his extradition to Mexico.

Chapman, his son Leland and partner Timothy Chapman are wanted in Mexico for capturing Max Factor heir and convicted rapist Andrew Luster in 2003. Bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico.

After exiting the federal building from a side entrance at about 6:20 p.m. yesterday, Chapman, still dressed in blue prison garb, said he was grateful for his fans' support. "If it wouldn't have been for the people that love us, we don't know what would have happened," Chapman said.

"We love America, and the federal marshals treated us with great respect."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:18 AM |

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Worth Reading on Friends' Blogs

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Here's some highlights of my friends' blogs. I read them all then link to those that are especially fun or insightful. Good stuff in this week's edition:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:39 PM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Vol 10

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Been doing this for 10 weeks, and it never gets old. Here's a list of the Google searches that led here this week, and a few searches I wish led here.

Actual Google searches that led here this week
frank nike golf "tiger woods" ad "you can be replaced"
watch sunday night football orange county
funny bulletin
northwest florida church growth study
shaun blakeney
vince beresford yorba linda
josh manning blog
chris collinsworth fox
saddleback church ryanne dearden
danny swanzy
espn mnf sucks
podcast saddleback community church
prosperity preaching
ministrycom blog
fundamental forums
cracking itunes mv4
polydot print
dwight schrute 800 number
ryan's red carpet challenge
chic-fil-a franchise
history channel american eats hamburger
"long hollow baptist"
i don't believe in style
history of youth ministry video volume 1
lance witt leaving saddleback
myspace saddleback church
rock harbor church
group national youth conference february
mnf sucks
johnny caruso youth
baptist santa ana krump dance
journey for life ministry only in america
wikipedia "matthew hampel"
eric putman youth pastor
sym affiliate youth ministry
layoffs "purpose driven"
solace rwanda rick warren
maine farm bureau "jon olson"
josh frank ministry
bethany boring
future super walmart's in cushing
pdym free graphics
24 jack bauer "send it to my screen"
small groups and "article" and "doug fields"
saddleback church youtube
sterling sharpe nike commercial
carrie underwood "before he cheated" lyrics and song
espn commercial bum
josh griffin podcast
jake rutenbar

Google searches I wish led here
hematoma
Survivor Christians
leave during closing song
Lamppost pizza
worship response time

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:59 PM |

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JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:50 PM |

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Gas Drops Below $3

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So I filled up today and managed to get it for $2.81 a gallon. Funny when I was a kid I could fill my tank for $10 and now I'm excited with it stops short of $50. Just saw this price in Missouri - it's $1.85 a gallon. I'm spending my children's inheritance ... on gas.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:35 PM |

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The Stolen Uhaul Story

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Apparently this is more common that I thought ... remember the original story from yesterday? Had lunch with Tony Steward who is living this nightmare and he put some of it in his own words in his blog. His strength is awesome right now. Do yourself a favor, read this a clip then follow the link to his place:
After the shock, the police reports, a few tears and lots of phone calls - we are okay. We have finally gotten to our new home in California safe and sound and it is great, though empty. And as word as gotten out about our situation the response from people has been unbelievable. I am not going to get into specifics, but the people from Saddleback have been amazing for barely knowing us, a church that we were a part of two years ago in Canton, Oh has taken up a love offering for us and is sending us a check, and other dear friends are chipping in and helping us out. What an amazing thing the CHURCH is when it is moved to loving action!
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:48 PM |

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Talk Like a Pirate Day

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As you know, we're going to celebrate international Talk Like a Pirate Day next Tuesday. It is going to be a huge hit. As we get geared up for it, it dawned on me that perhaps you would like to get in on the festivities as well. Here's some basics from the official site on how to insert some great piratey words into your vocabulary for a great holiday.

Ahoy! - "Hello!"

Avast! - Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, "Whoa! Get a load of that!" which today makes it more of a "Check it out" or "No way!" or "Get off!"

Aye! - "Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did."

Aye aye! - "I'll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over."

Arrr! - This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. "Arrr!" can mean, variously, "yes," "I agree," "I'm happy," "I'm enjoying this root beer," "My team is going to win it all," "I saw that television show, it stunk!" and "That was a clever remark you just made." And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!

Have you read Dave Barry's original column on it that popularized the non-paid holiday? Man, I can't wait until "No-Shave November" rolls around again, too.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:18 PM |

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SYM is on MySpace

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Simply Youth Ministry just launched it's MySpace page today with a sum total of 2 friends. That's right, me and Tom. Are you on MySpace? Head over there and be a friend of SYM, look for plenty of updates in the coming days.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:05 PM |

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Survivor Premiere at Fields

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So last night for the Survivor premiere we found out that Austin Carty was in town. How sweet would it be to have a contestant from last year's show at Fields' house to tell stories and be the man? Enter Austin Carty. He happened to be in town and came down from LA for the night. So cool! Every commerical break we paused it an interrogated him about the show. There were some great stories, how fun would it be to be there.

What a fun premiere! The show was great (only 1 hour?), there was plenty of intrigue about the racial divisions, though it might be too early to tell if it will be one of the better seasons. I love how they characterize people within seconds - did you see how fast Billy was made into the fat, inept, rocker guy? He's gone next week, I'm telling you right now.

The early buzz around the office is that several new people watched the show, and old faithfuls are definitely back for more. Wouldn't surprise me a bit to hear that the ratings were up 10% or more. Fun night!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:16 PM |

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Punter Stabs Punter

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This is a crazy story from ESPN. Here's a clip:
In a scenario reminiscent of Tonya Harding vs. Nancy Kerrigan, the backup punter at Northern Colorado has been accused of stabbing his rival in the leg -- his kicking leg.

Mitch Cozad, a sophomore from Wheatland, Wyo., allegedly attacked Rafael Mendoza in a parking lot this week. Mendoza was treated and released at a Greeley hospital, but it wasn't clear when he would return. Cozad was arrested on a charge of second-degree assault and freed Wednesday on a $30,000 bond.

Mendoza, a junior from the Denver suburb of Thornton, will miss this weekend's game against Texas State. He told Denver station KCNC-TV he was recovering and also wished his team luck in the game.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:06 AM |

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Jesus' Face on Beer Glass

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These things never cease to amaze me. Here's a clip:

An advertisement featuring the face of Jesus as a 'miraculous' apparition on a beer glass has caused anger among critics who say it undermines anti-binge drinking campaigns.

The image of Jesus in the froth left on the sides of an almost empty pint glass next to the words 'Where will you find him?' will spearhead the Churches' Advertising Network (CAN) festive campaign to encourage church-going this Christmas.

The poster makes reference to the worldwide trend for finding holy images in everyday objects from the face of Jesus in a frying pan, to Christ on a fish finger, the Virgin Mary on a toasted cheese sandwich and even Mother Teresa in a cinnamon bun.

The creators of the new poster said it was aimed at provoking "thought and debate" among young people about where and how people find God. It would be accompanied by a series of radio advertisements in which young people talk about their spiritual beliefs.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:33 AM |

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What Happens in Vegas ...

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Moving is hard enough ... but here's a true story that is happening to a friend of mine as we speak. If/when he blogs about it, I'll be sure to post the link here. For right now though, here's the story:
We have some friends who are connected to our PDYM community who are taking a HUGE step of faith. He is so eager to learn from the PDYM model as a pastor, that he and his wife decided to relocate their family (they have three young kids) from Ohio to California in order that they could play a role either as a volunteer or intern in our student ministry. This is the good part of the story!

The bad/sad part of the story is this…

On their way out here this week their U-haul was stolen while they slept in a hotel last night in Vegas and they now have NOTHING! No beds for their three kids, no furniture for their newly-rented condo, no clothes expect those that were with them in the hotel – nothing. No memories, no keepsakes, no pictures - nothing. Everything they owned was packed on that U-haul.

Here is where you could help…If you have anything you would like to lend/give to them that would help them furnish their home or clothe their family please let me know. Or if you know of any other individuals or small groups who would like to care for and bless this family in any way, either through donations or meals or more importantly prayer please pass this on. You can only imagine how defeated they feel as they start over in a whole new place with none of their belongings. Pray that they get some info on the missing U-haul and that the police are able to track down their missing stuff.
They're scheduled to get into town in the next few hours ... just thought I should spread the word. That's a really rough start to a new life.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:51 PM |

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Why Blog?

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So for an illustration in his message in HSM this weekend, Fields talked about how he just doesn't "get" blogging. he said he has this friend who is always trying to get him to blog, and how he just doesn't get the personal attraction or the draw for others to tune in. In defense (not that that the person he mentioned is me, necessarily, since 85% of his friends blog), I thought I would post some good reasons to blog, and why it's important to me.

I think of it as the new nightly news of life, a news ticker on what tickeled you, what made you laugh or a moment of inspiration. I write to share with friends both near and far, to help stay in touch emotionally. It is a virtual thing, I understand, but it's fun to make an observation then have people comment in agreement. Blogging is an outlet for funny stories - times that I'm embarrased or laugh out loud deserve to be shared with friends. It's also a place to record learnings and promote growth and spiritual health. Bottom line? My blog is a shared journey together through life and youth ministry. That, and the Google ads are quite lucrative and I want my piece of the pie. OK, I made $.08 last week

And even though Fields doesn't "get it" (and I don't have to worry about saying that since there's a 0% chance he'll ever see this unless someone prints it out and hands it to him) I'm glad you along for the journey, as an active commenter, quiet lurker or fellow blogger.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:25 PM |

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Super Sweet Highlights

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Just finished co-hosting the first annual Super Sweet Leader Night and picked up a Super Sweet T-shirt as well. I think I might have used Super Sweet like 400 times in 3 hours. It was such such super sweet fun! Here's some of the highlights.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:02 PM |

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The SYM Podcast is Live

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You can get it in Feedburner and iTunes, and later tonight I'll get the podcast page live. Super busy today with the Super Sweet Leader's Night, and more on that later. But for now, grab the show and get the links tomorrow. So fun.

JG

UPDATE: The links and email of the week are up!

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:45 PM |

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Losing My Religion

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ABP News today talks about Americans and faith, and had some interesting observations about many people not knowing their own denomination. Here's a clip:

Previous surveys in the area would not have picked up that subtlety, Dougherty said. He added the new results also indicate a larger trend: People are better able to identify with a local place of worship than with a national denomination. For instance, fewer people today think of themselves as Southern Baptists than as members of a particular congregation.

Many survey respondents may not even know the name of the denomination to which their church or synagogue belongs.

"Rick Warren is a Southern Baptist preacher. [Warren's] Saddleback Church is a Southern Baptist church," Dougherty said, referring to one of the nation's largest and most prominent congregations, located near Los Angeles. "Do the 20,000 people who worship there every weekend know they are Southern Baptist? For many, probably not."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:40 PM |

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On G4TV's Attack of the Show Yesterday

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They just send me the clip of the show I was on yesterday. Watch at your own risk - the first person to comment on this post wins a free Attack of the Show shirt they gave me (XL).

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:17 AM |

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Monday Night Football Opening Video

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Just found the opening video from the new Monday Night Football season. Pretty slick stuff, I have to admit.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:14 PM |

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NBC Football's Big Kickoff

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If you were wondering who was winning the NFL football race on TV, USA Today has the official results.
And by no means was the Sunday night game tecnhically flawless, but this screenshot from Monday night is of a graphic never meant to see live television that just screamed for a picture (click to enlarge and see the funny flub).

And did you watch the opening movie for MNF? OK, I'll admit it, that was pretty cool. Still though, NBC easily comes out on top for all of the right reasons.

Preseason: NBC
Week 1: NBC

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:54 PM |

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Teens and Spirituality Study

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VirtueOnline has a report on teenagers and spirituality. Some interesting results, particularly about the active faith during the student ministry years and not making the transition:
A new study by The Barna Group (Ventura, California) shows that despite strong levels of spiritual activity during the teen years, most twentysomethings disengage from active participation in the Christian faith during their young adult years - and often beyond that. In total, six out of ten twentysomethings were involved in a church during their teen years, but have failed to translate that into active spirituality during their early adulthood.

Teenagers thrive on fresh experiences and new perspectives. The spiritual dimension gives teens a fertile ground for their explorations. Half of teens attend a church-related service or activity in a typical week. More than three-quarters discuss matters of faith with peers and three out of five teens attend at least one youth group meeting at a church during a typical three month period. One-third of teenagers say they participate in a Christian club on campus at some point during a typical school year. There is also a substantial amount of unorthodox spiritual activity: three-quarters of America's teenaged youths have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity during their teen years (not including reading horoscopes).

Still, one of the most striking findings from the research is the broad base of opportunities that Christian churches in America have with to work with teenagers. Overall, more than four out of five teens say they have attended a church for a period of at least two months during their teenage years (81%). This represents substantial penetration and significant prospects for influencing the nation's 24 million teens.


JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:32 PM |

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Super Sweet Leader's Night

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This Wednesday we're doing a fall kickoff for our high school and junior high volunteers. Kurt posted on it the other day, and I noticed that MGJ did some of the artwork for it. It's going to be a riot with fun giveaways, challenges from Doug, Kurt and Shaun, crazy videos and of course, Crazy by a Star Wars costumed band. Too bad we couldn't get Gnarls Barkley!

Should be a blast - Katie and I will be the emcees and it will be a great way to value volunteers and start the new school year off right.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:41 AM |

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Wildside's New Back to School Blog

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Wildside - church for junior highers here at Saddleback, has set up a new blog for their "back to school" series they launched last week. It's pretty funny and very creative, you should check it out - and it's a great idea for you to use as well!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:38 PM |

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Endless Summer in San Clemente

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Had an AWESOME time in San Clemente on Sunday - they had a big summer outreach event on the high school campus to help get the word out about Saddleback's new campus in San Clemente. About a jillion people there ... OK, not that many, but the crowd was great. The weather was perfect and here's a few of my personal highlights:
JG

UPDATE: Just saw that Leigh posted some thoughts about the cover band, too. Funny.

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:10 PM |

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