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Poll: Does God Exist?

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Interesting study out today on the AFP wire today, talking about what Americans think of God. Might make a good illustration or opening to a talk. Always good to have some statistics in your back pocket, too. Here's a clip, more if you follow the link:
Nearly half of Americans are not sure God exists, according to a poll that also found divisions among the public on whether God is male or female or whether God has a human form and has control over events.

The survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 42 percent of US adults are not "absolutely certain" there is a God compared to 34 percent who felt that way when asked the same question three years ago.

Among the various religious groups, 76 percent of Protestants, 64 percent of Catholics and 30 percent of Jews said they are "absolutely certain" there is a God while 93 percent of Christians who describe themselves as "Born Again" feel certain God exists.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:48 PM |

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5 Myths of Growing Churches

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TM has a great new post on the common myths people believe when it comes to a growing church. Good stuff for all of us to consider. Here's 2 of the 5 as a preview:
Myth #1: You have to be in a big community to have a big church. NewSpring had almost 7,800 people in attendance this weekend. The church is located in a town of 25,000 people. There are only 175,000 in the entire county. They're reaching about 1 out of every 22 people that live in their county. That's a staggering percentage.

Myth #2: You have to water down God's Word to reach a lot of people. Perry doesn't water down anything. He's probably the most "in your face" communicator I've ever heard. In the message I heard on Sunday, Perry hit tough issues like sex before marriage, cohabitation and pornography. And, on the flip side, he taught about sanctification. In all of this, he was jumping all over Scriptures to back up every point of his message. Perry doesn't back away from the Truth.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:45 PM |

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SuperBowl Ad Ideas

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Saw an ad for this last night during Monday Night Football. Come up with a Superbowl ad that eventually gets made and played during the big game? Amazing. The only problem is you have to pitch it in person, in Denver, Dallas or New York. Why not San Diego or something out here? Argh!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:46 PM |

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MillionNuggets.com

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Just finishing up a sweet lunch with Fields over at Chic-Fil-A ... so stinkin' good. The one over by Saddleback won't be open until the end of 2007, but its worth the drive to Tustin right now for sure. While I was there, I noticed a sweet giveaway of 1 million nuggets in a new contest they're running - thought you should know about it, too. Of course, that decreases my chances of winning, which is a bummer, but still, you would do the same for me, right?

If you aren't the instant winner, you at least win a free Dr. Pepper just for entering. Do it!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:05 PM |

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Dilbert on Xbox 360

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Phil sent me the best cartoon after reading my blog journeys of losing my Xbox360 then a week later having that joy restored. So funny (and true!)

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:52 AM |

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PDYM Community Lunch Locations

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If you're a PDYM youth workers who's stacked hands on biblical purposes, you'll want to check out the PDYM National Comunity Lunch being hosted all over the country. We just added 8 new locations today - even if you're just checking out or just need the connection - you should go!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:48 AM |

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Quiet Launch of SnapShotWeb.com

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Pretty cool insider stuff if you're interested. For years Simply Youth Ministry has sold a product called Snapshot - its basically a program that allows you to create promotional CDs and a complete website for your student ministry. We'll, we're about to take it to the next level with the new SnapshotWeb.com, which is just now alive and kicking - brand new this week. Check it out!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:06 PM |

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Sorrow Turned into Joy

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"Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." John 16:20

Up for today's best-verse-taken-out-of-context-award ... I know ... but this is how I feel. A joyful day indeed. A brand new Xbox 360 sitting under my HDTV ... and it barely took a week. Amazing!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:08 PM |

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Rick Warren Makes Scariest List

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Just discovered this little trick or treat over on decidedly left-wing AlterNet. Don't normally frequent their site, but I think it's interesting to see how some people view Pastor Rick Warren. Interesting ...

It's not just Rev. Rick Warren's taste in casualwear that makes him so frightening, but that's part of it. Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life is a megalomaniac who disseminates his brand of evangelical Protestantism with the tireless zeal that Ray Kroc used to market Big Macs. His book has sold about 30 million copies worldwide since 2002. Saddleback Church, which he founded in Lake Forest, California in 1980, attracts more than 20,000 worshipers each weekend. His "seeker-sensitive" approach to the Gospel courts non-believers with rock music and other pop culture trappings. His sermons soft-pedal sin in favor of strategies for dealing with stress and marital discord.

A self-described "stealth evangelist" who believes in a "pluralistic America," Warren peppers The Purpose Driven Life with quotes from the very unholy likes of Anais Nin and Bertrand Russell. He champions progressive causes such as ending global poverty and AIDS, and he has teamed up with Bono and the U.N., to combat these scourges. Many conservative evangelicals condemn him as a neo-liberal. Fortune describes him as "secular America's favorite evangelical Christian." Warren, 52, who has PowerPointed the way to salvation for President Bush and Rupert Murdoch as well as Coca-Cola and Ford, says he's not right-wing or left-wing but rather "for the whole bird."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:16 PM |

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People on the Blog Right Now: Volume 1

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So I thought it might be fun to start another weekly recurring post - this time it's called People on the Blog Right now and I'll try to list a few of the cities people are visiting from in the last few hours. Thanks to Google Analytics for this new trick ... here's the first edition!
The 10 most popular states from people that visited the blog today
California
Georgia
Illinois
Ohio
Washington
Florida
Texas
Michigan
New Hampshire (I'm just as surprised as you!)

A few cities that people visited from today
Santa Ynez
Lawrenceville
Ellijay
Addison
Schiller Park
Xenia
Spokane
Renton
Pensacola
Leesburg
Frisco
Abilene
Cedar Springs
Holland
Goffstown
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:31 PM |

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Ah yes ... the Lovely Vasectomy

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Just scheduled my vasectomy this December. Just thought you might be wondering. :)

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:57 AM |

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Saddleback Church's eMissions

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The OC Register has another in the weekly series of articles on Saddleback Church, this time focusing on Rwanda and the mission emphasis of the church and the PEACE plan:
It is a sunny March 2006 Saturday in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, and Saddleback Church's first "e-missionaries" are walking slowly up one of the city's vertiginous hills, pursued by a gaggle of child beggars.

"I wish I had some candy to give them," says one of the visitors, as she regards the children's ragged clothes and insistent, outstretched palms.

Another gazes at a street sign. It reads: "Avenue des Grands Lacs." Avenue of the Great Lakes: an homage to central Africa's vast, inland lakes that surround and, to a certain extent, isolate the country and its two main tribes, Hutu and Tutsi.

"This is the road the genocide occurred on!" the visitor exclaims.

It is just hours since this small group of Saddleback missionaries alighted in Rwanda for a two-week PEACE plan trip. They are excited yet bleary-eyed from the near two-day plane trip from LAX. Perhaps it is the fatigue, or perhaps it is the shock of Rwanda's absolute poverty – something these Orange County missionaries have, until this moment, experienced only through the portal of their computer screen – that explains the two missteps they have just made.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:46 AM |

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Tony Falls in the Shower

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One of the funniest accounts of shower ballet I've read in a long time. Complete with drawings.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:34 AM |

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Another Great Weekend at Saddleback

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Passion was really fun this week. We had some candles set up for the 2nd time, the music was just right, had communion ... God's Spirit was definitely there. Had a good chance to pray with a hurting husband (his divorce was being finalized this week) and people responded to Pastor Rick's message on faith. It was also our first Passion Newsletter, for the email list we set up for our service this week.
Hey everybody!

Welcome to the first newsletter for the Passion venue at Saddleback Church. Thanks for signing up to stay connected in our community – we’re here to serve you and give encouragement in your journey. If you know someone that would enjoy our weekend service – invite them to come with you next week!

It has been a big week for us – we welcomed Jadin Caleb Griffin into our family this week – I've attached a picture of him, too. At the time we had no idea that Britney Spears would also name her some Jayden, so I hope I can be a better father (and rapper) than K-Fed.

So exciting! 6lbs, 11oz of pure cuteness.

And while Jadin isn’t going to make it to church just yet … we hope you can. This week at Passion Pastor Rick will continue his series on Leaving a Legacy, and we’ll have a special time of singing, prayer and communion as well. See you tonight!

JG

Passion Service at Saddleback Church
6:30PM Sunday nights
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:16 AM |

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Overheard This Weekend

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"Oh yeah, he's the cute one." - unnamed girl sitting behind me during the service in reference to Brian Littrell, former Backstreet Boy who sang this weekend at Saddleback.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:36 PM |

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Stuff My Son Got to do in His First Week

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Here's a list of the highlights from the first few days of his life. More to come for sure!
Off to a pretty solid start I'd say!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:28 PM |

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Good Stuff from My Friends' Blogs

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Here's my weekly roundup of good stuff from my blog friends:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:19 PM |

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75-year Old Youth Worker

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Just saw over on Snyder's blog that he posted a video we used at PDYM. So fun!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:25 PM |

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Advice to a Youth Worker

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Often times I get email frustrations or questions from youth workers. Most find me through SYM or PDYM, and I'm happy to listen and pray for their situation. I responded to one last week and thought I might post my response in case it might encourage you ... and extend an invitation for you to email me if you need to, too. Obviously, all context and names are removed for the sake of privacy.
1) 8 years is an amazing run at a church. I think that’s remarkable, commendable even … I wouldn’t worry about if that was “long enough” or being a “lifer.” God might be moving you on, and you’ve demonstrated your commitment already for the long haul if you’ve been ANYWHERE for 8 years. A resume with 8 years on it as a youth worker says, “I've seen ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ of the church and have lived to tell about it.” It also suggests you understand your calling is bigger than the frustration.

2) Don’t let pressures or problems force you from the church. This is specifically an issue of calling, and anything else will only cloud your judgment. If God is calling you away, then go. If He’s not or is silent, wait it out.

3) Stay in youth ministry. If that is your calling, even if you have to leave your church, stay in the ministry. You might have to take a job in the real world for a while. You’ll probably be SUPER picky about your next church. You might need some time away to heal (your wife, especially). But don’t turn your back on the place where you were created to thrive in. You know it in your heart, don’t you? It’ll take time to get over the hurt, but don’t get jaded or cold. Your heart is bigger than that.

4) Hang in there. Emotionally you're spent. Remember you got into this to minister to kids, not haggle with demon-possessed-deacons. Smile, laugh, go on a date with your wife, have some great sex, worship God through being on the same team in your marriage. Know that this is a season and God has great things ahead for you. This is all part of the shaping process – I can see it now in hindsight so clearly God using this time in my own ministry past, too.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:58 PM |

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PEACE - Care for the Sick

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Made this video a year ago for the Passion venue when I was in Germany for a PDYM. It was used to intro the 3rd week of PEACE - care for the sick.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:52 PM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Vol 16

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Here's the latest Google searches that actually led to the blog this week. I cut a bunch of the redundant ones down from previous volumes. Enjoy!

Actual Google searches that led to my blog
chris dorrity
doug fields
pastor lance witt leaves saddleback
let the size of your god determine the size of your goals
sabatticals for religious women
espn manning commercial
kate and kurt duggleby
google video grarls barkley "crazy"
eric putman youth pastor
adam long lookout community church
ydesigns sucks
lesbian bat
amazed "jared anderson" what does it mean?
are you a joshua
steelers highlights pulling hair video
radioshack layoff notices are sent by e-mail august 31
michael chang
ministry sucks
gas pipeline deutchland
collinsworth myspace todd miss you
diet mountain dew tastes
saddleback hsm photos
simply red i don't believe
pumpkin templates brian griffin
saddleback church wildside
josh treece
pastor salaries
juice it up! smoothies
donna fleming hiv saddleback
one.org
rick warren
does leland chapman have a girlfriend?
2006.email contact of managers in night clubs
joshua fisherman revitalization photos
pastors email contacts 2006
troy polamalu gets tackled by hair video
hiv/aids needles hidden under pumps
why no sunday night game in week 7
trailers pirates of the carribeans
brandon warriax
sean blakeney hsm
johnson polamalu hair pull video
dont believe read internet douglas
snl tsa skit mpg
nacho libre on 360 dashboard side
snl tsa
lyrics footprints in the sand maranatha
youth pastor salary
chic-fil-a myspace
movie clip halloween youth group
my youth group sucks
divinci sound +price
latest news on penny hardaway
chic-fil-a grand opening ohio
purpose driven blasphemous rockers
2006 nielsen ratings g4tv attack
josh steffen
truett cathy opens pastor's retreat
lyrics "willow creek" "over me"
steve rutenbar
ektelon 03 red racquet price online
pastors and internet pronography
psalty skits
bill daily saddleback church
flat fields

Google searches I wish led here
bored in church
national average for children
cheap vasectomy
maternity leave for men
entertainment discount book

JG


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:57 PM |

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My Pumpkin Family

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Some people put stickers on the back of their car. We put pumpkins on our porch.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:43 PM |

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Smokey Mountains

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Wildfires are raging here. The smoke from this one, started by an arsonist, can be seen from our house. Wow.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:42 PM |

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SYM Beta Test: Final Round

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Last week we had about a dozen folks play around with the new Simply Youth Ministry website. We got some great feedback, and some painful learnings as well. We've taken it all to heart and are crusing on the new site that launches in just a couple of weeks.

Next week, we have a few needs for additional testers and wonder if you're up to it.

Tuesday we will send the link to the new store to another 5 people (some could be the same, but we'd prefer new folks) to test the ordering system. We're set to take orders and we'd like people to place a few test orders and try to break it. Try different products, different shipping methods and click add to cart from various differnet locations and make sure it all works. We've tested it internally with fantastic results, but would love to let a few outsiders peek in and play around.

Up to it? Post your email in the comments section of this post to be considered. And thanks so much for helping us make the new site sing!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:51 PM |

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Favorite Emails and Texts About the Baby

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So when I sent out the announcement about the baby arriving, I got a myriad of responses via voice mail (6), email (52) and text (14). Here's my favorites from the bunch - uncredited - since this is totally without their permission.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:24 AM |

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Headless Dog Speakers

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McGill pointed these out to me. Totally blogworthy.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:48 AM |

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Griffin, Party of 6?

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JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:36 PM |

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Gears of War Goes Gold

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For those of you not in the video game industry, "gold" means it is finished and has been sent to a duplicator for the final discs to be pressed, packaged and sent to stores. And Gears of Wars just went gold, which is fantastic.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:34 PM |

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Details on GROUP Reorganization

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The Coloradoan has a new article this afternoon about growing pains for GROUP in Colorado. Here's a clip of the article :

"This is the first major reorganization we have done in 10 years. We're ready now to move ahead and continue our record of growth and accomplishment of our mission of serving churches," Schultz said.

The company historically has received local attention for its reputation as a friendly place to work. Some co-workers of former employees are going through a mourning period of seeing friends leave the company, Schultz said. But a new excitement is brewing about the future of the company and employees' roles in it.

"The top leadership of the company feels this is a natural progression of our growth," Schultz said. "Now we have little companies within the larger company, which will have the responsibility and authority to carry out their dreams to serve their customers."

Group employee roles and responsibilities are changing. New and remaining employees will be grouped into eight new sectors, ranging from youth ministry to periodicals.

Each sector will have staff members who fulfill multiple roles doing development work, production work, marketing and sales. Previously, business functions were in separate departments. "This new structure will give each unit the functions and people it needs to make decisions, create great products and services for our customers," said Schultz. "And we'll be able to jump on new opportunities."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:09 PM |

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Purpose Driven Herd

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Saw this article today - made me chuckle. Then I realized it was serious - love it! Here's a clip:
The cows in your herd are there for a reason. For profit's sake, let's hope it's not just because you can't catch them. How did they get on the place, and why do you let them stay?

You should consider those questions for each cow, but start with the big picture. Why do you have cows? That's a deeper question than you can answer in a few seconds.

Many people looking for even deeper answers have purchased Rick Warren's spiritual bestseller, "The Purpose-Driven Life." In the last few years, his concepts have spread to the business world. You can now find articles on "purpose-driven management" in everything from software development to drywall construction and forestry. Why not animal husbandry?

Some have turned their lives around by realizing a higher purpose; so you can turn your herd around by realizing they don't just represent cattle. They represent food for people.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:07 PM |

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Jadin Caleb Griffin

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Here's the first picture of our new baby born this afternoon!

Jadin Caleb Griffin
6 lbs. 11 oz.
20" long
dark thick hair

Mother and baby are resting well.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:07 PM |

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24: Season 6 Preview

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Dave Winner wrote in with something that I missed that he knew could not go unmentioned. There's a Season 6 preview of the amazing show 24 that is not to be missed if you consider yourself a true fan. Thanks for the heads up!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:04 PM |

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The State of High School Seniors

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There's a GREAT article in today's Christian Post about youth ministry. This is a must-read for youth workers ... seriously, this is some pretty solid stuff. If you've wanted to know what church seniors are thinking, why they attend, what they want more of - well, here's some data to think about. Lots of implications from these revelations, I might list them in a future post. Here's a clip of the article - really, do yourself a favor and hit the link for the complete story.

Studying the current state of seniors and the type of students youth ministries are developing today, the College Transition Project received responses from high school students around the country for wave one of the milestone study. Surprisingly, the top reason students go to youth group is because of their youth pastor.

According to the responses received, 162 of which were usable, 68 percent said it is "very true" or "completely true" they go to youth group because they like their youth pastor. The second most popular reason was "I learn about God there," which was followed by 58 percent who said "It's fun." Other reasons listed as "very true" or "completely true" by at least 50 percent of the students included "I feel comfortable there," "I've always gone to church/youth group," "It's a place where I can learn to serve," and "It feels like a real community."Some youth workers expressed ambivalence about the top reason students listed but they also raised the question if it's possible that the students have become "too dependent" on their youth pastors."

Interestingly, seniors' connections with their friends at youth group don't rank as highly as many would have guessed," noted the report. "By average score, seniors ranked the options regarding community and a sense of belonging seventh, eighth, and tenth."The least likely reason students listed was that their parents make them
go or that they feel guilty if they don't go.

Students were also asked what they wanted to see more of in youth ministry. At the top was the desire for more service projects. Following that, 70 percent of the respondents wanted more or much more time for deep conversation; 65 wanted more mission trips; 65 percent wanted more accountability; and 58 percent wanted more time to worship. Ranked last was the desire for more games.


JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:49 AM |

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Today's the Day

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We'll get to meet Jadin Caleb today. We're at the hosptial right now (though I'll post this later) getting ready for the new baby. So great!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:29 AM |

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Gonk Droid for Halloween

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This is Austin ... he's going as a Star Wars Gonk Droid this Halloween. We're pretty excited about his costume, mostly because he loves Lego Star Wars 2 so much, but also because of one amazing feature. You see, Gonk has no arms, so how will my little boy get his candy? By allowing people to drop their candy into a secret candy trap door in the front (pictured below).


Click on the image to see the trap door

Amazing. Made from a box (how could you tell?) about 2 hours of sweat, spray paint and duct tape with my son. And worth every minute of it!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:24 PM |

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Lego Darth Vader for Halloween

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This is Christian ... he's going as a Lego Star Wars Darth Vader this Halloween. He plays Lego Star Wars 2 a little every day, so when we had the idea to make his costume he absolutely loved it. This ones pretty straightforward, but really looks fun. After Halloween the costumes will be free to play dress-up and use the imagination until finally biting the dust.

Made from two cardboard boxes, lots of black spray paint and two rolls of black duct tape. Took about 4 hours - lots of trial and error. Halloween at the Griffins is going to rock!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:38 PM |

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Reformation Generation: Part 2

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Just like last week, today the under 35's got together for another meeting with Rick Warren. My favorite part was the fact that they played the In the Year 2025 video, which got a solid response from everyone. Delightful. A couple of interesting ideas came up, wanted to record a few here.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:43 PM |

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Messin with Sasquatch

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Brian Ferry sent me this link to Messin with Sasquatch. I'm now going to officially get nothing done today. Hand me some beef jerky ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:16 AM |

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Happy Birthday, iPod!

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Saw a great article today in PC World about the 5-year anniversary of the iPod. Here's a few of the learnings 5 years later, and there's a fun clip at the end of the official announcement of the digital music device. I love my Nano ...

4. Small is reliably beautiful. The first iPod wasn't the original hard disk-based music player--Creative's Nomad Jukebox was pretty cool for its time--but it was the first one that comfortably fit into your pocket. And Apple has been smart to continually release iPods that are thinner and smaller than those before them. There's never been a time when even impressive players from other companies haven't tended to look chunky, and therefore clunky, compared to their Apple competition--and it's hard for any electronics device to come off as cooler than something that's similar but skinnier. Whether Apple can or will continue to shrink the iPod, I don't know, but I'm not aware of anything in the works that aims to out-svelte it, especially considering that the Zune isn't exactly wafer-thin...

5. Technological races are never, ever over. If, prior to the iPod, you'd asked me what company would dominate digital music, I might have guessed Creative or Rio. Or maybe Sony or Samsung. I might even have mentioned Microsoft. I wouldn't have mentioned Apple, though, and neither would have almost anyone else. (Here's a Macworld article from 2001 rounding up initial pundit response to the iPod; it was, at best, mixed. And if anyone had predicted that the thing would be not simply one of the most successful consumer electronics products of all time but a social phenomenon, he or she would probably have been drummed out of the National Pundit League for irrational exuberance.)

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:30 AM |

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A Different Doug Fields

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No, Doug Fields wasn't in Spooner, Wisconsin this weekend playing golf.
Dick Steffen and Ted Hays won the championship match of the Tuesday 18-hole league last week. Jerry Thompson and Buzz Ekholm took second place, and Milt Jones and Doug Fields landed third place. Ted Hays was the top individual point-getter followed by Buzz Ekholm and Dick Steffen. Tom Bergeman garnered the honors of low net score with a 70, followed by Dave Gulden with a net 71.
And this Doug Fields, a carpenter who built a huge pine deck, is also a different guy as well.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:18 AM |

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Flat Fields is on the Move

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Would you believe Flat Fields travelled across the country last night? It's true!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:13 AM |

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Date Night: Citrus Cafe

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With the impending arrival of our 4th child, my wife and I got out tonight to relax and breath some life into our relationship. It was a fun night - it never ceases to amaze me how fortunate I am for my wife and realize her incredible strength. Just a great night out, some much needed relaxation with my bride of 10 years. It didn't hurt to use a coupon from the Entertainment Book for half off dinner and then not being able to find a good movie to watch.

I'm a cheap date!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:25 AM |

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Week 7 Winner

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This week was easy - since the World Series game was on last night, there was no Sunday night football on NBC. So ESPN gets the win by default. Either way though, this week they would have given NBC a run for their money. Pretty solid game, good rivalry, great opening ... but still messy commentary and the sideline reporters are too scripted. I just don't like cringing at what the guys in the booth will say next - but still very much enjoyed the game.

Week 7: ESPN

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:42 PM |

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Rick Warren Featured in PSA

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This press release was just released talking about a new series of ads that feature Pastor Rick, amongst other folks. Interesting - can't wait to see it!
"This is a first step in a long-term effort to start making the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty part of the election conversation and Americans can be part of that by joining ONE.ORG," said Matt Damon who appears in and narrates the spot. "Decisions made in Washington, D.C. really do have the power to save lives. I think at their heart Americans are good people and I think people want to help -- I think there's momentum building. People are starting to realize that the history books are being rewritten and they want to be on the right side of history, they want to be in the story."

"ONE Vote" will air across MTV Networks channels during primetime from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on Monday, Oct. 23 and premiere online on Tuesday, Oct. 24 in streaming video on the front page of MySpace http://www.myspace.com , in a special :45 web version and special content on the front page of YouTube http://www.youtube.com , and on Google video http://www.googlevideo.com and Yahoo video http://www.yahoovideo.com. It will also air on News Corporation's FOX Broadcasting Network, MyNetworkTV, FX, Fox Sports Net, National Geographic Channel, FUEL, Fox Reality, Fox Soccer and Fox Movie Channel through Election Day, in addition to airing on their giant Panasonic Astrovision Screen at ONE Times Square in New York City.

The PSA brings together Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Don Cheadle, New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, singer songwriter Toby Keith, Alfre Woodard, faith leaders Pastor Rick Warren and Bishop Charles E. Blake and Democratic and Republican Strategists Mike McCurry and Jack Oliver.

In the spot, they join with over 2.4 million supporters of the ONE Campaign to "pledge ONE vote" not for a candidate or party -- but instead to help fight global AIDS and extreme poverty and make a better, safer world for us all.

"My deal has always been -- forget politics. You know, politics has really nothing to do with it," said singer songwriter Toby Keith. "We're so divided here in the United States with this red state/blue state, left wing/right wing thing. I've been to Africa and seen it first hand, it left a mark on me that I have to live with now, so I want to do my part. It's a chance for everybody with a big voice to step up to their people and say -- go to ONE.org, get educated and stamp out poverty and AIDS."
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:17 PM |

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Simply Paper

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Nadim filled the printer today here at the Simply Youth Ministry offices. What paper do we use? Simply Paper, of course. No relation ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:05 PM |

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No Podcast Love

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Sorry I didn't mention this earlier - no podcast last week and this week already looks unlikely - between various trips, Fields being sick and personal stuff for everyone ... well, the show just didn't happen last week and I can tell you this week is off, too. Sorry!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:37 AM |

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Stuff Worth Reading this Week

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Every weekend I do a roundup post of notable blog posts on my friend's blogs. Here's the latest things that made me laugh, cry:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:29 AM |

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Flat Fields Continues His Journey Across America

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So you remember that funny Flat Fields thing that was in Louisiana last week? He's off on another adventure today - maybe he'll be visiting you in the future? I don't see anyway to contact the person that started it, but maybe if you leave them a comment on that blog it could end up on your doorstep. I love this!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:50 AM |

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My Friend Looks Like ... Volume 2

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So a while ago I post about how my friend Andrew looked like Philip Seymor Hoffman. Then today as I was watching football I saw Mark Brunell, and I thought he looks a lot like Life Together co-author and former Saddleback pastor Brett Eastman. Just struck me as funny.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:44 PM |

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In the Year 2025

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Funny video that Doug, Johnny and I made for an upcoming series at Saddleback. 1 of 3 we'll do this winter.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:55 PM |

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Get Real Youth Ministry

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Just was reading a story about a youth group that is making some waves in the Indy Star. Here's a clip of the encouraging ministry:
Get Real, a locally based nonprofit, offers weekly meetings for high school and junior high students during the school year. Through the years, organizers estimate, more than 700 youths have taken part.

That record of success nearly came to an end earlier this year. Part-time director Mark Buckley resigned because of several family deaths and a personal illness, and the group's volunteer leaders and board had to consider not offering the ministry.
Krohne's oldest daughter, Kendra Mallory, 36, has since stepped in to direct the weekly youth gatherings. She previously volunteered with the Get Real junior high group.

"I need this every week. It feels so awesome to be involved, and I don't want them to have to make the same mistakes. Teenagers are so looking for a safe place to be themselves," Mallory said.

A typical Get Real evening starts with a silly game to mix up the teens who come from different area schools. Mallory then splits up participants into groups, making sure friends are separated, so cliques aren't a problem.
The small groups discuss the issue of the evening and then come back together for a recap of the discussion.

"It doesn't matter if you are the athlete or the band guy. They realize they have the same issues. This is a positive peer pressure environment, and they know it is a safe place to talk. Everyone is encouraging," Mallory explained.
After discussion, the group hears a passage from the Bible.
"That is when we get real -- just like the name -- and hear what God has to say about it," Mallory said.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:12 PM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Vol 15

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Every week I post the words that people type into Google to find this website. This week there were 91 different words/phrases used to lead here, down from 122 last week. Here's the real search terms people used, followed by some searches I wish led people to the blog. Enjoy!

Actual Google searches that led here this week
leland chapman engaged
wildside saddleback
youth ministry blog links
don't believe everything
jessica alba youth group
mtumbe chigumbura
youth pastor salaries
cathi workman blog
willow creek community church "the train wreck"
star wars shortened lyrics
video miramar air show 2006
snl tsa skit video
youth ministry job search blog
erik fitzgerald youth pastor
greg stier video
you won't believe what's inside you
downsizing to one car
the history of youth ministry vol.1
pastor rick pounds new 2007 collection plate
willow creek uk tape of leadership summit 2006
saddleback church and halloween
blog rwanda saddleback
saddleback hsm photos
leesa witt wedding
miramar air show
brian schwanbeck
schwanbeck ign entertainment
don't wait for the hurst to take you to church
is everything we read on the internet true
bill daily saddleback church
is nike entereing new market
does syms have crocs
cocaine drink "jamie kirby" "official site"
doug fields junior high youth group first night
why church ministry sucks
church video parody deal no deal
parents and myspace
dan t. cathy and chic-fil-a net worth
tribulation force audiobook itunes stereo or mono
creflo one night with the king review
jake rutenbar
2006 email contacts of pentecostal pioneers
debunking the madden curse
josh griffin austin texas
flavorless urine color change additive
rick warren +rwanda +"october 2006"
chic-fil-a's founders book
snl tsa skit
psalty's christmas calamity cd
leland chapman hawaii
google video grarls barkley "crazy"
leland chapman tats pics
pirates of the caribbean dead man's chest cracken sound effects
louie giglio catalyst
rick warren saddleback layoffs
pirates of the caribbean cracken sound effects
brandon warriax youth pastor
sabatticals for religious women
diet mountain dew tastes
amazed "jared anderson" what does it mean?
fitzgerald
snl "tsa skit" video youtube

Google searches I wish led here
Waffle House
Wahoo's gift certificate
cheap batteries aren't worth it
in the year 2000
The OC needs a Cracker Barrel

Every week people ask how I do this - simple ... I use Google Analytics to find out the info. And other useless information, like the fact that 30% of my visitors are first timers this week, the top two stories were Beta SYM and Campaign for Real Beauty, 93% of all visitors to the blog are from the US, and 11% are already using the new Internet Explorer 7.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:24 AM |

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The SYM Beta Test is LIVE

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OK, I just sent the beta testers the rules and the URL of the new Simply Youth Ministry website. It's a work in progress ... and we're just 2-3 weeks away from launching. Have a fun weekend checking out the new site - and we'll need more in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
Ok gang … you’ve been selected for the first of two SYM website beta tests.

You’re the first people outside of SYM’s team to see it. Doug Fields hasn’t even seen it yet – seriously! Thank you SO MUCH for loving students and lending your talents and time to make the Simply site even better. We seriously appreciate it.

We want you to tell us about formatting problems, broken links, ideas, tweaks, navigation improvements, inconsistencies, messed up images, bugs, things that bug you, colors that suck, what works, what doesn’t work, what should be more intuitive – in short, whatever you think or find that we should know about! Try different browsers, change resolutions, switch to dialup, use a Mac or a Commodore 64 to view the site if you think it would help us. Please take screenshots or do a quick mockup if something could be made significantly better and you have a vision from the Lord

We know only too well that the website is a work in progress, we’re still working on the site for 17 days before launch. Most of the big picture stuff is in place – so our only ask is you don’t complete an order. You can add stuff to your cart (please do), just don’t complete the transaction right now – that’s the 2nd beta in the coming 17 days before launch.

OK, enough. Open up a Word .doc or text file and please make sure to note the URL of the page you’re making comments on. Nothing is sacred … so go crazy …
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:12 PM |

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Tax Relief for Pastors

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How could I have missed this article in the NY Times? A great piece on the tax benefits of being a pastor and how Rick Warren is championing our cause to the government. Lead on, pastor!
For tens of millions of Americans, the Rev. Rick Warren is best known for his blockbuster spiritual guide, The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold more than 25 million copies; his success as the founder of the 22,000-member Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.; and his efforts on behalf of some of the worlds neediest people.

But for tens of thousands of ministers and their financial advisers Pastor Warren will also be remembered as their champion in a fight over the most valuable tax break available to ordained clergy members of all faiths: an exemption from federal taxes for most of the money they spend on housing, which typically represents roughly a third of their compensation. Pastor Warren argued that the tax break is essential to poorly paid clergy members who serve society.

The tax break is not available to the staff at secular nonprofit organizations whose scale and charitable aims compare to those of religious ministries like Pastor Warrens church, or to poorly paid inner-city teachers and day care workers who also serve their communities.

The housing deduction is one of several tax breaks that leave extra money in the pockets of clergy members and their religious employers. Ministers of every faith are also exempt from income tax withholding and can opt out of Social Security. And every state but one exempts religious employers from paying state unemployment taxes reducing the employers payroll expenses but also leaving their workers without unemployment benefits if they are laid off.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:06 PM |

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Breakfast Meetings

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Enjoyed some time with friends this week, eating breakfast. That actually doesn't happen too much, I much prefer Lunch B or C to Breakfast A - but alas, the time crunch was such this week that we needed to meet up at the crack of dawn. Turns out good things can happen before 9AM, which surprised me.

Breakfast Thursday - Kevin recently finished up his time on staff at Saddleback Church and is searching for what God has next for him. Enjoyed some French toast at Ono Ono and talked about his search for a new youth ministry and/or the possibility of church planting. Great guy, if you're looking for someone, he's a dude.

Breafast Friday - Andy has to give a panel presentation next week on the future of email and ecommerce in the next 5-10 years. We kinda chilled at Cinammon Productions to think about what's next doing business on the internet. Good times.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:22 PM |

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Service Starts Now

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Recently a friend pointed me to Service Starts Now ... a funny collection of alternatives to countdowns. Never heard of it before, but it made me laugh. Happy Friday!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:42 PM |

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Trouble in HALO Movie Land

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Just reading up on the recent Halo movie hassles on ABC News. Here's a clip from the piece, and you might want to check out this other post on BloggingStocks, too:

The two studios had agreed to co-finance the projected $135 million project that "King Kong" and "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson was to produce, but they've backed out amid rumors that the film's budget would balloon to more than $200 million, according to a story in Variety.

The story said the studios were expected to make a $5 million upfront payment to Microsoft — the game's maker — by Oct. 15 and used the time leading up to that date to try to convince Microsoft and the filmmakers to take pay cuts, which they refused.

The article quoted a spokesperson for Jackson and his wife, Fran, also billed as an executive producer, as denying rumors that the budget would exceed the initial amount. Despite losing the backing of Fox and Universal, the spokesperson said that Microsoft is already in talks with other studios, and that preparation on the film continues.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:36 PM |

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Internet Explorer 7 is Out

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Just released today ... beautiful. If you're on a PC ... if you're jealous of Firefox's abilities ... this is the release for you. It's awesome!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:19 PM |

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Trader Joe's Salt and Vinegar Chips

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So the same people that hooked us up with Pirate Booty last month gave us a new taste experience today - Trader Joes Salt & Vinegar Chips. Amazing ... my wife is in love with this flavor, and while I enjoy it, I'm not sure you're supposed to wince when you eat something, unless its a contraction from your heart because of the grease. So delicious! An entire bag gone in one day ... and almost half before I even got home. Not that that should be a surprise, if someone hands me anything and expects it to make it home ... well, that's just a rookie move. Thanks to Wendy and Kevin!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:23 PM |

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The Convertible Update

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So we're selling the convertible, at least, we're trying to sell it. I mentioned it on the blog a month ago and it has run in AutoTrader with limited success. We just reviewed the finances, and we keep eating up what should be our our monthly savings to pay for regular life - so we're going to run an ad in the Penny Saver and drop it $1,000 below Blue Book and move this thing. Once it's sold, we'll replace the savings we've eaten into, and then figure out as things settle out what to do next.

Fortunately, one of the Wildside volunteers works for the Penny Saver ... here's hoping for a free ad!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:16 PM |

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Rick Warren's 2 New Books

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Just ran across this in the Christian Post:
The Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren is slated to release two new titles this month ahead of a second global summit on AIDS.

Zondervan announced the first releases in an exciting new series by Warren in which he explores many of the fundamental issues and questions that people ask.

The first of two releases in the series, which will be released in stores in October, is God’s Power to Change your Life.

“In the years I have been a pastor,” writes Rick Warren, “the number-one question I’m asked is, ‘Rick, why can’t I change?’" People want to change – but they’re stuck.

“Here’s how to get unstuck. Drawing simple but powerful truths from the Bible, this book gives you practical guidance for specific types of change, and it links you up with the power to actually make the changes you long to make.”

In addition, Warren is releasing God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:39 PM |

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Guess What This Picture Is!

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Today a family member has died.

At least, from all of the crying from my children you would think so. Our family's Xbox 360, purchased at the Zero Hour premiere of the console in the Mojave Desert last November ... well, it died tonight. After continual freezing over the last 2 days it finally gave us the Red Ring of Death (RRID) hardware failure.

Surviving the console are 3 devastated children, a frustrated mother and a heartbroken father. Gifts can be sent to the Xbox360 Memorial Fund at Saddleback Church. Fortunately, all funeral expenses have been paid for by Microsoft.

Rest in peace, old friend.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:09 PM |

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Bible Study at Starbucks

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Enjoying some coffee with my daughter on our "date" tonight, and was pleased to see a dozen high school students gathered around coffee in a Bible study. Not sure what church they were from, but it still makes me smile. They don't know me from Adam or that I was intensely interested in watching them, which was fun. They pretty much messed around for the opening, then settled into some good discussion with a caring adult leader. Awesome.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:52 PM |

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Beta Testing the New SYM

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Are you a geek? Do you know style? Are you interested in helping beta test the new Simply Youth Ministry website?

The new SYM website is up and running on our top secret servers in Greenland and this weekend we want 9 people who are detail-oriented to look for style and content problems so we have someone to blame other than ourselves when we launch. Are you interested? You can't just be a random person who just wants to get a sneak peak, you've got to be someone with an intensely critical eye but can deliver said criticism with grace.

Is that you? Leave a comment with your email and I'll contact a few of you Friday afternoon, we'd need your feedback by 9AM Pacific time Monday morning. Thanks!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:48 PM |

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What Not to Do

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Kurt has a great post today on what not to do in youth ministry, head over to his blog and check it out. Here's a clip:
One of the things I love about junior high ministry is the constant quest for a fun new game, activity, event etc. I certainly don't believe that in order to have an effective junior high ministry you have to always have something newer, bigger or better than the week before, but I do like trying to keep things fresh and fun for students.

A question I have been asked a thousand times and one I've asked myself just as often is: "How do we decide what to do....and what NOT to do?"
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:45 PM |

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The One Thing in Common with Growing Churches

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Pastor Rick led the all church staff meeting today. Here's some of the highlights that were particularly good from his talk on Hebrews 11:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:19 AM |

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Campaign for Real Beauty

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How great would this clip be to open up a message? Wow.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:09 PM |

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The Reformation Generation: Part 1

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Today all of the staff 35 years of age and younger got to meet with Pastor Rick for a couple of hours. It was particularly good for us young folk to connect with him ... there's a lot of great ideas in the group of young guns and he challenged us to step up and take the leadership into the next generation of reaching our community at Saddleback Church.

Best learning: he said when he was 25 no one believed in him. No one would listen to him. He had great ideas, the ideas that would launch and grow Saddleback, but essentially no one cared, simply because he was 25. And he doesn't want to make that same mistake, so he's starting a regular venue with the "reformation generation" as he liked to call us, open channels of communication and has directed the decision makers to clear the red tape that builds up over time.

Lots of promise!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:35 PM |

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A Big Chocolate Hug

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Funny story from back at the sound booth during one of the junior high services this weekend.

It was dark, because they were watching a video (Uncle Pete #3, actually) and I was eating an Almond Joy. It was about half eaten, and this student came up to me and gave me this huge hug - I told him he did a great job leading worship earlier and he thought the video was super funny.

It was a cool moment, but when we were done, I realized that the uneaten half of the Almond Joy was gone. I looked on the floor, I looked in the book rack nearby. I looked everywhere, and coulnd't find it. Was it in the isle? Was it on the back of this student's shirt? Had it flown into the crowd or into a fat kid's open mouth?

I'm not sure where it landed or where it went, but I do know that someone had a chocolate surprise that night.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:09 PM |

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The Amazing Game of Football

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NBC put on an amazing show this week, the game lasted just under 3 hours - a technically sound game - Broncos vs. Raiders - with perfect commentary, amazing camera angles and awesome visual effects. Really near-perfect execution.

ESPN on the other hand, muddied through below average commentary (gushing over the Cardinals, flipping opinions, and ... the master of stating the obvious Joe Theisman). But they sure had the better game.

The setup was perfect - I love the Bears, I love Leinhart and love Monday night so I can chat with my dad for the entire 4th quarter as I catch up to live on Tivo. I can stomach poor play-by-play and analysis, shameless celebrity cameos and less than stellar camera work (did he fumble? was his knee down? was the punt inside the 5 yard line?). But who could predict that stunning game. The Bears never scored and offensive touchdown, had 6 turnovers, and won by a point in the final 3 minutes. Simply amazing.

Week 6 presentation: NBC
Week 6 game: ESPN

Final vote: tie

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:06 AM |

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700 Posts and Counting ...

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Just realized that tonight this little blog crosses a milestone - 700 posts. Here's some of the highlights from the past 100, and links to previous milestones below the signature, too.
JG

Archive
600
500
400
300

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:54 PM |

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Blog Idea: SYM Affiliate

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You've heard me champion Google Ads before to make a little mad money on your blog - I've made $4 today already and am tracking for a record month! Hahahah ... if you haven't signed up yet, click the banner in the right column and get started ----------->.

But have you considered becoming a Simply Youth Ministry affiliate, too? If you have a youth ministry website, blog or webpage where some visitors might be youth workers, you can make some cash on the side, too.

Here's how it works:

1) Sign up here.
2) Drop some of the provided code into your template and/or posts.
3) Visitors click through the ads to SYM and make purchases.
4) You get 10% of the sale!
5) Even if they don't purchase that day, if they clicked through your site it will track it for 45 days and you still get the credit.

And I know it works, SYM pays literally billions of dollars a week out to affiliates (that's a slight exaggeration, fine). Are you one of them?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:34 PM |

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Winner of Ministry Mutiny

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Congratulations to Josh who won a copy of Ministry Mutiny by Greg Stier. Thanks to everyone who commented on this post over the weekend and entered the contest. Follow that link to read my quick review of the book if you're interested - and Josh, send me your mailing address and we'll send this right out!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:52 AM |

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How I Manage Email

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OK, so in the last few years I've taken a fair bit of criticism for how I manage email. Here's how I do it, and I know it might go across the grain but it really works for me. Here goes:

I use an elaborate system of follow-up flags and inboxes.

Mail that comes to my @purposedriven.com stays in my main inbox. Mail that comes into my @simplyyouthministry.com inbox gets trasferred to a Inbox-SYM folder. Mail that comes to my @saddleback.net email gets routed to the Inbox-SVCC folder. Any Star Wars email to jg@theforce.net goes to, you guessed it, Inbox-Star Wars. So 4 inboxes.

And then I don't clean out any of the inboxes, right now the count is 1,541 items. In my followup folder, I've got 63 items I'm currently tracking on. That's a bit high, usually it hovers around 10-15, but with the travel to YS last week and The Gathering the week before I'm a bit behind. And when we have the baby, it'll get even worse.

Anyhow, here's the color breakdown for the inbox flags - I'm using then to tell priority and/or category of action needed.
Red Flag - Items that need immediate action, regardless of category. They need attention by the end of the week, or preferably the end of the day.

Blue Flag - These are items that need attention. They are on the to do list, they have pertinent information that I need, they require something from me at come point. The are on the list, but not a priority.

Yellow Flag - These are items specific to the PDYM Community. The are probably resources that need to be uploaded and put into the Resource Sharing section.

Green Flag - These are personal emails - not related to work or Star Wars, just people I know I want to reply to an email they sent at some point.
So nothing ever gets deleted.

Every email I've received or sent is probably on my computer. The last 30 days are online on the Exchange server, the rest are autoarchived on my hard drive and instantly searchable offline. Right now that's 4.7GB, which makes me smile.

OK, that's the chaos that is my inbox. How do you do yours?

JG


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:35 AM |

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Tackled by the Hair

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Did you hear about the guy who got tackled by his hair yesterday? Wild. I'm still looking for the video of it ... you can see a picture of it if you click the image above. Here's a clip from the local Pittsburgh paper:
With Pittsburgh in control in the third quarter, Johnson did deliver one highlight play. He chased down Troy Polamalu, who’d intercepted a Damon Huard pass and was steaming toward the end zone. Johnson dragged Polamalu down by his long, wavy hair.

Three years ago, Johnson had hoped to be drafted by Pittsburgh. But the Steelers traded up and picked Polamalu instead.

A flag flew, but coach Herm Edwards said it was because of the skirmish that ensued afterward, not the hair-pulling. Long hair that grows beyond the helmet is considered part of the uniform.

“I made the tackle, tried to get up, and my hand’s full of his hair,” Johnson said. “It’s real cute that (Steelers cornerback) Ike Taylor came over trying to defend his boy when it wasn’t what was going on.

“If I got penalized, I hope it was for me hitting Ike Taylor in the face twice and not for pulling Troy’s hair. Because Troy’s a good player, and he’s a good guy off the field. That’s not something I’m doing.”

After the game, Polamalu said he didn’t have a problem with the tackle.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:44 AM |

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Movie Review: Jet Li's Fearless

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OK ... just getting back from a late show with Tony of Jet Li's Fearless. This is going to be a short review - basically, when there is fighting, the film is great. When there isn't fighting, the film bombs. Which means the final product is basically split 50/50, half really innovative and amazing classic Wushu martial arts battles and the other half an odd Chinese-subtitled mess that grips from time to time but ultimately stumbles in the end.

Overall: C

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:05 AM |

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Passionate Response This Weekend

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Great weekend at Saddleback, Pastor Tom taught expositionally through the Matthew 7 passage on judging other people. It was a great sermon - at the end our venue had a different ending where we asked people to spend time in prayer as a response to the message, to confess sin if they were living in hypocricy and to come clean before God. I sat on a stool in the front of the stage and offered specific prayer for those who wanted to come forward - it almost felt like an old-school invitation from when I was a kid. Very cool.

So it was great, over the course of the closing song (Amazed by Jared Anderson), 5 people came forward with various requests and personal situations. People can easily hide in the crowd, but one of my recent learnings is that some people are hiding in the crowd but are dying inside for the personal touch and connection. Good weekend - next week stats a new series on vision with Pastor Rick. Can't wait!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:18 PM |

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Rick Warren in Newsweek

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Just saw this on MSNBC. Worth reading, if you're into this sort of Christian subculture drama.
Time was, not so long ago, that no one ever said a bad word about Pastor Rick Warren. He was the genius grower of churches, the California whiz who found a magic formula for marketing Christianity to the masses, who hit the jackpot with his book "The Purpose Driven Life," by some accounts the best-selling nonfiction book ever. The newsweeklies noticed him, The New Yorker profiled him, members of Billy Graham's family lauded him and Bill Gates himself hobnobbed with him.

In recent weeks he hasn't seemed so bulletproof, and one has to wonder why. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have put him on their front pages in not wholly flattering lights: the former for helping push a tax break for clergy through Congress, the latter for selling a church-revitalization strategy that some pastors say doesn't work. In her blog, syndicated Christian-radio talk-show host and producer Ingrid Schlueter has devoted herself to critiquing megachurches in general and Warren in particular; she is irate about lots of things, including his "hula ministry."
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:59 PM |

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Book Review: Ministry Mutiny

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This weekend I was able to finish up Ministry Mutiny, a youth ministry fable from Greg Stier. I've read several business fables before, and love the style of writing and teaching. It's kind of a right-brained way of getting some left-brained principles. The book follows that successful format.

This is easily Greg's best writing so far. The story begins with a dissallusioned youth worker about to quit - in fact, he's at the tail end of writing his resignation letter. He and his wife have been through the wringer, and he's done. Man, I've been there before - what youth worker hasn't been, right? Keep in mind Greg's passion in life is evangelism, and the book skews that way directly. And although the story is a bit predictible and veteran youth worker mentor Tony is completely one-dimensional (a little too perfect, I wish he had a history of some sort), there's plenty of great principles to be learned here.

The parts that hit me the most were about engaging parents to do the youth ministry, and we come along side of them. The importance of community also rises to the top, as well as stopping the search for the next youth ministry fad. Good stuff.

Comment on this post! I'll select one of those comments at random to get my copy of the book for free - I'll even pay the shipping.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:54 AM |

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From my Blog Friends Vol 8

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Every weekend I highlight some of the best posts from the blogs that I visit. They are either particularly inspirational, particularly funny, or just plain odd. Here's this week's finds:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:48 AM |

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Bits and Pieces Wildside video

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Just saw this great video from Wildside over on Snyder's blog. An easily reproducible video idea!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:28 AM |

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Miramar Air Show

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Enjoyed Friday afternoon and Saturday at the Miramar Air Show - this is the place where the best and the brightest have been trained in Top Gun. While the Top Gun program has been gone for years now, this is still a super historic airbase and a powerful backdrop for the air show. We spent the night at a friend's beach trailer in the area, so we were about a block from the beach - and just far enough away from home to be really "away." So fun - here's the highlights:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:16 PM |

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John W Peterson is Dead

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An interesting sidenote today - a guy who wrote a bunch of songs that I sang as a kid died a week or two ago - John W. Peterson passed away at 84. Here's the news from Assist:
John W. Peterson, 84, who wrote more than 1,000 gospel hymns in a musical career that began before World War II, died Sept. 20 of cancer at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Peterson's compositions included "It Took a Miracle," "Over the Sunset Mountains," "So I Send You" and "Surely Goodness and Mercy."

Peterson had headed his own music publishing businesses in Scottsdale since moving to Arizona in the 1970s. Earlier, he served for more than 10 years as president of Singspiration, a sacred-music publishing company in Grand Rapids, Mich.
A few of his songs I know from memory
It Took a Miracle
Over the Sunset Mountains
So Send I You
Springs of Living Water
Heaven Came Down
Jesus Is Coming Again
Surely Goodness and Mercy

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:04 PM |

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Youth Group Pumpkin Patch for Gulf Relief

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Here's what one student ministry is doing in their community to help fund relief efforts to the Gulf region. Read a clip from the Durham News on the blog, head there for the complete story:
The second annual Pumpkin Patch, with more than 600 pumpkins, will open today on the church grounds at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1200 W. Cornwallis Road.

The youth ministry at the church is sponsoring the patch, which will keep regular hours from today through Oct. 31. Profits from the sale will be used for mission trips by church youth and for hurricane relief on the Gulf Coast.

All sizes of pumpkins will be sold, along with a variety of gourds and Indian corn. The pumpkins came from the farms of Native Americans in New Mexico, who ship their harvest to churches and civic groups throughout the country.

Diane Archer, minister of education and youth, said the patch went well last year and turned into a fellowship event with members of all ages helping out with the chores.

"We also met many people in the community," she said. "Someone from a daycare center bought 100 of the mini-pumpkins that are called 'spookies' to give to each of the children."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:01 PM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Vol 14

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As I do every Friday, here's a list of the actual Google searches that led here this week. I'm going to take the liberty of deleting some of the redundant ones from week's past, to keep it fresh. Anyhow, enjoy!

Actual Google searches that lead here
wildside saddleback
simply youth ministry blogs
squirt
saddleback church endless
wildside's reeled in
display gamercard on blogger
mark wahlberg at fbi building filming shooter
star wars shortened lyrics
willow creek community church "the train wreck"
deal or no deal results michelle falco
transitions church
saturday night live tsa skit
pdym video
pastor salaries
ryanne and jonathan's wedding
mnf introductions
san clemente
youth ministry"church internships"baptist
mosaic podcast crashes ipod erwin
svcc saddleback job search
star wars shortened 1080i
pastor steve rutenbar
sermon series deal or no deal
rock harbor church
purpose-driven pastor talks about ministry
hiv/aids needles hidden under gas pump (
internet youth spirituality
+xbox +360 +farcry +evolution +map +church
jobs for "phillip climer"
rock harbor podcast
star wars lego 2 review oc
snl "tsa skit" video youtube
greg stier
josh garrett
simply youth ministry youth workers conventions
blogging shirt
ryan meeks eastlake myspace
grarls barkley
espn montana child name
child named espn biloxi
leland chapman engaged?
national youth workers conference
tribulation "trinity evangelical free"
ocregister rick warren
deal or no deal youth sermon series
www.ysmarko.com
bryan hurst cocaine
doug fields youth pastors convention
perry bettis snake handling
hoax or not: hiv/aids needles hidden under gas pumps
future of forestry
divas gentlemen's club
birthday party "high school musical" minneapolis
youth ministry sucks
michael chang ministry
youth workers salaries
derek monroe toronto
teams interested in penny hardaway 06-07
missouri pentecostal ministers pastors email contacts 2006
chic-fil-a franchise
collinsworth family gospel
something about silas breakup
simply youth ministry what matters most doug fields
leland chapman & girlfriend in ny
workplace parody
pastors preaching prosperity
noyz + saddleback"
avocado intranet holy trinity church uk
father bride toast
matthew mcnutt
usps eastern area news chris strobel
worship conference

Google searches I wish led here
Discernment is so misunderstood
Germ-X
pizzadilla (pizza toppings in a quesidilla)
avocado on the side
40 Days of Fuddruckers
why are pastors fat?
food blog


JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:24 AM |

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Reeled In: Volume 3

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Just finished the last in the series of videos we made for Wildside. This is the old fisherman telling the story of Jonah and the whale. Fun!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:02 AM |

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Sweet Volcom Wallet

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So I posted a while back things I would like to do with money from my Google Ads, and Danny wrote in with a gift for one of those items. How cool is that? He said that he just put up a Volcom wallet on eBay and I was welcome to have it for free. How cool is that?

It's a GREAT wallet, and he definitely deserves a shoutout. Thanks again - I love it!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:47 PM |

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One of the Most Important Factors in the Church

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The Gospel Herald reminds of how important our role is as youth workers in the church. Here's a clip:
The president of the largest U.S. evangelical body opened up a U.S-focused annual mission conference by emphasizing that youth ministry is the most important factor in changing the culture.

NAE President Emphasizes Need for Change in Rising Generation Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, speaking at the 2006 annual conference of the Mission America Coalition in St. Louis on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2006. (Photo: Mission America Coalition) "The youth pastors are some of the most important leaders in the city," said the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), on Tuesday, according to a Mission America Coalition (MAC) report.

"We are not going to let this generation go to Hell," Haggard told nearly 150 church, ministry, and lay leaders from across the country. "We are not going to let MTV be more dominant in this generation than the Church. We are not going to turn away from this generation…we are going to do something decisive in order to make a difference."

Haggard spoke on the first night of the annual Mission America Coalition that concludes Thursday in St Louis. The three-day conference entitled, "Cultural Shift: Have we Passed the Tipping Point?" strategizing how to bring about a cultural shift in America.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:02 PM |

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Fuddruckers - 3 Lunches in a Row

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I just realized the last 3 lunches I've eaten have been at Fuddruckers. 1/3 lb burger, 1/2 lb burger and today, the Ragin' Cajun chicken sandwich. I then also realized that my blog posts are often about food.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:11 PM |

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Wired: What's Inside Squirt Cheese

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My favorite part of this month's Wired Magazine was this article now available online. What's in squirt cheese? It's pretty terrible for you ... maybe we should use it in the next SYM newsletter or something. Read on:

It's perfect on a cracker. Almost too perfect. Explore the secrets of one of the world's most unnatural foods.

• Whey: The cheese-making process removes 80 to 90 percent of milk's moisture, some of which is in the form of liquidy whey proteins. This byproduct is usually thrown out, but Kraft plows it back into Easy Cheese to increase volume (filler!) – and passes the savings along to you.

• Canola oil: Keeps the cheese from solidifying.

• Salt: Increases the osmotic transport of moisture, speeding up the cheese-drying process. It also inhibits bacterial growth – in other words, it's a preservative. Easy Cheese has twice the sodium of typical organic cheddar.

• Sodium citrate: The sodium in this compound exchanges ions with the calcium in the milk and "softens" the water-soluble portion of the cheese, enabling it to mix thoroughly with the fat-soluble component. That's called emulsification. The citric acid-derived citrate boosts the sour "bite" of cheddar.

• Sodium phosphate: Degreaser, preservative, urine acidifier, enema ingredient – is there anything Na3PO4 can't do? Here, it's another emulsifying agent. Proponents of natural cheese cited this additive when lobbying to have Kraft's products regulated as "embalmed cheese." The Feds settled on the less-mortifying "process cheese."

• Calcium phosphate: Sodium phosphate tends to make calcium unavailable to the body. So it's possible that calcium phosphate has to be added to make Easy Cheese healthier. It also makes it legal for Kraft to label every can "an excellent source of calcium."

• Lactic acid: Bacteria, either found naturally in milk or added in the cheese-making process, digest the milk sugar lactose and produce lactic acid. It tastes a little sour,
because that's how your taste buds interpret hydrogen ions, a key component of every acid.

• Sodium alginate: Every good processed food has seaweed extract, and Easy Cheese is no exception. Alginate, a gum found in the cell walls of brown algae, is flavorless but increases viscosity.

• Apocarotenal: This yellow-orange pigment, found in spinach and citrus fruits, enhances the color of processed cheese.

• The can: Easy Cheese is not a true aerosol – the food never comes in contact with propellant. The can has two sections: The bottom is filled with nitrogen gas, and the top with cheese. Press the nozzle and the nitrogen pressure pushes the cheese out of the can. The nozzle is notched for two reasons: To produce those pretty little floret patterns when the cheese is released, and to ensure that the tasty condiment comes out even if the end of the nozzle is pushed right up against the cracker.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:31 AM |

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