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Communion Song

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Check out this free Communion song download from American Idol contestant Chris Sligh.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:03 PM |

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All Out War

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Have you seen the new Simply Youth Ministry resource All Out War? It's a brand new series from Doug Fields on spiritual warfare. 6-weeks, available for download now, the packaged resource in a week or two ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:54 PM |

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Chris Sligh's Audition on Idol

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Chris Sligh.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:35 PM |

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I'm Going for Chris Sligh

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Last night on American Idol (a Griffin television favorite) they showed the usual suspects: terrible singers and bad auditions. Then they stopped the parade for a minute and let us laugh a bit with Chris Sligh. He was super funny and had a great voice - so I've decided I'm going to go for him on the show this year.

A little more research finds his blog and his band's MySpace (listen to Know), which were interesting. Yup, he's the guy I'm going for this year. You're going to Hollywood, dog!

Here's a bit of his story:

Growing up, my parents were very conservative fundamentalist Baptists. I know a lot of big words, right? Basically, what that means is that my parents believed that music and movies and everything the world had to offer were off-limits for Christians.

My dad actually had enjoyed the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel back when he was a kid. His freshman year of college he attended a "liberal" Christian college called Taylor University in Indiana and had traveled around to different coffee houses, playing his guitar and singing songs he wrote. But for some reason, he decided to move away from that and transferred colleges to a conservative Baptist college where he met my mom, which I guess was good because they made me, right?

I was born in Tennessee where my dad was the music pastor/youth pastor for a small conservative Baptist church. By the time that I was almost 3 my parents decided to take a music pastorate in Durham, NC. So, we moved while my mom was pregnant with my little brother and soon after my bother Jon came into the world.

So, my dad was a music pastor and he played guitar. Sounds like the start to a beautiful musical journey to me? Well, it took a while.


Wait, can you already have a fan club when the auditions were last night? Wow.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:31 PM |

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Early List of Superbowl Ads

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Want to know what to expect from the big game? Aside from Rex Grossman falling apart at the seams, and a stunning 20-7 Colts win (I predict a Bears defensive touchdown is their only score) - you can always enjoy the commercials.

Find out about them early from this PDF courtesy of Ad Age.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:30 PM |

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Interns Meeting This Morning

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Had a fantastic intern meeting this morning - great discussions and community today. The assignment from last week was to bring a real-life ministry scenario and then brainstorm on ways to respond correctly. It was a fantastic exercise that led to awesome discussion and guidance on how to handle these sensitive situations. Here's a few examples:
1) As an intern/volunteer you disagree with the high school pastor on a situation and the executive pastor comes to you and also disagrees. How do you respond?

2) Your married female secretary is making advances on a couple of male volunteers. How do you handle the situation? Do you say anything? Do you confront alone? Do you wait for confirmation yourself?
Might be something to use with your volunteers next meeting!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:10 AM |

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K-Fed Commercial

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JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:51 AM |

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New Galactic Heroes

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My kids love these things - if I step on something in the middle of the night, you can bet it is a small $2 lump of plastic with a lightsaber sticking out of it. The new series of Star Wars Galactic Heroes was revealed today, and I have to admit, we'll be right there near the front of the line to pick them up.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:11 PM |

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Want to go to the Superbowl?

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Want to go to the Superbowl? A quick survey of eBay reveals you can - for a price. The average price for 2 tickets to the big game is upwards of $6,000 - with the best seats going for far more than that. What a game to go to, though, huh?

Hung out with a friend tonight who is going, what a trip that's going to be. Have fun, Rob!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:06 PM |

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Body. Beauty. Boys.

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New resource up on Simply Youth Ministry today - a book about helping girls.
Are you buying into the world's delusions about real beauty? Author Sarah Bragg was. She struggled with a body image problem for more than ten years. Now read her story as she reveals the lies that she believed and the truth she finally discovered.

Body. Beauty. Boys. gets right to the heart of the matter. Sarah introduces you to Someone who offers you a new identity and unconditional love. God made you unique and extraordinary. Truth is - He's crazy about you!
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:11 PM |

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Wyoming Soldier Dies in Iraq

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My dad just sent this over:
It is cold. 4F at 9 am in the mountains. I just walked outside and put up our flag in the holder on the house. I want everyone to see. It was not easy; lots of crusty snow and my legs that do not work.

One of the white-bearded men on the sidewalk quickly walked through the snow to help me put up the flag. We usually put it up on Memorial Day and fly it all summer. But traversing the snowdrifts in January was too much for me.

When we finished, about 20 folks on the sidewalk gave a muted clap from glove-clad hands. I saluted them back.

I live next door to First Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church. On our entire block, from the church at one end to the houses beyond me on the other, is a line of leather-jacketed men/women, each holding a flag.

They are not still; they are moving around, trying to keep circulation in their feet and hands. But parked their motorcycles side-to-side on the street behind us (looking like a mini-Sturgis) and now stand, their breath baptizing them in a hovering steam cloud. Many are local, others come from across America to shield the mourners from the vicious hate-mongers who scream their venom.

Across the street at the corner is a police barricade. Protesters under the new Wyoming statute have to be 500 feet from the site of a funeral. Four policemen, but no Baptists from Kansas showed up. Praise God for no Baptists here. Police told me earlier this morning that they are setting up a barricaded area at the cemetery, too, since the Baptist website announced they were coming. Clean-cut policemen walking up and down the block look strangely out of place at a funeral.

The governor came but must have parked in back, out of sight. Army brass walked by and saluted the long line holding the flags. It is a private funeral for Cpl Jason Corbett, a Wyoming soldier (a paratrooper) to die for me and my family in Iraq.

Wyoming has just 1 in every 610 people in America. By the laws of average, only 5 Wyomingites should have died in the past years in Iraq. But Jason, a young man who graduated from high school a block and a life-time away, was #9, almost doubling the sacrifice our state should make.

Heavy hearts this morning. Proud hearts as the traffic slows.

And I would pray this is the last such funeral I have to witness . .
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:50 AM |

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Hum the Tune, Find the Song

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I thought this was an original idea of mine a few days ago. Apparently, some other genius thought of it first. Great! There goes my chance to be independently wealthy.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:59 PM |

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The Xbox 360 Laws

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Unscripted 360 is reporting that unlocking certain achievements will possibly unlock some rewards in the future. Example? Beat Halo on the hardest level, get a sweet prize.

How sweet is that? And every Xbox 360 owner should know the 360 Laws, too.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:47 PM |

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The Anniversary Show is Up!

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As promised, here's the big 1-year celebration podcast! Hard to believe we've been going strong for a year now - celebrate with the special anniversary show! In iTunes or on the official site as of this second!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:41 PM |

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Xbox 360: Ready to Play

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The 360 has a feature called "Ready to Play" - which basically means that you can play a movie as it is downloading instead of having to wait until the whole thing is in the can. Which is great - for a typical 480p movie that's just a minute or two ... and the higher resolutions just a bit longer. A GREAT feature - they respond so quickly to the feedback of their community - something we call can learn from.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:51 PM |

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Movie Review: Barnyard

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Downloaded another movie for the kids on the 360 this week, this time the family movie Barnyard.

It has an unusual style to it all - more of a claymation look as opposed to the typical slick and glossy computer-generated fare. The story is fairly basic - it is the journey of a party-loving calf who won't grow up who loses his dad and has to become a man. Honestly, a few minutes in I didn't think it would capture me in any way, as it's clearly a cut below the big gun. But still, I enjoyed it to the end and it's a safe, fun family movie the kids loved. C

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:51 PM |

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Jolly Good Show

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Just finished recording the 2-part anniversary podcast - we'll have it up in iTunes and on the podcast page later today. I will say this - there's a fun giveaway we're doing in the first half, and a fun gift we give to someone at the end of the second half. This will be a great show for long-time listeners, and not a good show for someone to start with. But, I guess, that's the point!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:18 AM |

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Speaking in Australia This Fall

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Just finished checking out the website for the National Youth Ministry Conference in Australia and saw the schedule and lineup. Can't wait to head down under next fall - I've never heard most of the speakers before (except Duffy, of course) - should be fun!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:49 AM |

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I Googled My Wife

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Apparently, my wife is not the most famous Angela Griffin in the world. This one is. Google someone you love today!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:49 AM |

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42 of the Biggest Questions in Science

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Was reading in the print edition of Wired this month about the 42 Biggest Questions we still don't know the answer to, and just saw they just put up much of it on the web as well. You should really check it out, I think my favorite questions were Why Do Placebos Work and How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?
Licking machines built by engineering students at Purdue and the University of Michigan hit the chewy center in an average of 364 and 411 licks, respectively. But robot tongues aren’t the most efficient. Tests involving actual people have determined that it really takes 252 swipes at most.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:28 PM |

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Robot Pancakes

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I love weekends.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:12 AM |

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Old is the New New

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Interesting article from a couple of days ago in the Christian Post talking about youth ministries and reflection on the old ways and vintage faith. Here's a clip:
The cohort of young adults today have grown up on cell phones, the internet and in a materialistic world where their top goals are fame and fortune, a recent Pew survey found. And more youth ministers are trying to draw more teens to the church with a message wrapped in pop culture.

Schuller says young people are looking for something "beyond the show." Vintage is the newest trend.

"They are looking for a deep and real intimate relationship and what I found is that people desire something more vintage, not something in style. Vintage is something that is older but really valuable."

In fact, they're looking for something that is even older than the older generation, Schuller says, such as going to old cathedrals for lay worshipping.

Amid the search for something vintage, there is also a wide gap between the younger and older generations. Youth leader Chris Folmsbee had noted a widening "chasm" between youth ministers who want to do ministry in a new way and older leader who want to stick to traditional ways in his new book A New Kind of Youth Ministry.

"There is a lot of butting heads about which one is right, especially in O.C. (Orange County), where there is a greater emphasis on youth," Schuller says. "A lot of older generations have been offended. The younger generation feels bound by older generations. We try to resolve in all of this and create a forum in which three generations can have a meaningful experience."


JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:49 PM |

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Simply Amazing Series Wraps Up

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Fields gave his last message in the Simply Amazing series at Saddleback - this was by far the best of the series, and excellent finale to a powerful survey over the life of Jesus. It was a great look at the miracles that Jesus did and the reaction from people that watched - it ended with a clear plan of salvation and I'm confident many will respond to the message. Good stuff!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:30 PM |

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What's Inside: Fix-a-Flat

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I love the What's Inside that Wired does every so often. You remember spray cheese from way back, right? This month they list what's inside the miraculous Fix-A-Flat:

Tetrafluoroethane
A type of fluorocarbon that doesn’t deplete the ozone layer, TFE is found in everything from cryogenic-tissue kits to car air conditioners. Here it’s used as a tire inflator, a drying agent, and a propellant for the other ingredients. Unfortunately, it’s also a greenhouse gas that’s been implicated in abnormal tes-ticular growth in rats - you must have some serious cojones to keep using it.

Heavy aromatic solvent naphtha
It’s not called aromatic because it smells (though it does - like petroleum). Aromatic is a scientific term referring to any molecule with one or more hexagonal rings of six carbon atoms. They can be unusually stable and powerful solvents for other hydrocarbons. Since naphtha is a mixture of medium-weight aromatic rings in the C9-to-C16 range (extra carbon atoms can hang off the sides of the main structure), it easily dissolves smaller carbon compounds like simple plastics but won’t harm larger polymers like styrene-butadiene (synthetic tire rubber).

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:23 PM |

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Tacos El Pastor

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This made me laugh - passed a catering truck on the way to L.A. this morning that had this writing on the side.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:20 PM |

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Back from World Series of Pop Culture

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Just got back from the World Series of Pop Culture tryouts ... and we got schooled.

They only took the top 3 teams out of the 25 or so that were there - basically it was a 50 question fill in the blank test to see if you were good enough to be on the show. It was fun - but we're not good enough for the World Series ... this year.

Kudos and love to teammates Allison and Treece.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:00 PM |

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Saddleback's S.H.A.P.E. Blog

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Just noticed that we started up a S.H.A.P.E. blog recently you might want to check out. If you use the acrostic in your youth ministry setting, there might be some good learnings and training and of course, freebies!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:07 PM |

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New Drama Resource

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Nadim just uploaded a new resource today to the SYM store (in addition to the 2 yesterday). It's the Skit Guys Live & Almost Live which is now live in the Brand New and Drama category.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:00 PM |

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300

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This is where I'll be next March 9th. Wow - if it's half as good as the trailer ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:42 PM |

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Venue Pastor Training Today

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Here's a few of the notable points from today's venue pastor meeting. Just a little encouragement to communicators.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:35 PM |

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Rats at Wahoos

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One of my favorite restaurants now has a tarnished reputation. Apparently, Wahoo's has rats.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:38 PM |

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Can Anyone Really Find Balance? Have Margin?

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As you could tell from my Tips from the Trenches the other day, I've been a bit busy lately. As I was reading Fast Company this morning, I found an article called Balance is Bunk which I enjoyed. Here's an excerpt:
It may be that you recently had a week that defied sanity. You faced an impossible deadline at work. You were expected at your daughter's dance recital, at a soccer game, and at a meeting with the kitchen contractor. Then another big project landed in your lap (thanks, boss!). You were exhausted, and your spouse was miffed. And your job? Well, at 11 one night, you finally bailed on that deadline.

And you wondered, What's wrong here? Whatever happened to balance?

The truth is, balance is bunk. It is an unattainable pipe dream, a vain artifice that offers mostly rhetorical solutions to problems of logistics and economics. The quest for balance between work and life, as we've come to think of it, isn't just a losing proposition; it's a hurtful, destructive one.

This is not, of course, what many of us want to believe. In the last generation, balance has won huge cultural resonance. No longer mere cocktail conversation fodder, it has become something like a new inalienable right, creeping into the American ethos if not the Constitution: life, liberty, and the pursuit of balance. Self-actualization and quality time for all!
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:42 AM |

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An iTunes Run: Volume 4

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Gary sent each of the podcast team $10 in iTunes to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the show - how cool is that? So I made an iTunes run last night, here's the songs I picked up:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:11 AM |

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Discover Your Shape and How to Annoy Your Family

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Couple of new resources just went online tonight - actually, they're sermon transcripts we've had online before, but we've given them a face lift and bonus series content. Check them out at SYM!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:45 PM |

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Web 4.0

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Won't it be fun when the web works like this? Quite a future this internet has ... thanks to Tony for the lead to the great article.

I'm about to buy something from a vendor (in a store with a smart card or online). At the last minute, Web4 jumps in and asks if I want it cheaper, or if I want it from a vendor with a better reputation. Not based on some gamed system, but based on what a small trusted circle believes.

My PDA knows I'm going to a convention. Based on my email logs, it recommends who I ought to see while I'm there--because my friends have opted in to our network and we're in sync.

I can fly to the CES for half price, because Web4 finds enough of us that we can charter a flight.

I don't have to wait for Rickie Lee Jones to come to town. Sonos knows who the Rickie Lee fans are, and makes it easy for us to get together and initiate a concert... we book her, no scalpers necessary.

I don't get company spam any more ("fill out your TPS reports") because whenever anyone in my group of extended colleagues highlights a piece of corporate spam, it's gone for all of us. But wait, it's also smart enough that when a recipient highlights a mail as worth reading, it goes to the top of my queue. If, over time, the system senses (from how long I read the mail, or that I delete it, or that I don't take action) that the guy's recommendations are lame, he loses cred.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:19 PM |

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Our Digital Future

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How long before we get rid of broadcast TV and print media. It's closer every day ... here's some thoughts from Millennium Matrix a friend forwarded me tonight:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:15 PM |

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SYM Transcript Sale

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We just launched a transcript sale tonight where you can get sermon outlines and whole series pretty cheap, 30% off actually. Favorites include Why We Do What We Do and How Not to Get Caught.

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:11 PM |

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Rating the Mega Church Websites

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Ran across this old post that I wish the author would have gone on to complete. It basically takes a look at the megachurch websites and rates them. Good stuff, I hope that it inspires us all to make better church websites.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:27 PM |

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Websites for Church Communicators

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Just saw this post over on Outreach - some of the great websites are a "given" but there's a few great places you might want to bookmark or check out to help you think outside of the box, be more efficient or find inspiration. Here's a clip of some of their recommendations:
18. Free Church Resources
Site: lifechurch.tv/open, seacoast.org/allaccess
vineresources.com

Why They Rock: Don’t reinvent the wheel. Each of these three churches is offering their marketing and media resources to the world, free of charge. Find mp3 downloads, graphics, sermon materials and more, and then tweak them to suit your church.

19. Church Marketing Lab
Site: flickr.com/groups/cfcc

Why it Rocks: In this valuable group, you can share your in-process communication pieces and get helpful feedback from other church communicators.

20. Church Marketing Sucks
Site: churchmarketingsucks.com

Why it Rocks: I'm tooting my own horn here, but if you're not checking out this site, you need to be. Find cutting-edge news, ideas, tips and dreams about how the Church can effectively share the greatest story ever told.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:22 PM |

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Video Game Review: Open Season

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OK, so video games based on movies are never great, but my son just had to have this game and for his birthday yesterday we scored the title on the 360 for him. After about 2 hours later, the game was just about complete.

And it's fun! Oh, it's a kids game through and through, but sometimes its fun to play a Burger King game or an Arcade title. The graphics are average, the mini games are average, the voice acting is below average, the sound is average and fun factor is slightly above average.

But what more should you expect from a release like this? I would say it was right with my expectations, a delight for my kids and an easy way to crank out a pile of achievements. An enjoyable, if decidedly average, game. C+

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:43 PM |

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An Internet Vacation

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Funny story today about a guy from Wired who took an internet vacation for 7 days. Good luck with that! Here's a clip:
I recently took a vacation and, in a moment of deranged optimism, decided to take a vacation from the internet at the same time. I left my laptop behind and vowed not to access the web, my e-mail or any other facet of the Online Experience until I was back at home. The following is a diary of that experience, primitively scratched on a variety of wood pulp surfaces using graphite

Day 1: I'm having an astonishing day. Nobody has attempted to sell me Viagra in over 24 hours, nor have I been hit up for financial assistance by African royalty. On the train, I overheard a discussion of federal educational spending, and Hitler was not invoked even once. I think I could get used to this.

Day 2: Today went pretty well, except that at about noon I suddenly realized I didn't know all the lyrics to the theme song to The Facts of Life. I spent a few seconds casting about for my laptop before I remembered my plan. I was forced to spend the afternoon humming "There's a time you gotta go to show the crow you know the pro the slow plateau the FACTS OF LIFE!" This did not endear me to service workers and passersby.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:38 PM |

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How Many Paper Towels Do You Use?

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I use 4-5, then make sure to use one of them to open the bathroom door when I leave, too.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:34 PM |

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The Birthday Boy

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Big day today ... 5 years ago we were in a hospital delivering our first child, a baby boy we named Christian. Well, that little bundle turns the big 0h-5 today - a first in the Griffin house - filled with presents, a strawberry cake, Chuck E. Cheeses and a new videogame. Awesome!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:11 PM |

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Signed What Matters Most

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Simply Youth Ministry is doing a 1-day only signed What Matters Most giveaway. Spend $150 between now and midnight Wednesday and you'll get it included for free. It's a great book - and signed is a nice bonus ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:08 PM |

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MadTV Does iPhone

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I think this is funny?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:14 PM |

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People on the Blog Right Now: Volume 9

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Here's an excerpt from the list people are the blog right now. Fun!
Leeville (SC)
Saint Matthews (SC)
Versaillaies (KY)
Wallace (NE)
Granby (CO)
Euless (TX)
Plano (TX)
Sioux Falls (SD)
Fairbanks (AK)
New York (NY)
Tulsa (OK)
Palo Alto (CA)
San Gabriel (CA)
Garden Grove (CA)
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:04 PM |

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8 Skills of People Who Perform

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Just saw this in Fast Company - 8 Skills of People Who Perform. A few are painfully basic/mundane, but a couple translate well to youth ministry.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:09 PM |

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1-Year Anniversary for the Podcast

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Just sent out this email tonight to the podcast subscription list:

Simply Youth Ministry Podcast The BIG 1-Year Celebration Show

The Simply Youth Ministry Podcast turns 1!

As we were recording Show #40 last week we realized we were going to cross the 1-year mark on our little podcast. Who knew that what started out an idea over a below-average meal at a Persian cafe would turn into a youth-ministry-tour-de-force with over 1.4 billion* listeners!

*Youth pastors have been known to exaggerate when talking to other youth pastors about numbers. Some think it is a self-preservation method of defense.

So we're planning a party! Would you help us with the big celebration next week? We'll be accepting ideas and contributions all week long - send us an email with your:

  • favorite moments
  • quote of the year
  • least favorite moment
  • youth ministry wisdom highlight (good luck with that one)
  • worst moment
  • biggest surprise
  • nominations for best dressed, least likely to ever get a real job, and other categories you invent!
  • what made you laugh
  • what made you cry
  • what made you hurl
  • nominate the episode where Doug's hair looked the thickest

We'll talk about the demise of "chem," the rise of the auido show, Andy's yip and so much more - we'll even present the check for Tanzanian goats from our eBay charity auctions! Get caught up on the latest episodes and send us that email today!

Much podlove from our iTunes to yours,
The SYM Podcast Team

PS: Check the special 33-second video podcast today for a special treat just for podcast watchers. Grab it in iTunes or Feedburner now!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:57 PM |

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Stuff From My Friends Blogs: Volume 14

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I've been slacking on this continuing series of posts on my blog, but I do love to surf some friends' blogs and see what they're posting about. Here's some of my favorites from last week:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:55 PM |

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Boo! Check the Video Podcast Feed

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If you check the video podcast feed for the Simply Youth Ministry podcast, you'll find a special :33 video surprise. We've been having fun scaring people around the office.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:53 PM |

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Tips from the Trenches: Episode 8

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Kurt fills in this week with a great Design Team tip.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:20 AM |

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New RSS Feeds from SYM

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You know about our audio and video podcast feeds, and maybe even this blog's feed. But did you know about the other 2 new feeds from Simply Youth Ministry? Here's one that gives you the latest articles from the community section? How about a feed that gets updated with the 12 newest products as they become available.

Pretty slick - if you don't know about how to use feeds in your browser and so forth, you should read up on it quick, they're brilliant.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:11 AM |

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Met Josh McDowell

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Met Josh McDowell last night - actually hung out on his tour bus for a few minutes with a good friend on his tour that happened to be in the area. We had a good time talking youth ministry quick and about the joys and challenges of ministering to this generation. He's a great guy - for someone so incredibly smart he is super personable, and willing to let us crash his bus for a few minutes for the introduction.

Spent the rest of the night hanging out with my friend who is travelling with the team - a former youth pastor and PDYM mentor who is assisting Josh on the road. Sounds like a great opportunity to ministry everyday to students and to parents.

Also: as I checked out Josh's website, there's some great free downloads at the very bottom you should grab immediately, too.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:49 AM |

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Long Weekend

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Hmmm ... seems like I had one of these last weekend, too. Might be setting a bad pattern for myself here.

It was fun though - enjoyed HSM's 2nd week of the LOST series, Fields' 2nd week of the Simply Amazing series, did the announcements in big church Sunday morning (quite a rush) and had the intern guys over for football Sunday afternoon. Haven't seen much better football than those two games in a long time. Then Passion at night, then out with a visiting youth pastor friend. Whew!

Lazy Sunday? Not so much. Two words: comp time.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:49 PM |

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Why Do They Read?

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My wife had a great conversation with a person who reads my blog daily - and I mentioned to her that maybe she should read my blog, too. She answered, "I think I already know what's on it - you probably blogged about us getting passes to Disney and how much dietary fiber there is in popcorn."

I thought, "Man, I haven't posted about the popcorn* yet."

JG

*Air-popped popcorn has 2.4 grams of fiber per cup. This is more than a slice of whole wheat bread and most breakfast cereals.

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:11 PM |

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Video Game Review: Heavy Weapon

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I love the Xbox Live Arcade, and here's another title that doesn't disappoint.

These under $10 downloadable games often times take precedence over the most expensive and time-consuming bigger brothers - even winning out for my time over (gasp!) Gears of War and Rainbow Six Vegas.

It's fast and furious side scrolling action that looks brand new but feels classic. The screen will be completely filled with bullets, bombs and bulldozers as you crank through 19 missions and tons of multiplayer fun. Played with a friend today at the house, then gave the multiplayer a spin on Live, too. Both brilliant. For a quick shoot 'em up good time, call in the Heavy Weapon.

Another great addition to the Arcade. A-

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:01 PM |

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Movie Review: Amazing Grace

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Got a chance to see a sneak preview of the upcoming film Amazing Grace. You can check out the official site for the film here, and it's headed to theaters next month. Here's a snyopsis of the main character in the film, which is based on a true story:
William Wilberforce (1759-1833) led the twenty-year fight to end the British slave trade, a victory now regarded as He finally succeeded in March 1807 and continued to fight for abolition until, days before his death in 1833, he saw the institution of slavery abolished throughout the British colonies. Not limiting himself to just abolitionist work, he dedicated his life to what he called his "two great objects:" abolishing slavery in the British Empire and what he called "the reformation of manners [society]."

To this end, he advocated for child labor laws, campaigned for education of the blind and deaf, and founded organizations as diverse as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the National Gallery (of Art). "Good causes," it has been said, "stuck to him like pins to a magnet."
All in all - this isn't a movie I would typically run out and see, but an interesting one to be sure I'm better off for having seen. It will help you appreciate the terrible history of slavery and admire the passion of a man committed to such a noble cause.

The acting is solid, and the story moves dutifully forward to perhaps a somewhat expected finale. Although there's no giant twists, it carries a powerful emotional kick as you head to the end. I love the device where they show elements of the current setting of the film then go back to show you how we got to that point. I was also amazed at the parallels to the current day - how far have we really come in 200 years? Thoughts about war, slavery, social injustice all seem powerfully relevant even in this historical context.

This is a film about passion, faith and an insatiable drive to write a wrong and stop global giants in their time. I recommend it, my eyes have been opened a bit more. B+

Don't forget, in a few week's it's Amazing Grace Sunday, too ... there you can download the music sheets for free and also listen to Chris Tomlin's new arrangement. Powerful.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:01 AM |

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Proud Annual Pass Holders

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A little dream came true this week - we got a nice gift at Christmas with the instructions to "get something for the family you normally wouldn't get" and that's exactly what we did. The Griffins are now card-carrying members of the Magic Kingdom. We had a blast tonight, and despite having about 30% black-out dates, we're going to get a lot of use out of them this year.

Merry Christmas all year long!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:58 PM |

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Tips from the Trenches: Episode 7

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The story of my week turned into a youth ministry tip.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:03 PM |

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"The Other Door"

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Is it just me, or is the funniest moment on American Idol this season when the judges tell frustrated exiting contestants to 'use the other door?' I die every time it happens.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:21 PM |

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Halo 3 Assault Rifle

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Halo 3 watchers will want to check this out.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:18 PM |

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Dealing with Conflict

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Fast Company has a great article on dealing with conflict in business and there's some easily transferable principles for the church, too. Here's a clip:

Pow wow and parley. Once you know that facts, get people together to hash out the issues. Ideally, as a manager, you want to take a back seat to the negotiation process; you want your people to talk face to face and express themselves openly. That may not always be possible; so very often the manager will need to kick off the process. You can do it by framing the issues and getting people to begin to talk to one another instead of at each other.

Strive for the win-win. Workplace conflicts need not be zero sum games where winners gloat over their takings and losers shirk away in shame. As a manager, you can work to see that each party will get something from the negotiation process. The “getting” may be as grand as resources and tools, or as modest as a reinforcement of their good name. Whatever it is, do what you can to make something good happen.

Conflicts are not all bad. As authors Harvey and Ventura write, “[C]onflict challenges the status quo; it forces us to examine our thinking and behavior… to reflect on what we do and how we do it.” Nothing so thought provoking nor convention upsetting can be all bad! Let’s face it those of us in leadership positions sometimes get stuck in our ways. A good disagreement can stir things up and force us to re examine the “same old same old” mentality that leads to conformity and stagnation.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:16 PM |

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Humor Overheard

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Good rule of thumb for using humor in an organization and poking fun of people at the top: "...generally, the higher up a person is in the org chart, the funnier the joke will be."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:13 PM |

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Just Finished the Podcast

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Just finished recording the podcast this week - we'll have it up by the end of the day. Pretty good show, we talked about Matt being to loud last week, me being depressed, Andy's 50-mile ride and every once in a while - youth ministry. Look for it later today!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:01 AM |

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Could the ER Have Saved Lincoln?

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Could we have saved President Lincoln from dying after being shot if we had modern day technology. Wired News seems to think so.
Every year, the University of Maryland holds a seminar to discuss the medical history of a famous person. Next May, doctors and historians will tackle the case of the gunshot that killed President Abraham Lincoln and try to answer this question: Could he have survived such an injury today?

In an interview with Wired News, a leading medical historian previewed the findings. The verdict: a qualified "yes."

First, let's refresh your memory from history class. Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth by a gunshot to the head from a one-shot .44 pistol. Lincoln lingered for 10 hours before dying.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:46 AM |

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Saddleback Christmas Service Report

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Just saw this on Mission Network News about the numbers for the Christmas broadcast at Saddleback Church on Fox News. Here's a clip - exciting to see so many trust Christ!
While Christmas has been over for about a month, Purpose Driven Ministries is excited about the response to Saddleback Church's broadcast of their Christmas service on Fox News.

According to Purpose Driven leaders, 900 people logged into a follow up website and indicated that had made a first time profession of faith after watching the service.

The services were broadcast from Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., on the Fox News channel. Pastor Rick Warren preached the Gospel and invited viewers at the end of the service to visit ThePeacePlan.org for information on how to start a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with help in finding a local church.

More than 12,000 people visited the site in the two weeks following the Christmas services. Thousands of those visitors downloaded brochures on "How To Have A Meaningful Time With God," "What On Earth Am I Here For?," and small group study guides. Nearly 200 people asked for a local church in their area to contact them with more information.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:40 AM |

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Suit Shopping

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Went suit shopping with some friends - they teased me the whole time about blogging about it, so here's the post, dorks. The suit place had sizes that went up to 52L, and I'm a 54L. No $99 suit for me, I guess ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:31 AM |

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Staff Meeting Leadership Thoughts

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Had a great start to 2007 at our first Saddleback Staff Meeting. Here's some of the key concepts from Rick's talk. Good stuff ...
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:43 AM |

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Innovation and Risk Brings Gain

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There's an article in Fast Company this week that might have some interesting parallels to ministry. It talks about chess and business, from one of the greatest players in the world.

Ultimately, what separates a winner from a loser at the grand-master level is the willingness to do the unthinkable. A brilliant strategy is, certainly, a matter of intelligence, but intelligence without audaciousness is not enough. Given the opportunity, I must have the guts to explode the game, to upend my opponent's thinking and, in so doing, unnerve him.

So it is in business: One does not succeed by sticking to convention. When your opponent can easily anticipate every move you make, your strategy deteriorates and becomes commoditized. So, yes, a sort of courage is paramount. But that courage must be tempered by other less-glamorous qualities.

For one thing, the game requires the discipline to think beyond the present -- and beyond yourself. You must consider not just your side of the board but also your opponent's. For every move you ponder, you must mentally calculate your opponent's response -- not just the immediate one, but those 10 or 15 moves ahead.

At the highest levels of chess, before you touch a piece, you are playing out an entire game of moves and countermoves in your head. In effect, you are thinking for two people. In business, too, successful strategists think not just about their own new products, pricing, and marketing but also about how their rivals will respond -- and how to respond to them. Can you imagine not doing so?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:27 AM |

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New Articles in the Youth Culture Section

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We just posted a few new articles to the Youth Culture section at SYM. Check them out - the first is called Watch What You Pray For and the other is called Brokenness. Both are great from Walt Mueller of CPYU.org.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:16 AM |

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Buy Resources and Win?!

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How great is this - any purchase made in the next 24 hours automatically enters you into a contest to win $500 in resources from SYM. Need to pick up a resource? Do it today - and don't forget about the specials that are still going on, too!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:44 PM |

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New Simply Junior High Podcast

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Kurt's got a new podcast for junior high youth workers (and let's be honest the principles are transferable to other age groups). This month he does part 1 of a talk on "thinking small" in the New Year. Good stuff - and totally free. Get it now!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:17 AM |

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American Idol Ferver

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American Idol opened up BIG last night - even beating last year's premiere. It was painful to watch - I think the editors took a cue from The Office and made the painful parts stretch a bit further into total awkwardness. Ouch. So it continues tonight, and we'll be watching.

If you want to catch some lost auditions from Minneapolis, you can get them right here. The online host is a bit sweaty but pretty funny - so how do I get that gig? Shoot ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:02 AM |

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Mighty Ducks 2, Blues 6

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Scored a free 3-pack of tickets tonight to the Mighty Ducks game up in Anaheim. We had a blast, got there just as it was starting and watched Anaheim get pummeled. Nothing better than a dad and his boys and a night out to the ballgame.

While we were there, my kids learned several new things at the game:
Lovely.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:49 PM |

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Josh Treece and Ghostbusters

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Just saw this post about a Ghostbuster's video game on Treece's blog ... so great.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:22 PM |

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Re-engineering the Forms of Youth Ministry

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This new article just came out in the Christian Post about youth ministry taking a more holistic approach. Here's a clip of their new surveysfindings:
The study suggested that youth workers begin to explore holistic ministry to meet the social, physical, mental and emotional needs of youth and not just the spiritual.

On another note, the study found a discrepancy between what the youth workers claimed and the reality of their youth programs.

According to the survey, 88 percent of the youth workers claimed that nurturing a positive identity was “somewhat” or “very” important to their organization, but only 23 percent mentioned that they actually intentionally promote identity among their youth.

Also, 63 percent reported that parent involvement was important for their youth and programs, whereas only 11 percent said they promote it. And while 99 percent of participants claimed that nurturing personal values was “somewhat” to “very” important, only 41 percent actually mentioned that their program involved nurturing values.

"Embracing a more holistic approach to youth ministry means we should all look for ways to engage in greater networking with community-based service providers, the school system, and especially kids’ own families," the study suggested.

Calling churches to create new forms of holistic ministry, Mark Maines of NewSong Church in San Dimas, Calif., said the Church today is at a time when it must acknowledge that it has tried to perfect and replicate a "tired form of student ministry that is no longer effective."

"What we are feeling today is the slow, and at times painful, recognition that our current ministry efforts were designed and built for an era that has long since past," he said, according to the Center for Youth and Family Ministry.

Maines believes “all students are at risk." Ultimately, "the Church must revisit and re-engineer its ministry forms in order to help all students move towards Christ."
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:00 PM |

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How Great is 24?

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If you didn't watch the 4-hours of 24 that have been played so far - have no fear, because I won't spoil them for you (and don't click here). I will however, smile quietly at the knowledge I have that you are oblivious to. The show is SO good, sure, full of plot holes and impossibilities, but I love it.

Season 6 is a little bit different, which was getting needed in the Jack-is-always-right-never-is-weak-everything-works-out-in-the-end formula. Don't miss it - grab the episodes on iTunes and start watching next week. SO good!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:56 AM |

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TOP 5 SALE @ SYM

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Just finished launching a sweet 10% sale of the 10 best selling youth ministry resources - 5 from junior high and 5 from high school. It includes some classics and some new releases, too. The best deal is on SJH's The Whole Enchilada ($200 for practically everything junior high), and if you don't have Best Sex Ever or How Not to Be a Fool - this is a good time to pick them up. Done!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:59 PM |

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How are Your Favorite Shows Doing?

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If you're wondering how your favorite shows are fairing this TV season, check out this Zap2It article. The short of it? Keifer Sutherland's 24 launched huge, the NFL playoffs are going strong, Crossing Jordan is headed downhill, Desperate Housewives is also dropping off and Trump is tanking big time. You're fired!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:46 PM |

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American Idol BTS

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American Idol returns tomorrow night on FOX for another stirring season of an unknown becoming a superstar. Should be amazing. Can't wait! Today's NY Post reveals some of the behind the scenes wildside you don't see on TV. An interesting read ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:25 PM |

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The Original 1-Minute Bible Curriculum on eBay

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Did you see this? We "stole" Doug's original 1-Minute Bible Curriculum from his office and snuck it up on eBay for the podcast charity auction.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:06 PM |

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Tips from the Trenches: Episode 6

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Katie jumps in this week for a cool volunteer tip for your entry-level service. This is something we just started doing in junior high.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:05 PM |

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Video Game Review: Viva Pinata

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This is one of the those "impossible to describe but really good" games that comes along once in a while. It's somewhat genre-defying, kind of a super advanced pet simulator and strategy game. It's got no multiplayer or Xbox Live component, there are no guns and it doesn't have "Star Wars" in the title so this is a big departure for me.

The booklet and in-game tutorials give you little or no information on how to really play the game - so little, in fact, that this might be the first game I will buy a strategy guide for. Or at least look one up online. Basically it's a kids game that kids can't really play. I'm enjoying it, yes - somewhat frustrated at times, but my kids and I are loving it. B+

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:30 PM |

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Simply Amazing

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Fields just finished up the weekend at Saddleback - a new 3-week series on the life of Jesus called Simply Amazing. It focuses on 3 events where the passage comments that the people were amazed. Very good start - this week focused on sacrifice and told the story of the rich man that came to Jesus. Good stuff!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:21 PM |

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iPhone Bit on SNL

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This week's SNL was surprisingly clever. Several well-written bits for a change, a Digital Short (Laser Cats 2) and this funny Weekend Update iPhone bit.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:03 PM |

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I ((Heart)) Wal-Mart

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Fast Company has a interesting anti-Wal-Mart article that intrigued me even though we shop there regularly and spend about 15% of our annual income there (no joke).

Apparently, low prices are bad for certain company and the images - and you could make an argument that it is bad for America. But don't you have to buy goods from somewhere? Isn't this just taking a shot at the big guys (Saddleback, McDonalds both come to mind). My favorite part is where one guy near the end of the piece suggests that Wal-Mart is like Saddam Hussein - lovely. Here's a clip of what essentially boils down to a case study of Vlasic pickles:

A gallon-sized jar of whole pickles is something to behold. The jar is the size of a small aquarium. The fat green pickles, floating in swampy juice, look reptilian, their shapes exaggerated by the glass. It weighs 12 pounds, too big to carry with one hand. The gallon jar of pickles is a display of abundance and excess; it is entrancing, and also vaguely unsettling. This is the product that Wal-Mart fell in love with: Vlasic's gallon jar of pickles.

Wal-Mart priced it at $2.97--a year's supply of pickles for less than $3! "They were using it as a 'statement' item," says Pat Hunn, who calls himself the "mad scientist" of Vlasic's gallon jar. "Wal-Mart was putting it before consumers, saying, This represents what Wal-Mart's about. You can buy a stinkin' gallon of pickles for $2.97. And it's the nation's number-one brand."

Therein lies the basic conundrum of doing business with the world's largest retailer. By selling a gallon of kosher dills for less than most grocers sell a quart, Wal-Mart may have provided a ser-vice for its customers. But what did it do for Vlasic? The pickle maker had spent decades convincing customers that they should pay a premium for its brand. Now Wal-Mart was practically giving them away. And the fevered buying spree that resulted distorted every aspect of Vlasic's operations, from farm field to factory to financial statement.

Indeed, as Vlasic discovered, the real story of Wal-Mart, the story that never gets told, is the story of the pressure the biggest retailer relentlessly applies to its suppliers in the name of bringing us "every day low prices." It's the story of what that pressure does to the companies Wal-Mart does business with, to U.S. manufacturing, and to the economy as a whole. That story can be found floating in a gallon jar of pickles at Wal-Mart.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:19 PM |

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Sweet Ride, Man

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Didn't know if you saw these pictures of the latest concept cars of the future, but if you're bored this weekend it's a fun diversion.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:10 PM |

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People on the Blog Right Now: Volume 8

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Here's some of the actual cities where people visited from today. Fun ...

Garden Grove (CA)
West Covina (CA)
Poway (CA)
Seal Beach (CA)
Lima (OH)
Ada (OH)
Sartell (MN)
Orbisonia (PA)
Ambler (PA)
Nicholasville (KY)
Plano (TX)
Mount Morris (MI)
Pompano Beach (FL)
Casper (WY)
Henderson (NV)
Wallace (NB)
Kaneohe (HI)

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:07 PM |

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32 Degrees Tonight

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It's so cold tonight, I'm thinking about going out and buying a jacket tomorrow. Brrrrr ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:50 PM |

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Not Exactly a Lazy Saturday

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Was the commissioner/referee for the HSM Bowl today - the annual flag football tournament. Spent some of the afternoon with the kids, ran to hear Fields' message in big church, then to the HSM service for the premiere of the LOST video and series. GREAT day ... just didn't slow down quite enough ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:35 PM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Volume 23

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Been a few weeks since I posted this regular column - so here's a quick look back at a few of the hundreds of interesting search terms that led people to the blog the past 7 days.

Actual Google searches that led here this week
lego star wars
north point community church andy stanley teaching ilife
dwayne jarrett jerk
rep. john t. mcgruder of colorado springs
"jakes sermons" mp3 audio
super star wars help guide tips
congressmen swear on purpose driven life
dwayne jarrett taunt
service starts now video
boise state amazing game
emergency bell
matt mcgill+actor
gainesville pd car break in ipod
sit down if game
apple bugs
chris dorrity arrested
the jesus phone
crysis
cocaine energy drink downfalls
purpose driven worship conference 2007
youth ministry article about how lighting and haze isn't effective
shamu toys
saddleback tip from the trenches
creflo dollar organizational chart
youth sermon "rock music"
racqetball rules north america
austin carty and (survivor guy) and contact information and speaking engagements
ipod troubles when importing large mv4
xbox 360 internet leads
jake rutenbar filled with the spirit
sony immersion appeal hid evidence
ektelon o3 vs e force lethal which is better
reformation generation
2007-2010 volvo xc90 body styles
i don't want to be a youth pastor anymore
greeting video
youth ministry "high school musical"
katie edwards youth ministry

Google searches I wish led here
living in the real world
I'm driving a buick
insane flaming clown posse
I want to tell Donald Trump "I quit"

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:45 PM |

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Stuff From My Friends Blogs: Volume 13

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It's the weekend - so you should expect to see the highlights from my friends' blogs posted here. Well, the wait is over. Check these out:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:45 PM |

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Flaming Clowns of Death

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This sounds like a joke, but I'm serious.

A good friend's mom had a clown fall on her from Cirque de Solie a few years ago. She was on the front row, the clown was lit on fire, and was completely drunk. Unreal.

Anyhow, her deposition is today. Would you take a second and pray for her? It's been a long journey and taxing on the family. I know it sounds like a bit but I'm totally serious.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:33 AM |

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Podcast 39 is in the Can

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Just finished shooting a really terrific podcast today - the first of 2007. Look for Episode 39 later this afternoon when we get it online!

JG

UPDATE: It's up!

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:10 AM |

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My Cowboy Shirt

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So I'm wearing this shirt today (pictured above) and have been getting some serious teasing about it. Here's a few clips of what's been said.
Not a good start, considering it's 11:05 in the morning.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:05 AM |

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Tips from the Trenches: Episode 5

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If you're looking for a good method of brainstorming ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:27 AM |

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Saddleback #18 on Most Innovative Church List

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I think it's about right that Saddleback landed on #18 of the most innovative church list - a few years ago they perhaps would have been leading the pack, but over time the innovation of the past has perhaps become somewhat the new baseline for churches - and that says a whole lot about their influence in recent years.

So what I am excited about is the potential in 2007. Not for the glory or excitement to see the name in print, but to know that we're thinking how we can reach people for Jesus in the most powerful, effective and innovative ways. Because that's really what it's all about. I was in some pretty interesting dream meetings today, where the vision and excitement to forge ahead is surging yet again. Can't wait.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:00 PM |

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Are You a Blogger? Stand Up and be Counted!

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Pastors.com launched a blogger survey you chould consider filling out if you're a blogger. To me, the 2 big questions are "what is your blog's main topic" and "what is the main reason you blog." Do it!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:50 PM |

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Freebies Added to SYM

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If you missed any of the Christmas freebies during the 12 Days of Christmas - we're giving them away forever in the freebies section we just updated tonight. Yeah!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:16 PM |

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Re-Thinking Youth Ministry in the Post Modern Age

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Just read this in the Christian Post about re-thinking youth ministry in the post-modern age. Here's a clip:
"I could approach this in one of two ways," he said. "I could keep doing ministry to youth or I could start engaging students and build meaningful relationships with them."

Folmsbee's new book does not present a new model or a specific formula for youth ministry. Instead, it's an attempt to look at some of the tenets of youth ministry – evangelism, discipleship, student leadership and missions trips, he said.

"Part of why we're discontented [is] we have these models that don't seem to be working but we're not doing much else to change that."

While practical, the book provides a "new lens" through which to look at youth ministry, prompting youth workers to ponder different and more effective ways ministry can be done based on the way church culture and student culture is, Folmsbee explained.

"Could we really start to do something different?" he posed to youth leaders.

And not just for the sake of change, he added, but changing for maximum impact.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:14 PM |

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The New Gears of Wars Maps

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Played both of the new Gears of War multiplayer maps last night in some online mayhem with some friends on Xbox LIVE. Amazing ... these are amazing for this reason - 1) they are both free, 2) they are both fantastic. You may download when ready.

Did Gears of War already sell 3 million copies? Yep. Let's see ... $62 average selling price ... that's almost 200M dollars. Wow.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:12 PM |

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The Rental Car

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So if you remember the accident, you'll know I needed some repairs. Well, the car is officially in the shop, and this is the rental for 2 weeks. The Buick Lucerne is as smooth as silk, though I do feel a bit older.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:47 AM |

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YouTube on Product Detail Pages

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We're trying an experiment on Simply Youth Ministry this week - we've replaced the typical "click here to watch a video" with an embeded YouTube file you can watch right in the product detail page. Check it out on the page for Doug's new book What Matters Most.

Comment me your thoughts!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:00 PM |

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New Article Section on SYM

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We just added a new article section from junior high and volunteer guru Katie Edwards. She's written some great articles and there's more coming in the future, and she also wrote Go Team with Saddleback junior high pastor Kurt Johnston. Good stuff!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:47 PM |

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R2-D2 Digital Projector

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I'm pretty sure I want this pretty badly. This would be me even further over the edge as a geek.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:45 PM |

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iGotSued

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Just read that Cisco is suing Apple because they don't own the product name iPhone and they are pretending like they do. So fun!
Cisco has owned the trademark on the name "iPhone" since 2000, when it acquired InfoGear Technology Corp., which originally registered the name.

And three weeks ago, Cisco's Linksys division put the trademark to use, releasing an Internet-enabled phone called "iPhone" that uses the increasingly popular Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:30 PM |

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ChaCha

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I don't get to shop with a personal assistant, but now I can search with one. Used it twice today, and told 3 people. Now you know, too!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:20 PM |

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The Next Big Shooter

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Wired reports on what's next after Gears of War and HALO 3:

Yerli says his company will finish the PC version of Crysis before exploring the new consoles. But id's new game should ship on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC simultaneously. And thus far, Carmack has worked with the new game consoles enough to deliver some expert commentary on each.

"The 360 is a fabulous machine to work on," he says. In particular, "graphics programming is a blast. Microsoft has done a great job with all of their developer-support tools." PlayStation 3 has "tons of power," but "is not as easy to develop for.... Sony's not as good at the developer-support part of things as Microsoft is. I know people in the office (who got) PS3 development kits and (said) they're twice as (expensive), but they're half as capable.

"It's not a bad console; it's certainly far better than everything else except maybe the Xbox 360. In an ideal world PlayStation 3 will be more powerful, but for the vast majority of the cases, you'll be able to effectively exploit more power from the 360."

Carmack initially expected that the engine he is currently working on for the new game would be the last one he'd need to make for a while. But after working with the new hardware, he's changed his mind. "I think I called that one wrong. It doesn't look like it's quite time" to build one flexible game engine that will work across all the different platforms. "The PS3 and 360 are still different enough that you're not going to wind up with a completely general-purpose (engine)."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:47 PM |

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Notes from My Birthday Card

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Here's a few of the "well wishes" on my birthday card. I thought 30 was bad - but turning 32 is harsh, apparently:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:46 AM |

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Flying and Children

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Funny topic came up at lunch today - is it OK to drug your kids before you go on an airplane? You know slip them a little Benadryl before takeoff so they sleep the flight away and don't disturb other people on board.

I showed up strongly on the side of no - but surprisingly enough I was the only one in the group. Apparently, all of my co-workers (some with kids, others not) are OK with drugging their children. So I thought two things - 1) am I just being an over-protective parent, and should just drug them even when they are happy just so they behave, and 2) where do you draw the line if this is OK?

If your kid is healthy, should you give them drugs just to calm their nerves on a flight? Should I give them drugs to knock them out so I could enjoy a movie in a theater for once? As we talked about it, sure, I would certainly do other things - give them something natural (a big meal, hot tea, a whole turkey leg) that would calm them down - but drugs felt like it was over the line. According to a recent poll - quite a few parents are willing to to it though right before a flight.

So I guess my question is - are you? Leave a comment and settle this debate among the team!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:35 PM |

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Jay-Z is Back

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But does anyone care? Was he gone?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:01 PM |

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Lunch at Cook Corners

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Went out to lunch with some good friends yesterday to Cook's Corners. Needless to say, wearing my metro-cowboy shirt yesterday was probably a bad idea. Fortunately, the bikers didn't beat me up. Too bad.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:15 AM |

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Tips from the Trenches: Episode 4

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Shot this leaving the office today ... I always need the reminder to slow down.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:51 AM |

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There's Not Enough Time in the Day

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Joby has a great new article on less being more in the new year in youth ministry. Some great stuff, clearly written by a guy in the trenches with a great here. Here's a clip:
I walked into my office today, after a week of traveling and visiting family, to a youth ministry reality that will never change. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO GET EVERYTHING DONE THAT NEEDS TO GET DONE. I live in your world. There are phone calls to be made, students to visit, talks to write, events to plan, and the list goes on. Don’t fall into the trap that ’07 will be different if I just suck it up and do more.

Make your New Year's resoltion to do less. What if this year instead of staying busy, because we all know how well its worked in the past, you became more focused. I know one of the biggest struggles of youth workers that are new to PDYM is a sense of being overwhelmed with information. A youth worker that has been accustomed to a couple of bible studies a week and some fun activities doesn’t see how to become purpose driven.

I mean there is evangelism, worship, discipleship, ministry, fellowship, small groups, crowd program, volunteers - and I still have to keep everything going. You are probably excited about the newyear with all the new opportunities and are ready to make ’07 be the year when you get all things accomplished. You plan on creating an evangelism team that is finally committed and passionate about spreading the gospel with every student in your community. You are going to create the coolest worship service in town. You are going to finally see your students show up with their Bibles and beg to be taught. You are going to recruit and train the greatest group of volunteers since the days of Peter, James, and John. And all this is going to be done before your next youth meeting. Right ...
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:27 AM |

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iPhone

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Shoot ... as always, you've got to give Apple style points.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:54 AM |

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HDTV on the 360

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I can't wait for this ... coming later this year.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:59 PM |

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The Apprentice: Episode 1

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So I watched The Apprentice series premiere last night. Trump's daughter is coming out of her shell, and the new twists (losing team stays in tents, winning project leader is in the boardroom) are pretty interesting. I've watched every season since the beginning, and thoroughly love the show. Which is odd, considering:
And still - a great first episode! Would love to be on that show someday ... and then get to the end and turn down Trump for the job. So good!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:35 AM |

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Jedi Training Academy @ Disney

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Danny pointed this new Jedi Training Academy at Disneyland out to me. The Happiest Place on Earth just got a little happier!

JG

UPDATE: Just noticed that Kevin had a strong post on the subject, too!

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:31 AM |

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Apple Gets Some Viruses

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My Apple friends are always gloating over how their computers are so secure and bug free. Not anymore! As the market share has grown, so has the desire for people to bug them. Enter 23 Days of Apple Bugs! The first is up on MOAB.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:51 AM |

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Book Review: The Rest of God

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Got this book as a gift for being a venue pastor at Saddleback this past year, and I was pretty excited to read it. Everyone was raving as they opened up the gifts and the concept of rest and sabbath is always a good conversation to have. Since I didn't want this to end up ironically on the "I don't have time to read" shelf, I dug in.

The book is pretty good - I honestly would recommend What Matters Most from Fields over on Simply Youth Ministry much more, that is a far quicker read and gets to the point a little faster - plus, it's written specifically with youth workers in mind. The Rest of God does take into account the pressures of ministry and how often we collapse at the end of a weekend and eventually are forced to retire to escape the pressures anmd accumulation of day-to-day ministry. That I get, and the book if anything is encouraging in the pursuit of a balanced life that is continually in rest, peace and dependency on God.

All in all an important concept I appreciate, but not a book I'm going to be recommending like it was recommended to me. C+

And sorry I can't give this away to one of the commenters on the post as I typically would - it has a nice message on the inside from the person who gifted it to me, so I need to keep this one. Maybe next time!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:10 AM |

SimplyJosh.com has now moved to MoreThanDodgeball.com - follow this link to visit the new site with new posts everyday!