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Youth Ministry Hats

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My friend Tony and I have an idea - and here's a little white board discussion we had after the normal work day was over. We were talking about the hats of a youth pastor, and came up with these (see image above, click it for full size). Can you think of more hats that a youth worker wears on a regular basis? If you would rather just see a list, here's what we've come up with so far:
Comment us some more if you would, maybe there's a new project/resource in there somewhere ...

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:18 PM |

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The Well Done Awards

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I'll be headed to this event tonight, should be fun. Love that book ... here's a clip from the OC Register:

Their inspiration is Matthew 25:23. "Well done, good and faithful servant!" the Scripture reads. Well done. Those words kept bouncing around in Leesa Bellesi's head.

"Why do the Snoop Doggs of the world get honored?" she asked herself. "Why not honor people who have done amazing good things?"

People like Todd Johnson, who shook his wife awake at 5 a.m. one day to announce that he had a great idea: "Let's start collecting one penny for every person who has died of AIDS in Africa and then send that money along to ease the suffering of those still alive." More than 3.4 million pennies (and one cracked garage floor) later, Got Cents has gone global.

More than 30 winners in all will get trophies engraved with Matthew's "Well done" verse.

Money from ticket sales will go to a foundation set up with the goal of eventually seeding 50,000 churches and nonprofit organizations around the globe.

It's the latest installment of the Kingdom Assignment, a phenomenon the Bellesis started seven years ago at Coast Hills.

Denny, the pastor at the time (he is now the interim teaching pastor at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena), took $10,000 of Coast Hills' money, broke it down into $100 bills and handed them out to 100 random church-goers one Sunday, asking them to go forth and help their fellow man.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:19 PM |

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Podcast 49.5 is Up!

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Check iTunes right now ... The Simply Youth Ministry Podcast episode 49.5 is now online. We'll get up the official page and links soon, but you can grab the video or audio now!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:47 PM |

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Xbox Dad of the Year

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Man, I wish this was me! Maybe it's you? Who could I nominate ...

Do You Know a Great Gaming Dad?

Do you know a terrific gaming Dad? Here's your chance to show him some Father's Day love and take a shot at winning an awesome prize for yourself*. Here's how it works.

Write an original essay about a father (or male legal guardian) and gaming. Do you know a Dad who does a great job balancing gaming and fatherhood? Is he known for his patience with n00bs or his mad fragging skills? Does he play games with his kids? Is he raising his gamer offspring to play fair and follow the rules?

Your essay should be at least 250 words, but no more than 500 words, and must be received by 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time, June 9, 2007. Essays should be e-mailed to xlmail@microsoft.com, with the subject line "Xbox Dad of the Year."

Prize Details
What do you get if you win? How about this amazing lineup of prizes:

  • One (1) Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment console
  • One (1) Xbox 360 HD DVD drive
  • One (1) Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel
  • One (1) VIP Xbox 360 Accessories Kit including a Wireless Controller, Memory Unit (64MB), a Wireless Networking Adapter, Universal Media Remote, 2 Play and Charge Kits and a Xbox 360 lockable metal travel case

Total Approximate Retail Value of Grand Prize: $1,048.98

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:34 PM |

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Financial Success is as Easy as PMS

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At the intern meeting this morning, we had some financial gurus stop in and teach us some financial management practices. Here's the 3-part principles they taught - nice practical stuff for those starting out:
P - Protect: make sure you have adequate insurance for your stage of life. The more debt or children, the more you need.

M - Manage Debt: eliminate debt as quickly as possible. Start with the small amounts to large bills and eliminate smaller debts to combine payments on the bigger ones.

S - Save: 10% of your income needs to be saved. A small amount for emergency, some for large item purchases and the balance for retirement.
The tithe was considered a non-negotiable, before these other principles are applied.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:59 PM |

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Updates to the ETV Blog

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Finished a series of new updates to the Extending the Vision blog at Saddleback. We've got a whole new look coming later this week, with plenty of technology upgrades as well in June. Should be fun ... check it out for the latest building project updates at our church!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:55 PM |

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Who Are These Guys? Episode 3

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The new blog and podcast are up for the Who Are These Guys podcast. It's kinda just Tony and I talking about our lives and learnings. Fun.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:53 PM |

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Movie Review: Pirates 3

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This movie has about 40 minutes of the most amazing and dare I say scintillating special effects you've ever seen. It will blow you away, make you laugh and make you cry all in the same breath. This 40 minutes is crushingly groundbreaking work, the gang at ILM have firmly and once again established their absolute dominance in the world of special effects. It is some of the most convincing work ever put on screen.

Unfortunately, the movie is 2 hours and 45 minutes long, leaving about the running time for a normal movie to be waded through to get to this glorious and triumphant ending. If you're a Pirates fan, you'll dig the whole show. If you're looking for a summer blockbuster that blows you away, this probably isn't quite it. C-

JG














posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:54 PM |

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Valuable Lesson Learned

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Here's my weekend learning: my back is like a giant solar panel for the sun. It absorbs sunlight at an astounding rate. Let's just say I'm very literally becoming the face of the red campaign. Argh.

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:48 PM |

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People on the Blog Right Now: Volume 17

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This week's edition of the People on the Blog shows off which internet browser people used to hit the blog with today. Here's the stats, oh, and count me in the Firefox club. Thanks to Google Analytics for the info!

Internet Explorer 56.29%
Firefox 29.14%
Safari 12.25%
Camino 1.99%
Opera 0.33%

Which one do you use?

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:27 PM |

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Downtown LA

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Climbed to the top of the Walt Disney Performing Arts Center on Friday night, took this picture. Thought it was a cool building and view.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:48 PM |

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Podcast 49.5 is in the Can!

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Ah yes, the long lost Episode 50 is still elusive, but we did record a sweet hour-long episode we're calling 49.5 of the Simply Youth Ministry podcast. It'll be up tomorrow, look for it then!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:08 AM |

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My Favorite Celebration IV Costume

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My favorite Celebration IV costumes. Quite a stir these little guys created ...

JG








posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:32 PM |

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Worst Costumes at Celebration IV

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I love Star Wars, but I'm not to big on costumes, I guess. So part of the day I took it upon myself for find the 3 worst dressed fans at the Celebration. I had a hard time deciding on top honors (are any of these costumes even Star Wars?), so you get all 3 to enjoy. Lovely!

JG








posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:26 PM |

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New Clone Wars Trailer

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This is the best thing to come out at Celebration 4, without a doubt. Nice ...

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:18 PM |

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A Few Shots from the Celebration

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Here's a few shots from the Celebration yesterday - a Darth Vader helmet display, the Paul Frank Vader, a full-size Lego Chewbacca, a giant inflatable Death Star in the entry way to the LA Convention Center and some random droids. Fun.

My next mission is to take a picture of the best and worst costumed fan. Look for an update soon, there's been some amazing (and oh so terrible) ones I've seen so far.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:57 AM |

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Suspicious Package

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Last night's unfortunately far below average opening ceremonies were also then marred by the LAPD finding a suspicious package right as it was ending. Anyhow, here's a few thoughts if you're ever doing an event for 30,000 people.
Still having a blast, fun seeing a bunch of friends from www.theforce.net and meeting some of the new guys keeping it going for us. Fun ...

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:52 AM |

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Happy Birthday, Star Wars!

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Today is the 30th anniversary of Star Wars. It opened in 32 theaters, including the Chinese in Hollywood where I'm about 7 miles from as of this writing.

At the Star Wars Celebration 4 up here in LA ... So fun.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:16 PM |

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Leading Change Article

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Just posted a fantastic new article from Judy Gregory over on PDYM's website. If you're heading into a season of change here's a great story and some principles to communicate it to your church. Excerpt:

The more people involved, the longer it takes to make a directional change. For example, a couple of months ago, the Senior Management Team (SMT) member overseeing the high school and middle school ministries changed. The transition was quick and clean because of the number of people it affected – a total of six. In essence, we really didn’t make a directional change, but simply changed one of our behind the scenes drivers. There was no need to inform parents or students because it didn’t impact them in any way. If you were to ask students or parents who Corey, Judy and John report to, most would never have had a clue to begin with.

In the coming days, however, the organizational chart for our youth ministry is going to take on a radical new look that will impact everyone. We’ll go from staffing based on program to staffing based on shape (or gifting). I’m excited about this change and, if it were possible, I’d make the official switch tomorrow. Personally, it will free me up to do some youth ministry stuff that I’ve wanted to invest myself in for a really long time. However, realistically, it will take months to make the transition. Why? Because in addition to title changes, the “way” we do youth ministry is going to change as well. It’s not just about who is in the driver’s seat - everyone in the vehicle, including staff, students and parents - will have to make a turn. The whole youth ministry will reposition itself to move in a new direction. In light of that, here are a few things we found that we need to obtain or navigate in order to lead change effectively.

1. Approval. We need to cast vision vertically by ensuring that that those above us are on board with the change.

2. Advice. We need to talk about it horizontally. Who do you know that has a “youth ministry mindset” that can provide great words of wisdom? These need to be people who live and breathe youth ministry and probably have been around the block a few more times than you. I talked about our change with a friend of mine down south. His words, “Judy this is an incredible idea on paper. In fact, I’ve wanted to move this direction for a really long time in my own youth ministry. However, I haven’t seen it work anywhere yet for one reason and one reason alone…in order for it to succeed, your youth ministry staff has to trust each other. Most youth ministries don’t have that level of trust among their staff members.” Those were great words that stuck.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:37 PM |

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Youth Ministry Architects Consulting

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My friend Ben works for a place called Youth Ministry Architects, they do consulting and stuff for youth ministries. Never used it, don't know if it's good or not, but Ben is a good guy with youth ministry and PDYM wisdom, so if you're looking for something like that it might be worth looking up.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:44 AM |

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ETV Photo Caption Contest

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This is for the church family on the ETV Blog, but though you might get a kick out of trying to come up with a caption.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:27 AM |

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Creation vs Evolution Montage

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Thought this was an interesting, if novel idea.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:14 AM |

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American Idol Finale Pictures

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What an amazing night. Tonight you get the pictures, tomorrow you get the stories. Wow.

JG








posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:22 PM |

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Ark Almighty

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This is an interesting concept ... a web clearinghouse for people to post needs in your community, then your church signs up and takes on the needs one by one.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:46 PM |

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What Teens Are Really Doing Online

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Tony pointed out this interesting book and interview about the current generation of students and their online habits. Here's a clip, every youth worker should probably get the book, no?
  1. Question: Why are MySpace and the like so popular?

    Answer: Teens put the “social” in social networking. Being a teen is all about individuating from your parents and spending more time with peers. We did this by hanging out in malls, parks and parking lots. Today’s teens are much more scheduled and structured, and today’s parents are more reluctant to let teens hang out unsupervised.

    MySpace and other social networks have become virtual hangouts where teens can socialize without parental supervision. Teens also love decorating their MySpace pages as a way to tell the world who they are (at this week!) and find other teens who may be interested in the same things: for example, cars, video games, animal rights, and goth fashion.

    Teens love being able to communicate to all of their friends with a bulletin and getting feedback through comments. Plus we all know high school is all about social status—now it can be quantified, exaggerated or minimized with the number of friends on your MySpace profile.

  2. Question: Is banning MySpace and other social networks by schools a smart thing?

    Answer: I advocate educating as opposed to legislating. Schools should bust teens for using MySpace when they shouldn’t be but don’t block it. Educators have a role to play in teaching teens when it’s appropriate to be on MySpace and when it isn’t, as well as what is kosher to post and what isn’t—and what it means to maintain a public profile.

    Blocking technology doesn’t teach teens how to use technology safely and ethically or how to think critically about the sites they visit. For many low income teens who still may not have computers or access to the internet at home, a school library, public library or federally funded after school program are often the only places they can participate in Web 2.0 at all. If we block and ban these sites, a whole population will miss out on what their peers have access to at home.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:19 PM |

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Jadon Lavik at Student Leadership

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We just announced yesterday that Jadon Lavik is going to lead worship at the PDYM Student Leadership Conference this July at Saddleback Church. And in other news, we've only got 96 spots left before we sell out - yeah!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:22 PM |

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New MTV Reality Show

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Always good to know what MTV is doing next, here's the latest casting invite I just got in the email. Looks like a 40-year old virgin dating show perhaps?
MTV CASTING NEW DOCUMENTARY STYLE SERIES
MTV is casting a fun, new documentary style reality series about relationships & dating from a male perspective. We're casting virgin guys (21 & up) looking to break out of their shell & improve their love life. Do you get nervous around women? Are you stuck in the "friend" zone? Do you find you're too busy to date? Whatever the reason, if you or someone you know is still a virgin, we want to meet them!
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:15 PM |

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Some New ETV Updates

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Been updating the ETV blog most every day, if you haven't been over there in a while, check out some of the construction progress at Saddleback! And there's a whole new blog look coming at the end of the month - yeah!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:00 AM |

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How Teenagers Transformed the Church

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Interesting series of posts on the Christianity Today blog - the second part of How Teenagers Transformed the Church is up ... and it made me wonder: who is the next batch of students ready to transform the church in this generation? I think they're time is closer than

Youth ministry has significantly altered the course of American church history. The youth group of today is the church, and its leaders, of tomorrow. How did this shift occur, and what can we infer about the future of the church based on current trends in youth ministry?

By the mid-1950s, the first wave of baby boomers was nearing adolescence. In 1955, Warner Bros. Pictures released Rebel Without a Cause, the landmark film featuring misunderstood teenager Jim Stark, played by James Dean. If Rebel launched the youth culture, Elvis Presley solidified it a year later when “Heartbreak Hotel” sold 300,000 records in its first week.

Meanwhile, innovative Christian leaders were expanding the boundaries of traditional ministry through the inception of organizations which sought to reach teenagers outside the walls of the church. In 1938, a young seminary student in Texas named Jim Rayburn began a weekly club for high school students who had no interest in church. Three years later, Young Life was born.

Rayburn is perhaps best remembered for his assertion, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the gospel.” Young Life club meetings featured singing, a skit or two, and a simple message about Jesus Christ. The idea was that faith could be life-changing and fun.

Here's part 1 if you missed it, too.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:00 PM |

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Hot, Mild or Fire?

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Quick poll of the blog readers today as I finish my Chalupa ... hot, mild or fire? Hot for me.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:43 PM |

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Hooked and Reeled In

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Nadim from Simply Youth Ministry has just updated the site with 4 new resources this morning, here's the scoop:
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:29 PM |

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Strange But True

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Blog tag is an interesting game. Ryan tagged me, so I have to name 6 weird/strange things about me. OK, here goes:
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:01 PM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Volume 31

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Another week, another round of Google searches that led people here the last 7 days:
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:23 AM |

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NBA Playoff Observations

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Watching a bunch of TV being sick the end of this week ... saw like 6 NBA games. A few observations:
JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:51 PM |

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Video Game Review: Halo 3 Beta

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Rented Crackdown for the weekend and have been enjoying the Halo 3 beta from the comfort of my couch. This thing is great!

At first, honestly I was a bit underwhelmed - the graphics at first glance are very similar to Halo 2 slightly bumped up on the 360. But that is neither fair nor true, the graphics are a huge step forward, but still very much stays true to the original look and feel. In fact, I would say that's true of the entire beta - it is a step forward like an expected sequel, but not the giant leap I would think some are/were expecting.

The game is fast and furious, the new controls are intuitive, and the maps have that Halo-esque intangible that fans know and love. The new "x" button features - bubble shields and the like - take a bit of time to figure out how to use strategically, but all new depth to the run and gun shootout.

I played about 30 matches, here's the progression of how I felt as it went.

Match 1: OK, renting Crackdown actually worked. Everything worked! I'm in for 5 days.
Match 2: Hmmm ... the graphics are OK. The animation when you die (which I'm doing a lot) isn't quite perfect yet. I love HD-Halo.
Match 3: Pretty sweet, these controls are going to take some time to get used to. That Bubble shield looks pretty from the inside.
Match 11: Now that my router firmware is updated, I can find a match in 30 seconds instead of 4 minutes. Should remind my friends to do that on September 24th.
Match 18: Shoot, I owned that match. Bubble shields are fun. More rockets!
Match 19: Time to try a big 16-player skirmish.
Match 20: This is awesome. I wish the whole game was here now.
Match 25: Having only 3 maps suck. But thank you Bungie, for 3 maps. I'll bite my tongue.
Match 29: Hmmm ... I've got this funny feeling this is going to be a glowing review on my blog.
Match 30: This game is amazing. I can't wait to play the single player in September and the multiplayer for the rest of 2007/8.

Couple of downsides, to a great beta gametest. The grenades don't quite release right (like Halo 2) and the rockets don't roll out of the launcher quite as smoothly as they should. The theater interface is way to boring, and the personal settings is too buried.

Other than that, sheer brilliance.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:32 PM |

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8 Management Lessons from Star Wars

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Saw this link over on TFN and loved it. Here's a clip from the Financial Express article - 8 management principles learned from Star Wars. Good stuff ...

Make occasional goodwill gestures
Most successful managers take pride in their ruthlessness. There is no room for sentiment in business (although there is room for business in sentiment, as Hallmark and Archies so wonderfully demonstrate). But George Lucas shows us that occasionally, being nice can be useful also. When Anakin has been bathed in molten lava and is crawling to certain death, barbequed and limbless, who is it that saves him? None other than the Emperor, who spends all six movies being uniformly mean to everyone. Yet, here, he tenderly nurses Anakin back to health. In return, Darth Vader swears undying loyalty, squishing the enemies of the Emperor. So even if you’re a successful manager, make the effort, do something nice once in a while.

Don’t play minor roles in other ventures
Sometimes, people will approach you, asking you to ‘help out’ with their company. Usually this means they won’t pay you much money, but you may be tempted by the ‘prestige’. Don’t fall for it. As in so much else, learn from the Jedi. Sundry actors have taken bit parts in the Star Wars movies. Before you even notice them, they vanish, and soon, so do their careers. Liam Neeson has vanished. Samuel L Jackson appears only on talk shows. Jimmy Smits is currently working at McDonalds. As you can see, there’s a pattern here.

Get out of the conference room
Senior managers tend to spend most of their time in ‘meetings’, particularly during summer when it’s hot and the natives sweat a lot. Throughout the Star Wars series, members of the Jedi Council spend their entire time in meetings, looking gloomy and thoughtful. Apart from Yoda, you will never see any of them outside their meeting room. Ultimately, Darth Vader wipes out the whole lot of them, except for Yoda, who spends the next 30 years in a tree, and Obi Wan, who spends the next 30 years in a smelly robe. The message is clear—air conditioning is good, but too much of it may leave you crushed by the competition.


JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:46 AM |

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Tickets to the Idol Finale

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I put myself on an Idol waiting list for the Finale like forever ago - and it just paid off!

Scored tickets to Wednesday night big reveal night up at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood ... how great is this?! Oh man ... now I just have to make sure I can take a 1/2 day and actually get there. And my wife isn't so interested in going, so who comes with? Hmmm ...

Jordan will win, but I want Blake to just to see his dad cry again. Fun week ahead!

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:43 AM |

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I Was on the Price is Right Finale!

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Last night was the big 50th anniversary of The Price is Right, and out of probably 6,000 episodes they featured the clip of me kissing Bob Barker! Crazy ... thanks to everyone who wrote in with the news ... if you've never seen the original clip, here you go.

Saw you kiss big Bob on the big show last night! It was pretty cool. I
neversaw it the first time but I remembered you talking about it and
justhappened to catch it this time. Pretty nice to be on the biggest Price
isRight ever! Congrats. -John

Last night I am sitting with my family watching the Price is Right special. Bob Barker leads into a montage of people kissing him over the years ~ and who do they end with? JOSH GRIFFIN !! How cool is it to hear Bob Barker tell you that you need to shave. -Shane

Hey you don't know but I read your blog everyday, and I love the podcast (both of them) anyway I was just watching Bob Barkers 50 year thing on the price is right, and you made the first montauge of most memorable kisses!!! soo funny. Thought you might like to know just incase no one else tells you. -Thad


JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:19 PM |

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Intern Host Home Video

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Here's the intern host home appreciation video we'll play in a few weeks at the Wow Awards. Just got it back today.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:32 PM |

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Sick Day

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Thank goodness for the ESPN2HD's Poker Championships Marathon ... makes this sick day a bit more bearable. Argh.

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:21 PM |

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Han Solo Chocolate Bar

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This was funny ... thanks to Adam for sending me the link.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:08 PM |

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Halo 3 Arrives in September

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Bungie.net just announced today that Halo 3 will be available at retail on September 25th, 2007. Anyone going to be playing the Beta tonight?

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:06 PM |

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Video Game Review: Earth Defense Force 2017

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Bought this game for $40 brand new, knowing this was a "B" title.

In short, this game isn't supposed to be that great. But oddly enough, I really liked it. Oh, Gears of War makes it laughable and Rainbow 6 blows it away, but for some reason I'm playing through it a second time. There's a few frustrating moments, but honestly the game is pretty straightforward - shoot stuff until it blows up magnificigantly, then repeat.

The robots are fun, the weapons are really varied (over 160 of them!) and the achievements are nearly impossible. Once you get some of the better weapons - tracking missiles with incredible damage and the like - it really starts to boom. All in all this is a game with average to poor graphics, average to poor controls, average to poor sound, which you would think ends up being somewhere south of average ... but instead is a fun, addictive "B" movie game with some nifty explosions.

Definitely a renter, if you can dedicate the time to beat all 53 levels in a couple of nights. B-

JG










posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:01 AM |

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Zach Hunter at Student Leadership

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Two big pieces of news today from the PDYM Student Leadership front - 1) the conference already has more attendees than last year, with only a couple hundred spots left with 2 months to go, and 2) we've just confirmed Zach Hunter will be there to speak. How great is this?

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:37 PM |

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7 Myths About Purpose Driven

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Just read this interesting article on what Purpose Driven is NOT written by Mark Kelley. Give it a look if you're interested!
Myth: “Purpose Driven is about following the latest fad.”
Some critics dismiss Purpose Driven as nothing more than trading hymns for praise choruses and dressing casually. PD is not about being “contemporary” and it isn’t concerned with adopting whatever fad happens to be all the rage in this month’s workshops. Purpose Driven is about being biblical. Rick Warren says: “The five purposes of the church commanded by Jesus in the Great Commandment and Great Commission never go out of style. They are not a fad. They are eternally relevant. Any church that fails to fulfill the five purposes Jesus established for his people is not really a church!”

Myth: “Purpose Driven is about being 'seeker sensitive.'”
Another bit of misinformation has it that Purpose Driven is merely another example of churches trying to be “seeker sensitive.” PD churches are committed to the purpose of evangelism, not any particular method of evangelism. They do evangelism in many different formats and use many different methods. Thousands of Purpose Driven churches don’t have an evangelistic seeker service at all.

Myth: “Purpose Driven is about adopting a certain worship style.”
It’s impossible to generalize about a “purpose driven” worship style. PD churches worship God in thousands of styles – liturgical, charismatic, traditional, contemporary, country, multi-sensory, casual, and many others. Purpose Driven principles affirm variety in worship – as long as it is offered to God authentically and accurately – “in spirit and truth.” Pastor Rick teaches that a congregation’s worship style must match the people it is seeking to reach in its ministry area.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:28 PM |

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Harry Potter is a Ripoff

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Thanks to Ryan for the funny.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:25 PM |

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The Cavemen Get Their Own Show

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You know these guys, right? ABC is developing their own show for this Fall ...
The network even picked up a comedy called "Cavemen," adapted from the Geico commercials as an offbeat commentary on ethnic prejudice from the perspective of three prehistoric guys trying to make their way in the modern world.
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:40 AM |

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Free Step by Step Video

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No, not the Step by Step music video from New Kids on the Block. The inside look at Saddleback's small groups video, free when you buy Small Groups from Start to Finish right now on SimplyYouthMinistry.com.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:25 AM |

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Is The Apprentice Fired?

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The Apprentice is missing from the Fall lineup ... not a good sign if you're a fan. I just tune in to see The Donald's Hair.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:51 PM |

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Latest Starbucks Controversy

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Just read an interesting article about the latest "The Way I See It Controversy" on the side of a Starbucks cup. Here's a clip, and be sure to read the cup pictured above, too:
Regular or nonfat? Single or double shot? Pro- or anti-creationism?

Starbucks has been drawing heated responses since the coffee giant began printing quotations on its cups.

Atheists fumed when they got a shot of the Rev. Rick Warren ("The Purpose-Driven Life") with their latte, and Christians balked at gay writer Armistead Maupin's comment that "life is too damn short" to spend in the closet.

So outraged is one organization by the anti-evolution messages that it dispatched its members to protest the practice via e-mail and phone calls.

"I mean, my God," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. "It's rather unforgivable. They're going to give their customers heartburn."

The cups include quotes by artists, writers, scientists and other noteworthy people on a variety of subjects.

The Seattle-based Starbucks began its "The Way I See It" program to stimulate dialogue over coffee. Company officials say they have achieved their goal.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:42 PM |

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Volunteer Appreciation

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Enjoyed this article while I posted it on PDYMCommunity.com. Mentor Nick Carnes is now working as a volunteer after being the lead youth worker, and shares some of his valuable insights. Here's a clip:
I instantly gained a huge amount of respect for anyone who volunteers in any church ministry, especially in student ministry! I always had respect for volunteers and was thankful to them, but now that I am able to experience some of their pains and a lot of their sacrifices I cannot help but to hold them in high regard.

Now that I am working a job that I am not very passionate about, so I can follow the Lord in His call, it actually makes me more passionate to serve in student ministry, it is tough! At work I think about all of the curriculum I want to create, all of the ministry basics that we need to develop, and as soon as I get home all I am ready to do is crash on the couch, eat supper, and spend time with my family…something ends up sacrificing, and I know that every good youth worker that is a volunteer sacrifices personal time, family time, sleep, and sometimes they even have to sacrifice financially, but for me, as a volunteer its worth it!

I encourage you to take the time to write your volunteers a letter of thanks. If you have the money in the budget send some of them out on a date with their wife or husband, offer to baby sit their children while they get to redeem back some of their personal time. I encourage you to sacrifice a little when it comes to your volunteers, because I have come to realize that they sacrifice so much, and I am so thankful to the ones that have served with me in the past and that currently serve with me now, sometimes I forget that I am not full time and I find myself thanking everyone serving with me for their efforts and sacrifices because it now means more to me than it ever did.

Are you showing as much appreciation as you can to your volunteers? Think about it!
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:51 PM |

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Goodyear Blimp

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Hard to see in this picture ... but the Goodyear Blimp just flew over the church!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:11 PM |

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Q&A: Youth Ministry Sabbatical

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Question: I get to go on sabbatical this summer for 2 months! Any ideas on churches I should visit while I'm away to get refreshed and renewed?

Answer: First off - wow! How exciting, I've never had one of those so I'm insanely jealous! What a great gift your church is giving you. As for churches, I would obviously stop at Saddleback (not that I'm bias or anything) and I know we've been to Northpoint and Willow in recent weeks brainstorming and being challenged with their teams.

I would also consider Bay Area Fellowship, Mosaic, Fellowship, New Life Church, The Journey, LifeChurchTV and Mars Hill as possible candidates.
Have an opinion or a youth ministry visit suggestion? Comment it in! Got a question? Send me an email and we'll figure it out. Here's my heart behind these posts.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:18 PM |

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Happy Birthday, George

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Happy birthday, Mr. Lucas!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:45 PM |

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Simply Resource Development Blog

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Simply Youth Ministry is opening up a new blog this week - it'll be integrated into the main site shortly - it's the SYM Resource Development Blog!

The premise of it is to have a place where people can see and be involved in what's next - see what's the next resource in the pipeline from SYM and allow everyone to speak into it. If you work with youth and want to share a voice about what's next or what's needed - this is the place.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:46 AM |

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The Promise Opening Video

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Here's the opening video we did for The Promise ...

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:19 AM |

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The Office Deleted Scenes

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You saw all 5 of this week's deleted scenes from The Office, right? And gone through the archive to see what else you've missed? Amazing ... wouldn't want to be an editor on that show, that's a tough job. Some of them are brilliant!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:25 AM |

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How Much Would You Sell Your Integrity For?

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According to CBS' Survivor, a man's integrity is worth about $900,000.

Amazing season finale tonight, Yao-Man was robbed, Dreamz lost everything, and Earl skates to a 9-0 unanimous finish. I know the game is "outwit... outplay... outlast ..." which can be roughly translated, "lie... cheat... backstab..." but wow, THAT was a finale.

Network executives must have been eager to write the winner's check when they heard how this went down. Wow.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:53 PM |

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Stuff from My Friends Blogs: Volume 21

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Here's my weekly roundup of notable blog posts from my friends.
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:47 AM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Volume 30

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Here's this week's selected Google searches that led people to the blog. I've pulled a few of the more notable or unusual ones and listed them here. Enjoy!
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:58 AM |

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BarlowGirl in Concert

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A few shots from last night's concert, too ...

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:14 PM |

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All Dressed Up

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We did a fashion show this afternoon at The Promise, so got to get all dressed up in a sweet tux. Here's a shot someone in the audience sent me from their phone. So fun ...

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:03 PM |

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What Do Guys Really Think?

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Another video from The Promise ...

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:01 PM |

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Lies of the World Video

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Here's one of the videos we created for The Promise. Just played in the Worship Center ...

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:06 AM |

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Cell Phone Shootout

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We played cell phone shootout tonight at The Promise - the game where we post my phone number on the screen and the first person to call in wins a free gift. Then we put a spin on it a few minutes later, asking the crowd for the first text message of any kind to my phone. We've got 1,200 people here ... and I just about crashed my phone with 55 calls and 73 text messages in like 2 minutes.

SO fun ... hopefully someone will bring me the java chip frappachino I joked about on stage. Hold on, just got another text. 74.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:25 PM |

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The Online World in 2012

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This piece from Next Generation focuses a bit on gaming, but has some interesting predictions about the world in 5 years. Check out this clip, more if you follow the link.
1. The number of Internet users in the world will increase from 1.1 billion in 2007 to 4.1 billion in 2012.

2. A lot of these will come from India which will wire up the entire sub-continent to 2mb broadband, convert the entire telecommunications industry over to VOIP with a flat rate of just $5 a month for all net access including unlimited voice calls across the country.

3. Everyone will follow India’s lead. All cities of more than 500,000 worldwide will effectively be 100% broadband. VOIP will dominate voice traffic, but the last major market to fall will be the US. Locally adjusted prices for net access including all domestic and international VOIP calls will be for a fixed monthly service fee of about $9.95 to $19.95 a month

4. Almost every country with rapidly deployed broadband connectivity has a young demographic with 25% of population under the age of 20. These include massive population areas such as China, Indonesia, India and Brazil.
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:24 PM |

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The Promise Has Begun!

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Just finished on stage with my co-host Allison on the first session of The Promise, we'll be posting some GREAT videos from the conference in the coming days that haven't landed here yet. We manged to work in a bit on the JCPenny commercial, and we'll play the Dove commercial tomorrow, too. The opening video had a great response, Nikki led in some great songs, we played a fun game and did some great giveaways. Whew ... everyone seems to be having a blast.

BarlowGirl is in concert here in just a bit, and Chad Eastham is on the stage right now doing his talk. Off to a good start!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:11 PM |

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Happy Mother's Day

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OK, this is ultimately sappy. I made fun of Allison when she broke into tears in my office today showing it to me. BUT, I just showed it to my wife, while we held our baby girl between us, and might have teared up just a bit. OK, quite a bit.

So either I'm a wuss, or it's a really good message we all need to get early in life. Whew.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:45 AM |

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Funny Gym People

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I go to the gym 5 days a week. You'd never know it, but that's another story altogether. Here's some observations I'm coming to make each week:
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:50 AM |

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GodTube.com

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Hmmm ... didn't even know this site existed. Still prefer YouTube myself.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:54 PM |

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Q&A: Mission Trip Dilema

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This could be a fun series of posts - I've noticed a few extra emails coming in from the blog and thought maybe than just answer/share experience via email I would also post it here somewhat anonymously on the blog. Not that I'm an expert, but love to bounce stuff off of each other in community. Agree with the answer? Got another opinion? Post a comment then!
Question: I've got a kid who's coming to our summer mission trip that maybe isn't a Christian and when asked why he wanted to go, said, "Because I want to see a foreign country." Should we let him go on the trip with the youth group?

Answer: Hey xxxxxxx, appreciate the email – dealt with this before and learned some hard lessons. I’ll try to be direct with this: If you haven’t set guidelines before the trip or he meets all of them – well, you should let him go. Next year, learn from this and either a) still welcome anyone who meets the requirements for the trip and b) make the requirements much higher than this year. Who knows what God will do – obviously he isn’t the typical “target” for this type of trip, but celebrate it, God is up to something! Let me know how it goes ...
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:36 PM |

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Quick Movie Reviews

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Saw a few other movies recently, maybe not worthy of a full review, but still noteworthy.
1) 300: The IMAX Experience - The theater version was already amazing, the IMAX version is even more amazing. The movie is nothing short of brilliant, but be warned it owns its "R" rating with flying colors. A+

2) Night at the Museum - a cute film that does a fair job of telling an actual story. Not Ben Stiller's best work, not Robin William's best work, but remains a fun family film. A bit too scary for the youngest kids, but fairly enjoyable for the rest. B-

3) Love's Enduring Promise - There are certain movies you watch with your wife only because you are a good husband. This is one such film. C+
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:06 PM |

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ETV Blog Updates

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Been updating Saddleback's Extending the Vision blog quite a few times this week - this is somewhat of a landmark week since Purpose Drive is now paved (it opens in a couple of weeks) and the concrete floor is set up on the new pedestrian skyway. Fun stuff - if you want to check out some pictures and other updates, follow the link!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:55 AM |

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SYM Podcast Delay

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Some people have been asking about the much-celebrated Episode 50 of the Simply Youth Ministry podcast - I've just received word that we're shooting on Tuesday, just too many things have come up in our collective lives the past 10 days to shoot this thing. We're working on it, I swear!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:53 AM |

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The Internet: What Parents Need to Know

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Kurt is looking for help for a handout he's creating for The Promise Conference this weekend. He's looking to help parents with the internet age. As I was doing some quick research for him, I came across this solid article from MSNBC on the subject, too.
Learn how to examine your Web browser’s “History” files, or cache. Even if you don’t do it, make sure your children know it’s possible for you to know where they’ve been.

Look around your desktop, start menu or applications folder for suspicious programs.

Keep abreast of all your child’s e-mail accounts; understand that free Web e-mail may allow your child to have plenty of e-mail accounts you don’t know about.

If your child will chat, take some time to come up with an alias, or fake name. Aftab even suggests you give them a fake address and phone number so, if they’re being harassed, they have a way of vacating the situation.

Play around in Usenet and IRC chat rooms so you can talk to your children intelligently about them, and perhaps decide to ban their use. Contact your Internet provider to see what kind of Usenet groups are available.

Of course, the Robert Fulghum-style advice is useful. Do the things you would normally do in the real world. Get to know your children’s cyberfriends — certainly don’t let them meet anyone in person without your attendance. Because in the end, computers don't hurt kids: People hurt kids.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:49 AM |

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