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My Vacation "To Do" List

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JG


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:32 PM |

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Learning Under Duress

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Some of my best learnings in life have come under intense pressure. You?
Life is good right now, so I'm trying to be a learner in this moment, too. Don't know what you're facing this week, but my prayer that if it doesn't kill you - you'll be able to learn something from it.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:56 PM |

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10 Reasons You Don't Need a Cell Phone

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The electronic tether ... can you live without it? Wired says yes, and gives a few reasons. Here's a few:
It makes your life more complicated
A phone is just another thing that checks email, holds information and schedules events, and which has to be carefully kept in sync with all the other crud in your life that checks email, holds information and schedules events. The difference? This one likely has a 240 pixel-wide screen and a shabby interface spawned from the hellish loins of Windows CE.

It's horribly expensive
Total Cost of Ownership. Apply that idea to everything, not just cars and mortgages. The fact is that most cellphones will cost you thousands over the life of the contract. Short of paying-as-you-go with a Wal-Mart crapdybar, you're in it for a good $1,000, and about $2,000 or so with a smartphone.

It makes you perpetually available
If it's on, they can get you. If it's off, they wonder why they can't get you. It's a lose-lose situation for your Zen.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:13 PM |

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Plenty of ETV Updates

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Been updating Saddleback's Extending the Vision blog at least every day the past couple of weeks, added in some new polls, pictures and stories. Even just sent out the first ETV newsletter (read it here) - so fun! Man, a PDYM conference on campus right after The Student Zone opens would be gold, eh? We'll see!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:07 PM |

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HALO 3: Four Player Co-op

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Oh man ... I won't be able to turn off the Xbox 360 this Fall ... this is amazing news from Bungie today about Halo 3:

Up to four player co-op in Campaign mode on Xbox Live or System Link.

We’ve been playing it for quite some time, and bluntly, having some of our greatest ever Halo experiences. We wanted to make sure all our “t”s were crossed and our “i”s dotted before unveiling this important new part of Halo 3’s Campaign mode.

Apart from the horrifying network challenges this new mode presented us, were the various gameplay balance issues it adds to the fray. So we got it all together, polished it, and that’s why we’re revealing it now. As a result, you’re going to want to play co-op as hard as you can stomach it. We’d certainly recommend Legendary, but we’ll be revealing some more ways to make the game more interesting and challenging for multiple players in the very near future.

Acting as a team is a fantastic new twist to the Campaign gameplay – something that works as well on foot, in close confines as it does on the battlefield, with large scale vehicle mayhem. Scared of Jackal snipers? Send out a scout to see what dangers lie ahead. Terrified of an open field? Flank your enemies and swipe their rides.
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:03 PM |

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Halo 3 Mountain Dew Revealed!

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Halo soda. Awesome.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:32 PM |

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6 Rules for an Awesome Website

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Tony and I banter around 6 rules for making a church website great on the latest Who Are These Guys? podcast. Enjoy!

JG








posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:01 AM |

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Your First 90 Days

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Saw a great post via 43 folders about your first 90 days at a new job - good advice for a youth worker landing in a first church or someone coming out of a transition. There's some advice there that doesn't exactly gel with church culture, but I think there's still good wisdom in Rand's writings. Here's a clip:

#1) Stay late. Show up early. You need a map of the people you work with and I find the best way to start scribbling this map is to understand people and their relation to the day. When do they get there? How long until they engage in what they do? Coffee run? Wait, no. Late arriver. Doesn't leave until he gets something done. Makes his coffee run at 4:30pm. Doesn't drink coffee? Really? Why? These long days of watching give you insight and they give you tools for understanding what each of your team members want.

#2) Accept every lunch invitation you get. People are stretching themselves for you the first few weeks you show up. They're going to go out of their way to include you and no matter who they are, you've got to take the time to reciprocate. The lunch invite from that guy in the group you pretty sure you'll never interact with will result in stories and you have a stunning lack of stories right now.

#3) Always ask about acronyms. It's great that we're all speaking English, but why is it that you're sitting in your first staff meeting and not understanding a word? It's because every team develops acronyms, metaphors, and clever ways to describing their uniqueness which you must understand. Cracking the language nut is absolutely essential to assessing the hand you've been dealt and you're going to need to ask a couple of times.

#4) Say something really stupid. Good news, you're going to do this whether it's on this list or not. I'm saying it's ok. This stupid thing that you're going to say is going to demonstrate your nascent engagement in your job and when they stop giggling, the team is going to know you're desperately trying to figure it all out.

JG







posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:00 AM |

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Have You Texted Chris Yet?

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Fun promotion at Simply Youth Ministry ... text the new guy Chris with your favorite 80's movie and he'll send you back a 10% promo code for your next order. My vote? Short Circuit.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:18 PM |

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I Can Be Bought

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Craig said he would buy me lunch for a link.

Well, friend, my stomach is full of Wahoo's Fish Tacos today thanks to his generosity (read: bribe), and there's now a link to him on my blog friends in the right-hand sidebar and right here on this post. Give him a click and read in awe of his celebration of Barry Bonds' upcoming 756 home run. Thanks for lunch, Craig!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:10 PM |

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CBS to Air Videogame Tournament

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Good news - the years of my life waster playing Xbox might just pay off! CBS has agreed to air the first video game tournament in the US. It's already huge overseas, with Japanese players being treated and sponsored like pro basketball players. Could this 'sport' be 2007's Texas Hold 'Em? I hope so - but this guy sure doesn't think so, here's a clip of his thoughts:

I envision two sweaty-palmed, pimple-faced 14-year-olds casting virtual spells on each other in the "World of Warcraft," and millions of people watching at home, ignoring all familial, spiritual and hygienic needs as they await the outcome of the make-believe contest.

And with that, we blissful and carefree Americans may have sunk below the point of no return.

I know there are hordes of dedicated video game players, many of whom lead productive lives and contribute to mankind. And there's no question that sitting in front of a flickering tube pressing the same buttons repeatedly for hours is a perfectly productive and stimulating exercise in brain and emotional development for people who surely can't find better uses for their time and talents.

But the idea of watching this on television? It sounds downright stupid to me.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:36 AM |

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I'm Wearing Camouflage Today

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I just heard an interview with Emma Watson, who plays Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies. She was watching an interview of herself from the previous year, and when the clip was over she said, "Ugh, I was wearing camouflage! Camo is so out right now."

And then I look at what I was wearing - a T-shirt and camo shorts.

Hmmm ... not that I'm one to upset fashion trends anyhow - but today, to spite you little girl wizard, I will proudly wear camo.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:47 AM |

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Why Seminary?

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Some people have asked on email and in the comments why go to seminary. I'm 32, have a family, a great church ... why now? Well for one, I do think diplomas are overrated, but here's a little bit of my thinking:
1) Tuition is paid for by the church. So why not? What a great gift the church is willing to give to pastors. It could be as much as $7,000 by the time it's all said and done.

2) Continuing education is a value the church and I share. I've got a lot of real-life experience, I've been to tons of conferences and have lots of practical training. I'm excited to hear from the other side.

3) I lack a pastoral degree. I've always felt that a degree is important, and a business degree says a lot about my skills, but not a lot about my heart. I've always wanted to go back and get a ministry degree. I hope that this rounds me out a little better in the big picture of things.

4) I would like a new challenge/experience. Now that I'm 12 years into youth ministry, I think it'll be fun to hear what professors think ministry looks like.
Here's another reality - everyone that I look up to in ministry, well not everyone but MANY, especially the old school ones, have seminary degrees. Of course, Jesus didn't ... Paul didn't either ... Spurgeon didn't ... and I certainly don't think you have to ... but I like the idea for me.

Thoughts?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:34 AM |

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My Seminary Paper

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Had to write a 2-page paper for my admission to seminary, thought maybe someone out there would like to read it.

The Pilgrimage of Joshua Griffin

Growing up in a pastor’s home, it’s a wonder I made it out alive.

You know: the glass house, the fishbowl, bubble, ant under the magnifying glass – you’ve heard the horror stories of “PK’s,” right? Well, I made it - and surprisingly enough, I still love Jesus.

My dad modeled what it was like to be an authentic Christian for as long as I can remember. He’s a man of integrity and character – still vulnerable and authentic, but strong and caring. And he loves Jesus more than any man I know.

My mom – well, the recurring memory of my childhood can be summed up in two things – 1) singing grace over a huge Sunday feast, and 2) seeing her read her Bible every morning when I woke up. That red pen she always used might as well have been writing directly on my memory bank; because it’s something I’ll surely never forget. She is deeply loving and a gifted servant, a woman who passionately loves her children and her Jesus.

So it’s no wonder that, despite being a pastor’s kid, I turned out OK.

Of course, if you ask my wife of 11 years if I turned out OK, she might tell you another thing altogether. But that’s a whole ‘nother paper.

Born into a Christian home, I learned about Jesus at an early age. In fact, I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t learning about Jesus. It was at the age of 5 I accepted Christ to be my Savior and was baptized a short time later. I was baptized in a lake, the same day as my brother. It was pretty uneventful, unlike my sister’s baptism which was in a snake-infested pond. The best part of the day was the guys standing out in the water agitating it with sticks to keep them away! My dad always believed in immersion, but that was a day that my sister almost had him convinced sprinkling was the way to go!

I later attended Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Wisconsin – a small fundamental school outside Madison, Wisconsin. It was there that I grew in my faith, not because of the stringent rules or rampant legalism, but because of the intense God-love of a select few of the faculty and staff. The football coach shaped me in ways I didn’t think I could handle – he was a compassionate bear of a man who followed Jesus. I strive to do the same in his footsteps. The Dean of Men who dared to question my intention to be a businessman and suggested the possibility that God may be calling me to work with youth. God used that man and 11 years later, I still walk in that calling. And I learned that people living God’s Word out in their lives often time spoke to me as loudly as reading the Scriptures personally. As I walk with God today I find balance between the two methods of deepening my faith.

So I became a youth pastor – and was in my first church for almost 8 years, an eternity by youth pastor standards. Being in the same place for that long, you get to see things and have to stick out the ugliness of your calling. The honeymoon was long over and I got to see the church up close. And it wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t pretty either, making every mistake and taking my eyes of Christ as much as the others in the pew. Everything in my life was tested to the edge – this was probably the most
intense period of spiritual growth in my life. God began the painful
process of teaching me how to become the man of God he wanted me to be.

Then a few years ago we moved to Saddleback Church, where I’m now in my 4th year of service. My primary role is to assist other youth workers that come to the church for training, encouragement and assistance. I also help lead our building campaign communication team as we raise the Student Zone. It’s been a great faith adventure so far and I’m excited to see this step of seminary as another in my spiritual pilgrimage that started years ago.

I guess my prayer is that someday I’ll be half the father my dad was, and that I can shape young men and women to follow Jesus like people did for me. My goal is to walk with God daily, looking for principles in His Word and following models of people living it out.

Please let me into seminary.


JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:46 PM |

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It All Goes Back in the Box

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Coping with busyness is a subject often spoken about here in Orange County, so it's no surprise that messages - about pace of life, living for something bigger than yourselves, and what happens at the end of it all -should come as no surprise in this culture.

But this weekend pastor John Ortberg preached an amazing message called "It All Goes Back in the Box" - by far the best message I've heard on the subject. John is a master storyteller, and his message was fantastic tonight. He had the book for sale as well, I noticed it comes out really soon (August 13th) and I highly recommend it.

Monopoly. Scrabble. Uno. Parcheesi. Stratego. Risk. The simple parallel is that even if you win the game, it all goes back in the box. And too many of us are focused on "the game" and forget it all gets put away when it's done. So good.

Really powerful stuff ... you can listen/watch it here on SaddlebackFamily.com, too. Man, just what I needed tonight ...

JG






posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:55 PM |

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Indiana Jones from Comic Con

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This is awesome!

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:47 PM |

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LEGO Indiana Jones Video Game

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This is good news ... watch the trailer here, too!
After nearly an hour of Star Wars news from LucasFilm's Steve Sansweet, the director of content management told the enormous San Diego Comic-Con gathering that he had forgotten one thing, and the Indiana Jones theme hit.LEGO Indiana Jones: The Video Game is coming to a videogame system near you.
JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:44 PM |

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Where There's Smoke

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Could see this fire from our place ...

JG








posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:28 PM |

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Summer Spectacular

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Big week at Saddleback ... something like 3,500 kids at this year's Summer Spectacular. Here's a few images they sent home with the kids today. Fun!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:44 PM |

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Golden Gate Seminary

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I applied to seminary yesterday.

Just thought I would share - taking my Business degree to the next level - one night a week I'll be working towards my Master's of Theological Studies starting this Fall. This will make my dad proud!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:41 AM |

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57 Voicemails

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Hmmm ... just found out I've had a church extension at Saddleback that I wasn't aware of for the past 11 months. Interesting - if I didn't get back to you, now you know why!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:12 AM |

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Movie Review: Meet the Robinsons

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Meet the Robinsons works on a few levels, has some animation polish but gets a bit too bizarre in the middle to be fully enjoyable.

The beginning and the end of the film are great - but the actual "meeting of the Robinsons" is a bit too out there to be enjoyed. Pixar shows it is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else yet again, even parent company Disney gets outclassed by its purchase from last year. The movie has a solid core story that is quite enjoyable, but the action isn't super amazing and the funny parts aren't super funny. Still, it's an enjoyable romp in a new world but just isn't one that is destined to become a classic. B-

JG







posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:49 PM |

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Video Game Review: Pac Man Championship Edition

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This is a great game - classic PacMan gameplay but on some serious steroids. Not just because the game gets a graphical overhaul and some HD polish, but because it's just plain fun. Who knew a concept from 20 years ago would play so well to this day? The challenges are difficult, the achievements are worth unlocking and the control is near perfect. A solid game, just a tad bit overpriced at $10 - should have been $5 since it's pretty short. A-

JG







posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:46 PM |

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The 10x10 Vision

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I posted the other day on Matt's blog about new Saddleback campuses and efforts to reach the 10x10 vision, and I just got an email about the saddlebackfamily.com website being updated with a clear picture of Pastor Rick's vision for the next 3 years. Exciting stuff to be a part of, here's a clip:

In his recent message on “Multiplying the Impact of Your Life,” Pastor Rick unveiled the newest vision for Saddleback Church. The vision, called 10 x 10, centers around three goals we’re aiming to achieve by the end of 2010:

10,000 more changed lives resulting in 10,000 more baptisms at Saddleback 10,000 more small groups formed across Southern California
10 new Saddleback congregations across the region

The emphasis of the plan is not just on the numbers, however, but on fulfilling the Great Commandment by learning to love. Pastor Rick says, “If you’re going to make an impact, you have to do it in love, do it with love, and love has to be the goal and the motivation of your life.” The 10 x 10 movement will be fueled by 40 months of reaching out in love. During these months, beginning in September and concluding in December of 2010, the church will practically demonstrate God’s love by meeting the needs of those around us.


JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:19 PM |

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Podcast 55 is in the Can

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We recorded a new Simply Youth Ministry podcast this afternoon - one regulars will love for sure. We had a lot of fun, with a tiny sprinkling of youth ministry. Enjoy it tomorrow, I believe!

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:11 PM |

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Angels 7, A's 6

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Enjoyed a great Angels game with High School Ministry and 2 of my boys, and it was a scorcher! We sat out in the left field family section and enjoyed hanging with everyone. The boys were starting to get burned so we left the top of the 8th when the Angels had a comfortable 5-3 lead, which they managed to lose than finally squeak out. Great afternoon at the ballpark!

JG







posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:07 PM |

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Han Shot First

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There is a picture.
In this picture is a man.
The man in this picture is George Lucas.
George Lucas is wearing a T-shirt.
It is a "Han Shot First" T-shirt.
George Lucas is wearing a Han Shot First T-shirt.

Thanks to Treece among others for sending it in. Ironic.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:03 PM |

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Open Doors Persecuted Church Video

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One of the highest rated parts of the Student Leadership Conference this year was the Open Doors persecuted church experience. Here's a video we ran in the general session to raise awareness. They're looking for more MySpace friends, so hit them up if you want!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:13 PM |

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What's Inside: Tanning Lotion

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I love this series. Yesterday Wired looked at What's Inside tanning lotion. Here's a few of the better ones, head there for them all:
Dimethicone
Silly Putty. There are many different formulations of this silicone oil — some are soft and squishy like breast implants, others are sticky like bathtub caulk. This liquid variant is used in skin moisturizers and, again, sexual lubricants.

Arachidyl Alcohol
The long chain structure of this white, waxy plant derivative makes it a common starting point for producing everything from fragrances and inks to detergent and PVC. It's often used alone as a skin cream and an emulsifier, helping various ingredients mix.

Propylene Glycol
Automobile antifreeze, sexual lubricants, artificial fog fluid — is there nothing this slippery compound can't do? Here it's used as a moisturizer.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:10 PM |

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Church Attendance: How to Count and Why

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Really enjoyed Tony's post this morning on church attendance counting - how they do it and why numbers matter. Here's a clip, this might be something to print and bring to your next staff meeting or forward on to your counters.

Attendance numbers are important for a number of reasons. Here are some examples:

  • They help us monitor the health of our worship services. If attendance starts to plateau or drop, we want to know that so we can try to figure out what may need to change so we can continue impacting people's lives for Jesus.
  • Monitoring trends also allows us to prepare for future growth with volunteer support, facility space, children's ministry, parking, etc. It allows us to be more proactive about how we're going to reach our community.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:25 AM |

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WATG Podcast: First 6 Months

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Tony and I blaze through some things we learned in the first 6 months starting out in youth ministry in the latest edition of the Who Are These Guys? Podcast. Enjoy! Nearly 14 subscribers can't be wrong!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:45 AM |

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Be Connected Video

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Part 2 is online now, too!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:06 PM |

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The Cross Cell Phone Tower

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Did you see this? Wow ... a cell phone tower/cross. We've got all sorts out here, mainly cell towers disguised as palm trees, but this is taking it to a whole new level. Here's a clip:
A local church along with the help of Verizon Wireless may take cell phone tower development to a new and technologically divine level.

You've likely seen them erected somewhere along the side of the road or hidden with a grouping of trees, but it's hard to miss those tall cell phone towers, usually identifiable by their triangle-shaped platforms, planted among our communities. And it's definitely not often that a town is forced to balance its respect for a religious symbol against a cell phone company's reliability, but that's exactly what's happening in Pequannock Township.

At Bible Christian Fellowship Church, there is a proposal to develop a 100-foot cell phone tower that would be disguised as a cross and provided by Verizon. Not everyone in the town has dialed into the idea.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:03 PM |

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Carter: The Church Assistant

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Randy Stacks sent along the link to some funny videos they had at camp this summer.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:50 PM |

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Watch Out for Falling Rocks

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Real pictures taken by my dad's friend in Wyoming. Could have been nasty!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:43 PM |

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Best. Image. Ever.

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No words needed.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:00 AM |

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American Idol Tour Pictures

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Had a great night with Chris and the American Idol crew ... here's a few pics before bed, stories tomorrow.

JG







posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:20 AM |

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Crossroads: Week 3

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Fields taught the final weekend of Crossroads: Seizing God-Sized Opportunities, this time the topic was risk. It was a powerful message that tackled the fears of joining a small group, sharing your faith with someone, taking a PEACE trip and making other significant spiritual steps. Some great stuff in there - we're also on the eve of our Summer Spectacular children's program that starts in the morning. So great!

JG








posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:52 PM |

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10/10 Vision Update

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Pastor Rick a few weeks ago talked about reaching another generation at Saddleback Church, and cast the vision for 10,000 more changed lives - baptised and membership, by the year 2010. For sure it's a daunting goal, but that's the point, right? Noticed that McGill had posted some of the strategies on his blog being drafting to reach that goal, including Saddlebackyard, Regional Campuses and Satellite services. And we're off!

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:49 PM |

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Everyone Has a Clone

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Once you get past the reflection on my face (hey, it was hot today and my body encourages perspiration) I want to ask you this question. Do me and this guy look a lot alike? We've been mistaken for twins/brothers/same person several times the past 2 weeks. Thoughts?

JG







posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:14 PM |

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Write Poetry and Win!

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Are you friends with Simply Youth Ministry on MySpace? You should be - leave a poem in the comments section and you could win $250 in free resources. Check it out!

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:44 PM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Volume 35

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Here's some of the new phrases/words that people actually typed into Google this week that led them to the blog. Fun!
JG


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:08 PM |

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Video Game Review: Gun

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I know I'm a bit late to this party, but I picked up the discount game Gun for my 360 this past week with some of the income from my blog. So thanks for clicking the ads that interest you - here's my review of the game.

The game is definitely a first generation title for the 360, and my review comes as the game is now 2 years old. What's interesting about the game, is that it plays more like a movie than most, and has an actual storyline. Of course, the graphics are about average (think just north of the original Xbox but in HD) and the gameplay doesn't vary too much after the first hour. But, it's a surprisingly fun game.

There are definitely some downers, the game takes full advantage of it's "M" Mature rating, meaning there's more swear words and over the top action than most titles I would typically play. In fact, the game doesn't shy away from putting any of the "wild" in the whole Wild West category, if you know what I mean. All in all, a decent game that I simply can't recommend to friends due to the content included. C+

JG







posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:58 PM |

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American Idol Tour - Los Angeles

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Is it weird that I'm totally excited to go up to LA next week and hang out with Chris Sligh and the rest of the American Idol crew?

And it you didn't notice, his band's new album came out about 10 days ago ... good stuff.

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:57 PM |

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PDYM Neighborhood Summer Newsletter

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Just finished up coding the free summer newsletter from Purpose Driven Youth Ministry - if you don't get it you can sign up right here. Good stuff, including a new article from PDYM mentor Dan Gould talking about leaving a church, and how to transition well. Here's a clip, hit this link or wait for the newsletter to read it all:

Like many of you, my wife and I are reality show junkies. You name it we have probably watched it or know what it’s about. Sometimes there are great life lessons that can be gleaned from watching someone else’s journey. I think that’s why these shows are so popular. They keep us totally captivated with great anticipation of what will happen next!

With that being said, I want to invite you into our journey. Recently, my family and I made the move from Missouri to Texas to begin working with a new church. This was an unexpected move, meaning that it wasn’t on our radar! Especially since my wife was 6 months pregnant, we loved the church and the people we were doing life with, and the timing was just horrible. But we sensed that God was leading us away, and preparing us for a new season of life.

This leads us to a great question “How do you know when God calls you away?” I wish I had a great answer for this one, but I don’t. For us, it all started with a phone call.

Now this wasn’t the first phone call, but this call was different than any other. I remember after getting off the phone this feeling of uncertainty, fear, and a little bit of excitement. I was excited after hearing what God was doing in the church and where they saw the church going in the next couple of years. However, I wasn’t planning on packing my bags anytime soon, but I was open to the fact that maybe God was doing something here.

The next couple of days were filled with high anxiety and restless nights. My wife and I spent much time researching the church and the area as we prayed for guidance, and wisdom.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:13 PM |

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Lots of ETV Updates

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Don't know if you've been over on Saddleback's Extending the Vision blog recently, but I've added quite a few new posts, a video about the opening of Purpose Drive, and today the first poll for the site. Check it out and vote today!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:55 PM |

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Podcast 54 is in the Can

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The latest episode of the SYM Podcast is in the can ... should be up this afternoon. And yes, it might be the 3rd edited show ever.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:34 AM |

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Major Typo

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Don't know if you've ever had typos or had something go to print that wasn't quite perfect... well, here's mine from the Student Leadership Conference notebooks last week. Lovely!

JG






posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:35 PM |

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Behind the Magic: Sarti Design

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Got a few people asking about our graphics and the amazing backdrop we had a student leadership conference last week. If you're late to the party, we had different churches paint 2x2 canvases and we placed them all on stage as a huge mosaic. Pretty amazing stuff!

Anyhow, the genius behind it all is Leigh Sarti, of Sarti Design. He's got a new blog up that goes behind the scenes of some of his recent projects, including the stage design. If you need solid design for your church/youth ministry (he did the notebook, the shirts, the backgrounds) he's the man!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:42 PM |

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Movie Clips for Sermons ... and for Free?

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I love illustrating a talk with a clip from a movie, but getting the right clip, then getting the right moment on the DVD, then all of my capturing gear has to work perfectly - and don't get me started on just cuing up a DVD in the back of the room, that never seems to work.

Enter Wing Clips, a site I just found the other day and am really starting to love.

Maybe I'm late to the party, but you can download average size movie clips for free - and of the latest movies, too. Transformers, Ratatouille, Ark Almighty, License to Wed - all clipped and ready for download and playing in your church. I signed up today for the free access and downloaded 5 clips. They work fine - if I was doing something in big church I might spring for the $12 a month unlimited buffet of full-size clips, but for youth ministry it's perfect.

OK, I know this sounds like a commerical, but I think this is really a big deal. Free, licensed movie clips for use in your talks. Do it.

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:32 PM |

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Transformers Movie Props on eBay

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Wow ... Transformers movie props auction for charity. The Allspark ended up going for just over $20,000 - the actual BumbleBee car used in the movie around $40,000 - and my favorite even sold (albiet for just a few hundred bucks) - the tooth fairy bag seen in the movie went to charity and the highest bidder.

If it's too rich for your blood, perhaps something from Blades of Glory, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves or Friday Night Lights. Funny.


JG







posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:20 PM |

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Evaluations for PDYM SLC 2007

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We've got a couple of surveys set up for the students and leaders that attended the Student Leadership Conference last week. The links were just sent out via email, but thought I would post them here, too. Leaders click here and students here to give us your feedback!

Join us in 2008!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:27 PM |

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An iTunes Run: Volume 12

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Picked up some new tracks on iTunes in the past week ... this, in addition to ripping 3 new CDs - Hillsong United's All of the Above, Brandon Heath's Don't Get Comfortable and Jason Upton's Beautiful People. Lots of new tunes ...
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:12 PM |

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Dealing with Email

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Saw that Tony put up a good post about the inbox flooding of emails, and how to deal with it. Good stuff, though I disagree with this paragraph:
There are plenty of people (and when I say plenty I mean Josh) who have hundreds or even thousands of emails in their inbox. For me, I want my inbox as clear as possible. It represents that I have addressed everything that has come my way. Not that I have “done” it, but that I have organized it for further action. By having my “@” folders in place I can very quickly go through my inbox and organize the information that has come my way into piles of similar action or response. When I have some time to read through materials I can go to my @toread folder and read through the emails and articles there all at once. Having this systems helps me to focus better in the different “modes” that all of us have to move between during a normal work day. But usually we are flying back and forth so quickly between them that we can’t focus or address the information very well. This system helps me to do a better job taking action on my information while helping me to actually go through it a a quicker pace.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:24 AM |

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New Halo 3 Trailer

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Man, this just keeps getting better ...

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:01 PM |

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What's Inside: Red Bull

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I love Wired's What's Inside series ... today they take on Red Bull. Here's some of what's in what you just drank.
Glucose
Like most popular soft drinks, Red Bull is largely sugar water. But don't count on its glucose to "give you wings," as the ad says. Multiple studies have debunked the so-called sugar high.

Glucuronolactone
Internet rumors claimed this was a Vietnam-era experimental drug that causes brain tumors. Luckily, that's not true. But don't crumple up your tinfoil hat yet — hardly anyone has looked into exactly what this stuff does. So little research has been done on glucuronolactone (and most of it 50 years ago) that almost all information about it is mere rumor. Users generally believe it fights fatigue and increases well-being, but that could turn out to be bull, too.

Inositol
A carbohydrate found in animal muscle (sometimes called "meat sugar"), inositol is turning out to be a wonder drug that significantly reduces depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and obsessive- compulsive disorder. It might even be what makes whole grains effective cancer fighters. Instead of being a bit player in Red Bull (you'd need to drink as many as 360 cans a day to get its benefits), inositol probably deserves a drink of its own.
JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:56 PM |

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The Texting Generation

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Larry Davis has some good insight on texting and student ministry today in his new article, too. Here's an excerpt, I think it's worth the read:

We also need to teach our students to take a Sabbath break! They do not need to be constantly plugged in. I get texts sometimes from students at 2AM and when I forget to turn my phone off my wife is the one that I am answering to! I recently did a Sunday message on this and asked the students to do a “texting fast” for one week. Many complained that they just could not do it! I told them that if they could not then that cell phone had too high of a priority in their life. Instead of texting that week they just needed to pick the phone up and call someone. Many students told me that their friends would not answer when they called because it was just too personal and time consuming when the called instead of texting. While it was tough it helped them understand that the only thing which we should be completely dependant on is Christ.

Lastly, I would encourage parents to limit the amount of air time a student gets. This helps monitor how much texting is being done and also helps them to take those needed breaks. In a recent student survey at our church a student recorded that they sent over 4,800 texts in two weeks! There are so many more areas to touch on this subject and I could go on and on. What is really important is that you are made aware of this issue and you help compensate for the downfalls by enhancing personal student to student interaction. If you have any questions, please feel free to text me (LOL)!

JG


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:28 PM |

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1-Sentence Job Descriptions

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Just posted a great new article on PDYMCommunity.com from mentor Chris Wesley on creating a 1-sentence job description for volunteers. Good stuff, here's a clip:

1. Sit down with your ministry leader. Let them know that you want to be able to sum up everything that they do in one sentence. By letting them in on the process you are showing them value and that you really do care about what it is they are doing.

2. Incorporate the ministry purpose. This step might create more work for some of you but try and create a purpose statement for each area of ministry. What are you trying to achieve? What is the goal of small groups? What is a win on a Sunday night? When the job description has purpose incorporated into it, the ministry has more significance. Your ministers are no longer volunteers but the owner of a piece of your vision.

3. List and focus responsibilities. Make a list with your minister of all the tasks that they perform each time they serve. Are they doing too much? Are they doing everything? Figure out what tasks they need to do and which ones they should replace themselves or give up. If there isn’t focus, then there isn’t direction and if there isn’t direction your ministers will burn out.

JG


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:26 PM |

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PDYM Student Leadership 2008

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Here's the new look for 2008's PDYM Student Leadership Conference ... online registration for it opens tomorrow!

JG








posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:54 AM |

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Getting Caught Up Again

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Whew ... cranking today on an email to all of the Student Leadership leaders with a link to all of the videos and an online evaluation form. It's the first work I've done in the last 24 hours - yesterday was spent rotating between the kids, Xbox 360 (255 achievement points!) and the pool.

Registration for the 2008 student event opens tomorrow morning - yeah!

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:45 AM |

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Best Moments at the ESPY Awards

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Just watched the Espy Awards with a few friends - an enjoyable show for sure. Here's some of my highlights:

As for great quotes, how about:

"When life kicks you, let it kick you forward." - Kay Kow
"If you try and build a friendship, you destroy an enemy." - Irish dude

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:36 PM |

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Crossroads: Part 2

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This week we had musical guest Delirous? here for the Sunday evening services, and Doug led us through another roadblock on the crossroads of life ... conflict. The heart of the message was that we should come prepared with forgiveness when entering conflict. Some great stuff, a look at a the passage where Barnabas and Paul had a strong contention. All in all a great weekend at Saddleback!

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:32 PM |

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Who Are These Guys: 3 Dips

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Today Tony and I took on 3 possible dips that youth leaders face on the Who Are These Guys Podcast. Enjoy the quick show!

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:29 PM |

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Lover of Chipotle

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He might only be 8 months old, but he already knows good food.

JG









posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:07 PM |

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Student Leadership Challenge: Computer Drop

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Uploaded a ton of new movies to my YouTube account - here's one of my favorites from Student Leadership. It's the finale of the Student Challenges, where students guess a distance/time and the closest wins a prize. Enjoy!

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:06 PM |

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Chicken, Waffles and Good Times

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A good friend from Michigan was in Long Beach on business tonight, so the family couldn't miss the chance to see Jess. We piled into the van and grabbed some Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles and caught up on old times. Jess is so great, we love you!


JG









posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:52 PM |

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Movie Review: Arctic Tale

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Just finished watching an advance screening of Arctic Tale with the kids up at the Block, nice to get an invite to a film I can watch with them.

It was a nice show, similar to March of the Penguins but with polar bears and walrus. It's also kind of your super-formulaic National Geographic show - we start with the birth of an animal, watch it grow and survive some harrowing experiences for it to become a mother and give birth and repeat the process again. Sprinkle in a few too many references to the ozone layer, the melting ice caps and conservation and you've pretty much nailed it. Think An Inconvenient Truth for Kids movie? Yup.

There are a couple of really great shots that should be seen by everyone, but compared to Planet Earth HD this just isn't quite as stunning. Queen Latifah does an aqeuate job as narrator. C-

Arctic Tale arrives in theaters July 25th and is rated G.

JG








posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:53 PM |

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Student Leadership is OVER

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Whew ... what an amazing week. I'm still clearing out all of the random text messages and voice mails from the students this week. Note to self: never give out your phone number to 800 kids. OK, I love it, but my phone doesn't. More thoughts on it later ... too busy today sleeping, doing nothing, watching arena football and then sleeping a bit more. Exhausted.

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:50 PM |

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Student Leadership 2007: Day Three

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Here's a few pictures from yesterday's Student Leadership Conference. This morning it's all over - and what a session we have planned. The first shot is the change donation from PDYM to Be the Change, right before a fantastic offering the students and leaders gave to match the gift. The second one is a kid live blogging the conference, which is so sweet and awesome, and the last is 15-year-old Zach Hunter, author of Be The Change, talking to the students on stage. Awesome!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:57 AM |

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The Day I Suddenly Knew Kung Fu

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JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:16 PM |

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Dropped Drink

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Yesterday when I hugged Brian for bringing me a java chip frappachino in the morning, but my overzealous hug resulted in dropping my drink on him and the floor. Today, he was prepared for whatever might happen. Priceless.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:45 PM |

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Sleeping Taffy and the Stage

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Here's a few shots of the stage and a priceless shot of Taffy sleeping - tired, the team is getting.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:43 PM |

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Close to You

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This video will mean nothing to most ... but to the conference people in the morning, it'll be gold I think. These are the two we set up on a blind date in front of the whole crowd. Fun.

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:30 AM |

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More SLC Blogging

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Just heard that Rob and Lovato are joining in on the blogging from the conference and of course Allison has a couple of solid posts, too, as you should expect. Enjoy a few more perspectives from these great youth workers.

JG




posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:05 AM |

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The Uhaul Crew

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Here's the group of students we're calling the Uhaul crew - they helped us set up the student experiences for tomorrow morning. Let's just say it involved loading and unloading about 4 billion boxes of stuff. A great group of servant leaders - putting into practice what they had just learned in the session. Thanks, guys!

JG








posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:55 AM |

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I Can Only Imagine

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Wow, this is a powerful moment tonight. Everyone singing so passionately ... what a powerful group of student leaders. Wonder if one of them will take this to heart and change the world?

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:46 PM |

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Taco Bell Olympics Event List

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Amazing Taco Bell Olympics today ... enjoyed the Cinnamon Twist shot put, the Taquito Javelin toss, the Baja Mountain Dew chug and of course, the Crunchwrap Discus. Amazingly fun - and messy, on the speakers, the lights, the floor ... people ... there will be major cleanup tonight!

JG



posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:31 PM |

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