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Star Wars TV Show Updates

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The thought of a Star Wars TV show still scares me, but I have to admit I'm cautiously excited. Here's a clip from TheForce.Net's latest report:
- Boba Fett will certainly be in the series and Rick wants Daniel Logan for the part.
- The series will be on cable.
- He will have a contract for 100 episodes and Rick hopes it will be extend to 400, maybe with Expanded Universe characters after the first 100.
- So no EU character for "now" in the live action show. All the characters will be new ones.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:37 PM |

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Busy Day

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Hmmm ... super busy today.

Between helping on the programming for the AIDS Summit, starting the marketing for a PDYM Conference here at Saddleback October 2008, figuring out the locations for the 1-day PDYM road show, assisting the team doing the programming for the weekend services in HSM and getting ready for a night of trick or treating, I haven't been able to take a breath today. Oh well!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:25 PM |

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The Office: The Spinoff

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Oh man, if your weekly 1/2 hour of The Office isn't enough ... and it can never be ... TV Guide is reporting that a second Office is about to open. Please star some of the guys from the original, how amazing would that be. Oh man!
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, NBC may be about to pay a major compliment to Grey's Anatomy. Multiple sources confirm to me exclusively that the Peacock is developing an episode of The Office that would introduce several new characters who would then be spun off into a new series.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 7:21 PM |

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Free Taco at Taco Bell

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Shoot - almost forgot! Off to get my free taco ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:37 PM |

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Apple is Arrogant

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Engadget is reporting that the new Leopard operating system released this week for Apple computers has an unusual icon for when the OS finds a Windows-based PC on the network. It is a dated CRT monitor with the blue screen of death.

Now, I can imagine some of my Mac friends finding this particularly funny, giggling with delight at the discovery. And don't write this off as a Mac-hater, either I'm not a PC groupie either. I use iTunes every day, I've got an iPod, my Pocket PC has iPhone envy and I've really considered making the switch when the Vaio dies. But I think it's really disappointing - thought this blogger put it well:

Arrogance is ugly. If you claim to care about aesthetics and design, it's in your interest to keep from being completely tacky and lacking in taste.

To be honest, there's really only room for mocking everybody else if you're absolutely flawless. And even then, it's pretty bad taste. I've seen exactly what it looks like firsthand to see people take cheap shots and make snide comments about their nominal competitors, and it invariably makes the complainer look worse than the ostensible target. When the company you're taking a shot at is Microsoft, that's saying a lot.

So, to Apple: Your company's value, as measured by market capitalization, is way up. You're dominating the markets you care about. The quality of your products is generally very good -- my main laptop runs OS X and we've got the requisite geek household pile of various-generation iPods around. Apple's got my money, to the tune of thousands of dollars. But this level of sneering arrogance, at a time when a little humble appreciation of success is well in order, would go a long way.

You're succeeding. Act like it.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:06 PM |

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Free Shipping on Youth Ministry Resources

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If you didn't notice, Simply Youth Ministry is running a free shipping deal right now on all orders over $150. Head over there and see if there's something that could benefit your students!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:13 PM |

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Explosive Growth at Mariner's

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Mariner's Church is just down the road from Saddleback and reading in Outreach Magazine I was excited to learn about their growth. There's a great feature on them in this month's issue - here's three of the five big things they're going after this year:

First, as a pastor, I believe in teaching God’s Word. We want our congregation to love God and love the truth. We want them to have a meaningful experience with Jesus that they connect with God. In studying God’s Word, I take a historical grammatical method so that our church can learn and understand what was said in the Bible, take those principles and translate them across cultural boundaries.

Second, we strongly believe that each person can make a difference at our church, so we give our members a great deal of ministerial responsibility. This all starts with members sharing their personal testimonies. We believe we overcome the evil one through the blood of the Lamb and Word of our testimony. So, we as a church place a huge value on story time. Every Tuesday morning, we have people telling stories of how God is changing people in our church. We also value small groups and believe they are a "wondering place" where we can have discussions of God’s Word with one another as a community.

Third, we create a sense of family at our church by treating it like a large community church. Our building is a big box with dramatic staging so that when you walk in, it feels like an auditorium with amphitheater seating. All of the social activities for the church, however, happen around an outdoor seating area that looks a lot like a patio. By creating a church that’s a family, we can help our members through the pain and sadness in their lives. A family home is a place where people love you for who you are, but also love you enough to help you get better. So our church family challenges one another to be all that we can be; it’s a safe enough place to make life’s most dangerous choices. A church functioning as a healthy family creates a fun, family atmosphere that challenges growth--that’s the kind of family we are trying to create at Mariners.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:02 PM |

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Pain in Being a Pastor

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I've had some interesting conversations about this topic this week - there can be a lot of pain in ministry. The highs are really high but sometimes the lows can be really low. I heard one person suggest that being a pastor sometimes means you have a target on your back. Friends, being in the ministry is so worth it. Is it difficult? Yup. Will it test you in ways you don't want to be tested? Oh yeah.

Perry had some strong thoughts on it today worth the time to read. Here's a clip from the beginning to get you started:

One of the things I have been both complimented and criticized for is my willingness to be vulnerable and honest, so today’s post is going to be just that. Let me NOT begin with a funny story or illustration, but with the bottom line of this post, All pastors, whether they want to admit it or not, are carrying around with them intense amounts of pain…sometimes it’s more, and others it’s less–but it is always REAL.

(NewSpring–this is NOT some sort of message from me to you…this is a post where I feel incredibly led to minister to pastors who may be hurting! AND God has an amazing sense of humor–this article was actually written last Thursday, before the local “excitement” from this past weekend.)

I have a heart for pastors and so today I would just like to share the three areas that I believe cause the most pain in a pastors life.

#1 - Pain From Loneliness

I served on staff for nearly a decade at two other churches before starting NewSpring Church, and I can remember thinking about the pastors I served under, “I do just as much as they do, and I don’t think they deal with any more junk that I have to deal with.” I made those assumptions because I was arrogant, stupid and wrong. Trust me when I say that only a pastor can understand the pain of a pastor.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:02 AM |

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ETV Newsletter #3

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Here's the latest issue of the Extending the Vision Newsletter this month at Saddleback - we're heading into a critical giving season (just 25% to go!) and the doors will open in June. So exciting! Read it here and check out the ETV blog here, too.

This is one of the most exciting parts of any building campaign -- the home
stretch!

Even though the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim let me down this year, the home stretch is a crucial and exciting part of the season. Unlike my favorite baseball team, I know that our church body is going to finish strong with the Extending the Vision campaign. In just a few shorts months, we will open a beautiful new Student Center that will meet the needs of our teenagers and families and also serve our community. I’m so excited that Saddleback Church will have a building designed with them in mind.

We’ve just hit an important milestone in the ETV campaign—we’re more than half way there! How amazing is that? As we head into the final months of construction on the signature building of the campaign, I wanted to pause and thank you for making a financial sacrifice for your church. I can’t wait for you to see this building! The good news is that we’re more than half way there financially. The challenge now is to collect the balance of your generous commitments in the last few months of the campaign. I know we can do it!


JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:12 PM |

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A Great Illustration of Teamwork

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Chad sent in this video (which you HAVE to watch) and thinks it would be a great illustration on teamwork. No kidding!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:10 PM |

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The Free Show

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The latest episode of the Who Are These Guys Podcast is up - this week it's The FREE Show, where we list like 11 helpful resources that are absoultely free that will benefit your youth ministry. Enjoy!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:06 PM |

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Internet Workshop Video

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Thought this promo video would be something you could use in your ministry if you're teaching a class on the online world and such. You could use these notes if you wanted, too! Tim is doing an awesome job at this stuff ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:06 PM |

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What Interns Need

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I've enjoyed getting to know a potential intern here on the junior high team over breakfast this morning, then I read on the PDYM blog about Danny's recent learnings in his intern ministry. Thought there were some good insights over there. Here's an excerpt:
1- They need leadership. They need someone to guide & direct them as well as care for them. They need a leader to help them get down to business as well as have fun with what they are doing. They need someone to help them see how God has wired them & how to use that for ministry. They need to see a model of a healthy youth worker & follower of Christ.

2- They need boundaries. These boundaries are not just for what they are & aren't supposed to do, but also so they know the freedoms they have. I don't believe in holding their hands if they have shown themselves to be competent leaders. I believe giving them freedom is a necessity to show them you trust them. But also they get the freedom when they show they have earned it. The boundaries allow them to remember what their role is as well as how they can lead on their own.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:35 PM |

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Being Authentic

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Thought this video was absolutely brilliant - if you're speaking on authenticity, being genuine, showing real concern, compassion - this fits brilliantly. Warning: there's a couple of words you might want to bleep out at the end. So funny ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:41 AM |

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Ken Blanchard in Church

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By far my favorite part of this weekend in big church was an interview/testimony Ken Blanchard, author of 1-Minute Manager and a ton of other business books and the founder of Lead Like Jesus. His home burned down this week in the fires around San Diego, and it was a super powerful testimony about his worship of Christ when he's lost it all.
If you want to watch the service, and/or see the testimony, our church recently removed the password protection on the live and archived services, so click away!
Ken Blanchard saw it all go up in smoke this week. The bestselling business author of “The One Minute Manager” and two dozen other international business and leadership bestsellers watched from a television as his beloved Rancho Bernardo home burned to the ground. What is God’s purpose now for those who lost everything this week? How can you look up when your burned out?
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:08 PM |

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Connect Weekend Video

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Here's the connect purpose video from this week in HSM ... filmed and edited by a student, too. Yeah!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:05 PM |

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Come to Church for a Free Song

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Danny and I were chatting this week over lunch about taking the programming of the high school ministry to the next level. We added to his solid program a nice video from YouTube that supports the point of the night and had one other random idea - how about giving away 1,000 songs on iTunes?

The weekend is on "reach" or evangelism, and I had made a parallel earlier to how iTunes is extending it's reach with the Starbucks connection - buy a coffee get a song. Now, our students eat and sleep iPods and frappachinos, so it seemed to make sense to me.

Well, 25 minutes later, Danny has scored 1,000 free songs this week on iTunes for us to giveaway. This weekend should have one of those "I can't believe they did that at church moments" and hopefully they'll bring a friend next week (if they got the point).

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:45 PM |

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Gamerscore Hits 11,000

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It was just a month ago that it hit 10,000 - today I hit 11,000 on my Xbox 360 Gamerscore. Not to shabby being overseas a few weeks and with the whole seminary thing!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:45 PM |

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PDYM Student Leadership Conference Inside Tips

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Did you attend the PDYM Student Leadership Conference last year?

We're starting to fill spaces already - it feels like God is up to something big with that little event. We sure do have fun ! Now, one of the PDYM Community mentors is asking about some inside tips for the event and if you have some, head over there and post 'em for the world to see. How do you fund an event like this? Do you do it in place of camp? What about travel arrangements, volunteers, scholarships and fundraisers?

Help other youth workers out with your ideas or tips that have worked for you!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:03 PM |

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Drowning in Paperwork

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I overheard the shredder working overtime this week getting rid of some old paperwork that contained somewhat sensitive information. Are you drowning in paperwork? A new article on your YouthMinistry.com helps you get your head above water. Good stuff, here's a clip:
1. Take time to get it right. If the organization that needs your forms will be scanning them, they could require blue or black ink, writing in all caps within the boxes, or filling in the circles completely. Spend a few moments before you hand them out so kids and parents know what’s required. Remind them. And give them the right color pen. Most organizations require the original forms with original signatures—not faxes or photocopies.

2. Know the due dates…then back-track two weeks. There are good reasons why organizations need your paperwork by a particular time. If you fail to do that, you might not be able to participate. Try telling THAT to your kids and parents: “Um, we can’t go because I didn’t send our stuff in on time.” So play it safe. Whatever date the forms are due to the organization, require your young people to give them to YOU two weeks before. That allows a little grace period for that one family that ALWAYS misses the deadline. It also gives you a last chance to look through them to make sure everyone filled out all the required places and signed in all the right places.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:01 PM |

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How Close Were the Fires to Saddleback?

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I noticed that a bunch of people were searching for "Saddleback and fires" and similar terms today - thought I would answer the question by giving you a link. Alanna took a bunch of Photos and posted them on Flickr that will answer the question.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:08 PM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Volume 40

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Here's a few of the 300 different phrases put into Google this week that led people to the blog. Fun!
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:57 AM |

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More Pictures of the Fire

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My friend Leigh posted a bunch of new pictures of the fire last night, some of them are really great. Check them out if you're interested.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:14 PM |

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Nature/Evangelism Video from HSM

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Here's a video from HSM this past weekend. It talks about creation speaking about God, and how evangelism is us speaking about God, too.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:52 AM |

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Amazing NASA Pictures of the Fires

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Thought this site was worth mentioning tonight - some amazing shots of the fires and smoke from NASA. And there's this cool movie of the smoke in action, too. Wild.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:50 PM |

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Out for some Fresh Air

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So we have this amazing air filter that keeps the air in the house fresh and clean on a regular basis - and we've had it going non-stop since all of the fires broke out here in the OC. They even closed the schools tomorrow because of the terrible air quaility (I understand we're pretty much like 1800's coal miners).

So tonight I took it apart to clean it, and thought this picture was fantastic. Probably looks like my lungs right now, right? Yikes.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:48 PM |

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A Vision of Students Today

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This has more to do with college students and the educational process, but I think watching this video would add some depth to your understanding of students.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:16 PM |

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iLife is 50% Off

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Just talked to the Simply Youth Ministry gang and they said that iLife is 50% off the next few days. If you're looking for 5 weeks of entry-level youth ministry programming on relationships with everything included, this might be something to check out ...
Relationships are difficult, and relationships for teenagers are even more difficult. And we’re not talking about puppy-love, holding hands under the bleachers relationships – we’re talking about everyday, going-thru-life relationships. The majority of students are in need of help and appreciate any coaching that shows them how to make relationships matter. This Super-Series will help by providing 5 relational rules that are biblical and powerful. You’ve heard of the “one anothers”, and in this series Doug looks at five biggies and shows students how to enhance relationships with others and with God.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 5:14 PM |

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Lunch Time Fun

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Had lunch with Chris Sligh who was in town for this week doing Hollywood stuff. Enjoyed lunch at Island's with a whole pile of friends from the high school, junior high and worship teams. So fun - thanks for Allison for the iPhone picture, too!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:05 PM |

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Helicopters Join the Fight

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Helicopters in the backyard this morning ... amazing. The fire is about 50% contained, the news is good this morning on our end.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:54 AM |

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Video of the Fire

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They're dropping Foscheck (a red flame retardant) on the hills not to far from our community. Developing ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:56 PM |

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Billowing Smoke

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Wow, thought the fire was about beat today - but it looks like it is back and stronger than ever. Some shots from the Pedestrian Bridge a few minutes ago ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:59 PM |

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Life Art

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I was talking to one of our students Dez today - she's thinking about having scarification done to her arms to hide the cutting from a few years ago.
My thoughts are if I turn them into something pretty but don't cover them up fully, it would work. I don't want to hide my past, but at the same time I really don't like being put on display at any given moment. If it's up to me and I feel like talking about it, sure, I don't care. But seriously, people asking me about it when I'm in line at the grocery store at 1 in the morning buying cold medicine cuz I've been sick....not really the best timing ya know. Now on that note, check out my scars and tell me what ya'll think.
I told her the scars on her arms are what I've dubbed "life art" - tangible representations of our journey through life. I told her that changing that would mess up the beautiful picture that God is showing through her scars.

Seems like scars are important to Jesus - since he'll still have his in Heaven. What do you think? I told her I was going to blog about them, and that I would recommend people share their thoughts with the both of us. Please do - give us some other perspectives ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:38 PM |

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Sing Your Heart Out

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Thought Taffy had a great post (and a couple of awesome pictures) of students in our junior high and high school services this past weekend singing their hearts out to God. SO cool, bro!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:07 PM |

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Saddleback's Regional Website

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Just noticed on McGill's blog that Saddleback's regional website is now live. He's got a blog on it as well, and here's a clip from the launch strategy. So exciting!
In the past, we decentralized our midweek Congregation. Instead of gathering as a large group on Wednesday nights in the Worship center, we placed our members in homes, so that they could grow with one another in a small group setting and thus experience the truth that we’re better together.

Now is the time to decentralize our weekend Crowd in much the same way. Our Saddleback Lake Forest campus is nearly maxed out. Unfortunately we are turning away hundreds of cars each week during our busiest services. By casting a wider net and coming together in smaller congregations around Orange County, we can offer more options to attract the non-churched and connect them to Jesus instead of turning them away.

Our goal is a bold one: Saddleback will plant ten new campuses in and around Orange County by the end of 2010. Can it be done? Absolutely! Through God’s power this can happen. We’re going to literally need the help of thousands. Each new campus will need hundreds of people committed to attending, serving, or supporting a new congregation in some way.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:59 AM |

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What I've Done

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Enjoyed this video. Could be something you could use in your ministry ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:40 AM |

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The Fire at Night

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Hmmm ... not sure I like this image.

Zoomed in a bit to get it, but it was from the entrance to our little community. Whew. We took a drive and the closer you get to it, the more it feels like there is a light snowfall because of the ash. And one of the main roads about a half mile from the fire line was lined with onlookers, it was truly a sight to behold.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:21 PM |

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Ash Monday

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Driving back from Youth Specialties today ... oh, man. The wildfires are all over San Diego, too.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:42 PM |

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Theology MidTerms

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The blog has been more silent than usual - but not for long. Just finished up my seminary midterms in Christian Theology tonight and headed to Youth Specialties in San Diego as soon as class is done. Whew!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:19 PM |

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Fire's Getting Close

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Shoot, you could see the glow of the fire lighten up the sky from campus tonight. The fire is too close for comfort.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:14 PM |

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Is the Crust Really Better for You?

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So as I was cutting off the crust of my children's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches today and it brought up the age old question on if that is the best part of the bread or not. My diligent web research hasn't yielded a clear answer. I've seen it both ways so far ... anyone know the truth? Anyone else care or is it just me?
No...it is NOT more nutritious. I make bread EVERYDAY for a bakery and the crust is no where near as nutritious as the inner part. The outer part of the bread cooks faster which makes it the crust and that cooks all the nutrients out of it. Because of that fact, the inner part of the bread stays packed with its vitamins and contrary to what everyone else is saying, the yeast does not move to the outer part of the bread.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:42 PM |

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PDYMBlog.com

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Just today we added a new URL to the Purpose Driven Youth Ministry fold - PDYMblog.com. It's the great new community blog we created this month with dozens of authors that can post anytime they want - you'll hear from Doug Fields, the PDYM staff, veteran state mentors and like-minded experienced youth workers.

Tell your youth worker friends about PDYMBlog.com!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:53 PM |

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The Right Volunteers

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Shane posted some great thoughts on the PDYM blog about volunteers. Here's a clip from some of his in the trenches learnings, head there for the rest and a host of other great recent posts from the community members:
1) DON'T JUST LOOK FOR WARM BODIES
We all have positions that need to be filled; yesterday. Youth guys are always in need of leaders. But be careful! Take your time when it comes to choosing adults that will come along beside you in ministry. Spend time praying and seeking God's direction on certain people you have in mind to be a part of your teen ministry.

2) ASK QUESTIONS
My mistake ~ I did not ask enough questions. What are your beliefs? How would you handle this situation? What is your idea of ministry? Do you understand our Purpose Statement?

Rather than rush to fill the spot, take it slow and ask questions upfront. I am guilty of giving in to the panic that I felt to fill a position and to fill it quickly. I think to myself "I will have time later to sit and talk." But because of our schedules we all know "later" rarely comes. Ask questions ahead of time.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:10 AM |

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Willow Creek's Big Mistake

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Pease pointed out this passage to me from Christianity Today's blog. Thought it was an interesting perspective on evaluating what you do to make sure it is effective, and making sure your focus is on making disciples who grow on their own:

Speaking at the Leadership Summit, Hybels summarized the findings this way:

Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.

Having spent thirty years creating and promoting a multi-million dollar organization driven by programs and measuring participation, and convincing other church leaders to do the same, you can see why Hybels called this research “the wake up call” of his adult life.

Hybels confesses:

We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.

In other words, spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships. And, ironically, these basic disciplines do not require multi-million dollar facilities and hundreds of staff to manage.

UPDATE: It is a great talk ... you can actually watch it all on the Reveal blog, too.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:25 PM |

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OPEN: Free Youth Ministry Resources

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This place is awesome. Grab some solid free youth ministry resources ... actually, there's great stuff in every category. Go Life Church!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:16 AM |

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Street Fighter IV Trailer

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This is impressive.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:51 AM |

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I Want This For Christmas

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Yeah, that's a USB mini fridge. Christmas idea!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:29 AM |

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HDME

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Saddleback's High School Ministry is doing a new series this week during the 40 Days of Purpose campaign - High Definition ME (HDME). I think it's going to be a cool to frame the purposes in a fresh new way. Should have lots of TVs on stage, some old school black and white TVs, and some other geeky gadgets and stuff. I like it!

One of the most popular questions people ask about the purposes is, "How have you shaped the series differently when you teach it every year?" Well, this is this year's version. How have you taught the purposes creatively? Got some other good series names and ideas?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:56 PM |

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Book Review: Beyond Megachurch Myths

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OK, I'll be honest, I didn't actually quite finish this book. I went for more of the "read the chapters that seemed to strike me as interesting" approach. Part of the reason for that is that the book is from more of a research and technical perspective. Not exactly my cup of team - no pictures either.

The book clearly shows off the positive side of megachurches. It's neat to hear analytical perspective on how big churches still care about the message and people. It was amazing and satisfying to read about just how wide and varied the style is amongst this group of churches. Megachurches are more than a "show." I also appreciate the identification of how the more recent megachurches differ from the older ones, and how the megachurch must change to reach the next generation.

All in all a solid book, even if it gets bogged down a bit for my taste. B-

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:32 PM |

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Daily Alarms

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Every day at 10:50 I have a reminder set on my Outlook Express asking me if I've made a positive difference in our church culture - have I led from the middle and exhibited upward influence. A buddy of mine has one set at 3:10 to call his wife and tell her he loves her. Another has one at 6:05 that reminds her to take a pill. Do you have any reminders set? Any daily alarms other than waking up?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:44 PM |

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Unique Abilities Facilitator Guide

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There's a couple of new resources at Simply Youth Ministry today - they have a Unique Abilities Facilitator Guide that looks interesting. Check them out if you need good youth ministry resources!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:44 PM |

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Purpose and Process

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Today at the intern meeting I covered some of my recent learnings from the book Simple Church. I focused on our primary process for discipleship (the baseball diamond, which is complimented in the book) and we talked about how programs and ministries should move people along the process but often times end up being a distraction.

I made a comparison to churches being a congested highway with many cars clogging the road, instead of one well-oiled bus that motors down in one vehicle. We talked a lot about how so many noises drown out the most important messages, with everyone competing louder and louder so their voice is heard. Eventually all you hear is noise.

I hope it was challenging - seemed to stir up some great discussion. Often times we talk about purpose and challenge programs on the basis of purpose, but don't take the same time to evaluate based on process. Will this "next best idea" not only accomplish a purpose, but will it actually help move people along our simple discipleship process?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:34 PM |

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New PDYMCommunity.com

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Updated the main pdymcommunity.com page today with word on the new PDYM blog. Fun to see a fresh new look to the site. Enjoy!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:33 PM |

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Another Take on Halo 3 and the Youth Room

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Just read this take from The Christian Chronicle about HALO 3. Here's a clip - and by the way, where were all these people for the first two games?
Jamison said he’s sensitive to the possibility that some parents may not want their teens playing “Halo 3” and works to keep church leaders and parents informed of the activities. He also is ready to provide other activities for teens who can’t participate.

As for the game itself, “I’ve just used it mainly as an activity,” he said. “I don’t try … comparing Master Chief (the protagonist in ‘Halo 3’) to Jesus. I just try to use video games to get in touch with (youth) and get on their level. If they’re comfortable ... that can open the doors to deeper discussion about religion, and about their faith.”

Chancey disagrees: “The whole idea (is), if we have ‘Halo’ in our youth room, the kids will come, and the fact is, they don’t. If you want to reach people you have legitimate, authentic relationships. You don’t need ‘Halo.’”

That’s been the case for Price. Despite their popularity, video games aren’t necessary for ministering to youths, he said.

“Guys from the youth group are always in shock when they come over and find out that I don’t have any video games,” Price said. “After I explain that I’m not into them, the weirdest thing happens — we talk.”
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:31 PM |

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Which Announcements to Give?

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Had some questions this week about which verbal announcements would get delivered in big church. Apparently there were maybe 7 major announcements - all of them seemed pressing. Here's part of an email I sent to the group after the weekend was decided to help clarify future culture we would establish on the issue:
Just as an aside on this situation we just encountered ... I imagine it happens fairly regularly? Two schools of thought:

THE BIG IDEA is a recent book that encourages churches to focus on one central theme for the weekend with action steps and announcements, worship - everything, really - centered on the message. Might be something to consider to best determine priority of announcements. To put that philosophy into action here: Rwanda wins out as it was the central adult message this past weekend.

SIMPLE CHURCH is another recent title that encourages churches to focus on a simple pathway for discipleship at all times. Everything else gets communicated through handouts, inserts, websites and bulletins. To put that philosophy into action here: the upcoming 40 days campaign wins out as thousands will join the campaign and grow spiritually.
So ... how do you determine which announcements get made in big church? What gets bumped, relegated or tabled? How do you determine which is a priority and which isn't?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:48 PM |

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Bunch of ETV Updates

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Just wanted to let you know there's a bunch of new pictures and updates on the Extending the Vision blog for the Student Zone here at Saddleback Church. It'll be so fun hosting a PDYM Conference next October (2008) with that building open. Can't wait!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:44 PM |

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Halo 3 as an Outreach Tool

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Thought this was a solid perspective on Halo 3 and youth ministry. From this morning's Church Central. Here's a clip:

So what’s the bottom line on gaming for churches that want to reach teens? It may be as simple as paying attention to gaming as a part of the culture—learning the language, if you will. Ignoring games and trying to reach teens may be like eschewing PowerPoint and parking lots while trying to reach adults who continually see visuals in presentations and drive cars. In the same way, teens see games all the time, and drive Xboxes, PS2s, Game Cubes, Wiis and Nintendo DSs.

Churches can't offer teens a nice flannel graph story and expect to find an interested audience. Youth ministry leaders should get into the game if they want to reach the gamers.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:55 AM |

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Google Searches That Lead Here: Volume 40

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Here's the latest list of Google searches that led to the blog this past week. I deleted the usual suspects, leaving some golden search nuggest. Check these out:
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:27 PM |

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People Getting Punched Just Before Eating

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This was mildly funny ... but as a whole the return of SNL brings a yawn.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:11 AM |

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Exposure, Experience, and Expression

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Just noticed Kerry has a new podcast with guest Kurt Johnston on Exposure, Experience, and Expression, his take on implementing the PDYM model. Some good stuff there if you're looking for some training/encouragement this morning.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:24 AM |

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Miramar Air Show 2007

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Just getting back from San Diego ... spent the day down a the air show after church. It was at Miramar Naval Air Station, formely the home of Top Gun. Cue the theme music.

Enjoy the pics, you'll find Goose and Maverick in front of the Predator Drone, the new J-35 Strike Fighter, and a rare blog appearance of my calves sticking out of the bomb bay of a B-52 bomber. So fun!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:04 PM |

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10 Features Every Video Game Should Embrace

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A new article in Business Week (credit to MN) talks about 10 usable things that every game should incorporate. I like the list, here's clip. Might be interesting to read someone do a church version of the list:

1. Never ask a player if they want to save their game.
Should you give players the option to save their game (and that's entirely up to you), don't ask them if they want to save upon reaching a designated checkpoint. Of course players want to save a game when given the privilege! Asking a gamer if he wants to save his progress is like asking a movie buff if they want to watch subsequent chapters of a DVD. Don't disrupt the game experience with an obtrusive pop-up. Simply display subtle on-screen text that says "Saving…" as popularized on consoles by Halo and be done with it. To ensure gamers can play back their favorite levels, don't overwrite level data. Rather, keep tabs on a gamer's progress and grant them access to the areas they have already visited.

2. Always say "press any button" to start a game.
This may seem fastidious, but in the real world, I've seen both casual players and experienced gamers unnecessarily stop and think about the start screen. A game specifically asks a player to "press start to begin." When prompted, the newbie gamer looks down at a confusing set of buttons, thinks for a second as to which button they need to press, then they hit it. The intimidation process has already begun. This is bad usability. Any button should do. "But I don't develop games for
newbie, I develop them for gamers," you say. Fine, then you just forced a gamer to unnecessarily think if the actual start button is required, or any button would suffice as is the case with most games. Obviously as a designer you want to leverage thinking to enhance the value of completing a task, but what entertainment value can be found in complicating a start menu? Some games wisely display "press any button to start." Every game should.

3. Always let players remap controller buttons to suit their preferences.
Certain computer users prefer a mouse at the left side of the keyboard as opposed to the right. Fortunately, they have the option to do so. Sadly, a lot of games don't let
players remap buttons and analog sticks to better suit their likes and dislikes. To rectify the situation, why not bring control options front and center to the pause menu? They're already an integral part to the gameplay experience. Why bury them in a complicated hierarchy of menu options? This would allow for easy access letting gamers quickly change what they need before getting back to the action. A handy "quick map" of controls as featured on most game demos would also be appreciated. Granted, this takes more effort on the part of developers to facilitate the option, but using controller templates for every console is sure to save some economies.


JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:59 PM |

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iTunes and Starbucks Have Joined Forces

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This is some pretty cool stuff, and I even got some free song coupons with my drink this morning on the way to seminary. I like it ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:50 PM |

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Teeth Whitening Dissolving Strips

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I just completed 40 Days of Teeth Whitening.


No, its not a new dental campaign coming out - I gave the new Listerine Quick Dissolving Whitening Strips a shot. They were super easy to use, worked almost as directed (except being stupidly difficult to open), and seemed to whiten my teeth.

But here's the problem: no one noticed.


What happened?
1) The strips don't work.
2) I need to smile more, to show off my teeth?
3) Do people notice but not comment on teeth very much?
4) Were my teeth beyond the point of no return?

JG

PS: If you're checking out my teeth on the picture to the right, you can thank Natalie and her mad Photoshop skills for that one.

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:34 PM |

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24,000 Purpose Driven Life in 1 Day

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Thought this was a cool story about a jillion PDL books ending up in some prisons this week. So awesome, what life change will result from this church's effort? Here's a clip from ABPNews.com:

Giving Rick Warren’s best-selling The Purpose Driven Life to prisoners is nothing new for church volunteers. In fact, O.J. Simpson reportedly received a copy of the inspirational book from ministers at Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, where he recently was incarcerated on armed robbery charges.

But St. Andrews Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C., is distributing the book on a much broader scale than most groups. On Sept. 25, church members gave a copy of The Purpose Driven Life to every prisoner in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. They gave away some 24,000 copies.

Greg Barr, pastor of St. Andrews, came up with the idea after his involvement with a 30-year-old bible study group at a prison in Columbia. They had studied another of Warren’s books, 40 Days of Purpose, together and wanted to expand it. And
expand it they did. In a single day, prison workers and Baptist volunteers transported thousands of books to the state’s 29 prisons.

“It was a surprise for some of our folks because in a lot of the prisons, they were expecting that we’d set up tables at the chapel and let inmates come to us, but it wasn’t like that,” Barr said. “They just sent us out to the dorms. It wasn’t a real sterile deal -- you were out there just interacting with the guys.” Barr’s pet
project had plenty of inside help. Leaders at the congregation Warren pastors, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., sold the church special prison-tailored versions of the books for $1 a copy. South Carolina corrections officials, who normally limit the number of books inmates can have at a given time, agreed to waive the limit for 30 days so that Warren’s book wouldn’t count against it.


JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:33 PM |

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6 Keys to Effective Programming in Ministry

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Tony and I did this show a few days ago on the Who Are These Guys? Podcast - 6 Keys to Effective Programming in Ministry. It was a good time, some basic stuff, and hopefully some fresh ideas for you to use. Enjoy the show!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:01 PM |

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Darth Vader Video

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Thanks to Corey for the lead on the video. Brilliant.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:35 PM |

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Free Innovate Conference

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I'm struck by how influential Granger Community Church is - I love that place! I've got some great friends that are members there, and I'm getting to know some of the staff over time, too. I used to live just a few miles north and would pop in from time to time to get refreshed and refuled to jump back into youth ministry.

Well, right now I'm watching the web version of Granger's Innovate Conference, and I strongly suggest you do, too. So awesome!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:20 PM |

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Old Testament Seminary Paper

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So here's the first couple of paragraphs for my latest seminary paper. This one deals with the importance of the Old Testament in understanding and appreciating the full picture of the New Testament. I hope my professor shares my sense of humor:
The circle was complete. At least that’s what people thought.

For years people only knew A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as ‘the Star Wars movies.’ Then, some 20 years later, George Lucas revealed that he was only telling them half of the story – the prequels were about to make people rethink the way people looked at the characters in their beloved and heroic story.

As Christians, we have our prequel, too. The Old Testament.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:58 PM |

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New Blogger Feature at SYM

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The above text was generated from a new feature on all of the article pages over at Simply Youth Ministry - there's now a new button that give you some quick code to drop into the HTML part of a blog post (or MySpace, whatever). Check it out - I think it's pretty slick!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:47 PM |

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Take a Break

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Wow. Apparently, my schedule of late is really catching up with me. We talked about this season as a family earlier this fall - the September 15 to October 15 window was one of the busiest and most random we have ever encountered. So, my body is now forcing me to slow down by being sick. Really sick, I might add.

When will I ever learn this basic lesson? Argh!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:29 PM |

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Your Youth Ministry is Driven By Something

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I wrote an article this week taking a quick look at what foundation and philosophy many youth ministries are built on. Can you think of some more to add to the list? Read the full article on SYM or PDYM's blog, here's a preview:

Personality Driven Youth Ministry - the youth worker with the most charisma wins. Everything is about the person leading the ministry, as long as he or she doesn’t burn out. The church went out and found the sharpest, funniest, most outgoing youth worker they could. The youth ministry ends up being a mile wide and an inch deep.

Entertainment Driven Youth Ministry – bigger and better is the idea of the day here. Lights, camera, action! All flash with no substance. Entertainment, media and creativity certainly have their place in youth ministry, but without the proper balance this ministry puts on a good show that impresses but rarely sees life change.

Program Driven Youth Ministry – in this model, a youth group that has students out every night of the week is a successful one. The emphasis here is on attendance, where the busyness actually pleases church parents and keeps the elders off your back. People are always secondary to programs.

Babysitting Driven Youth Ministry – just keep everyone happy. Gather the students together in their holy fellowship huddle and teach them the Bible for discipleship. Parents love it because they have some adult time and you are teaching their students the Bible they aren’t getting at home. The discerning youth worker will eventually realize the shallowness of this approach.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 6:25 PM |

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Book Review: Simple Church

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I think this book has a lot of value to it for church leaders. Why do we make church so complex?

Simple Church is about streamlining the pathway for discipleship, it is about cutting through the clutter we create that in the end dilutes our efforts. I think the book, interestingly enough, fits well with the Purpose Driven model (Pastor Rick is even mentioned a few times) and also fits well with principles from The Big Idea and Made to Stick.

The healthiest thing you could probably do for your ministry right now is to cut 60% of your programs and clearly identify/advertise your pathway for discipleship. I'm not sure I'm ready to jump fully into this model and cut everything except the main service, small groups and ministry opportunities - but I definitely see the value in doing less better and making the pathway plain. A good read, challenging what a church "has to offer." B+

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:01 AM |

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An Open Letter to Yoda

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Just found this great article on YouthMinistry.com - here's a clip of the piece entitled An Open Letter to Yoda. So fun ...
Don't get me wrong. I love Yoda. You know - that little green Jedi who sounds like Kermit the Frog on steroids? I love that he's two feet tall and can whoop up on bad guys 3 times his size

I especially like how after he opens up a can of Star Wars kick tail and jumps around like a Mexican jumping bean, he leans on his staff and limps off into the sunset.

Except there is one wayward thing about the Jedi Master that I must mention: his view of God. When he's whipping out wise and whimsical sayings about life, he's right on the mark. But when Yoda goes into all things spiritual: Coruscant we have a problem!

Yoda is a prime time preacher for a thing called The Force. An impersonal energy field that "surrounds us and binds us" (Yoda: The Empire Strikes Back). With The Force you can do all kinds of cool things like lift up X-Wings and do major flips, but if you need a personal God to connect with, I'm afraid you're out of luck, karma, or whatever phrase you'd like to use.

Too bad that Yoda was never able to get a hold of a Bible. It would have simplified his life so much, because he could have discovered everything he needed to know about the nature of God from the very mouth of God.

Maybe he's still out there somewhere. Maybe he's even able to read Soul Fuel because he ran a google search on "Yoda" and it linked him to dare2share.org? Or not. Either way, I would like to offer you an open letter to our Jedi hero, because it's definitely something that would help us in our understanding of the God who gave us earthly life, died to give us eternal life, and is coming back one day to bring us into the perfect life.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:49 AM |

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What Students Look for in Church

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Noticed this study from the Christian Post about what students are looking to get from church. Doesn't mean they are right, but interesting none the less?

What teens expect most when it comes to churches is to worship or make a connection with God, a new Barna study showed.

Other important things they look for in a church include spending time with close friends (34 percent); getting encouraged or inspired (34 percent); and volunteering to help others (30 percent). Expectations teens prioritized as less important were learning about prayer (26 percent); listening to religious teaching (26 percent); participating in discussions regarding religion and faith (23 percent); being mentored or coached in spiritual development (21 percent); discovering the traditions of their faith (20 percent); participating in a study class about faith (19 percent); and studying the Bible (18 percent).

Most teens also prefer a church that teaches how their faith should influence everyday decisions and lifestyle rather than one that teaches the traditions and background of their faith (39 percent vs. 16 percent, respectively). At the same time, 45 percent said they would not care for either type of church.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:23 PM |

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Thou Shalt Not Kill: Halo 3 and Church

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Just read this amazing new article in the New York Times about Halo 3 and youth groups using the game for outreach nights - really fellowship and evangelism. It seems they come down pretty strong on the "no way" side of the game at a church event, and I was wondering what you think?
a) have you used any of the Halo games in/at your church or youth group?
b) is it OK to use it at home and not at the church?
c) why should this game NOT be used?
I'll share my opinion tomorrow, but I don't think it'll surprise you. Here's a clip:
First the percussive sounds of sniper fire and the thrill of the kill. Then the gospel of peace.

Across the country, hundreds of ministers and pastors desperate to reach young congregants have drawn concern and criticism through their use of an unusual recruiting tool: the immersive and violent video game Halo.

The latest iteration of the immensely popular space epic, Halo 3, was released nearly two weeks ago by Microsoft and has already passed $300 million in sales.

Those buying it must be 17 years old, given it is rated M for mature audiences. But that has not prevented leaders at churches and youth centers across Protestant denominations, including evangelical churches that have cautioned against violent entertainment, from holding heavily attended Halo nights and stocking their centers with multiple game consoles so dozens of teenagers can flock around big-screen televisions and shoot it out.

The alliance of popular culture and evangelism is challenging churches much as bingo games did in the 1960s. And the question fits into a rich debate about how far churches should go to reach young people.

Far from being defensive, church leaders who support Halo — despite its “thou shalt kill” credo — celebrate it as a modern and sometimes singularly effective tool. It is crucial, they say, to reach the elusive audience of boys and young men.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:26 AM |

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Becoming a Team

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Dan has a great new post on the PDYM blog about transitioning to a new church. This week he takes on becoming a team in your new place of service. Good stuff, here's an excerpt:
Cast the Vision Often
It is important for your team to know where the ministry is headed and why. This will help answer questions about why you are doing certain things a certain way and not doing some things that may have been good in the past. It also allows them to begin to tell others about what is going on in the student ministry. This keeps you from being the only voice speaking on behalf of students!

People want to be Heard and Valued
While we talked about past events and future events we asked for input. It was so good to hear from the team what they thought could enhance our events and ministry. Allowing the team to share ideas and insight gives them ownership of the student ministry. Plus it and helps them see their value on the team.

Have Good Communication
This can be tough, but bad communication leads to confusion. We try to send out a weekly e-mail to ALL of our volunteers. This e-mail contains a week review and highlights some things we want them to be aware of. Along with e-mails, we point our volunteers to our website where they can gain specific forms, helps, curriculum and training. This has been a tremendous help for us and cuts down on supply cost.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:24 AM |

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Found Jesus and Colorblindness on the Same Day

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As part of the ordination process my brother gave his testimony. My favorite part was him talking about kneeling down beside the green couch and praying to receive Christ. He then said that sadly he also then found out that the green couch was actually yellow and he was colorblind, too.

So he found Jesus and found out about colorblindess on the same day.

SSSoooooo funny. I'm proud of him. What a great older brother. And I love being with family and meeting nephews and nieces I've either a) never met before, or b) its been years since I saw them because we live so far away.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:51 PM |

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My Brother's Ordination

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In in Illinois with my youngest son (who could fly for free) for my big brother's ordination this afternoon. Took a quick trip over here to spend some time with all of my family who also made the trek. It's been a blast!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:50 PM |

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More Student Zone Updates

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It's been an exciting week here on campus - there's been a ton of progress on the Student Zone in the past couple of weeks. See pictures and more of it here on the ETV (Extending the Vision) blog. I've just updated it today with a bunch of new posts!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:54 PM |

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Evangelism Linebacker

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Not exactly a new video, but made me smile today.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:59 PM |

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Matt Casper to Speak at EPIC

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Just noticed that Matt Casper, author of the book I recently read, is coming to Saddleback to speak to the 20-somethings. Sounds like fun ... would love to go to this. Noticed that Kerry had a recent podcast with him, too. Cool ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:56 PM |

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5 Things to Look for When Hiring Staff

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Thought Perry had a good post today about what to look for when hiring staff to your team at church. This is good when you're thinking about future hires - and as an aside, translating this article to a volunteer context might be a way to use this perspective in your ministry today, too:
#2 - Potential - At NewSpring Church we hire for potential…where a person has been OR the amount of education a person may have doesn’t really matter to us. Seriously, we have ONE person with a seminary degree on our staff…and a couple of our key leaders never completed their college degree. You give me a staff full of fire and passion to change the world and I couldn’t give a rats rear end about their “formal training.” Many times I have made a hire and the person actually has no experience in the area in which they are being hired for…but what they did have was raw passion and a desire to learn…and I have seen God do some amazing things with these people!!!

#3 - Character - Are they godly? Do they love Jesus? If this is unclear then I would not make a move…IF that kind of thing is important to you!

#4 - Chemistry - Do you like them? Seriously…can you get along? Do you actually enjoy seeing them heading your way in the hall? There are too many churches in America where there is no staff unity because the pastor has his staff hired for him by some flippin committee who doesn’t know JACK about the day to day operations of the church. Ask yourself…are they likable? BUT please understand that, even if you like them, this does not mean that you should hire them! BUT…it is nice to enjoy the company of the people you work with!
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:59 PM |

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MySpace Session Notes

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Simply Youth Ministry is going to give away my session PowerPoint from the session I've been teaching recently called My Space on MySpace. If you're going to talk to teenagers about the online world or planning to in the future, grab them now for free. I hope they will be of help to you as you prepare a talk on the subject!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 2:17 PM |

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SYM Podcast 59 is in the Can

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Just finished recording the next episode of the Simply Youth Ministry Podcast. Episode 59 will be up in the next day or two - enjoy the show! Jana was gone to Catalyst so it is just the boys this week.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:45 PM |

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Never To Early to Start Thinking About Christmas

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Just got our Christmas service schedule - 14 services this year! Starting at Friday the 21st and running through Christmas Eve. Whew - this is going to be an exciting holiday, can't wait to see what God is going to do.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:28 AM |

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Video Game Review: Halo 3

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Wow, this game is absolutely impressive. Everything that was groundbreaking about Halo 1 and great about Halo 2 is back, bigger and more intense.

The 4-player co-op single player campaign is the newest addiction, and multiplayer is better than ever. In short, this is the game of the year for all systems - and that's saying a lot in a year of really fantastic games. It would have been nearly impossible for the game to live up to the hype, and yet somehow it does. Not quite finished with it, I'm actually trying to savor every minute of it and only playing with friends.

The worst possible thing to have while struggling with jet lag is a brand new copy of Halo 3. Not even that can stop me from Finishing the Fight. Go out and buy an Xbox 360 and a copy of this game now. A+

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 9:33 AM |

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MySpace Article on SYM

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I wrote an article on MySpace for Simply Youth Ministry this week and it went live today. You can check it out here, and here's a clip:
I will stranger-protect my MySpace profile.
It only takes a second to stop giving access out to the whole world and only allow your friends into your online neighborhood by adjusting the private/public settings. While it doesn’t prevent you from being friends and commenting in the public space, it does stop onlookers from getting to see all of you. People can still see your profile image and contact you, but this simple step makes it easy to put a big roadblock in the way of the bad guys. Once that’s in place, just make sure you be careful who you add as friends because they get access to everything.

I will limit the use of personal information online.
Encourage your students to use only their first name when talking to others—and the old rule “don’t talk to strangers” is very real in this world. Limit the use of pictures, fun and energetic is the rule here, not lurid or suggestive. And most importantly be careful not to post revealing routines, patterns or places. Less is almost always more, and sometimes it’s better to post about what happened instead of where you’re headed. And finally, remember that what you post is like a billboard alongside the highway, a giant flashing billboard along the information superhighway. Every person passing by can see everything you put up there.
JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:54 PM |

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An iTunes Run: Volume 15

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This week's adventure on iTunes was pretty simple: picking up the new David Crowder and the new Phil Wickham albums that came out this past week. Good tunes!

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:24 PM |

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Fake Steve Jobs Writes a Book

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This made me laugh - the guy behind the (Fake) Steve Jobs has a book coming out this Christmas, and a book tour to boot. Here's a clip from Wired, if you don't read (Fake) Steve, it's pretty stinkin' funny.
The "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger who jealously guarded his anonymity for nearly a year will soon embark on a publicity tour to tout his forthcoming book.

Forbes magazine editor Dan Lyons had intended to publish "oPtion$: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs" under a pseudonym. But in August, after a reporter with The New York Times exposed the satirical alter-ego of Apple Inc.'s CEO, Da Capo Press revamped the galley and added a biography on the back flap.

Meanwhile, a publicity executive at Cambridge, Mass.-based Da Capo Press called bookstores and arranged readings in the San Francisco area around the Nov. 1 publication - a book tour hadn't been planned because his identity was supposed to remain secret.

Lyons is not planning extensive travels elsewhere, however. Da Capo told him it was too late for a big tour - and Lyons lamented that the book might bomb outside of Silicon Valley. Lyons' isn't even hopeful about his hometown of Boston.

"Being too insiderish - it's my biggest concern," Lyons told The Associated Press. "Maybe it's one of those things where if I had a couple more months to make another pass, I could find a way to make it more universal."

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:14 PM |

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Volunteer Appreciation Video

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And old video, but the idea is intensely transferable for today. When was the last time you thanked your volunteers?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 1:05 PM |

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5 Trends in Growing Churches

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Just saw this press release from Outreach Magazine about growing churches in the US. Here's the 5 trends their recent study revealed - there's plenty more insight and statistics after the click. It would be interesting to use this list as a tool to see if you're following the current best practices:

Megatrend No. 2 —Multi-site technology: Churches today are increasingly creative in their use of time and space. U.S. churches are holding as many as six to seven or more weekend services with even large churches giving their services a smaller church "feel" while targeting niche audiences. Multi-site technology has allowed churches to expand across city, state and even national borders.

Megatrend No. 3 —Political action in new ways: While Christian churches have long been perceived as monolithically right wing, today, more of them are using their platform to tackle issues not historically connected with those of the Religious Right. Church leaders like Saddleback Church Senior Pastor Rick Warren and Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northand, A Church Distributed in suburban Orlando, are championing issues such as eliminating poverty and creation care. These leaders represent a new vision of holistic social justice, including abortion and traditional family issues, as well as the challenges of poverty and creation care.

Megatrend No. 4 – Ethnic diversity: The escalating ethnic diversity in the U.S. population is becoming increasingly reflected in American churches as the Hispanic and Asian populations continue to increase in the United States.

Megatrend No. 5 – Return to discipleship: Many megachurches today are recalibrating their core purpose–returning to the foundational ethic of multiplication through discipleship rather an emphasis on personal self-help and church growth methods.


JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:42 PM |

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4 Essentials for a Volunteer Meeting

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You can check the latest edition of the Who Are These Guys? Podcast - this week we focus on 4 essentials for a volunteer meeting. I would just subscribe in iTunes if I were you, but whatever you think.

We answer a few questions about meeting with volunteers: how often do you meet? how long should it go? what topics should you cover?

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:27 PM |

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Using Video from the Public Space

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In several of my workshops in Australia and New Zealand I talked about how easy it is to use media from the public space - you can purchase some other great resources and you probably should, but there's a ton of it out there in the real world you can use at no cost. I mention the Dove Real beauty video as something that is super powerful they could use to illustrate a point they might be making.

As I was looking for the link to the campaign to send to the attendees as a follow-up, I noticed there's quite a few more out there in the same vein. The most powerful one is embedded above, and here's a link to a few more. Marko has some thoughts on it today, too.

The point is, use what is out there if you can. In many instances it is more powerful and relevant than what you can create yourself. Not to mention that video probably cost $50K to make, and your budget is like $11 from your own pocket.

I even used these ones during my MySpace as well as promised. So good.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:14 PM |

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What do Youth Pastors Do All Day?

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What do youth pastors do all day? A classic video from our junior high team ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 12:09 PM |

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The Senior Pastor and You

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Thought this was a good new article on YouthMinistry.com. Check it out here, and here's an excerpt regarding the senior pastor and the youth pastor. What a critical relationship:
I understood why they had such a hard time getting a new youth minister.

The biggest issue was the senior pastor. He was almost impossible to work with. His management style was to use intimidation to scare the staff into meeting heavy goals. He openly said lawyers' offices and businesses use threats and discipline to accomplish their goals, so churches should do the same. He talked down to the staff. He raised his voice at people. He was critical.

Once I walked into the church office after he'd given a thorough dressing-down to the administrative assistant. He walked out, and she said to me: "When you become a minister, don't ever be like him."

Very few of us operate at our best -- and enjoy it -- when our manager treats us that way. I couldn't get out of there soon enough. I left after eight months -- eight months that felt like an eternity.

Fortunately he was the exception rather than the rule in my ministry. The other three senior pastors I served with were supportive and encouraging and genuinely interested in the youth ministry and me personally.

Your life and ministry are much more fulfilling when your senior pastor supports you.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 11:56 AM |

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Meat Pie

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When you go to a rugby or footy game, you get a Coke and a meat pie. No hotdogs, no nachos, no burgers. A flaky pastry with sloppy joe inside is a common and masculine food. Cover it in "sauce" (ketchup) and you're ready to enjoy. So good.

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:59 AM |

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Standing on the Rim of a Volcano

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There are about 50 volcanoes around Auckland, New Zealand. This one is inactive, but they all aren't ...

JG

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 8:55 AM |

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