My Words

"My Words" are actually the words of my youth. I give you these in hopes of providing a reality check and a chance to rethink why we do what we do.

The following is an excerpt from "ReConnecting: A Wesleyan Guide for the Renewal of Our Congregation" by Rob Weber.

Thoughts tend to become "untangled" when we pause to write them down. Take a few moments and reflect. Ask God to show you a picture of where you are in your life of faith. Are you at the beginning of your journey? Are you in a full sprint towards the fullness of life for which God has created you? Are you stalled along the road for one reason or another? Are you wandering around, uncertian as to your direction?

A few responses from youth:

Right now I think I am just in the middle of everything. I try to follow you but I don't know where I'm going or what I'm doing.

My life is okay. I should pay attention to you more and read the Bible more and just grow as a Chrisrtian more. I promise to do that.

I see me stalled and looking for a new reason to come forward. I need to see what I really need and who I really need in my life. I see me as tangled and confused.

I've been saved, but as a teen it's hard to find a balance between God and doing what everyone else is doing. I hang out with Christians, but I don't think I've felt the full effect of Christ in my life yet. It seems like the only way to truly know Christ is to get through the craziness of teen-hood and become a mature understanding adult.

I feel that I am stalled because of the way my time is managed. I am not spending hardly any time with God through out the day due to school and other activities. Please help me manage my time better.

I see that I am stopped beacuse I have gone away from my faith in God because of a boy and I should go back, the reason I have stayed away is because I thought God wasn't helping.

I see that I'm struggling to get to where you want me to be. I understand I'm not quite living your word. I need help to find my place and need help out of these habits of mine. I also know I can't do it alone and need your help. I see myself bumped back to the beginning and need directions to find my way on up the road. I really want for things to be better than they are and I need your help.


Faith in Films

Last month I heaped love on AMC theaters for screening all 5 best picture nominees in one day. I've finally been able to all 5 of them. All are great films. All give insight to faith and the human condition (I love getting to say things like that).

I wanted to urge you, maybe even beg you to see 3 movies. As I watched all three I had moments where I thought, "this will preach". These weren't those "Leap of Faith" movie moments. "Leap of Faith"movie moments that have a great 2 minute clip. These are movies are something different. They have meat on the bone like a rib that can't be eaten with dainty bites. To consume it is to get dirty. Yeah, they are that good.

Suggestion 1: Juno

Suggestion 2: There will be Blood

Suggestion 3: 3:10 to Yuma
(Alan Tudyk is in this film...so many of you will realize that my recommending this is huge.)

Let's here your feedback.
Love 'em, hate 'em?
Am I nuts for thinking about screening them at church?


Why you should know Aaron Keyes:

Last week I took a group of youth on Spring Break. "Hangout Holiday" was a chance to get the group out of their hyper-programmed lives and put them in a place they could learn to and practice to "be still". We invited Aaron Keyes to come along with us to lead blended sessions of praise/worship/teaching. Nobody does this better than Aaron. Aaron was abundantly cool about coming and doing something out of the norm. How many artists/musicians do you know that would be willing to invest time in a handful of kids from East Texas outside of a "performance"? That is the beauty of what Aaron did for my youth, he led sessions with storytelling, tremendous biblical recall, relevant music and connecting with everyone in the room.
I like to demystify people and worldly things for my youth, putting the mystery where it belongs. There is a mystery to God's grace. I love that we are renewed as we encounter God's grace in so many different ways.

I thought I'd share a few things from the trip (I'm counting on Aaron being a good sport...Aaron it would be way cool if you'd comment and let me know you still want to be my bff).

You already know about the amazing teaching:

Aaron endured the struggle of leading from a comfy couch:

He spent time hanging out:

Some other things Aaron taught us...

Proper disc golf form and etiquette:

The subtleties of hide and seek:

How to pose like a rock star:

One of the great things about blogs is knowing what others recommend. Aaron recommendations (as proven by the receipts), Jake's Uptown burgers in Dallas and Starbucks muffins.

Aaron was integral in helping to move this core group of kids to a new understanding of what it means to truly give our praise and worship to God. Thanks Aaron!

Look into booking Aaron for worship or and event [website] [contact Sadie]


Wakey Wakey

Wednesday morning we have Wakey Wakey. Wakey Wakey is a our morning prayer breakfast (actually breakfast with prayer is better suited). It's a great way to get to see kids during the week. A fantastic entry level event for friends, guests and newcomers. And we meet at Chick-Fil-A!

Side note Julie Wlaker and Staff at Chick-Fil-A on the loop are AMAZING! What could be better than Christian chicken! You need to stop in and support these folks. Yes, there is another Chick-Fil-A in town. No, I'm not against them. Yes, I have youth that work at both locations. But, the loop location puts up with me and 60 youth every Wednesday morning!

One of the things I love about Wakey Wakey is the opportunity to expose my Middle School Students to new music. I shuttle kids to school after breakfast in the Bread Box (our mini-bus).

I thought I might start sharing the Wakey Wakey playlist with you. Traditionally, it is new music by Christian artists.

1) Rock Star featuring Flame - J.R. from the album Life by Stereo
Who doesn't love a song that will make the Bread Box thump?

2) Hush - Inhabited fron the album Love
Sure the song sounds like a blend of Gwen Stephani and Paramore. What's wrong with that?

3) Inside Out - Cadia from their self titled album
Big hit and title song from the Revolve tour. Girl Power!

4) Myspace Girl - The Afters from the album Never Going Back to Okay

I'm a sucker for any song with a "whooohoo" hook.

What catchy or rockin' new tunes do you recommend?


A reason to twitter?

I know several that twitter. Until reading what Mike wrote about twitter, I hadn't seriously considered twitter to have much value. Read Mike's blog and then answer.

What are you offering to God through Twitter?


Font Peeve...

The Ten Most Over Used Fonts in Design Thanks, Johnny Falsh!
You've seen them over again. They haunt you when you sleep and when you design. No matter how many times you tell your designers not to use these fonts, they still use them anyway. You cringe when someone asks you what you think of their logo design that includes one of these fonts. We bring you the ten most over used fonts in design. All of these fonts are over used and should be avoided like the plague. They are listed in no particular order.

Over used font #1: Times New Roman
Microsoft uses Times New Roman as the default for Word, the most popular word processing software. Newspapers like to use Times New Roman. It's commonplace on many websites. The funny thing about Times New Roman is that sas much as it's over used it probably will continue to stay in style for quite some time and will always be over used.

Over used font #2: Arial/Helvetica
Arial on the PC (Helvetica on MAC) is typically the first choice for designers that are tired of Times New Roman. The only problem is that after using Arial on everything from publications to websites to designs, it becomes the next over used font. If you're looking for a new font to use instead of Arial, try using Myriad (iPod, Macs, etc)

Over used font #3: Impact
You'll find Impact on billboards, posters and logos. It's bold, but too narrow to be practical. Despite its drawbacks, it comes preloaded on millions of Windows machines and therefore has quickly become over used. Search for better bold fonts on
www.dafont.com or your favorite font website.

Over used font #4: Papyrus
This font looks different then the standard typefaces that most people are used to seeing. To an amateur designer, this is a font that seems to be natural to gravitate toward. Particularly in church environments and Christian circles this font really gets over used. Although it may seem decorative and stylish, avoid the desire to use this over used font.

Over used font #5: Comic Sans
Think party invitations. Think fun. Think goofy. Comic Sans is commonplace in these areas—over used. This is another font that comes standard on PCs with Windows and unfortunately you find it everywhere.

Over used font #6: Copperplate
Copperplate is one of those less realized over used fonts. Although it doesn't approach the amount of usage that Times New Roman and Arial do, it still creeps its way into a lot of designs and logos. It's the first choice for people that want an all caps font and because of that, it's over used. There are many flavors of Copperplate and Copperplate Gothic, avoid them all.

Over used font #7: Bank Gothic
Bank Gothic runs a close second to Copperplate for an all capital letter font. In fact the two fonts are fairly similar which is why they both are over saturated in designs.

Over used font #8: Garamond
Most will agree that Garamond is a better choice than Arial and Times New Roman, but that's about it. It's slightly less used than those two fonts but that's about it. Garamond finds its home on a lot of web sites and designs.

Over used font #9: Brush Script
Sports, particularly baseball, like to use Brush Script. It tends to be the first choice for script fonts and therefore has long since been considered over used.

Over used font #10: Courier
Courier is another font that will probably always exist and be in use but still makes the top ten over used list. Courier is unique to our top ten list in that it's the only font that has evenly wide letters. The letter i takes up as much space as the letter c or o. This was one of the early fonts used in DOS and other command based operating systems.

What fonts do you hate?


Back in Black Crowes

Todd wrote about the great return of Lenny Kravitz. While Lenny was in his heyday back in the Lisa Bonnet lovin' years (Let Love Rule, Mama Said), The Black Crowes were giving us equally great music (Shake Your Money Maker and The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion). Warpaint delivers in every way. It's been a couple of good weeks for rock.