9.30.2007

Noah Singing

Noah sang in church today. I posted the video earlier, but I wanted to post some pictures, too. It's so funny because he never put his magnifying glass down. He wanted to look through it the whole time. He's adorable. JM





Potty Training

Noah has been potty trained since about April of this year. But within the past month he's started having a lot of accidents. Never poop, just pee. We can't figure out why. It's frustrating for us because we don't know what to do. It's frustrating for him because he can't get it right. So tonight when I layed Noah down, we prayed about it. We prayed that God would help him know when to go and be able to hold it until he's able to go on the potty. After we prayed I told him that mommy and daddy love him even if he has accidents.
It's sad. And frustrating. But mainly sad. JM

Acts 1:9-11

One of the things that I love about Jesus is that when it came time to do business, he got busy doing it. And he expected others to do the same. When he felt like he had communicated everything he needed to, he just up and floated off into the sky. Then two guys show up and ask the disciples why they are just staring into the sky. It's like they were trying to tell them that the huddle was broken and it was actually time to run the play. Enough practicing, it's game time.
I think Jesus wants us to be people of action. To determine God's will, line up what's needed, and then get out there and do it. God doesn't need lazy people, he needs workers who will get stuff done. That's how I want to be. JM

Noah Singing

Noah's choir sang for the first time in big church today. It was awesome. All of the children's choirs sang the song together, but the littlest kids just sang the chorus.
Noah never put his little magnifying glass down. Here's the video from this morning. He's the cute one in the middle. JM

9.29.2007

A New Kind Of Youth Ministry


I finished this book by Chris Folmsbee last night and loved it. The author argues that so much of what we do in youth ministry is focused on the youth minister by focusing on things that will inflate his own ego. What Chris argues for is a kind of youth ministry that focuses on the students needs and recultures youth ministry to encourage students to live among the needs of others.

This is different from caring for the needs of others because when we do that we see the other as "them" and something to be won. When we live among their needs, we instead empathize and build deep relationships with them for the purpose of living life and nothing else.

He then takes this principle through every area of youth ministry. The more I think about it, the more I was challenge by it and amazed by his insight. One of my favorite parts was when he was talking about student mission trips. He was on his way back to Minneapolis after spending a week ministering to the homeless in Nashville. He pulled into a gas station and saw another youth minister with a group of kids on their way back to Nashville after spending a week ministering to the homeless in Minneapolis. Reminded me of Brian Regan's bit about log trucks.

If you are at all involved in ministry to students, I highly recommend this book. JM

Relational Evangelism

Ben Arment has a great post about relational evangelism. People don't care about what the Bible has to do with their life and what you know about it outside of relationships. Click through to read the whole thing, but here's his main point:
In these cases, the Word has to first become flesh.
The flesh of a friendship. The flesh of some humble questions. The flesh of shared interests in music and movies. The flesh of dinner together. The flesh of an embrace during a difficult time...

JM

Folding Fitted Sheets

I'm so trying this next time I have to try to fold a fitted sheet.

Clothespile

We get lots of clothes for the kids given to us. Mainly because people know we're poor and most of the people around us have money, so we get the clothes. It comes in pretty handy. We've let it stack up for like a year in our laundry room. Until today when we finally went through it. A lot of we kept. Some of it will go back to the people who gave it to us (not being rude, they wanted it back if we couldn't use it). And then some of it went to Goodwill.
One of the things we found was a Minnie Mouse outfit. Ana wore it proudly during lunch and then promptly fell asleep in her high chair. Here's a picture of her sleeping and then a picture of my wife going through a portion of the clothes.
Right after I took this she said "I'm not in it, right?" Of course she was, so I edited her out of it. I think she always looks beautiful, but you know how girls are. JM




Matthew 1:6-8

It's so awesome that God gives us power. I look at it like before Jesus, the prophets had power. While Jesus was here, he and the disciples had power. Now, the Holy Spirit empowers every Christian. How awesome is that! I literally have power to accomplish the work of God.
The problem is that most Christians don't live that way. We don't act as if we have the power to change the world. The power that changes lives is within me, and I walk around acting like an impotent slug. I'm guessing that's not how Jesus imagined it when he gave me the Holy Spirit. JM

9.28.2007

Acts 1:1-5

It's great to be excited about something. We can feel like we've been trained by God to do something, we've seen amazing things happen, we're pumped up, and we're ready to go. But we have to wait. And wait. And we wonder why.
It's tough to wait on God's timing. Here, the disciples had to wait on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We're not waiting on that, but a lot of times it seems like God wants us to wait. We can hear about a great opportunity and get so excited about it and know that it is the right thing for us to do. We can feel that God wants us to do it, but we have to wait.
The tough part about waiting is staying where you are. I love the quote by Jim Elliott "Wherever you are, be all there. Always live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." That's how we can honor God while we wait. JM

The News Is Lame

"Students react to the sudden death of a popular high school senior". That was the teaser for me to continue watching the news just now. Didn't really grab me. I mean, I guess it should have since the student was "popular".
What does that have to do with anything. If it's an unpopular student is it not a story? Would they interview kids and have them be like, "Yeah, he was in my class, but I didn't like him. He was pretty lame. It's probably better that he's gone." I guess I should be more sad that he was popular. Or maybe more empathetic.
Okay, turns out it was a girl. A flagget (color guard).
It's funny how when something like this happens, people like to act like they really knew the person. Like they were their closest friend, when all they really want is attention themselves. They want to be the one on TV. They want to be the one "wandering the halls because (they) didn't know what to do". I'll end this live blogging while watching the Atlanta news now. JM

Warning: Graphic


My blog is crappy. I know. To prove it, here's a picture of my son's massive poop that he took this afternoon. I don't see how something that long stayed in him. JM

Powdered Donuts

Ana loves powdered donuts. We gave her like 3 for lunch today (how bad are we at parenting) and she devoured them. Powder went all over her. Notice in the second picture it's all over her left eye. We're just trying to fatten her up for winter. JM



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9.27.2007

Bike Rodeo

Here's some pictures from Noah's bike rodeo, in case you didn't have time to watch the amazing 6:00 video we made. JM





What Is Real?

Great post by Carlos Whittaker today. It revolves around an amazing quote from The Velveteen Rabbit:
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time.

Love the quote. Really makes me think about what it means to be real. It's all about trust, and I'm bad at that. JM

Finished

I finished Matthew. I started with chapter 4 verse 1 on January 1st and finished it tonight. Not the verse, the book. Pretty exciting. I like taking my time to work through books of the Bible. I did take short breaks to read other things, just to spice things up, but I like working through something slowly and deliberately. So 25 chapters in 9 months. Not bad. Now I have to figure out what to read next. JM

Matthew 28:18-20

People love to quote verses 19 and 20. They're some of the most famous verses out of the Bible. But people like to leave out the first word of verse 19..."so". Which means that verse is set up by what is before it "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All power in heaven and on earth is given to me.'" It's awesome to realize the implications of this. Jesus has all power in heaven and on earth. There is nothing he can't do. Since he is control of everything we are supposed to go and make disciples. So we'll go out and do the grunt work, but it's under the authority of Jesus. It's like He's saying that we can't fail. There is nothing that we do for God that won't succeed. He's got all the power in heaven and on earth. That's just cool to think about. JM

9.26.2007

Bike Rodeo

Noah had a bike rodeo at school today. Pretty cool to watch. Unfortunately, you weren't there. But you can act like you were by watching the handy-dandy Noah's Bike Rodeo Youtube Video!! Enjoy. JM

Matthew 28:16-17

Tons of people followed Jesus around. At one point he delivered a message to 5,000 men, not counting women and children. That's a lot of people. At one point he sends out the "76" who were evidently a group that were very closely associated. Then there were the 12 disciples that were with him all the time. And three of those were in a special group that accompanied Jesus on certain occasions.
Out of all of those people that Jesus interacted with, it only mentions the 11 followers going to Galilee to see Jesus after he had risen. And of those 11, some of them didn't believe that it was Jesus.
We like to surround ourselves with lots of people. It makes us feel good to say that we have lots of friends. But in the end that really doesn't matter. All of those people would drop us for nothing. But that core group of people will stay with us no matter what. I'd rather have a small group of friends that truly are friends than tons of people that know me and like me. JM

9.25.2007

Amazon's mp3 store

Amazon is selling mp3's. Right now they have over 2,000,000 songs available for $0.89 to $0.99 a piece. The cool thing is that every song is DRM-free. Don't worry about how many times you burn it, or how many devices you put it on, or backing up your licenses. Awesome. Also note that the song featured in their graphic is one of my favorites of all time: Radiohead's "My Iron Lung" off of "The Bends". JM
(ht:Ken Wilson)

Noah's First Big Project

We did Noah's first big school project. He was already in bed, so Eryn and I did most of the work. He had to pick out some pictures of his family and attach them to a sheet of paper, pretty difficult, I know. So we picked out the picture tonight and Noah and I will attach them to the paper tomorrow morning before he goes to his class.
I can't wait for him to get older and have real homework. I love doing it, which is weird because I hated doing homework when I was in school. I think it reminds me of when I was a student. It was the only thing I've ever been really good at. If I could be a professional student, I would. Enough about me, here's a shot of his project. JM

Bike Riding

Remember when you used to run outside hop on your bike and go off to play. Well they don't do that anymore evidently. Now you have to run outside grab your helmet and strap it on. Then you have to grab your knee pads and strap those on. Then you have to grab your elbow pads and strap those on. Then you are ready to enjoy your time on your bike. I know helmets can save lives or whatever, but I think I'm not going to make Noah wear his. It just seems so lame. I know I sound like the grumpy old man..."Back in my day..."
But yeah, Noah has a bike rodeo at school tomorrow. I'm not really sure what that means, probably some bike riding and calf roping, or at least the first part. So tomorrow we'll take up his big wheel and his mandated bike helmet. We got it today from Target and it's a Cars movie helmet. Luckily it also came with elbow pads and knee pads (really I think it's for like skating or something) so he'll be ready for anything. All of this for like $5.14 or something crazy cheap like that. Here's Noah all geared up. JM

Mathhew 28:11-15

It's crazy the story that the priests made up. So we're to believe that these Roman guards who were sent to guard the tomb all fell asleep at the same time. Then we have to believe that they stayed asleep as the disciples came up to the tomb. Then we have to believe that they stayed asleep as the disciples rolled a giant rock away from the only entrance to the tomb. Then we have to believe that they stayed asleep as the disciples carried away a rotting corpse.
This just goes to reaffirm to me that some people can not believe even in the face of overwhelming evidence. You'll never reach some people no matter how you present the truth, whether it be about the gospel or anything. It's like some people are resigned to disbelief. Of course some people are resigned to belief and never bother to find out why or do anything about it. I think both are pretty frustrating. JM

9.24.2007

Humility Lessons From The Bachelor

The bachelor is kind of an interesting show. I don't watch it on purpose, but my wife will have it on and so I'll catch bits and pieces of it. What's funny to me is that all of these girls come in to meet this guy and they basically try to show off their tricks. They'll show their wit, talent, geographic uniqueness, craziness, slutiness, etc. It's really annoying.
I've always tried to be the other way. I like to just keep quiet about myself and let my performance do the talking - musically, ministerially, academically, etc. The good thing about this is what this verse talks about: Proverbs 27:2 - Don't praise yourself. Let someone else do it. Let the praise come from a stranger and not from your own mouth.
I've just now seen some amazing benefits of this. Maybe because I don't go around talking about me, other people will more readily step up to my defense, or promotion. JM

Demographic Info

Here's a great site that has basic demographic information on any zip code in the U.S. One of the cool things about it is that you can compare up to 20 zip codes side-by-side. Pretty useful information for any kind of ministry/marketing/business. JM

Matthew 28:2-10

If the Mary's hadn't been at the tomb, I wonder if Jesus would have gone to meet his disciples where they were. He tells the women to have his followers meet him in Galilee. He didn't even go to them, but went on. For some reason, I think he would have gone there even if he hadn't told the women to tell the disciples.
That's kind of the way that God works. He's always pressing forward. We like to trap God into a box and say that He can only do things a certain way. But that's not what we see in the Bible. Jesus constantly evolved his ministry and made it fit wherever he was. It's tough to be truly progressive, but Jesus is an amazing example. JM

9.23.2007

Typical Behavior

Here's some pictures of the kids we took the other day. This is pretty typical for how they play. Noah loves his guitar and running around, Ana loves her cat and sitting down, and the last picture is the kids trying to pick out a movie to watch. They're so much fun. JM






Painting

After we painted our living room and turned it a lovely brown, we needed new accessories for our walls. So we made them. Here's three paintings we made that are hung over the entertainment center. My wife did the left one and I did the middle one and the one on the right. I really like them and they were fun to make, although I doubt we'll be making a living doing art. JM

Communicating For A Change


I finished this book on our staff retreat. It's divided into two parts, the first is a narrative that puts the information they're trying to communicate and embeds it in a fictional story. The second part was just the information with some analagous stories and kind of how Andy Stanley developed this process. The book is basically about how he organizes all of his messages around one point and the basic outline he uses. It's an amazingly practical book. I hated the first half and loved the second half. It was especially annoying because the second half was just a reitiration of the first half without the narrative. Good book though with some great ideas. Just skip the first half of it. JM

Staff Retreat - Meeting

So this is the setup for our meetings. It's in the living room area. Kenneth usually guides the meeting as far as what we're talking about and redirecting us if we get off track. We talked about a lot of different things as we try to implement our new church process developed after reading Simple Church. The first picture is Jim, Mrs. Ruth, Steve. The second picture is Tom, Theresa, Charleen, and Margie. The third picture is me!! The fourth picture is Walker. And the last picture is Tommy and Kenneth. Most people had a laptop open to make it look like they were taking notes, but really they were just playing games. JM





Staff Retreat - Arrival

We had our fall staff retreat on Monday to Wednesday of this last week. We have one in the fall and one in the spring each year. Generally we talk about vision, implementation, and calendaring. Typically we go off for a couple of days. This time we went back to a place we stayed at 18 months ago near Warm Springs, GA. It's only like an hour away, so it's not a bad drive. We had 11 people total go. Here we are right after we got there. The first picture is the kitchen area, second is the living room area where we do all of the meetings, and then the last picture is a shot of the loft area. It's a log cabin, so it's kind of a cool environment. Nice little place to do a retreat like this. JM



Matthew 28:1

Nobody believed that Jesus was going to rise from the dead. Well, not really. Two people show up on the day that he's supposed to resurrect, but they go there saying that they are just going to look at the tomb. Like they are going to look at a gravestone. Maybe they said they just wanted to make sure that nobody had desecrated it. Whatever the case, their real motive had to be to see if Jesus had risen. I wonder where I would have been that morning. Would I have risked embarassment to go see the tomb, or would I have hunkered down with all the other disciples still paralyzed by disbelief. JM

Matthew 27:62-66

You can be convinced of something. You can believe it passionately. You can be absolutely sure of it. You can even believe that God wants it that way, but you can still be wrong about it. Certainly you would have to miss some fairly obvious signs from God in order to get to the position that the pharisees were in, but it's possible. So how can we be convinced that God is in something and be right about it? I think it all comes down to how we interact with Him. If we give God no opportunities to speak to us, then we are trapped into listening to God through circumstances and wise counsel. Counsel is easy to dismiss, and circumstances can be easy as well. This reason is probably the most crucial reason in my opinion as to why we need to have a daily time of bible study and prayer. Otherwise we might be the one crucifying Christ and be convinced that we're serving God. JM

Matthew 27:61

Sometimes it's hard to give up on a dream. You want to believe something. You'll hold onto that dream no matter what the circumstances tell you. I guess that's kind of the point of faith. Of course, the two Mary's might have actually believed Jesus. Maybe they knew that He was going to come back. If so, they seem to be the only ones. Nobody else is there. All of these other spiritual giants have disappeared. They're not there with you. They're disillusioned. It's tough to say goodbye to dreams. Maybe that's because we're not supposed to. JM

9.16.2007

Linkin Park, Censorship, And Sensitivity

I hate Linkin Park. I think they have very little talent, if any at all. On the VMA's last week I noticed that they bleeped a word out of their performance and I thought it might be "noose". The other day I heard the song again and the word that was edited was "noose".
I'm all for being sensitive and I think censorship needs to happen in most media formats, but to edit a word like noose that is not being used in a racial context seems overly sensitive to me. Should I remove that word from my vocabulary (not that I ever use it anyway)? Just seems kind of ridiculous to me. Here's the video (the edit is at 1:18) and the lyrics. JM


filthy mouth / no excuse
find a new place to hang this noose
string me up from atop these roofs
knot it tight so i won't get loose

Gone

I'm going to be out of the blogging realm until Wednesday night because we're going on a staff retreat. It should provide some great stories and hopefully a few good arguments/struggles as we continue to refine our vision as a church. Until then. JM

Matthew 27:57-60

I love getting the credit for stuff I've done. It makes me feel good and appreciated. Most people like feeling appreciated. But a lot of the stuff that needs to get done in ministry and life are things that nobody will ever thank you for. I've run sound on several of our youth mission trips. Nobody ever noticed anything I did, which is kind of the point and shows that I did it well. But nobody ever said anything. Nobody appreciated it. That makes serving a lot harder sometimes because it comes to the joy of the service and the joy you get because of whom you are serving. JM

Living Room Reveal

I painted the living room!


JM

9.15.2007

Party Time



My wife and kids are out of town so it's time for me to live it up. And I know how to party, I painted our living room today!! Slamming.

It actually would have been impossible to do it with the kids here. The first photo is a photo of the transition. The room was going from green to brown. The second photo is my one mistake. It's a pretty big one. I'll have to go get a pint of ceiling paint to touch up that spot and several others around the house.

I'll post some pictures of the completed room once the walls dry and I can get the furniture back in place. JM

Football Analysts


I love it when games aren't close. Right now I'm watching a little bit of the USC - Nebraska game and USC is up 49-18. It's a blowout. What's fun for me, though is what they find to talk about. Obviously the game is not really interesting, and they're just trying to get through it. I think the best at this are Al Michaels and John Madden on Sunday night football. I watched a game in Philadelphia last year when it was snowing. It was such a blowout. And Al Michaels and John Madden are talking about the snowflakes, what they had for dinner, etc. It's awesome.
I guess I just love the creativity that they have to use to try to entertain an audience. Necessity is the breeding ground of ingenuity. JM

Matthew 27:55-56

Jesus was all alone when he died. At least according to Matthew. I know somewhere else it talks about how Jesus said something to John and to Mary, but from this it sounds like Jesus was pretty much alone when he died. That seems sadder to me. And I bet it was disappointing to Jesus.
You look at all the work you've done and everything you've tried to accomplish. You poor your life into people, and you don't see the impact that it had on them because nobody is by your side when you struggle. I'm sure they had their reasons, but it's still disappointing, I'm sure. JM

9.14.2007

Matthew 27:54

Sometimes I refuse to believe things. Because it's easier. Or safer. Or more comfortable. But that doesn't make it true. I love the reactions of the roman soldiers here when they finally realize that Jesus was God. It reminds me of my own reaction. I can remember sitting on a couch at Missouri Baptist College and realizing that Jesus really was the Son of God. Realizations like that change your world. It's awesome. JM

Radiohead Debut

Radiohead will make their debut at my church on Sunday. I used one of their songs as a background on a promo video I made for an upcoming MS event. They're putting TV's all over our church - big ones in the hang out rooms and smaller ones in all of the classrooms. So here's the video I made. Radiohead create such a cool vibe. JM
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9.13.2007

Kathy Griffin Reaction

So Kathy Griffin won some stupid award for doing nothing and insulted Christianity in her acceptance speech. I saw a clip of it here, which is followed by some interesting dialogue. One guy argues (correctly, I think) that had she said "Suck it Muhammad", then everyone would have been offended. But because it was Jesus, Hollywood doesn't care. Pretty interesting debate. I know she was just joking or whatever (and the actual joke is funny), but shouldn't there be limits on what is acceptable in humor? Our culture, or really those who are shaping our culture, don't care about God and it shows. JM

Matthew 27:50-53

I hope I have an amazing death. Not like dramatic or anything, but I hope that cool stuff happens after I'm dead, but just because I was alive. I hope that my influence outlives me. Look at all the amazing things that happen right as Jesus dies. He accomplishes more in those few seconds than anybody else could ever manage. Incredible. JM

Ana Growling

So my daughter can sound like she is possessed by a demon. That's good, right? JM
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9.11.2007

Follow-Through

I take in tons of information everyday. Most people do. With the internet, television, print, and other forms of media, it's almost impossible not too. I think what makes certain people excel is what they do with that information. How do they follow-through once they take in a new idea.
What's the point of learning something if the information doesn't lead you to change? JM

Write Stuff Down

I have tons of great ideas in bed as I'm trying to fall asleep. I don't write them down. I say them several times in my head and convince myself that I won't forget them, but in the morning, they're gone. Shocking, I know. I just have to start writing stuff down. I lost a really great idea last night, and I have no idea what it was about. Sucks. JM

Matthew 27:46-49

I always wondered why they gave Jesus vinegar to drink. Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know:
Jesus was offered vinegar while on the cross according to the King James version of the Bible, yet actually it was sour wine or wine that was turning which was given out by women of charity to comfort people dying on the cross as this was a common daily occurrence as a Roman punishment of the time.
It's funny, though, the way this is worded, it's like the Bible is wrong. But earlier on in the article it says that the word vinegar is from the words for sour wine.
I'm blown away that people can watch someone suffer and laugh about it. Like, I hate cats, but I could never hurt one. One time I had one lined up that I was going to run over. It wouldn't move and so I slammed on the brakes and swerved. I was so freaked that I might hit it.
I think the more you become familiar with something the more you become calloused to it. You don't even realize you're doing it.
When we first start off into sin, we barely do anything. But the more we do it, the easier it becomes and the more we're willing to do. After a while we're doing things that would have shocked us before we started, but are comfortable because it's just one more step. JM

9.10.2007

Leadership Network Technology Blog

Leadership Network just announced that they have a technology blog that they are starting. From their site:
Today is our launch for digital.leadnet.org, and we've rallied together an enthusiastic team of contributors who will talk about everything from websites, social networking, mobile phone devices, podcasting, wiki, and more!

Hopefully it will be pretty useful. I subscribed. Might as well track it for a little bit and see if it's worth the read. JM

Matthew 27:45

Sin is loads of fun. If it wasn't, then it wouldn't really be tempting. It's fun to sin, that is until you start to realize the consequences. Selfishness (and that's what sin really is) has its momentary reward, but the consequences will hurt you, then the guilt will finish you off.
I think people started to realize that they had screwed up when the sky went dark at noon for 3 hours. It's kind of one of those "Oh crap! What have I done!" moments. I hate those. JM

9.09.2007

Really Lame Leadership

These are the 31 Refutable Irrefutable Laws Of Lame Leadership. It runs through 31 ways to be a horrible leader. I learn so much better like this, when people make you laugh, think, and then slam with you the truth. Pretty interesting read. (ht:Ben Arment) JM

MTV

If MTV is trash, and really a lot of it is, who is to blame, the people who make it, or the people who consume it? JM

Braves Game

Went to the Braves game today with the middle school kids from church. It was hot. Nobody cares about the Braves. It's different coming from St. Louis. The Cardinals are already over 3,000,000 in attendance this year, and the braves haven't quite got to 2.5M yet. A better way to look at it is the Cardinals sell 93.3% of their seats per game on average, while the Braves sell only 68.3%. The difference is incredible. Braves games are dead. Good times though hanging out with students. JM

Matthew 27:38-44

I bet one of the worst moments of the whole crucifixion was when everybody was making fun of Jesus. Not to minimize the physical pain, which I'm sure was extraordinary, but I can't imagine everybody insulting. People that know me. People that don't know me. People that have seen me do miraculous things.
Betrayal is a horrible thing. It can make you not want to trust anybody. That's what's amazing to me: that Jesus still trusts me. He can use anybody in the world, and yet he trusts me enough to use me. And I betray his trust over and over again. It's like I'm one of those guys making fun of Jesus while He's on the cross.

9.08.2007

Maps

I think maps are one of the best ways to organize information. If you love maps (i.e. you're a dork just like me), then check out this blog. This guy is doing a series of posts showing different maps. Here's one that changes a country's size proportianate to the cost of the toys it imports. Pretty interesting. JM

High School Musical 2

HSM2 is a pretty big deal around my house. Noah and Ana both like to sing and dance to it. Tonight when it came on Noah dragged his couch over and he and Ana sat on it for a little while. You may also notice the playing cards scattered around the floor. That's thanks to Ana. She grabs the box out of the end table drawer and pulls them all out one by one. It's really kind of cute. JM

Matthew 27:33-37

The soldiers around Jesus get a bad rap. They were just doing their job. They were good at it, too. To sit there and cold-heartedly torture someone to death would be impossible, I think, for me. But they beat him, they mock him, they torture him, they gamble for his clothes, and they mock him while he's dying.
And they do all of this without even thinking about it. All in a day's work, I guess. I wonder when they started to notice that Jesus was different than everybody else they had come across? JM

9.06.2007

Take Your Time

I process things so much better when I take some time to really think about them. We're going through some organizational leadership changes at church. In our meeting yesterday we started to discuss the ramifications of that. It was my first time to realize what it meant. So I reacted. I felt right. I knew I was right. I spoke passionately. But I was wrong.
I needed time to process. As I thought about it last night, I realized why I felt the way I did, and that it was really just pride that made me feel that way. So I talked to my boss and told him that I realized I was wrong.
Things just go so much better for me when I don't have to make an instant reaction on a big decision. JM

Fantasy Football

Football season starts tonight. Maybe more importantly, Fantasy Football season starts tonight. I love the numbers of it. It's so exciting to me. Last year I came in 5th in my league. Hopefully this year I can improve. We'll see. JM

Matthew 27:32

I wonder what Simon of Cyrene was doing that day. Did he just happen to be walking by when they forced him to carry Jesus cross? Or was he somehow intrigued by Jesus and wanted to be near him, if only to watch him die? Or maybe he didn't like Jesus. Maybe he was glad that they were going to crucify Jesus and wanted to watch.
No matter what, I'm sure there was some kind of emotion tied to that day. It was probably one of the most momentous events in his life. I like to think that he ended up having a relationship with Jesus. I'm kind of an optimistic person, though. JM

9.05.2007

Chattanooga

After Rock City we went to downtown Chattanooga. There's like this little fake stream that runs next to the aquarium, so Noah got in there and got all wet. The plan was for him just to wade through it, but that didn't happen once he started just jumping in all the way. We played there for a little bit, then took the free shuttle over to the North Shore of Chattanooga and rode the carousel. Then Noah, Ana, and I walked back across the river on the pedestrian bridge while Eryn rode the electric shuttle back. Finally we had dinner at Cheeburger Cheeburger before we drove back home. Good times. Picture 1 - Noah and Molly playing in the water, 2 - Noah and Claire playing in the water, 3 - Noah soaked, 4 - Noah and Claire riding the Carousel. JM



Rock City

Once in Chattanooga, we went to Rock City. It's basically a bunch of exposed massive rocks that you walk on and around and over and under. It's a pretty cool place, especially for the kids. I went there when I was like 10, so it was cool to see it again and see how much of it I remembered. The pictures below are 1 - Eryn and me in the Rock City sign, 2 - my family at the start of the Rock City Trail, 3 - Eryn, Ana, and me going through the "Needle's Eye" part of the trail (Noah is not pictured because he was scared), 4 - Eryn crossing the swinging bridge ("just like in Shrek!" Noah says), and 5 - Noah and Ana in some Mother Goose picture thing. JM




9.04.2007

Chattanooga - The Ride

So yesterday we went up to Chattanooga with some friends. The ride up was interesting because there were 9 of us crammed into an Odyssey minivan that seats 8. So we shoved 4 kids in the back. It's only like 2 hours up there, so it wasn't horrendous. They did really well, for the most part. Pictured are the kids in the back seat, Ana, Ana and our friend Kimberley, and me. At the bottom is a 15 second video to give you a taste of the ride.JM








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