Monday, September 28, 2009

My top ten...

Well, its been a while. A busy couple of weeks filled with youth group pirate parties, giant garage sales, and thankfully more sleep than normal. These last couple of weeks have been good for me though, good both mentally and spiritually. (this is a whole other blog so keep your eyes peeled...whatever that means)

I was having some trouble thinking of a topic to blog on and was kinda going through blog withdrawals, so I asked for some help. And the winner of the blog topic lottery was none other than my great friend JOSHLAUGHLIN. (HA HA HA) And the topic top ten college moments with Josh Laughlin!

Number 10
-Hot & Ready Pizza + Movies/TV series

Every so often, when the need for food became more than we could handle, Josh and I would take the 15 minutes drive down to Little Caesar's. Usually accompanied by a number of our great friends, this was always a great trip! Being the cheap college students we were, we always tried to get the most out of our money. Even if it meant going in right before they close and ask if we can have their leftover crazy bread...or playing theSimon says game in hopes to win a medium drink which we traded for crazy bread. (which I did multiple times) After grabbing our food and heading back to the college, we would sit and watch either a movie or one of our favoriteTV series. This time was great for me to fill my stomach and also to spend time with great friends. You know who you are!

Number 9-Pumpkin Extravaganza

So in the weeks after Halloween when all the pumpkins that people place in front of their houses are starting to rot, Josh, Alex Hall, and I would do a great public service. We would go around the neighborhood and have a great time racing up to a person's porch and taking as many pumpkins as we could physically muster, then race back to Al's car and place the pumpkin in his trunk. Now contrary to popular belief, we would NEVER smash any pumpkins on the driveways of anyone! Instead, we found alternate uses for them. One time as I recall, we used them to decorate the driveway leading up from the college's main parking lot to the faculty parking lot. I must say that we did a bang up job and could probably pursue careers in exterior decorating. When we were on our way to gather more rotting pumpkins, we were ever so rudely stopped by a police man who claimed that we were out causing trouble in the community. We politely exclaimed that we were up to no trouble and were actually on our way to indulge in someMcDonald's. So we did...

Number 8-Talks behind the shed and feelin' good

Whenever either Josh or I would have a tough day or just needed some time away from the dorm life, we would find a way to get away. This usually consisted of us traveling all the way...out to the other side of the vehicle shed. Day or Night, Hot or Cold, Rain or Snow, Hell or High Water, A Nazi Invasion, or even a Forest Fire that covers us in a could of smoke, whatever the circumstances we would head out behind the shed to talk about things that were bothering us, or just shoot the breeze as great friends often do. And when the shed was out of the question, many times we would find an alternate place to go...this varied from time to time, but no matter where we went...we always returned to the collegefeelin' good.

Number 7-The Broseph Encounters

The once was a man named Broseph. Who became very uncomfortable when in the presence of myself, Alex Hall, Nate Frew, and Josh. Various times throughout our nights at college we would venture into Broseph's room, which in turn caused him to become rather uncomfortable, for he was a people-a-phob. This was a great time for my group of friends...Broseph in hilarious! On one night in particular...we decided to film our ordeal with Broseph. Al, Nate, and I called him into Al's room where we proceeded into a makeshift workout video with Broseph as our special guest...needless to say this was epic! One of the best nights ever! Thanks to everyone who was involved!

Number 6-The Tale of Wilbur the Raccoon

It was a super cold night in the middle of winter. Deep into pranking season. And this one was a great experience. We were looking for opportunities to get even with a couple girls at the school who had started apranking war. So while driving down the road after embarking on one of a great pumpkin adventures, we knew a great opportunity when we saw it. There he all his glory...waiting for us...calling to we answered that call. Wilbur was once the proud father of a family of 27, until that darn Camry ended his life. But his glory days were not over, no they were just beginning. We scooped Wilbur up out of the gravel and placed him on a pedestal of glory! He rode back to the campus in style with Josh by his side, his entrails hanging out of his battered body. We took him off the back end of Al's car and placed him on his throne, right above the driver side door looking at anyone who tried to enter Carissa's car. After placing him on the glory seat, we then realized how disgusting the dead and rotting raccoon actually was and proceeded to dry heave while pacing back and forth across the lot...all the while, Al had his camera rolling. Needless to say this was an epic adventure worth remembering.

Number 5-Scamper the Penguin

On certain night, when there was nothing going on at the school, Josh, Alex, Justin Carlson and I would go for a drive. Most times we would just drive around and talk until we thought of something to do. This night was one of those nights. We were driving around talking and trying to stay out of trouble...not an easy accomplishment for us. We were driving in a local neighborhood when we noticed a rather intriguing sight. There was a little penguin that was lit up and smiling at this was not your normal smile at all...this was a beckoning for me to come and save him. NowI'm not the kind of person to ever turn down a bet, so I got out of the car and swiped Scamper. We took him back to the college where he stayed with us for a few nights. He was a great night light! I then sold him to a friend whose wife was obsessed with penguins. Easiest $50 I ever made...

Number 4-The Beerfest Chronicles

My friends and I love to watch movies. Comedies, Dramas, anything really. I had recently rented Beerfest cause I had heard that it was a funny movie worth sucked! friend Stephen Mizell had just recently bought the movie American History X, which I had mentioned to him that I wanted to borrow and watch. Now his movie had gone missing and his first thought was to blame me, being the person that had just recently wanted to borrow it. I had not borrowed it, however, but he had just misplaced it. He was not able to find it for a few weeks and blamed me for stealing it the whole time. When he finally did find it, realizing that I really didn't have it, him and Josh placed it in my room when I was at work along withBeerfest which I was going to return to the movie store. While I was sitting at my desk, Stephen, Rob Aitcheson , and Josh busted into my room again blaming me for stealing the movie...I again denied it and proceeded to say..."Stephen for the last time, I didn't take your movie...all I have isBeerfest and......AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH " (this was the moment when I had seen that the movie was planted on my desk) I then looked at Josh and yelled..."YOU!!!" Then chased Rob and Josh and beat the crap out of them. This was another great night! So many of them!

Number 3-That Night at Beth's

One of my favorite things to do was hang out with my best friends at one of my great friends apartment. This friend is Beth Cavender. Her apartment quickly became one of our favorite hangout destinations. We loved yelling at drunk people from her roof, sitting watching movies, or just hanging out. This night was possibly my most favorite night of all the nights that we ever spent at Beth's, and became known simply as...That Night at Beth's. We were all just hanging out and having a great time with great friends. Then out of nowhere, it seemed like all of us were hyped up on energy drinks, cause we all went crazy. This night was filled with me climbing up to get to the ceiling of Beth'sapartment, Alex chasing Josh and I around pretending to be a wizard while wearing Beth's snuggie, and us all falling asleep from exhaustion. (me on the couch and Josh half in the hallway and half in the bathroom) LEGEN................DARY!!!

Number 2-Mario Kart Battles

These were just that...BATTLES. Epic battles. Like gladiators fighting for their lives in the Coliseum...we fought. Like an antelope racing across a field trying to exceed the grasp of the deadly cheetah...we raced. Mario Kart became a sport in our room and we played multiple times throughout the day. Josh raced as Donkey Kong, Justin raced as
Bowser, Alex raced as Yoshi and sometimes Peach, and I raced as Toad the magnificent. We would play for hours and each person having their fair share of victories. Without fail though, one person would have a bad day....every single day. The day would consist of us racing, there being great celebration by the winners, and MANY MANY blowups by the losers. One day, I was that loser. I blew up and overreacted. I went hog wild. I stood up and threw down my controller, grabbed the side of the couch closest to me (which was occupied by a few of my friends) and flipped it end over end. Don't ask me how...probably a fit of rage...or something like that. Needless to say, we took some anger management classes as a room. It is hilarious to look back at those times though. At the end of the day, win or lose, we were all great friends.

Number 1-Taco Bell Run Shirtless/Red Robed

Many times throughout the school year, set off by extreme study and the constant barrage of homework, we found ourselves rather hungry. Taco Bell runs were a regular occurrence. This one time, Josh, Justin and I thought that it would be fun to jump in Dud's car and head down to Taco Bell...the only difference this time was that we were all shirtless...and josh was wearing a red silk robe that was WAY TOO SMALL! We drove through and ordered the usual then proceeded on up to the window to pay. There was a girl there to take our money and looked very awkwardly at us...which we expected. We then asked her if there was any way for her to give us some free drinks and she graciously did give us each a medium drink...which we didn't expect. Long story short...Dud got her phone number somehow...and every time we went back, she gave us free tacos or free drinks. Until the day when we found out she didn't work there anymore...worst day ever. But it was absolutely AWESOME that we got all that free stuff, all because of that one night when we used our masculine physique...aka impress the drive through girl.

Well I hope that you enjoyed this did take me about 4 hours to finish. Let me know what you think...and feel free to let me know what your favorite moment with the great Josh
Laughlin is!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Practice what you preach...

For those of you who haven't heard, or who are just starting to read this blog, I am currently interning at Norton Christian Church in Norton, Kansas. This has been a great experience for me so far and I am looking forward to gaining more ministry experience as I continue. Some of my responsibilities here are:

1. Teaching Sunday school for Jr high and high school students.
2. Teaching counsel time for the AWANA program here, both the TNT age group and SPARKS.
3. Heading up a Jr High outreach event on Friday nights and the youth center here.
4. Being heavily involved in TREK (Jr high youth ministry) and IGNITE (high school youth ministry), both in planning and teaching.

These are just SOME of the things that I am involved with here in Norton. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to get involved in the different ministries that this church and community have to offer. I can honestly say that I have been stretched quite a bit and have grown quite a bit as well throughout this whole process. I am so thankful that I can continue to learn more about the calling and the profession of student ministry that I am hoping to be involved in full time here very soon.

Here recently, we have challenged our students to really strive to grow deeper in their personal relationship with God. We are doing a series in our high school youth ministry called SPAM (study, pray, and memorize) with the hopes that our students will be challenged to use the resources that God has given them to reach out to Him and really grow closer to Him everyday. We are also doing a series in our Sunday school class called TRUTH OR DARE, which deals with finding your identity in The Truth instead of the world.

This last week I have been really convicted that I am not "practicing what I preach." I keep telling our students that they need to spend less time digging into the material things that the world has to offer (such as Facebook, video games, texting, etc.) and spend more time digging deeper into who God is (through daily Bible reading, study, and prayer). I challenged my students to make a sacrifice in their lives to give up something that is hindering them from spending time with God.

Then I thought to myself, (inner monologue) "How can I expect my students to sacrifice something to make more time for God if I haven't been doing it myself?" From their perspective, if the very leader that challenged them to make more room for God isn't doing it himself then why should they? So I have decided to make a conscious effort to spend less time in pointless things that will hinder my growth in Christ and spend more time in His word, prayer, and memorization. There is an old Reliant K song that is called "Actions Speak Louder Than Words" which I think is so true in life. I need to strive to live out the words that I am speaking to my students on a regular basis...stop thinking that I am on a higher pedestal when it comes to my relationship with God...and start doing one thing...practice what I preach.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who Needs Air...

The Classic Crime, over the past year or so, has slowly been working its way into the play list of bands that I listen to on a regular basis. I usually go through cycles where I listen to a specific genre of music for an extended period of time until I "get sick" of it, then I switch to another genre. I usually rotate from heavy metal, to acoustic singer/songwriters, to hardcore/screamo, to emo/alternative rock...etc. But for the last year, I have listened to The Classic Crime over and over again. I never get sick of them.

When I listen to music, the things that tickle my fancy on a tickle-o-meter (if such a thing existed) would look like this:
1. Cohesion as a group. This to me is what all great bands possess, and what all up and coming bands are looking for. One band that come to mind is the Dave Matthews Band. (On the tickle-o-meter, this would be like someone rubbing their finger nails gently across your back to the point that you get chills)
2. Lyrics. I have never been good and writing poetry or great lyrics that will move everyone that reads them. I suck at it actually. So I have come to appreciate when someone is good at stuff like that. (This would be like laughing so hard that you start to tear up a little)
3. Instruments. This is the one thing that will make or break a band. If a band is sub-par lyrically, they can still be one of my favorites if they are good musically. I love listening to the harmonizing of guitars, and the smooth walking of the bass lines, and how a drummer can be so precise and creative. (Remember when you were little, and your uncle would hold you down and tickle you until you peed your pants? Well that's what this is on the tickle-o-meter)

So back to the reason I am writing this post. The Classic Crime has tickled my fancy so much that it has has exploded off the tickle-o-meter. The band is absolutely amazing! The are ultra cohesive, have excellent and relevant lyrics, and their musicianship is a force to be reckoned with. There isn't a song that I don't like. I actually find it hard to listen to other bands because I find myself trying to compare them to The Classic Crime. And for this reason, I wanted to post the lyrics of one of their songs and the music via a YouTube video. (you will also probably need to pause my music play list)

Who Needs Air:

I long to taste adventure like the nature of the sea,
Always moving, always hiding all the creatures from beneath.
Singing silent songs of sadness my heart waits for its chance,
To dance upon the ashes of my burned up little plans.

And I stand alone before the night.
My nakedness is so clear in the glow of the moonlight.
Life is old but so short.
We are young we want more.

I'm drowning, but I don't care,
Because when you got what I got, what I got, what I got
Who needs air?

I don't need air.

My addiction to danger like the rush of the sea,
Like a wave on the rocks the lessons crash down on me.
I don't need to prove the world to you only to myself.
So step back and look away as I dive into the swell.

I'm drowning, but I don't care,
Because when you got what I got, what I got, what I got
Who needs air?

Take me down to the river like a little child,
Take my hand and tell me its okay to be wild.
I never knew the world until I saw through your eyes,
I never knew my self until I ripped off my disguise.

I'm drowning, but I don't care,
Because when you've got what I got, what I got, what I got
Who needs air?
I'm drowning, but I don't care,
Because when you got what I got, what I got, what I got
You don't need air.

I have come to the realization that life is more than what I have accomplished.
And life is more then the realization that we have accomplished nothing at all.
True success is so selfless so drown in the lyrics of your life and give up the air that you breathe.
You don't need anything.

I don't need air.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Here it comes...

I am a sports fan. I love watching sports. I love playing sports. I love sports. There is a time, however, that comes once a year. Its called summer. Sure the beginning is great, there is still playoff basketball on. But when the NBA season has officially closed, a new champion is crowned, and the draft is over, the natural order of things takes a turn for the worst.

There are 2 things that happen every summer that just make me cringe. One is baseball season and the second is all news about Brett Favre. Now don't get me wrong. I love baseball. But there is just something about a 162 games season that doesn't appeal to me. Sure there are some sweet plays, like an unassisted triple play, awesome diving catches, and no hitters. But it seems like every night, half of Sportscenter's Top Plays are home runs of some sort. And Favre...what a guy! I am a Green Bay Packers fan. I thank Favre for all the great seasons and for a Superbowl win. But I almost stopped watching ESPN these past 2 years because every single show was talking about he retired?...will he play again?...if so, for what team?...etc. I'm not saying that he shouldn't play. If he is still able, and a team will take him, then I think he should play. But do us all a favor Favre and be decisive are worse than a Jr High girl choosing between which guy she likes.

OK, enough venting. Back to what I really wanted to talk about. Just like there is a time when the natural order of sports takes a turn for the worse, there is also a time every year when the natural order of things is restored and things are once again as they should be. A time when Sportscenter can stop showing 5 different home runs in their Top Plays even though they always look EXACTLY the same. A time when bipolar Favre actually makes a decision and sticks to it. (this is why i think he throws so many interceptions...indecisiveness/bipolar disorder) That time is now...

Yes, football season is here. Time to sign up for a Fantasy League or twelve. Time to clear your Monday night schedule. Time for fall weather and FOOTBALL! Husker football in 4 days! And 9 days until the start of NFL regular season! Finally there will be some balance to Sportscenter's Top Plays and the only Favre news I will hear is when he is actually playing a game. So, in light of my recent celebration, I thought I would post some of my most favorite football highlights of all time. (in no particular order)

1. Tommie Frazier's 75-yard TD run in the 1995 National Championship Game against Florida.

2. Black 41 Flash Reverse

3. Matt Davison's Missouri Miracle

4. The Blackshirts

5. Tunnel Walk

I know these are all Husker highlights. But I am a Husker fan above all other teams! Hope you enjoyed...let me know what you think.