Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ice Cream Throw Down!

Todd Cavanaugh's Proposal to Elisabeth Baldanza

Todd Cavanaugh is the director of BASIC college ministries. I remember him as a little kid. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so thankful for all of our friends and family. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!


Stiller & Meara a Rant on Thanksgiving ... Hilarious!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

No More Braces!

After 2 years Claudia got her braces off yesterday! Yeah!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Daughters Serving Jesus

In the past 48 hours I have had the tremendous privilege of witnessing both of my daughters actively serving the Lord. On Sunday morning I watched my oldest daughter Claudia leading her peers in worship unto God as she sang on our student worship team. Then this morning I walked out of my office to see my youngest daughter Natalia leading the Bible Club she started during recess at school. It fills my heart with wonder, joy, and hope as I see them loving Jesus and loving others with their gifts and talents.
(Claudia wearing the white shirt in the front.)

(Natalia is standing in the middle.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Life Without Limits

Just finished reading the book Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic. Here's a video clip of Nick sharing some of his inspirational story.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vote for one of my Emerging Leaders!

One of my former students who is currently serving as one of my emerging adult leaders, Teresa Rojas, is in the running for a Young Christian Leaders scholarship. Would you do me a favor and vote for her? You can do so once a day while voting lasts.
Vote for Teresa up to once a day here.

Kevin Dynamite

These videos were made in honor of my arrival at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle in 2005.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

To Date or Not to Date?

Tonight we are beginning a 3-week series on dating in the high school ministry, PI-912. Students will be given booklets and we will be talking about:

  • Dating & The Bible
  • Principles for Building Healthy Relationships with People of the Opposite Sex
  • Seizing the Date Day

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Imagining Jesus in Election Season

I found this article by Mark R. Wenger to be excellent food for thought. It was written prior to the recent elections, but is quite insightful. Enjoy and be challenged.

"Jesus the Christ couldn't stop talking about politics.

I know it sounds crazy, but please hear me out. What did Jesus talk about more than anything else? Answer: The kingdom of God.

Sometimes he told stories about it: "The Kingdom is like a woman making 100 loaves of homemade bread." Sometimes he was very blunt: "Let me put it to you straight. It is next to impossible for the rich to get into the Kingdom of God."

Again and again Jesus ... Read the full article here.

What if Jesus Meant All That Stuff?

From Esquire:

This radical Christian's ministry for the poor, The Simple Way, has gotten him in some trouble with his fellow Evangelicals. We asked him to address those who don't believe.

By Shane Claiborne

To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians. Christians who have had so much to say with our mouths and so little to show with our lives. I am sorry that so often we have forgotten the Christ of our Christianity.

Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of God.

The other night I headed into downtown Philly for a stroll ... Read the full article here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Family Vacation: Saturday & Sunday

On Saturday we very much enjoyed watching the new movie Megamind. So funny! Afterward we ate lunch - the girls at Chick-Fil-A, and Ady and I at In-N-Out right next door. We then bummed around a shopping center for a bit, went back to the hotel for a quick rest, then at 4pm we drove to Saddleback Church where we attended the 4:30 and 6:30pm services. At 4:30pm Claudia went to Wildside (the Jr. High ministry), Natalia went to Extreme (for 3rd & 4th graders) and Ady & I went to HSM (the high school program. At 6:30pm Ady went to the Overdrive venue and enjoyed hearing Rick Warren. The entire church is doing a campaign called Decade of Destiny. Their topic that night was physical health, and outside of their church they had a Health Expo with booths by health professionals to help people in their efforts to live healthier. After the service we went out for dinner with our friend and the high school pastor Josh Griffin, his family, and his high school staff. So fun!

This morning we attended another great church just around the corner from our hotel called Mariners. Really an amazing church and we very much enjoyed it. After church we drove to Laguna Beach where we ate lunch and hung out on the beach for a few hours. We then drove up to Newport Beach where we visited Fashion Island - an outdoor mall. I've never seen so many dogs at a mall - not just outside, but being walked through every major department store. So cool! Made us miss our dogs.

Family Vacation: Friday - Sea World

On Friday we visited Sea World in San Diego. Fantastic! See more pics here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Family Vacation: Thursday - Beaches

Today we hit up Long Beach and Huntington Beach. It was 95 degrees out and beautiful as always here. This evening we had a great dinner with our friend Doug Fields. Unfortunately his wife Cathy was a bit under the weather and unable to join us. Praying she gets well quickly.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Family Vacation: Wednesday - Hollywood

Today we drove up to Los Angeles. We took a 2-hour tour up Hollywood Boulevard, through West Hollywood, up Sunset Boulevard, up through the Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, etc. where we saw homes of celebrities both present and past, down Rodeo Drive, up Mulholland Drive where we had the scenic overlook over L.A. and up to the Hollywood sign, and back down to the Chinese Theater. It was really fun! After the tour we did a little shopping then had lunch in the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard. As we were eating I recognized a guy walking in as Cousin Sal from The Jimmy Kimmel Show. I said hi and he shook my hand and greeted us. After lunch we went into Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum which the tour we had purchased also included. We had a very fun time in there as well.

You can see a bunch more of our pics here. I haven't had time to label the various houses we saw, but ...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Video of Baptisms (Including My Daughters')

Into the Wild

This past weekend I read the book Into the Wild. It has also been made into a movie which I will surely watch in the near future.

From the cover: "In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter ..."

It was a gripping yet tragic story with many great talking points about family, forgiveness, relationships, ideals, materialism, simplicity, planning, and other important topics. You can order it here.

(One of the final acts of Chris before his death was to take this photograph of himself.)