Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Father-Kids Campout Slideshow

This past weekend we had a Father-Kids Campout here on our church property. We had a ton of fun ... chili dogs, smores, a [planned] surprise visit from the police (very funny to see the kids' reaction!), and making and launching rockets. The real highlight was just seeing men spending time with kids and helping them connect on a deeper level. It was powerful seeing them share with one another and seeing men praying over their kids. It was also wonderful to see some grandpas, uncles, and mentors step in to spend time with kids whose dads were unable to attend. Below is a slideshow. Click here if you want to see all the pictures.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

John Pinette Live!

Saturday night Adriana and I got to go see our favorite comedian John Pinette live. He was unbelievably funny! We have a friend who manages the showroom and he was gracious enough to get us an autographed poster! If you've never seen him before, below is a little sample.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wild Wednesday Bowling!

Bring your FRIENDS!
Register TODAY @

Like Father-Like Daughter

Seeing my daughter playing and loving softball brings back great memories of my childhood playing baseball.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Most Valuable Baseball Card!

So happy to see my little slugger's first baseball card! It's the most valuable card I own! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Painting: Surprised By Hope

Related: Surprised By Hope - Tremendous Book! Highly recommended!

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Painting: Golgotha

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Rock Painting: Aslan

The Domino Effect of Generosity

This past week we got to see the domino effect of generosity. Here are 2 things that happened:

First, our church kicked off a new series On Sunday and gave over 100 people money to go out and do something great for God's kingdom in the next 3 weeks. Adults received $100 and students received $20. The ground rules were: (1) Recognize this is God's money, not yours; (2) Pray and ask God how he wants you to leverage the money for kingdom impact; (3) Come back in 3 weeks and give a report of what you did. One of the recipients of some of the money is in our small group. As she began to share what she felt God had put on her heart to do, she invited us to join her project. She also mentioned another idea she had. This is the cool part: We're going with one project, but as she mentioned the other need, someone in our group started brainstorming various ways she could help the other person and is, in fact, working on it. Just having the conversation has led to meeting additional needs. Domino effect.

Second, each week in our middle school ministry we collect non-perishable food items to give to local food pantries. We call it "Fill the Tub." Last week, while my wife was at work, she was having a conversation with one of her clients and the talk turned from the vanity of the retail/makeup world to talk about how to reach out and selflessly help others. Adriana began to tell the woman about how we are teaching our own children and our students generosity. The woman said she was having a 70th birthday party for her husband and had asked the guests not to bring gifts, but to bring bags of groceries to help those in need. She then told Adriana that she was looking for a place to donate to, and said she wanted to give them to us. The other night we went over to their home and this beautiful couple filled our trunk with groceries. Domino effect.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why Play Games in a Youth Group? by Les Christie

7 Reasons I think games should be a valuable part of your youth group ministry ...

  1. Games are universal. I've traveled a bit, and I can tell you this: Games are a universal language. I've yet to see a country where kids don't want to play games of some sort.
  2. Games are ideal come-and-see, entry-level activities. Games pull new students into your youth group and provide opportunities for a deeper message. Games help tear down emotional walls and get kids mingling and interacting.
  3. Games stretch your students, encouraging them to take risks. Games can help teenagers develop tolerance, persistence, and patience. Games provide a structure within which those virtues can be practiced.
  4. Games improve problem-solving skills and help kids deal with life's stresses. The life of a typical teenager is plenty crowded and complicated. A game provides an oasis of laughter and fun. And depending on the game, there's a chance to do strategic thinking and problem solving.
  5. Games build community, acceptance, and a sense of belonging. Games provide shared experiences that become shared memories. They're inclusive. And if well led, they foster acceptance.
  6. Games are relevant. Games are all over television and the Internet these days, and teenagers account for much of the popularity of media and video games. Games are relevant to your students because games of all kinds are such a familiar part of teenagers' landscape.
  7. Games provide good, clean, trouble-free fun. Teens are hungry for wholesome activities in a positive environment. Life is tough enough; kids need to have fun, play, and laugh together. Games provide all that and more. 
(Source: Christie, Les Best-Ever Games for Youth Ministry, Group) To receive 10% off this item click on the 10% off coupon at the top of my blog.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stupid Human Tricks ...

We are always reminding students that they have been given a S.H.A.P.E. (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences) by God so that they can serve others. Here's a little video compilation "Stupid Human Tricks"from The Late Show with David Letterman we use to talk about talents. What are the unique abilities God has given you and how can you use those to bless others? Not exactly sure how these fit in, but they sure are funny, and we have churches filled with people with all kinds of talents!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Father-Kids Campout!

We'll be having a Father-Kids Campout on the SCC Lawn. Arrival is between 3-6pm on Friday. Cost is $10/person or $25/Family Max. Dad, Grandpa, Uncle, etc. can come with their middle school student and can bring other family children as well if so desired. Friday Dinner and Saturday Breakfast are included. We will also be making and launching rockets!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Book I Chipped Away at for 3 Years

Last week I read page 650 - the final page of The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway - a book I was chipping away at for 3 years. A number of years ago I decided to try and stretch myself by reading different authors with different writing styles. I was intrigued by Hemingway's stories which demonstrated his "Iceberg Theory" (sometimes referred to as the "Theory of Omission"): The idea that the facts float above water; the supporting structure and symbolism operate out of sight." He said, "A few things I have found to be true. If you leave out important things or events that you know about, the story is strengthened. If you leave or skip something because you do not know it, the story will be worthless. The test of any story is how very good the stuff that you, not your editors, omit." It was so interesting how his stories started the reader out in the middle of something. I found my imagination engaged and my mind wandering as I tried to piece together the back story. The other thing that struck me was the seeming hopelessness and underlying existentialism in his stories - the idea that life has no meaning except what the individual attributes to it.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

God Can Use You [And Me]

There are many reasons why God shouldn't have called you to share His gospel.

But don't worry. You're in good company . . .

Moses stuttered.

David's armor didn't fit.

John Mark was rejected by Paul.

Timothy had ulcers.

Hosea's wife was a prostitute.

Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.

Jacob was a liar.

David had an affair.

Solomon was too rich.

Jesus was too poor.

Abraham was too old.

David was too young.

Peter was afraid of death.

Lazarus was dead.

John was self-righteous.

Naomi was a widow.

Paul was a murderer.

So was Moses.

Jonah ran from God.

Miriam was a gossip.

Gideon and Thomas both doubted.

Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.

Elijah was burnt out.

John the Baptist was an introvert.

Martha was a worry-wart.

Mary was lazy.

Samson had long hair.

Noah got drunk.

Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?

So did Peter, Paul -- well, lots of folks did.

But God doesn't require perfection.


There are lots of reasons why God shouldn't have called us.

But if we love Him, if we hunger for Him more than our next breath,

He'll use us in spite of who we are, where we've been, or what we look like.

Pray that as Christians, we will step out of our limitations into the illimitable nature of who God is.

Then our passion for God and our passion to communicate with Him will make mincemeat of our limitations.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Christian Rapper KJ-52 in Concert Saturday!

Christian rapper KJ-52 will be in concert this Saturday at 7pm at Fountain of Living Water Christian Church in Indio. A great event to invite some unchurched friends to. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. You can purchase online here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Rock Painting: Jesus

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The BIG 3 to Getting Connected at Southwest Community Church

At Southwest Community Church we preach The Big 3 as a simple way for people to get connected: 
  1. Attend a Weekend Service. We have several options to choose from:
    1. Traditions Sundays at 8 AM in the Worship Center 
    2. Classic Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Worship Center 
    3. Video Café Sundays at 9:15 AM Room 200 and 11:00 AM in the Worship Center 
    4. Southwest en Español Sábados, 5 PM Salón 202 Domingos, 11 AM Salón 202
    5. (Click here to listen to our different music styles or to watch a message.)
  2. Go to C.L.A.S.S. God has a purpose for your life, and the seminar series called C.L.A.S.S. (Christian Life And Service Seminars) is an opportunity to begin to discover what that is. Our schedule allows you to take the classes in sequence, start to finish, in just 4 weeks. Register today here!
  3. Join a Small Group. Life is meant to be shared. In a small group, people study God’s Word together and discuss the issues and challenges of life. It’s also where they pray, care for one another, and are missed if they don’t show up. Sign up or start a group today here!