Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Homebrew Arcade Machine Part #1

Three summers ago, I thought it would be fun to refurbish an arcade cabinet  On a whim, I bought a almost gutted case of an old bowling arcade machine off of craigslist. That cabinet sat in three different warehouse spaces and quickly became a constant topic of razzing by coworkers.

Typically over Christmas break I like to take time to work on a project that I might be too busy to tackle durring other parts of the year. This Christmas season, at Alex's urging we deiced to finally redo that arcade cabinet. So Dad, Alex and I have started on the sweet project. Alex and Dad are working on the refinishing, construction and general design aspect. I'm in charge of the guts, wires, and making the video game pieces come together.

The first step was gutting all the junk out of it and then lowering the shelf 3 inches to fit the TV we bought.

More updates coming soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Remembering Darby

Two weekas ago, one of my hero's passed away. Phil "Darby" McDonald

I first met Darby at a picnic bench in the quad of the campus of UW:Stout at Summer Festival my 9th grade year. I had been going to camp for a few summers, and had met the lord at my first Summer Festival as a 7th grader. Carolyn Bossen, one of my youth leaders introduced us and after our quick introduction I hustled off to whatever fun event the program team had cooked up for the day. As I took off Carolyn told me if I have ever had the chance, that I should spend time with Darby - I could sure learn a lot from him

Prophetic words.

For the last 8 years I had the privilege of spending most monday morning praying with Darby. Most of my peers would dread Monday mornings, because it meant going back to the grindstone. Not me, I know it would be a time of sharing tales of the weekend, grumbling of how disappointing Minnesota sports teams are, talking about what we'd want to accomplish at Youth Forum that week, that summer, that year and it'd be a chance for Darby to share one of his Devotions. Darby had such unique insight and such away of making stories you've heard a 1,000 times become fresh and relevant. After prayer we'd often go to get chow mien or a burger at snuffies and we'd continue the conversation, the dreaming and the strategizing. 

I'm going to miss his wisdom and counsel, his jokes and his disarming sense of humor.

Last winter, Darby invited myself, Seth, Kelley and Kelly down to come spend a few days with him in their condo and Florida. We jumped at the opportunity and while we were down there - we joined with Joan, Reid and Carrol carpenter for one of the most powerful times of prayer that I've ever been a part of it. In that moment - everything was right with the world. We were reminded of God's promises of his faithfulness. 

Darby was a visionary - he knew that teens needed a safe place, where they could be themselves, where they could laugh and have fun, where they could build trusted relationships with adults, but most importantly where they could come to have an understanding of who Jesus was. That passion that the lord put in him was how castaway got built, how Youth Forum thrived and how many teens, including many of in this room got to know Jesus. 

I want to leave you with a line from the last devotion he gave at Summer Festival

If God is for us, who can be against us. If Jesus christ is on my side, who is on the other side! WHO CARES! - If you pardon my english, it don't matter. It just doesn't matter because Jesus is on my side. 

Darby - I can't wait to see you again some day. Thank you for your time here. The way your trusted Christ in all things was inspiring and something I wish I could have an ounce of. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What's a Hollister?

My friend Phil started working recently at the Hollister clothing store in the Mall of America as a manager. In his short time there, he has shared some remarkable things from his experience. 

#1. On Friday, Hollister at the MOA location sold over 16,000 individual items. That's about an item every 2.5 seconds that the store is open. It's simply mind blowing to me that a store could sell that many articles of clothing. 

#2. Besides print ads, the major way that Hollister advertises is by decking their employees in their brand of clothing. Technically they are only required to wear clothing that "looks" Hollister and can at least correspond to something similar that is available at Hollister. However there a huge discount price being given to the employees in exchange for representing the brand. You must imagine, that if you are getting such a good deal on clothes, that you'll wear those clothes out in public a ton and basically be a walking billboard. It's really smart marketing: hire young, attractive people and deck them  out in something "cool" and then have them just live life, while helping you sell jeans. Hollister has decided that the best way to market clothes, is through it's employees - just living life, but in all moments wearing Hollister. 

In church today, Steve Weins shared that he strongly believes something that has a similar ring to Hollister marketing style. He said:  The best program our church has is Christ in you. 

What a strong and powerful claim. Christ is working in us - to further his mission of ushering in the Kingdom now and forever and it's better then any program or scheme of the church. The challenge is being open to how God might be at work inside and outside of "regular church time." It's about walking a faith in both Karios and Chronos moments. As Hollister wants it's employees to be a channel for the Hollister brand at all times - to follow Christ is to be open to what Christ has for us at all times.

Scripture to chew on: Colossians 4:2-6

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Read this interesting article about Hosea and Gomer:

Found it very interesting how God used someones personal journey to parallel his story with his people.

What I'm wrestling with is how would God let someone fall in love with someone who would keep breaking his heart?

Friday, May 4, 2012

A quick life update

A. Wanted to share a few wanderings and ramblings from live.

B. I saw the avengers at 12:01 last night. It was EPIC. I can't say it's for everyone, but it was pretty freaking sweet for a comic book story, if you've seen most of the titles in the series (Iron Man I & II, Captain America, Thor, Hulk) you will really enjoy this movie. I am only running on four hours of sleep, but it was worth it. Plus as you know for a few years this lack of sleep has be my mode of operation, so it's not strange territory.

C. Went to Disney and to visit Darby on vacation a few weeks ago. It was really great. Lot's of great prayer time and 48 attractions in 2 days. Can't wait to go back.

D. This spring, I've developed some really close, but unexpected friends. Kelly, who works with me, and Reba her best friend, who recently moved up here. We have ended up spending a lot of time together. It's been awesome. Besides YF activities, playing trivia, grabbing diner and other general hangouts, one of the major activities they really like to do is to go see theater performances, which I do too. Back in high school I was pretty big into the theater, but in college this pastime waned. But, since they are both working as actors in the twin cities, they love to go see shows. So, this spring I've seen:

Narnia: The musical
The Lark
Fiddler on The roof
Kingdom Undone
Three Sisters
Deal: The musical
Spring Awakening

E. Blue Like Jazz the movie came out. See it sometime. Maybe on DVD. It's the most real look at being a young christian that the christian media market has produced. It wasn't perfect, but it was better then a lot of junk that comes out of that genre. Also, my name is in the credits. No joke.

F. Reading a book called Radical. It had kind of messed me up a bit. The thesis of the book asks the question, has the american dream highjacked the radical Christianity that Jesus taught. It's good. Don't agree with all of it, (have I ever?) but it raises some hair raising good points.

G. I've been very convicted to write about sexuality and my own experiences as I feel like God has had it be a major topic in my life this year. I'm writing a long blog post about it, but will likely end up only posting a small section of it. But, it's be very self revealing on how I'm wired and who I am becoming. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Youth Ministry Friends!

Youth Ministry friends! Get on this...

It's a 144 hour sale of several thousand dollars of resources for less then $100. Pretty stoked about it.

Day off!

So today - I've got a day off! It was a planned day off, but then I decided to make it a work day because Kelly my co-worker has been sick all week and she was planning on coming in. She then decided that she should probably rest for our big program retreat this weekend. Once again, the day is free. Which is really good. I'm not the best at taking days off.

I'm feeling rather unfocussed today.... So here are some pearls and nuggets I've picked up recently.

- Short stay vacations - You can rent random peoples homes for a weekend. Fully decked out with everything you need and very affordable. Here is  a link one I'm renting out for the program retreat:

- Joan of Arc - I went to see Theater in the Round's production of The Lark. The play told the wild story of Joan of Arc. She felt God was telling her to lead a revolution in France. Her English captors did not feel that God could tell her that. It was very convicting and has me wrestling the issues of what if God tells different pepole different things and what is the value of your word.

- Sky Deck, run by game works, is a pretty awesome arcade/restaurant. A cool place to go on dates, because you can have some fun playing arcade games before you chow down on generic bar and grill food.

- For camp this summer we are going to use a Tripple Head-To-Go to do three separate video screens for camp. It's going to be epic!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lint and Lent are one vowel off.

I read this cool article that got me jazzed up about lent. Article

I went to a very different Ash Wednesday service then I'm use to tonight. It had liturgical dancers and the sermon was a presented as a monologue from Herod Antipas. It was very interesting, some parts were cool to me, others were overwhelming.  The service was just a few blocks from my house. 

For lent, I thought that I would like to try to and focus on being more covertly intentional with the humanity around me and how God is at work with and in them.

1.I'll be trying to eat one meal a day with another person and durring that meal turn off my cell phone in order to be present with them. I'll also try to eat at the pace of the person I'm breaking bread with. 

2. I'm going to try to go to church in the community that I live in. Normally I drive to a big mega church in Maple Grove, but I'm going to try and think more about my community, vrs what church best serves my needs. I'm going to try and only go to church that is walking distance from my house. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Neverland games

I love games. Playing them, making them up. Playing them with a camp or just a few friends, it doesn't matter. I'm not super-competitive, I just enjoy being in a different world with rules that you have to follow. Some of the games I love most are complex board games. Even though I'm not the best at them. I enjoy the experience of the adventure. On of my favorites from childhood, was Buck Rodgers battle for the 25the century. The game is a lot like risk, but in space. 

Over Christmas, some of my high school friends got together and tried to play the game. It didn't go well. The game was slow, clunky and not super inviting. But dang, the board looked cool. The game has so much potential to be rock-solid, but it failed. 

Things that I liked:
- Cool movement system
- Space narrative that affects game play
- Epic combat
- Childhood nostalgia 

Things I didn't like:
-No currency system
-Turns took forever 
-Killer Satellite Units too powerful 

One thing that was awesome was the game ended in a 2 on 3 invasion of mars as the two power players took on the refugees of the solar system. That's what I like. If only it didn't take 3+ hrs to get there.

When designing games make sure the story draws you in, people want to play them and they are engaging enough to keep you wanting to play them the whole time it takes to play the game.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New book

In a few weeks, I'll have to opportunity to speak at a small winter retreat Youth Forum is putting on for one of our partner ministries.  In order to prepare, I'll be reading more. As many of you know, I'm an infamous book starter. I usually make it 2 chapters in before I'm on to what's next. Working on at least getting halfway through before I quit.

Someone who had a big impact on how I speak is Bobo Burns. Bobo loved Max Lucado. I think that is what drew me to this book:

Max Lucado: A Love Worth Giving.

This quote really struck me from the first chapter:

Some of you are so thirsty for this type of love.  A love that never fails.  Those who should have loved you didn’t.  Those who could have loved you didn’t.  You were left at the hospital.  Left at the altar.  Left with an empty bed.  Left with a broken heart.  Left with your question “Does anybody love me?”

Please listen to heaven’s answer.  God loves you.  Personally.  Powerfully.  Passionately.  Others have promised and failed.  But God has promised and succeeded.  He loves you with an unfailing love.  And his love—if you will let it—can fill you and leave you with a love worth giving.
So come.  Come thirsty and drink deeply.

Doesn't get much better then that. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quick Idea.

Saw this idea over at the Young Life Leader Blog

Pray by name through the entire high school yearbook.

What a great idea. Youth ministry friends do you do this? If anyone has an extra yearbook from you school, I'd gladly pray through it with you.

2 Videos of note.

This one is super nerdy, but I can't help my self. It's such a cool idea. Would love to do something like this sometime. 

Backstory from the video's creator: In 2009, Casey Pugh asked thousands of Internet users to remake "Star Wars: A New Hope" into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars however they wanted. Within just a few months SWU grew into a wild success. The creativity that poured into the project was unimaginable

#2: Nostalgia Time. Listen with CC one for best effect. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Some interesting odds and ends.

1. I think has some good advice on it. It's not all good and It's not all clean. But, it's got some good gags and a few gems in there. I wonder what Solomon would think?

2. Right now there are so many irons in the fire at work, it's hard to keep up. Sometimes when there is so much to it's hard to focus. I have to work really hard to get things done and keep up. It's all good stuff. The curse of a dreamer.

3. Ricky Rubio has got some mad skills. No look passes.

4. Had a self revelation. My over active imagination often makes me think that I've communicated more details then I think I have. Sometimes this puts me on different pages with other people. Going to work on curbing this. I need one of these to make people jump in.

5. Goal this year. Once a month, hack out a blog post.

6. It's easy to get caught in own little mazes and not see the big picture. This has been my life as of late. If I had a prayer request. It would that God would remind to listen more, talk less; especially with him.

7. Hopping to go back to Disney World this April.