Thursday, May 31, 2007

May Blogger Awards

It's been another fun month of blogging here at The Matthew Never Knew. Over 6000 hits again in May. 68 BBC Blogs were updated this month. I think that's good. Remember, September 4th is the official BBC BLOGGING DAY. Here are some noteworthy May posts:

As for Blogger of the Month, it was another close call. Elizabeth was so consistent, and DJ's day/theme idea is interesting, but overall I've gotta give the award for best combo of quantity/quality to...

January: Elizabeth S
February: Kirk P
March: Kirk P
April: Elizabeth S
May: Steph P

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

That's the Ticket 3

By popular demand, Stewart/Colbert has entered the race on the Democratic ticket. And they expect to win with their attractive blend of comedy and political awareness. This leaves us with 6 celebrities wanting your vote for 2 powerful positions. Will you vote republican (Limbaugh/Stern), Foreign (Bono/Arnold), or Democrat (Stewart/Colbert)? Vote Above!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

That's the Ticket 2

Yesterday after I posted, I got a call from Rush Limbaugh in which he declared my idea splendid and that he and Stern would indeed run on the Republican Ticket. What's more, he said he's been spreading my 'celebrity ticket' idea around and that 2 more teams of 2 will emerge in the next 48 hours. Well, I just heard from a second 'Presidential ticket' so I'm going to give them equal time. This second group is running on the platform that foreigners should be allowed to lead this nation. Both have been influential in the world, especially this decade. I present to you the next possible President and Vice President.

Come Back tomorrow to see the 3rd pairing and actually VOTE for your favorite ticket!

Monday, May 28, 2007

That's the Ticket

I've been keeping somewhat of an eye on the 2008 Presidential Candidates, but few of them seem very Presidential to me. I think there's a window of opportunity for 2 celebrities to come forward and rock the vote. But what 2 celebrities could most motivate the American public? Who could awaken the betrayed conservative majority? Who could convince stupid young people to actually participate in government? I present to you the answer to those questions and the next President and Vice President of the United States of America:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Puzzle Pieces

My readership demands more posts about my romantic life. There are two reasons why I haven't posted often on this subject. For one, there hasn't been much to post! For two, I'm pretty sure I'll be rebuked for some of my thinking in this area of life.

For instance, in the past I have kept an unwritten (usually) list 4 or 5 girls that I have some level of interest in. Despite this, I feel I am very focused on 1 girl at a time. My female friends don't usually buy this, but the above picture helps me to illustrate my position.

Finding a girl is like searching for the right puzzle piece. The best way to find the exact piece I'm looking for is to gather a handful of pieces that look like they may match the original piece (representing me) and analyze them one at a time. In this way, I am able to place all my attention on 1 piece, while still having 4 or 5 more on the radar as possibilities. This is nothing like liking a handful of girls at the same time. It is simply realistic. If there was only 1 girl on the radar I wouldn't ask her on a date, I'd ask her to marry me.

Now where it gets complicated, and where the analogy falls short, is in the fact that the original piece (me) isn't completely defined yet. I am still not exactly sure what my edges are like, let alone how exactly they'd fit with those of another. Because of this, a piece I already focused on for a time and placed back on the table may end up being worth another look.

At the moment, as always, I am focused on 1 while other pieces remain on the radar. This, in my opinion, shouldn't make the 1 mad (though I've learned that girls ON the list prefer not to know the list exists, haha. The girls in the above pic look suspicious of each other) nor does it mean I like more than 1 girl at a time. It's simply a realistic and efficient way of putting these pieces together.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

You Can Do It!

Titling this post was very difficult because it always seemed like I was swearing until I left out the ***'s. See. Anyways, I just wanted to remind anyone and everyone interested that if you ever update and don't get ***'s, you DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT for me to mark you as updated. If you really want ***'s, you can do it yourself! Just follow these 2 easy steps:


Click the "Click for ***'s" link on the upper right corner of my blog. If 'upper-right corner' is not descriptive enough for you, it's the link circled in red in the following picture!

Step #2
Once you click that link, it should take you to a new page. On that page, simply type in your sites title (which doesn't even need to be accurate), then your sites address (which does need to be accurate), and then click PING (circled in green below).

Friday, May 25, 2007

Funny Friday 2

Steven Wright is my favorite comedian of all time. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a video that contained a ton of his best jokes, so this one will have to do. Feel free to make suggestions for next Friday, but until then, enjoy the dry delivery of Steven Wright:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

#5 Consistency is King

#1 Pick the Platform
#2 Win the Name Game
#3 Find Your True Colors
#4 Hit Your Target

The 5th Commandment of Blogging is "Thou Shalt Be King of Consistency" or, in a contemporary translation, "You should be an asexual leader in consistency." Either way, consistency is super important in the blogosphere. Any store would go out of business if it promised regular hours only to open once in a blue moon. Likewise, don't blog promises you don't intend to keep. The dying breath of many blogs includes the whisper "I'm going to start posting more regularly."

'Regularly,' of course, needn't mean the same thing to all bloggers. I regularly post every day, but for someone else one post a week may suffice. My recommendation, however, is that you don't post randomly, but regularly (interestingly, 'random' is a blogger buzz word so it's not surprising that bloggers often break this commandment). If you find yourself blogging about once a week, pick a specific day and claim it as your own. Is it Monday again? Post away. Or do a Drury and take Tuesday. Whatever. Tell your readers when you're open for business and then make good on your promise.

In my observation, most bloggers should pick 1 day a week and claim it as their own. But if you're up for it pick more than 1 day (the more days, the more traffic). Just be consistent. And, just for your information, here are the stats from my blog showing what days have the most blog traffic:

11.8% Sunday
13.9% Monday
16.1% Tuesday
15.4% Wednesday
14.6% Thursday
14.5% Friday
13.8% Saturday

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Idol Finals

Well, I just watched the final performances from each of the American Idol finalists. I agree with Simon that Blake's 1st performance was great. Jordin, though she sounded awesome, also seemed a bit nervous on her first attempt. In the second round I really liked that Blake sang a song straight through without the beat box stuff. It sounded very good, but Jordin sounded spectacular on the Martina Mcbride song. And in the final round I felt bad for Blake. That song didn't fit his style at all and '7' is being generous. The song was perfect for Jordin and she blew it out of the water AND got the tears going at the end which will win some more votes. For the entire season Jordin ends up with 150 points and I declare her the winner and the current American Idol.
Jordin 8,9,9 (150)
Blake 9,8,7(139)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Teaching Statistics

Every May I evaluate the progress I've made toward my goal to teach through the entire Bible 3 times during my years in pastoral ministry. I'm making decent progress through phase 1. Here are the updated numbers:

32.4% of the Bible (+12.2%)

26.4% of the Old Testament (+10%)
26.8% of the Pentateuch (+4.3%)
26.5% of the Historical Books (+18.1%)
30.5% of the Poetical Books (+7.9%)
22.0% of the Prophets (+8.4%)

53.9% of the New Testament (+20.1%)
46.2% of the Gospels/Acts (+19%)
40.2% of the Pauline Epistles (+33.3%)
91.1% of the Non-Pauline Epistles (+1.8%)

*The numbers are slightly less than accurate in that not all my teaching is covered, some being 'topical'. Currently I am teaching through Acts, spiritual disciplines, essential christianity, post-exilic Israel (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi), and Romans.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Shoeless Nerd

I lost my shoes and found out I'm a nerd.

For some reason, I wear old ugly sneakers when I drive to church each Sunday morning. When I get to my office, I see my nice Sunday shoes staring up at me and make the exchange. Unfortunately, this Sunday, my shoes weren't there and so I totally forgot I had ugly sneakers on. 5 minutes into the 1st service I looked down and realized my mistake.

Now, nobody had commented prior to the service, so the following theories emerge:
1) The ugly sneaker & suit combo is acceptable
2) No one looks at my shoes
3) They are too nice to correct me
4) They were joking behind my back
5) They all have poor vision

Anyways, I did have my 2nd string pair of Sunday shoes elsewhere in my office, so I took the next opportunity to change. But my missing shoes became a subject of conversation and eventually turned into a chat about my entire wardrobe which is, apparently, quite geeky. I mentioned how I am thinking of spending some money on new 'cool' clothes and the comment was made that they like 'pastor matt' the way he is (as in, un-cool).

So now I am missing my shoes AND I'm a nerd. It's been a tough day.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

5 Purposes

Today in Sunday School we were discussing Rick Warren's 5 'Purposes' of the church. I went through a list of all the stuff that goes on at our church and asked them which 'purpose(s)' were being met. Then I asked them to rank how dedicated we seem to be toward each purpose. I think the overall consensus was 1) Fellowship 2) Discipleship 3) Worship 4) Service 5) Evangelism. In what order would you rank these 5 purposes in the church you lead/attend?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Week End Report 2

Here's some stats from this past week

Finished FF Bruce's 'NT Documents'
Working on NT Wright, volume 2

Secondhand Lions
Saving Silverman


TV Shows
Gilmore Girls finale
American Idol
The Office

Local Church Conference
Mother/Daughter Banquet
Volleyball (today)

Only 12 miles

Friday, May 18, 2007

Funny Friday 1

From now until I stop doing it, each Friday on 'The Matthew Never Knew' will be a FUNNY FRIDAY: One YouTube comedian each week. Here's the criteria. It must be QUICK CLEAN COMEDY.
1) Quick- Try to find short clips. Nothing over 8 minutes.
2) Clean- no swearing, no inappropriate material.
3) Comedy- it must be funny.

Feel free to make suggestions, but I'll start us out with a comedian I just stumbled across named Dmitri Martin.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

#4 Hitting Your Target

I shall continue my 10 Commandments of Blogging Series

#1 Pick the Platform
#2 Win the Name Game
#3 Find Your True Colors

If you aim at nothing, you hit your target everytime. I have observed that, generally speaking, there are 3 types of posts in the world of blogging. I refer to them as P.R.S. posts: PERSONAL UPDATE, READ & REACT, and SEARCH WORTHY. Each type of posts targets a different audience. Let me illustrate with a fancy graphic:

Most blogs are simply personal updates. There's nothing wrong with that, but the Blogger should be aware that this is the smallest target. You'll attract some family and friends. Only so many people really care how we are doing.

A bigger aim is the 'Read & React' style of blog in which you write something that elicits a response. Sometimes the reaction will be via comment (preferred by most). But if you make people think, they'll find their way back to your blog even if they don't often comment. You'll still get your friends and family, but you'll add thinkers to your readership.

Is there anything on your blog that people would google for? If not, don't expect to gain a vast readership. You have to blog about things people are talking about if you want them to make your blog a regular stop. I use another P.R.S. to describe those subject areas (politics & pop-culture, religion, and sex). If you hit all 3 targets, your readership will go as high as your quality and exposure.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Idol #3

Well, it's almost 4am and I just finished watching American Idol (I had to watch Gilmore Girls first, vote below). I didn't dislike any of the performances this week. I thought Melinda was the best overall, but I think the 2 best specific performances were Blake's 2nd song and Jordin's final song. I guess it's Blake's turn to go since the 2 girls are better overall singers. I'd be surprised if it wasn't an all girl final.

Melinda 8,8,8(128)
Jordin 7,8,9 (124)
Blake 7,9,8(115)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gilmore Girls 23

Tonight is the night. The very last episode of Gilmore Girls. And, as luck would have it, it's also the final week of our GG Survivor Tournament. We're down to your 2 favorite characters. Who's the absolute best character? It's up to you to pick either Rory or Luke. Who's got your vote? And feel free, once you've watched the finale, to share your thoughts about how the show ended.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Church Blog

To save money and for ease in updating, I've made our church website into a blog. There are still some things I'd like to add, but the main information is there if you want to check it out.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Week End Report 1

As an every-day blogger, I'm always trying to make it simpler to know what to blog about. So, as you've probably noticed, some patterns have emerged and certain days prompt certain topics. So, with that in mind, I may make Saturday my 'personal update' day. How was my week intellectually, physically, spiritually & relationally?

I've been enjoying NT Wright this week

Sleeping pattern has averaged 4-11am :(
I played some decent basketball Wednesday
I only got 12 miles of biking in

I think I'm starting to recognize providence

A couple friendships found new levels of quality
Mom wants to set me up with a girl at Home Depot

Friday, May 11, 2007

Entering Blogdom 4

You know the Drill...
Guess who's "first post" this is

Well, I've finally made it into the land of the blogs. There's not much news to share, but the news I do have is pretty exciting... (xxxxxx) and I are expecting our first baby this August! Yay! I'm going to be a mommy! At first I was really surprised and worried because it was not planned - by us anyway:) But God is good and He knows what He's doing. (xxxxxx) keeps reminding me of our life verse -
Proverbs 3:5 & 6. Now that the initial shock has worn off, we are pretty excited and can't wait to meet the newest (xxxxxxx). Look out world!

Current Point Totals
kayla 2
joanna 1
ap -1
kirk -3

Thursday, May 10, 2007

#1 Picking a Platform

I am continuing my series 'The 10 Commandments' of blogging, but re-arranging them a bit as I go. In past weeks, we've looked at 'The Name Game' and 'Your True Colors,' but even before you get to those laws you have to make a very important decision. Where will I blog? There are dozens of choices. You can blog on Blogger, Facebook, Myspace, etc. But they're far from equals when it comes to blogging.

I use all of the above sites. Each, of course, has its pros and cons. Blogger is great for writing. Facebook is great for re-connecting. MySpace is great for stalking people. Blogger let's one share. Facebook keeps one updated. MySpace makes one want to kill themself. I think you get my point, MySpace is horrible. It's only redeeming quality, really, is that you can have a song on your page. That's pretty cool, but the negatives far outweigh that pro. Signing-in is often problematic. Ads are plentiful and sleazy. Load time is lengthy. Customized pages look ugly. Etc. MySpace might be helpful for finding a few friends, but don't use it to blog. We're down to two.

Facebook is an awesome site. It is MySpace perfected. It's clean look and ease of use makes it a great place to reconnect and let friends know what you are up to. It's so easy to leave comments and everything is very accessible. But, might I say, it's not really designed to be a blog. It's not for writing. Its 'notes' are a secondary feature, not a priority. Writing isn't what Facebook is about. Some people act as if Blogger and Facebook are in competition, but when I first heard that I was surprised. They are 2 totally different things. Facebook is for finding people. Blogger is for knowing people. Sure, you can find people on Blogger and get to know people on facebook, but in a much more limited sense. I'd encourage, though, all Facebook users to import their blogs into facebook (this is another nice feature of facebook). We're down to one.

What you want, if you want to be a blogger (you may not!) is, well, a blog! And who does blogging better than blogger? Nobody. Blogger/Blogspot is a place to write. It's for people who like to write. Content is king in Blogger Land. If you've got something to say that's more than cliche, Blogger is the place to play.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Idol #4

I disagreed with the judges more often than usual this week. I actually had a really hard time deciding who I liked best too. I think the final 2 should definitely be Melinda & Jordin though. My guess is that Lakisha will go home tonight and Blake will finish 3rd.

Melinda 7, 8 (104)
Jordin 9, 8 (100)
Lakisha 8, 7 (97)
Blake 8, 7 (91)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Gilmore Girls 22

We're down to the final 3 Survivors. And, in case some of you haven't heard, we're down to the final 2 episodes of The Gilmore Girls. That's right, the CW released a statement that the Gilmore Girls will not be back next season. To be honest, I'm happy about this. The show is not as good this year and I'd rather they end it than make a mess of it. Plus, it gives me a chance to either watch less TV or pick something new. But first things first, let's eliminate 1 of the final trio. And next week, to celebrate the final episode of the show, we'll declare our favorite character the champion of our contest! Remember to vote FOR one character and AGAINST another.


Monday, May 07, 2007


I just led a Bible study on this topic Sunday night so I figured I'd share my thoughts about fasting while all the passages of note are still fresh on my mind.

In the Old Testament, there are approximately 25 passages on the topic of fasting. The vast majority of these cases, though, are EXAMPLES of fasting, not TEACHING about fasting. The 'details' of these examples varied. Fasting was done individually and corporately. Fasting was done by Israelites and non-Israelites. Fasting was done for as little as 1 meal or as long as 40 days. Fasting could be done regularly or spontaneously. Fasting could be done as part of repentance for apostacy, after losing a loved one, or before a big battle, etc. Fasting was often accompanied with other important attitudes/disciplines
(repentance, mourning, humility, chastity, faith, prayer, confession, etc).

The New Testament doesn't say a ton about fasting, but Jesus did speak on the issue directly in a couple of spots. Jesus assumed His listeners would fast, though He never clearly commanded it. He seems to have implied fasting was necessary for certain spiritual victories. The early church, from Jesus disciples through the 1st centuries, seem to have included fasting as a regular spiritual discipline. Jesus fasted before His ministry. The people were fasting when Paul and Barnabas were called toward the 1st missionary journey, etc. The early church recommended fasting on Wednesdays & Friday's, usually until 3pm (though it could be extended), but rebuked anyone who fasted on the Lord's Day (Sunday).

There are many benefits to fasting. It provides you with bonus TIME. Instead of spending time preparing and eating a meal, fasting allows you to spend that time more directly in God's presence. It provides you with bonus RESOURCES. Instead of spending money on food, you can give that money (or food) to someone in need. Fasting humbles us, reminding us of the frailty of the flesh. Fasting empowers us by connecting us with the source of our power, God Himself.

I really recommend that all Christians try a fast. Not in a legalistic way, but as a voluntary spiritual discipline as they feel led by the Spirit. Try a private fast. See if you can take part in a corporate fast. Use the time and resources that you free up for the Lord's work.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Just One Soul

It almost seems like someone from BBC has posted about this before, but I can't remember who or when or how thoroughly, so I shall share my thoughts. Quite regularly, I hear someone at our church or in the larger Christian community say something like the following. "If just 1 soul gets saved then (such and such) will all be worth it."

I don't think I ever liked this mentality, but I especially don't like it nowadays. My problem with it is twofold. First, it seems to ignore 'stewardship.' If you take this mentality to its logical conclusion, a church would be doing good to spend its entire budget to reach 1 person. That's poor stewardship of time, effort & resources. Secondly, such a mentality is usually attached to very non-relational ministries like tract throwing or sign holding (at least in my observance). It seems to me we can set our goals a bit higher than 1 and use our time, talent, and treasure a bit more wisely than all that.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bike Bets

Last year I planned to do a lot of biking, but I did far less than a lot. So how many miles will I bike this year? Here's the plan: I intend to bike to church once a week this warm season. It is 12.2 miles to church, 24.4 round trip, but in the interest of simplicity we're going to call it an even 25. I am going to aim for 20 such trips, a total of 500 miles. Now, as a matter of record, I only biked about 100 miles last year! So place your bets and whenever the weather turns back to cold, we'll declare the winner. Place your bets!

Calvin 6,500
Kirk 532
Goal: 500 miles
Bryan 468.6
Steph 300
Matthew 225
Jo 200
Dena 175
Current Total: 150 miles
Jessica 125
Elliott 2

Friday, May 04, 2007

Catch Up

It's amazing that I can post every single day and still forget to post what I'm supposed to post. Some of your reminded me that I didn't do BBC Blogger Awards for April. I have done them and back-dated them to April 30th. You can either scroll down or click HERE. Here are some other news and notes:

1. I also forgot to continue my 10 Commandments of Blogging Series.
2. It's getting to be do or die time for my beloved Sabres.
3. Despite not getting drafted, I enjoyed the NFL Draft. Bills did good.
4. I'm currently teaching through Acts, Disciplines, Jude, Romans
5. I got my 'get nephew off the bus' job back, but only part time (Monday's)
6. I keep forgetting to eat. I am averaging less than 1 meal a day.
7. Saturday I plan to re-try my 40 yard dash (minus the video)
8. Next week I hope to begin biking season
9. I should have started this week

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I'm changing the date of this post so I can do the April awards
Ok. The settings were a little primitive, but I got my 1st 40 yard dash time tonight. 5.61 seconds. I am pretty sure I can improve on that time. Special thanks to mom, dad & the neighbor's dog 'big head' for helping out. Here's the video:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Idol #5

This week they are voting off 2 of the idol hopefuls. In my opinion the only 'safe' contestant is Melinda. Jordin would have been safe if not for the fact that she got the worst reviews from the judges this week. Blake has unique enough to endear him to people. Lakisha had her best week in a month. Phil sounded great. Chris did alright, but he should be gone. He's definitely a notch below the others. Who else should go? I just don't know. If it was just up to me I'd vote off Chris & Lakisha. But here are my statistical standings:

Melinda 7 (89)
Jordin 6 (83)
Lakisha 8 (81)
Phil 8 (80)
Blake 8 (76)
Chris 7 (74)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Gilmore Girls 21

First, Jackson made it to the finals. Last week, Luke joined Jackson. This week the very last member of the final trio will be declared by YOUR vote. Will it be an all male final or will Rory rock the feminazi vote? We'll find out in the next 48 hours. Remember to vote FOR 1 character and AGAINST another.