Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday @ Camp

July saw 49 BBC Bloggers blog. Here are some of the best posts from the past month:

Dena's Shaylee Story

Kirk's Mosh Categories
Robin on Emerging Church
Heather on Church Shopping
Kayla's Bad Job
Lindy defends Harry Potter
AJ's Church Visits

The award for BBC Blogger of the Month, however, goes to Mark Brewer, not so much b/c his blog was the best in July, but b/c he's being a quitter and deserves a tribute for his past blogging.

Tonight we just hung out in the room for a while till evening service. Tonight we stayed in the dorm, playing video games, card games & watching 'The Office.' It's not 2am yet and we're set to sleep.
Last night we stayed up pretty neat watching 'The Office,' but we were still able to wake up at 6:50 for tennis. Nate & I won 6-0, 6-0. After breakfast, I slept off and on until lunch time. We played basketball in the early afternoon, but it was really hot. Eventually I ended up watching most of 'One Night with the King' in the recital hall before supper. And now I'm done with supper. Perhaps I'll update again later.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday @ Camp

It's after midnight now. I just got in from being locked outside. Phil & Nate had some fun with that fact. Evening service was fine tonight and the Doerful Family BlueGrass Band played afterwords. All in all, a good day.
I made it to breakfast today. Then we went to the Walk Thru the Bible NT followed by the morning Bible study with Michael Walters. After lunch we played some basketball. The most competitive game ended 18-18 (Phil & Nate vs. Me and a stranger). After that we cooled down by playing Trix. I won. Aaron finished last. Then we went to the bookstore, but I didn't buy anything. Next we tossed a flying disk around until supper. After supper we played can-jam again before evening service which is in a few minutes.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday @ Camp

It's just past 11:30pm now, so this will be my final Sunday update. After Supper we went over to the chapel early. I really liked Michael Walter's first message. Afterwards, I caught up with some of the people from my internship. Next, we played 'cram-can' before heading back to the room where Aaron taught me to play Cribbage.
This morning I preached on the problem of pain, but as soon as I was able to lock up the buildings my friend Katie & I headed down to family camp. It's now about 4:30 and I got my half of the room set up (Aaron H will be here eventually). Like last year, I plan to log the basic happenings of camp. So I'll pry be updating this again later tonight.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

District Conference

Thursday night I couldn't sleep. I ended up watching Futurama for a long while before finally passing out at 4am. My alarm went off at 6:40 prompting me to get ready for our annual WNY District Conference. I like conference for the following reasons:

1. It's a chance to get to know the delegates beyond the church walls. 2. I get to see friends from other district churches. 3. Earl Wilson is a pretty decent preacher. 4. I'm usually a teller, so I get to miss the more boring parts of the conference. 5. The food is always great. 6. Free books, this year I got three. 7. Disputes over memorials are always somewhat hilarious. 8. Voting is fun. 9. It's over by 3pm. 10. It means camp is only a couple days away!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Quick Links


I'm in need of good websites that start with:
P, U, V, X, Z

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

It hasn't been a great week in Sports. One of football's truly exciting players, Michael Vick, is in huge trouble amidst dogfighting allegations. Baseball is about to have its most prestigious record broken by a guy who everyone knows used steroids. An NBA referee has been gambling on NBA games in what is being called the 'worst situation' of David Stern's era as league commissioner. The NHL's top man, Gary Bettman, has been accused of overstepping his bounds in regards to the potential sale of the Nashville franchise. The MLS has fooled itself into thinking David Beckham & Posh Spice can trick Americans into liking 1-0 final scores. Worst of all, I was 1 hole away from shooting below par at mini-golf Tuesday morning only to screw up big-time.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Teaching Stuff

My Sunday School class had been going through Luke/Acts, but that series is taking so long that we decided to take a brief break and study Jonah. I've had opportunity to preach AM sermons at the U.M. church (Won't You be a Neighbor?) and at Hess Road on for Baptism Sunday. I'll also be preaching next Sunday on the problem of pain. Sunday nights we've been dealing with social issues (environmentalism, entertainment & abortion), but will soon be getting into a series on the Middle East. My MOST group has been doing topical stuff, but I think I'll take them through my parable series next. On Wednesday nights we've been studying the post-exilic books, just completing Haggai & Zechariah. For men's group (Thursday's) we just completed and overview of 'The Twelve' and will soon begin a series on the armor of God.

What have you been preaching/teaching/studying?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Funny Friday 7

I find it really funny when people flip out
This guy had a really bad day at the office

Thursday, July 19, 2007

#7 Think Themes

Because I don't like quitting, I shall continue my attempt to create the 10 Commandments of Blogging:

#1 Pick a Platform
#2 Win the Name Game
#3 Find your True Colors
#4 Hit Your Target
#5 Be Consistent
#6 Comment Unto Others

Commandment #7 is an important way to acquire 'regular' readers to your blog (not 'regular' as opposed to strange, but 'regular' as opposed to inconsistent). Blogging randomly is fine, but blogging thematically is fantastic. There are two key ways to turn random readers into regular readers through the use of themes.

1. Start a Series
Truth be told, this will alienate some readers who aren't interested in the topic. But don't worry about them, they'll come back. Others will be intrigued by your topic and will want to participate in a series of discussions. Starting a series is a method with as much potential as your choice of content. It gives your readers something to rely on when they visit your site. I tend to keep my series' between 3-7 days.

2. Dedicate a Day
Tell your readers that a certain day of the week (or month) is dedicated to a certain something. The possibilities are endless. I've even seen bloggers dedicate each day of the week to a specific kind of post, but I think that's going a bit overboard. The key is to find something that a good number of your casual readers are interested (if your dedicated day fails to get comments for a few weeks in a row, people aren't interested).

On this blog I tend to do 1 series each month, usually on a more serious issue. Each week, I tend to have 1 or 2 theme days. Currently my theme day is "Funny Friday's," but when the Fall TV schedule picks up I'll have, at least, "Office Quote" Thursday's.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tricky Business

I don't pretend to know how girls think. I know FOR SURE how they think. They think exactly like guys. Both guys and girls, in general, want to date someone on the very edge of being out of their league. A guy wants a girl that his friends will be surprised he got. A guy will work extremely hard to trick a girl into thinking he's a higher ranking guy than he actually is. But girls aren't usually dumb. They know the guy is a loser. So why does his pursuit work anyways? Because girls just love being pursued. They'll seemingly lower their standards if the pursuit is impressive enough (either in quality or duration). I say 'seemingly' because that's only how it looks from the male perspective. From the female perspective the pursuit actually raises the rank of the guy. He transforms into a winner because he pursues. The girl agrees to date the guy when his pursuit has moved him beyond her rank (in the order of girls) and to the brink of leaving her league completely.

And thus my title. Dating is a tricky business. The guy is trying to trick some girl that's out of his league to date him. If the guy is any good at pursuing, the girl re-ranks him as higher than he actually is and then tries to trick him into asking her out. A happy dating relationship is simply one in which both parties think they have the other fooled. An un-happy dating relationship is simply when one or both parties begins to feel that they could do better.

I don't recommend this system (as you'll see in the next and final chapter), but this is how the world of dating works.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I like kittens. Unfortunately, I pretty much hate cats. I think a lot of people must feel the same way and so I am considering leaving pastoral ministry in favor of a new business idea called 'rent-a-kitty.' Here's the plan: Every time I see 'free kittens' I take them. Then I rent them out to people who only like kittens for $10/month. At the end of 6 months, they can exchange their soon to be cat for a brand new kitten (or, if they have grown attached, they can make a final $100 payment and keep the 'cat') All returning 6 month old cats are used for breeding new kittens and thus expanding my business. I can't see how this plan would fail.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Denzel Washington

Deja Vu
Remember the Titans
Antwone Fisher
Preacher's Wife
Man on Fire
Crimson Tide
Bone Collector

Current Total: 8 Points

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Deja Vu

Last night I watched Deja Vu starring Denzel Washington. Last night I watched Deja Vu starring Denzel Washington. Just kidding. Anyways, I thought this movie was quite good and it's even fairly clean. It's sort of like "12 Monkey's" but with a bit more action and a bit less humor. The technology utilized is somewhat unbelievable, but granting it, the storyline actually seemed to make a lot of sense and raised some fun sci-fi-ish questions. I'll give it an 8 out of 10.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tall & Short

Here is a picture of the world's tallest man (7'9) next to the world's shortest man (2'4).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

#6 Comment Unto Others

If you've been following my '10 Commandments of Blogging' series then you've already learned how to:

#1 Pick a Platform
#2 Win the Name Game
#3 Find your True Colors
#4 Hit Your Target
#5 Be Consistent

But many blogging beginners have kept the first 5 commandments and still nobody visits their blog. Perhaps the most common question among bloggers is 'How can I get more comments?' Here are some tips to increase your blog interaction levels

1. Make commenting quick and painless
People are amazingly lazy these days. I once didn't visit one of my favorite websites for over a month simply b/c it wouldn't 'remember' my password and I didn't feel like typing it in each time. You're more likely to get comments if you allow for anonymous commenting & eliminate word verification. I don't use word verification and I hardly ever get spam comments. And even if you do, they can be fun!

2. Comment on people's comments
If someone takes the time to comment on your blog, it is good internet etiquette for you to take the time to respond to them. This can be done in 2 ways that carry their own advantages. Way #1 involves responding to their comment on THEIR blog. This will make them happy (since people like to get comments) and more likely to comment on your blog again. Way #2 involves responding to their comment on YOUR blog. This doubles your amount of comments and tricks people into thinking your blog is super popular.

3. Comment on their Blogs
Comment unto others as you would have them comment unto you. Commenting on other blogs accomplishes a lot. First, it alerts the other blogger to the fact that you have a blog. Second, it connects a positive emotion (getting a blog comment) with a picture of you in their head, which can only have positive results for your blog. Third, cross-commenting makes the blog world go round. It only takes a spark to set that world on fire. You can be that spark.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

MOST Mini Golf

My M.O.S.T. small group had fun playing mini-golf tonight. I had an advantage in that I've played at this place 5 times already this Summer whereas most of the others were there for the first time. Even still, my awesomeness cannot be explained away (strangely enough, though, nobody got a hole-in-1 the entire night). Here are the results:

44 Matthew
54 Mindy
55 Jeff
55 Nick
59 Amanda
59 Mandy
60 Scott
67 Katie

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Coming Soon

Soon I will be releasing my first online book
I predict a release sometime this month

Monday, July 09, 2007


6/17 thru 7/14... busiest 4 weeks of ministry ever
375... miles left on my biking goal, but I have a plan
144,444... number of blog hits I'll have very soon
20... more days till Houghton Family Camp!
8... people baptized at our church yesterday!
9/4... the day ALL BBC Bloggers must blog

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Famous Matthew's

Last year, on days when I didn't know what to post, I did the "Shows that Start with" series. This year, since I finished that, I'm simply going to ask you to rank the top 3 people of a somewhat random 1st name. Who are your 3 Favorite Famous Matthew's? Here's my current ranking (subject to change), but feel free to name someone unlisted:
  1. Matthew (Apostle)
  2. Matthew Broderick (Actor)
  3. Matthew Perry (Actor)
  4. Matthew Fox (Actor)
  5. Matthew McConaughey (Actor)
  6. Matt Damon (Actor)
Am I forgetting some famous Matthew's?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Desperate Prayer

Sometimes in life we become desperate and pray. Then, when the desperation subsides, we stop praying. I always felt horrible for only praying when I had a desperate need. And so I'd force myself to pray absent that sense. I think I was wrong. The problem with our prayer lives is not so much that we only pray when we are desperate, but that we're only desperate when we pray. We're not desperate nearly enough. Our greatest need, then, is a greater sense of need.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

New World Record!

Joey Chesnutt is America's latest hero. In the annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest, he defeated 6 time champion Takeru Kobayashi and broke the world record in the process. Chesnutt downed 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes to defeat the Japanese legend who ate only 63 hot dogs. If we're keeping score, I once had 3 hot dogs in that time span. Click HERE for video!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Blog Aliens

Many aliens read my blog. What I mean is, I get many more visitors than comments. This doesn't bother me, but it does make me curious as to what type of 'aliens' are reading, but not commenting. Here are the possibilities:

1. Antagonistic Alien (upper-left)
Some of my reading regulars don't like me. Maybe they're trying to catch me blogging something that they can use against me. Maybe they arrived here via a link on a message board where they disagree with me on a regular basis. Well, feel free to disagree in comment format. Don't lurk in the shadows, but also don't be surprised when I fight back like Will Smith in Independence Day (had to connect this to July 4th somehow).

2. Local Aliens (upper-middle)
Some of my readers are like Alf: Present, but not quite part of the family. Maybe you're here on a daily basis, but you haven't commented b/c you're afraid your cat-eating habit will keep you an outsider. Listen, I don't like cats either, join the discussion!

3. Indignant Aliens (upper-right)
Some of you are like Worf from Star Trek. You're generally a nice person, but you've got a chip on your shoulder. Maybe you don't comment b/c I've never named you the 'Blogger of the Month.' Don't be bitter, you probably just stink at blogging. Comment instead, perhaps I'll name you 'Commenter of the Month!'

4. Elect Aliens (bottom-left)
Some of you are here because I brought you here with my superb writing skills and unmatched consistency. My 'irresistible grace,' so to speak, prompts your presence on a regular basis. But maybe you're afraid to comment because I'm so super and you're just a plastic toy in a quarter machine. Fear not! The same one who chose you is able to equip you to comment.

5. Needy Aliens (bottom-middle)
Some of my readership simply use me for my link list. They need help like E.T. Specifically, they needed a list that would allow for speedy & efficient blog travel and I provided such a service. But alas, such a service isn't free. From now on I require all such 'users' to pay of tax of 1 comment each week.

6. Supernatural Aliens (bottom-right)
Some of my readers are like angels. They just visit my blog because they like the owner. They read and comment regularly. If you've made it this far into this bizarre post, you're probably this type of alien!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

End of Conviction

Two years ago I realized I was allowing patriotism and politics to jeopardize the place of God & His Kingdom in my life. Accordingly, I felt convicted to cease 'pledging allegiance' to any earthly nation. There were certainly days where my conviction was put to the test, but in the past month I've sensed a release from this conviction. It seems to me my priorities are now straight. I still don't think a worship service is the proper context for pledging allegiance to an earthly flag/nation, but at least now I know patriotism and political parties don't possibly have my foundational allegiance.

But this does raise the issue of 'temporary' convictions. I think seasonal convictions make a lot of sense. What do you think?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Best NHL UFA's

On a sad sad day for Sabre fans (we lost our 2 co-captains), I thought I'd compliment the 3 best free agent signings of the day.

#3 Yanic Perrault (Chicago Blackhawks)
Yanic is a great faceoff man and has enough offensive upside to make up for his lack of physicality and defense. At a mere $1.5 million dollars, I think he'll be a great addition to the Blackhawks as they try to improve big time this coming season.

#2 Chris Drury (NY Rangers)
Sure, over $7 million per season to a 60 point man is a chunk of change, but Drury offers so many intangibles that I think this was a wise move. Drury makes the Rangers one of the favorites to win the cup in 2008.

#1 Ryan Smyth (Colorado Avalanche)
I figured Smyth would get a little more than he got. It seems Joe Sakic worked over-time to convince Ryan to join him in the rockies. Smyth has always been one of my favorite players and I'd be shocked if the Avs didn't find their way back to the playoffs with his assistance.

Of course, UFA Day is more about stupidity than bargain hunting. Below are the 5 worst signings.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Worst NHL UFA's

UFA Day is when we find out what NHL GM's are desperate. We find out who's willing to sacrifice the future just to make a loud splash. Here are the 5 dumbest UFA deals of the day:

#5 Tom Poti (Washington Capitals)
It's true that Poti had a pretty decent season last year, but he's still just a decently skilled d-man who makes too many mistakes in his own end. To hand him a 4 year contract for $14 million seems absurd, especially for a team that won't make the playoffs anyways.

#4 Daniel Briere (Philadelphia Flyers)
Briere is a very good player, no doubt. The amount the Flyers gave him per year ($6.5) is fine. But why in the world would you give anyone an 8 year contract? And to make matters worse, they gave him a no movement clause. In other words, at any point he can retire 'on ice' and keep raking it in.

#3 Paul Kariya (St. Louis Blues)
I'll admit, I haven't seen a ton of Kariya lately. From what I have seen, though, he's simply not the player he used to be. I was shocked that he got this much money. I was thinking, at the very most, he was a $5 million dollar player. But they gave him 3 years @ $6.

#2 Scott Gomez (NY Rangers)
As I said, the Rangers will be among the favorites to win the cup this year and I suppose that is what it's all about. But gosh, 7 years of Gomez at over $7/year could get old really quick. He'll be making more than Joe Thorton and he's nowhere near the player.

#1 Cory Sarich (Calgary Flames)
The absolute dumbest move of the day goes to Calgary. Cory Sarich is a decent player. A 'decent' player. He's not special. He's decent. An $18 million, 5 year contract is an awful lot of money for a 'decent' d-man.