Thursday, February 28, 2008

30 Hour Famine

This weekend I'll be attending the 30 Hour Famine at our church. Last year the event raised almost $6,000 for starving children. Anyone else doing the famine?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

American Idol

Guys: The judges have anointed David A. as the Idol to beat this season. Certainly he's good, but I think it's a bit early to predict a winner. People could get bored with him, especially b/c he plays the interview sections of the competition so safely. David H. had the best week vocally. Chekeze made a little comeback. David C. continue to impress. Jason C. will be on long into the season. Michael J. is underperforming, but will be safe for a long while yet. Robby C. is on the decline. Danny N. will last a bit longer than he should. I predict Jason Y. & Luke M. will be voted off on Thursday.

Girls: The girls side is much tougher to predict b/c they really seem to blur together to a large degree. Alaina W. will be safe for a long time. Carlie & Ramielle are the next 2 in terms of safeness. Kristie Leigh C. should survive into the top 12. Brooke saved herself tonight by being this weeks top female performer. Everyone else, I think, is in a bit of trouble Thursday. Asia will probably survive based on past performances. Amanda O. will stay in b/c she'll monopolize a certain sect of voters. Syeshe might be OK for this week. I guess I'll predict that Katie M. & Alex L. will get voted out, but they are both within the realm of likeability.

My current top 6 predictions: David A, David C, Michael J, Carley S, Ramielle M, Alaina W.

Voted Out
(I was pretty close to perfect, but way off on Alaina!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trade Deadline

Ranking the Deadline Dealing

Eastern Conference
1. Pittsburgh- Added Hossa. Going for cup!
2. Washington- Added Federov/Huet. Going for Playoffs!
3. Atlanta- Got good young players for Hossa
4. Toronto- Hands tied, but unloaded some extra weight
5. Buffalo- Finally able to get something instead of nothing
6. Tampa Bay- Finally doing hard-work of re-structuring
7. Philadelphia- Had to get some help and grabbed Prospel
8. Carolina- Just a little tweak, but may be enough
9. Montrael- Made the tough decision to go with Price
10. Ottawa- Just added some experience for playoffs
11. NY Rangers- Added some grit for playoff run
12. NJ Devils- Just added some depth on defense
13. NY Islanders- Just some small team shaping
14. Boston- Staying put thinking they can get in
15. Florida- Sorta strange trades. In Neutral.

Western Conference
1. Dallas- Added Richards. Now a threat for cup
2. Colorado- Forsberg, Foote, Salai for push into playoffs
3. San Jose- Hoping Campbell can propel them to deep run
4. Nashville- Gave up almost nothing for role players
5. Detroit- Added Stuart to help defense
6. LA Kings- Got something instead of nothing
7. Anaheim- Got their additions out of retirement
8. Vancouver- Minor trade to stir things up a bit
9. Minnesota- Simon is risky, but didn't give up anything
10. Calgary- Sometimes it's best to stand pat
11. Columbus- Gave up, but at least got some stuff
12. Phoenix- Hard to say, but nothing exciting either way
13. St. Louis- Decided not to make a run for playoffs
14. Chicago- Didn't get anything in their dumps
15. Edmonton- Seems an odd year to do nothing

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why Vote For...

Recently, I had the chance to ask the remaining 5 candidates to communicate in 50 words or less why I should vote for them come November.

John McCain
We're at war. We've been at war. We'll be at war. I know war. I was for war earliest. I was for war in the best way. Nobody has more experience staying at war. The democrats are pretty great except for their position on the war, so vote for me. (word count: 50)

Mike Huckabee
Telling a former baptist minister to do anything in 50 words or less is like telling Paula Abdul to say something rude to an American Idol contestant. But let me try. First, I want to thank The Matthew Never Knew for allowing me the chance to participate in this discussion. (word count: 50)

Ron Paul
America's at a crossroads and the turn to take is (At this point I had to stop Ron at 10 words. I was told by the media that this guy is only allowed 20% the talking time as the others).

Hillary Clinton
America wants change. But just because the last 3 Presidents have been Bush, Clinton & Bush doesn't mean we need to change names. It's Washington that is broken and I am by far the best broken piece for the job. Would you please tell your readers I'm crying at this point? (word count: 50)

Barack Obama
(Hands Hillary a handkerchief). I'm the true candidate for change. I'm the candidate for the future. I'm the candidate for hope. If you want hope that the future will change, vote for me. There is no hope to change the past, but there is plenty of hope to change the future. Change. Future. Hope. (word count: 50)

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Saturday night I watched 'Chocolat' for the 3rd time. 3rd time must have been the charm b/c I really really liked this movie, even more than in the past. I think 'Chocolat' is one of the most relevant movies I've ever seen, especially for those in 'traditional' churches. What's more, I don't think I've ever seen a movie where I've felt so connected to so many of the key players in the plot. Dynamite character development!

Chocolat is about a woman and her daughter who turn an old school french town upside down (or downside up?). I think the best way to describe this movie is to quote the priest's message given near the end of the film. This quote summarizes the problem the town was experiencing and the solution it found: Listen, here's what I think. I think that we can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do. By what we deny ourselves, what we resist, and who we exclude. I think we've got to measure goodness by what we *embrace*, what we create and who we include.

Rating: 9.0
Status: Must Tell Others

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lost & Idol

I watch Lost, but I truly am 'Lost' when it comes to having an educated explanatory theory. Do any of you know what's going on in that show? There are just so many characters and unanswered questions that I usually just shrug my shoulders at the end of the episode.

I watch American Idol too. It's not so much that I enjoy the show, but I enjoy trying to guess who will get voted out. There are 3 guys that should be in trouble Thursday: Luke, Jason & Chekeze (since they stink, I don't care if I am spelling their names wrong) and 2 girls (Joanne & Amy). We'll see.

So as to avoid this being a completely 'unspiritual' post, I will now provide my 90 word testimony as commanded by Hybels in "Just Walk Across the Room"

"I grew up in a Christian family. I was at church all the time and had a lot of friends & fun there. But away from church things weren’t so great. I was always fighting with my brother and I was too shy to make friends at school. By high school, I was pretty miserable. It got so bad that one-day I just started crying out to God for help. Immediately I felt newfound peace & confidence. Even though I’ve had my struggles since then, I’ve never been the same."

What's your 100 word or less testimony?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Best. Ever.

By far, the best Ice Cream ever!Yes, the 'Romance' Category

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gladiator Champs

Both of my favorite contestants
Won the American Gladiators Finale!
Spoiler Alert: Ignore post if you have it taped

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Name Game

Our church has a 'Maranatha Coffeehouse' on the 2nd Saturday of each month. But it really needs a name change b/c 1) nobody really knows what Maranatha means and 2) it's a whole meal (not just coffee). Basically, it's a really good meal served alongside an open mic for anyone wishing to sing. And we want a name that truly reflects what it is. Unfortunately, I came up with 22 suggestions during our 2nd service today and my girlfriend, Katie, didn't like any of them:

1. M.O.S.S.*
2. Praise & Plate
3. Breaking Bread & Windows
4. Mic & a Meal
5. Katie's Kitchen
6. Karaoke Kitchen
7. Karaoke Cafe
8. The Finer Diner**
9. Saturday Sing-Spiration
10. Yummy Yodels
11. Meet & Eat
12. Appleton Idol***
13. Saturday Night Alive
14. Guitar & Gruel
15. Dinner Rock-n-Roll****
16. The Sing Eater*****
17. The Full Gospel******
18. Meetchya, Sing & Things*******
19. Table for You
20. Restauration********
21. Enlivened Bread*********
22. DoeRayMeal**********

Can you come up with something better?
Hess RoadHouse Cafe
Singfully Delicious
Full Plate, Open Mic
The Burp & Slurp
Saturday Night Supper & Songs
Fellowship, Food & Fun Night
Bite Me
The Gracey Spoon
Holy Chow
Hess Rd. Fork & Croon

* Meet On Second Saturday
** Seinfeld Reference
*** Appleton is name of our town
**** Play on 'Dinner Roll'
***** Play on 'Sin Eater'
****** You know, b/c you get full
******* Play on Pizza, Wings & Things
******** Restaurant/Restoration
********* Play on Unleavened Bread
********** Play on Doe Ray Me etc.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Friday we went to see 'Juno' at the Eastern Hills Mall cinema. I'd been wanting to see this film for about a month. 'Juno' is the name of the main character who finds herself pregnant at the age of 16 and decides to give her baby up for adoption. It's a story about how this decision affects Juno, her family, the father, and the adopting couple, etc. I liked the story a lot. With the exception of Juno, the characters were very ordinary (in a good way) and I truly forgot that they were only 'acting.' Juno was extraordinary (also in a good way). She had a quick wit and a unique mind. Lindy, in her review, called this movie a blend b/w Napoleon Dynamite (music) and Little Miss Sunshine (script style). I'd add 'Saved' (plot) as a comparable flick as well. I chuckled quite a bit and left feeling quite satisfied. Good stuff.

Rating: 7.8
Status: Must See

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best Love Song?

What's the Best Love Song of all time?

As an aside: Here's some I wrote:
That Step
Wrong Address

And for SADers, here's some comedy

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Eternity Series

Here is my proposed outline for my upcoming 'Eternity' series

1. The Soul: Are We Built for Eternity?
2. Intermediate State: Death to Judgment Day
3. The Eternal Torment View of Hell
4. The Universal Reconciliation View of Hell
5. The Conditional Mortality View of Hell
6. A Little Light on Heaven: Part 1
7. A Little Light on Heaven: Part 2
8. A Little Light on Heaven: Part 3

What do you guys think? Any important subject missing? Any great sources you think I should check out. I think this series will run from March through April.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Inescapable Love of God

I have finished reading Thomas Talbott's "The Inescapable Love of God." Talbott is a believer in universal reconciliation (UR). In other words, he believes that eventually every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and will be reconciled to their Creator. I read this book b/c I like to be challenged by authors who view things differently than I do. Frankly, I hope Talbott is right, but I'm not convinced. That being said, I was impressed with the book.

This book is not a text book for this view. Part I is auto-biographical. Part II is exegesis of some relevant NT passages. Part III is uses philosophical/logical argumentation. Talbott started his journey toward belief in UR when he realized that major systems of theology often neglected to take the phrase "God is love" seriously (or, in some cases, to deal with it at all). He presented various Scriptures that seem to paint a UR picture, but have been ignored by many theologians.

The book got me to think, and that's always good. I recommend it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Local Churches

Tonight at church we talked about why there are so many denominations and where they came from. As part of this discussion, we came up with a list of churches in a surrounding area of 12 miles by 6 miles. In terms of time, these are churches easily within 15 minutes or less of each other. We counted 28 churches.

7 United Methodist Churches
5 Independent Bible Churches
3 Lutheran Churches
3 Roman Catholic Churches
2 Pentecostal Churches
2 Baptist Churches
1 Presbyterian Church
1 Episcopalian Church
1 Wesleyan Church
1 Amish Church
1 Free Methodist Camp
1 Independent Camp

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Slight Changes

I've made some slight changes to the look of my blog. I had a reason for most everything I did, but please let me know if you have a problem with anything besides change in general.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

10 e-pinions

A local sports radio show does this thing where the 2 hosts share 5 quick opinions each. As simple as it is, I like it and so I introduce to you the first installment of my own 10 e-pinions

1. Let's get real with this Global Warming garbage. The slight increase in global temperature is NOT caused by man. These cycles go round and round. That being said, why WOULDN'T we support being environmentally friendly? I'm pro-environment, but not because of global warming. I'm pro-environment because of biblical stewardship.

2. Today marks 5 months with Katie. We were just talking about how it both seems like we've been together longer AND it seems like we haven't been together that long. I think this feeling is common.

3. Rush Limbaugh is right not to support John McCain, but for the wrong reasons. It's not that McCain is way more liberal than Romney (in my opinion, they aren't really very different at all). The real problem I have with McCain is that he's an absolute slime-ball.

4. I am excited about an upcoming series I'll be teaching on the soul, heaven & hell. I've been doing and will be doing lots of reading on the subject.

5. I think we should get a Bethany intern

6. For the first time ever, I played an entire season of Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) and did NOT make the playoffs! I finished 8-8. The game had become too easy so I invented a few rules. I was not allowed to play any offensive plays. I had to kick as soon as I obtained the ball AND I was not allowed to use the NT on defense (for anyone who has played TSB on the NES, you know the NT can get about 20 sacks a game.

7. I want to build a snow fort

8. I think I should start spending more time at community events to start growing a base of supporters for a future political campaign.

9. I am thinking of building a campaign blog AS IF I were running for President. It'd be a place for me to write out my political views and positions. Plus, someone might take it seriously and send me money!

10. Nursing home ministry is still one of my most edifying ministerial roles. Take some time this week to visit a nursing home. No, they won't be coming to your church the following Sunday, but your reward will be waiting in heaven.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Church Poll Results

Update, I cast the first vote in my entire town.
Ron Paul 1. The rest 0.

Today is 'Super Tuesday' which means many states will be holding their republican and democratic primaries today. I thought I'd share the results of our church secret ballot poll which was taken after a 4 Sunday evening series studying the candidates and the issues.

Pick one democrat
17 Abstain
10 Obama
8 Clinton
8 Edwards

Pick one republican
13 Paul
12 Huckabee
6 Romney
6 McCain
3 Giuliani
2 Thompson
1 Abstain

Monday, February 04, 2008

On the Issues

My Final Grades for the Candidates
"On the Issues"
*This leaves out my personal feelings about the candidates integrity, personality and leadership ability (not to mention other miscellaneous concerns).

1. Ron Paul 95%
2. Fred Thompson 90%
3. Mike Huckabee 88%
4. Rudy Giuliani 87%
5. John McCain 87%
6. Mitt Romney 86%
7. Barach Obama 81%
8. Hillary Clinton 77%
9. John Edwards 75%

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Amazing Grace

Most of you have probably already watched 'Amazing Grace,' but I hadn't seen it until last night. It is the story of William Wilberforce and his leading role in ending Great Britain's slave trade. I found this movie to be not only an excellent historical film, but also incredibly relevant to our own time. Early on, Wilberforce struggled with the dilemma of whether to pursue a religious or political life, but became persuaded that both callings were from God. His political activism was not a detour from his religious experience, but a way to be used by God to make a difference. Later on, the question of how to be a 'Christian' in politics came to the forefront as the pro-abolitionists had to find creative ways to pass their bill. I found the story very intriguing and thought provoking.

It was a little difficult for me to keep track of all the characters since they wore those stupid hair pieces, but other than that, two big thumps up. I'll give it a great rating b/c of it's ministry value.

Rating: 8.9
Status: Must Own

Friday, February 01, 2008

Matt Stats

I mentioned previously that I have started a private blog which keeps track of my life. It's not a 'diary' b/c those are for girls. It's not a 'journal' b/c I've stated that I'm opposed to journaling. It's simply "Matt's Stats." And here are some stats from January

Miles Driven: 1,091

Money Spent: $1,857
--Taxes ($1160)
--Bills ($377)
--Gas ($190)
--Food ($61)
--Entertainment ($58)
--Snow Camp Stuff ($11)

Movies Watched: 7
--Back to the Future 1
--Mr. Woodcock
--Robin Hood
--Spiderman 3
--Spiderman 2
--Picture Perfect

Hours of Sleep: 210
--6.8 per day
--3:09 average fall asleep time