does he ever get the girl

I just woke up, like eight minutes ago. I realized, though, that there are really just two things in life that I want and don't have. Not counting, of course, things like a new computer, a laptop, a car, that kind of thing. Cause that doesn't really matter or have much bearing on my happiness. But for some reason I woke up this morning and said to myself, "there are only two things in the whole world you want and don't have Jackson. Be happy." I am truly blessed. I just wish I would take better note most of the time. I should be joyful...but that isn't how I would describe myself. I wish it were.


can't you, can't you trip like i do

I am finally sitting down to work out the text for the message I'm giving at church this weekend. It's sort of a daunting task. But I have an outline down so that's good. I'm doing my best at answering the question "is it a sin to be tempted?" I was briefly tempted to make my message simply "no. Have a wonderful rest of your day" but I don't think that would fly very well.

If any of you would care to hear Jackson in something resembling a pulpit delivering a "warning, may contain sermon-like substance" message, feel free to come to my church this weekend. We have services at 6pm on Saturday and 9:30am on Sunday. Sunday will almost certainly be a better message. Although if you come both times you will be able to see my stepdad and pastor, two of the whitest guys I know, perform a rap. It's the 'special music' for the weekend.

You haven't lived until your pastor has asked you if he could borrow some bling-bling.


these flights connect in arizona but i think i'll stay stuck

Tonight a student came up to me and asked to talk to me one-on-one after youth group. I don't know the guy very well, I was honored that he would feel comfortable talking to me like that. So we go out back and he asks me how to get over being depressed - he hasn't had a girlfriend in a while and he's sick of being told he's "just a friend." I had to keep myself from bursting out with laughter at the irony. I could practically write a book on "just friends" angst and depression.

I found though as I searched for a way to talk to him that I didn't have an easy answer for him. I stumbled my way through what has helped me - finding out what God has made me for and going for that. Realizing it's ridiculous to assume that every girl that gets to know you is going to want to go out with you - and therefore ridiculous to assume something's wrong with you if you don't have a girlfriend or you get a lot of "friend" speeches. Stuff like that. These things that I have learned to put in my head and that occasionally leak down to my heart to make me feel better. I tried to tell him that the only thing that ever really pulls me out of depression is God. I hope I got it all through okay. It amazes me that God puts me in these positions. I struggle with exactly the same thing this kid was talking about - I guess that makes me a good candidate to talk to him about it. I just wish I'd solved it so I could tell him how. Welcome to the journey of life.
your dose of irony for the night

I just read a book by Covert Bailey, "Fit or Fat." The book talks about changing your lifestyle to a healthy one where you work on developing a fit body rather than a fat body. It concentrates more on body fat percentage than tracking straight body weight. The book is on my desk. It is 11pm. I just cut myself a piece of this scrumptious chocolate cake my stepdad made, brought it up to my room, and set the plate of cake on top of the book.

Thanksgiving is in a few days. I'll start next week.

I feel pretty miserable right now. I didn't get much sleep yesterday, since I got up to watch the Big Game. In honor of that, observe:

Death to Stanford, who as everyone is aware, sucks.

Unfortunately I was stupid and stayed up to get my butt whipped at a game with friends last night and got very little sleep. My alarm didn't wake me up this morning either - a headache did. Not to mention I have a cough and my throat is killing me. Am I whining? Guess so. I know this - I'm not going anywhere after youth group tonight. I'm coming home and sleeping. Gotta knock this stupid cold out before it gets truly killer.


it's always you in my big dreams

I can't rightly say why I'm not in bed right now. I was up all night at the lock in, which I should say was a good time. I got some good ideas for stuff to do with my own youth group. I learn so much by being around other youth pastors in their environment. And the students all seemed to get along. I'm screwed up for today but it's all good. I've consumed nothing but junk for the past 24 hours and my stomach is letting me know about it. I can almost hear it telling me off right now. Come to think of it, there are several voices in my head. I'm sure that has nothing to do with my lack of sleep.

The 105th Annual Big Game is today, wherein Cal should wasticate Stanford. I think I'm gonna hit the sack now so I can get a few hours of sleep in and watch the game. This is Cal's best chance to win in a while...it's been seven years...Boller's finally hitting his stride. Wish we had him for another year. Ah well. Peace out all.


mask of a thousand faces

Good night tonight. Semi-late but I'll make my 10am appointment with no real bags under my eyes. And as usual stellar company.

Found out today that I'll be preaching at church next weekend, at the Saturday night and Sunday morning services. Come and hear if you want a larf. The message is on whether or not temptation is a sin. I've got a few ideas running around in my head and I'm meeting my pastor tomorrow for a few minutes to get the ideas he has. This is the shortest time I've had to prepare a message before (though only the second time I've prepared one for "big church"), so that's sort of exciting and scary at the same time. I'm sure it'll be fine. God has a way of working these things out. And if I suck - well, He'll work that out too.

This weekend I will be attending my very first lock in. It's this sadistic thing where you take a bunch of high school students and put them in a large room from 7pm-8am. Apparently there will be all manner of different things going on, from eating to movie-watching to music to church at sunrise. But very little sleeping. I'm almost afraid. I'm lookin' forward to it though, especially if I can get a good bit of my kids to come. I'm going to start spreading the word tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be a good day because it will be a busy day. I like having things to do. And I have things-to-do-aplenty. G'night.


Have you heard of geocaching?! This sounds really nifty. From what I've gathered so far, people involved in the (they call it a sport) of geocaching place these caches of stuff in various locations. Then they post the location's coordinates on the website for everyone to see and find. You need a GPS to help you find the cache. When you find it, you are allowed to take one thing from the cache, I think you're supposed to leave something too - and you write in a logbook they have in they cache to let people know you were there. After you go home you post to the website to let the community know you were at the cache and it's still safe and sound, that you found it, etc.

Is it just me or does this sound hella cool? I think I have a few friends that would be down for giving this a whirl sometime, too.

On a side note, I got the link to geocaching off of wilwheaton.net, Wil Wheaton's website where he get his webjournal on. Wheaton was, of course, everyone's favorite whiny space-kid, Wesley Crusher, from Star Trek. Apparently his webjournal is of sufficient quality to develop a bit of a following, so you may want to take a look.

The meteor shower last night was good. Unfortunately the place I went to see it wasn't as light-free as I'd imagined it in my head. I sorta forgot that's where you go to look at all the city lights. It's an awesome spot though...you can see way south past San Jose and on clear nights you can see across the bay to the north, like maybe as far as Foster City, and on this side of da bay, Oakland when the hills aren't in the way. Great place. Just not super-ideal for comet watching. Though I did see a number of them, and one bigger than I've seen before. My dad was up in Yosemite watching it...I bet the view was spectacular from there. I had a meeting to go to today so I couldn't go with him. I thought it would be cool though to be on the phone with him as he was watching, and when a really big one went say "hey, did you see that?" It's odd to think people for hundreds or even thousands of miles could see the same shooting stars.

Course, I get tripped out that we look at the same moon.


I just played and lost about eight consecutive games of Warcraft. I'm done for the day.


this is what you get when you mess with us

I did a dumb thing today. A beautiful girl called me to see if I would go with her to grab some food before she headed to church. Normally I would have leapt at the chance, but the problem was, she called me around 4:37 PST, at which time the 49ers were in Overtime against the Chargers. I was riveted to the screen and declined, saying I didn't have enough money anyway. The result? Niners lose. I think the universe did that to spite me, to let me know that I had committed some sort of grave offense against the cosmos.

That, or the 49ers' kicker freakin' sucks. Hope he enjoyed his stay in the NFL, cause he should be packing his bags this week. I feel a certain amount of pity for the guy, but you can only lose so many games for my team before you earn my scorn.

On an unrelated note, the uber-cool Jeannette has started up her own webjournal thing. You can find the link on the left under "friends" from now on. She's learning the ropes, and I provide this link as more of a sociological oddity than anything else. It's a peek into the psyche of the kind of person that would choose the Green Bay Packers over the 49ers. It's interesting, because she shows such brilliance in choosing the A's and Sharks...perhaps by peeking into her journal we can learn something about the twisted mind of a Packers fan.


i used to wonder why did you bother

Pretty okay last couple days. That pastors breakfast I went to was good despite how tired I was. Chip Ingram is pastor at Santa Cruz Bible Church and he was the key speaker there. He's really good. I just wish I hadn't been so tired. It was kinda funny sitting next to my pastor and struggling to stay awake but failing some of the time. I did manage to win one of the raffle drawing things there and won a bunch of books...I probably left the breakfast with 300 bucks of free books...and not all of them are crap. I tell you, once I get my own place and some bookshelf space people are going to think I'm the most well-read mofo they know. Of course I won't be, but I can be like the Great Gatsby and have my volumes of books.

I genuinely enjoy going through Bible stories and drawing lessons from them more than I do taking a concept and drawing from various portions of scripture to teach on it. I believe the word for what I like is "expository" teaching. I don't mind the other way...but I am realizing that for me at least, this way seems to encourage more Biblical literacy, and an understanding of the text. Not to mention the fact that if you only teach with scattered verses you downplay the importance of context and the overarching narrative that is the Bible - and therefore lose much of its richness, if not the whole point. So of course it's likely a balance is necessary between expository and thematic - right now I'm simply enjoying expository.

I took an interesting "Battleground God" test yesterday. The test analyzes the logical consistency of some of your beliefs about God and you take hits and/or bite bullets based on the continuity of your answers. Pretty interesting. I did well, thankfully, as the test stated: "The fact that you progressed through this activity being hit only once and biting no bullets suggests that your beliefs about God are well thought out and almost entirely internally consistent."

I took the hit when I agreed that the absence of evidence or argument is enough to rationally justify belief in the non-existence of the Loch Ness monster, but in a later question implied it was okay to believe in God in the same instance. I don't think the God question included a lack of argument in favor of God as a qualifier - but it is still something to consider. I am sure there are some things I irrationally find it harder to believe in than other things. For instance, people can be totally convinced that they see ghosts or aliens but I just about never believe them. Or when people start talking about faith healings or "signs and wonders" I often attribute that to hysteria. Do I have good reason to do so or do I simply dismiss beliefs that are in realms I've made my mind up on while believing on the inside that I'm open minded and rationally sound in my own head? (run-on schmun-on)


sit on top of the world and tell me what you're thinking

I was restless tonight so I decided to take a drive. I went down 17 to Santa Cruz, then drove back up the coast from there to Half Moon Bay before crossing the Bay again and coming home. The drive itself was good...the beach is beautiful at night.

Until I got near home, drove past the Radisson Hotel in Union City, and remembered that I have to be there at 7:30 am for some kind of pastor's appreciation breakfast. I had been operating under the assumption that I didn't have to wake up at any specific time tomorrow when I left on my little jaunt...d'oh.


i don't want to feel this way forever

I'm pretty tired. I've been up late a lot lately. Not necessarily a bad thing, the company has been stellar. Then I made the fool move of making a haircut appointment for 10 this morning after staying up past 3 again. Then again, if you've seen my hair the past two weeks or so you may not think it was such a foolish move.

Need a smile? Got that off a pop-up. First useful pop-up ad I've ever come across.

Things continue in my life much as they have for the past few months. Although today I will be heading down to the district office to get some paperwork done, which is good. Progress. Who knows how long it'll be before I actually get the job, and what kind of hours the job will provide...but it's a step in the right direction. And I suppose I should enjoy the free time while I have it. When I have that job there will not be late nights like the past few have been.

Initially the band Thursday did not impress me. My brother and a few friends hyped them up incredibly. I have learned, however, to enjoy them, and it turns out I like 'em a lot.


how does it feel to find yourself playin for the wrong team with the stakes so high

I've been without internet access since Thursday. It's Saturday morning and I just got it back. Whenever my internet access is curtailed I remember a few things about it. I remember how integral it is to my daily routine. The first thing I do every morning when I get up is turn on the computer - even on the way to the bathroom. Just pop it on so I can come on and check my mail. It's also the first thing I do whenever I come home at night. It helps me feel connected to everything else. Sometimes I sit down in my room at two a.m., flick on my computer, and sit there thinking about how cool it is. Sure, my monitor blows, but that's not the point. Somehow this little glowy, whiny box connects me in my little room in Newark California to the rest of the world. And there I nights where I can just feel that. I like it.

So without my internet connection I felt a little disconnected from everything else. It did help me get productive though. Without the internet to distract me I read a big part of Genesis. You know, the first book in the Bible. I read from Adam and Eve up through Abram getting his name changed to Abraham. I just absolutely love reading these stories about people in the Bible and you totally see them acting like...I dunno...PEOPLE. For example...Abram and Sarai laughing at God when He told them they would have a child even though Sarai was past childbearing age. Or Sarai letting Abram sleep with her maid, Hagar, so he could have a kid with her. Then, the minute Hagar gets pregnant Sarai starts hating her guts and making her life miserable and Hagar ended up running away. That just seems to real to me. She got jealous and started being a punk to Hagar even though she originally created the situation with good intentions.

Then of course there are the displays of inhuman courage. Such as Abram making the circumcision covenant with God - wherein all the men in his household (group) had to be circumcised and therefore God would bless them. This tradition has been carried on in the West for thousands of years and it started right there with Abram. Now, Abram (now called Abraham because of the covenant) was a fully-grown adult and so were many of the men in his house. But they didn't ask for exceptions from the circumcision rule. So I'm of the opinion that Abraham's most courageous act of faith was having himself and his men circumcised when they were full grown. Aside from the personal pain...do you want a way to foment rebellion in your servants?

"Hey, come here Eli."

"Yes, Abram?"

"It's AbraHAM now."

"Cool. How'd you get that name?"

"Well, that's why I called you over here. How do you feel about large knives, Eli?"


ESPN.com - Page2 - Election difficulty

From the above article:

Next Week's Environmental Heroes Set Fire to the Rainforest to Use the Light to Search for Recyclable Cans:

TMQ opened his Washington Post to this praiseful article about a husband-wife team of pilots who are methodically flying around the San Francisco area, taking digital photographs of every inch of coastline and posting them on the web. Supposedly, the purpose of this project is to allow average citizens to monitor the coastline for environmental abuses, such as an unauthorized bulldozer. Activists are saying what a fabulous advance the photos are, and privacy concerns seem not to matter -- if you had a home on the California coastline, would you want high-resolution digital photographs of yourself in the backyard posted on the Web?

But what made TMQ spit out his coffee was how the husband-wife team of pilots/ environmental heroes is accomplishing its save-the-planet project -- by flying around in a helicopter. No human construction wastes fossil fuels faster than helicopters, which use power to compensate for poor lift. A typical four-person helicopter, the Bell JetRanger 206, burns 25 gallons of fuel per hour. In an hour of highway operation, a typical large SUV will burn three gallons of fuel. So the husband-wife team of environmental heroes is essentially flying around northern California in eight SUVs strapped together, madly expending fossil fuels and pumping out greenhouse gases. To top it off, helicopter engines are totally unrestricted when it comes to smog-forming emissions. A JetRanger or similar helicopter would spew thousands of times as much smog-forming compounds, per hour of operation, as any make or model of modern car. But they're environmental heroes because they are looking for bulldozers!

Hey. I don't like the goobernatorial election this year.

Get it? Goobernatorial? I sure am glad you can't throw tomatoes at people through the computer screen.
Today is election day. VOTE! If you're able. I must say though I'm not too stoked about our choices in this election, especially in the gubernatorial race. But that's no excuse for not voting. [insert politically upset diatribe about people who don't vote but complain about the system] So there.


understanding in a car crash

Minus Vince played well tonight. They had a few hitches...before the show Max (the sax player) had his stereo and barry sax jacked from his car. That sax was worth $3600. Then the place wasn't letting in people under 21, then they were letting them in only sporadically, so that was odd. Then to top it off they had to play two 1 hour 15 minute sets...which is freakin' long. But they sounded awesome when they played their own stuff and even did a good job covering Ludacris.

I think it's interesting, when I leave places where there were lots of people I review what happened in my head, and the different interactions I had with different people. What the situations were, what could have gone differently, etc. Whenever I leave very large gatherings my brain takes off for a while and I almost always take the long way home. Guess I'm weird like that. The time has come for me to hit the hay, that I might play and enjoy disc golf in the morning in wonderful Santa Cruz.


sleep with all the sheets off

Ack, Happy Halloween everyone. Mine was pretty good, though nothing too exciting happened in the day till the end of it. My day was largely uneventful and unproductive (though I did have an interesting game of Warcraft with the two weirdest teammates I've ever had before). I went to Alicia's for a Halloween Party she got the inspiration to host, and that was cool. I am the reigning Ping Pong King. Hey, King Pong. Um, okay, nevermind.

After I left there I had the pleasure of hanging out with my bro for a while and listening to the CD his band recorded. It really sounds great. Unfortunately the punks made an agreement not to copy the cd for anybody until it's pressed, so I have to wait till January to get my hands on the CD. I must say, I am impressed and proud of the musical growth these guys have gone through. They really are a group of growing, talented musicians, not just a bunch of punks in a band. Though they are that too.

I went home after a while thinking the night was over when in fact it was just beginning, because everyone's favorite self-proclaimed cool chick Laura wasn't done with hers. She and I ended up going back to my brother's place and the three of us watched Legally Blonde and Brotherhood of the Wolf. Now, since we showed up at Dave's at 1:30 I figured we'd watch one movie and that would be that. We settled on Legally Blond and enjoyed it (thanks Frances), and then Dave threw in Brotherhood of the Wolf. And who am I to argue with a movie that kicks that much butt? Brotherhood was over at 6 this morning, with Laura having stayed awake the whole time and me awake for most of it besides the first hour. I was most disappointed because at the end I was fading in and out and I missed the cool fight with the bendy sword. Dave slept pretty much peacefully throughout the entire movie except for the first twenty minutes. So I'm running on a little over 3 hours of sleep. Not a good way to start what I think is going to be a busy weekend. But a fun way!

I'm off to send my camera away to be fixed and/or replaced. I hate having my favorite toy broken. I think I'm also going to engage in a bit of car maintenance. Those of you who have seen my car lately must be wondering if I've started negotiating treaties with the organisms that are surely taking up residence in the dirt landscape. Well, I haven't. I've been trying for the past week to incite the Sap People, whose chief home is my windows, into violence against the Dust Rangers, who eke out their harsh existences in the vast deserts of my hood, roof, and trunk. Unfortunately the Sappers are far too terrified of the Dusters; that harsh land breeds a hardy people, to be sure. The Sappers just sit in their gooey homes and grow soft, while the Dusters battle extreme wind and heat on a daily basis. So I've decided to stop asking them to kill each other and go straight to the Great Serpent and unleash a torrent of water the likes of which they have never seen. Maybe the next civilizations that emerge on my car will be more cooperative.