Sunday, September 30, 2012

'Tis the Season For Fall TV Premieres

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4:07 PM
It happens the same time every year...the kids go back to school, the weather gets cooler, Pumpkin Spice lattes reappear, and the networks pull out a crop of new television entertainment for us to devour or dismiss. I just finished my first round of Fall TV premieres and thought I'd share my hits & misses!

Must Watch
Go On [starring Matthew Perry]: As a huge FRIENDS fan, and an even bigger Chandler fan, this show was on the top of my must-see, but I had extreme fear of failure. Happily, I was quite pleased with the show! Starring Perry as sports radio talk jockey, he delivers wit after pun after quip flawlessly, in pure Chandler fashion. But this is no character knock-off, as there's much depth the Perry's Ryan character as well. Recently having lost his wife to a tragic accident, Ryan finds himself in mandated group therapy, surrounded by a Community-like cast of characters. It's funny, it's sweet, and it'll have me coming back week after week.

Probably Watch
Elementary [starring Johnny Lee Miller & Lucy Lui]: Dear Benedict Cumberbatch, I am in no way replacing you as the superior Sherlock Holmes reboot. You will forever have my affection & commitment. Buuuut...you are off the air until 2013, so I'll have to sustain my Sherlockian cravings with this CBS reimagination. Miller is quirky & quippy, a recovering addict and a bit damaged as Holmes, but it works well. The biggest leap is Lucy Lui as Dr. Watson, former surgeon now caregiver of sorts. It could work, or it could flop. But an hour-long crime procedural ripe with Sherlock Holmes mythology can't be all bad. I'll give it time!

The Mindy Project [starring Mindy Kaling]: Kelly is done playing second fiddle to the Pam & Jim drama of The Office. She's gone off all on her own! In this new character show, writer & star Mindy Kaling plays an OB/GYN looking for love & a great life as a single, chubby 30something. She's sweet, and rarely grating as Kelly often was. But if it turns into week after week of bad dates, meaningless sex and shopping sprees, I'm out. It has potential, so for now, I'm in!

Not Watching
The New Normal [starring Andrew Rannells]: Single mom looking for a fresh start. Loving gay couple looking to start a family. And they find each other. That's episode one. Sure, there are laughs, mainly from Andrew Rannell's character. I wanted to give him a chance, being a theatre junkie all [Rannell hit it HUGE last year with Book of Mormon], but the concept & the characters weren't enough to keep me there. Oh well.

Some thoughts regarding favorites coming back this Fall:

Gloria is pregnant?!? [Modern Family] Will we FINALLY discover who the Mother is this season...please?? [How I Met Your Mother] Magic is back! Now is that good...or bad? [Once Upon a Time] OMG what did Deb see?!! [Dexter] Will Sheldon & Amy find true love...or at least normalcy? [Big Bang Theory] Matthew & Mary are finally engaged, I'm just SURE everything will work out wonderfully now [Downton Abbey]

Well there ya go! TV thoughts & musings regarding the fall season! What are excited to check out this fall? What favorite are you looking forward to? Any recommendations?

Happy channel surfing!


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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kids These Days

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1:39 PM
While I have no children of my own, I definitely enjoy laughing at other people's. And the internet has made that even more fun. Let me just share with you a little bit of what I'm finding amusing these days...

The Honest Toddler. Ever think your toddler is conspiring against you? Well, this one is. The Honest Toddler blog and Twitter [@HonestToddler] is every parent's worst nightmare, and it's just so darn funny. From his rants about a big bed, to adult recipes, to despising infants & the library, it's a good time. Here's a few gems:

@HonestToddler: Going to a birthday party. It better be for me.

@HonestToddler: So if you want cake for breakfast it's called muffin. Lol adults, I see what you did there.

@HonestToddler: Not participating in library story time. How will learning animal sounds make me successful

@HonestToddler: This three-year old just rolled up to the park wearing loafers looking like Frasier. Don't hurt yourself, Kelsey Grammer.

@HonestToddler: Feel embarrassed that I still can't tell anyone how to get, how to get to Sesame Street.

So there ya go. Stop reading my blog. And go read the Honest Toddler's. You'll be glad you never had kids. Or wonder if yours has been stealing your computer at night.

Next, follow up some Honest Toddler fun with some Kid History on YouTube.

You know how cute it is when kids tell a story? How about when they tell a story that they you've heard you tell? From when you and your brothers were hellions and ridiculous. That's Kid History.

A personal favorite edition of mine is Babysitting. Babysitting for siblings is rarely fun, but add in some temper tantrums, sneaking out of the house, and sand papering a new car...you know it's gonna be great!

What Kid History so unbelievably entertaining is that the adult dads act out the kid's stories of themselves, lip synching and all! Great editing, great emotion, and great laughs.

If you are still looking to crack up over some kids, just go to Pinterest.







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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Memories

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3:56 PM
Just kicked off another fall quarter here at YWAM Orlando. It's by far the biggest, loudest, wildest & craziest [in the all the best ways] quarter of the year. This fall, we have over 60 students from across the world joining us for training! Such excitement.

The fall quarter always marks a memory for me as well. It was fall just 2 years ago when this naive little student first laid eyes on her future husband! It took many more months for me to discover that fact, but I always smile when fall comes around. I love reflect back on my own DTS experience, the friends, the growth, the travels & adventures. And of course the smiles, the hugs and the butterflies in my belly. Just so many good memories!

Joy & Creagon, circa 2010

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stories End

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4:46 PM
I wasn't sure how Day 2 of the STORY 2012 conference in Chicago could top Day 1. Yet, it was amazing. After amazing worship with All Sons & Daughters, artist Makoto Fujimara kicked off the morning. His art is inspirational, creative & spiritual all in one breath. He challenged us to create in secret. To create for the sake of creativity and the Creator. To not let all our art be for utility & purpose. It was a challenge that I want to take seriously. Spoken word artist, Micah Bournes, wowed us all with creatively chosen words to craft a beautiful message, like Who Broke Africa? It was...moving.

Afterwards, pastor & author Kyle Idleman shared about idolatry. A seemingly random subject a creative conference, but was dead on. An idol is something man has created...to replace God. Like the Israelites and golden calf. There's nothing wrong with creativity, it's a gift from our Creator! But when I create something, who gets the glory? My art...or my God? It was great perspective setter. I ended up buying his other book, Not a Fan, because I was so challenged by his perspective on art & life.

The last speaker of the day and conference was Phil Vischer, formerly of Veggie Tales fame. I hope I can adequately even describe how amazing his talk was. His talk was one of humility, of inspiration, of tragedy, and of success. If you aren't sure of the story of Veggie Tales rise & demise, pick up his memoir Me, Myself & Bob. You won't regret it! I was moved by his openness in sharing about his struggles and where God took him. The themes of intimacy & abiding in Christ once again spoke to my heart. His poignant statement of "Jesus + [__________] makes you just as valuable as Jesus + nothing". It was this idea that even if I did no ministry, did nothing for God but love Him, He'd see me as just as worthy. I can't earn more [or less] value in His eyes. What freedom. For all of us who have ever felt that we have to create something world changing to be more accepted by God, stop it. We don't. If we know Him as Savior, we ARE accepted. Praise the Lord.

So yeah, it was an amazing two days, filled with sensory & information overload, but in such a good way. Met new friends, enjoyed spending times with old friends, was inspired & challenged & refueled.

Story 2013....I may just see you there!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Being Different to Make a Difference

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11:34 PM
Today was the first day of STORY 2012, a gathering of Christian creatives in Chicago. We heard awesome bands like Sleeping At Last, The Soil & The Sun, and The Royal Royal...all fantastic, Google them now! And then we got to hear from speakers such as Bob Goff, Erwin McManus, Isaac Rentz, Mason Jar Music, and Anne Lamotte! It was such an amazing lineup of creative writers, storytellers and artists.

Takeaways from Day1: Bob Goff, hands down. He's an author & a lawyer, and is an active justice warrior in Africa. And, on top of all that, he's hilarious. He had us ROLLING. I can't wait to read his book, Love Does, that I just picked up! He challenged us to find our creative voice and create. He commented that so many people want to make a difference in the world, but no one wants to be different! And that's a trap I've fallen into, being so cautious to walk the line of status quo. But walking that line, whether it's fear or whatever, keeps me being as creative as God created me and as passionate as God created me. Which in the end is a disservice to Him, because I'm devaluing His creation. Whoa, late night revelation right there.

The big surprise today was Isaac Rentz, a young music video director. I had never heard of him, and was rather indifferent about his session. But once his demo reel played, I knew we were in for a great ride, as he's directed videos for bands like Cage the Elephant, Blink182, All American Rejects, and Motion City Soundtrack. And he's young!! He took us through his journey of discovery through directing, and it was entertaining and educational! He also talked about the need for Christians in media, not Christian media! Let's not make the art that Christians are expecting, but make the art that the Creator puts inside of us...because then it's authentic!

And this is just day one! Had 2 great breakout sessions, with a group of authors on a new release called "Inciting Incidents", and then the Hillsong Creative Video team from Sydney, Australia!

Spent the evening enjoying Chicago nightlife, from a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, to an actual hole in the wall for dessert called the Violet Hour. It was a great night, with great friends! Can't wait for Day 2!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

STORY Time!

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3:33 PM


Today, Creagon and I are headed to Chicago with some friends for a 2 day conference called STORY. We're both pretty excited about it, and looking forward to a creative recharge. The focus of the next two days will be telling the Story of God around us....through photography, videography, writing, design, art, music, and social media! With a lineup like Anne Lamott [writer], Makoto Fuijmura [artist & speaker], Bob Goff [justice guru], Seth Worley [creative producer], All Sons & Daughters [worship band] and more, it's needless to say there will be a lot of creative juices flowing!

Creagon and I love telling stories of how God is using us in Orlando, and around the world. It's almost essential for being a support-funded missionary! Just this past week, we've been in Michigan doing just that. So many people here were praying for us while in London, we've been able to share with them what God did on that outreach! It's a blessing to us and them, and God is glorified as we share about His goodness! But we are also storytellers for YWAM Orlando. We delight in capturing stories of students in training, and how God uses them on outreach. Those stories then become a tool for their future ministry, for YWAM Orlando & its supporters, and all the staff to their supporters!

In a world that thrives on stories, it's so important to be telling the Ultimate Story. The Story of grace, sacrifice & redemption. The One with the Eternal Happy Ending. And, hopefully, this conference will be a tool to do that better...and a great time with friends!

More updates to come...

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Please God

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9:16 AM
Ever wondered what God asks of you? To fear Him, walk in His ways, to love Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and soul. Deuteronomy 10:12. What great truth!

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