Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tiger The Great

Ok, can I just say Tiger Woods can not be human?
I am a huge fan of everything golf. I like to play it, watch it, discuss it, and even shop for it. In fact, whenever I smell fresh cut grass, the first thing I think of is spending an early morning standing on the first tee of a great golf course. Today I watched an unbelievable performance by possibly the greatest golfer to ever play the game. In this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational Tournament in Orlando, Tiger Woods came back from a 5 stroke deficit to sink a 16 foot putt on the final hole to win. It was crazy! Now if you don't follow golf, the thing that is extraordinary about this is that this is only the second tournament he has played since coming back from serious knee surgery that had him sidelined for almost a year. Considering some guys on tour would die to just win one tournament in their career, Tiger has won 89. All this and only 33 years of age.
Now, while I am a big fan of Tiger and have even been able to see him play in person, I do take issue with one thing that is coming with his return. That one thing is the sports radio hosts and tv commentators saying that the only good thing about the PGA is Tiger. They say that when Tiger wasn't playing do to injury, that no one really wanted to watch golf or even cared who won. I think those commentators are not true golf fans. Sure maybe they like to go out on weekends with their buddies and pop open a six pack and play a round at their local country club, but they aren't true students/fans of the game. The game transends any one player, and I am proud to say I would watch golf with or without Tiger. So, as much as I love seeing Tiger play, my love for the game does not live and die with Mr. Woods.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Music On My iPod

I really like finding new music and over the last few weeks I have come to find some new (or new to me) artists that have been in regular play on my iPod.

1. Molly Jenson -
A great singer songwriter that is not 100% acoustic. I can't remember where I found out about her, but her CD has gotten alot of play on my iPod lately.

2. Sam and Ruby -
A wonderful duo that I first saw perform at last years Youth Specialties Conference in Nashville. They have such a unique sound from Ruby's soulful vocals and Sam's acoustic driven voice. I love their EP and can't wait for a full CD. Their song "Heaven's my home" is great and was even in the movie "The secret life of bees".

3. Alisa Turner -
Alisa is a singer songwriter that has a great testimony that includes growing up as a Pastor's Kid and even later in life dealing with mercury poisoning. She is a great songwriter and sings along with playing piano. You can really feel the emotion as she sings her songs that feel more like musical stories. She is in concert here in Denver tomorrow night, but I can't make it. Bummer.

4. The Airborne Toxic Event -
This is a great English type rock band that shows a lot of emotion in their music. I love their song "Sometime around midnight" and even found a video of them on the Dave Letterman show. I hope I can make it to their concert in Denver next month. Enjoy the video:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Puppet Team Dream

I can't say that my first choice of ministry would be to work with the children's ministries puppet team, but if their puppet shows were like this... Sign me up!

(ht: Ray)

Monday, March 09, 2009

A new chapter...

Yesterday I had to do something that every youth pastor hates. In my "messages" file on my computer, where I keep past messages, I have a lesson document I secretely entitled "the bomb". I've only taught it one other time. In fact, I haven't even opened it since August of 2002. Just clicking on it made me want to cry. "The bomb" is a message I constructed on following God's direction and being obedient. You see, the only time I teach it is when I need to let my youth group know that I am leaving and moving to a new ministry.
After a ton of prayer and searching for God's direction for our family, God has confirmed to us that he has a new chapter for the Deckers. Mid-way through May, I will be stepping down as Student Ministries Director at New Life EFC and June 1st I will be assuming the position of Student Ministries Director at Christian Fellowship Church in Ashburn, Virginia. While I am very excited for the opportunity to serve at CFC and looking forward to being back in Virginia where Chrissy and I lived for many years, I am also very saddened to leave our church family here in Colorado.
So, while turning the page is going to be a step of faith and excitement, the memories God has blessed us with at New Life will stay with us for eternity. Now I just pray I will not need to pull out "the bomb" for a very, very long time.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Pot Pourii

- I am signed up to coach my 3rd grader's volleyball team this spring. Practices start this Monday night, so I guess I better read up on how to coach volleyball...

- I have had a lingering cold for almost a month now. It started as sinus pressure and congestion and now has mutated into a horrible cough that keeps me up at night. Any ideas about how to get rid of it?

- The Chiefs have been making some really impressive moves this off season with some of their new hires. Let's hope this means they can get back to the top of the AFC West!

- Thursdays are my day off, and the past couple of weeks I have found myself going to movies alone on Thursdays. Does going to a movie alone make me a loser? Anyway, today I saw "Taken". Great action flick!

- I have known that I am pretty ADD my whole life (which is probably why I love youth ministry so much), but I have recently realized that I am ADD when it comes to reading as well. My normal procedure is to start a book, get to about the third chapter, set it down, and a few days later start another book, then come back to the first book periodically. Crazy huh? Right now I'm in the middle of around 4 books.

- I have a new show that I am getting hooked on: Chuck.

- This last week an American radio icon passed away. Paul Harvey. While many younger people probably don't know who he is, for me his voice as familiar growing up as any of my family. I remember riding in my dad's truck down dusty dirt roads in the Kansas countryside listening to Paul Harvey's distinctive voice tell odd news stories in the way only he could. From what I hear he was a great person and a strong Christian. I will truly miss his voice and only have one thing to say to him.... Gooood day!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

God Bless America!

*Small Rant Warning*

Ok, this last week I sat in a meeting with a man that I really have a lot of respect for that did a presentation on abortion and a local pregnancy center that our church supports. While I totally support the ministry they provide and the pro-life position, there was something that was said in the presentation that got me thinking. While talking about our nation's problem with abortion, it was mentioned that God is withholding blessing from our nation because of the sin of abortion. I think it was even mentioned that Abe Lincoln had stated that God had brought the cival war and withheld blessings from our nation because of slavery. This got me thinking of other times lately (especially with the economy decline) where I have heard people say that God is either withholding blessing or is punishing our nation for "moral decay". This also got me thinking of the People that pray the prayer "God Bless America" on a regular basis and even go so far as to put it on their car, etc. I am 110% for patriotism and supporting our troops and love it when our country comes together as a great nation. But I still have one question that reoccurs. Can we really say God is not blessing our country? I mean, come on, we are the most blessed country in the world. You only have to travel to our neighbor, Mexico, to see that we are blessed beyond most people of the world's wildest dreams. Today I used indoor bathrooms, ate 2 full meals (only because I was to lazy to eat breakfast and make it 3 meals), I drove in my own car, I watched TV in my own house, I got to decide what clothes I was going to wear out of a closet full of clothes, I worshiped freely without having to hide my faith in a beautiful church building full of lights, sound equipment and even free coffee, And in a little while I am going to go to bed in a wonderfull bed with clean blankets protected from any cold weather outside. Now, do I still feel the need for God to bless me more? Sure, I love God's blessings and feel that we should seek them daily, but to say that God has been withholding things from America because of our "moral decay" doesn't seem totally accurate. I mean, if God is holding blessings back from our country, heaven forbid what the people in Africa must be doing morally wrong to be in a state of poverty and hunger. So, does that mean I think we should have moral freedom to do what ever we want because we are covered under grace and God has blessed us through some of our marol failures as a nation? um, no. What I am saying is that maybe instead of looking at what is being withheld from us because of our shortfalls, we should look at what God has given us, and let it be a reminder of why we need to praise Him. And if we are going to ask for blessings, let us add the rest of God's creation that has far less than us to that list of those needing blessings. They could use some blessin'.
Thanks for reading as I now step down from my soapbox...