Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quote for 5/31/09

"Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you."
Wayne Dyer

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm impressed

I'm going to start this by letting everyone know that this was supposed to be a video blog post. Unfortunately, every last one of my neighbors has decided to mow their lawns. Now. In some bazaar, syncronized pattern that leaves me no more than a few second of normal background noise in which to record. And then there are the guys from the other side of the neighborhood who love to ride their quads all around the field behind the woods that are across the street from my house. So, I've given up on it for today's post.
OK, last night went really well. JT and I started out with dinner at the City Buffet (chinese buffet) next to Hooters. Wonderfully delicious as always. Made a quick stop for batteries for our cameras and we were on our way to Butler.
For some odd reason our ride took a bit longer than normal. Parking was difficult to find, but we managed to get a space about a block and a half away. and as a result of of it all we got to The Net a little bit late. In fact, we missed the very first band that played. A few high school kids that just got together back in October, calling themselves Becoming Less.
We did, however, arrive with plenty of time to talk to the guys from Third From First before they went on. They were pretty glad to see us. I guess it's cool to know that you've got at least a small, loyal fan base. And that would be us...
The guys put on another good show.



They seem to be improving with each concert. Which is a good thing.



And it's always good to see that they're having as much fun on stage as their audience seesm to be.
I'd really like to see these guys play one of the smaller festivals next summer. Uprise Festival comes to mind since that one actually began as a way of getting smaller, lesser known, local bands some exposure. I may have to talk to these guys about it - and I do have a connection to the people at Uprise, as well. So maybe something can be arranged for next year.

Headliners for the evening were Everlilfe doing an up-close and personal acoustic set.



From left to right Everlife is Sarah, Julia, and Amber.
I don't know how to say this without it sounding strange, but I was just as impressed by them as I expected to be!
What I mean to say is this; I have seen them live before. The band I used to play in opened for them once or twice. But I may have given a less than shining description of them in my previous post. Not because I have any reason not to like them or their music. It's just not a style that I get particularly excited about. After all, their style has been somewhat geared towards "tweenage" girls for about 6 years - as long as they've been under contract to Disney. And I have never been, nor ever expect to be, a "tweenage" girl...
But I always approach music with an open mind, so I came to this show in the expectation that it would be a good show. And it was everything I expected it to be, and even better since it was an acoustic set.
These girls really know how to put on a show. Each of them is an incredibly talented musician - self-taught, no less. Their vocals are amazing. And they banter back-and-forth in a way that kinda draws you into their antics.



They even did a brief acapella piece.



I won't say that it sounded angelic, but as Hallelujahs go, theirs was phenomenal.

After they finished their set they came out to talk to everyone and to autograph items for their fans, and to get their pictures taken with them too. Needless to say, I got my picture taken with them.



You'll notice I didn't have my shoulder showing in this one. I just felt that my Ink-n-Fire looks too rough, too primal, for a picture with these adorable young ladies. Now, that doesn't mean they didn't get to see my shoulder, they did, and they were impressed by it. They had a few questions to ask about it and I enjoyed talking to them for a few minutes. It was cool.
Now, take a look at the picture again. Especially Amber, the sister on the left (my right in the photo). Imagine her with red hair, and a "tricked out name tag" and doesn't she look kinda like Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials?
Yeah, once I said that everybody else noticed it, even her sisters. And Amber was cool with it since she likes Flo's bubbly charm and quirky sense of humor.

We lingered for awhile and JT made all of his connections. I got to talk to a couple of guys who were there that just seemed to need some encouragement in their faith. So I was truly blessed to be able to offer that to them. It was a great conversation that I hope to expand upon with them again someday. I figure, as long as they show up for some of the concerts there, and JT and I will still show up for some, we're bound to bump into one another again.

Thus ended another evening of enjoyable entertainment and fellowship.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

We're going back for more

OK, just to keep everyone in the loop...
JT and I have another concert to go to in Butler - at The Net. This time around it's Third From First, who we saw on our last excursion to The Net. And the headliner for the evening is Everlife. Formerly known as Tri, these three young ladies, who are sisters, are orginally from around these parts. They've been contracted to Disney for the last few years, and now we're wondering if they're still with Disney (or a subsidiary), or if this is their first show away from the Disney brand. I'm sure JT will try to score an interview with them to find out. I know he is defintely going to spend some time working out an interview with the guys from Third From First. Check his podcast for it next week...
Anyways, it looks like we're up for at least a little bit of fun tomorrow night.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Quote for 5/24/09

"You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind."
Dale Carnegie

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My bad...

Uh...
In my preceeding post I had a bad link to a photo of my necklace that was taking everyone to my church's webpage. I've fixed it, but you can see it here, now.
Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

It was a beautiful thing

I gotta tell ya. I went to a Jewish Temple last night for a Sabbath Celebration...
It was amazing!

OK, I suppose it would be a good idea for me to start with some background info, now.

Last Friday night I was out doing some shopping and running around. As I was on my way home God told me not to go straight home. Instead, He suggested that I stop at Baskin Robbins for a double-scoop, Rocky Road in a waffle cone. But I argued with Him over this since I already had chocolate ice cream at home and I could just make a milkshake when I got there. But He was insistent that I get the double scoop, Rocky Road in a waffle cone, and also that I should sit outside on one of the nearby benches and enjoy the cone along with the beautiful weather He had arranged for me.
So I stopped arguing and did as I was asked. I got my double scoop, Rocky Road in a waffle cone and then found a nearby bench to enjoy the incredible weather we had. Then, as I was finishing my cone, an elderly lady walked up to the bench and asked if I minded if she sat down with me since her feet were hurting from the walk. Of course, I said I didn't mind. And that's when we began to talk.
Actually, it was more like, that's when she began to talk. My mouth was full of Rocky Road ice cream and waffle cone, so it would've been impolite for me to start talking.
Anyways, she introduced herself to me and began to tell me her life's story. Her name is Vivian. She's a 67 year old divorced, semi-retired nurse who had been taking care of her father unitl he passed away. We talked for almost three hours about a great many topics, one of which being faith and religion. She pulled out a necklace to show me a Star of David and said "See, I'm a Jewess." To which I pulled out my necklace (you can see it here and said "Oh, cool! See, I'm a completed Jew." to which she laughed histerically and said "Oh, I love it!" It was shortly after this that she invited me to go to Temple with her. In part because she has no car and can't walk there. But also because she doesn't want to have to go by herself. So I agreed.
There's more to the whole story, but I'm not sharing that right now. I'm waiting to see what other plans or purposes God might have in store before I say anything else.

So Friday comes and it's time to go to Temple. I pick Vivian up and we go.
The Temple was a beautiful place. Very modest exterior, but the inside had some wonderful artwork. It was pretty much what I expected. Not dissimilar to any of the churches I've been to. But it was the service that I was most impressed by.
Most of the service was in Hebrew - which I have almost zero knowledge of - but there were English translations to go with all of the Hebrew songs and prayers. I even brought home a handout with some of the songs and prayers on it, which I am going to share with you later.
The sermon was about the journey we're all on. The Rabbi spoke of Judaism as a journey. And she reminded us that with this being Memorial Day weekend, many of us would be taking our own journeys. And she wanted us to think of all of the signs we might see on our journeys and think about how those signs might apply to our life's journey. It was cool to see everyone interacting, and it felt very familiar to me since that's how my church operates (the whole interacting-as-part-of-the-sermon thing).
They concluded the service with observances for the dead. Which I thought was amazing since there are several Meditations one could choose from, and each one had a unique focus or background. I hope to explore those more fully some other time.
After the final prayers, they closed with the National Anthem. Which I thought was interesting. I know some churches that would never do that...
Of course, there was a time of fellowship following the service. Vivian introduced me to a few of the people there. And she had told the Rabbi I was coming, and that I was a Christian, and so Vivian made sure to introduce me to her. When the Rabbi, whose name escapes me, saw my necklace she asked what it meant. So I explained that it means I have been grafted in - as Paul explains of non-Jewish believers in the New Testament (Romans 11:17-21). To which she nodded and said, "Very nice."
Oh, by the way, the cookies they had during the fellowship were absolutely delicious.
OK, that about covers it. Again, there's more to the whole story, but I'm waiting to see where God is leading me in this.
And now for the songs and prayers I mentioned earlier. These really touched me, and so, I will share them with all of you. I hope you are touched by them as well. I only wish I had a Hebrew font available so I could let you see that as well.

Shir Chadash
Shi-ru la-do-nai, kol ha-a-retz
Shi-ru la-do-nai, shir cha-dash

Sing unto God, all the earth, a new song
I will sing unto God a new song
Sing unto God and we'll sing along
All the earth, a new song unto God.

Prayer for Healing
Mi shebei-rakh Avoteinu mekor ha-berakhah le-imoteinu

May the Source of strength who blessed the ones before us help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing and let us say, "Amen."

Mi shebei-rakh imoteinu mekor habrakhah la-avoteinu

Bless those in need of healing with refuah shelei-mah, the renewal of body, the renewal of body, the renewal of spirit, and let us say, "Amen."

Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu
Od yavo shalom aleinu v'al kulam.
Salaam, aleinu v'al kol haolam,
Salaam, salaam.

Peace will surely come to us, to everyone.
Salaam, for us and for the entire world.


I expect that I'll be going again sometime soon. Perhaps on a somewhat regular basis. I found it to be a very enriching experience, and would like to see what else God will do through this.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quote for 5/21/09

"To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater."
Bono

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Quote for 5/18/09

"Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into."
Mahatma Gandhi

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quote for 5/17/09

"If it were not for hopes, the heart would break."
Thomas Fuller

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Not exactly what I had in mind

I'm not gonna say much with this post. I just wanted to let everyone know that the next post is the one you want to check out. I'll admit, it didn't turn out the way I planned, but it should still achieve it's purpose. But I explain that at the end of the post.

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Watch this!

Video blog post!



OK, that's the intro. Watch the rest, then I'll explain why this isn't all one video post.

Please note, that was not thunder you were hearing in the background.



That was me with the Makarov 9mm.



And me with the Ruger Blackhawk .357 Magnum.



JT enjoyed squeezing a few rounds off with the Ruger Blackhawk.

Time to check the targets.





You can't hear it, but JT said "Yeah, right." when I said "Going for speed here."



I wasn't going for speed either. I just wanted to have a good clip from that angle.

We had some nice "neighbors" while we were there, too. They let us "play" with their shotgun. And they were good with their equipment, too.



Most of the loud BOOMs you hear through these clips are from these guys.

The original idea was to do a single 4-5 minute video, with narration, while we were on the shooting range. But with all of the other shooters there would've been way too much gunfire to hear much of anything else. Also, when I opted for multiple video clips, I was expecting to be able to edit them all together with Window's Movie Maker, but for some odd reason, Windows Movie Maker doesn't recognize my camera's video format. So I had to settle for what I ended up with. But now that I know, I'll just make sure that I make any future video posts in a single sitting.

OK, that was fun! Can't wait to do it again someday with everyone who missed out this time.

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Lock n load

It's a glorious spring morning and the day is filled with promise!

I don't know what you have planned, but I'm really excited about the plans I have for the day. In just a few short hours I will be meeting up with JT, P.Dave and Patrick for some serious male-bonding. We're going to the shooting range at the state gamelands in the North Hills. This is gonna be fun !!!
I've got my Makarov 9mm, S&W double-action .357 Mag. and Ruger Blackhawk .357 Mag. Just gotta stop for some more ammo. I'm hoping to go through a lot of it today...
We'll probably stop somewhere for lunch/dinner afterwards. Which is always good. And after that we'll just have to wait and see what else happens.

Watch for a post about the days activities later. You won't be disappointed.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quote for 5/13/09

"To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit."
Stephen Hawking

A few of my own thoughts below.

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Extra-terrestrial matter

I like the above Quote..., since it has so many possibilities.

I'm sure that Dr. Hawking is speaking of the exploration of things beyond our own world. And it certainly expresses to me the hunger that I believe we all have to seek and find answers to so many of the mysteries of our universe. But this statement evokes a different line of thinking in me.

Rather than searching the universe around us, we should turn our attentions to the realm of spirit. Rather than being so focused on the material world, we ought to consider the immaterial world - which is much more real than we give it credit for being.
Think about it; God exists as spirit. His realm existed before ours was created. Which one do you think is more real, the one that God always occupied, or the one He made out of His spoken imagination?

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Pay no attention to me

I've decided to forego some of the changes I've been hinting about, for the time being...

But I will let everyone in on what they were supposed to be.

Since I've been enjoying posting brief video clips of some of my adventures of late - babysitting CJ and Manic Drive's guitarist - I thought I might try my hand at occasional video blog posts. That was a suggestion made by JT.
The only problem is the lighting in my house. No matter where I try to shoot the video clips of me from, I look like I've been covered with that spray on tanning liquid by a near-sighted, color-blind, hack. That could be because of the weather today - cloudy, rainy and some thunder and lightning here and there. Or it could be the camera. Though I doubt it's the camera since the other vids turned out OK. So I'll try again when the light outside is more cooperative.
I want to do this because it does seem like such a great idea. I figure it would be a much better format for the longer posts that I do so often. Rather than spending hours loading pictures, moving them into their proper order, editing the post and adding links to the whole thing. I can just sit back and tell the story in a few short minutes and add the pics or links to anything important below the video.
Another change I think I will go ahead with very soon is the elimination of my Blogroll. I hate it that everytime I visit someone's page I get those annoying adds at the top, and the link in the address bar is never a direct one. So I think I'll just create my own links to all of the pages I visit regularly and put those in my template instead.
OK, keep reading below to find out how my weekend went.

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Acquire The Fire

Saturday was the day of the Acquire The Fire event in Oakland, and JT was joining me at the Compassion table. We always have a lot of fun when we staff the tables together. Not just because we get to hang out and joke around with each other, but because events like this always seem to put things into perspective for us in regard to matters of faith and what's really important in life.
When we arrived the other advocates were busy helping people with their forms. But we slipped right in and started helping out. After a few moments things slowed down and we got to talk to everyone. Below you'll find a picture of myself with one of the other advocates (on the left - whose name escapes me) and one of our gradutes from a Compassion program in Uganda (center).



His name is Alex, and he's here in the US studying to become a pastor. He also got to speak at the event to encourage everyone to consider sponsoring a child. He is one of Compassion's many success stories. It was great getting to spend some time with him before he had to leave to catch his flight back to Oregon - where he's going to college.
Before he left we made a rather amusing discovery among the child packets. The two children in the picture below have the same exact outfit on. Hmmmmm.....



Actually, this is not very uncommon. During my advocate training I learned about this, and Alex spoke of it happening in the program where he was. Many children don't have clothing to where for the pictures they have taken. So they will either borrow something from one of the other children, or else the church will have clothes for the children to wear for their pictures.
But the best part of the story is that shortly after we made this discovery, two young ladies came up to the table to sponsor kids. One of them wanted to sponsor the little guy on the left and when we showed them the outfit, her friend decided to sponsor the little guy on the right. So both of them have been sponsored by a couple of friends. Pretty cool, huh?

I also made sure to get a picture of JT so he'd have it for his page.



He was Twittering through most of the event. He had a running count going at first, but it was too busy for him to keep it up. Instead, he took notes and we kept track of how many kids were being sonsored so he could tweet about it. He also got an interview for his podcast with a young man who's school class had decided to sponsor a child through money that they raise in their school store.
I love the fact that JT makes these events a part of his podcast. It exposes his entire audience to the minsitry of Compassion when they might not already know about what we do. So he's actually helping me with my ministry.
We had arrived sometime around 12:30 in the afternoon. And we had agreed to stay until 7:30 in the evening. Our original shift was supposed to end at 5:30, but one of the advocates who was supposed to relieve us had a death in the family. So we wanted to stay to make sure that there was enough help for the event. By the time we finished our shift there were about 108 children sponsored at this event. That's awesome!

Also, on our way out, I stumbled upon this sight.



I just got a big kick out of seeing this girl carrying the two mannequins while the guys were pushing the cases on wheels. She was a good sport about it, though.



And very pretty, too...
Once outside, we faced our biggest challenge.



That's a lot of steps for two big fat guys! And there are more than just the ones straight ahead. There's a whole other set off to the right before we got up to the parking lot where my car was. But we survived the climb and made it out of Oakland without incident.
We were both starving by the time we got out. So we opted for a chinese buffet before calling it a night.

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My Re-birthday Celebration

Friday night was rather enjoyable. We started things at Q'doba, on the Southside. It was Me, Bob, his friend Shane, JT, P.Dave, Patrick and P.Roger and his daughter Kristen.
I had the chicken tacos. They were quite tasty. But before too long we had to get moving to the theater to watch Star Trek.
It was a good movie, and you wouldn't have to be a Trekkie to enjoy it. But it did include all of the necessary elements to be a Trek movie. Such as;
* Kirk got into several fights. He got laid by the hot, green chick. And he hit on every female he saw.
* Karl Urban as Dr. "Bones" McCoy was a perfect fit. He had tone and inflection down-pat for the role created by the late Deforest Kelly. He even got to use the famous lines of "He's dead!" and "I'm a doctor, dammit, not a physicist!"
* The actor playing Spock not only looked like a very young Leonard Nimoy, he did the eyebrow thing just right and got to say "Fascinating" at just the right moment.
* Scotty was the "Unintentional Genius" - as always - pulling of his engineering miracles at just the right second.
* Sulu got to swordfight.
* Chekov's accent played hilariously
* Uhuru, strangely, did so much more than just sit at the consol. She may have been the only one who was pretty much out of her typical character. But it was cool.
And, last, but not least...
* The guy in the "red shirt" died. Only, in this movie, it's a red "space-suit".

After the movie we all went to The Cheesecake Factory to just sit and talk and pick-up the conversations we had begun prior to the movie. I had been talking to Patrick about C.S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man, written in 1947, and how it relates to today's politically correct speech. Patrick was fascinated by what I shared.
I also took some time to talk to him about my ministry with Compassion. I've been mentioning it to him for awhile, but tonight I wanted to make a point to really talk to him about. And P.Dave encouraged me to do that too, since Patrick had asked him about tithing not too long ago. I got to share about what Compassion's ministry does, and had a few child packets for him to look over. P.Dave offered some of hs own input as well. Patrick had some good questions for me. And when I was done he asked about how he could check everything out for himself. So I told him to check the website, and even go to Charity Navigator to see what they have to say about us. I'm hoping that he will want to sponsor a child after he's had the chance to check everything out.
Then P.Dave and Patrick had a whipped cream fight across the table. Believe it or not, P.Dave started it. That's them Lutherans for ya...
We wrapped things up shortly afterwards and headed our seperate ways. But it was great getting to hang out with everyone for awhile.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Well, if you happen to be a Mother - and I mean that in the nicest possible sense of the word - then I certainly wish you a Happy Mother's Day. If you're not, then you'd better be on the phone, or on the way to visit with your mother, if you haven't already. I just got back from visiting with mine.

I wish I had more time than I do, but I'm wiped out. It's been a long week and a long, fulfilling weekend. I have so much to share, but it will have to wait until I'm feeling up to it. And when I do, I will be implementing a bit of the change I was talking about in my previous post. Watch for it this week...

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Friday, May 08, 2009

26 years and still growing

Happy Re-Birthday to me!

26 years ago today I decided to follow Jesus. I know this because I have a little "gift" New Testament & Psalms with that date written inside of it. It's a King James translation. Probably the most accepted translation at the time that it was given to me. It was meant to remind me of the commitment I made that evening. And it does.

So, how am I going to celebrate?

A bunch of us are going out.
None of the others are aware that I plan on making this my celebration, but they will find out soon enough. Being the geeks that we are, we're going to see the new Star Trek movie. But first we're going to go out for dinner. That's when I'll make my announcement.
I'm also going to share a little bit about my ministry with Compassion with a few of the people who will be joining us. What better way to celebrate my re-birth than by talking about my ministry, and hopefully getting a few kids sponsored as well.
OK, that's all I have for now. Tomorrow will be kinda quiet since JT and I will be at an event for Compassion. I'll share more about it later.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Quote for 5/7/09

"Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken."
Frank Herbert

Yeah, that's what I've been thinking lately. Read my next post, dear friends.

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We'll see what happens

If you've read the above Quote..., then you may suspect that I'm up to something. And you would be right.
An idea was recently suggested to me that would be a rather intriguing and somewhat intense change in the format of my blog. And I'm seriously weighing it out. BUt not sure if I'm ready to give it a try, yet. So, we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Soon.

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Quotes from 4/2009

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Adventures in grandfathering

A brief sample-clip of how CJ and I spent our afternoon together...



Yeah, it's kinda boring, but he's not old enough to do much else. And he was way too distracted by the camera to pay any attention to me trying to get him to laugh.

We had fun. We walked around the house, stepped out onto the front porch so he could see the bright sunny day. And since everyday is "man training" for him, we watched the Deadliest Warrior Marathon on Spike TV this afternoon.

Then Aliesha and Craig came to pick him. But I'll get to see him again tomorrow since we're all going to mom's for dinner.

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Red @ Diesel, again

Our planning for this concert wasn't the best we've ever had. But things still worked out. A part of that is my fault since I hadn't mentioned to anyone that I would be at a Compassion event on Thursday night. So, when everyone was trying to get in touch with me about our arrangements, I was otherwise occupied.
Anyways, it wasn't the usual gang this time. My son, Bob decided to go to the Prom, so he wasn't going along. His buddy Matt was going with his girlfriend. P.Dave couldn't make it. But it wasn't just me and JT this time. Jen, from church, decided to join us this time.
The arrangements that needed to be amde all had to do with car-pooling and what time we would me where. JT and Jen did a fine job of making those arrangements without me. Well, for the most part. I had offered to meet Jen somewhere so we wouldn't both have to drive down. So she and I agreed to meet at the church parking lot, since she lives in Greensburg and the church is about halfway to the Southside from there.
It was nice to have that time to talk to Jen during the ride in. Jen is a really cool lady. We've had a lot of interesting conversations and I can't say I've met anyone who doesn't get along with her. She loves a lot of the same music that JT and I do, and she loves the Steelers. The only thing not to like about her; she's a vegetarian...
Since JT works in Carnegie, he was going to take a bus to the Southside. Our plan was to meet JT at The Beehive coffeehouse - about a block and a half from Diesel. But JT opted for Primanti Bros for dinner and then Dee's Cafe for a beer while he waited for us to arrive. Of course, he was kind enough to text Jen to let us know.
We got into the Southside shortly after 6:30 and found JT quickly enough. JT finished his beer and then we went to The Beehive. JT had some kind of tea. I don't know what Jen had but it looked like water with lemon. Me, I don't do coffee or tea, so I had nothing - because I'm not paying $2 for a small Coke.
We left The Beehive at 7:30 and dropped a few of JT's items off in my trunk. Then we made our trek to Diesel. When we got there the shows had already started. We kinda knew that Red wouldn't be playing alone, but we had no idea which other bands were scheduled to be there. So we didn't feel any urgency to seeing them.
The first band to play was Inept. I got their CD for $5, and it's OK. But we didn't see any of their set. So I can't say that I liked them live. Oh, well...
The band that was playing when we came in was Halestorm. Very good! Fronted by a hot chick with awesome pipes and some mean shredding skills. How can ya go wrong?







JT didn't have his camera with him, so I got this pic for him.



Then I got my pic with all of them.



No comments were made about my shoulder. But, I didn't expect anything since they're not a Christian band. And I'm OK with that, they still sounded incredible.

Red was awesome, as usual.



There getting better with every show.



Jen was enjoying the show.



Matt and his girlfriend Brittany were enjoying it.



Also met Brittany's mom. Nice lady.
You've already seen JT enjoying the show - kinda - but here's everybody else enjoying the show.







I love that they have the foggers now.



Excellent addition to an already amazing stage presence.



Incredible!
Things wrapped up around 10:00, at which time the bouncers started moving all the "under 21's" out the doors. The three of us headed back to my car and enjoyed more conversation on the ride back to Jen's vehicle. Dropped JT off at his house and came home.

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What about Bob?

Thursday night was a good night.
My Compassion event took place at Derry Area High School, in Derry PA - which is pretty much right, smack-dab in the middle of nowhere. But I found it OK.
I wasn't sure what the event was going to be. All I knew was that Bob Lenz (whom I met at the Creation Festival Tour) was the speaker. But when I got there I found out there was a band named Harlend playing as well.
I arrived a little after 6:00 PM. I didn't have a contact name so I approached the ladies who were at the gym entrance wearing their "What about Bob?" T-shirts. They directed me to my table and told me that John, Bob's tour manager would be around soon to fill me in on what was happening. And he did.
I didn't have a lot of child packets because this wasn't a huge event. But Bob loves Compassion's ministry. So he makes sure to make include us in his engagments.
When he arrived he saw me, and remembered me, and came over to say "hi" right away. We talked for a few minutes before he headed into the gym to check things out. Before he walked away he counted the number of child packets and told me "Ok, if we don't get 'em all sponsored tonight it's your fault.". I said "Why, because I shaved off the "cool mohawk"?". He stopped and looked at me and replied "That's what's different!"
A little while afterwards my help for the evening showed up. Actually, I was their help, but since I arrived before them, it seemed like the event was mine. We introduced ourselves to one another - and I can't remember their names for the life of me - but I found out that the husband also works for Philips/Respironics. He works in one of our other facilities, but we know some of the same people from each other's buildings. So that was cool. And talking about all of it lead us to discuss some of the people that we work with that we know are also believers. It was so cool to connect with someone else that I "work with" in this way.
The band came out first, shortly after 7:00. They played 3 or 4 songs before Bob came out to speak. I didn't get to see much of anything since the gym was so crowded and I wanted to stay close to the table.
I found out from talking to the guys who were volunteering at the Merch tables that Bob had actually spoken at the middle, Jr and Sr high schools earlier in the day. He was permitted to do so as a motivational speaker. But he extended an invitation to the event at the high school so he could share his real message.
There was a good response. Of about 600 - 700 kids, close to 100 of them came forward to give their lives to Christ. Pretty impressive. But I also realize that of that 100 kids there was probably a large number of kids who had given their lives to Jesus before, and they're just kinda making sure this time. I'm also sure that many of these kids weren't really serious about it, or they don't understand what was really going on, so they won't follow up on their commitment. And that's OK, because I'm also sure that at least a few of these kids were serious, and did know what they were doing. And I know the people who were sponsoring this event will be sure to be there for them to help them walk in their decision.
When it was all over, Harlend came out to play a few more songs. they were OK, but I really could've done without the cover of Freebird...
At this point the free pizza was being served. The hallway where everything was located was swamped! We couldn't move more than a few inches without bumping into someone. So we just sat back and watched the mayhem.
Bob had come out intot he hall, then went outside to talk to the kids individually. And the band had set up in a side room to sign autographs and talk to the kids, too. Bob was surrounded by kids that just wanted to hear more and more. It's amazing to see a speaker get that kind of response from teenagers when there's a band around as well. But that's something that Bob is good at. The kids just seem to relate to what he has to share. And he makes a great impact that way.
This went on until close to 10:00. Kids started to leave then. Parents started to show up to take their kids home. And the people who were running the show were all starting to relax a litle.
We ended up with 4 child sponsorships. Can't say I'm disappointed with that. We are talking about a large bunch of middle and Jr high schoolers. Besides, I'm much more satisfied with the number of kids who have begun a restored relationship with God.
Eventually, I got to talk to Bob a little bit about the upcoming festivals. He's excited to be able to do those. But I also talked to him about JT's podcast and how JT has been including audio messages from other speakers - and has gotten a really good response to them. He was interested. So I got some contact info from him, and he convinced me that I have to set-up a Facebook account - since he's only on Facebook. So I'm gonna do that later on tonight.

Great! another page to manage...

Anyways.
I left shortly after 10:30 and realized I was starving. So I stopped at Sheetz for my roast beef pretzel melt, fries and a Coke Zero. Got home a little before midnight, and still made it to work in the morning.

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