Friday, December 21, 2007

Future Laundry Love Sounds

So yesterday, as I was folding clothes, I was switching through channels and of course.....200 channels and nothing on, when I stumbled across Justin Timberlake live at Madison Square Garden. SO I left that on......DUDE, call me what you want, but I am man enough to admit it...that boy is talented. The weird thing is this: My little sister used to sing in competitions in Memphis as a kid. There was a kid by the name of Justin Randall that always won or placed high. He was a DORK.....really goofy looking and very sweetly dancing around. I remember him singing "Two of a Kind" by Garth Brooks at the Hickory Ridge Mall center stage. (He beat out my sister's rendition of "Wind Beneath My WIngs" that was bull). But he was doing this horribly cheesy dance holding a HUGE belt buckle with a Stetson resting gently over his "buddy the elf" afro. It was BAD! Anyway.............long story short.....that kid is Justin Timberlake.
So....I plan on searching through my parents old videos and finding those tapes.....and then I am thinking Ebay, VH1 Before They Were Stars, or good ol' fashioned extortion.

But I must say..."What Goes Around" is a bomb song, and he jammed it've coem a LOOOONG way young Justin Randle......a long way.

justin timberlake

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Flicks

Hey guys....just a goofy fun post for you to waste 5 minutes of your life on. I LOVE Holiday movies........and have my personal faves. I will share them ONLY if not on this list. I thought you may enjoy this list of the top holiday movies....let me know if you agree...or if any essentials were left out! Be careful...turning on the TV to find these, you may have to wade through useless crap about steroids, another knocked up Spears, and Paris Hiltons new look........ YUCK.....but finding these classics WILL be worth it!


That is the WORST list ever!!!!!! Don't you hate it when folks try to be all indie street cool....and list CRAP! Please......what about the Christmas Story? Where is the Grinch? I mean really.....Metropolitan? Love Actually? Pieces of April? The Dead?................and CHILDREN OF MEN?!?!?!?!? (great flick but not CHRISTMAS)!

The top holiday flicks are left out....I loved Mr. Murray in Scrooged. Recently ELF has moved to the top of my list......and the #1 of all time: Christmas Vacation!
Christmas Vacation

So tell me, my loyal 2 readers.....what do you think?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time to Go!

I leave in just a few days, on a life changing adventure for our Lord. I am filled with excitement, fear, joy, anxiety, etc. It will be a new world to me. It is one of: poverty, new smells and sights and sounds; a world of corruption, chaos, war and disease. It is also a world full of people that Jesus died for. I do not know exactly what to expect, but I do know this: I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.

Our leader on this trip andmy friend, Greg Woods shared these words with us, and I want to share them with you (paraphrased):

“I wish there’s a way to insure total safety for us, but I cannot. The good news is…there is ASSURANCE! God’s hand is on this mission. He wants it to happen and He has called us to this honor. ….I understand our fears…but, BE ASSURED…You’re traveling in the hands of an all-knowing…all-powerful…ever-present God whose love for you and your family is deeper than you’ll ever realize. He has our best interests firmly anchored in His heart. He apparently believes each of us have the gifts necessary to accomplish His desire and intent in Uganda. Perhaps, even as I compose these words, He is clearing the path before us…Snakes are swimming to the other side of the Lake Saka; big trucks, with careless drivers are being steered clear of our paths; and viruses are being contained and eradicated…and all will be smooth sailing. He can do that! But perhaps not. For the life of me, I can’t see Him doing that for us, if He did not see fit to do it for Paul. And perhaps we are being shaped to be like Paul. When you’ve gulped stormy sea water on your way to the safety of the shore; when you’ve wrenched the fangs of a snake out of your skin; when you’ve had to shake the dust off your feet and move on or been left for dead by the brethren; you finally get to where Paul got when he said:
“For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Rom 14:7-8)
The only assurance I can extend is that “we belong to the Lord”…this mission experience “belongs to the Lord”; come what may…IT IS HIS!

Thank you all for helping me be a part of this mission! I love you all and cannot wait to come home and tell you all about it! Merry Christmas-

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Crazies

I have never really been too interested in participating in the “Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona Spain. The thought of those huge beasts bearing down on me doesn’t exactly excite me. But, recently, I have begun to think that just maybe, I am ready for the challenge!

I say this because; if you are crazy enough to venture to the mall, Target, or heaven forbid a Wal-Mart this time of year…..there is a really good chance that you are placing yourself in much more danger than any of those bull runners! I think I’ll take my chances with “death by beef” over that crazy lady racing after the last Cabbage Patch Kid!

This time of year, it is simply crazy to get out there in the holiday mix. Just ask any of our church folk who are lucky enough to work in retail the day after Thanksgiving and see how much “Christmas cheer” they saw that day! Everyone is busy. Everyone is working hard to finish up the year strong. Everyone is financially stressed. And everyone wants to get the very best gifts for their loved ones. So, as a result, you get a literal rat race of people, all running themselves crazy, and no one enjoying a minute of it!

I just want to encourage you all to slow down this Holiday season. Find a night to get away. Maybe read a Christmas book with your kids. Take a drive in the car with no radio and look at Christmas lights. Take some time and thank God for all you have this year. But do something. Slow down for a night. Take advice from the 46th Psalm: “Be still and know that I am God”.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Blessed are the peacemakers........

....for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(my best bud Bigboy suggested maybe it should read "blessed are the PIECEmakers")

The story about the shootings at the churches and YWAM in CO are absolutely terrible. But I have to admit, I struggle with the fact that the church had an ARMED SECURITY GUARD. Not sure how to feel about that one.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Golden Compass

If you are like me, you are getting kind of tired of chain emails and bulletin/blogposts about the evils of Golden Compass. I am not arguing their merits or truths, but simply stating, I am sick of hearing it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I found these stories interesting. Not sure, if I agree with them, but found them interesting. One sounds intelligent, another kinda' ignorant. but they were fun reads. See what you think for yourself.

here are the links:


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Uganda Blog Update

This is a blog I am tracking daily from a Dr. on ther ground in the center of the ebola outbreak. It is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. There are REAL heroes today. I pray for them.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cries of the heart

I am a whimpering ball of confused emotion today. Everywhere I turn, there seems to be devastation. Our friends in Uganda are dying, as we speak, and they sit back watching loved ones go...and can do nothing. As I talk to folks to help with our Christmas Baskets, I am hearing of kids without any clothes, shoes or even blankets to keep them warm. I hear of families torn apart by drugs and poverty. Teens are SO sad and lonely they are crying as they are brutally killing strangers in shopping malls. I want to cry out to God, but I fear what I may sound like.

Will I echo the words of David: "Why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from the words of my groaning? I cry out by day, but you do not answer. Many bulls surround me...roaring lions open their mouths wide against me........But you oh Lord, be not far off! Oh my strength, come quickly to help me!"

I really do not know what to think or even how to think today. I need peace that is NOT man made.

In Hebrews it says "...God has said "never will I leave you; never will I forsake you".
I long to be the man who places those words in his heart and clings to them with full fervor and faith.

Hear my heart cry God, for I cannot put the words on my lips today.

Ebola Uganda Updates

Well.....the deadly ebola situation in Uganda is gaining steam. It sounds much more serious than previously believed. It is scary for me, all the way over here in safe ol' Oregon. I cannot imagine what the brave saints on the ground in Uganda are going through! I do not know what to think or do about any of this. All I feel is a despearte need for prayer. Please read these blogs from our contacts over there. they are sad, somber and scary. I beg you all (if anyone actually reads this) to PLEASE be praying for these people!


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ebola prayers

Well, I leave for Uganda in exactly 3 weeks. And thsi story is all over the news today.


Not sure what to think here. Am I scared? Shoudl I be? Is my faith weak? Is it strong? I am realy confused to tell you the truth. I covet your prayers.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Bible For Sale

Since getting to see the world's largest private collection of ancient Biblical manuscripts at a museum this summer, I am fascinated with old Bibles, and what peopel went through to print, protect and preserve them. As such, this local story from my own backyard was REALLY interesting to me. i thought I'd share it with you all.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Radio fun

This morning as I drove to work I waivered between 2 radio stations. One was the local Christian station and the other a local alternative rock station. Each was talking about and hyping up their most current promotion/contest.

The Christian station was giving away to one "lucky" contestant, the chance to go to the mecca of greed, a.k.a. Mall of America, for an all expenses paid Christmas shopping trip. The rock station, after playing the newest Marilyn Manson song (not really, but it added effect huh? :)), had a promotion where one of their DJ's is on the roof of a huge outdoor sporting goods store here in town. he's been there for 24 hrs, and will nto come down until they raise $3000 in donations for a local toy drive for the underprivildged. it just me, or is there somethign perversly wrong with this order? You tell me what you think.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gridiron Gang

Last week I played football. It is an annual event I look forward to. Several of us old men, young men and boys from the congregation get together and play under the big Friday night lights at Spiegelburg (the local state of the art nike field-turf HS stadium). You can count on much laughter, much sweat, and way too much testosterone. And for the over 30 set, I am learning that you can almost guarantee something else: EXTREME SORENESS!

Yeah, I’ll be the 1st to admit, that I hurt for 2 days afterwards. I could get to my feet, but it took a step or two before I could really make my body move where I wanted it to go. It is amazing to me. The second that you begin to neglect the amazing muscle and joint system that God created, it begins to get tired and rusty. It doesn’t take long, before it is harder and harder to "bounce back".

As I get older in my spiritual walk too, I find this same principal to be true. The longer that one lets his faith and relationship with God lie dormant, the harder and harder it will be for him to “bounce back”. I believe James talks about this very concept in his 1st chapter. We literally must “work out” our faith, like we should our bodies in a gym.

I have friends who now are victim to spiritual laziness. They let their faith lie asleep for so long, that now they just cannot get it to move at all. They may be able to stand up, maybe even take a step, but that is it. There is no strength. No muscle.

I do not ever want to find myself this way. I hope you don’t either. So join me in the gym! Let’s pray. Let’s read His word. Let’s actively serve him. Let’s worship. Let’s us press on so that we may be mature and complete, lacking nothing!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Expensive Carol

I thought this was a funny story. Apparently, inflation has made the "12 Days of Christmas" quite an expensive gift combimnation these days!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

End of the world as he knows it

This is an old story I found, but I really like it, so I want to share it with you:


Have a great thanksgiving folks!
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Death by Transformer

Is anyone else SICK AND TIRED of hearing about “dangerous toys”?????? I mean give me a break. We live in a society of SUCH overreaction. Toys are the same as they always have been. I mean I am sure I sucked on all kinds of lead paint…and look how I turned out! (that is of course, a joke)

But seriously………the media would have us all believe that unless we are walking through the day with full pads, a good helmet, padded rooms and personal airbags, then there is a good chance we could die at any second, ESPECIALLY if we are walking in Toys R Us!!!!!1

The world wants to lead us by fear. I say that is no way to live. So………rise up with me, hold those deadly Transformers high, and let’s live!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Peoples Republic of Cambridge

It is no secret that I am very much against this war the US is in. But, at the same time, this story is ridiculous. See what you think:


Thursday, November 15, 2007

This is the BIG news story in Medford.


What do you folks think? I am conflicted here. Seems excessive....what little boy wouldn't draw that picture? It could be a power ranger or cowboy. But, in today's world, I sadly understand our paranoia. I LOVE the Dad already transferring blame to Homer Simpson. How sad.

Share your thoughts
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God seems to keep shoving this idea of community into my face. Book after book, after movie, after scripture, after conversation, after dream are pointing me towards this idea of COMMUNITY. The idea cannot leave my head. The word cannot leave my heart. And this picture of COMMUNITY is growing much bigger than just my friends and family at church...into a broader more beautiful picture of the world outside of these walls.

Last night I was studying creation with the teens. And there was a pattern. God saw everything and said it was good. This was not ego (though I figure He can have one if He wants :)) This was simple truth....a statement of fact. But, in the 1st 2 chapters of the Bible, there is ONE thing that God sees on this brand new earth He's created which prompts him to say: NOT GOOD. Do you know what this is? LONELINESS!

He sees His created man alone and knows it is NOT God sets out to create a partner. God knows it is NOT GOOD for us to be alone. It has never been His intention for us to be alone. This was the 1st community.

Recently I saw a movie that touched me deeply. It was one of those that you could not get out of your head when you got home. It stuck with me for several days. I had read the book twice in college, so I had high expectations. The movie is called "Into the Wild". It is about a young man who is disenchanted with the world and the greed he sees, so off he sets on a search for something real and true. His goal is to basically go "off the grid" and head to the Alaska wilderness and live off the land with no addiction to money and things.

I cannot spoil the entire plot, but there was a powerful scene in the end. Things just were not going as planned, and as he sat alone, he was writing, and a thought came to him. He basically realized that man cannot live alone. He understands that hapiness is only real when shared. It was quite powerful to me!

I am not sure where I am going with this, or what God is teaching me. I know I am SO grateful for the community in my life. I praise Him for my family. I praise God for W Main Church of Christ. I thank him for my network of friends here. I thank him for all the people brought into my life from this valley. I thank him for the people I have met in past jobs. I am thankful for the group I meet with at YFC. I cannot believe what God blesses me with.

Yet, I know I am being called to more. I urge you...don't be a loner. God says it is no good. And if you are reading this....pannell loves you! :)

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Who's The Man?

It took my 4 yr. old to remind me of who's in charge in this world! Yesterday was my day off. As such, I took the chance to make a few repairs at the house. If you know me at all, you know that the very mention of me and repairs in the same sentence could set the universe off course! I am the anti-handyman. But I tried.

We had two doors in our house that had been broken for some time due to some hinge breaking issues. So, blowing the dust off the ol' drill I set out to work. The front closet was fairy simple and was fixed in a few minutes. That simply left the daunting front door! It is an old, solid hunk of wood that was barely opening and closing. So, after many busted attempts, bloody knuckles and bouts of anger, I got it! The door closed just right and all was well!!
Jude had been "helping" by sitting with me and watching, and at times holding the door still. Once complete, I jumped up, playing with him, threw my arms victoriously into the air and shouted "Who's the man?". I was expecting some possible laughter, and maybe a pat on the ol' back.

My son calmly looked at me with a straight face and gave me the answer: "God". Not Daddy, you are the man, but simply "God is the man!" WOW! I looked at him, laughed and gave him a great big hug. "You are right son" I said, "God is the man. He can fix everything". I kissed his head and thanked him for reminding me that.
Our God is amazing isn't he? We sing that our God is alive, and praise him this is true! His word promises that he is in charge of this place and that His Son has overcome this world! Victory is ours, because we belong to Him! My Lord can always "fix" things…he truly is "THE man".

41 Kids and One PS2

41 folks at a lock-in can be a lot. Especially if you are in a church that is not that big, and doesn’t have a “great room” or a gym to house that many for organized activities. Especially if that afore mentioned church is W. Main. J

Last weekend we had a teen lock-in at the church. I planned and planned because the kids had been asking for ever, so I wanted them to be pleased. The games and ideas I had were excellent! The snacks and drinks were perfect! All of this may have been true….if the 15-20 I had planned on, who had said they were coming, actually came. But, God had different plans, and by the end of the night there were 41 of us there!

My first inclination was to panic. I was not prepared fro that many. The games would NEVER work with this big of a crowd! The food was gone in minutes! What we do?!?!? I wanted to panic, and hide in my office. But, that would get us nowhere.

So guess what we did. We simply kicked back, improvised and just made plans on the fly. We took what we had and we made it work. And you know what; I think we all had a good time! I know I did. Sometimes things just are NOT going to go as you planned, no matter how much you wanted them to, or how hard you tried to assure it.

God seems to be in the business of messing up human plans. He seems to know netter what needs to happen in this world. I think of Jonah, and David. I think of Moses and the apostles. I would guess that none of their plans for their lives looked like what God threw at them.

What about you? Have you seen your life plans change drastically? Are you upset about it? Have you considered that God may just have something better for you? We can fight against it, but we learned from Johan that will do no good. We can run and hide, but that did not work do good for Adam and Eve. Or we can just press on and trust God knows what he is doi9ng. Take your life as it comes, because your “planner” is a pretty smartJ

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Celebrity Faith

Not sure I give a crud what these so called "celebrities" think, but it may be interesting to read. Check out the story:


Friday, November 9, 2007

Death to Nike!

Check out this cool story. In a world of rampant greed and consumerism...this is kinda cool!,9171,1680154,00.html

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Read These

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I think they are kinda' worth it! :)

Outdoor Type

As I was just sitting in my church office a song called “Outdoor Type” by one of my favorite bands The Lemonheads played on my computer. It hadn’t heard it in awhile. The lyrics are funny. It is about a guy who lied to get a girl (who would ever do that :)). She wanted a dude that was the “outdoor type”. So he lied about being able to camp, rock climb, build a fire and mountain bike. He sings “too afraid to let you know ‘cuz you knew what you were looking for. So I lied until I fit the bill…but God bless the great indoors”. It is a good song and it makes me smile.

In many ways, it reminds me of my relationship with God and His kids (aka all of you reading). Many times, I think we try to do this same thing with other Christians. We can say the things that we think others want to hear in order to believe we are holy. We know all the latest church buzz words to sound like eager servants. I can speak “Christianese” with the best of ‘em! Yet our actions, when we are alone, do not always reflect those of a Christian. We can “lie until we fit the bill” in a crowd, if you will, but our speech, viewing choices, thoughts, internet choices etc. tell a different story.

We’ve been studying James in the HS class I teach. I am convicted more than ever about what reveals our TRUE selves. It is our actions! Our speech! Our choices etc.! James says the word of God should be like a mirror for those of us who follow Him. When we read his word, we should be able to see ourselves in it. It is my desire to live a life where I will never have to stretch any truth to show people who I serve. Live lives of honest service for our wonderful Savior.

Yoga Bus

I read a story about a new attempt in Isreal to keep frenzied and stress commuters calm. Now, when you get on some buses in Tel Aviv, you’ll be greeted by a yoga instructor with a microphone. And, while riding on the bus, you’ll be instructed on how to properly breathe and stretch in ways that will relieve stress!

You of course are not required to participate, but the bus has been running for 3 weeks now and most of the passengers choose to do the exercises. Many say they are much more relaxed and ready for their jobs now, when arriving at work. Others say than can rest easier at night.

As I considered this story, it seemed a little silly. But more and more it made great sense. Take a minute to go out in this world and just watch people running around. It is a ratrace! We are literally running everywhere we go. There is no leisure time, no relaxation. I think if we were forced to take a few minutes each day and slow it all down, things WOULD be better.

This of course is NOT an original idea of the Tel Aviv Transit, or any man for that matter. This is an age old command from our Lord. We all know the command in Psalm 46:10, which simply states, “Be still and know that I am God…” Did you catch those first few two words? BE STILL

I challenge us all to try it. Are we even able to slow down in this day and age. Try it. Take a few minutes each day and turn everything off and focus on the one who made us all. I do not recommend you try any yoga positions while driving, but I do recommend that you find that quiet place in the Lord!

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Holiness: Up to You?

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Today I went to the funeral of a friend. His name was Sam. He went to the Weed church of Christ. Sam lived to be 92 yrs. Old, and despite severe agonizing arthritis and cancer, he served the Lord’s Table at the church every week, right up until death. He was a model of quiet servant hood. It was a beautiful military service at the church and cemetery.

After, I got to thinking, as funerals will often make you do. It is always so amazing for me to hear the affect that individuals have on so many different people, and in so many different ways! And I always wonder what it is that people ill say about me one day. It makes you think. How do we affect people? Are they paying attention when we don’t realize? How do others perceive me?

I hope I can live a life that shows many things: good husband, good parent, good friend, etc. But what matters the most is that we live a life that shows God! In Ezekiel we are told that God plans on using our lives to prove His holiness to the world. “Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the sovereign Lord, when I show myself through you before their eyes” 36:23.

Did you catch that? The actions of His people will be one way that God shows His holiness to this world! It makes me think. Is that holiness apparent in me? Who can see it? Does the world notice? Is it apparent in you? Will folks remember it?

We are called to a higher standard. We are called to holiness. Let is shine from each of us.

Monday, November 5, 2007

"I'm Rich...(in best Dave Chappelle voice)"

I am probably the richest dude I know. In fact, right now, I am 100% sure of it! And this is very weird to say, given my chosen profession. And also due to the fact that: I was paid yesterday and after sending off bills I have less than $100 right now to make it through the month, my TV is going bad and the picture is so dark you can barely see it, my PC is so old and slow that it will take a good 5 minutes to post this blog, and all my underwear have holes in them. Yet, I sit here and proclaim great riches!
I just put my daughter to bed. My wife is out of town (hurry home dear) and my son fell asleep early. SO she and I stayed up a little late. It was wonderful. We read some books and she practiced her colors. Then, she lay in my lap as we shared her 1st viewing of "Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin". I played with her beautiful angelic blonde hair. She looked up twice and smiled a smile so warm that it could melt the great polar ice caps. The smiles were followed by "I love you Daddy". Twice she randomly sat up to kiss me. And on one of the last commercials she left the room for a minute and then came running back in with a grin from ear to ear, with a baby doll wrapped in her blankie, and she handed it to me proudly saying "It's a present for you Dada". I just put her to sleep. As I stroked her hair again I sang her favorite 2 bedtime songs of Twinkle Little Star and Jesus Loves the Little Children. As I left she again smiled and said "I love you Dada".

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So, once again, I boldly shout: "I am the richest man in this world". I would not trade these blessings for all the millions in the world. My God is good.