Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank you..........

It is about overeating. It is about football. It is about general turkey induced laziness! But let me tell you what…..despite these things… is also about being thankful. We may have replaced some of the original intent of the holiday with new traditions….but I want us all to stop and say what we are thankful for. SO, I will start, and hope the rest of you may just chime in!
I am thankful for my family. They are the most beautiful blessing in the world to me. My wife who gives me strength and love all the time. My son who warms my heart with his love for life and God. My middle daughter who emanates joy in all she does. My baby girl who could not be more precious…..I am so thankful for them.
I am thankful that this year I got to work in Uganda. I cannot believe it’s almost been a year. But the experience changed my life and my heart and I’m forever grateful and cannot wait to go back.
I am thankful for my job. Some days I laugh and just cannot believe I get paid to do it. Serving the Lord is a privilege, but especially with my beloved teens!
I am thankful for my friends. I have been blessed with an extended family beyond my belief. If you are reading this I love you all!
I am thankful for our new home. It is everything we dreamed of and nothing we deserve. I pray my family grows old here.
So…..there is a start. May you all be thankful this year. And if you’d like, please share with us here!
Thank you Thanksgiving Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Movies

Whether it is my own struggles with truly giving my worries to the Lord, or just general weariness, I still do not feel like getting very deep or theological on here. So instead,let's discuss something very shallow: holiday movies. What are the best Christmas movies???? While the classics are great, modern cinema has given a few gems are 5 faves

5-It's a Wonderful Life-
wonderful life Pictures, Images and Photos
Call it cliche, or predictable, but I have loved this since I was a kid. There are so many lessons in this...and one life truly can make a difference!

Scrooged Pictures, Images and Photos
A spoof on the Dickens classic, Murray rules at the protagonist you love to hate!

3-A Christmas Story-
A Christmas Story Pictures, Images and Photos
Yes...another predictable one, but I cannot help it, this warms my heart and makes me laugh!

2- Elf-
Elf Movie Poster Pictures, Images and Photos
Modern classic!!!!!!!!!! I love Buddy the Elf. Behindthe goofy laughs, there is actually a sweet story.

1-Christmas Vacation-
Christmas Vacation Pictures, Images and Photos
One of the funniest movies ever! I can almost quote the whole thing. No Pannell Christmas is complete without at least 1 viewing.

Honorable mention:
Polar Express
Muppet Christmas Carol
Die Hard

Tell me what you think!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tears of a Mermaid

My lovely daughter Merrick is crying her eyes out right now, because I just informed her that she will never be able to become a real mermaid..............any ideas how to console that :) ?

The Little Mermaid Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Focus on the FAMILY

I am wondering if we can have a discussion. It is a sensitive topic to many, so I am not sure we can handle it :) You need to promise to be nice, and listen to everyone. But I was made aware of a story yesterday that has really got me thinking. I will share it with you.
You all know of the company/ministry Focus on the Family. Led by Dr. James Dobson, they are out of Colorado Springs, CO. They are a huge faith based organization on the American evangelical scene. Yesterday they announced that they are about to lay off 20% of their company, or an estimated 202 jobs! WOW! How sad for these folks, and what a rough time of year for it.
Given our economic condition in America this in itself is not so big news, but the next part is what has folks up in arms. And it does make you think. These layoffs come after they just spent over half a million dollars in recent weeks to help defeat Prop 8 in California to ban gay marriage.
This is difficult to swallow. I see why it is important for folks to stand up to things they believe in. But, at the same time, what kind of message are they sending when they put 200 families out of work and income in order to throw money into such a campaign? Are they "focusing on families"? It certainly is not a message of love is it? I struggle with this, as I see both sides’ arguments. But if they had to throw that cash some way, couldn’t they have fed many a hungry person in California instead?
I just feel that we aren’t doing any good for the kingdom sometimes, when we think we are. I think of the old story about a stumbling, drooling drunk who gets on a city bus and sits next to a gospel preacher. The preacher immediately begins reading Bible verses out loud in a menacing voice towards the drunk, and then shouts, “brother, do you not know you are going to hell?!?” The drunk stands up, slaps his forehead and says “oh no, I got on the wrong bus again”. (insert cheesy laughter here) The point is that the drunk was not deterred by the man’s “evangelism”. My thought is maybe there is another way? MAYBE is the key word----what ya' think? But if this world needs to know it’s going to hell, then I say the way to tell them is by showing them heaven!..........rather than “yelling on a bus”.
I pray for the company and the many families losing jobs around our country. Let us be a brotherhood of love. I propose that we should not tell people that God loves them if we aren’t ready to love them ourselves. So…..God loves you! So what do you guys think? Let's talk.....nicely :)

Your Love is Strong

until I can get around to writing, many of you have said you liked that Foreman clip so here is another. Currently my favorite worship song! This is for my lil' sis:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Instead of a Show

sorry.....been a little slow posting things lately. These lyrics really struck me today so I thought I'd share them. Enjoy until I can get back here and write something:

Instead of a Show
I hate all your show and pretense
the hypocrisy of your praise
the hypocrisy of your festivals
I hate all your show

Away with your noisy worship
Away with your noisy hymns
I stop up my ears when your
singing ‘em
I hate all your show

Instead let there be a flood
of justice
An endless procession of righteous
living, living
Instead let there be a flood
of justice
Instead of a show

your eyes are closed when you’re praying
you sing right along with the band
you shine up your shoes for services
but there’s blood on your hands

you turned your back on the homeless
and the ones that don’t fit in your plans
quit playing religion games
there’s blood on your hands

Ah! let’s argue this out
if your sins are blood red
let’s argue this out
you’ll be white as the clouds
let’s argue this out
quit fooling around

give love to the ones who can’t love at all
give hope to the ones who got no hope at all
stand up for the ones who can’t stand up at all
instead of a show
I hate all your show
-Jon Foreman
Isaiah 1:11-17

and here it is if you'd like to listen

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christian Music

For awhile now, I have been quite dissapointed with modern Christian music. While there are exceptions, the vast majority of it seems to be plastic, recycled tunes with different lyrics. No one sounds different at all. Everyone is the same. Nothing seems original...It sounds like Nashville has decided to turn out sappy, and easy formulaic tunes and worship standards, rather than encourage true artistic integrity and creativity. SO I quit listening. Air1 had grown old. But recently I returned to an old favorite. Switchfoot had been the band to hate for awhile after their immense rise to secular fame. But, I've been so turned on by their lead singers' incredible solo efforts, that I started listening again, and I have to say...there is truly some good stuff in there! They have some fantastic lyrics....get out that old stuff again really is pretty good. So I want you to join me in a discussion. I will start with 5, but will add more. I want us to all list some of our favorite Christian cd's and why! Come on...twil be fun!

Here is my 1st 5:

P.O.D. - Satellite. Pictures, Images and Photos
POD- Satellite
If you haven't seen these boys live, you cannot understand... This album set a new standard for bands who were followers of Christ. hard hitting yet melodic, it soared to the top of the charts. It has some fantastic lyrics. Go back and listen is a classic

Jars Of Clay - Good Monsters Pictures, Images and Photos
Jars of Clay
This is one of the best albums of ANY genre from 2007. It is GORGEOUS. Oh My God will cut you to the soul. Work speaks to me in ways a song never has....etc. PLEASE buy it if you don't own it.

about a burning fire Pictures, Images and Photos
Blindside- About a Burning Fire
One of my all-time fave records! The lead singer is unparalleled! The raw passion and energy in this album.....dude, I'm turning it on now.

breathe Pictures, Images and Photos
Switchfoot- Learning to Breathe
Before the sound got all pretty and polished by pro-tools, this was their last record. It is grittier and much better in my opinion. Learning to Breathe is such a beautiful song.

Don Chaffer- What You Don't know
sadly many have never heard this album, or any of Don's fantastic band Waterdeep. This record will change your life. He is a true wordsmith...a lyricist in the mold of a Dylan! The songs here are honest...almost painfully. Find a gray day, a quite place, and go for it!

Random Tales from PannellLand

I know that I haven't shared many deep thoughts or theological rants lately, but my mind is too weary to do so. I will return to this soon for those of you who care, but until then, I want to share more of my favorite things.....MY FAMILY. This posting will be very random.

So first.....Medford has seen Fall arrive, which means LONG DARK nights and gray wet days...yuck. SO with any hint of sun, we go outside! Sunday we saw a reminder of God's promise:

A family tradition here is good ol' indoor football...much like arenaball, but played on a 5x4 field! Last night, the little sis decided to challenge her big bubba

Haddie just sat there and watched

And lastly, we have some dinner table traditions. One we simply go around the table and each person gets to ask any question they want and everyone else gets to answer. A new one is where we go around the table and everyone gets to make up a joke. Let me share Merrick's creation from last night:

Q. "what do call a bear what has no teeth?"
A. "a gummy bear"

I dont think she had any idea of the brilliant pun she created! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dena Boscaccy

Hey everyone. This is my little sister Dena. Aint she cute? She has a beautiful family and recently took the ridiculous action of moving from OR to TN. Tell her hello!


Monday, November 10, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

this is an old blog regular I have are some random tibits that I enjoyed this week:

get smart Pictures, Images and Photos
this was a really fun brainless movie...perfect this weekend

kung fu panda Pictures, Images and Photos
LOVED IT----Skudoosh!

Jay Cutler Pictures, Images and Photos
great numbers Thursday....Go Broncos!

Gatorade Pictures, Images and Photos
The fam all had stomach flu this weekend...Gatorade was a life saver!

election 08 Pictures, Images and Photos
SOOOOO glad this garbage is over

crushed....but not defeated

All we hear in the news these days is how our country is in trouble, and how we are getting attacked by an economic crisis. While I believe this to be true and terrible, there is another attack that I am slowly and quietly watching that rips my heart out on a whole other level. All around me I am watching a mounting and increasingly strong spiritual attack on God’s people in this world. Over the past few months, I have seen SO MUCH garbage taking place, and as I watch, friends, families and acquaintances all around me and all over this earth seem to be getting hammered in what can only be described as an all out, full scale massive attack on God’s people. I cannot explain it. But, it feels like everyone I know is getting hammered. It feels like Satan is coming at his enemy with a ferocity I have never experienced.
I have seen good people die. Beautiful children are stricken with horrible diseases. Many friends are losing jobs. Marriages of friends and family are in deep trouble. Teens are listening to lies and finding themselves in pregnancies devastating to them and their families. Missionaries are being attacked on all fronts. Dear ones are making life choices that are deadly. Friends are addicted to life-taking drugs and in trouble with the law. Children are sick. Churches are struggling. Entire Christian colleges are shutting down. And this list could go on and on.
It takes my breath away. Every corner I turn seems to be defeating. I am afraid to talk to anyone else to hear the bad news that surely must be waiting. It is getting to me and I am feeling weak.
And I do not like this, and I do not accept this! Though we are pressed on every side, we are NOT defeated! My God is stronger than all of this. I cry out to him for deliverance. Lord, please feed the hungry I see all around me. Give your people jobs. Please wipe out cancer, and protect our children. God protect our teens from the sinful influence all around them. Help us guard our hearts. God heal marriages and strengthen families. And above all, give us courage and peace dear Lord.
I cling to the promise of your son that “in this world we WILL have troubles, but take heart, for I have overcome the world!”
Guide us and strengthen us, and may we press on daily in love. We will not be defeated for He who is in us is greater than he who is in this world!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I need peace

Almighty, ever-living God, You give strength to the weary and new courage to those who have lost heart. Hear the prayers of all who call on You in any trouble that they may have the joy of receiving Your help in their need. Sometimes
Everything seems so meaningless and nothing appeals to my better instincts.
Help me to remember that Jesus gave meaning to everything in the world.
Let me bank on that fact and get over this time of difficulty,
to really trust in the depths of my being that you will never let me down.
Slow me down, Lord. Ease the pounding of my heart with the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time. Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting Lord. Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Thank you for loving us and listening to me. You know the depths of my heart...its beauty and its ugliness. I pray you take it and make it what you will have me to be.

please read this

This is a great article regarding the post-election highs and lows. I agree with his was a tough one. My own heart wrestled with the who to choose. I agreed with both. I disagreed with both. But .......what now?? Let these words speak to you:


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Letter to the President

I have read many fake letters today to Obama. Some were good, others were totally absurd. So, I thought I'd take a shot. I took some from all of them, added my own words and here we go:

Dear President Obama,
I congratulate you on a victory in a fight between two good men. I pledge that I for one will be praying for you. Your speech was amazing and historic last night. I pray you hold true to what you said. I am grateful that you truly seem to believe in hope and change for the better, and I believe you can draw the best out of us as a country to be a part of this. I pray that we will now stop the lip-service and commence the action. It is up to we the people to be the change that you speak of, so please inspire us to do so. I believe you are a very smart man. I may not agree on some things with you, but still think you are admirable. I admire how you resist the quick and easy answer to complex problems. I respect many of your positions. I also respect the way you seem to truly love your family deeply. While I understand that you believe your plan may actually reduce abortion rates in America (and I believe it just may), I can never agree with you on the stance of pro-choice. I believe in life, and think you do too, so I continue to pray that the only one who will ever make a difference in this area, our shared Father in heaven will take action when He is ready. I admire how you care for the weak and defenseless, and the downtrodden and defeated. Please lead us in an energy revolution like you promise. Help us break our addiction to oil and treat this beautiful creation of God with a deserved respect. Bring our boys home from that war, but please do so slowly and with much prayer and intelligence. We need you to lead. You have spoken often of a better way. Now, please please show it to us. I would never want your position or power. I cannot imagine the stresses it brings. We pray for you and your family. We pray for your safety and health. We pray that you look to God for guidance. Thank you for championing hope…now please bring it to us!

May God Bless You-
Brian Pannell
obama Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tales of the Strong Armed King of Denver

I hope my friend Mr. McCool still reads this, as he may like it, seeing as how he, being the hometown nashvegas, commodore cheering fool he is...was likely a fan MUCH earlier than we were!

My son LOVES is crazy really. He has all kinds of favorites but his most fave team is the Denver Broncos. His favorite athlete alive is Jay Cutler (he even has a Webkin toy named after him). See below:
Jay Cutler Pictures, Images and Photos night every evening as I tuck him in, he asks me to regale him with a "Jay Cutler Story". It has become quite fun. Sometimes they are silly fantasy tales of the strong armed King of Denver fighting mystical creatures. Last night Jay fought 3 angry panthers (Jude usually requests the themes). He's informed me that next I will be telling one of Jay versus the friendly Patriots.......

So if you ever need a good story...give me a call :) Go Broncos!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Miracle or Treat of the free..........which is more "distracting":

the joker Pictures, Images and Photos vs Photobucket

read the story:

Trick or Treat

It was a crazy busy week. I had much to do at work and much to do at home. It was a tough one dealing with friends who were hurting and confused. I dealt with friends stuck in terrible sin. I even dealt with knowing friends who had gotten terrible news and were reeling. But, it was still a good week, because my God is good, and even when he takes away, he gives.
The peak of the week was of course Halloween. We got together with our friends and their kids like every year and had a great night. We hit up our little neighborhood here. It was small scale but I would have been content with it. But oh no ….we ventured to a neighboring community called Nunan Square in Jacksonville. It is wealthy and well known for going all out for trick or treaters!

It was nuts! Remember the scene in ET where it’s Halloween and EVERYONE is out and about and costumed…it is so crowded it looks fake? Well, this was that scene! People were everywhere! The kids had to wait in line to trick or treat! It was cool but a little too much, so we left after one street.
Afterwards we all came back to the house, sorted our loot and ate homemade caramel apples! Here are some pics of the fun.