Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
As you might have guessed from my previous entry about Barack Obama's election night speech, I'm a sucker for a powerful speaker. Whether it's Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men or Al Pacino in, well anything, I just can't get enough of it. With college basketball season starting up, here's a video of one of my all time favoites. Jimmy V wasn't the greatest coach in history, and frankly, wasn't always the most ethical coach either, but I grew up a State fan, which means I loved him. This one, given at the first ESPY awards when he knew he was just months away from death, still gives me goosebumps today.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Emotional rollercoaster this weekend in football. Always happy to see this. This was a little scary at first. This was AWESOME. This SUCKED - BAD.
Most importantly though, in the ugliest game of Goal Line Blitz EVER, the Demon Llamas were victorious (barely) over their fiercest rival, the Montevideo Storm Vermin.
Bricks from Pierre-Abraham Rochat on Vimeo.
I totally ganked this from my buddy Jace's blog (which you should totally be reading because it's awesome). I hate stealing from a guy, especially on this birthday, but this was just too cool not to share.
The thing that so impresses me is that the creaters had to invision the entire "world" around these "guys" to know where everything was and how it fit together. I'm simply amazed. Enjoy!
So Jason's message this morning was all about surounding yourself with the right kinds of friends. Not in the exclusive "don't hang out with THOSE kind of people" way, but more in the iron sharpens iron", have people that you can lean on sort of way. For me it was a really timely message, and one that really hit home.
I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about how blessed I am to be surrounded with the people that God has put me around. I'm the only child of a single mother and I don't have any cousins, so all my life my friends have been as close to me as my family. In a very literal sense, my friendships are responsible for where I am today. Let me give you an example:
In the summer before 8th grade, my mom and I moved from Morganton to Statesville and I started going to East Iredell Elementary (they called it elementary, but it was 3rd-8th). I went out for the football team, but since I hadnt played on that team the previous season, I didn't have the seniority of the other 8th graders, so I got last pick of the pads and helmets.
Now lemme tell ya, in 8th grade I was a big boy - the biggest on the team - and the biggest part of me was my GIANT melon. Kids, I'm tellin ya - I had a HUGE head. And to top if off - I had this funky bowl-cut/mullet combo of hair (yeah, I had hair once). I tell you this because by the time it came around for me to pick out a helmet, there werent any left big enough for me. For the first week of pactice I played in was essentially was a yamikah with a punter's facemast on it. It gave me migranes, my chin was getting blown up - I was miserable. It was so bad, I decided to quit the team. When I told my coach, Mr. Johnson, I was quitting he said - no son - you're my starting LT, and if you quit, Jamie Dew will get murdered. So he called up the dad of one of the other guys on our team for a favor. This guy's dad just happened to be Charlie Love, the head coach of North Iredell's football team, and he was kind enough to send down a helmet from the high school for me to wear that season. It was a white helmet (like everyone else's on the team), but it had a red facemask. I stood out, and I loved it.
Now, at that time, the house we were living in was in a kind of no man's land as far as school districts go, so when I graduated from East (pink painted toenails and all) I could choose whether I wanted to be a Greyhound at Statesville HS or a Raider at North Iredell HS. Don't know that I've ever really admitted this before, but I chose North based on one thing alone - that helmet with the red facemask. I felt like I was already a Raider.
Now, that's a long, drawn out (and likely boring) story that I just tell to show how random it was that I ended up meeting the people I did (or at least it seemed random at the time). At North I met people that for the first time were true friends (not just people to play or hang out with) - people I could confide in, have thir back and know they had mine, people I loved. People I still love and know I will love forever. And through these friends I've met other people that have become just as dear to me.
Looking back over the past 15 years or so (man, I'm old) I've had lots of "friends": co-workers, awuaintences, roommates, crushes, drinking buddies... but it's this core of true friends that has gotten me to where I am today. Their encouragement, love, compassion, nagging, help and support have guided me through some pretty rough times: times when I didn't deserve the love they showed me. Like I said, I've never had siblings, but I can't fathom that a person could love a sibling any more than I love these people. Don't get me wrong, I love my family so incredibly much, but I can honestly say that I have many friends that I love just as much.
One of those people I met my first year at North was Kelley Turner. When Kelley married Jason Goins, I gained another dear friend. One day Jason and Kelley decided to invite me to come to their church in High Point. I was in a place where I had fallen out of church and was honestly just wandering through life with no real purpose - but they didn't give up on me. After a few weeks of their asking, I finally gave in. Jason and Kelley were so excited about their youth group there, and one of the first few Sundays I was there, the pastor got up and told the congregation that they were looking for some volunteers. I didn't know what it was at the time, but I heard God's voice that day, and He told me to step up and help.
It was in those youth group meetings that I met some of the other great people who I now consider dear friends. And when Jason started telling me about his vision for a new church, I think it was my involvement with that youth group that got him to ask me to come along. Several months later on a Saturday night at the Chop House, I feel like I really became a part of something special. R2 is now nearing becoming a year old - and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful, strong, kind, giving and spiritual people that I can call friends. I'm at the same time humbled to be with them and supported by them. I feel like I truely am standing on the shoulders of giants.
The thing I love so much about surrounding yourself with these true, dear friends is that they always multiply. A few become many, and as these groups of friends become communities, everyone in them reaps the benefit. It gets better all the time.
I know this has been by far my most long winded entry, but it's probably because it's something that so important to me. I can't express enough how much God has blessed me by putting the network of friends around me that I have. The example I gave was the people at R2, but there are other networks of people I have the same level of love for: My dear friends from The Cullowhee Experience, the LA girls I met through Lisa and Carrie, and of course the girls of Davis 104, among others. I know I don't say it as much as I should, but I love you all more than I'll ever be able to show.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Been looking for a cool notebook to carry for a while - one that I'd actually use. I figure if I spend more than 99 cents on it, I might actually keep up with it (I lose all my cheap ones), but the last leather bound notebook I got set me back $20 and lasted about a week before the puppies at it. I found this bad boy here from Black N' Red last night at Target. Man, I'm in love. It's a great size (A4 - black n red is british) has great heavyweight paper and even the little ribbon thingy. At $8 it's cheap enough to not fee like a tool for buying a book with nothing written in it.
Monday, November 17, 2008
This is the Audi R8. I passed one on 311 in HP on Saturday morning - first time I had seen one in real life (Bruce Wayne drives one in The Dark Knight). Man, this thing looks great in person. Note, it's not painted silver - it all bare aluminum and carbon fiber. That's right boys and girls - aluminum and carbon fiber.... for the price of a small house or a large condo, she can be all yours.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Here's a special gift to anyone who's bored enough to be checking my blog at 12:20 am on Saturday Night. Here's a video we shot as a promo for our food drive for R2 in November. Nick, Marty, Jace and I went to a local Food Lion and went all guerilla sytle, so the rough cuts are intentional. hope you enjoy!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Sometimes I worry that I waste too much time in front of the computer. Between work, keeping up with friends, church stuff and this lame blog, I probably spend the majority of my waking hours in front of a keyboard. Sometimes I think I've really got a problem.....
Then I read stories like this, and I realize I'm really not that bad.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I posted some more pics from my Alaska trip last night. These are from probably my favorite day of the trip. We left Fairbanks and stopped by Nenana (for a second time) where I got some more creepy dried salmon pics. Then we went on down to the town of Denali and stayed at the McKinley Village Resort (where it's so cold even the phones are made of ice). Then we went into the park on the tundra tour for about 6 hours to chase bears and moose.
The first of the new pics start with #330.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
So I'm kicking back at the house of some friends from R2 and mom is talking to her child about what he learned in the children's ministry (Destiny Drive) this morning - and reading along with the handy dandy ciriculum "cheat sheet" that she got from the teacher. He said, "We learned about promises, and when people make promises, you can either choose to believe them or not. And God promises us that He loves us and that he'll give us eternal life, but we choose whether we want to believe that, too."
I know that a big criticism of people who don't believe is that Christians only believe because they were raised that way and have no choice. I think it's really really cool that even at such a young age that we're teaching our kids that believing is a choice that we make.
One of the many reasons I love R2.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."
I promise you, we as a people will get there."
To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope."
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.
This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America."
When I started this little corner of the bloggersphere I told myself I'd never write about politics - there are just simply too many other outlets on the 'net that I figure there's not really any more I can add. But after watching Barack Obama's acceptance speech last night (you can check it out here if you missed it) I felt compelled to say something. I really think this is the "uniter" we've been looking for in the Oval Office since probably the days of Reagan. Together America can accomplish great things, and as proven last night, anything really IS possible here.
God, please bless America and all the rest of world too.