Monday, September 25, 2006

Go Back To JimmyBob's Place!

Now that Blogger has fixed a couple of kinks (I hope and pray) I am going to start posting on JimmyBob's Place once again. I will keep this site as an alternate, kind of like a summer home or secret Rebel base (for all my Star Wars homies out there).

So, I have posted something NEW there now called "The Impossible." Go and leave a comment and let me know if you have any trouble. Just email me from my profile.

Take care friends!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Enjoy Games

What makes your life exciting? You know, what are your enjoyments?

One of my greatest enjoyments has to be playing games, especially board games and roleplaying games. Just ask my brothers and sisters, they could tell you.

I remember when I was about 10 years old I purchased a boxed set of Basic Dungeons & Dragons. It had a player's rulebook and a Dungeon Master's guide full of monsters and treasures. It also had these really cool dice - a 20 sided, 12 sided, 10 sided (for percentage rolls), 8 sided, 6 sided, and a really neat 4 sided triangle die. I spent hours playing that game with myself and my brothers.

Then, I started creating games. At first it was just dice games, like Baseball dice, where I created charts to roll on. After that, I created a professional wrestling roleplaying game. I still have it. Actually, when I was a youth pastor in New Jersey, I played it with my students and it was a big hit. Then, I started taking my board games, like RISK, and making alternate sets of rules and optional rules (I haven't stopped doing that!).

I have a card game that Upper Deck made based on Survivor, the TV series. It is what they call a TCG or Trading Card Game. Basically, you buy a starter set which has all the basic cards in the game and you purchase booster packs, which contain uncommon and rare cards to add to the starter set. Kind of like collecting baseball cards. You never know what you'll get in a pack. They only made two card sets based on the first two seasons of Survivor.

I have a very rare autographed card of Elizabeth Filarski (now Elizabeth Hesselbeck of The View). That has to be worth something outrageous now! Anyway, the game rules were okay and it didn't really catch on that well. I created an alternate set of rules and actually sent them to Upper Deck Entertainment. They emailed me back and said they liked them. Unfortunately they canceled all future expansions of the game after the second season. I still play it with my youth group with my rules.

Well, I could go on and on all night about my games and ideas, but I want to just tell you about one last one. My birthday is coming up very soon and I already got some money from my wife's grandma. So, I was in Gamemaster Games the other day and saw "Conquest of the Empire." I remember playing that game in Ancient History Class in 11th grade. It was an old Milton Bradley game that was out of print for many years and now being reproduced by Eagle Games. The object is to get other players to declare you Caesar of the Roman Empire.

As I was talking with a saleswoman in the store, she told me that she owned the game, had only played it once, found that it wasn't her cup of tea and that she would sell it to me for $40 ($20 less than brand new). I took her up on it and I am sure glad I did. It is very fun.

It kind of plays like RISK, but with more strategy. And it is the easiest epic board game to set up and begin playing that I have seen. Also, it is a relatively fast game for its kind. All pluses in my book.

So, if you ever want to visit me, nothing would make me happier than to sit down at my kitchen table and play a game. I just want to praise God for all the game designers and manufacturers out there. They sure make my life fun!

So, what's your favorite game?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

On this fine night.

Before I lay my head down on this fine night, I wanted to express to you how much God loves you.

He loves you more than the stars and the planets or the plants and the animals. Indeed, you are the finest thing He has ever created, for you have been made in His image.

He loves you more than Himself, for He was willing to die at your hand that you may be forgiven.

When you think about it, God made us for His pleasure. How could we leave Him and love another?

Tonight, His Spirit is speaking to my heart. In Him there is life - wondrous life, full and exciting! Eternal life. Think on that. It is like the most sensational feeling you have ever had, but never ending. Freeze your happiest and most peaceful moment and there you have Eternal life.

Jesus offers it to you freely. Get into Him, remain in Him. For it is in Him where you'll find this Eternal life. You cannot obtain it any other way.

As I sit at my desk and write these words, I can think of only one thing that would make this night even finer. That is, you getting into Jesus.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mrs. JimmyBob's Birthday

My awesome wife turned 35 last week and she looks better than ever. Not that looks are everything, but I thought I would give her credit. It was such a great day. She received a bunch of phone calls from family and friends. It was different than previous years. Our pastor and his wife even brought over a card and a bag of candy for our healing daughter.

One of the nicest things that happened was that one of our youth workers (who used to be one of our youth) and her sister came over and brought a pan of fudge brownies and a card. They stayed and visited with "Kath" for about an hour.

We met up with her parents for dinner at the Elephant Bar (which is the restaurant that she chose). And then, we went down to their house for cake and presents and games. It was so much fun. I got her a chocolate cake with white buttercream icing, her favorite. There was purple roses and 35 pink candles that she had a tough time blowing out all at once.

Jennifer and I gave her seasons 2, 3, and 4 of Everwood from She loves that show. Her parents gave her a watch, a t-shirt that says, "Chillin with my peeps," a nice red top, and a black ruffled skirt. Oh, yeah, she got $50 from them too and I gave her $10 in her card just for laughs.

We had a great day. I thank God for everything.

By the way, my daughter's arm is healing just fine. She gets the stitches out on Monday.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

So far, the pit bull bite wins.

Well, I was just reading the poll results and so far 5 people have responded and 4 of them would rather be bitten by a pit bull. Honestly, that is what I would have chosen too.

With a shark you have to swim away and try to get to dry ground. I wouldn't be able to accomplish this, I don't think. With the spider, I could crush it, but that wouldn't help me with the poison that is now in my system and the antibiotics that may or may not work quickly. I had a student in my youth group who was bit and needed 2 surgeries and lots of medicine to heal his wound.

So, that leaves the pit bull. With the dog I can take my thumb and poke out his eyeball while he's clamped on me. I would have to commit all the way because that sounds gruesome, but it may be the only way to get him off. Does anyone else know what to do?

Do you think kissing and hugging a dog that is biting you would change his behavior? Has anyone ever tried it?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Our First Major Injury

It finally happened...our first major injury. My 8 year old daughter was playing "Snake In The Grass" in between the buildings at church and she ran into a window. She cut the underside of her forearm in a couple of places - 16 stitches!

I was setting up the youth hall for our youth service last night and then Mrs. JimmyBob came running in and caught my attention. "Jennifer is hurt really bad" she said. I could tell by the look in her eyes that it was serious. So, I immediately ran outside where Jennifer was standing there with a man from our church squeezing her arm to stop the blood.

I saw the wounds. The main one (14 stitches) looked like a big circular notch had been taken out of her flesh. It reminded me of some shark bite pictures I saw (the 1 person who has opted for shark bite on my poll is CRAZY!). The other cut was long but not as deep. On the end of it there was a more opened up spot. That's why she needed 2 stitches there.

We wrapped a napkin around it and then some tape and applied pressure all the way to the hospital. In the confusion of the moment I went to get my wife's purse but grabbed one of my youth worker's purses intstead. Oops! They later came and swapped it. Man, it's good to have great friends.

I'll keep this story short, but I wanted to say that I am impressed with my Jenny. She really stayed calm (relatively) and she was so good when they gave her the shot and stitched her up. The 2-stitch wound was an option and she agreed to getting a second shot so he could stitch it. During each shot I layed across her body and put my face against her head and neck so I could help hold her down and speak to her. She didn't want to look.

I noticed that she uses the same self-calming device that I use. The whole time the doctor was stitching she was talking. I love this kid. Now I understand deeper those of you who have had children that were seriously injured. I felt terrible.

So, please pray that she heals fast...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Young Adult Ministry

This past Sunday we started up a new Young Adult Ministry for ages 18-29. I decided to call it "Link Up" because I wanted to keep the group's focus on getting to know one another and partnering in the the work of Christ.

We started our meeting by registering people and then mingling and talking around 3 tables (we had 11 young adults). I gave each person a Personal Profile sheet that asked for name, age, occupation, and then 4 random questions like "What's your favorite color?"

Next, we went into what I call "High Speed Connection." It's kind of like speed dating. People would discuss their profiles and a couple of thought provoking questions (about the days Scripture lesson) for 3 minutes at their table and then switch tables and do the same again with different questions for 3 minutes until they had been to all 3 tables.

I picked 3 people to be "locked" and gave them a lanyard with a picture of a lock on it. Locked people did not switch tables when everyone else did. Instead, they were the facilitators of the questions at the table and had to pay special attention to Profile Sheets. This is because they were going to be contestants in the People Quiz.

The People Quiz is very simple. I ask 10 questions based on people's profiles and the locked people compete to see who remembered the most. Such as, "Where was Richard born?" I gave the winner a $5 gift card to Starbucks. That person is now the People Quiz Champion and will automatically be locked next week to defend their title.

We then watched the first NOOMA video "Rain" and read Scripture together out loud. I taught on the subject of building our lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the rock, as opposed to building it on the sand, in disobedience to Christ's teachings. It was interactive and some students brought up some very good points concerning keeping our personal lives in order so that we can help others in their needs.

Afterward, each table went into a prayer focus time with needs being shared and then having each person pray for the person on their right. The locked people said the final prayer at each table.

I read this benediction from Jude...

“24 And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating - 25 to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.” – Jude 24-25

Next week we will also include a time of Giving, where the group will discuss needs among them and how those needs can be met. I want to stress community and caring for each other. I also want them to understand that giving their time or ability is just as important as their finances.

I told you all of this so that you will pray for me and Mrs. JimmyBob as we lead this group. We want it to be wonderful and exciting. What an opportunity we have with this age group to really see authentic community take place.

Let me ask you a question. Do you see yourself as a person who is "linked up" with others as a partner in the work of the Kingdom? Honestly, do you collaborate to accomplish the teachings of Jesus? What's that like? How does it feel? Pretty rewarding, huh?

"We work together as partners who belong to God." - 1 Corinthians 3:9