How Star Wars Should of Ended

I have always been a big Star Wars fan.  I remember watching the movies when I was a kid.  I remember the excitement when the new Star Wars movies came out.  I remember wishing that I was Darth Maul.  So many wonderful memories because of one movie series.

I am creating new memories with Star Wars as I introduce it to my son.  Logan is as much into Star Wars as I am (perhaps even more).  He has read books on it and plays Lego Star Wars constantly on his Nintendo Wii and DS.

Juggling Eric posted a great Star Wars parenting video on his blog.   It is one of the best Star Wars parody’s I have ever seen.  It was made by the great people at  How It Should of Ended.  Not only do they have Star Wars video’s but they show a number of other movies as well.  Check out the video and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Big Chill Weekend

Baldwinsville has a jam packed weekend planned January 28-29th.  It is the annual Big Chill Weekend!  There are a number of events happening including the polar bear plunge.  This year I have made the commitment to take part in the ploar bear plunge.  As you see from the banner on the side of my blog I am looking for donations. I have approached the good people of St. Mark’s and some of them told me I should be collecting money to NOT participate in the event.  Who in their right mind is willing to jump into the Senica River in the middle of winter?  I AM!

The money will be going to a good cause as well.  All proceeds will benefit The Ronald McDonald House Charities of CNY, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce.

Schedule of events on Saturday Janurary 29th are as follows

B’ville’s Big Chill Polar Bear Plunge

At Mercer Park from 1:00 – 4:00p.m.

Click here to donate!

B’ville’s Big Chill Snow Shoe Relay Races

Starts at 1:00 PM.

A race for all ages!

Teams are made up of four members and each member will to run a 250 yard snow course.  Snow Shoes will be provided for participants, but you can wear your personal shoes.  Starts at 1:00p.m. with prizes awarded to the winning teams.

B’ville’s Big Chill Best in Bowl Cook Off!

Under a heated tent, thanks to Baldwinsville Heating & Air Conditioning, you will have the opportunity to taste the best dishes served in a bowl!  Twelve restaurants from around the Syracuse area will compete for B’ville’s Big Chill Best in Bowl Award.  Tastings are available starting at 12:00-4:00 PM.

Bon-Fire will be going throughout the day to keep everyone warm.

Beverages, including adult beverages, will be served during this fun event.

The Syracuse Basketball Will Be Broadcasted Under The Heated Tent.

Poker Bear Express

5:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the following venues:

Mohegan Manor
Pizza Man
Sammy Malone’s
Edgewater Grill

The goal is to get the best poker hand by visiting each venue and receiving a card. You fill in your “ticket” with the card and the person with the best poker hand wins! The night ends with the winners announced at 9:30 PM at the Edgewater Grill (must be present to win).

Thank you for your consideration not only in helping me in my Polar Bear Plunge but also helping the deserving organizations.  If you would like to sponsor me please do here, and if you are in town during the plunge come check it out and enjoy the other events as well.

Three Words: Learning

For my last word learning, I am committing to read one book a month.  I am not one to sit down and read for pleasure.  Here is my book list for 2011.  I would like to thank those who have posted book lists on their blogs.  It really helped me put my list together.

An Object of Beauty: A Novel

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table (RE: Lit)

I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces of Humor and Some That May Not Be Funny At All

Just Kids

20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker

Don’t Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day (Gospel Coalition the Gospel Coalition)

Last Words: A Memoir

SoulPancake: Chew on Life’s Big Questions

Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson’s Muppets

Moonlight Mile

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence

The Shack (Special Hardcover Edition)

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You
23 Minutes In Hell

One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

Three Words: Mindfulness

As I mentioned yesterday, I will be breaking down my three words for the year into some action plans.  Yesterday I talked about my first word Acceleration.  Today I will be talking about Mindfulness.

To me mindfulness is not necessarily being kind to one another or minding one’s business.  I see mindfulness as being present in the moment.  It is thinking about the future but not longing on what is to come.  The example I gave the other day was about going on a trip and enjoying the trip instead of worrying about traffic or the item you forgot back home, or if it is going to be too warm or cold, or worrying about the long lines.  There are the little moments in our lives that we miss because we are too worries about the big picture instead of the small details.

Here is how I see Mindfulness playing out in my life this year:


  • Plan ahead/Setting Goals: I think we do a pretty good job in planning ahead.  We sit down and plan out when I am going to take time off and what we are going to do with our time off.  However there are still things that we need to plan ahead for and be specific about the details.  If I want to live in the moment I need to feel comfortable that everything is taken care of to the best of our ability before I can let my mind rest.  Instead of planning a month or two ahead, perhaps we need to look at 5-6 months ahead  in order to make things are really taken care of.
  • Pick up a hobby: I have had lots of hobbies over the years, I have drawn cartoons, collected baseball cards, played a variety of instruments, and played sports just to name a few.  It seems the last 6 or 7 years of my life that has gone away.  One of the biggest factors in that is having a few kids and going to graduate school and now being a pastor.  However, now that we are settled in one place for awhile I would like to pick a hobby or two back up.  I think in doing this I will be more relaxed in my life and able to not only enjoy my life but excel.

It is not about the quantity of time that I spend on a project or with my family, it is the quality.  It is possible for me to sit in the same room with my kids the whole day and not interact with one another.  They could be watching TV or playing with their toys and I could be working on the laptop or watching TV myself.  I don’t want that to happen, I want to be interacting with my kids, and my wife.  I want us to remember the good times that we have with one another, I want to laugh with them and show them how much I love them.  This is what I mean by being mindful.


  • Plan Ahead/Setting Goals: I know I have this listed in the personal section as well but I think it is important for me to use this as a goal professionally as well.  I would like to stay ahead at least one liturgical season when it comes to worship planning. I think that way I will be more present in the current season instead of worrying about what will come next.  Also I want to set goals for myself professionally so I know what I want/need to be working on in my development as a pastor.
  • Actively searching for God Moments: Like I mentioned yesterday, I want/need to be searching for God moments in my life.  Being mindful as to how God works in my life will be an amazing thing for me and I believe change my life personally as well as professionally.  I want to find a way to share these God moments with the important people in my life. I believe this blog is one way as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

When I think about this word more and more I believe that it is leading me towards a direction of preparedness in my life personally and professionally so I can take a break and see God around me.  The more I can do that the more I think I can be mindful in all that I do.

Can you help me think of other things I can do in my personal or professional life when it comes to Mindfulness?

Three Words: Acceleration

This year I will be joining the ranks of people like Chris Brogan in focusing my time and energy and my life on three words.  These words will help guide my actions and decisions as I live out 2011.  Over the next few days I will be looking at each word and expand upon my action plans in relating these words to my life.  

The first word is Acceleration.As I mentioned in my original post this is perhaps the most important word for me.  I want to move this year, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.  I want to be on the move because when I envision my actions this year I see great things happening in my life personally and professionally.

Here are some of my goals as they relate to Acceleration:


  • I want to lose weight – I have been overweight my entire life, and my goal is to be under 300 pounds by the end of the year.  So far I have joined a local gym and I am taking steps in exercising and eating right.  The gym that I joined is in Baldwinsville, so it is easy for me to get too and it is harder for me to make excuses not to go.
  • I want to get out in the community more — Most of my life is spent in the church or at home.  Granted I don’t have much more time to spare — but I do want to get out into the community more and make more connections.  In a former life (pre seminary and pre children) I would go to a lot of coffee houses and open mics and I really miss that.
  • I want to get organized —  Lately I have been watching the show Horders.  Now I don’t run the risk of being featured on that show, but I do have alot to do when it comes to organization.  I have many file cabinets full of papers from different time periods in my life and I need to consolidate and organize.


  • I need to vision — I have been working with the council and congregation on creating an identity for St. Mark’s.  We have worked together to create a vision of youth ministry and theater ministry for the congregation.  The people of St. Mark’s have pledged to help these ministries take shape through their time, talents and money.  I need to continue to discern how these ministries are going to function within the church and my role as their pastor.
  • I need to be out of the office more — There is so much to do during the week I don’t get into the community as much as  I would like too.  This year I want to make more of a presence in the community of Baldwinsville.   Instead of working on my sermon in my office I can do it in a coffee shop.  Or I can take a book and sit in Panera for awhile and read.  Whatever it is I want to be out and about and have a presence both in my office at certain times but also in the community.
  • I need to search for God Moments– At Calumet we would call any connection we had with God a God moment.  This could happen personally when you would wake up and take a look over the lake or it could happen learning groups when a camper would have a break through moment with their faith.  These moments were always amazing.  I realize that I need more God moments in my life.  One of the ways I am accomplishing this is first by making a commitment to read through the entire Bible in one year, and I will continue to move and accelerate my life as I actively search for God moments.  I believe the more God moments I find and I share, the deeper my faith as well as others will become.

These are some of the action plans that I will embark upon this year.

Can you help me think of other things I can do in my personal or professional life when it comes to Acceleration?

My 3 Words for 2011

This video reminds me that I can do anything that I put my mind too.
 I have lots of dreams in my life and I will not let anyone
 (Including MYSELF) tell me that I can't do something that I want
or feel called to do.  This video clip is a great reminder to
me that message as I stat off a new year.  

I tend to read a lot of blogs, some inspire me, some make me think, while others make me laugh or teach me something (for a listing of my favorites click here). One of the blogs that I read alot is by social media expert Chris Brogan. Chris has posted that he does not believe New Year’s resolutions help him very much, instead he is fond of choosing three words to provide a focus for the new year.

I really like the idea!! I have posted my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions, and instead of picking one word, this year I am going to pick three that I am going to use to propel me into 2011 and beyond. Here is a list of my three words:

Acceleration: This is an important one for me, I want 2011 to be about acceleration. To me this means moving constantly. I want to move, move, move all the time. I want to get things done in a timely fashion. I don’t want to sit around, I want to be up and out in the world moving. For me this also means exercise and accelerate healthy habits that will lead to a new me.

Mindfulness: This one is about being in the moment, and not constantly rehashing what has happened, or thinking about the future. To mean times we are either thinking about the past or dreaming about the future. Have you ever gone on “that trip” where you were so worried about packing and making sure you have everything and then when you start out on the trip you want to make sure you don’t hit the rush hour traffic or you want to make sure you don’t miss your flight?  Well life seems to be like that sometimes.  We are worried about getting 1000 things done that we have lost the beauty that surrounds us.  The more mindful we are about the current times the more that we will enjoy life.  I am told all the time that before I know it my children will be grown up and I will miss this time that I have with them right now.  I don’t want to miss it I want to cherish the memories that I have with them.  I need to stop and  be present.

Learning: I have been out of seminary for almost three years now (can it be that long?).  I will be the first to admit I am not one of those people who wishes they could stay in school forever.  But I do love to learn, and I want to continue to grow as a pastor as well as an individual.  I want to be a good example to my kids as they begin their schooling.  This will also be my last year in Baby Pastor School, so I will have more of an opportunity to get out there and attend a new conference or pick up a new skill as it relates to my job and to my life.  Perhaps I might go to a community college course or start taking piano lessons again.   All I know right now is that one of my goals this year is to get back into academic thinking and learning.

So there you have my three words for 2011.  Please share with me your three words, this year.  How will you guide your actions?