hola blogworld.

i feel like we don't talk anymore. we should go out for coffee sometime and catch up. speaking of catching up... have you ever noticed the questions that people ask when they haven't seen you in a while? last week i had a lot of what i consider unusual conversation at the pepperdine lectureships. i say they are odd because i had to simplify my life in order to effectively communicate with people. most folks call this catching up. either way, i felt that giving all of the details at once would be too much for people to handle. for some reason, i don't think most people are ready for my answer when they ask, "what's been going on lately?"

my easy-for-the-sake-of-conversation answer: "things are as crazy as usual. you know me."
which typically gets a polite chuckle because most people know enough about me to know that my life is a little less than ordinary. and those that don't know me assume the same.

my you-weren't-expecting-this-much-information-now-you're-uncomfortable/bored answer: the past few months have been really interesting. i've dealt with my first murder, kiddo on drugs, signed a modeling contract, gave a motivational speech, decided to go to honduras for a mission trip, tried out for another band, had three non-students ask me for advice about joining the army and two of my kiddos start a fire, all the while developing a crush on a ladyfriend of mine.
note to friends: if you're going to stop to talk, plan on hanging out for a while.

so i guess for the sake of keeping your interest, and providing me reading material years down the road, i should go ahead and rant a little about what is posted above.

we had a murder in our spanish speaking conversation a few months ago. it was the first time i've ever contemplated quitting youth ministry. having to look at two twelve year old boys and tell them that everything is going to be all right just hours after their mother was murdered was too much to handle. i can't even begin to imagine how they feel. it's been a rough few weeks for the family, but i think as they continue to get counseling and see the overwhelming support they are getting from their church community, they are coming to terms with what has happened. i know i have been very convicted about reaching out to the family. what started out as questioning my faith has turned into a mission to do whatever i can to prove to the kiddos that there is a God that loves them. i can't say that is all for them, but i do feel convicted nonetheless. in the meantime, we have had several of the family members become christians, and our two churches have merged. also, the hispanic church has rearranged their mid week schedule so the kiddos can be more active in the youth group. i am still angry when people say that the unspeakable act had to happen so that all of the good could from it, but i have been given a new understanding to Jesus' words, "blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

we had a kiddo get busted for drugs a few weeks ago as well. they are doing better now, and the family has pretty much put the foot down. but it has forced me to re-evaluate a lot of things as a youth minister. it has helped me define how i spend my time, and caused me to re-examine my purpose and vision for why i am here. and lastly, it has given me a chance to yell at a kiddo for doing something stupid. i've realized sometimes that is all that can be heard.

on the fun end of the spectrum. i signed a professional modeling contract last month. we had church directory photos being taken and i just couldn't resist the urge to have a little fun with my staff photo. the photographer liked it so much that she asked me to sign a release so the company can use it for a portrait contest, and possibly advertising. here is the picture that got me a modeling contract.

me as dwight

now that i've made it in the modeling world, i vow to remember where i came from and give back to my community. hopefully that will help keep me grounded. antm here i come.

my other recent addition to my resume is professional motivational speaker. the cuz is coaching a pony league baseball team out in camarillo this season, and evidently they were getting beat pretty bad. so i was called in to lighten things up last week before a game with a motivational speech. i based it off of one of the greatest speeches i had heard from joe david back before a kappa softball game, and added a few of my own pieces of flare (big glasses, cleats, stirrups and a tight-fitting cubs jersey). it went something like this:

the past two games, you guys have been run-ruled, which is lame. so your coaches have hired me to come in and share some of the motivational speeches i have heard over the past eighty plus years as a member of the actual cubs organization.

#1. You must have Player Pride (PP).
every member needs to be full of PP and ready to let it out on the field. they must let it flow on the bases, in the batter's box, the outfield, the mound, and even in the dugout. when every team member is full of PP it os obvious, they can't stand still. and it leads to...
#2 Team Pride (TP)
working together as a team creates a TP that can take care of any mess no matter how big or small. when one team covers the field in TP it makes a big statement.

My Four Keys to winning a Baseball Game:
Fundamentals - throw, catch, hit, run.
Athleticism - be ready to make the big play.
Reliability - trust your teammates to back your play.
Teamwork - there's no "I" in win.

Needless to say, the Camarillo Cubs won that game, and the two since. I've been asked to come back on Weds to help coach.

If you would like me to speak to your team/office/organization please contact my booking agent.

i'm heading to honduras in june. i'm getting more excited as the date nears. i'm also getting nervous because i still need to raise some money.

audition number two: not successful. oh well, i guess i'll keep playing my own brand of acoustic ska on the porch.

all you can be.
a word of advice for all you readers that might be interested in joining the armed forces. if you do choose to sign up make sure you talk to your parents about it first, even though you might be old enough to make the decision yourself, talk to you parents. they have eighteen years invested in you, they will probably be able to help you make the wisest decision. if you do sign up for the army, don't wait until two months later to tell your parents. and lastly, get them to pay for your education.

camping out.
two of my jr high boys were building a fort in the hills and decided to start a campfire. in southern california. needless to say there were police and firemen involved, and two scared boys were taken home by the authorities. picture me with a straight face trying to explain to the two most pure-hearted boys why this was a bad idea. it's been fun trying to balance 'boys will be boys' with the seriousness of fire safety, but all things considered, i'll take this any day. at the very least, i'm working on a trip to my friends' fire station for the boys to learn about fire safety.

so i've been talking to a new ladyfriend a bunch, but unfortunately for you i am not at a place where i'm going to give details just yet. after reading through my entire blog over the past few weeks, it has become obvious that the more i mention about a ladyfriend the more painful the ending. so i'm done.

evidently this is the go-to personality test to go to. i thought it was interesting. now i can discuss my personality at dinner parties (if only i could remember what the letters stand for). anyways i am:

Your personality type is ENFP.
Extraverted (E) 61%   Introverted (I) 39%
Intuitive (N) 73%         Sensing (S) 27%
Feeling (F) 100%         Thinking (T) 0%
Perceiving (P) 82%     Judging (J) 18%

which means:

(myers-briggs results)

neil diamond.
i saw his neilness tape a segment for the jimmy kimmel show last tuesday. it was amazing. entertainers just don't entertain like that any more. here are a couple of pics my concert neighbor took on her contraband phone. eat your heart out mi hermana.

Neil Diamond 085
Neil Diamond 114

well, my season 1 of the three stooges is almost done downloading from itunes, so i guess i'm out of here..

one love, one heart.

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