Great 8


Miami’s Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Brown-, I mean Bosh, have already been hailed as the NBA’s next dynasty. And since “The Decision”, much speculation has swirled about not just if they can win a championship, but how many. Full disclosure, I’m a Cavs fan, so this post might have a hint of spite.

But while he was with the Cavs and winning back to back MVP awards, people were still saying that LeBron wouldn’t be considered a ‘legend’ until he wins a championship. It’s true that championships are what legends are made of in the NBA. Kobe has 5, Jordan has 6, and Russell has 11. So really, according to that standard, the players on this list are more legendary than Miami’s Big 3 combined, right?

1. Mark Aguirre
Total Titles: 2

Pistons – ’89-’90


2. Will Perdue
Total Titles: 4
Bulls (3) – ’91-’93; Spurs (1) – ’99


3. Sam Cassell
Total Titles: 3
Rockets (2) – ’94, 95; Celtics (1) – ’08


4. Jud Buechler
Total Titles: 3
Bulls – ’96-’98 ___________________________________

5. Travis Knight
Total Titles: 2
Lakers – ’00-’01


6. Malik Rose
Total Titles: 2
Spurs – ’03-’05


7. Darko Milicic
Total Titles: 1*
Pistons – ’04

*More than LeBron James and Chris Bosh combined and tied w/Dwayne Wade ___________________________________

8. Adam Morrison
Total Titles: 2
Lakers – ’09-’10


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College Football Weekly – Week 7

After taking a week off, we’re back and still talking about college football in Week 7 of our series, “College Football Weekly.” This week, we: hand out mid-season team grades; look back at some ‘what were you thinking’ moments; get caught up with the standings; as well as pick games including: Texas/Nebraska, Ohio State/Wisconsin, Arkansas/Auburn, and 4 others.

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Great 8


Last week, our entire Student Ministries team went down to Atlanta, GA for the annual Catalyst conference. There were a lot of cool things that we saw and heard while we were down there (as well as on the way down and back). Here are the highlights in no order whatsoever.

1. 24 Hours in a Van – We rented a 12 passenger van for all 10 of us and drove 12 hours down and 12 hours back. And a game that we literally played all the way down to Atlanta was the “Letter Game” compliments of Tyler Stanton’s Trip Tips. We played: Football, Music, and Basketball. And come to think of it, I’m pretty sure it’s still Matt’s turn.

2. Guy Being Shot Across Arena From A Cannon. Yep, that’s it.

3. The Sessions – They were very challenging and each speaker brought his/her own take on the theme: The Tension is Good. Favorites were:

Andy Stanley (pastor) bringing a new take on the Jacob/Esau/Birthright story

Craig Groeschel (pastor) challenging both old and young leaders to work
together and learn from each other

Seth Godin (blogger, author) raising some good questions about creating and being creative

Daniel Pink (author) changing the way we (as leaders) look at motivation

4. Tripp and Tyler – Knowing these guys would be there was 42% of my excitement for going to my first Catalyst ever. They’ve made some of the funniest videos and many of them have been made specifically for Catalyst, which I’ve had to enjoy by way of YouTube. And from them walking around with bowl-cuts (*see below), repelling in from the ceiling (100ft above), to leading the entire audience in a ‘rousing’ rendition of “We Aren’t the World (We are the Christians)”, they brought the funny (*again, see below).

5. “Not Afraid” – Catalyst Opener – It started with pitch black. Then a violin. Then a drum machine. Then a beat-box. Then a keyboard. Then some singers. Then a children’s choir. Then a rapper. It wasn’t until the choir started in with, “I’m not afraid; to take a stand…” that I realized what song it was. And once I recognized the song, I wasn’t sure if the whole experience was real. But it WAS real, and it was fantastic.

6. Dude Beatboxing – At one point in-between sessions, the DJ grabbed the microphone and started doing some beatboxing. The dude was crazy and once he starts into his self-proclaimed ‘impossible beat’, it just gets ridiculous. Don’t think so? Try it and see if what comes out of your mouth sounds anything like what comes out of his.

7. Michael Jr. – Comedian – I like stand-up comedy. I’m not really that big of a fan of ‘Christian’ comedy. But this guy he went up right before Andy Stanley closed the conference and the whole place was laughing (myself included). I guess he was on Leno and some other big venues and I can see why. The guy’s just funny. And he made a documentary about going into a prison, skid row (in LA), and some other forgotten places to do his comedy. Check it out here, and check out his set from Catalyst West 2010 that is pretty similar to the set he did in Atlanta for us.

8. Korean Karaoke – Sometimes as a team, you have those moments where you only have to say a couple words to anyone on that team and you’re instantly transported to a place or a memory. For those of us on this trip, “Korean” and “Karaoke” are those two words. Laughing until we cried. Wondering what was behind “Door #3”. Singing along to songs like: Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise” (me); Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” (me and Carter); Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (all); Toto’s “Africa” (RAD); and many others. More memories, but not enough space to tell.

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College Football Weekly- Week 4

EPISODE 4 – Topics Include: who we think is college football’s top coach; best match-up to see in-person; best game-day atmosphere; and pick winners from the following games: Cal/Arizona; Stanford/Notre Dame; West Virginia/LSU; South Carolina/Auburn, Oregon State/Boise State, and Alabama/Arkansas.

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College Football Weekly – Week 3

After taking too much time throughout the week talking about college football and how the ‘experts’ don’t know anything and we know it all (…tumbleweed blows by…), we decided to actually put our conversations on video and prove we know it all (cough, cough). On the left is Nick Cleveland, our High School pastor, in the middle is Jesse Sansom, a senior in HSM, and me.

We’re up to Episode 3 (below), but I’ve put all 3 episodes into this post and will be posting each subsequent episode every Friday. Check ’em out, and if you have any suggestions or sarcastic remarks, please, leave them in the comments section!

EPISODE 3 – Topics Include: Denard Robinson and the early Heisman picks; which teams are surprising and disappointing so far, as well as which teams we think are overachieving and underachieving; and pick winners from the following games: Georgia Tech/North Carolina; Clemson/Auburn; Arkansas/Georgia; Iowa/Arizona; and Texas/Texas Tech.

EPISODE 2 – Topics Include: the Reggie Bush/Heisman situation; whether or not Boise State is a national title contender; and pick winners from the following games: Michigan/Notre Dame, Georgia/South Carolina; Oregon/Tennessee; Penn State/Alabama; Florida State/Oklahoma; and Miami/Ohio State.

EPISODE 1 – Topics Include: the Big 10 expansion, BCS Bowl predictions, and pick winners from the following games: Colorado/Colorado State; SMU/Texas Tech; Uconn/Michigan; North Carolina/LSU; Oregon State/TCU; and Boise State/Virginia Tech.

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MSM Mission Trip – Dayton Recap Vid

We (Middle School Ministries) went on a mission trip in July to Dayton, Ohio to partner with a church plant for some local service projects and other ways to help them reach their community. We took 20 7th and 8th graders and here’s our recap video of the week.

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Summer Series – “Basic Training”

This past summer, we did a series called Basic Training. It was a military-themed series that spanned from June to September. The whole theme was pointing to the fact that in the military, ‘basic training’ is designed to teach the recruits the ‘basics’ of being a soldier so that when they are finished, they will be ready to be the best soldier they can be.

We believed that we could use the summer to put our students through our own version of ‘basic training.’ We combined the Simply Youth H.A.B.I.T.S. series, their Welcome to the Planet (5 Purposes), threw in a Beyond Camp review, a Dayton Mission Trip review and you’ve got our summer. Here are some of the elements that we used for our series.

FIELD GUIDE: We also gave them a 5-day devotional (written by myself and our summer intern) that was given to them every Sunday that dealt with the topic we covered that day. We called it the “Field Guide” and was a highlight for us in Middle School because it connected what we talked about on Sunday to Scripture through questions about Scripture written specifically for Middle School Students.

DECORATIONS: Since we knew we’d be in this series for the whole summer, we decided to spend some cashola on some ‘set design.’ We hit up an Army-Navy store and got: a 20ft x 10ft camouflage tarp that we cut out giant letters (BASIC TRAINING), taped them on the tarp, and hung it as a backdrop; 3 recruiting posters, an American flag, some camo netting, a military-style cot on the stage (with a camo sleeping bag), and a Marine uniform from one of our adult leaders. It helped set the scene and was a nice change from the ‘normal’ set up.

ARTWORK: We had 3 primary slides that we used throughout the Summer: The main slide, the ‘notes’ slide (for the message), and the slide that we used as a background for our worship songs. Each had a camo background, but the 2 secondary slides had a slightly different twist. Below is the main slide, and all of our artwork was done by our resident artwork guru, Janet Beaver.

BUMPER VIDEO: For this series, we decided to make a video that we would play before message. We tried to incorporate the military scenes with what we were doing and below is what we came up with. It was put together with clips from a documentary by Canaan Brumley called, “Ears, Open. Eyeballs, Click.”

It was a long summer, but a good one. We as a Middle School team feel like we’re ready for the fall, and after this series, we feel like the students are too.

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