Will the Orioles break a 13 year losing streak this year?

30 03 2011

April 1st is Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles. Will the April’s Fools joke be on the AL East?

Baltimore plays 16 of the 2010 MLB Playoff Teams in the month of April.  You know that means the O’s are thinking that if they can come out of April at a .500 record, “WE’VE GOT A SHOT!” The just might be able to pull off a winning record for the first time since 1997.

Hope is the drug of any sport’s pre-season. Seems like the new manager, Buck Showalter, has the team moving the right direction. They’ve added DH Vladimir Guerrero, J.J. Hardy, and Mark Reynolds to “Birdland”. The teams seems to be taking shape with Brian Matusz, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones (who took a hilarious swipe at the IRS), and Matt Wieters.

It’s not going to be easy since the AL East is the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and possibly the best analytic team in the league the Rays. What will Manny Ramirez do this season?

Showalter has to be hoping for great defense and solid performance from Guthrie, Arrieta, Bergesen, and maybe a career from Matusz.

What they really need is offense!

Andy MacPhail, the O’s president of baseball operations since ’07,  said that “Tampa Bay showed us last year you don’t have to have a payroll that’s $150 million plus,” says MacPhail. “That’s a good model for us to follow.”

Our kids loved their first trip to Camden Yard last Halloween. My dad’s been an O’s fan since I was a kid. Our new home town, Baltimore the “Greatest City in America”, is a beautiful city on the water. Camden Yard is a great ballpark and deserves a ball club that’s better than their recent record.

We plan to take the kids to several games this year (only costs us $12) and I can’t wait to see what happens!





Ear Candy Saturday

26 03 2011

Ear Candy Saturday Morning and how about starting off with a cup of coffee and some music you just haven’t gotten around to listening to yet???

The Silver SeasThe Best Things In Life

There is still something to be said for appreciating the best things in life.

Sherwood – Make It Through

Did you go to band class? This is a dreamy version of that, only hip. I kept thinking that the OK GO guys might burst through a wall and join the singing.

It’s amazing how your horizons can be expanded if you take the time to just listen! I love this song.

Choir of Young BelieversAction/Reaction

Sadly you have to click both links above to get a good sense of this song. Interesting stuff.

Cold War Kids – Audience

The Cold War Kids are playing for an audience of one. It’s not exactly the way that I would use the phrase, but it does communicate something about being human.

Pigeon John – Pink Limousine

If you don’t know Pigeon John you might need a different into. His sense of humor is an acquired taste. He and Flynn Adam do some recording as “Root Beer”.





youngest UFC champ stops thief on the day of the fight

23 03 2011

Jon Jones, a 23 year old from Rochester NY, became the youngest UFC Champ last Saturday night. I wasn’t able to see the fight, but this guy has his head on straight. His interview shows a humble guy who understands hard work. Check this out. I wish every athlete who talked about God would talk like this guy. (watch the interview at the “check this out” link above.)

The day of the fight, he & his trainers went to a nearby park to see a waterfall, but ended up stopping a thief. You can hear his trainer tell the story here.

It looks like he might have to fight his training partner, Rashad Evans next. That could be interesting.

Thursday March 24th he will be the first UFC fighter to be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno!

You can find him on Twitter@jonnybones






Ear Candy Saturday – Julian Casablancas & The Aftermath

19 03 2011

Music can communicate such honest passion about life. It has the ability to reflect what we are feeling…even when we’re not worried about getting the words right. Music can help us share what we’re going through.

It’s just sad that people let someone else tell them what music they should like. Take the time to search for something you like.

Better yet – don’t just think, “Do I like the taste?” Try asking, “What are they saying to me?” or, “How does this song affect me?”

Here’s a couple of suggestions:

Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension

Julian is the lead of The Strokes and this song is not what you might expect. The music video is even more of what you might not expect. At one point he’s seen scrawling on a black board in glowing letters: “Anger is weakness Patience is strength.” Later we see the words “Sin is honoring desire above what you know is right” and “Every positive action has a reward.”

One Eskimo – Amazing

This video is worth a second look. Live recording?

Lecrae – Just Like You

This guy is talented and he’s working hard for positive change. How many people can you say that about?

Hillsong United – Take Heart

This will give you a short clip of the song, but the whole song is a great example of artists growing. This is a studio album from a band that has recorded live for years.  I think every artist has felt misunderstood. This group has definitely gone under appreciated by some and over appreciated by others. Regardless, they definitely have recorded an album worth soaking in. In fact, I would bet that if you listened to the album without knowing who recorded it first, you would want to listen to it over and over.

Ok, it’s Saturday – don’t take any of this too seriously…honestly I’m more worried about my kids getting confused by Dora the Explorer. She was just singing, “Rock Your Body, Swing Your Elbows”…I don’t want them walking around singing “Rock Your Body”.





Weekend Worship

5 03 2011

Weekend Worship

We want to be better connected with God and with each other. That’s why we get together on the weekends for an experience we call “Weekend Worship”. We love to get into one room to sing, pray, and discuss how the Bible helps our daily life. We have a great set up for our kids! They have a fun place to learn. We screen the volunteers and provide a place you can feel comfortable.

When we get together you will hear people say that there are, “no perfect people allowed”. That’s our way of saying that we all have a past and we all have a future hope in Jesus. So please come as you are. Dress the way you’re comfortable and leave that mask at home. We like to be real with each other. Family is great when there’s honesty.

We don’t have it all figured out. Each of us came to a place of accepting the gift of grace in Jesus. We get together to celebrate it and learn more about it. Think about this: God didn’t wait until you were at your best to send Jesus. He knows who you are and what your life is like. We want to help you find the life giving love that we have found in Jesus. At City Bible Church Baltimore you will find people who enjoy real living by believing in Jesus. The weekend worship is a 90 minute experience that’s worth your time!

We would love to see you there!





Ear Candy Saturday

5 03 2011

Ear Candy Saturday Morning and how about starting off with a cup of coffee and some music you just haven’t gotten around to listening to yet?

Alberta Cross – Taking Control

Matt and Kim – Cameras

Kari Jobe – You Are For Me

The Civil Wars – Barton Hallow

Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On

Why do so many people find it difficult to be honest about the music they like?





What my daughter’s tooth taught me about church

1 03 2011

Unfortunately, our little girl recently had a bad experience with an oral surgeon stumped by one of her baby teeth.

Due to her age, an allergy to a medication, and an apparent lack of dental professionals with common sense in Baltimore City…we ended up driving 26 miles. You see the dentist recommended that a baby tooth be pulled. The oral surgeon who was recommended to us, he just had no common sense when it comes to kids. Poor little girl had a bad experience.

Thankfully we found an amazing Oral Surgeon with a Harvard education, spectacular staff, common sense, and a real compassion for kids: Jennifer Forshey.

Here’s what she understands that others did not, and how I think it applies to church. It’s a long story and I won’t make you suffer the details. Please consider this: I went through more than 130 oral surgeons to find the right one. Will the average person put that kind of effort into looking for your church? If they do, what will they find?

1. Anxiety

Our little girl had a bad experience and as a result she had a whole lot of anxiety. There are many ways this was addressed. The compassion felt from everyone involved made a big difference. This also meant that they had current technology so that our little girl could go to sleep without seeing a needle. This meant solutions designed with the patient in mind. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had bad experiences in church. I understand why people don’t want to try a new church or go back to an old one.

  • Can people feel that you care (because you actually do)?
  • Does your method of delivery take into consideration what they are feeling and thinking?
  • Do you use technology in a way to communicate that you want to make it easier for them?

2. Team

The staff was well trained, asked questions, and listened with compassion. I cannot say this enough. Many of the people who answered the phone in other Oral Surgeon offices were, well in a word terrible! When I explained, to one office, that our daughter had a bad experience with a male surgeon and I wanted her to see a FEMALE surgeon…they said no problem and scheduled us to see Ms.____. Yet when we showed up this morning for that appointment that particular female surgeon was on vacation for a week! Every person on a team matters!

  • Do people believe that each of your team members are there to help them?
  • Do your team members ask questions and listen?
  • Do your team members understand why you exist?
  • What have you done to help your team members connect the dots?

3. Process

Their process was stream lined to help you. Each staff member was compassionate and clearly leading you down the path to the solution we wanted! They asked us qualifying questions and asked for a commitment (“closed the sale”). The web site is clean and easy to use. They use it for you to fill out your initial forms, spending less time in the “waiting room”. It was much quicker than filling out a form in an office! You believed that you were actually being helped.

  • Does your process feel simple?
  • Does your process move people toward the goal?
  • Do you ask for commitment?
  • Do people believe that they are being served?

Please understand that I do not write this with the thought that we “have it all figured out”. Quite the opposite. We are working hard and building slow because we know that we have plenty to learn. We are asking hard questions and working our tails off to find the answers.