New Youth Site

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The youth of Eastgate, better known as Crash, have a brand new website and it rocks!  You might be wondering why in the world this would be Wonderwhat post worthy?  Well, I am glad you asked!

Some of you lovely readers are parents of high school students or students who are soon to be in upper hallows of senior high and you will no doubt be interested in some of the new offerings of the site.  First of all we have a parents section called “Rents”.  Here you will find up to date info on parent meetings, movie/game/music reviews and a lot of other useful tips on how to watch out for your kids in this digital age.  There is also a “Sports” section where we are asking the youth to add their schedules so everyone can come out and cheer them on.  You might also want to check out the “Events” page to find out the latest in upcoming Crashstatic events & download permission slips, etc.

Hope you dig the new site and please visit often.

Click Here to launch site.

Drop Some Pics!

Calling all Eastgate shooters, cameramen (and women) and children of all ages!! We want your PHOTO’s!

We have just set up a flickr group where you can jump in, join and upload your Eastgate related photo’s. We love to see all your smiling faces so please show us what you shot. There are no rules really, you can upload shots from Burning House, Surf N Grill or any Eastgate related service, or function. It is really that easy. Oh and you don’t need to be a pro either, ANYBODY WITH A CAMERA is invited!

Simply CLICK HERE to get started!

The Net: Good vs. Evil Part 1

Not long ago the height of church technology was some glass and a light bulb affectionately known as an overhead projector. Services weren’t centered around multi media, electric guitars or video clips, they were centered around Jesus. They were centered around Jesus but dang were they boring! I vividly remember sitting on a hard wooden bench (called a pew, why? I have no idea) listening to a fat white guy screaming at us about a myriad of sins we supposedly committed. Looking back I would have been stoked if an impromptu Black Sabbath laser light show would have magically appeared from the choir loft, or pyrotechnics shot from the pastors finger tips when he preached on fire and brimstone. Unfortunately none of that stuff happened, and my stay at church was short lived.

Now a days we have rows of computers, websites, MP3’s, and online churches. Are we better for it? We definitely can be, in the end it’s all about how you utilize the technology that will determine whether it’s an uplifting thing in your life or a drain. I am a massive consumer of all things tech. Most would call me a tech nerd, and I would agree. Below is a short list of the ways I use technology to better understand our King.

1. Biblegatway.com: your one stop bible spot. You can get everything here from nearly all the translations to commentaries, to the bible translated into nearly every language you could imagine. Tired of reading? No worries, you can listen to the bible at Bible Gateway.

2. itunes.com: I listen to a ton of music, but I listen to even more podcasts and they are all FREE on itunes. No, you don’t need an ipod, you can listen to them right on your computer and whats more you can even transform them into mp3’s at media-convert.com and put them on a CD for your car. [For your consideration, I download and listen to podcasts from: theROOT, Andy Stanly, Mosaic, Jim Bakker’s Revolution Church, Mars Hill (both Mark Driscoll, and Rob Bell), and of course This American Life]

3. Blogs: I subscribe to about a hundred blogs. Some are tech related but most of them are pastors scribbling down different thoughts and feelings related to faith, the church, life and just about anything else you could think of. One of my favorite blogs is The Prodigal Jon, and you can check out my blogroll (a list of bloggers who are awesome) at LiveSalty.com on the left hand side. To get the best of the best you can hit up SpitBox Magazine, and peruse the massive archive.

4. YouVersion.com: A Bible website with a twist. This site gives you the ability to go through the bible, take notes, send info to friends and family and collaborate with other community members. This site is still in Beta format, but you can still get a feel for what it is going to be when it fully launches.

Having all these tools at my fingertips has truly been a blessing in my life. It has cut my research time down dramatically while being entertaining at the same time. Jump in and check out the world that is WWW, but make sure you keep your common sense hat on because anybody can build a website and state everything as absolute fact.

Next Up: The Net: Parental Advisory

Hope Is Rampant

My heart has always been with the oppressed, the rejected, the easily dismissed. I believe it is where God is and I truly believe we could all see Him more clearly if we were able to get our hands dirty.

At the latter part of last year I read an article on my friend Darla’s blog about a guy who mends peoples tattered garments once a month using an old ice cream cart. Call me stupid but it was in that moment (I was 32 years old) when a radical thought occurred to me. I do not have to wait for a group to be Christ to others. This may be an everyday thought for you but I am slower than the average earthling and this struck me as a truly profound thought.

A month later I decided to embark on my own project. I decided to try to put myself in the shoes of those who do not have “modern day” transportation. I rode my bike everywhere I went for a full 7 days and I collected funds to give to a small handful of organizations. Generous people sponsored me by the mile or for the whole ride and the money was given to these groups who utilized the funds for good. I called this project HopeisRampant.

The strange thing was a few people were reading my blog and when I posted my daily video’s about my two wheeled adventure those same awesome people began reposting them, I mean I asked them to but I never thought anyone would actually do it! Then a few people wrote me and explained that my bike ride inspired them to do this or that and I was floored!

The math equation went like this: A guy from far away + a converted ice cream cart = a chubby polish guy riding his bike for a week + a video camera = other people giving back and doing good and loving people.

I hate math but I love that kind of equation!

The more and more I prayed about my next project (I wanted HiR to be a quarterly personal project) the more and more I found out about awesome people doing awesome things all over the world and I began to want to share that with everyone I came in contact with. So more prayer and many moons later I began to think of HiR as something altogether different. What if it could be a spotlight for those who are doing something to make this planet a better place? What if we could get a megaphone and stand on top of some building somewhere and shout to the world what these amazing, selfless people were out there doing, everyday in every city in the world?

And so hopeisrampant.com was born.

Please join me in this journey. Be our myspace or virb friend and pray for what we are doing. We are currently just a small band of broken wind up toys but I believe God will bring others along side us who have the same vision for good news.

We also are asking people to send us emails if they know of a person or organization who are doing wonderful things both on a small basis and world wide.

Also read (and subscribe) to our online magazine, it is absolutely FREE and without ads or political pressures.

Join the movement for our currency is love!

Grace for Jim Bakker

Jim Bakker is a good man, there I said it. Yeah, he had the whole PTL scandal and I am not excusing his actions but when people are face to face with grace it changes them. This is the very thing that happened to Jim Bakker.

If you remember anything about the late 80’s you probably remember the scandal that rocked Christianity to it’s core. The ‘Golden Boy’ Jim Bakker lost everything because of an extra marital affair and was then arrested for fraud. I wasn’t even a Christian at the time and I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember thinking ‘that holy guy who asked everybody for money on TV got caught’. I thought he got what he deserved.

Fast forward 20 years. To tell you the truth, I haven’t thought that much about Jim over that time frame, I mean who could blame me, it’s been a long time and after all I do have a life. So it was a bit of a surprise when I hit play on my ipod to listen to a sermon by Jim’s son Jay and Jay flipped it up on me. He introduced his old man, and Jim stepped up to the mic in a smoked filled bar (Jay pastors a church that meets in a Brooklyn bar) to preach a sermon that would stir my soul.

He spoke about how for the first time in his life he understands grace. He goes on to explain that he has only been ‘living in grace for the past three weeks’ and it has radically rocked his world. He describes how he always thought he had to measure up, for the audience, for his family, for God. He never understood that he was ultimately loved and there was nothing he could do about it. Nothing he could do to be loved more, and nothing he could do to be loved less. He was a man who preached to millions and didn’t even get it. He was bound, and then he found freedom!

I can see why people flocked to hear him speak. His voice quivers at just the right moment and he is so transparent he is invisible. It is a wonderful thing to see a man restored. We all make our mistakes and thanfully, grace is the gasoline of life.

Isn’t it a wonderful thing that our God is in the forgiveness business.

Book Club INFO

Hello all you Wonderwhaters!

We finished up Brennan Mannings “Ragamuffin Gospel” and Monday we will be starting our new book “Velvet Elvis” by Rob Bell.  I hope you will all swing by Books A Million and pick up a copy!  Click the “BOOK CLUB” link in the navigation bar above to check out the suggested reading schedule and date for our next meeting.

You are going to dig this book!