I am not a fan of changing churches, but 2009 was the year we made a big move. Hope Chapel is close to our home and we have been very pleased to attend there. The teaching and worship are both encouraging and challenging. We really appreciate the commitment-level of the congregation and the emphasis on mid-week "mini-church".
My son played his first year of high school baseball this year and had the privilege of playing on the Pacific Lutheran team. Although this is a small high school, the team was well coached and the players were a good group of young men. They supported each other and had fun playing the game. They had a winning season and made it to the first round of CIF playoffs for Division VII.
I attended my second Resolved Conference this past year. This year I took I my older son as well as my older daughter. This conference features top notch preachers like John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, Steve Lawson, and John MacArthur. It is a great weekend of weighty messages and impassioned worship. Enfield is the conference "house-band" and they are an incredible group of musicians.
Built on the "Breakthrough" battleground near Petersburg, Virginia, this is a state of the art historical site. We did not allocate near enough to spend at this incredible place during our summer vacation. It has a brand new museum complete with self-guided audio tours and reconstructions of period homes, farms, and embattlements. Our children loved the "hands-on" nature of the exhibits and learned more about the US Civil War in one stop here than in many years of textbooks.
I have loved fresh pineapple since my first trip to Hawaii as a 16 year-old. However, this year I discovered that Costco stocks fresh pineapple almost year round for the incredibly low price of $2.99. Since I live across the street from Costco, I have made it a habit to buy at least one fresh pineapple a week. At that price, how can you go wrong? Modern commerce amazes me at times with the ability to obtain an exotic fruit like pineapple at such a low cost.
After almost 20 years of banking with Xerox Federal Credit Union, I got fed up with the petty fees and switched to USAA Federal Savings Bank this year. And, boy, am I glad I did. Coincidentally, USAA FSB launched an iPhone app that cannot be beat. As you might guess, you can pay bills electronically from this app. But the most unexpected thing is that you can deposit checks from this app. You heard me correctly! From within the app, you snap a photo of both sides of the endorsed check and the app "scans" the photos to validate the deposit. Amazing! No more ATM deposits for me. Thanks USAA!!!
I discovered Enfield at Resolved 2008, where they released their first album O For That Day. At this year's conference, they released their second album Back to Calvary. This is one uplifting set of songs. I can't get enough of it. My favorite is a powerful version of the classic hymn Come Ye Sinners.
John Piper is one of the few sources of consistently rich content on Twitter that I am aware of. He has embraced new technology and turned it into a new medium for ministry. I am very impressed. His tweets come to my phone and I am daily inspired and challenged to turn my thoughts and focus to the Lord.
You can tell I am a big of John Piper. This website is an incredible resource for any Christian. There are over 25 years of sermons available for free download. I simply can't get enough. I am considering buying an iPod Clip so that I can listen to them on my morning runs.
My favorite movie of the year. Pixar consistently surprises me in their ability to continue to make quality movies year after year. I saw this twice in the theater and I am at the theater maybe two or three times a year at the most. A great story, a lot of fun, but also a real thinking movie for me. I have mulled over the themes in this movie quite a bit.
See the full review, "All UP in your midlife crisis".
I grew up near Anaheim and am a lifelong Angels fan. The 2009 team had another great year, so they easily make my list. Bobby Abreu was a great addition hitting out of the #2 hole. And Erick Aybar had a breakout year at shortstop hitting .310 and showing an incredible arm in the field. Vladamir Guerrero was a disappointment in probably his final year as an Angel. But Matt Palmer was a pleasant surprise and feel good story after the Nick Adenhart tragedy to begin the season. Finally, Brian Fuentes kept things exciting in the 9th inning while leading the league in saves as K-Rod's replacement. I can't wait for Spring Training 2010.
I stumbled upon this group thanks to social media this year. As a big fan of the Blasters, I really enjoy this young, new band. In the same vein as the Blasters were an unlikely roots rock band 30 years ago coming out of Downey, California, these teenagers from London, England are equally unlikely roots rockers. But roots rockers they are! These three siblings are mega-talented and have a great passion for American music.
See the full review, "The Best Roots Rock Group since the Blasters!".
Tweetdeck came out with their iPhone app just in time. With Twitter exploding, it is difficult to find valuable content in the literal cacophony of noise being blasted at any point in time. Tweetdeck has been a great help in navigating through this mess to find relevant content. Now with an iPhone version, content filtering can take place any time, anywhere; that is as long as those 150 API calls haven't been used up.
I was never much of a video camcorder guy, because of the hassle of tapes and the bulkiness of the device. Those two objections no longer apply, so I became the proud owner of a video camcorder this year. It couldn't be simpler to use and it takes great video for my non-professional needs. Now, I just need to remember to take it to more places.
See the full review, "I Wish They Had These When My Kids Were Young!!!".
I am an avid reader and do a fair amount of reading before bed, so the Amazon Kindle has been a temptation for me. However, thus far I haven't been able to stomach the $299 price tag. Fortunately, I don't have to anymore, now that the iPhone has a Kindle app. The screen isn't as big or fully functional, but it allows me to read a book any time I have a free moment. That is convenient!
I missed Peter Frampton the first time around. Oh, I am certainly old enough to have enjoyed him in his heyday. I just missed him, because I discounted his abilities. I thought he was successful because of marketing hype, so I took a pass. I regret it now, but in my defense I was only in junior high school. :-) I was very pleasantly surprised with his concert at the LA Fair this summer.
See the full review, "They Still "Carry On" and "Feel Like We Do"!".
Having seen the B-52s in 1984, it took me 25 years to see them again. A large part of my life had occurred in the intervening time and seeing this nostalgia concert afforded me the opportunity to take a retrospective of all that had taken place since the first concert.
See the full review, "Rock Lobster - 25 Years Later".
I never thought any hamburger joint would give In-N-Out Burger a run for its money, but this Santa Barbara-based chain has done just that. It is a little pricier than In-N-Out, but it has the same high quality and attention to detail that makes it such a great eating place. The Habit has a bigger menu as well, including chicken and vegetarian. I prefer to stick with the burgers though, because they are economical.
15 years ago, I seriously considered authoring a history of the private investigations into the JFK assassination. Higher priorities and a realistic assessment of my writing skills keep me from doing so. But, thankfully, now someone has done it. This is a very solid history and gives an excellent perspective into the development of alternative investigations over time. I was planning to take a more people-oriented approach, but this time-oriented approach is probably superior.
I really need to review this documentary. This DVD came out in 2007, but I did not see it until this year. The title of my review will be "The 'Hearts and Minds' of the Iraq War". It truly is as ahead of its time and groundbreaking as that Academy awarding-winning documentary about the Vietnam War. This is an important movie to see. Go out and rent it today!
Soul: The first thing to know about me is that my worldview is decidedly Christian. Therefore, my chief end in life is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. My content on this site and my life in general … more