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9.27.2007

the office--season premiere

The only can't-miss show in the Simmons house right now is The Office, which premiers tonight at 8pm on NBC. It's a mockumentary (meaning a fake documentary/reality show) about the office of Dunder-Mifflin, a paper company in Scranton, PA. Like all sitcoms, it has some moments that make you cringe. But, it also has some legitimately hilarious moments as well. In case you've never seen it but want to start watching, here's a synopsis of the characters:

Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is the regional manager of the Scranton branch of the fictional paper distribution company Dunder-Mifflin. He is socially awkward, has few friends, and is quite lonely. He thinks of himself as an office comedian and his attempts at humor reflect his desperate wish to be liked. But they prove unfunny at best and are often inappropriate, and sometimes offensive or unwittingly mean. Much of the humor of his character derives from his lack of self-awareness, which is highlighted by the awkward situations he creates for himself and his inability to extricate himself from them. His subordinates all think of him as a complete screw-up.

Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) is a salesman at Dunder Mifflin. He holds the title of "Assistant to the Regional Manager" and is the second-in-command to the Regional Manager, Michael Scott. Dwight craves authority over others and relishes any minor task that Michael or any anyone else gives him. Though Dwight acts like a know-it-all, he is actually quite gullible and naive. For this reason, he is easily tricked and tormented by his desk-mate and fellow salesman Jim Halpert. Much to Dwight's displeasure, Jim holds Dwight's former position of "Assistant Regional Manager" and is the second-in-command to the Regional Manager.

Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), a five-year veteran of Dunder Mifflin, spends much of his time conspiring with office receptionist Pam Beesly to engineer pranks on his overbearing deskmate Dwight Schrute. Much of the dramatic content of the show derives from Jim's secret crush on Pam. It is often implied through the context of Jim's comments that he dislikes his job, and even sometimes regrets his office pranks on Dwight, but stays only because of his hope to be with Pam.

Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) is the friendly but often frustrated receptionist Dunder Mifflin. She can seem shy or hesitant to speak her mind, but enjoys chatting with her best friend, salesman Jim Halpert. She often helps Jim play pranks on his deskmate Dwight Schrute. She was previously engaged to Roy Anderson, a Dunder Mifflin warehouse employee, for three years.

Below, you'll find the best office scenes to date...

9.20.2007

kristie braselton's blog

If you haven't found Kristie Braselton's blog yet, you really should check it out. She doesn't post as much as her readers would like (I guess having three kids three years old and under will restrict you), but what she writes is insightful and funny. In case you don't know Kristie, she's a good friend of mine and her husband, Matthew, is one of my closest friends (the picture above is of their family pre-Benjamin). She's a talented songwriter and has an incredible heart for people. If you ever come to the EVBC bookstore, make sure to pick up one of her CDs. Check out the blog...you'll dig it.

9.17.2007

toms shoes

I recently heard of a great cause that I think is worth sharing about. It's called Toms Shoes. Toms is a company started by Blake Mycoskie, a young, Christian entrepreneur who wanted to start a company and make a difference in the world. For every pair of Toms that is sold, a pair is given to a child in a developing country that doesn't have shoes. No percentages. No complicated formula. Just giving away shoes (over 10,000 have been given away so far). Apparently, business has taken off and lots of people are being helped. Below, you can view a video of the "shoe drop" they did in Argentina. Very cool.

9.12.2007

ask pastor john

Anybody who has read this blog for any period of time knows that I've greatly benefited from John Piper's ministry. Now there's another resource (free, like always) called "Ask Pastor John," where Piper gives short answers to interesting questions, three times a week.

You'll hear answers to questions like:

-What happens to those who have never heard the gospel?
-What will we remember in heaven?
-Why is it important to know that God chose us first?
-How can we cultivate a heart for the unreached?
-Do you believe in capital punishment?

Beyond this, there are many more and it's constantly updated. Enjoy!

9.10.2007

broncos 15, bills 14

Nothing better than an opening day win by the Denver Broncos. And this one in dramatic fashion.

If you haven't seen how this game ended, make sure to check it out. This is a crazy finish.

Watch the video highlights here.

9.06.2007

area ministry kickoff

This Sunday marks a big day in the life of East Valley Bible Church, and a big day in my life. Nearly two years ago, the vision for Area Ministry (doing ministry out in the communities more than on the church campus) was born. Since then, many have worked hard to get our church in a place to go public with this approach to ministry. This week, the kickoff begins. Below is a brief description of each week. If you're local, I hope you'll join us for this exciting series and I hope you'll participate in the ministry in your community.

9/9 – Making Room for Life
Examining how the busy, overwhelmed pace of life keeps us from investing in the lives of others, both for healthy community and mission. Challenging people to examine whether that kind of lifestyle allows us to maximize our lives for the sake of God’s kingdom.

9/16 – Area Ministry Overview
Explaining Area Ministry and how it seeks to help us deal with our fast-paced lifestyles and invest in those God has put in our spheres of influence. This week will answer many of the practical questions people have about this approach.

9/23 – Theology of Community
Exploring the theological and biblical reasons that we need each other, and the importance of living out the one anothers of the Bible.

9/30 – Living on Mission
Discussing how God’s kingdom can spread in our communities through loving people, serving their needs, sharing the Gospel and doing good works of compassion.

9.04.2007

poor michigan

I was saddened for the Big Ten after Michigan's loss. My friend Alan, a regular blog reader, sent me this hilarious picture.