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UM Talks, 2004-2005… Video!

September 28, 2011

Here’s a link to the teachings from UM during the 2004-2005 school year. New videos are being added this month… and more descriptive titles will soon emerge.

UM Talks – Audio

September 28, 2011

Here are the old talks from my days teaching University Ministries for Malibu Pres. Right-click to download. Olé!

As Dearly Loved Children


Different Than The World

Digging In The Dirt




For God’s Glory


Dating Talk for Girls

Grace Changes Lives

Use Your Passions

Lord of the Past

Once and for All

One Thing

Playing Favorites

Ready to Judge

Rest: God’s Gift to His People

So Now What?

Start at Real

The Foundational Love of God

The Once and Future King

The Rich Root of Israel

The Valley of Dry Bones (UM Sunday)

The Walk, Pt. 1

The Walk, Pt. 2

The Will of God for You, Pt. 1

The Will of God for You, Pt. 2

Two People You Dont Want to Be


ROOM Talks

August 13, 2011

Here are all the ROOM talks, from back in the day.  Right-click to download.  Enjoy…

Children and Sons

Marriage 1_The Primary Purpose of Marriage

Marriage 2_ Submit to Mr. Myagi

Marriage 3_ The Faithfulness of God

Marriage 4_ Baloney

The Gospel

God Loves You

Making Decisions

The Tyranny of Self


The Hero’s Journey

Tithing Like a Servant v. Giving Like a Son


Room… What is It_

Fear of Giving

Colossians 1_ A Message for You

Colossians 2_ Drivers Ed and Replanting

Colossians 3_ By Him and For Him

Colossians 4_ Return to the Tree

Colossians 5_ Brussels Sprouts and MandMs

Colossians 6_ Christ in You

Colossians 7_ Chimp in a Cage

Colossians 8_ Agony

Colossians 9_ Desire

Colossians 10_ The Flim-Flam Man

Colossians 11_ Microtrauma

Colossians 12_ White is Their World

Colossians 13_ Rules Don’t Work

Colossians 14_ Anna and the Bog of Forgetfulness

Colossians 15_ Abigail and Nabal

Colossians 16_ Dearly Loved

Colossians 17_ Therefore…

Colossians 18_ Thanks for the Axehead

Colossians 19_ Tribes_ Teach & Warn

Colossians 20_ Why Are There Cheesy Christian Songs In My iTunes_

Colossians 22_ Whales, Birds and Accountants

Colossians 23_ God is a Screenwriter

Colossians 24_ The Message in Three Spheres

Old Time Disney Tommorowland Attraction Posters

June 6, 2009

WEDway PeopleMoverSpace Station X-120000 Leagues Under the SeaMonorailRocket JetsFlying SaucerSkywayAutopiaRocket to the Moon

Nina Foch

March 14, 2009

nina-amparisWhen I was at USC film school (by the way, there’s NO way to type that without it sounding pretentious), I had to take a class called, “Directing the Actor.”  I always thought acting was a waste of time and that, like Hitchcock, actors were like cattle (to his dying day Hitch denied ever saying that, but he bore the philosophy out in how he directed).  Stepping into that class, I thought it was going to be a waste of time.

Instead, it turned out great.  My teacher was a 76 year old  grande dame of Old Hollywood named Nina Foch.  She began the class by making sure we knew who she was (starred in An American in Paris, The Ten Commandments and Spartacus… she was also once married to James Lipton, now host of “Inside the Actor’s Studio”).    She then proceeded to spend the summer tearing apart our directing (how we worked with actors) and our acting (we had to act in each other’s pieces).  Brutal but, honestly… very fun.


It was fun because of Nina.  She was the embodiment of aging glamour that was rough around the edges.  Nina dressed to the nines, composed herself elegantly, spoke with distinction… and dropped f-bombs and dirty jokes at the slightest provocation.  She would blow up when some arbitrary rule of directing (or acting) was broken, yelling a bit… then would calmly return to her stasis of control, smiling with pursed lips.  A dopey kid from Texas who didn’t buy into much of the artsiness and self-importance of “the craft of acting” got charmed by this salty Dutch fading star.  It became one of my favorite classes.

Watching the Oscars this year, during their “Here’s Who Died in 2008” tribute, Nina’s picture came up.  Apparently she passed away last December at the age of  84.  She was still teaching the class, right up to her death.

Nina used to employ a phrase that I think of, and use, very often.  She used it in regards to overacting, but it works for many other occasions as well…  


“If you’re always shouting, you’re never shouting.”

nina-in-the-reedsWise woman, that Nina Foch.  As Easter approaches, keep an eye out for her playing Pharaoh’s sister — discoverer of baby Moses — in The Ten Commandments, when it airs, as it does every year, the night before Easter.


August 27, 2008

Well, the great Gabe Dixon and his band (they’re called The Gabe Dixon Band) have a new album out.  They are wonderfully fun, old-fashioned-ish, and entertaining.  I’d be hard-pressed to find a musical outfit I listen to more often than these fellers.  Enjoy this creative video.

Cowboy Coat Rack

August 27, 2008


What a fun idea for a coat rack.  I wonder how hard it would be to home-make this guy?

What a fun idea for a coat rack. I wonder how hard it would be to home-make this guy?

Batman Beginners

August 11, 2008

Kids re-enacting the Dark Knight trailer.  I bet that kid who plays the Joker grows up crazy.

The Joy of Nihilism

August 10, 2008

This Newsweek article, an interview with Woody Allen, is a fascinating study in contrasts and self-contradiction.  It’s depressing, for sure… but it’s also enlightening about how an atheistic mind lives in agony.  I really do like Allen’s movies, but this makes me hurt for the little guy.  Makes me pity poor Uncle Morty.

Puppet Morality

August 9, 2008

Pals Bobby & Tim used to record religious TV, just so we could go back later and have a nice laugh.  This was one of their better finds.  It’s about a kiddie birthday party that goes awry when the puppets hit dad’s liquor cabinet.  Bobby summed this up well: puppets can’t ad-lib. (Listen how the boy puppet shoots the wheels off of girl puppet when he says he hopes he gets a Game Boy.)

Basketball is Fundamental…

August 9, 2008


My thoughts after reading this…

*Not super exciting, but a nice expose on a “season-in-the-life.”

*Jackson’s a smart guy.

*Professional athletes are ungrateful idiots.  Period.  I mean, the instances to the contrary in this book are scant.  

*Kobe’s as bad (if not worse) as I’d thought all along.  ”Uncoachable,” Jackson says.  Uh, yeah.  

*Shaq’s a funny guy… but he still has no idea that working under an authority would help him.

*THAT’s the big problem with these guys… they think they know best and they act like no one should ever tell them what to do.  Of course arrogance is bred into them — they’ve been told all of their lives they are Superman and Rare Specimens.  But that arrogance makes them losers because they don’t trust anyone to understand them better than they do, themselves.

*I kept thinking that if I were a professional basketball player (just go with me) I would CONSTANTLY be looking at my coach going, “JUST PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.”

*This is PHIL PHREAKING JACKSON and even Dumb Butt Gary Payton doesn’t think to trust the guy.

*Phil lives in a weird world, for sure.  Dating the owner’s daughter, but living a lonely life… just odd.  

*Fun to read about the Zen Master cussing out hecklers and losing his cool.

*I didn’t need more Laker-Hating ammunition, but, well… I read it anyways.  

*Now, WHY did Phil return to this organization?

Olympic Jef!

August 9, 2008


Apparently, I’m in China.

My good old pal Brad “Titan” Iten found and posted this picture.  He says it’s me.  Who am I to argue?  How do *I* know where I’m at all the time?

Wish me luck as I compete… and pray against SARS!

Reading is FUNdamental…

August 9, 2008


Blew through “Saturday Night: A Brief History of Saturday Night Live” in two days.  Now, sometimes I find that I like bragging about how fast I read books… but I’m starting to realize that it says less about my reading ability and more about my spare time.  But, in this instance, at least, I had MANY hours of flying and lay-over on Saturday, getting to Washington.  So there.

This was, I have to say, a GREAT read.  Bill Simmons’ strong recommendation was dead on.  This was an addictive expose on the first 10 years of SNL… a cautionary tale about Fame (talking about you, Chevy)… and how hard it is to live out a creative vision in a money-driven industry.  

A couple of highlights… 

*My copy is from the library and (as the handwritten note on the cover page states), “Pages 107 through 116 aregone”.

*Someone got VERY passionate reading the book before me.  Here’s a direct quote from the book, and then (in italics) what someone hand-wrote after it…

(re: a sketch about a gooby family from the early seasons) 

The Nerds became so popular that the word nerd was added to some dictionaries.  WRONG!  ’Happy Days’ popularized the word nerd

Perhaps true… but maybe you, Prior Library Book Borrower, popularized the concept.

This same borrower angrily crossed through certain names (sorry, Brian Doyle-Murray and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss… guess s/he had a thing against hyphenates).  I guess that’s why library book records are closely monitored by the federal government.  Hope you enjoyed the book, Mr. Kaczynski!

*Here’s the author’s description of the steady decline of early (black) cast member Garrett Morris, as he succumbed to drug addiction.  Tell me if it doesn’t sound familiar: 

Garrett had apparently been hiding in the phone booth (in the halls of the SNL offices), afraid to come out.  He had developed acute symptoms of paranoia, complete with hallucinations.  He often claimed that an “invisible hypnotist robot” was controlling his actions.  Sometimes he seemed to think it was sitting on his shoulder.

Apparently, Tina Fey had either read this book, or heard these stories, first-hand, when she set about creatingTracey Jordan (Tracey Morgan) for “30 Rock.

Great read.  It’s out of print, but worth tracking down.


August 9, 2008

Here’s a link to the podcast we’ve been doing to accompany Room.  You can listen… if you want.

The Gang!

August 9, 2008


Wife K and I and our gaggle of niece and nephews (Jonah, Wyatt & Chloe).  Um, we think they’re really, really great.

I’ve got a problem…

August 9, 2008

Poor Juwan.

Reading List

August 9, 2008


Pal Steven and I hit the library, yesterday, with a list of book recommendations from one Bill Simmons.

  Here’s what we walked away with…

Ghosts of Manila by Mark Kram

Saturday Night by Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad

The Last Season by Phil Jackson 

Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World That He Made by David Halberstam

Steven took the Jordan book with him (he’s off to England) and I’m taking the rest to Tacoma.  The Saturday Night Live book is a monster, but I’m sure it’s juicy (per BSimmons’ notes) and the Jackson one will be enjoyable, if only to stoke my Kobe-disgust.  Ghosts of Manila is about the famous Ali/Frazier fight which is so famous I know nothing about it.  

Oh, I’m also reading Hamlet, but I’m not telling anybody that.

I guess I have the same problem as Juwan Howard (see above).

Wyatt James

August 9, 2008


My nephew Wyatt.  Have you EVER seen hair like this?  He looks like Harpo Marx’s understudy.

Hello, Larry

August 9, 2008

This was a failed-bit sitcom from the mid-80s.  The theme song still gets me.  Be of good cheer, Larry!  The show starred McLean Stevenson and (get this) Meadowlark Lemon.  No kidding.

Wife K and Me

August 9, 2008

Here’s me and Wife Kristin.  She’s great.  Also great is my Sweet and Cheap Seersucker Suit.  Ahoy!