Ninjas4Christ is an epic and fake ministry run completely by ninjas! I made this site for a skit I'm doing for HSM this weekend. Should be fun! Everybody loves ninjas!
To view the website, you must first prove that you are a real ninja by taking a short test. Try it out! It's a lot of fun :)


Character Flaws

Disclaimer: This is a pretty lengthy one, but I'm pretty sure you'll benefit from reading it. Keep in mind that when I say flaw, I'm talking about our small, negative habits that we all have. I'm not talking about addiction, abuse, or anything that you wouldn't feel comfortable with talking about with stranger (you can tell a stranger that you procrastinate). Though many of the same principles still apply.

I committed my life to Christ when I was 19. Before that, I was a mess. After I accepted Big J into my life, I suddenly had everything together and all of my character flaws where poof'd out of existence! It was amazing! I no longer had anything wrong with me and everything that was good came natural.... And then I woke up :)

In reality, accepting Christ gave me this freedom in my life, but all my problems still existed. The only thing that changed was my heart. Now it wasn't all about me and I had a purpose for life (though I didn't know what that purpose was at the time). For the first year or so, I lived on a "Born-Again-High". Basically, I ignored my flaws because I was so happy to be apart of an amazing community of other believers! Who cares about my flaws anyway? That's all they talked about at church. "Nobody is perfect! We all have our things." I was totally happy with letting Jesus take care of my flaw-bucket (an imaginary bucket that I dumb my flaws into when I don't want to deal with them) when I pass on.

It wasn't until I was doing some research on other religions (just some extra brain food) when I came across the Mormon idea of working your way into Heaven. What? You mean you have to fix your flaws to get into Heaven? "I'll do my best and let Jesus do the rest!" That was a common little rhyme that I kept reading while looking at Mormonism. This, however, is not a post about the Mormon religion. It is simply a stepping stone in my journey towards growth and a healthy relationship with God.

So, "Doing my best and letting Jesus do the rest" sounds pretty good. Right? Not really. It depends on why you're doing your best. This was a tough one for me to wrap my mind around, but I did and it really changed how I do life. There are two ways to look at this:
1. You HAVE to do your best because God commands you to. Since we're incapable of being perfect, we look at Christ's sacrifice to pick up our slack.
2. Because of Christ's sacrifice, you are MOVED by the Holy Spirit to do your best.

The first one suggests that Jesus didn't cover all of our sins. If we don't put forth an honest, human effort, Christ will have to pick up more of your slack and therefore costing you a pretty penny when you die. The second, which is what Christians believe, is saying that because you are in no way perfect, the sacrifice of Jesus will cover it all. However, once you become a true believer, the Holy Spirit will move you to live a life that honors the one who saved you. So, do you do your best because you HAVE to or because you WANT to? It should be the latter. Oh, and it should be mentioned that "Jesus does the rest" is bogus. Jesus does it all, regardless of what you do.

Where am I going with all of this? Most people I meet at church live in a third category. It's a category that basically says, "I accepted Christ and that's all I have to do." Sure, they may serve others and attend Bible studies, but are they growing? Do they still have that problem with laziness? Do they still get really annoyed with bad drivers? Are they even looking at themselves, or are they using the holy sacrifice of our Savior as a crutch. "Christ has already taken care of it, so I don't need to change." If you believe that, you can refer to the first paragraph of this blog and file both of them under "in your dreams"!

Parker Parable Time!

Lets say that you have a cell phone. You pay the bill with your own money every month. Then, the bill goes up and you realize that you can't pay it anymore! You continue to use your phone and the bills keep piling up. Finally, they're about to cut your service, so you go to your parents and let them know what's going on. They love you and want you to have a phone so you can stay in contact with them. So, they decide to hold back on buying a new mattress and instead, they pay your phone bills and all of the late fees. Not only that, they agree to pay the phone bill for the next three months.

At this point, you're super grateful and agree to call them more often! In fact, you also agree to visit every Sunday morning to spend time with them! On top of that, you go ahead and help out all of the workers at your dad's auto shop!

Things are looking good! That is, of course, until your parents get the next phone bill. You've been racking up more charges than ever before! You've been texting way too much and making long distance calls for hours at a time! The bill is enormous! Your parents love you and pay the bill. You are so grateful! You continue to work your butt off, but the bill next month isn't any better. Again, your parent's agreed to pay the bill because they love you.

When are you going to realize that Christ paid your phone bill and you're still making long distance calls to Australia for hours at a time! You should want to look at your flaws and make some changes in yourself. Nothing says, "I'm not grateful" or "I don't fully understand" more than apathy towards wanted to change. Maybe you're not grateful and therefore feel no need. Maybe you just don't fully understand the cross and have nothing to be grateful about. The bottom line is that we live in a messed up world because we are messed up. Christ died for us to move on to a perfect world, but until we pass on, we should be making changes in ourselves to glorify and thank Him.

Practical Application:

Once a month (or every few weeks), my wife and I have a deep talk about our flaws. The first thing we do is pray that God would reveal our flaws to us. Then, we begin to talk about where we struggle. I, for one, used to get ticked off at bad drivers. The key words are USED TO. Once my wife and I identified this issue, we made a commitment to change. I would no longer flip out at other drivers and she would keep me accountable with that. It took about a month of consistent awareness and discipline, but eventually, I changed. One flaw down, on to the next! Flaws can always seep their way back into your life, so make sure you have someone to keep you accountable!

We do this because we feel like it's important to be the best representatives of Christ that we can be. We don't do it because we feel like we HAVE to. We do it because we WANT to honor our Savior by sacrificing our bad habits. NEVER say, "This is my character flaw and that's just who I am." You have been adopted into God's family. You have a new identity in Christ. Represent!

Don't get me wrong, not all flaws are easy to give up! You may need to join a 12 step program or get counseling, but it's your heart that matters. Start off simple. Get with a spouse, friend, pastor, family member... and ask them to help you with a small issue. Maybe you don't trust God enough in your life. Have an accountability partner encourage you for a month. Take some actions steps and trust God in small ways. "I trust that God will get me to work safely today." Gradually trust God more, day by day. Have your accountability partner check in with you to see how you are doing. Have a goal for the end of the month and try to reach it. Your goal might be, "I trust God with this new job opportunity." It may take longer than a month, but as long as you're on the path of change and growth for the Lord, you're glorifying the One who died for you. And lets just face it, we become less annoying when we rid ourselves of bad habits and character flaws :)

Don't be the same person you were yesterday. Be a better person because of Christ.


Top 5: Answer from HSM Small Group Questionnaire

Our HSM Small Group is awesome! We were given a questionnaire by HSM (High School Ministry at Saddleback Church) to have our guys fill out. I knew there would be two types of answers: 1) A serious, heartfelt answer and 2) 99% goofing off answers. Sure enough, our guys delivered. Here are my top favorite answers from the guys in our group:

Q) List one goal you have for your life:
A) Live on the beach / never give into technology (robot war)

Q) Who are the THREE most INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE in your life and why?
A) 1. Obi Wan Kenobi - Great Wisdom - Love him
2. Father - Smart man - very good at a lot of things
3. Ben Kenobi - Great Wisdom - Love him

Q) What are TWO things that describe YOU?
A) 1. Gangbuster 2. Dog the Bounty Hunter

Q) What do you do in your free time?
A) Dance, eat pancakes, say no to drugs!

Q) What are TWO things that describe YOU?
A) 1. Its got three letters 2. It is capitalized


Family Feud

Another project for HSM. Josh Griffin hosted HSM's Family Feud last night (with awesome co-host Chris). It was 4 girls vs 4 guys. They surveyed 225 students (I think) and used the top 7 answers. The question was, "What makes you happy?" The first guy said "Money"! haha! The girls decided to play (instead of pass). Bad move on their part. They got three strikes and my new buddy, Pickle stole the game with the answer, "Sports". He may or may not have had a slight advantage by knowing me. All the guys won $10 iTunes gift cards! Awesome! Sorry girls!


Space Bar: Takes you from the logo to the game board.

Space Bar again: Takes you back to the logo.

Q: Displays the question.

1-7: Displays the corresponding answer.

Z, X, C: Displays either X, XX, or XXX for wrong answers.

R: Resets the board

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD (right click and save as)


Old Post from the Nerf Wars of 2008

About a year ago, the IT team and HSM team had a Nerf War in the office. It was pretty fun. During the war, I started a blog called Nerf Chronicles, to document all that went down. I recently came across it while deleting some old bookmarks. Here's an excerpt:

It's been weeks since our last battle. My wounds have almost completely healed, except for the heroic scar down the side of my arm. I'll have to live with it I guess. Oh well, it makes for a good conversation piece. It's not everyday you meet a man who was able to take out an entire army of nerf warriors while simultaneously wrestling two Bengal tigers into submission. It's a good thing those jet packs on the backs of the tigers malfunctioned as they did, otherwise I probably wouldn't have had enough time to disable that bomb that threatened the bus of school children hanging over the side of that cliff directly above the dynamite factory that sat between the orphanage and home for the elderly. Yeah, I got lucky.

Those were good times. You can checkout the whole ordeal at



3 Great Business Ideas

Feel free to steal these. If you make millions, I trust that you'll give me 50% out of the goodness of your heart.

Idea #1

w&w's - This requires little effort on your part when it comes to production. Simply buy a bunch of m&m's and repackage them with "w&w's" on the bag. If ever confronted by the Mars Corporation, deny everything, forge a company called, "3&3", date it back to 1940, and claim they stole the idea from you!

Idea #2

Replacement Aglets - You have to find a need in this society! What's something that everybody has and eventually falls apart over time? Exactly! Aglets! Aglets are the hard tips on the ends of shoe laces. All you need to do is manufacture cheep pieces of plastic, have some celebrity use them in a movie and BAM! You have a replacement aglet business brining in tons of money! Be like Apple and sell them in a bunch of groovy colors! You're going to want to make a profit quickly, so charge somewhere around $8.95 per replacement. Genius!

Idea #3

Teriyaki Snow Fries - Take 3 things that everybody loves. 1) Teriyaki Chicken. 2) Snow Cones. 3) French/Freedom Fries. Combine the three and you get Teriyaki Snow Fries! Just think about it! The great taste of teriyaki sauce, with the salty experience of French fries, and the delicious texture/temperature of a summer day snow cone. I smell a new menu item at Dairy Queen! The best part is, it's an all year long treat! Or better yet... Teriyaki Snow Fries on a Stick!

I have more great ideas like the ones above. Those are just a few samples to get you going. Again, if you make millions, I'm expecting 50%!


My Very First Animation!

I was digging through an old hard drive and came across my very first animation! I made it back in high school (I think I was a freshman). I used nothing but Photoshop and Final Cut Pro (key-framing). Old school! Anyway, here it is:

The song is called, "Lonely" by Akon.


My Wife After Lord of the Rings Trilogy

We just finished watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy! Hollie never fails with the crying! This is great! Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: Hollie is completely aware that I post these on youtube. She thinks it's funny. The crying is real, but after the fact, she's laughing.

A Demonstration: Forgiveness

A quick video I made with a few students last night. Thanks Jesus, Satan, and You! (Joey, Steve, and Grant).

Satan: Steve
You: Grant
Jesus: Joey
Sin: Nasty mud
Forgiveness: My wife's dirt devil


Great Advice from the Veterans

Last night was our first small group leader training night. It was awesome to see all the men, women, guys, girls, and ninjas who have such huge hearts for students. Of course there was free food, so that was a plus. We were assigned tables with other leaders to get some diverse conversations going. Our table was awesome. Some of us were fresh out of the box, while others were on their 4th year. The great thing about youth ministry at Saddleback is that everyone is clearly there for the same reason, the students. Everybody is very open to giving advice, sharing stories, and offering support. Great community.

Josh (of got up on stage and offered for some veterans to stand up, grab the mic, and give some insight to all of us n00bs. The first guy that got up gave some great advice about "life changing students". He told us about a few years ago when he told his guys that "Two of you in this group, statistically, are going to make life changing decisions during the course of this year." My initial, internal response was, "Oh, he means they're going to commit their lives to Christ." Or something happy along those lines.

As he continued his story, he revealed that those life changing decisions were not happy at all. And sure enough, two of his guys were making them. The moral of the story was that you need to make a deep connection will all of your students. They all have something going on and as their leader, it's your obligation to understand and help them. That made me think about the group I lead with Boyd. We love our guys, but do we really know their troubles? We're going to make it a goal to connect with our guys at that level.

Dennis Beckner (of got a hold of the mic and told a story about the culture that formed in his group. He talked about this giant, neon American flag hanging on the wall in their meeting room. Apparently it's pretty ugly (or that's at least that's what I imagine). One day, when Dennis walked in the group, all of the guys began singing the National Anthem. I can just picture a group of high school guys trying to stay in key! So, that became a common thing in their group. That's great because now the guys have a bit of culture that they can identify with. That's their group. They sing the National Anthem as a joke in front of a ridiculous, neon American flag. They own that and I guarantee that it brings them closer together.

There were more, but those two were my favorite. It gave me two solid goals for our group: 1. Encourage culture within the group, 2. Build those deep relationships with your guys. It kind of seems obvious that those two concepts should be applied, but when you're with a group of high school kids, it's easy to forget your goals. I'm excited!