Friday, July 08, 2005


Jasper Speaks:

So Kendra and I went to see the Fantastic Four tonight. I didn't know what to expect. I had watched the cartoon a lot as a kid. Being a large guy I always identified with The Thing. I read a scathingly bad review today and didn't know if it was even going to be worth my time.

WOW-WEE! I loved it! It was a great movie. It was the perfect summertime flick. It was full of action and comedy. Not being a comic book freak I can't speak to how well they stayed on track with the comic but I really loved the story and the execution of the film.

It is very clean and has some good things to say about friendship, acceptance, and greed. I would definitely recommend the film. I thought that the performances were good. It was the type of film that did not require a HUGE amount of talent but the five leads (including Julian McMahon as a convincing Dr. Doom) were all adequate. I would say the stand outs were Michael Chiklis' Ben Grimm and Chris Evans' Johnny Storm. The two play well off of each other and their characters respectively bring the heart and the humor to the plot.

So I say go out. Get some popcorn and sit back for a fun day at the movies. This one is totally on my must have list!

Not So Impressive

Jasper Speaks:

This has been a summer of movie going for me. It has been a mixed bag. I was pleasantly surprised at Batman Begins and not close to overwhelmed with Bewitched last week. This week brought two more films and two more completely different responses.

The first was an afternoon flick with my college buddy Travis. We haven't seen much of each other in years but he goes to my home church and we had dinner and fun with his family last night. We decided since he had the day off we should go to a movie together. We decided that Kendra and his wife Kathy wouldn't mind if we saw War of the Worlds without them. The movie had sparked my interest and so we decided that this would be the one to see together today.

This was the Bewitched of this weekend for me. I was surprised at the intensity. There were good moments but overall I came out thinking it was pretty much a slasher/horror film with aliens as the slashers. Tom Cruise might deserve the Golden Raspberry
for his performance. He had this one look of terror throughout the entire movie. While they are at it they might as well ship one over to Miss Dakota "I just scream throughout the whole movie " Fanning. She is afterall, the current most over exposed child star in the free world.

I think there were some great special effects and I must admit I was even creeped out a little by it. The way the aliens cremated the people alive was especially disturbing. However, much like Bewitched, the end of this film negated anything redeemable that came before. The absolutely laughable happy ending was cheap and ridiculous. Whereas I probably like the movie over all (I could have done with less foul language and blood) the ending spoiled the whole experience for me.

Still, in the end, I got to be with an old friend. It was a good time together as we start to restart our friendship. I just pray that future movies will be more worthy of our time.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Those Who Can't ...

>Jasper Speaks:

Well it is official. I signed my contract today to be a teacher. I don't really know how I feel about all of it. I am excited I suppose. At least now I am a little more certain about the future. Is it bad I am already looking forward to Christmas break (Which is two weeks long by the way!)?

It is the end of one thing and the beginning of another. I am thankful that God is meeting our financial needs. Soon we will be out of the basement and I will be so GLAD to finally have a home again. We will see when and if God opens a full-time ministry door for us again. For now I am happy to know I am a teacher. I start August 1st. PLEASE PRAY as I am really intimidated.

I have to start thinking like a teacher now. I am okay with that. I even visited my first teacher store in ten years today. Life will be great I am sure.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A Simple Reminder

Jasper Speaks:

I got this letter sent to me from my friend Lori whose husband Craig is serving as a chaplain in Iraq. It touched me. The man the letter is about is a friend of their's from their base who was recently wounded and sent to Walter Reed in DC to "heal". I think this letter has a great perspective as we sit in our homes and men and women are giving their all for freedom!

A Friend Speaks:

I have been debating whether or not to forward this letter on to you. Thank you for all of your prayers for our friend Chuck and his family. Please keep them up. We love you all!

A friend of Chuck's wrote this letter and put it on Chuck's website...A message from our good friend Joe Our friend Joe asked me to post this on Chuck's blog. Please take a few moments to read what he has to say. He is one of our best friends from college and we love him dearly! He has some profound words...

Thanks, Joe!

Today was an interesting day. Today I did something I had hoped that I would never have to do. Visit a Friend in the hospital. My name is Joe Eveges. I went to college with Chuck and through ROTC at Indiana Univ. of PA. As you can imagine, I have some dirt on him and he probably has more on me, but just barely.Today another old friend and I made the trip down to Walter Reed to visit and cheer him up. As far as an update on his condition, he's doing as well as can be expected. He is battered but far from broke. His spirit is up and true to form, he was making smart ass remarks and cracking jokes. The morphine seems to have increased his drooling though, but he's always done that after a beer or two, so I hardly noticed.

The reason I asked Carren to post this though, is not so that I can make jokes or give an update on his condition. Today I got a slap in the face. Today I saw my friend in a hospital bed in pain. Today as we drove around Walter Reed I saw men on crutches, mending wounds. Today I saw men who were missing an arm or a leg or both. Today I saw a portion of what it costs others, so that I and people like me, can sit in my comfy chair and bi*** about the price of gas --- so that I don't have to worry about explosions in my back yard or if the car behind me is full of C4.

Today I saw that they are doing their part and more. WE NEED TO DO OURS! We owe our soldiers our support so that they can win the victory. There is nothing that I can do or say that can thank my friend and all our soldiers for what they have done for us. Unless you have been there, and I have not, we have no inclination of what these soldiers have given in sacrifice, terror and blood. But what can I do?

I challenge everyone who reads this, DO SOMETHING!! Send the care packages, do the "any solider" program, adopt a unit, just do something. Fly the colors, welcome soldiers home, voice your support, give your time, anything. This weekend is Independence Day and for most of us reading this blog, it means a cookout, fireworks and maybe a parade. Shake that veteran's hand that is walking in the parade, buy him a cup of coffee, JUST SAY THANKS!

Shame on everyone of us who just walks by that guy in uniform in the airport without saying something to him or says "I'm to busy to get a package together". BULL! They are doing their duty, you do yours! Today I saw the effects of war and the toll for our freedom.Tomorrow I will start to do what I can to repay those who purchased my security.Will you?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A New Phase

Jasper Speaks:

So, it seems God is opening a new door for us. I received a call today from Riverview Gardens School District offering me a high school teaching position. I had previously accepted a teaching job with a tiny Christian School. That school and its salary could not provide for us unless I had a second job as well. I never signed a contract with the Christian school but I am going on Thursday to sign one with the public school.

I will be calling the Christian school and telling them that I can not work there. However, I have a dear friend (shout out to Michele Sweet) who just resigned her public teaching position and now wants to teach in a small private school. I will be suggesting they call her (or she call them) as a replacement for me. I am sure it will be a tad bit ugly in the transition but I hope they will understand that the public school will start me at double what they were going to pay. I also am concerned for them and don't want to leave them high and dry. In the end they will be getting so much more out of Michele. She is much more experienced and I know she will help take them to the next level as they would like.

I have some serious frets about all of this. It will be my first time in a classroom as the teacher. It will be my first time in the classroom other than some minor subbing jobs since my student teaching. The school district is one full of "At Risk" students. They have metal detectors. It could be an interesting year safety wise. I have a burden for kids from this type of background I just have never been outside of a church setting working with them. I suppose we will see how well it goes.

I find myself wondering what the future will hold. Is this a new path that will lead me away from Youth Ministry forever? In my heart I am still a Youth Pastor. Still, I have to work as a teacher for now. I still would love to be back in full-time m ministry permanently but that doesn't seem to be God's plan for now. Perhaps there will be a part time job out there for me. I don't know. I am trusting in His plan. Please pray that all will go with very little hindrances.