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XBOX 360 Elite For Free

Friday, August 31, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Ok, I've seen those offers with the free iPods and stuff before and never went for it. But, I saw this on Tim Schmoyer's blog yesterday and had to try it. Tim's checked it out pretty extensively and it's legit. Here's the deal. You sign up with this website, try one of several offers (many are free trials of stuff), and then refer other people to do the same.

So, if you want to help me out so I can get a free video game system that I can't afford, here's what you do:

Step 1: Click on my referral link here: http://www.360Elite4free.com/index.php?ref=4049550

Step 2: Sign up and choose an account type (referral is easiest)

Step 3: Complete one offer on their site and refer your required amount of people (8-13, depending on system) to do the same.

Step 4: Get your XBOX 360 Elite for free.

Got it? I need 12 referrals to get my XBOX so I'd appreciate you checking it out!

(SO to Tim Schmoyer)


Weather Report

Thursday, August 30, 2007 by Mike Lovato

It was stinking hot today! In fact right now it is 12:15am and 83 degrees outside. I'm ready for winter!


Tough Times

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Things are a little rough in LovatoLand at the moment. We're in a bit of a waiting period to find out what's going on with my wife's health. You can read what she said about it here. We appreciate your prayers.



by Mike Lovato

There are many days I don't feel productive. I'll have been in my office for 7 or 8 hours that day and yet feel like I've accomplished very little. Yesterday could have been one of those days.

The day started off with my car not starting. Zane (the car's name) has been teasing me for awhile that he will not start one day and yesterday he decided to deliver. So, I worked from home in the morning while Nicole got ready and bought groceries. I actually knocked out a lot of stuff in the morning: did message prep (we're doing an SYM series called Hooked), signed up for a Highrise account, and brainstormed a bunch of stuff out that was on my mind.

Then, I had lunch and Nicole dropped me at church. I get there to discover that none of my outlets in my office work. You see, we're in the middle of a remodel project and evidently they needed to shut power off to the half of a building that several of our offices are in. A couple secretaries had already gone home to work from there. I worked until my laptop ran out of juice.

Then, Lucas came by and picked me up. We went over to Sips for an iced mocha and had some great conversation about stuff that's going on in our ministry right now and thought through the decor of our new jr. high room. It was well-spent time.

Then, we decided to go out and price a bunch of the materials and paint we'll need to make this new room sweet. This involved a trip to Home Depot, Target, and a couple furniture stores. I'm pretty excited about what it's going to look like when it's all done. I'll post some pics of the progress.

Anyways, it was a very non-typical day for me, but I felt like a lot was accomplished. Maybe my power should be out more often...


Just Found This Picture

Sunday, August 26, 2007 by Mike Lovato

"Um, excuse me, I believe I ordered the large cappuccino?"



by Mike Lovato

Here's the low-down on today at church:
  • First day with our main quad area torn up for our construction project. Lots of people discovering new routes to drop off their preschoolers/kids and to find their Bible studies. I saw one family randomly walking around for like ten or twenty minutes.
  • Had our highest high school attendance in over a year. Lots of energy this morning, music was great, and our Bible study groups seem to have gone well.
  • Nicole and I had lunch with Brianna, one of the students heading up our worship team. I'm really excited as we've added some new people this year that will shift our "feel" a bit.
  • Our college ministry and jr. high ministry each have "new" rooms this week. The construction crew tore down a couple walls, giving us bigger expanded rooms. I hear it went pretty well except there's still random outlets hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room.


Naming Help

Saturday, August 25, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Ok, so I'm trying to rename this program we have that we're trying to re-invent. Here's the short version:

Meets once every 2-3 months
Meets in a student's home on a Sunday night
Agenda: 45 minutes of hanging out/snacks, 30-45 minutes of student-led worship, 5-10 minutes of student-led devotion

Here's where I need your help. I'm in a rut trying to figure out a name for this thing. So, please give me some comments with your suggestions (even if you're just normally a lurker here). Our high school ministry name is The Journey, but this program's name may or may not relate to that.



Laundry Woes

Thursday, August 23, 2007 by Mike Lovato

We don't have a washing machine at home so Nicole gets the lovely task of going to the laundromat each week. She called me the other day to inform me that there was a pen in the washer she used and now just about every pair of jeans we own is ruined. Fun. I'm really hoping I didn't leave a pen in my jeans. Today we tried to get the stain out with some hard-core Oxiclean stuff. Didn't work. Time to get new jeans.

Least Favorite

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I think one of my least favorite things in youth ministry is finding drivers for events. Our church's insurance requires them to be 25 so that already eliminates some people. We're heading to the beach tomorrow and I currently have seatbelts for all but two students who signed up. Plus there are another six I've put on a waiting list since we don't have enough room. Just waiting on a phone call or two that I hope come through.



Sunday, August 19, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I've been thinking a little bit since we've been back from our London mission trip. There's something very fulfilling about time on a mission trip. We just would get up every day and head out to see what God had for us. Yes, there were plans and projects, but each day felt very different. It was a cool sense of "doing what you're supposed to be doing."

Then I get back home and have to deal with e-mails and budgets and unhappy parents and ministry decisions and conflict.....and it's draining. I somehow yearn for being back in that mode of just getting up each day ready to tackle the new adventure. Yet I know that God is working through even the frustrations of this week.

God is showing up through:
  • A student named Ryan who is showing more interest in getting connected
  • An energy and enthusiasm in our 11:00 service
  • A great message by my senior pastor today that was both challenging and encouraging at the same time
  • The feel of a fresh start in our college ministry
  • Leaders (Lucas, Jon, Ben, Chris) who are stepping up, growing, and moving us forward together

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Mystery Road Trip

Friday, August 17, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Spent today on a Mystery Road Trip with some of our high school students. Ben pretty much put the whole thing together and it was a sweet day. Here's what we did:

Mall Hunt for Drivers
"Don't Act Your Age Games" at park
BBQ hot dogs at park
Drive to Hollywood
Hollywood Scavenger Hunt
Bowling at Lucky Strike
Roller-skating at World on Wheels - short note here: I was one of the winners at Red Light, Green Light and am now the proud owner of a tambourine and a Black Music Month cd, among a few other items.
In-n-Out Burger
Ultimate Frisbee at a park in Culver City

NOTE: If you look closely at this picture, it looks like our students have zombie eyes. I apologize. First they had demon eyes and I tried to remove the red-eye, but it just gave them white zombie eyes. Enjoy.


London Pics

by Mike Lovato

I'm a little slow, but I just noticed that Nicole has posted a bunch of our London pics. Go check them out at our London blog.


Jet Lag

Thursday, August 16, 2007 by Mike Lovato

Well, I was hoping to sleep through the night, but here it is at 4:57am and I'm up. I did just discover that Saved by the Bell is on right now though. It's 80 degrees in my bedroom which doesn't help with the whole sleeping thing. I'm not sure what I'm really posting about at the moment, I'm just awake really early and wanted the world to know.


I'm Back

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 by Mike Lovato

I'm back from London! We had a great time and lots of cool experiences. We got into LA at about 6:30 last night and home to Riverside around 9. Then I woke up for the first time at 3 something this morning, then 4 something, then 5 something. Nicole and I decided to get up at around 5:30 and watch some TV. We have youth stuff at church tonight, but all I have to do is share for a few minutes about London. Our high school intern, Ben, has planned out the whole night. And I'm glad because I may be falling asleep in the back of the room!

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London Calling

Thursday, August 02, 2007 by Mike Lovato

In less than 36 hours, I'll be on a plane headed for London. I'd appreciate your prayers. My posting here will be pretty light, but please check out our London blog. Nicole and I will try to be posting regularly. Also, if you'd like the direct link for the London feed, here you go.


The Internet Doesn't Lie

by Mike Lovato

My home page says it's raining here right now. I went outside and checked and I don't see any rain. It must be raining though because the internet wouldn't lie to me.


Spirit West Coast

by Mike Lovato

Just sent a group of high schoolers off to Spirit West Coast a little bit ago. This is Jon's first trip to lead all on his own and he's done a great job with it. We've had some fun kinks with it - finally found our last driver on Tuesday night, almost didn't have the right rental car yesterday, and then today one of the vans was leaking coolant pretty decently. Luckily, I called one of our volunteers and they're loaning us their SUV last-minute.

Also, I almost missed being here to help with check-in. My grand scheme was to get up at 4:45, take a quick shower, be here for when they met at 5:30, see them off, and get a few hours of work done so I could go home early. But, I slept through my alarm and woke up at 5:20. Needless to say, I'm sitting in my office right now in clothes I threw on, no shower, no shave. So now I'm just hoping to crank out a couple hours of work before going home to take a shower and then tackle the rest of my day.



Mike Lovato is a follower of Jesus, husband to Nicole, daddy to Addison, and pastor to teenagers in Riverside, CA.


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