The 24 laws of Jack Bauer's 24

We are fast approaching another season of 24 I feel it is my duty to fill you in on what will take place in the 24 episodes that comprise this years 24.

As many of you know I am a cynical former fan of the hit show 24. I loved the show for the first 5 seasons it had great writing, plot twists and acting. I thought I would save you all 24 hours of TV viewing should you want saving.

24 laws of 24

1. Former cast members playing bad guys are usually undercover
2. Any convoy transporting anyone to or from CTU has a 90% chance of being attacked
3. Any person transporting Jack to CTU in cuffs but removes them to honor Jack has 100% of being hit in the head with a blunt object
4. Jacks daughter will always put herself in harms way through a blatant lack of common sense
5. Jack’s love interest will be captured at least once per season
6. A bomb will be set somewhere in NY
7. Any CTU agent  that goes on a raid with Jack and has not been given a name will die.
8. Never go to the server room for ANY reason
9. Jack never eats, sleeps, or pees
10. To help you keep track of the moles 1.Always one in the White house 2. Always 2 in CTU 3. Always 1 close to Jack personally
11. Chloe will not smile all day.
12. If there was a daytime Emmy for Actress most likely to make you want to stab your eye with a sharp object it would be the woman who plays the current president.
13. Jack will never die there are movies that need to be made.
14. There are always at least 3 moles per season.
15. Finding the mole is easy – look for the most obvious person and it’s not that person.
16. Everyone proudly uses a sprint phone (and mind you sprint phones work everywhere)
17. Jack Bauer has more presidential pardons than 3rd world countries have power plants
18. If you are new to 24 wiki “socket” and “encryption
19. If you are a President and Aaron is not your bodyguard you are so 1st season
20. Jack Bauer whispers a-lot
21. The two most dangerous modes of transportation on 24 1. Police Convoy and 2. Mass Transit. (Take a cab)
22. Jacks Friends and Girlfriends either die or get arrested at least once per show
23. The CTU ringtone gets VERY annoying around season 4
24. Jack will die and be revived via an epinephrine shot at least once per season.

If you are new to 24 I am sorry that you missed it when the writers actually knew what they were doing. My Best Advice for you is to turn you TV off go to the Video store and rent season 1.

Crazy Love

Another book I read over Christmas was “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan

In this book Francis challenges the reader to go beyond the typical responses we have to a less than typical love Christ has shown us.

The big thought I took from Francis’ book was when he began to talk about the impact a recent trip to Africa had on him. He come home from the trip and decided to sell his house and move into something smaller so that he would have more money to give to those in need in Africa. The response he got from his friends here in the states was “what about your kids.” Chan points out this is do to a lukewarm faith that doesn’t make a difference. I thought how often my first response to others who exhibit “crazy love” is to ask why and try to get them to make a safer choice.

I remember one time a friend of mine told me they were taking in a teenage girl to live with them because she was having family trouble. My first thought was what about your family. That my friends is not Crazy love but rather Crazy safeness. Christ showed us matchless love. The least we can do is demonstrate crazy love to the world.

This book coupled with “Just Courage” was a powerful 1-2 punch. I need more unsafe crazy love for others in my life.

Do you want your kids to be brave or safe?

Well over the christmas holiday I backed off my blog and social media to spend focused time with my family and friends. I am always amazed how many more books I read when I am not writing in my blog or reading the blogs of others. I love reading blogs and books and have found that taking blogging breaks always allows me to read books a bit more.

The first book I read was Just Courage by Gary Haugen

Just courage is a great book and a must read for every parent. I won’t bore you with a book report but the biggest take away for me was that in our society we value bravery and courage but preach safety. The two can not co-esist. We need to rethink how we address issues with our kids. I know reading this book helped me see as a father I can’t be so obsessed that my kids are safe because I will build into them an aversion for bravery and greatness when they are men.

We live in a society that is hungry for courageous men and women and yet we are destroying the very brave gene we crave by trying to creating a world where there is no pain. I don’t know about you but I want my kids to be brave and leave a legacy worth leaving.

The brave people at IJM are doing just that putting themselves in harms way to protect and defend the very weakest most vulnerable among us.

I know I have change my prayers and even how I talk to my boys and now put a much greater value on bravery because I want my kids to make a difference in their world not just “make it”.

Do your self two favors, read this book and find out more about the work of International Justice mission.

Dear New Children's Pastor

Dear New Children’s Pastor,

Welcome to the ministry.  I know that if you’ve taken this job, then you are probably comfortable NOT being in the spotlight.  And that’s a great thing, because you will NOT be in the spotlight.  (Unless of course your volunteers don’t show up, but then that’s another letter.)  You’ve taken the job because on some level you love working with children and serving families.  You are probably a person that is comfortable leading children to the feet of Jesus week after week after week after week.  For that you will get the limelight in heaven for eternity, so just wait.

I do have a few things to say to you, so sit down and take a listen.  And by sitting down, I mean put your tush in a chair and hold on tight.  There are three things that need to be said to you, and I don’t want you getting so offended that you step backwards and hurt yourself.  Are you sitting down?  Are you ready?  I’m going share three goals for your new endeavor.

In order of importance let’s start with possibly the most important goal I will give you in the history of forever.

Goal #1: Do Not Suck!

That’s a harsh word for some of you.  Not a word I’d use from the stage in front of children, but I want you to heed the advice.  Before you can make your Children’s Ministry into the beacon of excellence that brings Children’s Workers from the bordering states to come and observe your greatness; you have to stop sucking first.  If you have leaders that stink, move them out.  If you have elements of your environments that are terrible, then change them.  It is good advice that you need to take a cautious approach with many changes in a new arena, but trust me…if it really stinks, everyone will know it.  And when it really stinks it needs changing!  So remember, Goal #1 and get busy at not sucking.

Goal #2: Love People!

If you don’t have a ministry budget dedicated to taking people to lunch then get one.  Take them to lunch, bring them breakfast at work, invite them over for dinner, mail out thank you cards (hand-written and not from your Assistant!), and take time each and every week to love on people.  Consider yourself in a never ending race for Mayor, and spend time lending a listening ear, hugging babies, and never turn down a chance to praise the people that will make this dream of yours eventually happen.  If I meet another Children’s Pastor that doesn’t leave his office and interact with the people at his church I’m going to lose it.  Love People, Love People, Love People!

Goal #3: Find the Answers!

You do not have all the answers.  Go ahead and read that again, You do not have all the answers.  However, there are many that do have the answers and you just need to find them.  Many of your answers are waiting out there in books, blogs, and magazines.  Become a voracious reader of everything related to parenting, children, teenagers (because your kids will eventually be here!), grandparents, and church children’s ministry trends.  Don’t ever be caught being stupid when it comes to what your job is.  If you don’t know the answer, then admit it and start looking for it somewhere else besides your own brain!  Find the answers!

I know that you have it in you to meet these three goals.  If you can get the ball rolling on all three, then the doors will start opening up for you and true ministry will happen.  It’s my prayer that each and every day on this new job, you will be growing as a leader, pastor, and lover of people.

Now stop reading and go do something productive.  Seriously, go!

Sincerely,

Jonathan Cliff