Friday, November 14, 2008

Elevation part deuce

Quick little update on Elevation . . . sitting around waiting for the buses to arrive and Annalise had some time to take pictures of the set-up. I'll post some more pictures of the sessions later this weekend.

This is the main session room:

And this is me yelling at Annalise in the back of the room all by herself:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I'm gonna be gone this weekend at our Fall retreat.

Excited, but it's a TON of prep work. Pray that God does some big things in our student's lives. The theme is "Battle of the Sexes" and it's about becoming a real man or woman of God.

A lot of Teleos ideas . . . becoming all that we are created to be.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Today I finally did a run.

I've been "training" for a half marathon the past few weeks . . . although I'm not doing too well. I've done a few runs, but for the most part I seem to find excuses not to run. I do have a date to run a half marathon and I WILL be running in it (especially now that it's on my blog).

If you workout in any way, what's your normal routine and training schedule? I'm finding it hard to pick a consistent time to run.

More of my Peoples

Over the past two weeks the visits to my blog has jumped in huge numbers! It's about 50/50 old readers vs. new readers. I would love to get to know some of you who are newer to reading my blog! Leave a comment, ask a question, and I would love to follow your blog if you have one!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

No Shave November

I hate to disappoint, but No Shave November is a No-Go for me :(

There are two important reasons i decided against participating in this fantastic tradition among America's youth:

1. I really can't grow a beard, so it would be more like "ugly, dirty, I'm scared to let my children around that guy" November

2. My wife said no . . .and to all who are married, you know the first reason does't really even matter at this point.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I know it's backwards . . . but it doesn't change the fact that I voted!

It's a pretty special feeling to carry out our freedom to choose the leader(s) of our country.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Karyss' Birthday

Well, Karyss had a birthday a couple months ago . . . sorry for the late picture posts :) We had a party at our friends house, and the theme was "VEGAS BABY!" It was a big one for her . . . 25 years old. I make fun of her because now she is a quarter of a century old.

With none of us having a lot of money, people got pretty creative with their costumes. Karyss was a deck of cards, and I was carrot top!

Pretty fun evening with some fun people.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008


Prepping for a pretty large Halloween event today . . . tons of work . . . lots of frustration . . . praying that God would bring students! Join me in that prayer!!! I'll let you know how it goes :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Becoming an Adult

I've always been one to fight off "adulthood." Not in the sense that I don't like responsibility, or having a full-time job, or even being married. It's more that I anticipated what would come with those responsibilities.

This week I realized two things:
1. I love becoming an adult
2. I hate becoming an adult

Let me explain . . .

1. As many of you know, I have an amazing wife and we have been married for almost 2 1/2 years now. I am only 23, so you can do the math. We also now have been in our house (that we own) for one year! On top of that . . . we have a child on the way :) All of these things I would put under the umbrella of "adulthood," and I love it! I love being married, I love owning my own home, and I can't wait to be a dad. So . . . I love becoming an adult.

2. The reality that I no longer live with my college friends, sleep in til noon, and eat pizza and watch scary movies til 4am is starting to sink in. What really hit me was that one of my best friends from college just got a great job in Washington and moved away from Fullerton, CA with his wife to start their life there. I know I was the first one to leave cali, but now two of us have left. It is becoming more and more difficult to spend time with my closest friends. This part of adulthood I hate.

I guess it just requires more commitment and intentionality in trying to keep up with what's happening in each others lives. Thank goodness for ichat . . . i don't know what I would do without that!!

How do you stay in touch with "old friends?"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Alone again

It is true . . . I am once again alone and without my wife. Her older brother had a baby girl a few weeks back and we have been trying so hard to get her out to Texas to visit them. We are all feeling it right now, but the flights were just too expensive. So when her mom offered to drive Karyss out there this past week it was a no-brainer.

So . . . I'm alone. BUT!!!! my good friend Matt is going to stay with me a few of these nights because the NBA season tips-off tonight and my Lakers are favored to go all the way this year!

Can't complain about some good bro time . . . so pray for me as I try and keep the house in order this week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sorry . . .

I guess they took that Nickelback link down . . . all it did was prove that band was totally unoriginal. It played two of their songs at the same time . . . one in the left speaker and one in the right. They have the same exact dynamics and chord progressions. Even the melodies are oddly similar. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


So, I always knew there was something I just did not like about Nickelback . . . and I think this website nailed it on the head! Check it out . . . Thanks JVO.

quick picture

We were a couple weeks off on the date in this picture, but once our camera is fixed we will be posting weekly (i hope) pictures of Karyss and her little belly! According to our ultrasound, she would only have been 4 weeks and a couple of days the date this picture was taken.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Big news

Here it is . . . to all who don't know yet, there is some big news here in the Bollen(Vegas) household. It is true that Karyss, my wife, is now pregnant!!

We are super excited . . . scared . . . but excited!! :)

We found out last month and according to our first ultrasound she is now 8 weeks and 2 days along. She is experiencing a little bit of morning sickness, but getting along quite fine.

Please keep is in your prayers as this will be a very new experience for us!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vote for Me

Hey guys,

I have turned over a new leaf . . . I decided that I need to really start to learn more about politics. We all know the best way to learn is to do, so here goes nothing!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mob Wars

So . . . I am totally addicted to Mob Wars on facebook . . . if you're on facebook you gotta try it! Then add me to your mob :)

You basically just do jobs around the city while trying to make money and attack other mobsters.

There is nothing better!

End of an Era

Yesterday marked the end of an era in the Bollen household. Since April of this year, Karyss' sister, Kristen, had been living with us in Las Vegas. So for about 5 months, I was living in a 1600 sq. ft. home with 2 wild and crazy girls (if you know my wife or her sister you know what I mean). They are two of the most fun-loving and exciting people to be around.

Yesterday, Kristen moved back to Fullerton (what I now affectionately refer to as the "promised land"). Her ultimate goal has been to be back in Southern California, and just a few weeks ago God opened a door for her to move back.

We will miss her a lot, but we are very happy for her and happy to have spent the past 5 months living together!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Coldplay 08

I know it's been a while since the concert, but I figure it's better late than never :) Here are a couple of pictures from the show as well as a video of some of the songs from the concert. The little treat at the end of the video is that I was able to record most of "Fix You," which is one of my favorite Coldplay songs.

If you can't tell, we had INCREDIBLE seats. One of our good friends from church helped us get those!!

If you get a chance to see Coldplay . . . DO IT!! They are great live (I've seen them 4 times now).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Goodbye Grandpa

Yesterday morning at 6:30am my grandpa went to be with Jesus.

I know he is telling "Cecil" jokes in heaven and nobody can understand what he is saying because of his Bajan accent.

I wish that everyone would have had a chance to get to know him . . . I wish that I would have known him better.

The stories he would tell (true or not) could capture anyone, and they always ended with a punch line that left your side splitting. Beyond his humor, was an incredibly deep and committed love for my grandma. Karyss and I got to see them just two years ago when we were on our honeymoon and it was so much fun to watch them interact. Grandpa would make a joke towards grandma and she would pretend to be annoyed, but you could tell she absolutely loved having all of grandpa's attention.

And even beyond that love was a love for the Lord. He has done so many things in his life to further the Kingdom of God. Building a church from the ground -- up in Barbados (his home country) is only one of the many things my grandpa will be remembered for forever.

I think that these two pictures really give a glimpse into the heart of who my grandpa was.

He absolutely loved life(being very patriotic on the fourth of July), not taking anything too seriously . . . and he loved his grandchildren(and great-grandchildren).

Grandpa, we will all miss you and we mourn our loss, but we celebrate your victory!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


When I was in high school I was passionate about learning information.

When I was in college I was passionate about learning about myself.

After I graduated I was passionate about learning who God has created me to be.

Now . . . I have become a little bit complacent . . . and have lost a passion for learning.

Realizing this is half the battle, now I need to get off my butt and push myself.

How do you push yourself?? Or do you??

Saturday, July 19, 2008

catch up - post 3

ok, so i'm not quite as caught up as I would have hoped . . . but we're on the road to renewing our friendships.

One of the main reasons that I was not able to catch up is because I spent a lot of time yesterday catching up on reading all of my friends blogs. One that I came across that really struck a chord in me was this post by my friend John Voelz:

For any of you who read this that are in leadership, soak in what John is saying! Recruiting, challenging, stretching, and expecting a lot from volunteers is something that has been lost in many ways.

The only reason that I am in ministry, or even learned how to play the guitar is because my youth pastor pushed me and stretched me. One weekend he asked if i wanted to lead worship . . . i said no . . . he made me . . . i lead worship every weekend from there on out until i moved away for college.

I have a Student Leadership Team for our worship arts ministry in Resonate and they have blown me away at how well they have responded to my challenges! Next year we are taking it to the next level!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Catch Up - post 2

This is the second post in my series of catch up posts. If you are new to my blog, i don't normally post several times in one day . . . but i also don't usually go several weeks without a post either. So this is me catching up :)


June 23 - 27 was the biggest week of Central Student ministries year. Several months of planning went in to putting on a world class summer camp at UCLA. It was an absolutely amazing experience! I was a little distant from all the programming stuff this year, so i'll give ya'll a few links to check out:

Ignite Blog
You can watch the recap videos and see pictures from the week.

Annalise's Summary (very thorough) :)
Annalise wrote all about her week at Ignite.

As far as my experience goes, it was awesome! I lead a small group for the second year in a row and i had some of the same guys as last year. It really felt like they were able to bond and connect with each other so easily this year. I told everyone at the camp that I had the best small group ever, and i really believe that!

God did some amazing things in those students lives that week . . .things that I know will last the rest of their lives. I'm so excited about Ignite '09. We'll be back at UCLA and I'm sure it will be better than ever.

If you are interested in bringing your youth group, let me know:

Catch Up - post 1

Ok, so going way back when in Resonate we went through a series called Deadly Viper Character Assassins. It was a great series for our church, and we were really able to do a lot of creative stuff with it because the ongoing theme was kung fu. You can see a little bit of what the main auditorium did at the Deadly Viper Blog.

One of the Character Assassins is the "Bling Bling Assassin." So we decided to do Weezer's Beverly Hills for our special that week. It was a blast!! The band all wore white shirts and black ties and we even did a little bit of simple choreography. The students loved it and it was a great connection point for new high school kids. Annalise also wrote a little bit about it on her blog.

Check out the video and please pardon the bad quality :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

First Things First

So first things first . . . I got a hair cut. Seems totally unimportant, i know. However, the last time i actually went to someone to have my haircut was my first year of college.

I believe that would be about 4 years ago.

This was a significant moment for me in my life, even though my hair doesn't even look that different.

Props to Talitha for having the courage to take the challenge to please me when it comes to the mop on my head!! She's awesome!!

Long time no see

Ok, so it has been far too long since the last post!! I am sorry for that. There is no excuse for my lazy blogging. However, there is something to be excited about . . . I am going to fill everyone in on all that has been happening . . . one post at a time :)

I'm not a huge fan of the "novel" blogs that take 25 minutes to read, and actually, I rarely read those. SO . . . i know that you all would greatly appreciate me breaking up the posts. I will try and do some today, and finish tomorrow.

Again, sorry for the delay . . . but we will be best friends again by Saturday morning :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Oh my gosh . . . the Lakers finally won a game . . . and I was not comfortable during this game. In fact, I was so uncomfortable, I forgot to go to small group tonight. I am a bad person.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Karyss' New Job

Well, it is official . . . . my wife, Karyss, has now quit Wells Fargo (woo hoo!!!) and is working at the MGM Grand hotel pool. For those of you who don't live in Las Vegas, and even for some of you who do, this may come as a surprise . . . . that a pastor's wife would work at a pool on The Strip. However, my perspective of Las Vegas has really changed in the last year that I have worked here.

I want to preface all of this by saying that I do not by any means endorse what "The Strip" represents. It represents greed, lust, getting drunk, and just an overall materialistic culture. The old saying "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" represents that it is a place to come and make whatever choices you desire without any consequences. Again, I do not support this at all!

However, working at a church in Las Vegas, we are reaching people who's reality EVERYDAY is The Strip. At Central, we don't necessarily reach those who come in for a weekend fling and then leave. We reach the dealers, cocktail waitresses, dancers, musicians, DJs, artists, strippers, pit bosses, poker stars, gambling addicts, alcoholics, orphans, and EVERYTHING else that comes along with the culture that the Strip tends to produce. Not to mention working with the kids and students of those people. The reality of what takes place on the Strip is a daily reality to many of the people who are a part of Central, and this is why my perspective has been changed.

Also, what I have learned about MGM/Mirage through Karyss' orientation and a conversation with a good friend that works at MGM has been really healthy for me. The employees alone, not the company, donate 1.7 million dollars annually to organizations around the Las Vegas Valley. Also, any processing fees that go along with donations to non-profits (and they are out there) MGM will cover so that every dollar from the employee goes directly into the organizations hands. Also, a huge part of Karyss' orientation was education on gambling addictions and the harm that it can bring to a person's life.

Again, none of these things justify what happens on The Strip on a nightly basis, but it brings into perspective that there are real people . . . GOOD people, who work there. My friend who works at MGM has no family in Vegas (quite common), and he describes his co-workers at MGM as his family.

How has your perspective changed in the past year?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Look

So I played some kick ball with our high school leaders this Sunday and it was awesome! My team got beat to the ground, but it was still a lot of fun.

I'm guessing it was about 90 degrees this past Sunday . . . not too hot by Vegas standards . . . but my hair was all in my face, sweaty, stinky, hot, uncomfortable, stinging my eyes, and i was MISERABLE! So . . . . i decided to chop off the mop!

I am a new person! I sleep better at night, I get ready faster, I don't always feel so hot, I don't take showers anymore . . . just kidding!

Any other hot new Summer looks out there??

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekend Thoughts

Another great weekend! We started our "Deadly Viper Character Assassins" series this week and i think its gonna be a hit!

The Banzai game was hilarious! It was a contest to see whoever could fit the most clothespins on their face in 60 seconds . . . i tried for three and it was painful.

Robert brought the heat with his message this week! We were talking about the "Assassin of Character Creep" and how our character is destroyed by many small decisions. These small decisions erode our character little by little until it is much easier to make very bad decisions and choices. Robert did awesome!

My camera broke a week or two ago, and its been hard for me to go out and spend another 200 bucks on a camera, but i think I'm just gonna do it because i can't stand it any longer! I want to share pictures of some of these moments I'm talking about!

Well, that's all for now . . . this blog has definitely lasted longer than my previous blog! I'll try and keep it going :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Great Day

Today was a great day! It was busy, but very productive at work . . . but the best part is that Robert, my boss, is back in town! It has been a bit hectic as a high school team without him around. We are now really ramping up to Ignite (our junior high and high school summer camp). There will be many posts about Ignite coming soon . . . hopefully lots of pictures too! Also, band practice went really well! It was a fun group of students and everyone worked hard and focused . . . can't ask for more than that.

Oh ya, almost forgot . . . The Lakers won the Western Conference Finals!!! The pinnacle of a great day!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Resonate Stage

Here is a picture of the "Theater." This is the stage for our High School environment at Central Christian Church. It is pretty simple because we don't have a ton to work with, but we put LEDs all over the room to bring some color and energy to a pretty bland environment. New stage to come in July!!
Here are the pictures of the white boards of prayer that I talked about this past weekend. I hope you can read some of the prayers that were written . . . so honest!! My favorite thing about the students out here in Vegas is that they don't try to hide what's going on in their life. For the most part, they are pretty transparent and authentic.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What a Weekend

Well, I'll keep it short . . . We had an amazing weekend at Resonate. There was a sweet response time at the end where students were able to write prayers down on white boards . . . I'll post some pictures in a few days . . . it was incredible.

Then, I took my wife "away" for memorial day. We only went 2 miles from our house, but it was so relaxing and enjoyable to be on our own and away from the stresses of life for even a day and a half! Shout out to Monica for hooking it up!!

Ok, that's all . . . interesting to me, maybe not to you . . . again, pictures coming soon!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Backyard Photoshoot

Hey everyone,

My good friend and old roommate Sammy is in town for a few days working with a photographer here in Vegas and he volunteered to take some pictures of Karyss at our house. He is extremely talented!! Here is a quick video of the "location" which is actually our back yard :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Worship Mythbusters 4.3: The Role of the Worship Leader

Hey guys,

Check out this post! It is a great post by my friend Rich who is a great worship leader. It is about the role of the worship leader, and i think it spills over into the role of the worship TEAM.

Worship Mythbusters 4.3: The Role of the Worship Leader

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

one more thing before bedtime

oh ya . . . i forgot . . . i have a really talented student that made this:

I figure since she is probably the only one who reads my blog it wouldn't be too big of a deal to post it :)

A Lot to Think About

Well, these past few days have been pretty amazing . . . but not in the way that most people would expect. I have been REALLY challenged by some people in my life to step it up. Some of these challenges have come directly . . . like "you need to step it up" . . . and others have challenged me through inspiration and example. But both have been equally as challenging and difficult to handle. I feel like I am at a crossroads in my life right now and I want to make the right turns. So needless to say . . . I have a lot to think about. I am really trying to rely on God for strength and energy as I start to get tired. Please pray for me . . . I have a lot to think about :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wife-less weekend

Well, the wife was in California this weekend babysitting the three boys she used to nanny for, and i was left at the house. I miss her a ton, but it was a nice relaxing weekend. Friday night I got to hang with the guys . . . which rocked. Saturday and Sunday were awesome because i got to sleep a lot!

Resonate went fairly well. I thought Matt Vairetta did an amazing job speaking (as he always does). Worship went ok . . . i still feel like there is a gap somewhere, like something is missing from our worship experiences that I can't quite put my finger on. The band always sounds great, but there is an attitude of worship and reverence that we are missing. I'm trying to figure out how to change that at Resonate. I'm going to spend some time tomorrow processing that a little bit . . . maybe I'll post some thoughts to see what ya'll think. If you do go to Resonate, comment and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Long day

So today was a long day . . . I had a pretty good day at work . . . lots of meetings, but i had student leadership today! I love my student leadership team!

I had a bunch of bouncy balls thrown in my office . . .
small groups were cool, but i couldn't stop thinking about the Laker's game on tonight . . .
and then when i got home, my dog had gone to the bathroom all over herself and the bathroom, so i spent twenty minutes cleaning that up . . .

I guess it wasn't such a horribly long day, but it sure feels nice to be resting right now!!

Monday, May 12, 2008


Karyss and I just went and saw the movie "21" . . . pretty entertaining movie, a little predictable, but entertaining.

The big takeaway . . . I really want to learn to count cards :)

First Post

Hey guys,

I've tried blogging once before and it didn't really work out all that well for me. I hope this time it goes better. This blog will serve a few different purposes:

1. To talk about my life
- I'll leave updates on things that are going on in my life with my family, friends, and job
2. To communicate with my team
- I hope a lot of the readers will be the high school team members at Central and they can check out my blog and see what is happening at Resonate
3. For me to express myself
- I've felt like there has been no great avenue of expression for me in my life recently, and this blog could be a tool for my expression and growth

I hope you guys check it out frequently or even subscribe to my blog. I'll try and post something at least once a week.

Let me know if you are reading my blog by leaving a comment on any of my posts. Thanks guys!!