Saturday, June 17, 2006 

Away to Camp

Summer Camp, oh the memories of being away at camp! Some great and some not so good. Bottom line is that I will be away for a week teaching and preaching at a Bible camp in Texas. I am excited about this because I love working with teens. They are honest, they don't try to hide how they feel as much as adults do. They ask real questions and for many their lives are changed by a camp that helps that experience God, some for the very first time. I ask that if you read this that you would pray for me! Pray that God would work in amazing ways and that lives would be changed. That broken hearts would be healed and that many would for the very first time understand how much God truly loves them. As for those of you in blogland have a good week and have fun while I am off on this great adventure.

For those of your that are interested please read the experiment post as I am still looking for some volunteers to write some articles for topics already posted or to give me some new ideas for possible subjects.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 

Fathers Day

Fathers Day is coming up this Sunday June 18th! (For those of you that forgot you can thank me later!) This week I have been doing some research for a fathers day sermon that I am hoping will be very different then the typical fathers day sermon. I am actually going to try to encourage fathers rather then ripping them to shreds like most father's day sermons that I have heard. I thought that I would share with you some of the stats from the research I did that I found most interesting.

A report by Warren Mueller revealed that where both parents attend church regularly, 72% of their children continue in the faith. Where only the father attends, that percentage drops to 55 percent, but where only the mother attends, just 15 percent of the children remain involved in the church.
This phenomenon reinforces what the Bible teaches about the natural order that God has established (Genesis 3:16 & 1 Corinthians 11:3). If the husband knows Christ as his Savior, the wife is more likely to follow this leadership than the other way around.

Now considering that I did not have either parent making me go to church I know that these stats are not always right but apparently most of the time they are. That means that most men are far more important to the spiritual development of their children then they realize. That leads me to a question that I wanted to ask the readers of this blog. Why do women seem to be more spiritual then men overall? As a preacher I know that it is not always true and yet I see it a lot. I would love to hear some different view on this one and also some reactions to the stats by Mueller.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 

An Experiment...

I want to try something different on my blog. I haven't see it done yet on other blogs to the extent that I want to try it but I have seen other bloggers use guest writers which I think is kinda cool. I have more people reading this blog now so I thought it would be a good time to try something a little different. I want to have a series on Developing a Healthy church. I want to ask several different people both ministers in some cases and just members in other cases. Here are the topics that I want to discuss by asking a guest writer to write an article which will be posted on this blog and then opened up for discussion. Here are the topics that I have decided on so far. And I plan to keep this going as long as it seems to be working. (The topics with a * by it already has a writer assigned to it but if you are interested in any of these topics enough to write an article on it then please e-mail me.)

How can ministers support the church more effectively? (One article written by a church member)

How can the church better support women's ministry? (One article written Written by any female church member.)

*How can church members with no youth group children support a youth ministry? (1 article written by a youth minister.)

*How can parents help support a youth ministry? (1 article written Written by a youth minister?)

How can the church as a whole help support a children's ministry? (1 article written Written by a church member or Children's minister.)

*How can a church better support their preaching minister? (1 article written Written by a preaching minister.)

How can a church better support family ministry(1 article written by a family minister or a counselor and 1 article written by a church member.)

How can a church better minister to the community in which it exists? (One article written by any type of minister and one article written by a church member.)

That is all for now but I will think of some more soon, but please either give me some more ideas about what articles you would like to see written as well as if you would like to write an article on any given topic. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 

World Cup

I am curious to see if any of the readers of this blog are soccer fans??? I have to admit that I have had about zero interest in soccer for most of my life. It was the only little league type sport that I didn't play during my childhood. A few weeks ago I am watching some TV and I see this commercial for this guy named Ronaldo from Brazil. The guy is amazing and the crazy thing is that he was that good as a child. So it kinda peaked my interest a little bit. So yesterday I have the rare chance to come home for lunch and I watch a little of our USA team getting killed by the Czech's. They clearly know more about soccer then we do! :) So here is my question for the day. Why is soccer so big around the world and yet so little here in the US. I mean there is no comparison between the love of football, baseball, basketball with soccer in the US. Yet the rest of the world goes nuts for the game?? Are we missing something ??? Some say that it is the low scoring nature of the game but I am not sure I by that ??? I have watched several baseball games end with the score of 1 to 0 . So I am not sure? What are your thoughts?

Monday, June 12, 2006 

The Church Family

At the church where I am employed as a minister I can honestly say that we understand that idea of a church family. We know how to love and help each other. How to reach out to one another. We are small enough so that we notice when someone has been away for awhile. We notice we someone seems to be down and out. All of these things are good but there is one part of all of this that I have really struggled with. What do you do when family issues outside of the church cause problems in the church family itself. I guess in the long run maybe you can't separate the too when you have a tight nit church family. I am frustrated by this sometimes. Just when we really start gaining some momentum it seems that so bad choices cause a division in a family that in the long run has nothing to do with the church and yet really it is always part of the church. As I write this I know that I am not doing so in a very clear manner. So what about some advice for some of you that are more experienced? How do you deal with outside family issues when they becomes church family issues?

P.S. For the first time in my life I am watching the world cup and while I know nothing about soccer I am actually enjoying it, although the US just got beat 3-0.

Monday, June 05, 2006 

Worth the Price of Admission...

This past Friday night my wife and I attended the Houston Astros game at Minute Maid park. The Stros got trashed but I still had a good time. This year I decided to go in on a season ticket package with a group of friends. We each get 15 games of two tickets each and the cool thing is that you actually get to know the people around you. It makes things alot more enjoyable. But the highlight of the game for me the other night?? It didn't even happen on the field although Ken Griffey Jr. had a pretty awesome catch. Nope the highlight that night was the stadium itself. Mintue Maid park is unique in that it has a retractable roof. Now this might not sound so impressive but just imagine being inside a large stadium and all of the sudden you see the huge roof moving! I was in awe! The Astros try to play most games with the roof open and so far this season all of the game had the roof open the entire time. This past Friday though it started to storm and so for the first time I got to see the roof close! It is so impressive to see something that big close in 7 minutes! I do have to admit though my is always telling me that I am very easily amused and you know what she is right! :)

Roof Open!

Roof Closed!

The Roof: Architects from the HOK Sports Facilities Group recommended early on that a retractable roof would be appropriate for the Texas climate. Since building the first retractable-roof ballpark - the Skydome in 1989 - designers have crafted several kinds of retractable roofs. Some, for instance, open only over a Small central section. The roof at Minute Maid Park, however, retracts completely off the ballpark to reveal the largest open area of any retractable roofed baseball stadium in existence today. A total of 50,000 square feet of glass in the west wall of the retractable roof give fans a view of the Houston skyline, even when the roof is in the closed position.

Uni-systems provided the technical expertise to design the best roof structure for Minute Maid Park. Mechanized roof panels open and close in 12-20 minutes. The roof moves back and forth an estimated 160 times a year, a distance of 14.6 miles. To cover the ballpark, steel panels roll in sequence along tracks on the east and west sides of the stadium. When the roof is open, the southern and northern panels, each of which measures 537 by 120 feet and weighs 1,905 metric tons, rest at the north end below the large middle section with its dimension of 589 by 242 feet and a weight of 3,810 metric tons. Designers determined the roof's shape - lower side panels flanking the high center panel - by tracking a batted baseball's hyperbolic flight path.

Forged steel wheels measuring 35 inches in diameter transport the three roof panels. Each of the 140 wheels has its own braking mechanics and 60 are equipped with electric motors.

If the track is slightly out of alignment, all the weight of a roof panel could come to rest on one wheel, causing severe structural damage. To prevent this, a polyurethane suspension pad that acts as a spring is attached above each wheel to distribute the roof's weight. The low track/high track configuration and the roof's built-in glass wall not only offer valuable efficiency, but afford a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape unlike any other roofed ballpark.

Here are some facts about the Park

Minute Maid Park: Facts and Figures


Distances from plate:
Left field - 315 feet
Left-center - 362 feet
Center field - 435 feet
Deepest point - 436 feet
Right-center - 373 feet
Right field - 326 feet

Height of wall:
Left field - 19 feet
Left-center - 25 feet
Center field - 10 feet
Deepest point - 10 feet
Right-center - 10 feet
Right field - 7 feet

TOTAL - 40,950
Diamond Club - 259
Field Boxes - 6,168
Crawford Boxes - 763
Bullpen Boxes - 2,326
Center Field Patio - 74
Club Level - 4,776
Mezzanine - 2,337
Suite Level - 918
Terrace Deck - 3,316
Upper Deck - 9,131
Outfield Deck - 1,677

Gross Square Footage - 28.97 acres

Total Square Footage - 1,263,240 square feet

Building Height - 93 feet

The year 2000 saw something the grand old game of baseball had not experienced since 1964 - a Major League team in Houston playing on natural grass outdoors. While clear skies and real grass were welcome additions for fans, Bayou City hardball faithful also enjoyed another first in Minute Maid Park's 242-foot high, retractable roof. Fans approved the new ballpark overwhelmingly, resulting in a record of more than 3,000,000 fans through the Minute Maid Park turnstiles in the 2000 season. The club has welcomed almost 6,000,000 visitors in the facility’s two seasons of play.

A jewel in the crown of the majestic downtown Houston skyline, Minute Maid Park has become a welcome home for the Houston Astros and has ushered in a new era of Major League sports in the city. The downtown ballpark continues the proud tradition of visionary innovation in stadium construction, beginning with the club's previous home - the Astrodome. Minute Maid Park's retractable roof technology brought open-air baseball to Houston for the first time in 35 years, and the natural grass surface and classic architecture provided Minute Maid Park the atmosphere of the great ballparks of baseball's Golden age.

Location: Minute Maid Park is located at 501 Crawford Street on the northeast end of downtown Houston. Situated near the George R. Brown Convention Center, the ballpark is located one block west of U.S. 59 and is bounded by Congress Avenue on the north, Texas Avenue on the South, Crawford Street on the west and Hamilton Street on the east.

Architect: HOK Sports Facilities Group. Construction Manager: Brown & Root Services, a business unit of Halliburton Company.

History: The idea for a public-private financing drive for a downtown Houston ballpark was conceived in 1996. Fourteen leading Houston companies joined together to form the Houston Sports Facility Partnership. The Partnership agreed to provide a $35 million interest-free loan with no repayment due until 10 years of ballpark operation. With the Partnership's initial commitment, the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority had the support it needed to present a ballpark proposal to the public in November 1996. Voters approved the $250 million project.

Union Station: According to HOK's design platform, the most literal tie between Houston's past and its new ballpark is a physical line to Union Station. The building is a symbol of the important role the railroad has played in the city's relatively short history, especially early in the 20th century. The director of Minute Maid Park's identity and graphics takes its cue from this period.

The railroad created Houston. Flourishing trade established a base of wealth and culture, an infrastructure of banks, a port and railheads. By 1910, railroads constituted the city's largest industry. In 1911, Union Station - already key to the rail industry's growth and influence - was redesigned and reopened.

Built at a cost of $500,000 at the corner of Texas Avenue and Crawford Street, Union Station was dedicated on March 2, 1911. It has been estimated that between 7,000-10,000 Houstonians passed through its front doors at the 45-foot-high lobby, which included three varieties of polished marble. By the mid-1940's, Union Station was handling 5,000 travelers daily on 36 passenger trains.

Team officials note that approximately 60 percent of fans enter Minute Maid Park via Union Station. Union Station's lobby features The Shed, the Official Astros Team Store and a café. Walk-up or booked Minute Maid Park tours, offered year-round, also begin in the Union Station lobby.

The second and third floors comprise the Conference Center, open 365 days a year and providing a wide array of meeting rooms that can provide businesses and organizations with state-of-the-art facilities. Nestled in different areas of the ballpark are additional meeting rooms and areas that provide the perfect atmosphere for a meeting or luncheon.

First Games: The Houston Astros and New York Yankees played an exhibition game on March 30, 2000, with Houston winning 6-5. The Astros hosted the Philadelphia Phillies in the first official regular-season game on April 7, 2000, with Philadelphia winning 4-1.

Name: On June 5, 2002, the Houston Astros and The Minute Maid Company announced that they had expanded their relationship to create a long-term marketing and community partnership. The multi-year partnership agreement included naming rights for the downtown ballpark, rechristening the field "Minute Maid Park."

The partnership agreement also stipulated that the popular Minute Maid Squeeze Play attraction at the ballpark will continue for the length of the 28-year agreement, along with pouring rights for products of The Coca-Cola Company, ongoing advertising and marketing programs, and a commitment by Minute Maid to support youth baseball programs in the Houston area.

Houston's downtown ballpark was originally named Enron Field on April 7, 1999, and was renamed Astros Field on February 27, 2002, by agreement of the Houston Astros and Enron Corp.

The Minute Maid Company is an operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company and the flagship of its worldwide fruit beverage business. The Minute Maid Company has been headquartered in Houston since 1967.

Train: A replica of a 19th century locomotive (circa 1860) and linked coal tender became a fast fan favorite in the inaugural season. The train provides an architectural icon which combines sight, sound and motion for a dynamic entertainment and celebration feature. It also proves a link to the past for Houston and the Union Station site. The train was designed by Uni-systems and built by SMI & Hydraulics, which also provided the transporters for the retractable roof. Weighing close to 50,000 pounds, the train runs along some 800 feet along the low roof track on the west side of the ballpark.

Thursday, June 01, 2006 

The Word of God...

Yesterday I was given the task by my wife to get us a movie to watch. I was in the video store waiting in line and I just so happened to be wearing a t-shirt that had my churches name on it. An older man in front of me saw the shirt and began asking me my beliefs on the day Vinci Code. We talked for a good 30 minutes there in the video store. The man was intrigued by the fact that I didn't just dismiss the day Vinci Code as garbage and that I took the time to discuss it with him. He said that most ministers he had talked to had told him to ignore the movie and not worry about all of it. In my mind that is about the worst response we can have. In my mind the day Vinci code fury is something that we as Christians should take advantage of. It is a great excuse to talk about the Bible and Jesus Christ. That has to be a great thing or we have just blown a great opportunity. So if you are reading this bloc and scoffing at the idea that they Bible is the word of God then I challenge you to something. I ask you to get your hands on a bible (I recommend a NIV version as the language is modern and much easier to understand then many version) and read through the New Testament. Read about the teachings of Jesus , if you are having struggles in life then read the book of James. Want to try to understand the sacrifice of Christ read Philippians chapter 2. The Bible is amazing and I believe that it is the word of God for our lives. I believe that it is God's will that we follow the Bible and in doing so that we will glorify the Lord. I think as Christians we must be prepared to defend the Bible but in doing so we need to be open to discussion. When people disagree with Christian beliefs it is not necessarily a bad thing, if fact that may just be started a journey to find the Truth and want to see if we really do believe the things that we claim. The Bible has been around for thousands of years and has always stood up to the challenges and claims that men have made about it. The Bible is the Holy Word of God and that means that it is absolute truth. Truth always comes out on top and so when someone disagrees with truth we don't need to be so defensive, after all Truth is truth and someone saying it in not true doesn't change that.

About me

  • I'm Michael Potthoff
  • From Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
  • My name is Michael Potthoff and I am 27 years old. I was raised in League City, Texas (close to Houston) I have a beautiful, godly wife name Ruth who makes me a better man! I have been in ministry close to 5 years now and Jesus Christ is my passion. Preaching His good news is something that I truly love! I am blessed to be able to do something that I truly love.
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