YouTube! - 15 minutes of fame

TEXASMAX YOUTUBE! UPDATE: Per Shawn's request, I have removed the video from public display.  This young man is truly a gentleman and has a promising life ahead of him with his positive attitude. Viewing this video is available only on request. Thank you for visiting!

It was an interesting iDay yesterday... i was interviewing a young man named Shawn who was excited about his new iPhone. As he opened the box to demonstrate the technology, gravity prevailed and an impact test was recorded for YouTube! posterity. This 11 second video received 8 honors by 4:30pm Saturday. It was #1 Top Rated in Comedy, and #4 Top Rated over all of YouTube. There have been over 100,000 views and hundreds of comments, but unfortunately many of them are revealing their base nature of racism and perversity.

What would be a good way to seed an online video like this with a message of vision and hope? Please feel free to contribute sample scripts as comments here, or make your own subliminal messages heard in the comments.

It was also picked up on Digg very quickly and has several 1000 hits.

Thriving on Assets!

Apparently, it's just a matter of time before the right blend comes along. The Search-Institute.org's research on the 40 Developmental Assets is a great framework for the developmental life of a child, in several arenas. I stopped in at Rudy's site where he is remarking on Thriving Indicators.

This parrallels the 40 Developmental Assets closely enough to reinforce the value of a 'wrap-around' approach to any work that is done in the life of a developing individual.

for the Emerging Nerd...

Considering the iPhone's impact on the mobile phone industry, it is interesting of late to see design coming from regions far beyond 'the box.' I chased a link today and saw what Levi jeans is offering. Looks a bit more rugged than most [stainless steel case] but my interest is always in the data storage and retreival facility. I'm not sure if an iPhone is in my near (or distant) future, considering all the new cell technology developments.

Q: How appealing is the new iPhone to you? What are the main determining factors in your choice of tele-communication?


the first iPhone Dropped

I observed the iPhone release and all those in line at an AT&T store in the south of Houston today. I captured this oops...

I talked to him after he came out of the store with a protective cover for his phone.


the iPhone has a Snobby Sister!

LG Phones has an LG Prada KE850 out that mimics the non-3G ability of the iPhone, removes the browser, but has excellent music & video capabilities as long as you don't need to sync to your computer that often.. i love technology... btw, did i mention the $-tag is $700-$850 for all of this wonderfully limited capacity.


For all you (video) iPodders out there, or anyone with iTunes... you can now subscribe to our iTunes site: XRD and stay current with any of the latest resources.
The recent ones are all video, but I will begin to capture audio resources and upload them as well.

Thanks for taking the time to review or receive this, and please help me with your critiques so that I can do a better job connecting people with Truth.


DVULI-URBNet visit H-Town

On June 25-26, 2007, Houston was visited by the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative and URBNet. This city is a hopeful site for a concerted effort for Urban Leadership development. Local leaders will be trained in various philosophies of skill development approaches and a cross-cultural group will be targeted as participants in this effort.
Thanks TNT!

Click here for pix of the Dialogue and a visit to the TNT (Tuesday Night Together) outreach at El Tabernaculo-CrossRoad Youth

TNT BBall Layups

Some of the Basketball Champs from a local high school were on the flight deck this Tuesday Night!
Here's a few closeups!


Click2Houston.com - Video

This past week the Southwest School was highlighted on an afternoon newscast.
It's rare to see teens portrayed in a positive light and I hope you will be encouraged as you view this 2 minute story. Click this link for Click2Houston's site.


Espresso Book Machine

For all the aspiring writers... publishing on the fast track... click here for full story.

Misheard Lyrics

This is tooooo funny! Got it off of Ryan K's site

The Value of Networks

There is always great dialogue on Chris Brooks' weblog. One of these sounding board topics is regarding the value of networks. I shared this response, but I think you would enjoy the complete interaction on this and other questions. Please take a moment to contribute from your perspective. The value of a body is that every part (and viewpoint) is valuable/essential for the survival of that body. Below this paragraph is my quote, but please visit Chris's site when you are able.

[Brief Commercial: Chris is the new Director for UrbNet. Become part of the Urban Youthworksers Network! It's good to know where we can co-labor with like-minded partners.]

Steve (et al),

"There seems to be resistance to networking among small, conservative (especially Pentecostal) Latino congregations that are primarily Spanish speaking for reasons I don't fully understand, however."-Steve

This is the pond that I sit squarely in. There exists a dichotomy between 'el camino antiguo' (the old ways) and the desire for 'bleeding edge' impact. There is a desire to stem the exodus of these dynamic young latino leaders but no consistent plan to involve them in the transition from the old ways to the new. Because of historic oppression and prejudice we (latino/native) have learned to be chameleons and are more likely to be trans-cultural. [I have first hand experience with this issue] As a result, the tension becomes destructive because I don't feel enough has been, or is being done to acclimate these young leaders within our culture. We are missing the full impact of this great asset within a majority of our churches. My deepest chagrin is that these developing leaders are not normally pre-disposed to contributing to the growth and development of the congregations that forged them. When they perceive resistance to their ideas and suggestions, they migrate (immigrate) to mainline denominations that are reaching out to minorities due to their own waning numbers.

The numbers/percentages you mentioned of latino/hispanic involvement is common across the U.S., but national leadership and profile does not reflect the advancement of this culture. Dig through any of your recent (last 10 years) flyers for national conferences or workshops and the glaring absence of latino/hispanic speakers on dockets that have been addressing urban issues is apparent. I believe this is one reason our young latino/a leaders are acclimating to the point of losing connection with the culture that has helped forge their tenacity and creativity.

This is a great 'loss' to the highly resistant strains of spanish-heritage churches filled with 'ancianos' (elders) that have a great oral history of the struggle, pain and sacrifice that has allowed this younger generation to be steeped in an ambience that highly values Family, Spirituality, Passion and Celebration. All great components of a highly productive CHURCH.

... and lest I digress too far, Chris's original Q was regarding the value of a Network in my life. I want to affirm the desire for inclusion of young latino leaders in developing networks. Thank you for helping me to feel welcome. My only request is to encourage these young leaders to 'stay the course' in their home congregations. Empower them with the skills to know how to work within a system that may seem to be resistant, but is struggling to understand the transition from the old to the new. I appreciate all the different networks, cooperatives and accountability partners that have helped me with education, resources and occasional rebukes. I am not just the poor ethnic little brother to them. I have been able to share from my struggles and victories as well to help us all accomplish our goal of reaching EVERYONE. I could not LIVE outside of networks... at all!

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." -Jesus [John 15:5]


The Art of Leadership

This workshop was presented to the Houston Section of the Gulf Latin-American District Youth Ministries and accompanying organizations. The lesson is developed from the position regarding the Leader as an Artist. You can view the video recording and the presentation slides as well. The lesson is presented to a bi-lingual audience in Spanish and English.

Click To Play

These are the PowerPoint slides for notes.

"Freedom" explained and responded to

The 2007 Urban Youth Workers Institute was such an essential stop for me in this period of transition in my life. Soong Chan Rah shared in one of the sessions and drew a reaction from many in attendance. This was not a session you merely attended. It drew you in and laid open the field of play for everyone to participate. Some applauded (I heard grumbling in my proximity), others were stunned - but listened intently to push past any knee-jerk reactions and grasp a truth they could arm themselves with.

I want to encourage everyone to subscribe on iTunes or wherever to the UYWI podcast or visit their site for the many resources available to you as a member of the harvest team.



Kingdom Builders planning

Kingdom Builders planning
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
These young Latino leaders brought a smile to my face as I thought of 20 years ago. You wouldn't see MacBooks, Treos & MSM going on during a meeting then. At this table were bankers, real estate agents and medical emergency responders. God is faithful.


Ch2 @ Southwest School

Ch2 @ Southwest School
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
The leadership students of Southwest School were shining today. One of the various enrichment classes is a session twice weekly on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders. As soon as I find when it will air, i will post the time here.

Thanks Lourdes for a job well done with these students.


Juneteenth in EPA

Juneteenth in EPA
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
Community Trust Credit Union now partners with the Northern California Urban Development at the annual Juneteenth celebration to promote their soon coming Grand Opening in August

EPA Juneteenth
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.

Behind every great man...

Mourners remember Ruth Graham, evangelist's wife [CNN Story]
I just became aware of this Homegoing.
Praying for the heart of this great man in his families time of seperation.
Billy Graham Evangelistic Assocation
Official Site


Father's Day Remote Support for Free

Fog Creek Copilot

Fog Creek CopilotSM
Fog Creek Copilot is a service mark of Fog Creek Software, Inc.
This Sunday, show your friends/relatives Copilot for free
Just a reminder that this coming Sunday, June 17th (Father's Day), we're making Fog Creek Copilot Day Passes free for the day. You can use it to fix a relative's computer -- or show each other travel plans, or work on a photo collection together (a phone or Skype connection would come in handy).

Tuning up the relatives' computer when you're home for the holidays is a rich tradition; with Copilot, you can do it on National Legume Day too. Or Father's Day. Enjoy!

EPA Starbucks

EPA Starbucks
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
Back for a brief session in the Bay Area's most community minded Starbucks


2007 ICL Retreat

[click or right-click on the pictures to advance them and choose Show All for more features]

A brief Docu-Pix of the past week in the Northern California Coastal Redwoods. I was outta high-tech touch for a while, but the blogging is gonna get back to full speed now.
Go to the flickr site for more pictures


Oh yeah... The Gate

Oh yeah... The Gate
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.

Cali Hills

Cali Hills
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
Driving into the Marin County Hills

Cali-fill-ups Gas Tanks

Cali-fill-ups Gas Tanks
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
$83. for one and $93. for the other.

Packin up to roll!...

Packin up to roll!...
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
Ready to go to the Lord's Land retreat

Blip TV Player


Rolando & Dolores' girls

Rolando & Dolores' girls
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
Raquel y Sophia are going for an evening walk with mommy.

These are wonderful girls who love their parents.

OSX startup Blues

sad face... :-(
MacBook decides not to boot up. Is anyone w/an OSX startup disk close to Sunnyvale, CA?

-max- [Treo]

BCM's California Poppies

BCM's California Poppies
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
It is so wonderful to see the tangible results of children with vision. When Shadie suggested this idea, she then helped plan out the garden. 6 months later these flowers are incredibly robust.

ICL Internship Training

Hello from East Palo Alto,
I wanted to give you a glimpse of where I will be for the next week in The 'Lord's Land' Retreat Center. It is off Highway 1 just a few miles south of Mendocino, CA. This area of the California Redwoods was a huge draw in the early 1960's when Jesus People were living together in communal settings much like the Early Church in the Book of Acts. The passing of this era left a peaceful retreat remotely placed on the Northern California coastline. There is little to no digital phone signal in that area, so my email/phone communication will be nil for the week. During this week we will be training the 2007 participants in the Internship for Christian Leaders (ICL) program sponsored at Bayshore Christian Ministries.

This is the 3rd year that I have provided this level of training for these interns, thanks to an invitation from my good friend John Liotti in 2004. Things have changed dramatically since that time, and I am anticipating a fruitful time of growth in all of our lives this week. I always learn something about myself during these training times.

Keep us in your prayers for safe travel to and from the Lord's Land.




Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
Here's a recent picture of Mike post-surgery.

Thanks again for all the prayers! Here's a good place to leave any Get Well Wishes for Michael!

Thank you!


Aunt Ruth & Mommy waiting for li'l Mikey to come out with his bionic jaw

Mahjong - better than Solitaire to relieve the stress of waiting.

Dr. Ali came out about 1pm and let us know that the procedure went fine and there are two small incisions where they put they put the plate in. He has a drain tube and he will wear braces for about 6 weeks.

Praise God that the surgery went well and I can travel to Northern California with the assurance that God's Mighty Hand will manifest His healing power in Michael's life. Extreme gratitude to all of you who have been (and continue to be) praying.

He is not feeling real comfortable right now, so visitors would not be a great idea, but if you want to comment here, Dahlia will be sharing any regards to him from this Blog Entry.

Plans are for him to be released Saturday morning, and allow him to rest while the swelling goes down. His head is completely bandaged, and he is not able to speak well yet. Give him a few days, and he will be his soft-spoken little 6'2" self again. Again - thank you so much for praying and standing with us through this time.



Face Off - more in common w/Penelope Cruz than I wish...

Passing the night at hospital with Mike, I couldn't resist the MyHeritage pull I felt on Jeremy Del Rio's site


Alright now!

Mom and Chantal are here now, so everything's gonna be alright - except for the clear liquid diet for Mike... 6 weeks til the next Fajita Dinner - at Sean's Graduation in August!

Please pray for my son-thanks.

My eldest son is always trying to help someone. Yesterday he saw someone down on the ground in a parking lot and when he went to help, they hit him and broke his jaw. He will go into surgery Thursday and will now have a plate on his jaw & have his jaw wired shut for 6 weeks.

Please pray for a safe procedure and recovery. Thank you so much.

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much. James 5:16"


Welcome to Hope Olivia Yee Ott

Congratulations to my co-worker from Bayshore Christian Ministries in East Palo Alto, CA! On Jun 4, 2007, at 7:34 PM, 'Bunny' wrote:

Hi all,
We made it through 24 hours of labor and surgery to welcome Hope Olivia Yee Ott into this world. She was born May 30, 2007 and weighed in at 6 pounds 10 ounces and is 19 3/4 inches long
Mom and child are well. Child is quite cute even if mom and dad say so themselves. Thanks for your prayers and support. Hope looks forward to meeting you and having you change her diapers. Mom and Dad look forward to Hope opening her eyes and having her grow strong so she is not so floppy. Please forward this message to others who may want to meet Hope.

Bunny and Grason

EDITORS NOTE: Know this! That non-floppy, open-eyed strong babies make for bleary-eyed, shuffling feet, 'i didn't sleep last night' parents!

what a joy! Hope looks happy and content. I hope Mommy has a good rest after that marathon! Aren't you glad you took those weeks off to rest up!

Let me know when you get the Ott's website up so we can all watch the family grow together.
Congratulations again to the Proud Mama & Papa!

Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.


Trina's havin babies!

Our brindle pit is having babies today. There are 4 males and 6 females. 6 of them are solid (some black and some brindle) and 4 are white and black or brown. Really cool pups! Feels good bein a 'quasi-granpa'.


Paige brought her little one!

{click on picture for more photos of graduation celebration}

Bright Eyes
Uploaded by rmaxtorres.
What bright eyes he has! Paige came to Erik's graduation celebration and brought her little ones. This little guy has a very inquiring demeanor.


Lali Torres singing @ Igl. Cristiana Amor de Cristo - Houston, Tx

Lali invited the Youth Worship Ministry to open for her part in the Inaugural Services in this community church.

They are still without a Senior Pastor, but are pressing on in the Harvest Fields.

Wonderful night of music & encouragement.

Lest we forget...

I appreciate this viewpoint.

Personal Message

Lest we forget - with the distortion from the cacophony of 'drive-by media' reports...


Copyright © 2007 YouTube, Inc.


Reconocimiento a los Generales

Reconocimiento a los Generales
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
Scores of Hispanic Veteran leaders - Pastors, Evangelists, Ministers who have served decades in the Latino Community in Houston

Severiano Menchaca y mas

Severiano Menchaca y mas
Originally uploaded by rmaxtorres.
This 98 year old veteran and others were recognized tonight

Search Institute: 40 Developmental Assets

My Friends!

I always get motivated with good resources. I have embraced the 40 Developmental Assets Framework for several years and it seems to be a good match for needs that I have become aware of lately. I wanted to share the link for the Search Institute and the 40 Developmental assets. This is a fantastic, replicable framework to establish touchpoints for improvement in our communities and families. The pages are avaliable in Spanish and other languages as well as for different age groups. I consider this a great tool for sharing a Pro-Active approach to addressing challenges in our society, as I do the leadership curriculums that will help us raise the next generation of Change Agents in the World. Please feel free to contact me if you need to schedule training events for your organization.


Search Institute Asset Lists


cbs approval

I sent this video response to a reporter from CBS in Sacramento who wanted to use the story.
This brief video has really had a number of hits in just a few days
rated number 1 in all of youtube for all of iDay +2


I have recently encountered the MyChurch network/website and read one of the most random and humurous entries i've seen in a while - you must have a wacked sense of humor to tolerate it. It gets rather tedious after 100 entries or so, but I'm gettin all kinds of 'What's my line?' type of dialogues. Help me come up with one on the comments. We can make our own version here.

The Purple Sleeping Bag Mystery

[disclaimer: this is not germane to all cultures ]
{not German! see I told you they wouldn't get it!!!}