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August 03, 2009


Alexander Wilhelmsen

Thoughts in order:

"I am married to an amazing woman..."

Who is a decade younger, and somehow that's quite befitting.

"...and have two wonderful children who are 3 1/2 years old and 10 months."

A kid at 39... then again, it's the ladies that have to worry about 35. What they have that children of younger fathers lack is the wisdom stored up from being around as long.

"I have been published in a national magazine."

Which one? YS or a Youth Ministry mag is my guess on this one.

"Been to California somewhere near 30 times."

All over?

"Lived in 3 different states"

Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida (y'all come back now, ya hear?)

"Preached to over 100,000 people with the largest being 3,000 in one day."

I'd lose count in a hurry.

"Been to every state but eight of them."

... and when you retire, you should just visit them just to do so. Or have a road trip before then... it might be fun!

"Was captain of my high school soccer team."


"Survived a van rolling over on the highway."

Not sweet.

"Bowled a 1."

Were you trying?

"Bought a house."

I would hope so. It's not like you're just surviving.

"Been a Major League Baseball chaplain"

How'd you get that gig? I'd seriously like to know. By the way, your Pirates need a lot of prayer, and a few more chaplains, along with a priest and a rabbi.

"Saw U2 live twice."

... and will probably try and do that again.

"Scuba dived in the Pacific Ocean twice."

... and freaked out the first time you were learning (thanks for the Podcast Devo).

"Played for a national soccer championship in college."

D-II or D-III?

"Owned eight cars."

Not at the same time.

"Have two Bachelor Degrees and working on my Masters."

I'll probably get there. I'm a class short of a double degree, but double major is probably just as effective, and I'll probably go to school for something before I'm done.

"Been to Mexico on mission trips eight times."

... and had a van broken into on said trip atleast once, that was fun. It did make for a great story that I used when I spoke in front of some others once of how we overcame. Telling the story is a story in of itself.

"I have swam with Dolphins."

They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning... oh come on old timer, you remember that show.

"Was in the first Spider-Man movie as an extra."

In the wrestling scene, not as the guy who Tobey McGuire beats up, although you'd probably freak out and go THAT'S ME! If you were, quite often.

"Been spelunking multiple times."

So easy, a caveman can do it!

"Have not broken a bone."

That is an uplifting and fortunate fact.

"Seen the Steelers win six Superbowls."

... and touched a Super Bowl ticket for one played in one of your non-Pittsburgh hometowns.

"Worked with hundreds of great teenagers."

Don't forget us 20-somethings.

"Watched from Mt. Washington Three Rivers Stadium implode."

That had to be sentimentally cool. I've seen the Student Union where my graduating semester was it's last semester get taken down and break in a new one. In fact, I was the last live radio show at the Student Radio Station's old studio in said Student Union. Not as impressive to watch, but for the honor that it was to help shut that place down, it was an honor.

"Been to the 911 memorial in Shanksville."

A sad day in our Nation's history.

"Been a radio DJ for WWKS, KISS 107. Also did play by play for High School and College Football."

For me, only WBUL 1620 AM, wbul.usf.edu, and that ended last year, but I'm still young. Not likely to do play-by-play though.

"Been a featured guest on a television show."

If I ever start one, then you're going to be on it where you're in town, if I can make it happen.

I've been on TV, it's called morning announcements and class, among other things.

"Was the male lead in the play Arsenic and Old Lace."

Drama... awesome...

"Lost a very good friend in a car accident at 19."

Which inspire you to what would come after.

"Had a serious conversation with Hulk Hogan."

That had to be cool, because it was probably back in the day when he was "the guy."

"Fell asleep driving and crashed a truck."

We're glad you didn't stay asleep and get measured for a box to be sure.

"Went to my 10th and 20th high school reunion."

Not sure if my class is that organized. That had to be interesting though.

"Came to know Jesus at the age of 19. Best thing that ever happened to me!"

Inspired by said crash, if I remember right.

Alexander Wilhelmsen

Part of your history is good old Tampa, Florida... and to take a lesson from your first message, which I think most people remember that first topic, if not the message... wear shades Mark, because "The Future's So Bright, You Gotta Wear Shades."

On my end, as I passed the 25 mark earlier this year, 25 facts are (funny how we did those early this last year as facts go):

1. I have done Youth Ministry as a volunteer for 6 years, and it's crazy, but I know that some impact has been made.

2. I have done Vacation Bible School of VBS like events for 13 years as a helper and I'm getting towards having done 20 of them total. I did two in one week this last year for the first time.

3. I have taken a week long youth trip to Colorado and stop atop a mountain about 13,283 feet up, and a couple weeks later been on a week long Youth Music & Drama Mission Trip to Nassau, Bahamas (real Nassau, which is honestly more fascinating than just the vacation district).

4. Life long member of a United Methodist Church, while either attending and/or assisting with ministry at four different churches in the last year with a focus on one.

5. I hosted my own Christian radio show for four years while in college at the Student Radio Station, WBUL 1620 AM, entitled "The Wildcat Show."

6. I was the Valedictorian of my class in Middle School.

7. I raced in a Florida State Cross Country Meet in high school.

8. I was the Director for a "live-to-tape" one shot talk show that would have aired on Prime Time in the local Tampa Market, had the newspaper not reported on the topic we had discussed the weekend before the show was to air (the topic was a "New On-Campus Stadium for the USF Bulls & A New Stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays," the latter of which was reported on as becoming a reality, when for us it was simply a question that is still being discussed a couple years later). "Talk of the Town" the show is called, and is part of a class I took.

9. Co-Produced a documentary that made air in the Tampa Market as part of a class I took.

10. Despite being turned down to be part of a praise team at one church, I was invited to join one at my next one.

11. I once went on a trip where my family travelled through 10 States, 2 Countries, and a Canadian Province within two weeks.

12. I once chased chickens with my sisters as part of the Dixie Stampede dinner show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

13. I saw ROCK CITY (travel to the area, you'll get it).

14. I've done missions for atleast a week in three countries (Mexico, Bahamas, and the United States).

15. I've been to each the Central, Mountain, and Pacific Time Zones for only one time span each (excluding breaks of only a few hours back to the Eastern time zone). A few days in Alabama (Central), a week in Colorado (Mountain), and San Diego, California/Ensenada, Mexico (Pacific).

16. My family lived in three different places for my first 7 years of life in North Carolina, and hasn't moved for the last 18 plus years in Florida.

17. After Elementary school, the next shortest distance I had to travel to get to school was when I went to college.

18. I'm a devoted fan of my high school alma mater's varsity football team, and I have attended a supermajority of their home and away games since my senior year of high school as part of the experience from a self made and carried tradition as a spirit flag runner.

19. Made my Junior Prom Court, despite going stag both years.

20. I was a finalist for "Best All Around," for Senior Superilative.

21. I was the only loser in a three-way vote for Senior Vice President (in high school).

22. I probably would have won "Most Likely to Become a Priest" had it not made the cut as a high school superilative (not too far off, as I'll never be a formal "priest," but I am part of Christ's royal priesthood).

23. I served as part of the "Chorus" group and three comic relief roles (including a scene stealing and funniest moment, from the audience reaction, of the play as a cross dresser trying to see if the glass slipper fit in "The Search" scene we made up) in "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella."

24. Won two Coach's Awards (Varsity Middle School Cross Country), a Most Improved Award (H.S. Cross Country), an MVP (M.S. JV Track), and a State Meet appearance (H.S. Cross Country) combined during my 7 years of Cross Country and 5 years of Track.

25. Jesus is and has been my best friend for all my life, even before I became fully aware of his love, somehow I understood a little about how to be like him, and I'm still learning how to be more like him (and will until the day I die).

There's so much more that has happened, and maybe these aren't the highlights (as I've had the priviledge to influence so many teenagers, some that I love very much), but if I live to the average (and I'm not a fan of average, so it could be longer), I've still got 50-plus years to go yet.

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