Sep 29, 2008

hume lake

Heading up to Hume Lake in an hour for their annual pastor's conference. I've been to a few of these in the past at Hume, but always to the "youth pastor" ones. I guess I'm growing up.

I don't even know what to hope for. I really don't even know what I need. I haven't slowed down long enough to listen to myself. I don't even know what that last sentence means...

The speaker has the beastliest goatee I've seen in a while (how did my spellchecker not underline "beastliest" just now?). I hope that his messages are at least as compelling as his goatee. Worship is being led by a married couple, which has me a little bit worried.

The conference could be wretched but it'll still be sweet hanging with my team for the week! We'll just sit in the back and make fun of everyone if it's boring (like my back row kids on Wednesday nights).

Sep 25, 2008

bailouts and babies

A few years ago I had an idea- a bad idea, but an idea nonetheless. It started out like this...

I was tired of reading and seeing story after story of people having babies and mistreating them, abandoning them, or just being rotten parents in one way or another. So often we see people having unplanned pregnancies, but the parents in many of these situations have no interest in being parents, or even the capacity to do so. They lack the skills at times to take care of themselves, let alone a newborn, a toddler, or a child of any age for that matter. So my idea was this:
Tie everyone's tubes very early on. As early as possible. If people want their tubes untied, they should pass a test that would in some way demonstrate that they are capable of caring for another human being. This way there are no accidents, and at least we have a test to blame if things go wrong down the road.

I told you it was a bad idea. But I liked it because I didn't like people having the freedom to create life so easily. Now, I know the verses about God knitting people together and seeing us before we were created, and I affirm that, but this is about babies being born into destructive, toxic, impossible situations because two people who should never be parents became parents.

But God is God, and he can handle all of that.

But this idiot has an idea and its even worse than mine. And the difference between his idea and my idea- I was kidding.

*Speaking of bailout money- why don't we think about spending 700 billion dollars addressing the poor and sick and starving people in America, instead of using it to bail out big business once again??? But that's another entry for another time...

Sep 24, 2008

mario bros!

this is so stinking CREATIVE!

Click HERE for some advertising geniusness...


I've thought a lot about how infatuated the Church has become about "leadership" in recent years. It's one of those sexy topics that are fun to blog and write books about. I was clicking around on Dallas Willard's website today and I found this three-part interview he did for Relvant Magazine. Here's a chunk of it:
[RM]: “So, are you saying we have a crisis of follower-ship rather than a crisis of leadership?"

DW]: “Now you’re going to get me in trouble. (Laughs) The fact of the matter is this leadership thing has just gone crazy. It is actually not from the Church, it’s a carry-over from the Culture and it’s one of the many ways that the modern church has bit and swallowed the contemporary culture whole. It is just shameless the way we go on about leaders and various kinds of figures. You’re absolutely right, it’s a crisis of ‘follower-ship’ and of leaders themselves living as disciples and inducting others into discipleship, not to them, but to Christ. It’s just heartbreaking to see this thing on leadership and how this has progressed. You remember Jesus saying, ‘Call no man Master, you have one Master.’ Don’t call anyone Teacher, don’t call anyone Leader or Doctor or whatever. We’ve got a leader, let’s follow Him!"

Sep 23, 2008


I wrote this one down a few years ago at Passion '05, or '04, or '98 or... I can't remember. It's Louie Giglio dropping a Romans 7'esque chunk of truth on us.
"God had an idea. He said 'I'm going to put the one who can live the Christian life inside of the one who can't live the Christian life so that the one who can live the Christian life can live the Christian life inside of the one who can't live the Christian life'."

Sep 21, 2008

wasting time

One of my hugest pet peeves is wasting time. I'm not a fan of:

There is no greater waste of time than sleep. I understand the restorative effects, and I don't care. I once heard someone say that God forces us to need sleep to reinforce that He is God and we are not. I would rather have the extra 24 years of life than a daily reminder of my utter dependence on Jesus. I'm reminded of that dependence about every five minutes when I'm awake!
Attending meetings that have nothing to do with me
Thankfully this hasn't happened at Calvary yet. I become a whiny mess when I'm in a meeting about parking lots, Goldfish Cracker consumption in 3rd grade Sunday School classes, etc...
Youth ministry programs and events that add little or no value to students' lives
I'm constantly questioning why we do what we do, whether that's a weekly gathering or an event of some sort. This is only my third month at Calvary. and for the most part I have played the role of spectator/evaluator/hand shaker. To clarify, I'm definitely not saying that I feel like we're wasting time at Calvary. Quite the opposite. I couldn't wait to come and be a part of a church that prioritized that things that Calvary does! I've spent the past few months watching, critiquing, brainstorming, daydreaming, and praying for our youth group. I feel like God is bringing a new vision to life on our team. There's such a discontentment among the students and staff for anything that is stale, repetitive, predictable, or sacred in the cow sense. I really do love the elements we currently have in place (Sundays, Wednesdays, activities, etc...). Matt Doan has done a phenomenal job over the past nine years, and I'm never going to live up to his comparisons! But I'm excited to keep questioning our priorities, clarifying our goals, adjusting our approaches, and doing all of that in a place that hates to waste time to!

Sep 16, 2008

sometimes John Piper says things I disagree with

but this is not one of those times. You may have seen this already, but its a good rerun.

Sep 13, 2008

lazy day update

I visited Talbot yesterday and got to meet a couple of advisers. There's really only one degree that is appealing to me so far- the MA in Spiritual Formation. Only about 20% of people that apply for the degree program get accepted, but I'm an optimist. I would love to check out Fuller Seminary, but they're just too far away, and I'm not interested in studying at their extension campus in Irvine. Too small.

Got to watch the Angels beat the Mariners last night, courtesy of a walk-off homer by Mike Napoli. The crowd went nuts... those Angels fans know how to watch a game!

Hanging with Linds at home today. She's coughing a bunch, which won't stop her from screaming for her Buckeyes tonight at 5pm. I hope they win so she feels better.

Hoping that there are no more Ikes or train collisions this week. Seems like there has been an abundance of bad news this week- more than usual.

Sep 9, 2008

Romp 2008

Here's a peak at what went down at ROMP this year. Love my students... they know how to have some fun! Big thanks to the parents that did all of the work for us.

Sep 8, 2008

poverty, justice, and the fruit of the spirit

Brian Walsh (co-author of "Colossians: Remixed") has a great sermon transcript up over at the Empire Remixed blog. Check it out- it won't take ya more than 5 minutes.

Sep 7, 2008

"anger is a gift"

That’s a lyric from the song “Freedom” by my old favorites “Rage Against the Machine”. I used to listen to them daily as a teenager, feeding off of the songs big time (although I never had a clue what they were talking about!). Their songs would make me angry, and I enjoyed the feeling, but it was a completely pointless emotion. My anger wasn’t fueled by anything that they were singing about- instead it was a mixture of testosterone, pure teenage rebellion, and music being played really loud.

I talked to our students today about channeling their God-given capacity for anger towards something that was actually worth getting angry about. We spend so much time getting frustrated and angry about things that don’t matter, while we don’t get angry at things that we SHOULD get angry about! I’m pretty sure that it was this guy who I first heard this idea from years ago.

We looked at the account of Jesus healing a man’s hand on the Sabbath in Mark 3. As he was preparing to heal the man, Mark writes that he was “looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart”. They had completely missed the point of the Sabbath. Their hardened hearts were blinding them from seeing the better way to live out the commandments. But Jesus didn’t unleash the lightning bolts on them this time... (maybe if it was an OT story he would have). Instead he controlled and used his anger to fuel his next move: fixing the guy’s hand.

Then we looked at a couple verses from our old friend Amos- who pretty much lets us know that God hates church, if as a community we’re not getting angry at the right things and sticking up for people that need our help. I was going to take a look over at a time when the Apostle Paul got pretty angry, but it seemed a bit too vulgar for 9am.

I’m grateful for my gift of anger. I’m glad that I am frustrated by certain things. I’m excited to be a part of a church that gets angry about the same things, and to be alive at a time when the Church at large seems to be getting angry about them too.

Here are a few of the things I mentioned... do they make you angry?

Over 1 billion people still use unsafe drinking sources

Of the 2.2 billion children alive right now, about 1 billion live in poverty

About 5 million people in Sudan have no access to schools or health care

More than 1 billion people in the world live on $1 a day

More than 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation needs

114 million children worldwide don’t get even a basic education

584 million women around the world are illiterate

More than 800 million people go to bed hungry every day

Someone dies of hunger every 3.6 seconds, and most of them are under the age of 5

There are approximately 27 million slaves in the world today

All of my “SUPPORT THESE PEOPLE” links on the right are organizations that are doing something about these problems.

Sep 5, 2008

Dear loved,

I am writing to let you know how much you mean to me, and I'm hoping you'll start to see yourself the way that I see you. There's a lie out there that says that your self-worth equals your performance plus other people's opinions. I want you to know that's a lie. If you're thinking that life is hopeless, that you cannot change, that you are what you are, then let me free you from that. If you have feelings of shame or hopelessness, let me help you, please. Through my Spirit, new life and new possibilities are awaiting. You are my new, precious creation; in my hands. There is hope, I mean this.



}"The Search for Significance" by Robert McGee

bus stop monster

I saw this video over at Anne Jackson's blog. The idea is so simple and so thoughtful, it makes me want to open my eyes even wider to the needs in my neighborhood.


Sep 3, 2008

one hit oneders

That's the name of my softball team. We've gotten together a few times to practice for our season opener on September 22nd. To put this all in context: I am fairly athletic, and I can usually compete pretty well at just about any sport. I'm probably best at basketball, but that doesn't matter right now. I disclocated my shoulder a couple weeks ago, and have been sore ever since it got shoved back in. So, hitherto therefore, I have been in a pretty considerable amount of pain during our practices, sometimes resulting in erratic throws and a lack of "bendage over" for ground balls... so what does our team captain do?

He assigns me to catcher, oh and right field as a secondary position when needed. That's sort of like if Barack Obama were to offer McCain a position at the White House as say... a tour guide. Now, no offense to White House tour guides- my lovely wife used to be one I think. But is that how you treat a war hero? Is that how you treat a guy that has given everything he has for his country (or perhaps his church)?

Catcher? I dare say not, Mr. Dedmon. He's not a blogger, so he won't read this. He doesn't even Twitter... He's too busy assigning himself to short stop and/or left field.

But I still love him- because Jesus tells me I have to. Plus he seems to feel pretty bad about the whole thing.