travel in the next few days
Thursday August 24th 2006, 10:31 am
Filed under: personal

flying to grand rapids this afternoon for one of those 16-hour barnstorming trips. a few hours of sleep, a morning mtg at zondervan, and fly home tomorrow afternoon/evening.

saturday morning, i fly to houston and drive up to (certainly) beautiful conroe, texas, for the wedding of jeremy bush, aka b-wack, the drummer in the david crowder band.

then, i begin one of my quarterly personal spiritual retreats saturday night. i booked a place on lake conroe (5 minutes from the wedding), for three nights. i’m really ready for a couple days of sleep, prayer, silence and reading. home tuesday night, then resume some sense of normal life for a week (before heading to argentina).

willow leadership summit summary
Thursday August 24th 2006, 9:49 am
Filed under: church

my church’s high school pastor, brian berry, wrote a great hyper-condensed summary of what he learned at the willow creek leadership summit this year:

BILL HYBELS: Lead with a constellation, not over a delegation. (fyi: A constellation is by his definition a group of people who you share power with instead of delegate to. They are people who may even have more power over an area of responsibility than you do)

JAMES MEEKS: Celebrate the small victories- they are the best way to keep the vision hot.

ANDY STANLEY: God cannot build a healthy church with unhealthy followers. My primary responsibility is health in me and my family so I have something to contribute to the cause. “Never violate the principles of God to gain the blessings of God.”

PEG NEUHAUSER: In every conflict I either build, maintain, repair or damage the relationship. There is no neutral ground.

ASHISH NANDA: Never underestimate the power of context and a team to bring about success.

JIM COLLINS: Great people will do Great things when they do what they love.

BONO: The gospel that changes a heart without moving your hands is not the Gospel. (this was the most powerful interview/music video piece I’ve ever seen)

PATRICK LENCIONI Teamwork should come before, not because of a crisis.

WAYNE CORDIERO: A healthy self comes from knowing what fills my cup and what drains it. So guard the flow.

what a shockingly horrible idea
Thursday August 24th 2006, 9:48 am
Filed under: tv/movies

i just read on zack lind’s blog that the new season of survivor will have four teams, divided by race. it seems confirmed in . one team each for white, african-american, hispanic and asian. wow. i’m almost at a loss of words. i can hardly imagine why this would be a good idea. the only way this could be good is if a panel of psychologists specializing in racial bias cut in every 15 minutes to gently probe (probst?) all the racial stereotypes, inferences, and tensions. the producers of the show are calling it an interesting social experiment. uh, yeah, right. hey, anyone wanna put in segregated drinking fountains again and call it a social experiment?

i didn’t get to watch survivor last season, because it was on when i was leading my middle school guys small group, and i didn’t have DVR yet. but i think i’m ‘done’ now.

for everything else…
Thursday August 24th 2006, 1:21 am
Filed under: family

baseball.jpgtickets: $17.50 each

parking: $10

two slices of pizza, a diet coke, and an anchor steam: $23

snacks to come (cotton candy was promised): unknown

an evening at a padres game with my boy, after being out of the country for ten days: priceless.

cool stuff for rejuveniles
Wednesday August 23rd 2006, 4:47 pm
Filed under: humor
i’m tempted to get that lawn gnome.

(ht to bob carlton)

jesus junk of the month award
Wednesday August 23rd 2006, 11:24 am
Filed under: church, humor

haven’t had one of these in a while. but when brett kunkle of stand to reason sends me nominations, i take notice! this company has several worthy nominees, including a wwjd dog collar, “suits of armor” scripture playing cards, and more. but the award has to go to their line of “gospel golf” balls and supporting product:


the quote from the pres of the company in a newspaper article is almost more worth of the award: Dave Kruse, president of Revelation, said they were meant as “conversation starters,” to help men share their faith while teeing up. An added bonus: Duffers need no longer feel bad about losing a ball in the rough. “If you’re playing great, good,” Kruse said. “If you’re spraying the ball, well … lose a golf ball, share the gospel.”

nice, you can suck at golf and call it witnessing!

the new hot seat
Wednesday August 23rd 2006, 10:43 am
Filed under: youth ministry, humor, youth work

back in the day, we used to use a “hot seat” (it was actually in the ys ideas books at one time!). it was a common bar stool, wired up with some kind of old car electrical converter to a wire mesh on the seat. it delivered a ‘million needles’ feeling. horrible stuff — can’t believe we thought that was fun! here’s an updated version, and don’t we all have that last kid in our youth group?

(ht to judy gregory)

how does he do that?
Tuesday August 22nd 2006, 5:17 am
Filed under: music

blistering finger work. mind blowing.

i’m kind of a three-chords and the truth guy on my burgundy mist american standard fender strat (shut up pat, shut up riddle — it is not pink!). so this russian (arkadiy starodoub from moscow)dude’s playing is mesmerising, spell-binding, and many more descriptive words used to express awe.

(ht to chuckk gerwig)

final london post
Monday August 21st 2006, 3:20 pm
Filed under: personal, family

we fly home tomorrow. it’s been a great trip, although traveling with a 12 year-old isn’t quite how i had idealized it in my pre-trip imagination. today was a long one, but good: breakfast at starbucks, tube to westminster abbey (seeing this kind of thing is amazing to liesl for about 3 minutes, so i just have to adjust my expectations and be willing to move on — we spent three times as long in the abbey gift shop as we did in the actual cathedral)…


then, tubed over to saint paul’s (see pics in other posts below). beautiful, but too crowded today. a quick stop at a pub for lunch — finally, a bit of english food (i had ‘minted lamb’), then across the footbridge between st. paul’s and the tate modern, and into one of the best modern art museums in the world (moma in new york is the best, imho, and the modern annex in dc is pretty good too). here’s a weird bit: after we’d spent a good deal of time in the section that has the dada and neo-dada and other truly modern stuff (the kind of stuff many people see and say, “how is that art?”), we stopped in “the loo”. the urinals in the men’s toilet had a retractable barrier in front of them, and a sign taped to the wall that said, “these 3 toilets are out of order, please use the cubicles instead”. i’m tellin’ ya, i looked around, thinking it was actually some sort of art installation piece. i wondered if there was a camera, but realized they couldn’t get away with that. in the end, i decided it was what it was. but, to be honest, the line between this and some of the stuff in the galleries was pretty thin!


after all that, we capped off our time with a long stroll through harrod’s, including traditional afternoon tea (yes, more british food!) in the georgian restaurant on the 5th floor (a great place for tourists to have tea, because it’s fancy and all, but there’s no dress code).


one thing i’ve re-learned on this trip (which i’ve learned many times in the past): always look at the weather reports prior to packing. i did that, but only for rain. i didn’t really look at the temperatures. it’s been completely freezing during this entire trip, and i’m the idiot american tourist walking around in shorts, flip-flops and a t-shirt.

worst church signs
Monday August 21st 2006, 2:25 pm
Filed under: church, blogs, humor

yup, you’ve seen ‘em. tacky church signs with sappy or stupid or embarassing slogans. you’ve even seen the church sign generator, where you can make your own jpeg images of whatever you want on a sign (fool your grandma with signs like this…)


but here’s a website with real crummy church signs. there’s a bunch of sections to this site (including a blog and a trophy room), but my favorite is the “hall of shame“. you gotta read this. the commentary is priceless.

(ht to think christian)

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