Archive for January 2008

A sign of old age

I’ve always heard that the older you get, the faster time seems to fly by you.  If that’s true, then I might as well go ahead and send in that early registration card for the AARP.  Geez, the month of January went somewhere in a hurry, and I barely noticed.  Anyway, I was just realizing that Lent begins NEXT WEEK!  Easter is early this year, but man, Lent?  Already? My personal spiritual rhythm for the season actually takes a little bit of advance preparation this year, so I need to get cracking.  For the first time, I’ll be adding a discipline to my life, rather than fasting from something for the season.  It will require work which will seem mundane, rather than spiritual, and some tedious effort, but I’m looking forward to doing what I have in mind.  I’m not going public with what I do . . . maybe […]



I almost didn't notice that football season is over

I went through the whole weekend without any symptoms of withdrawal from the NFL season, which I suppose is a good thing.  I know, I know, there’s still one more game left.  But let’s just say I’m underwhelmed.  I know that the Patriots have a chance at making sports history here.  But quite frankly, I AM OVER the Boston vs. New York sports rivalry.  Like we don’t get enough of that kind of hype all year in baseball?  I know that the TV networks are loving this matchup for the ratings, but I have my serious doubts that anyone west of Dallas really cares much about this game.  I am quite certain that I’ll be watching the game next weekend, but I’ll definitely be more interested in the commercials than the game itself.  And for those sports haters who have been punished by my writing about all this, be assured […]



Baptists Unite! . . . or not . . . you know, whatever

A new coalition of Baptist denominations is forming.  Non-Southern Baptists, that is.  New York Times article here.



inter::mission teach-in recap

Last night, we in the inter::mission community, were graced by the presence of Rose Madrid-Swetman. I had been looking forward to this one since before the school year started. Rose is such a great soul, with a depth of love and gratitude to God, which has come through drawing deeply from the Spirit, life experience, and opportunities to serve others. She and her husband, Rich, co-pastor the Vineyard Community Church in Shoreline, WA, and she is the founder and Executive Director of Turning Point, a non-profit that works to connect low-income families to social services. She’s also in graduate school. Aaaand, she and Rich are raising their 10 year old son. A full life indeed, which makes me really grateful that she took the time to be with us. Rose talked through some of the spiritual formation elements that she practices in her journey with God, and led us in […]



Things you might wish you didn't know about me

I was looking in the mirror this morning, realizing that I need to tame my mad scientist hair.  This led me to ask what kind of haircut I should get, which led me to remember some of the interesting fashion choices I’ve made over the years. My wedding photos don’t show me wearing some really ugly or bizarre-colored tuxedo . . . but they do show my vintage Tom Sellick mustache. Thankfully, very little photographic evidence exists that would confirm the fact that I used to rock a mullet . . . with blond streak highlights. I’ve never followed through on this, but I used to have strange urges to apply eyeliner. I used to wear an eyebrow ring . . . and sometimes wish I still had it. I may never stop wearing Doc Martens. I have a couple pairs of jeans that are too long, and when people […]



Beautiful tension

I woke up early this morning with what felt like a weird combination of depression and hope.  Depression, because I’ve seen some real weak spots in the way I’m approaching some aspects of my work and life.  I’m seeing areas where I know I can have a more profound impact on others, and bring encouragement to them.  I’m seeing an inbox and task list that prove how far behind I am on getting some things done.  And yet, there’s definitely the hope side of things: some of the reason I’m behind is that I’ve spent good time with good people sharing plans and ideas for good work together.  I have hope that even in the areas of my greatest character weaknesses, I have the capacity to live into the Kingdom reality in a way that changes everything.  I have hope that even without trying harder, producing more, and getting things […]



Got no money to spend? Well then, spend your kids'!

First things first. I’m not an economist. One of my two C’s in college came in an Econ class. So I’m horribly unqualified to comment on this stuff . . . However, I’m a home owner, and have been so for almost 11 years now. I’ve seen my share of interest rate cuts and hikes over the years – and Michelle and I have refinanced our mortgages a couple times in response. But usually, the rates don’t go up or down drastically, without the financial geniuses of the world anticipating some action. Yeah, well, today the Fed cut rates by three-quarters of a point. Huge. Sounds like we got us a pretty good recession brewing. And so what does our all-wise government have in mind? An “economic stimulus” package. They’re talking about handing out $800 tax rebates, so we can all run to malls for iPods and designer shoes, or […]



Currently filling my ears . . .

While doing a good bit of studying over the past couple days, I’ve listened repeatedly to two things: The Cobalt Season. Even as they work on their new release, their most recent recording, In Search of a Unifying Theory is really quite stunning. I could say I enjoy them simply because Ryan and Holly Sharp are friends, but there is so much depth and beauty. I’ve been listening to this thing since it was first released – I think Ryan told me I was the first person to download it when it became available. I keep coming back again and again. Vulnerability, raw emotion, controlled outrage, soft-voiced questioning of how we got where we are and how the heck we can make something of it all. Go find this record on iTunes and get it. I’m already getting giddy . . . The Cobalt Season will be playing a show […]



The tension of being a Jesus-following sports fan

It’s Friday morning as I write this. In about 48 hours I’m looking forward to sitting down in front of a television screen, and tuning in to see a professional (American) football game between my beloved San Diego Chargers, and their formidable foe, the New England Patriots. Very few people outside of San Diego are giving the Chargers a shot at being the first team to beat the Patriots this season – rightly so. As a fan, my hope for a miracle win flickers, but I haven’t exactly called Vegas to place my bet in that direction. I have to say, though, that for as much as I’m anticipating the big game Sunday, I do feel a degree of tension about this. The National Football League is big business . . . HUGE, HUGE, HUGE business. They’re a textbook model of how to build a brand, develop intense customer loyalty, […]



Where your treasure is . . .

Tonight I (mostly jokingly) asked Michelle if I could spend a couple thousand dollars on the hot new paper-thin, light as a feather laptop that was unveiled today. But as I reflect briefly before bedtime, I have a growing sense of uneasiness.  Here I sit in luxury, while Kenya, which has already lost somewhere around 700 lives due to violence in the wake of a disputed presidential election, is gripping for more.  I feel like I don’t even know how to pray . . . and yet I can’t not pray.  May this not be another Rwanda, another Darfur.  God have mercy on us all.