Archive for March 2010

How to Know When a “Cool” Church Isn’t

I was reading a book recently, in which an essay author was quite transparent in disclosing the nature of his own existential angst during his college years.* He was extremely self-conscious, to the point that he would sometimes have difficulty holding normal conversations with friends. As a freshman, he wrote a letter to a friend, which said, “Now about awareness, and awareness of awareness. A bit of review: when you are smelling a flower, or tasting tea, or reading, you are not aware of doing these things. At moments of awareness of what you are doing (when you suddenly think, ‘I am smelling this flower’), then you are not doing it . . . But what has happened to me is that in each present situation, I am aware of all this. I have an ‘awareness of awareness’ that I have been looking forward to such and such, or have […]

What Should I Blog About?

Since returning from my trip, I’ve been told a number of times by a surprising array of people, that they really enjoyed following my adventures around the world. I realize that in the past month or so of the trip, my pace of posting slowed significantly, but I’m really humbled and thankful for everyone’s interest. But, I’m home now. And trying to re-focus the direction of my blogging seems like a good thing to do. Before I leave my trip blogging to the archives, though, I wanted to check with you, dear readers, and see if there were some questions or topics that I didn’t write enough about. Is there something that you were curious about related to the trip? It could be anything – the nuts and bolts of travel, foods to look for on your next trip, theological lessons learned, politics, health care, personal reflections, top ten lists […]

Turning 40: Impact

As I mentioned in my Birthday For a Cause post last week, I turned 40 recently. This, along with multiple other factors going on in my life right now, has me introspective. I do believe I’ve got a couple posts in me on this topic, hopefully relatively quick hit kinds of items. For starters, though, I’ve been thinking about the kinds of impact I’ve had on my world in my 40 years of living. In some ways, I can look back and be proud of some of the things I’ve been a part of. But I ran across a few names of people who died at the age of 39, and my resume is pretty slim by comparison. I am now older than the following men at the time of their deaths. Che Guevara – controversial figure, to be sure . . . but someone who had enormous impact during […]

My Birthday for a Cause

Those of you who follow me around on Facebook or Twitter probably know this already, but today is my birthday.  A milestone birthday, I suppose – I’m 40.  This has me reflective in some ways, and I may do some posting on what I’ve been thinking about.  But first, I wanted to do something I find important. Last fall, a pastor friend of mine here in Seattle, launched a non-profit organization with his family, called One Day’s Wages.  You may have heard of it through their Facebook group, or by seeing stories about them in the media.  It’s a pretty cool story about regular people committing themselves to doing something personally about helping end extreme global poverty. I love the concept – simple and elegant.  Every year, on your birthday, they encourage you to donate your earnings to a poverty-related cause.  Additionally, they’re just now rolling out a great new […]