A sign of old age
January 30, 2008, 9:06 am
Filed under: uncategorized

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 after it’s over, I’ll tell some stories, maybe not.


I almost didn’t notice that football season is over
January 28, 2008, 12:20 am
Filed under: football

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 that this will likely be my last sports post for a long, long time.

There, I feel cleansed.

Baptists Unite! . . . or not . . . you know, whatever
January 26, 2008, 12:20 pm
Filed under: denomination

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

inter::mission teach-in recap
January 25, 2008, 9:07 am
Filed under: inter::mission, the purple door

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 lectio divina. It was a new thing for most of our folks, which was great. Having her there with us was a good reminder to me of the high value of reflective meditation and silence with God. That means something much deeper to me than a “quiet time.” I’ve never been the type to hike five miles into a thick forest, where it was just me and God, and sit quietly for hours on end. But I know I miss out on a depth of experience with God and other people when I don’t slow down enough for my own version of that.

We continue to try new things with inter::mission, and I’m well into my thought process as to how to adjust and re-format things for version 2.0 next school year. But I still find myself deeply satisfied with how God has brought things together this year, and the experiences we’ve shared together.

Things you might wish you didn’t know about me
January 24, 2008, 2:58 pm
Filed under: uncategorized | Tags:

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 aren’t looking, I peg them, just to remember the 80s . . . and commence new levels of self-loathing.

Beautiful tension
January 24, 2008, 6:53 am
Filed under: uncategorized

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 done, I can relax in knowing that God fills in the gaps where I’m weak.

I don’t tend to use this blog for devotional reflection, but there are times when doing a reality check here seems like the right thing to do.

Got no money to spend? Well then, spend your kids’!
January 22, 2008, 4:26 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

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 go to Hawaii or Branson or NYC. Spend, spend, spend. That’s our answer for every known problem. Terrorists bombing your skyscrapers? Got to keep spending or the terrorists win. Mortgage lenders making shady loans that they know we can’t keep up with? Got to keep spending, or the loan officers win.

Oh, by the way, the money for those rebate checks is coming out of your kids’ bank accounts. Got to keep spending, or your kids win, I guess.