Thursday, August 30, 2007


So, I e-mailed the nice folks at Mars Hill to let 'em know I was coming, and that they should get ready. I let them know that I'd be attending the 6p.m. service on September 6th. I also asked if it'd be possible to get a tour of the building, and maybe a meeting with a Youth Pastor, to pick his brain about things. I even told them I was willing to stick around until Monday morning.

So today I got a response to my e-mail. I turns out that Mars Hill isn't having a service at 6p.m. on Sunday, September 6. They have canceled it in favor of a church-wide picnic at a park somewhere. So J.T.'s plans have been thwarted, thus far. What a shame. I had been looking forward to it for so long.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Power Shopper!

I spent approximately 2 hours today on the phone with various customer servicers at Dell. Some of them actually spoke English, and I think one of them was flirting with me. I was, of course, in no mood for that sort of nonsense by then. The happy ending is that very shortly, I may finally have a new battery and AC Adapter for this gently used 3-year-old computer. Of course, it will probably arrive in the mail during my week-and-a-half long road trip... which isn't such a happy ending after all, I guess.

This just in: I'm working on a redesign for the site! Watch this space!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Write SOMETHING every day....

I spent the whole day today in meetings. We had our weekly staff meeting from 7:30 to 9 this morning, and then spent the rest of the day in a planning meeting for our upcoming sermon series on Worldview. Looks like I'm team-teaching on Church/Faith/Mission with the pastor one week, and solo teaching on Music/The Arts several weeks later. I always get a little excited about teaching in "Big Church", but this series has me a little more excited than others. It seems more... lofty. It's the kind of thing that's going to make it difficult for us to go back to teaching about having a better marriage, raising better kids, or managing your finances, with a straight face.

In other news, Abby and I are leaving on our National Lampoon's Summer Vacation next week - probably Wednesday the 5th. We're taking the scenic route up to Cleveland, Ohio for a wedding, stopping several times along the way. From there we'll head over to Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend a service at Mars Hill Bible Church. And then we'll head to Dallas to visit with friends for the remainder of our time. Total vacation length - approx. 12 days! Total time driving - approx. 11 days! Okay, not really. But it is a heck of a long way. Let's hope our little car can take it.

I'm seeing more of the world in the last year than I have in my entire life. It's kind of cool. I had actually thought that marriage would slow me down. I hereby repent of that nonsense.

Is it raining where you are?

Friday, August 24, 2007

I suck at blogging.

The sad part is...
I'm still better than a lot of blogs I read.
So there.

Anyway - I've always got crap to say, and always forget what it is when I sit down to do this.
Write SOMETHING every day. Write something every day. No matter how banal. That's what I tell my other friends who suck at this, anyway.

But something happened to me recently that made my top 5 life experiences of all-time, so come on - I couldn't let it slip by without a word.

Two Sundays ago, I left for Dallas to meet Shane and Cory for a guys retreat to the mountains of Colorado. By Monday afternoon we were in Parker, just outside of Denver, and by Tuesday afternoon we were at our little cabin beside the river in the mountains. We were joined by a friend of Cory's (now a friend of mine) named Shawn, and a spry 65-year-old named Wes. Wes does a lot of mentoring for guys like me, some counseling, and some consulting for great organizations like Compassion International. He spent the week encouraging, sharpening, and blessing us in a multitude of ways. On Wednesday we spent the entire day in Rocky Mountain National Park marveling and overlooks and complaining that our cameras were way too small. The end of the day found us at Wes's "sacred space" on Sprague Lake - a place which holds special significance in his own story, and now ours as well.

That night, he led us in an unforgettable communion using Pepperidge Farm Mint Milanos and 12-year-old MacAllen Scotch. Strange, yes, and stranger for me because, teetotaler that I am - I reserve 100% of my alcohol consumption for communion. Afterwards, he anointed our foreheads with oil in the shape of a cross, and gave us this charge: "Go live the gospel."

Those were pretty much his last words to us. He left that night, and Shawn left shortly after. Shane, Cory and I spent the entire next day sleeping in, playing Bocce and horseshoes, grilling steaks and playing cards. Shane packed his new pipe for the very first time ever, Cory had a cigar, and I had many Sunflower Seeds. Sooooo many Sunflower Seeds.

Any summary of this trip must include three things: The unfathomable beauty in every corner of that part of the world, the unparalleled significance of 5 men seeking God and deep ecclesiology, and absolute fact that the altitude very nearly killed me. I felt terrible most of the week. On the day we went into Rocky Mountain National Park, I even resorted to taking hits off of Shane's inhaler. It didn't help. I will admit, however, that I have never felt so good feeling so bad. What I mean is, in surroundings like that, it's hard to feel bad about feeling poorly. I was determined to drink in every minute of it, and I think I did.

Yesterday I narrowed down my vast library of pictures to the top 100 MB that Flickr would allow me to upload. Check it out here. It pretty much excludes any actual pictures of me, because I looked and felt ridiculous. But the pictures it does include are far better than anything you'd find me in. Enjoy. I know most of them look like postcards - but they are, nevertheless, postcards that I was standing in at the time. Which is pretty rad.

Anyway - this is day one of the new "write SOMETHING every day" era. Oh - also the new "I figured a MUCH easier way of getting pictures off my camera, so I'll actually be using it now" era. Shalom!