Monthly Archives: December 2011

Million Dollar Question

I’ve got some thoughts on what I would do if I had a million dollars based on my Christmas presents.  Three selfish things I would do.  Obviously, I would give it away and put away money for Emma’s college and all that jazz.  But this list is three things I would do based on my Christmas presents.

1. I would memory foam my whole entire house.  Seriously.  That stuff is incredible.  I was at a friend’s house and they have Memory Foam Bath Mat.  Incredible.  I told Katie I had to have that.  So, I got one for Christmas.  It’s the best thing ever.  Phenomenal.  Emma walked by it the other day and accidentally stepped on it.  She went back and stepped on it again.  Yup, she noticed how awesome it was too.  So, I would memory foam my entire house.  (I understand this would not help my hermit tendencies and I’m fine with that).

2. I would have a new pair of socks for every day.  Literally wear them once, give them away.  There’s nothing quite like wearing new socks.  I got a couple of pairs for Christmas and they’re magical.  It should be understand that I would get real socks too.  Some thermal socks for some days, under armor boot socks for other days, and I do like black nike above the ankle socks.  Yea, I’m a little particular when it comes to socks.  So, second thing would be a new pair of socks every single day.

3. This one isn’t quite as revolutionary given the second one.  But, it would be a new white T shirt every day.  Sadly, this is the first year in a long time I have not gotten a pack of white T shirts.  Sadness.  So, this one comes out of missing those beloved white undershirts.  I guess I’ll just have to rely on Rosie to get me a pack for my birthday.

So, those are three selfish things I would do with a million dollars based on my Christmas presents.  Thoughts?

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Book Review: Road Trip Leadership

The other week gospel publishing house offered a lot of their kindle books for .99 cents so I picked up George Wood’s latest book, Road Trip Leadership

I will say from the start I really enjoyed the book. It felt. Little long but there were many times that I couldn’t stop reading it. I found it to be a great mix of application, life lessons, personal and anecdotal stories. George shared more of himself than I had expected him to, and for that I was very grateful. His stories always added to the book, and gave some great things to hold onto throughout the read.

I will also say that the book won’t be of much use if you’re not in ministry. Its a leadership book about the ministry and how to get through the gauntlet that a life in ministry can be. I will also say that the end of the book is more geared towards church pastors, or pastors with buildings. I did not find that as applicable since I’m in para church ministry but there were still some great points made throughout it.

I found the first three sections of the book to be remarkable. Understanding the call of ministry (even if you volunteered), being a leader, and looking down the road were very helpful frameworks for me. Even though I’m a young leader now there was a lot of wisdom in his words.

There were things I’ve already learned, things I’ve learned but hadn’t put into words yet, and many things I haven’t yet had to learn.

I would recommend this book to every pastor, especially every Assemblies of God pastor to know the heart of George would be invaluable.

I left the book being very thankful to have a call to ministry and very thankful to have George as the leader of my voluntary cooperate fellowship.

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A Doll Question

Yeah, you read that title correctly. I’m afraid there are too many of these type of posts coming in the future…

Anyways, as you can imagine, Emma has a lot of dolls. They’re everywhere in the living room. She loves to carry them around, feed them, put them down for naps and generally love them.

The loving them part is where my question comes in.

Why do dolls come with hard heads? This makes literally no sense to me. No sense at all. Emma picks them up, goes to hug them and hits herself in the face with a hard doll face. The only part of the doll that’s hard. Couldn’t they just make the doll face soft like the rest of the doll.

I’m convinced that the maker of the dolls doesn’t have small children, nor have they seen small children play with their dolls.

Puts a whole new meaning to hard-headed, doesn’t it?

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A Little Reflection on Jesus

I sent this email to Chi Alpha this morning and wanted to share it with you all!  I hope you’re amazed by Jesus today!

 

Greetings Chi Alpha!

Well, here we are.  The day after Christmas has arrived.  It’s unseasonably warm here in Charlottesville and doesn’t quite feel like Christmas happened yesterday to me.  It should feel like it happened, and my living room bears witness to the fact that it happened.  We are knee deep in kid’s books and random toys that make noise and blocks and outfits.  So. Many. Little. Girl. Outfits.
As I was thinking about writing this email, I thought I would write about New Year’s Resolutions and the chance to make some goals for the upcoming year.  I enjoy making goals and planning for the year to come.  But, then in my continual reflection, I realized how commercial I had become about Christmas.  It’s a lot of build up to the day, and then it’s kind of over.  It’s time to move on to the next year.
I heard a wise man say once that the most amazing thing about the Jesus was that God was able to fit himself inside human flesh without busting through the seams. The more I thought about that statement, the more amazing it became.  And it all started one Christmas morning some two thousand years ago!  God, Himself, came down to earth and became human.  How incredible is that!  The God of the universe, the Creator of all things, the most Powerful, Almighty, became a baby, then a boy, then a man.
I want to continue to be amazed by that statement, by that truth.  I don’t want my amazement with the figure of Jesus to build up to Christmas morning and then go out into the New Year.  I want it to continue to grow and grow and grow!
I pray that you would continue to be amazed by the figure of Jesus today.  That you would find comfort in the fact that Jesus is the perfect human.  That He understands the situation you are in right now because He has been there.
Oftentimes, when I think about this, I’m drawn to the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (bold and italics mine)
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

I pray that you would be able to approach the throne of grace today, with confidence because there is a God there who became human, was tempted, trialed, crucified, raised to life to be the victory over sin and death for us.  Be amazed by that figure of grace today!
I’m looking forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

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My New Email Strategy

If you’re anything like me, you get too many emails. Way too many. To makes matters worse, I check a lot of email on my phone (we don’t have Internet at home) and then they get lost in the shuffle more often than I’d like to admit. Anyone else have that problem?

Well, I’ve got a new strategy I’m going to give a go. You’ll find out soon that it’s not a new strategy at all, it’s just new to me trying it.

I already use gmail labels, and even have some emails filtered directly to those labels. I probably could have more filtered but we’ll see if I change that.

As I was reading George O Wood’s latest book, Roadtrip Leadership, I came across this old organizational tidbit. Thomas Trask quotes Dwight Eisenhower who said that he only touches a piece of paper once, he either files it, responds to it, or throws it away.

Now, Ike wasn’t talking about email but I am. My new email strategy is to touch each email once and then file it from there. The emails I’m not ready to respond to can stay in my inbox for when I get back to work. But, no more waiting to label and archive everything when I have over 1000 in my inbox.

I also use the starred inbox in gmail. So, emails that I won’t respond to long term or are very important get starred. That way they stay at the top of my inbox. I don’t let this number get over ten emails.

So far, so good. Though winter break is one of the slower email times. But I do still get a considerable amount of them.

What’s your email inbox strategy? Have you been using the Eisenhower method already?

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Book Review: The God Who is There

I just read The God Who Is There by Francis Schaeffer. I have been intrigued by Schaeffer for a while and this book was on James White’s list in A Mind Fir God.

I will have to admit that I fund the book to be denser than I expected and at times over my head. It seemed like far too often I was having to think harder than I thought I would to try and wrap my mind around the main point of each chapter and the main point of the book. part of this is because I thought the title meant the book was about God being near but it’s more about the change I culture and how we can interact with the world and show them the God who is near.

That sounds like an evangelism book. It wasn’t. It was more of an academic look at the change in mind sets especially the move from antithesis to rationalism across what Schaeffer calls the line of despair.

Schaeffer uses charts and words to shows how we have moved across the line of despair in Europe and America in music, art, philosophy, general culture and theology. I don’t know that I’ve seen a more thorough look at these categories that has shown why they are important to understand for the Christian mind.

I will say it was very helpful for me to be at least familiar with the philosophical names from my time I undergrad to be able to get a better picture of the book.

I enjoyed the book, and it gave me a lot to think about. I would recommend it but I would suggest you prepare yourself academically for it.

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French Press v Instant Coffee

So, I got back into the French Press thing this past week. I go back and forth between the French press and the normal pot. But, that’s not really the point of this post…

My question is what’s the difference in the French press and instant coffee? Why is French press hipster and European while instant coffee is rural and poor?

It seems to me the only difference is if the coffee is dissolved all the way. That’s what happens with instant. With a French press I have to clean the Bodum out. So, coffee snobs…err…I mean connoisseurs, what’s the difference in them? If they made high quality instant coffee would that appease you?

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Review of New Years Resolutions

Last year I made some public New Years Resolutions. Before I make next years I wanted to review how I did last year.

Here is the link of last years post from the old blog. here

I’d have to say not bad.

1. I definitely met the reading goal. I don’t know how many books I read. But, it was more than 12.

2. I definitely wrote more. However, I didn’t do two posts a week, especially in August and September.

3. We did pay off one student loan and are snowballing to the next one!

4. Our budget is still not quite there yet but we made good progress!

5. Also not licensed but I have the paperwork filled out just has to be notorized.

6. I did shoot in the 90s twice!

7. I’m fairly confident we gave away 15 percent but I will have to look at the hard data at year end to see!

Overall, not bad. But maybe 7 goals is too many…

How’d you do?

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Winter Break Plans

Above you have a picture of my Winter Break Plans.  We get a full two weeks off in Chi Alpha and then have some time to get ready for the semester before the students get back in January.  I plan on capturing these moments and trying to get some major reading done.  I just started Schaeffer’s The God Who is There and realized it’s probably going to take me longer than I expected (a little denser than I first imagined…lol).  Then I’m looking forward to reading Batterson’s The Circle Maker, Fee’sPaul the Spirit and the People of God, and Metaxes’ Bonhoeffer.

The one book up there I haven’t mentioned is the Live Dead Journal.  I’d like to take some time to tell you about this one.  I, and my wife, challenged our Peer Teams to do the Live Dead Journal over Winter Break.  It’s a 30 day devotional that seeks to give you a heart for the world.  However, it’s more than that too.  It asks you to make much of Jesus in your own personal life, to be a person that makes much of Jesus.  Part of this is to spend extravagant amounts of time with Him through prayer, worship and reading of the Bible.  2.5 hours per day.  Yup that’s right.  2.5 hours per day.  A tithing of your day to Jesus.

I’m pretty pumped about this because I don’t even come close to 2.5 hours most days.  I’d love to have this kick start something in my own heart and my own life as I get a heart for the world and spend extravagant amounts of time with Jesus.

If you’re interested in doing it with us, that would be great!  I’m starting December 19th, a Monday.  Buy a book and get on board.  Let me know if you’re in.

 

And of course, I’ll also be hunting.  Wish me luck!

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Book Review: Junia is Not Alone

I readJunia Is Not Alone by Scot McKnight this weekend.

First, it should be noted this is a very very small ebook. I knew that going in, but it was smaller than I expected. I saw that people wrote they read it all before breakfast but instill didn’t think it would be as small as it was. Alas, I had an Amazon gift card, so I gave it a whirl.

The point of the ebook is to start the conversation about women in the Bible and in the church. These women have had their stories silenced for some odd reason, especially since the Reformation. McKnight seems to make the point that Luther did nothing to help these women get their fair shake, primarily because they were women.

The book is a good read and definitely goes a long way to start the conversation on women I the church. I enjoyed it and would like to see a further study done, especially on the women that Scot mentions.

If you want to be encouraged about women in ministry or want to know where to start your study on women in ministry and in the church.

A good read if seen as a primer!

*Edit.  It seems as if I didn’t define who Junia is.  If Scot’s theory is correct that the church has buried women who were leaders, then many of you will not know who she is or where to find her.  She’s a woman apostle.  Yes, that’s right.  And you can find her in Romans 16:7.  My NIV thin line has her name as Junias, a male name, which is a grave theological and translation error.  The 2011 NIV has her name has Junia and calls her an apostle.

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