Friday, September 12, 2003

Flip the switch

Met with a great group of leaders who are doing ministry among the emerging generation. They are eager and frustrated. Many of them said that they serve in churches that do not understand that a cultural shift has taken place. I had several thank me for validating them, another young women who said that she understands herself for the first time and a father who said that he now understands his 20 year old kids for the first time.

That is the funny thing about this. When you talk about the culture shift, you think that it is only about how this shift relates to ministry, but many find it almost therapeutic to hear that they are not crazy or just angry without no reason.

My favorite thing to do is to turn the lights on for people, whatever the topic. It brings clarity to them and that is...


Friday, July 25, 2003

Experiential Storytelling

the book is going well. looks like it will be 175 pages and come out in february. reserve your copy today! ;-)


going to dc for the general council of my denomination. there is supposed to be a "transformational" agenda. i'll keep you posted. i hope to make it to the holocaust museum on tuesday and bring my daughter raegan. they have an area for kids and i think it might be good to begin the dialog of this atrocity.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Out of Africa

just got back from uganda last week on a mission's trip. highlights- the beautiful country, the beautiful people, the trip to a small village church (man, can they pray!), a conversation on slavery, an opportunity to speak to 120 college students about reaching their "Jerusalem" and a safari (of course). it was a trip i will never forget. the testimonies (and everyone in africa loves to give a testimony) were unforgettable. many set free from their witchcraft backgrounds in their villages. others who came out of a muslim background. most of these young people feel a calling to go to the 10/40 window and spread the good news.

i hope to go back again. but i now know that God and His purposes are alive and well in uganda.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Book Cover

i just got the cover to my book emailed to me. my family had a great time watching the cover pop up on the screen. zondervan did a great job with it. this whole process has been grueling but very fun. i'm looking forward to the finished product.
heading off to hilton head island this week and looking forward to the break. i will be there for a week and then a week later leave for uganda for two and a half weeks. crazy busy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

NYC- anniversary

just got back from NYC. what a great town. we stayed in times square and the energy that place exhibits is amazing. it also was a little overwhelming. i found it particularly overwhelming to see such a glutonous and consumer culture that on one hand seems so amazing and on the other hand so empty and lost. i spent time praying for the people but also a lot of time being a tourist. we were there to have a great time and celebrate 12 incredible years of marriage. stacey is a woman of beauty, grace, wisdom and fun all rolled into one. and i am grateful to God for my gift.

lunch at central park, seeing a broadway show (thoroughly modern millie-i would highly recommend), eating out at a swing club, riding the subway, and a little stop into tiffany's- all fun. the world trade center is now reduded to a huge city block that looks like a construction team preparing a place to be built. the steel cross still stands (which surprised me). it was sobering to be there and more sobering when a plane flew over our heads. thougths immediately went back to that fateful day of september 11. a day which caught us off guard but i often remind myself that it was a day that God knew was coming. we are living HIS story, even today with President Bush taking a trip into the middle east. enough ramblings for now.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

even with ramsay, i was able to watch the matrix reloaded last night with my friend. his wife volunteered to watch the little 'un. thoughts on the matrix- not as good as the first. serious philosophical blah blah blah throughout. i'm not sure what the wachowski brothers are trying to say if anything. they definitely did NOT in my opinion build on the first. i think they actually detracted from neo's character. also, there was some serious over the top cheese parts as well. and what was the orgy seen all about? is this what freedom looks like? a bunch of 20-30 year olds who are half naked bumpin' and grindin' in an underground city? explain that to me. but the action scenes alone make the movie worth seeing. they didn't take special effects to a new level in this one but they did add some nice tricks. even with the action, i dont' think i will be anticipating #3 quite as much now.
my wife and daughter are gone for the weekend. that leaves me all by my lonesome with my sweet 7 month old, ramsay. i have a newfound respect for my wife. i had forgotten just how much your life revolves 100% around the life of a baby when you are soley the one responsible for the child. i'm going to add another gift on top of my mother's day present. actually i already have. i am taking her to one of her favorite spots in the world nyc! it is our 12th anniversary and i thought it would be nice to get away for a change. and no, ramsay will not be with us. ;-)

Thursday, May 22, 2003

my sister deb is in town from california. i love her. she is fun and the eccentric aunt that every child should have. my nine year old daughter thinks she hung the moon (my mom's expression). we have had a great time. a little rushed though as she only stayed for a day and a half.

Friday, May 16, 2003

just got back from our "denomination's" district council. it was a positive experience overall. a chance to connect with other ministers and find out what is happening within the assemblies of God movement.

it is also a frustrating experience as well. i try not to engage in too much of the political business at the councils. but. but. yes, that is two buts. when there is an issue that strikes at a principal that i believe in, it is hard for me to just bite my tongue. and so i didn't. the issue had to do with something seemingly insignificant- allowing associate pastors and not just senior pastors to be allowed to serve as the secretary of their section. the secretary does nothing more than take minutes (sometimes, although i have yet to see any in 10 years of ministry) and they send out postcards reminding everyone of when we are meeting. to me, this is a no-brainer and it allows younger ministers and those who might not have been called to be a senior pastor the opportunity to serve their section. but in the AG, there is a long history of a top-down mentality where you haven't arrived until you have become a senior pastor. it is a little bit of an old boys network and that sort of thing dies VERY hard (a la Augusta national). anyway, i spoke and was belittled for one of my statements. the resolution failed and the status quo won out.

i don't feel animosity but i do feel a sense of sadness. i am sad because times like these show you what you are made of. what i saw at this council was a segment of the council who desires to move forward and realizes that it will take a plurality of giftings for this to happen. many privately congratulated and say "keep the fight" and "change will come about, you are just the prophetic voice". but the majority still desires a return to the golden age when what the pastor says goes and where command and control is the choice of this generation. the problem is that the world has passed them by and any missional impact is lost on this romance of the past. but i wait, hopefully with patience for the day when we will not even debate such issues. when they will become the no-brainers that i believe God thinks that they are.

many of you will have no idea what this rant is about. that is ok. this was a rambling journal rant for me. and i needed to get it off my chest. thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

well, i am heading to uganda this summer. our missions team consists of 7 men and 1 woman. we will be building a multi-purpose building and helping to lead a missions camp for students at the university. the missionaries we are partnering with are dave and jen carroll.

here are two sites from ugandan newspapers that you can check out. they are the monitor and newvision.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

the seder we had last week was also cool. if you have never been to a seder, i would encourage you to try it out. it is the best example i can think of where your taste is part of the story. your actual sense of taste. the bitter foods are bitter for a reason. the sweet food is sweet for a reason. the flat bread is flat for a reason. this idea is beautiful and should be replicated to speak to our current context.

another blur of a week. easter. i was listening to garrison keilor saturday night and in his tales of lake wobegan, he mentions the pastor being ever so busy and that is why he gets paid the big bucks. well, minus the big bucks, it was a busy week. we again put together an experiential story by creating a walk-through of the last week of Christ's life. i called it stations toward the cross instead of staions of the cross which i think are unbiblical. minus the fog machine setting off the smoke alarm with 10 minutes before it began, the event was very powerful. i love narrative immersion! someday it would be fun to connect with others that are doing this same thing.

maybe someday.............................................

Friday, April 04, 2003

we have been experimenting with some different forms of gatherings that might be attractive to a person who does not know Christ (who know what to call them now?). sinner used to suffice, but oh well.

last week we had an expresso cafe where we celebrate creativity. we have done about 6 of these now and they keep gathering steam. we have poets, painters, rappers, breakers, unpluggers etc. do there thing. we then give everyone an opportunity to get in on the fun with interactive creative stations etc. and of course, there is lots of caffeine and goodies (also an art form-yumm!). all of the proceeds from that go to feed the hungry.

another thing we are doing is called the salon. the idea is actually french (boo) but really took off in seattle and is spreading. it is a night to invite people to converse. there are actually books to help you with your salon. we are seeing cool stuff happen from these. i just discovered a site that could be used for advertising a salon if you are interested.

also, if you are just interested in doing a salon, here is a good site.

and if you have an idea on connecting gospel and culture, let me know. email me at

my daughter turns 9 today. i am officially an old man. we celebrated her party last night. when i asked her where she wanted to go, she said "OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE." my daughter, the red meat lover. wow.

she is such a great kid. she has taught me more about myself and my faith than anyone else. she is an amazing young girl and i am eternally blessed to have her call me "daddy."

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

been a while since i have blogged. been a little crazy.

2 retreats
major writing project
expresso cafe with our journey group (which was amazing, remind me to tell you about it sometime)
we hosted a couple who are thinking of church planting in the cleveland area

busy but good. I am tired however. but i thought i would check in.

Friday, March 14, 2003

great site.
got this quote from a blog quoting another blog. jordon cooper listed it as todd hunter's commenting on dallas willard's quotes. confused? i am. anyhow, just read-

We keep trying to make Sunday church into community with people driving to these meetings from 20-30 minutes away. We then try to fix this obvious lack of community by adding some form of home group. Now people drive 20-30 minutes to a second meeting and we fool ourselves into thinking we have created community. While striving mightily to form these pseudo-communities we lose twice: First, these meetings can never amount to true community , by definition (with the exception of cyber communities) I'm not sure about this one yet, but I'm open... has a strong geographical component. True community requires routine, unplanned contact—like what you have at work, school, neighborhood, etc. Here is the second loss: while running to meetings of this sort, and thinking of them as our Christianity, we ignore the authentic communities we are already in! We neglect the very places we could be working with God as ambassadors of the Kingdom to form (educate, grow in grace and true spirituality, grow in numbers as new Followers of Christ are added, etc.). [more thougths on todd's blog at todd's blog

some interesting thoughts. i have asked some of the same questions. what is even more sad is that in some ways i feel a greater sense of community with my unsaved neighbors than i do with believers. the upside is that i feel in a real sense that we are living out the salt and light thing in our neighborhood. i think that the whole cocooning effect is having more of an impact than we think. proximity=simplicity=community. hmmmmm

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

if you have ANY opinion about starbucks at all, you have to try this site- When you are through, check out some of the other pages like the new chicken soup for the soul. i actually laughed out loud.
what an amazing weekend we had. my wife was given a shower by the women of newsong. and yes, they asked me if i would attend. i actually don't mind because i enjoy sharing in my wife's celebrations. and this was a big one. stacey shared from her journal the anguish and pain of waiting 7 looong years to have another child. i am amazed at her transparency and even more amazed at her writing ability. she can express herself in ways that i can only dream about. she is a God-send to me. i felt affirmed, proud and most of all overjoyed at the faithfulness of God. this has been the longest journey of my life. 7 years of famine have led to a new season of blessing. you can see a picture of our new baby and her big sis at

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

another group that is intriguing is billy corgan's band zwan. very 70's peter mac looking web site zwan

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Here's a great story. Wheaton is going to hell. ;-) wheaton and dancing

Friday, February 21, 2003

an article on mars hill church in seattle by the seattle times. "it's more chris rock than puritan." christ is another guy i think the church could learn a lot from.

seattle times article
If you like U2, and I do, here is a link to a Christianity Today article where he talks openly about his faith. His style of evangelism and just life is so appealing to me.

U2 article

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Here is a quote from Winston Churchill that my boss told me last week. It was good timing for me, maybe for you too.

"If you are going through hell...keep going."
so this is my first blog.

this has been an incredible time of life for me and my wife (and for that matter my daughter raegan). we just adopted a baby girl from vietnam and we couldn't be happier! the last few weeks have been filled with great joy and wonder at God's gift to us. more later.

i hope by blogging will be able to share the ups and downs in life along with various ramblings about life, God, ministry etc. that might help someone along the way.