Thursday, April 19, 2007


The events this past week at Virginia Tech have bothered me more than other campus shootings. All such shootings are horrific, but seeing the pictures of familiar buildings and paths I once walked as a place where such senseless violence was unleashed into the world makes me sad.

More than once I have been watching the images on TV and found tears welling up and a lump in my throat. It breaks my heart.

However, I believe God enters the broken places to point to a new reality. Jesus entered broken creation to point to a new reality - the kingdom of God - and then help us to get there, even here on earth, through his death and resurrection. We the church, the embodiment of Christ here on earth, enter into broken and dark places to be Jesus to those who suffer and need healing. Just as Jesus is the light that darkness can not overcome. So we are to share that same light in to dark places.

So in the face of such horrific events, may we be the light to those in darkness just as Jesus has been and is the light to our darkness.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Vacation Update...

Jill and I have really enjoyed our time at the beach. It has been relaxing and refreshing. We leave the beach today and head up to Richmond for a quick visit with my family before heading on to Marshall tomorrow.

We were able to make it to the beach one day (yesterday) where Jill acquired a sunburn to match all sunburns. (ouch!) She likes to make fun of me whenever we go to the beach, because I try to cover every square inch to avoid getting burned...who's laughing now! (Don't tell her I said that.) The water was extremely cold. I decided to be manly and run into the water...when I dove under the water and the cold of the water stole my breath, I decided that being manly isn't really all its cracked up to be and promptly ran back out of the water.

We ran into a group of folks from a previous church on Monday evening. They invited us over for a delicious seafood meal the next evening. We enjoyed hanging out with these folks in a different context, and getting to meet some new folks. The rest of our vacation has been spent just the two of us. Its been really nice.

Those were just a few of the "highlights" from our trip. Good stuff! Now its the time has come to make our way back to the real world.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My New Favorite Toy...

This gadget is awesome! I tried it out yesterday for the first time.

First, while running it provides automatic updates on your progress through your headphones. During the workout press the select button and it tells you your pace, time so far, and distance so far. Once the workout is over, connect the ipod to your computer, sync it with itunes and it links with nike to track your runs.

I especially like it because it makes me faster! (I still need to calibrate it - it told me I did 8.7 miles in one hour - trust me, I am not that fast.) Also, this little device doesn't require nike shoes. All you have to do is cut a hole in the tongue of you shoe, drop the sensor in there, and you are set to go.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Words from down under...

Found this cool clip over at EmergingUMC. I find the messages in the video below inspiring and encouraging. What do you think?


Jesus is risen. Easter is celebrated. Now Jill and I are on vacation!

We are staying at a sweet place this week. I don't want to divulge our source other than to say - I know a guy...

Jill loves the beach. In fact she takes off for a week each summer with a group of rowdy women (her mom, her mom's friend and Jill's childhood friend) to come to the beach. I live the whole week in fear that I will have to post bail for them for being too rowdy!

But I digress...the weather is a little chilly, but that works for me because it means we don't have to spend countless hours baking in the sun. (Not my favorite thing to do.) We hope to do a lot of reading, eating, running, sleeping, watching movies...we'll need a vacation to rest from our vacation!

We both have a few "work" things to do. She has to do report cards (I wonder if she'll be more generous with grades since we are away from home at a beautiful beach). I need to get my butt in gear working on a series on healing - something about which I feel I have a lot to learn and process.

I will post more later - for now I must go...vacate...vacation...whatever the correct verb form is, I have to go do that.

Two things you don't talk about at dinner parties...

...Theology and Politics.

Scot McKnight has a great post dealing with both. Its his reflection on a book (William Cavanaugh's Theopolitical Imagination) he read that explores the church's relationship with politics. I highly recommend checking out his post. Scot voices some great thoughts that are helpful to me as I continue to grapple with the role church's and pastors play in the political process. (I would recommend the book, but since I haven't read it yet I can't give an informed opinion. So I guess what I can say is: Sounds like an interesting book!)

While I believe we should be active in the process, I do not believe we should ally ourselves to strongly with any one political party - we are called to be a prophetic voice that points to the kingdom of God, not the kingdom that man is trying to build. Thus we need to be able to encourage and critique both/all parties.

Of course it gets a little tricky when we attempt to make ourselves the spokespeople for God. However, I think the themes we find in Scripture, and more specifically Jesus words and deeds in the gospels, aid our discernment in how we vote in order to point towards the ever-present kingdom of God.

Your thoughts?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me...

One of my favorite things is to wake up and see snow on the ground - which was a total surprise this April...when it was 80 degrees on Weds...I think the last time I can remember there being snow on my birthday was 17 years ago....ooff...that seems like a long time ago!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday...

Check out Scot McKnight's very interesting post on the timing of Good Friday. Very interesting!

Who Are You?

I love church history and I think I qualify as a geek (not the "chic cool" geek, more like the "interested in odd stuff" geek.) That said, I was amused to have stumbled across this test to determine which early church father one might be. So, in celebration of Holy Week and Church tradition... Which church father are you?

It appears as though I'm this guy:

You’re St. Justin Martyr!

You have a positive and hopeful attitude toward the world. You think that nature, history, and even the pagan philosophers were often guided by God in preparation for the Advent of the Christ. You find “seeds of the Word” in unexpected places. You’re patient and willing to explain the faith to unbelievers.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Humbling Church Moment #683

At RUMC we recognize birthdays and anniversaries before the service. The congregation sings a modified "Happy Birthday/Anniversary to You" and people can walk up and put money in a "birthday box" which goes to help the needy in our community.

This past Sunday I was doing the announcements and calling notice to this tradition because we have several new folks worshiping with us. I wanted newer folks to understand what people are doing when they walk up and put cash in th "birthday box" and have the opportunity to participate.

However, I forgot two things. First I forgot that my birthday was this week, which means that I should as an example, put money into the box. No problemo - a perfect teachable moment... except to my horror I as I reached into my pocket I realize I had forgotten a second thing - cash. I had no cash.

So, what may have been a really good spur-of-the-moment idea (announcing the church custom of the birthday box) became a humbling church moment in practice (no money to put in the box for my own birthday). I'll be bringing cash to church this week.