Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Workout 2011-06-01

Tomorrow's Workout: meet in front of Woodlands Pool. 4 mile hill run.  The "bus" leaves at 5:45am.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tomorrow's Workout: 2011-05-30

Tomorrow's Workout: meet in front of Hampton Oaks pool. 3 or 5 mile option. The "bus" leaves at 5:45am. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Workout 2011-05-23

Not available to work out this week. Will resume workouts 5/30. Have a great week!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tomorrow's Workout - 2011-05-20

Meet at Woodlands Pool parking lot. 3 miles: hills and negative splits. Come join the fun. Rain or shine the "bus" leaves at 5:45AM.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Interesting Research on The Wisdom of Crowds

I saw this interesting Wired article via Zite. I read James Suriwecki's book, The Wisdom of Crowds, several years ago and was fascinated with its premise (that crowds that meet certain criteria are often smarter than individuals in making decisions.)

The end of the article, stating a conclusion from researchers led by mathematician Jan Lorenz and sociologist Heiko Rahut of Switzerland’s ETH Zurich, intrigued me:

“Opinion polls and the mass media largely promote information feedback and therefore trigger convergence of how we judge the facts,” they wrote. The wisdom of crowds is valuable, but used improperly it “creates overconfidence in possibly false beliefs.”

What do you think? How does this impact how we communicate and operate as the church, the community of Jesus?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Workout - 2011-05-18

Tomorrow's Workout: Meet at Porter Library parking lot. ~3 miles, push-ups & sit-ups, too. Rain or shine the "bus" leaves at 5:45AM.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tomorrow's Workout - 2011-05-16

Tomorrow's Workout: Meet at Porter Library parking lot. ~3 miles, push-ups & sit-ups, too. Rain or shine the "bus" leaves at 5:45AM.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Introducing the Shallow Small Group...

Pretty funny caricature of small groups. How does reflect (or not) your own perceptions or experiences of small group community?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Church: Purveyor of religious goods and services or Community of Jesus?

When the church is merely a provider of religious goods and services, we run the risk of making Jesus a consumable "product" to meet our own needs, rather than the life-giving Savior who transforms and reorients our lives.  

In what ways does the 21st century church seem to be merely a provider of religious goods and services?  In what ways does the 21st century church seem to be the community of Jesus?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tomorrow's workout...

Inaugural workout tomorrow AM! Meet @ Hampton Oaks Community Center. Running 3 miles, push-ups and sit-ups after. The "bus" leaves at 5:45AM sharp!

Monday, May 09, 2011

BIG IDEA from the One-Month Experiment

It's been a month since I wrote about committing to four practices. Three of the four were successful:

The one practice that I wasn't successful with was regular exercise.  I want to change that.

So, here's my idea:

For the next two months (from now until the beginning of July) I am going to lead "group" workouts. 
(Note: "group" equals whoever shows up. If no one shows up, then I will run with my good friends "me, myself and I."  Either way, I am meeting my goal of exercising three times a week.)

Here are the details:

WHEN:  Three times a week (M, W, and F) at 5:45AM.  The "workout" begins promptly at 5:45AM, and will not last more than an hour.

WHERE:   I will post the location and distance in three places:  here, Facebook, and Twitter by 8PM of the night before. (You can friend me on FB or follow me on Twitter - bennettvt.) Workouts won't start in the same location twice in a row.  We will meet up at the church, the local library, or one of the neighborhood community building parking lots.   (All start locations will be within 5-8 minutes of the church.)

WHAT:  Workouts won't be the same twice - some days it will just be running, some days we will incorporate other "goodies" into the run. (i.e. push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, sit-ups, etc.) Most days we will do between 3 and 4 miles.  No work out will ever go over 5 miles.

WHO:  Anyone can participate - just be prepared to do the distance. The motivation and accountability of exercising with others can be fun!  If you choose to participate you are responsible for yourself. Your mother will not be there to watch over you. (Unless of course you choose to bring your mother, in that case make sure she's ready to exercise.)

I am curious to see how all this turns out.  I look forward to seeing some of you at 5:45AM on Wednesday.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Never Say Never...

I was talking with a friend yesterday. She was reflecting on an experience in her life where she has experienced significant growth. "Four years ago, I said I would NEVER lead a small group much less participate in one. Now I am leading one and, wow I have grown so much in my ability to be vulnerable in community." Never say never...

That conversation got me thinking about all the times when I said NEVER and what happened. Here are two:

In the fall of 1989, I remember watching the Hawaii IronMan on TV. I remember thinking, I will NEVER do that, its crazy. My "never" was primarily because I didn't think I would be able to do something like that. I mean come on, that's crazy - 140.6 miles, in one day, under your own power. That's insane! I could never do that!

Then in 2001 I met a group of guys at the gym who talked me into signing up for IronMan Florida with them. (Yes, peer pressure works.) I was excited about possibility that I MIGHT be able to do it. Those guys replaced my doubt with hope. I did what I said I would never do on November 9, 2002 in 14 hours and 21 minutes.

In Spring of 2006, after serving as an associate pastor where the senior pastor and I didn't always see eye to eye, I remember saying I would never be an associate again. NEVER... My "never" was based on fear going through the same challenges I previously experienced again.

In Fall of 2008, I had a conversation with my current lead pastor discussing the possibility of being an associate with him. I told him, "No" because of my previous experience. However, I couldn't get the idea out of my head. (The Holy Spirit's "peer pressure".) In January 2009, I called him back to see if the offer was still open. I knew from my conversation with him that this would be a different kind of appointment. (Not mention I had grown and matured quite a bit since my previous experience.) Now I get to serve with a great team, learning lots, and contributing in great ways to the mission of God through the church. This is a completely different experience than my previous experience.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED...(in addition to the fact that I can be talked into just about anything) I wonder if saying "never" to something is actually just putting up a wall against possibility for fear of failure, hurt, and/or rejection.

What if our "nevers" are a protection against something we really need. For instance, my "never" about the triathlon wasn't about triathlon. It was about the possiblity of pushing myself to step out of my comfort zone and attempt difficult things. My "never" about being an associate was judging all future experiences by past experiences without discernment and nuance. I needed to learn to not pre-script the future, rather to learn lessons from the past to help me be discerning towards the future.

Now, whenever I say "I will never" it gives me pause to see what it is I am really guarding against, and how there may be a growing moment ahead of me.

What are some times when you have said, "I will never..." then some time later you found yourself doing that? What was the impact? How did you grow?