Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Office space

Sometimes I need to get out to see the world beyond the 2 x 3 foot window that is my world view from my desk. So I come to Forza and enjoy a steamer and some wifi. It relaxes me and I get to say hello to many of my friends that also haunt the spot. (I was disappointed that Nashville had so few coffee shops downtown.) It is nice to have a penny university so close.

One of my fellow conventioners bought the DVD of Louis Gigglio's talk. Basically he says all the trappings of worship don't matter if there isn't a response to the Holy God. We sat in the convention a week ago listening to it and there was still so much to take from his time. I hope that I will be able to learn more each time I hear it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Season of Advent

I think it is my favorite season. This didn't used to be so. I would spent the holiday feeling sorry for myself and whining about how the world was corrupt and not concerned with me. I was a teen.

Now I know that the world is corrupt and the world doesn't care about me. But Christ. He didn't count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the for of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. He did this while I was still a sinner. This is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How sweet it is

I am home and it is so nice. In just a few minutes I will be heading over to my daughters pre-school for a Daddy Day presentation. On the way to school she was telling me that I am her hero for taking care of the family. That got misty eyes.

NYWC was refreshing and I am glad I was given the opportunity to attend. I hope that YFC and YS continue to partner in the gospel. Both groups have so much to offer each other, it would be a shame not to have a continued relationship.

Tonight there will be resting and going to bed before mid-night.

The convention finis

The convention finished and we stayed to the very end. Tic, Carla and Marko said their good-byes and we walked out of the convention center into a very cold November afternoon.  We wondered around until we found the safety of a Starbucks and hid there until we got desperate enough to get to the airport.  I usually can’t afford the plane ticket that gets me out of town in the early afternoon, so it is the late in late out track for me.  We are desperate to get to our families.

The airport did afford us a great time to talk about what we had taken in at YS.  During the talk a switch turned in my head and I have an idea for a student I work with at LC.  I am thinking of having him lead the prayer time before our small group.  The thought is to have him take the requests, right them down, pray for them and follow up the next week.  He is a seventh grader and really needs to have some of his energy channeled in a constructive way.

All in all I will not come back to a YS/YFC convention unless I have my wife, or other volunteers to share this with.  To come by myself or with only other professionals is no longer useful or productive.  There is too much time spent pinning for the company.  Besides she is an experienced volunteer and could in a matter of months have a fully functioning club up and running.  With that I am going to recommend to YS a few ideas.

I might post them later.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Good times, Fun Times

Today was an emotional day at the convention. I spent most of the worship time fighting back tears. Nearly every tear-jerker story that was used brought a tear to my eye. I am not a crier unless it deals with my family. So I have been a bit put off guard. The evening speaker dealt with worship and the heart. There were no pulled punches, every defense that people use about why they can't worship was shot down. He spoke about how worship is a response to the glory of God and I was crying. He told a story about a mom with a severely handicapped child at a worship service, who spent the time singing into the ear of her child and standing full of radiance in praise. I was weeping. He talked about the woman who wiped Christ feet with her hair and I couldn't hold back the tears. I am amazed that I am still able to think. I think I might have some issues I need to deal with.

I had a conversation with my dad last month about the church I attend. It ended with him saying that if I can't worship there, why am I going. The speaker says that regardless of the style or environment, my response to God's glory is my choice. In fact if I am living a life of worship it doesn't matter because I am being used in the worship. I am being spent as a sacrifice.

I am not used to crying in worship. I used to blame it on being tired. Maybe that is a lame excuse. Lord, here am I, spend me.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Oh I don't know what to title this.

I am feeling pretty good about the time I spent today in the sessions. I finally feel comfortable about the emergent movement. I don't agree with much of what they have to say about many things. But, I do respect the open conversation that has begun because were tired of hiding their questions behind fear. I hope that they will be a model to the rest of the north American church community to discuss with love and humility the things of Christ. And I hope that those of us who don't agree will have the common courtesy to respect their right to question and test the things of Christ.

Tomorrow I would like to return to my roots and attend some middle school sessions. I am starting to miss the fellowship of confusion that is the middle school worker. We are a dazed and funny group of people. And really a seventh grade boy could hardly care less about esccetology. It is good to have a kid keep me humble.

Now for a little pining for my wife and children. I miss them so. I have a picture of them in a prayer book that I brought to the convention. As I was praying I was able to look at them and be reminded of how beautiful a family can be. The picture of my girls captures the sister relationship perfectly. They love each other dearly.

Let me leave on this note. May your relationships with your church family be redeemed. For all the rest, I pray that Christ will show His mercy, grace and peace.

Hide and seek wifi

This is not how I wanted to up-date.  I am too cheap to pay for access and too lazy to walk to a site that I think might be free.  So I am taking notes on my day and sessions I have attended and the plan is to post when I get home.  So this might be read on Tuesday after the convention.  Oh well.

I have finished the second of several talks on post-modern thinking.  The first one was with dan Kimball, the second was with Duffy robins, Dan Kimball as moderator and Tony Jones.  Duffy offered an alternative view of where post modern thought might take the church.  Walking out of this session I felt more comfortable with Duffy’s opinion.  Tony used the bigger words and maybe had more training in philosophy but Duffy seemed to have more common sense.  (if I am to believe mark twain, common sense isn’t common)  All that being said I am enjoying the theology discussions more than the ministry skills.  If I have a right way of thinking my actions will follow.  That is my hope anyway.

There are 7500 people here and 500 of them are from YFC.  I was afraid that “Big Brother” would be watching as I spent my time enjoying the convention.  But truly it has been a blessing to be with others that understand campus ministry in a CL context.  There hasn’t been a controlling presense from YFC in what we need to go to and when we need to be somewhere.  I have had the freedom to experience the NYWC both with YFC and by myself.

I have one more observation.  One the bottom level of  the main convention site they have set up experience station that take you though different creative exercise that allow a person to be contemplative and prayerful in what might be a “safe play” environment.  It is cool to see these being offered.

Joy of Joys, I found a cafĂ© just down the street from the convention center.  For the price of a mocha (a good one at that) I am now able to publish these entries.  Unfortunately they are not open tomorrow.  Sad.

21 floors up

21 floors up and I walked them all, and only once I might add.  I don’t feel that it is necessary to do it again.  I will avoid making analogies to my spiritual journey being a mountain that I am climbing.  The stairs were entertainment and a long walk up a tower.


Travel is not all that it is sold to be.  It is more like commuting to work over thousands of miles instead of tens.  The journey was made with a travel buddy and that has made it more pleasant.  Tomorrow I have a meeting from 8:30-11:30 am and then I am off to the rest of the NYWC.  There are a couple of YFC events that I will take in with the other guys in the group.  Tony Jones and Efram Smith are two speakers that I have a desire to see.  They offer two sides of ministry that I encounter in my area.  There is the middle class bedroom community where money isn’t the biggest worry and I have students that need a place to stay because they have been evicted from their trailer home.  So many ways of thinking and I get split going from one group to the next.

Also these two men represent two groups of people that are moving to the bleeding edges of ministry.  So I will sit and listen to their stories and hope to take back some to make my own.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Time for Travel

I am going to Nashville this next weekend for the Youth Specialties Youth Workers Convention, And to the YFC National Convention. I am looking forward to "the meet and mingle." I don't get to see many of my fellow conspirators in the gospel.

I am continuing my love/hate affair with Emergent movement. I have become more comfortable with missional living as a way of describing what I hope to do. But honestly, there was a time when I heaped much mockage on "missional living" as a description of faith. But, what am I going to do?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

An idea to ponder

I will come back to this more during the week as I have collected more thoughts.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Laundry List

Here is a small taste of what I am reading and listening to:
  1. The history of kalendars

  2. Working Man Blues by the Grateful Dead

  3. The Shaping of Things to Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch

  4. The Crusades (Since I was a boy I have been interested in medieval life.  Recently there have been many books that are re-examining the facts and taking into account new finds.)

  5. The Path to Rome by Hillary Belloc

Thursday, November 10, 2005

November 10 2005 4id

November 10, 2005 4id – Technology and Toasters, when I reach to use either, I want them to work, no questions.