Friday, September 29, 2006

I'd Like to Play

Got tagged by a couple of friends for this little quiz.

A book that changed my life besides the Bible:

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. The part about choosing to listen to the positive broadcasts in you mind over the negative ones shaped who I am today.
Joshua, the Homecoming by Joseph F. Girzone. This book really changed how I thought about Jesus. (Ike handed it to me in 1992.)

A book I’ve read more than once:

Children in the Night by Harold Myra. I've probably read this book 4 times. Ike loaned me his copy in college.

A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island:

Foxfire Book by Eliot Wigginton, (editor) and Students of Eliot Wigginton. This was my Dad's choice as well, what can I say? He learned me right. A book about Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts and Foods, Planting by the Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, and Moonshining? Perfect.

A book that made me laugh:

Marley & Me by John Grogan. A gift from my wife.

A book that made me cry:

A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins. When his dog died, I cried so hard I had to put the book down.

A book that I wish had been written:

Doing Things Early, How Not to be Last Minute J

A book that I wish had never been written:

I honestly cannot think of one.

A book I’ve been meaning to read:

The Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight
The Divine Conspiriacy by Dallas Willard

I’m currently reading:

Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin
Messy Spirituality by Michael Yaconelli
Coder To Developer by Mike Gunderloy

What are You Reading?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I pass this sign on my way to work. When I notice it, I usually do my
best Homer-thinking-about-doughnuts voice and say to myself "mmm, Meth
Church". I wipe the drool from my lip, get quite a giggle, and then
hurry on my way. Could the sign-makers have known that in 2006 the abbreviation would have such a connotation?

On a more serious note, it’s probably where Jesus would be. I’m not ready to call meth users the lepers of today, but I’m sure He’d spend His time with them.

I’m really trying to be a student of Jesus, so that gets me to thinking about my church and if He’d spend any time with us.

A while back RMW asked about churches and Adam wondered how to define them. I didn’t comment on either post, but I’ve been thinking about it and I’ll tell you about something that I dig at my church.

It is hard to miss and it used to kinda bother me, but now I hope it never leaves. You see, there is this little trashcan, the same size as the ones that are under the desk of every office cubical in America. It's tan and has a black liner curling over the edges. What makes it notable is its assigned post.

It sits on the floor of our auditorium along the front wall right next to the stage.

Now our stage is dwarfed by the size of the auditorium’s front wall, so don’t think that because this trash can sits off to the side of the stage it is not front and center—because it is. Right up there in the front, this dumpy little trashcan sits poised for that moment when a speaker has some trash that must be immediately discarded.

Once I moved the trashcan, but before a week passed, it returned. You see, behind this modest trashcan is a hole in the wall. That’s right; an eight inch square hole has been left by some long-since-removed, sound equipment panel. I’m pretty sure that the hole was left by the building’s prior occupants and only became visible a couple of years ago when we downsized our stage. One of our elders, who works part-time as a janitor at the church, put that trashcan there to hide the hole.

For me, that trashcan sits as a reminder that the church should be doing stuff that has nothing to do with the physical appearance of the building. We could spend the money to get it fixed, but our leadership chooses to spend money on ministry—to the detriment of the upkeep of the building.

I like that I worship in a humble building because our money goes to other things like missions and counseling and teens. There are blood drives and abuse support groups and addiction groups and housing challenged people who all use the building. Just this Sunday a representative from the benevolence group stood not 12 feet from that trashcan and with tears in his eyes talked about the people who he had seen blessed by the stuff we spend money on.

Could we do more? Sure. Will somebody volunteer to patch the hole one day? Probably. But I think our priorities are in the right place when a hole goes unpatched and a food box gets filled.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Breaking the "More to Come" Curse

I didn't even know it was happening. But, look at this text from my very first post:

Been thinking about keeping a blog for a while. I'll see if I'm interesting enough to keep this updated. Mostly I'm avoiding some work that needs to be done. Ouch, self-guilt in my first post [sigh], more to come...
After that ill-fated posting I went silent for 13 months.

Then a few weeks ago I penned that treacherous phrase again. Confused by my silence, I've lighted on the explanation, "More to Come" is a curse. I'll try not to say it again.
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