Friday, May 26, 2006

Caving Update

I received a comment asking where we went caving (spelunking, whatever). Since this is the first comment from someone I don't know, I figured it definitel ydeserved a response. This is also giving me the push the create the flikr photo gallery which you'll find linked on the right.

I don't have a ton of details, we had a great guide from a spelunking club, Mr. Johnson. Here is what I do know.

We went to Jones Quarry in Berkeley County, WV. the cave is gated and you need to get access from the owner of the land, there's actually a man who oversees the access and giving out keys.

The area was great. We had a porta-potty (not the best, but at least it was something) and there was pretty easy access into the cave (we had a rope to pull us up the side of the hill).

I would definitely recommend checking it out. Here are some links I've found referring to Jones Quarry (you'll need to search on it in the page). Otherwise I can check with Mr. Johnson for more details.


Perspective on Perspectives – Lawn Care Service

The way we see the world affects our position within it.

It’s taken a while, with a couple false starts, but I’m finally found the best lawn care service provider in our area. They got out of their way to be accommodating to our schedule. They fertilize the way I prefer to have it done (twice a year at most), they aerate and the mow every week. They even work around our weekend events so that if we’re having people over for a party on Saturday the lawn will be mowed on Wednesday so there aren’t a lot of extra grass clippings for the event.

Rachel loves watching them work, seeing the mower go back and forth. The lawn technician (I love the fancy industry names) will even wave each time he goes by. She eats it all up. This service is so good even their spouse and kid will sometimes come out and sit on the porch to talk and watch.

They’re even relatively inexpensive. I do need to provide all of the equipment and gas, as well as fertilizer and seed when they spread. It’s a small price to pay for the exceptional service we receive. The grass is always cut the way I’d like (now that’s attention to detail) and there are often times we’ll even welcome the technician in for some sweet tea or soda afterward.

The way we see the world affects our position within it.

Two years ago we had the same lawn care service, and it wasn’t nearly as good. They had to use our push mower for the whole yard (and it wasn’t self-propelled), so maybe that was part of it. The lawn didn’t get mowed as often, and we never had the fertilizing/seeding/aerating done. You just knew that our “technician” wasn’t incredibly happy to be out there on hot summer days mowing my lawn. He’d much rather be sitting inside, sipping some tea and watching the world go by.

We even switched to a different lawn service for one summer, having a teenager down the street mow (It helped that our lawn mower died at the beginning of the summer). He was definitely more expensive, and never edged the grass by the fence.

So, last year we switched back, and it’s as though we’re working with a completely different service, even though we have the same two lawn technicians coming out to mow each week. I’m so happy we switched back.

This year we called a bunch of other companies, to check on fertilizing, seeding and aerating. They were pretty expensive, so we decided to stick with our current plan and avoid those “expensive” lawn care providers; though I’m sure they were very capable.

Unfortunately I can’t really recommend this service. So far as I know, they only do very select lawns. You have to know somebody who knows somebody to even talk to these guys about lawn care. Even then it’s like pulling teeth to convince them to mow your yard. That’s mainly because they mow only as a side business, so they just don’t have time to service too many lawns. When I think about it, I’m pretty sure they just do our lawn, helping some other people every now and then. Crazy business model I know, but it keeps me coming back to them!

The way we see the world affects our position within it.

My outlook on mowing the lawn used to be one of disdain and upset that it would take time away from family or friends. Now I actually care about the lawn, that it looks nice and green, and that it takes very little work to make that actually happen.

Scott’s, Washington checkbook and Consumer Reports have given me great advice on how to really care for the lawn. It’s really pretty easy to do.

As I continue to scale back wherever I can, I’ve been really focusing on my lawn. It feels good to watch it grow and know that it is healthy. Taking care of my lawn is now a joy simply because my outlook on the process has changed. It’s stopped being a chore and has become something to enjoy.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


We’re considered to be in a Postmodern Era. I’ve found a lot of different definitions for this age. It covers anything from individual opinions to the age after classical art has ended.

What is agreed on about Postmodernism is in how we act with one-another.

Today people are encouraged to accept everyone around them, regardless of their faults. We all have our own opinions on a given topic. I’m entitled to my opinion and you’re entitled to yours. I accept you for who you are, and I understand where you’re coming from in your opinion.

I think this acceptance of one-another is great in some ways. I also think this brings about some deep problems in our lives and with us as a society.

How many times have you seen some rule come up that just seems like common sense? How often have you been told that you can’t do something for one person since you’d have to do the same thing for everyone else?

Often in talking to someone they will say something I disagree with, and I’ll just respond that I understand where they are coming from. I don’t disagree openly with the person, even though I really do think they are wrong. We’re too worried about offending someone to let them know what we really think and feel.

I think this does hurt our own ability to be open with others. We lose to chance to be ourselves and talk about our feelings and beliefs even with friends.

When Erin’s parents are over, especially her mom, I tend to avoid talking about church as much as possible. This is something which takes up easily 25% of my week (probably more if I thought about it). I shy away from talking about it since I really think it may offend her. We just try so hard to avoid offending someone today, because we equate offending someone with not accepting them for who they are.

Think about the last time you went to dinner with someone, or a group of people. How long did it take you to decide where to go? Have you ever said the line “I don’t know, where do you want to go?” We go to dinner every Friday and Saturday night with Erin’s parents, and every time at least 10 to 15 minutes goes into the “what are you in the mood for? I don’t know, what are you in the mood for?” conversation. After that we name say, five different restaurants, and start the conversation all over, narrowed down to our five choices. It’s not always that bad… But it does happen a lot.

I think we do this because we are too worried about offending the person we’re talking to. We don’t want to specify a place because we’re worried that decision will not be some place the other person likes, and so we create a rift between us.

Instead of making a decision, we stick with indecisiveness.

Instead of offending someone, we never let ourselves be honest.

Sometime in high school I realized why I should be decisive, and I made decisions left and right. I would always suggest one place, if someone didn’t like it they could suggest another. After their suggestion I’d accept it and we’d move on. Sometime after high school I lost that.

I still offend people because of my openness and, honestly, my bluntness. At the same time I worry a lot about whether I’m offending someone. I try to make everyone happy, which of course is impossible.

Now is the time for me to reclaim that decisiveness. Get opinions and propose a solution. Let someone disagree with the solution, but at least there is one out there.

In this world there really is a right and a wrong. There really is a man called Jesus who loves us and forgives us from our sins. He’ll still ask us to do things we don’t want to do. He’s accepted that if that request causes a rift between us, He still loves me and is waiting for me to realize that there really isn’t a “rift” other than what I created.

It’s time to tell people what we think. There’s no other way that we’ll really move forward in this world.



Erin and I are currently in a training class from Microsoft on some of their new technologies. The class is somewhat interesting, though currently I don’t see our company purchasing and administering the software for us to actually use some of this stuff.

Right now we’re listening to a lot of details about a product that is really interesting, and is something we definitely need to know about. It also helps that the trainer is pretty good.

To top it all off, I have power so I can actually do some development on this project while being in the training.

I used to think that sitting in the office with the door closed was the best way to concentrate and get some work done. I was definitely wrong on that front.

The way to get a lot of straight development done is to sit in training with a power cord and no Internet access. I’ve been working on this project for almost two hours straight, and made a bit of headway. To top it all off, I am grabbing some interesting tidbits about the tool I’m developing with.

I’ve got to say, I love training!

This really goes back to how more and more people seem to live today. We don’t really do any one thing. When we’re driving or walking, we have music or Podcasts in the background. When we’re on the phone I’ll often go around cleaning the house or doing something else mindless. Even in work meetings most of us will continue to check e-mail and IM. Heck, have you looked at many teenagers today? Even as you talk to them, they’ll have headphones on and listen to music at the same time.

Have we gotten to the point in our life where we need something going on in the background?

I know that while I work, if there is no music or any other “distractions” I will check my e-mail almost every 15 minutes. If it’s not e-mail I’ll start thinking that I should check for updates to software. If not that I’ll work on the youth minister search.

My brain doesn’t seem to follow a single line of thought; instead I have a jumble of things going on all at the same time. Everything is vying to be the “most important thought of the moment” (Hmm, I like the idea of having a MITOTM). Once the moment is gone, it’s time for another thought. It’s become so hard to focus on one thing without giving my mind some background noise.

Am I alone in this?


Monday, May 22, 2006

Deep Thoughts - Church Attendance

Lately I’ve been going to conferences, reading marketing materials and reading church blogs to find ways to bring people into a relationship with Christ. My friend (ok, he’s my priest too) Rob sent over a this link by the Assistant Village Idiot (I LOVE this name by the way. Here was my initial take.

I’d agree with the idea that they tend to be dabblers, though I also think people are curious to learn more. That might be why I am not so excited when listening to Mark Batterson’s sermons while I do like Erwin McManus’. Erwin’s seem to come with a challenge and assumption to learn more. At the same time, I don’t really think I’m “learning” much from either.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that and “numbers” in church. I think some of the big churches:
  1. Meet a need that the community desires (likes coffee, wants to be entertained, wants to meet people, needs a vacation from kids etc.)

  2. Tell them that they are loved and accepted for who they are, no strings attached

  3. Give a flashy show or interesting talk without a lot of depth

The real question is: what should a Sunday sermon be? Is the purpose really to delve deeply into the bible (which it seems the Assistant Village Idiot is suggesting) or is it to get people wanting more? These churches focus on Sunday morning being the big “marketing weekend” as Ed Young said. After that they are plugged into groups which should be deepening their faith through bible studies and such.

This is the goal of Creation as well. Main stage talks which make you feel good, smaller side talks which go a little deeper (though still working on making you feel welcome, giving some challenges as well).

The scripture is a little bit lost in this focus of brining people in. A passage or two are mentioned, but the interpretation is definitely lighter than many people who have gone to church for years would want or need. I mean, how many times do you really want to hear the parable of the mustard seed discussed? Where are the stories from the Old Testament or the focus outside of the gospels?

The question is, where’s your focus? Back to the purpose of Sunday morning. Is it to bring in new faces, or are we keeping the deeper believers satisfied? I doubt it’s easy to do both.

I firmly believe that churches like Granger or Willow will bring in people on Sunday’s. Those people will find a community they like and then begin volunteering and taking part. As they volunteer to help Sunday services they also bring friends. These people who stick around will go to bible studies to deepen faith. Eventually they will lead bible studies and other talks, further deepening their experience. That being said, I think more people attend the small groups and begin leading groups that fit their interest (new mothers, marriage, singles, etc…) and aren’t quite as interesting in figuring out what more there is. They are volunteering, they are furthering God’s message, and they are giving of their money, so (according to Sunday mornings) they must be doing it right.

Of course, these are raw, barely reflected on thoughts. So any comments pointing out ways I could be smarter are greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


A few months back I mentioned finding an old girlfriend of mine on MySpace. It also talked about how weird it was to be able to look at her life without actually getting involved.

I’d toyed with the idea of e-mailing her, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I guess I wasn’t sure how she’d react and what I’d even say.

Well, yesterday she apparently found me and shot me an e-mail. It brought back a flood of those old memories once again.

Have you ever walked down the street and smelled a certain perfume on a person or a scent in the air, and your mind just floods with memories as real as if they just happened yesterday? Lately I’ve been going through a lot of those types of experiences.

I went downtown two weeks ago to the Buzz Conference at Union Station. In high school I spent a bit of time there, just walking around and letting the days go by, enjoying a limeade (that place as since closed) and simply watching people. It helped that I also got to walk across the mall and through some trees back home.

Being there got me thinking about my whole life in DC. Thoughts about my old job, thoughts about friends and relationships I had and family memories.

Having Kelly e-mail me has brought back up a lot of those thoughts as well. Kelly was one of those good relationships which I did think may end with us getting married. There was some age difference, and my friends didn’t particularly like her, but we really connected, without a lot of physical pressures.

I have been listening to Mark Batterson’s sermons from the National Community Church. In his So Far So God (1 or 2) sermon, he mentions that we really need to be thankful for the prayers that God doesn’t answer. Possibly more thankful for those than for the prayers he really does answer.

Growing up I’ve come to recognize that I would have only held Kelly back from the amazing life she wants to live. I could never have been very good at handling her acting life. I like being settled, and I know she is content to let the world flow and move along for the ride. While I appreciate that, and sometimes envy it, I like the solid community I have, and the satisfaction that comes from having such great people near me all the time. Living in New York would never have suited me, and she would never have been content in suburbia.

God knows what he’s doing, even if I don’t entirely understand. He has so blessed me with a wonderful daughter and amazing wife. He’s also guided my life toward supporting him and spreading His great message to those people who haven’t heard it yet.

All of these thoughts have been bringing back the memory of one of my best friends through middle and high school. I haven’t talked to Geoff in years, and I still have some hurts that go with that friendship. As with Kelly, I wonder if he’d want to hear from me, and what we would say. But, maybe those are just excuses.

I may have some weird gifts, but here’s one that I love more than anything. After years away from someone, without talking or any contact, I can connect with someone as though not a day has passed.

I love that. I am really hoping that connection will work with Kelly, and with Geoff once I finally decide to reconnect.

Who is it in your past that you’d really love to find out about? What’s stopping you from trying to reconnect with them?

I have no idea how this will all turn out. I’m just glad that I have the chance to see how their lives have changed, and the amazing things they have done.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Being My Own Best Friend

Anyone who has known me for a while has heard me steal the line from Spaceballs “I’m my own best friend”.

Barf says a bit more than that, he says “I’m a Mog. I’m half man, half dog. I’m my own best friend.” It just doesn’t seem to fit if I say all of that, but you do have to be impressed that I can remember that from 15 years ago (though I did watch it all day for a week in a row). Hint there, if you want to get me a present, pick up the Spaceballs Deluxe edition for me.

Anyway, I was doing my monthly MySpace checkup. I go in, see what comments I have, updated blogs, friend requests and such and give a quick reply.

I was looking at my own comments and figured I should add one in there. So I go and click “Add Comment” and get this message:

Well, apparently I was wrong; I really am not my own best friend.

Heck, from the first six words I have no friends at all. Boy, I can’t even change my top 8 friends. It just goes to show that apparently MySpace doesn’t know everything.

I’m sure there’s a message in there, and it’s teasing my brain for tomorrow night’s talk.

As for now I think I’ll go enjoy some time with my best friend. I may even let my wife come.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother’s Day

Well, as you may know, today is Mother’s day. Now, I was a great husband and let my wife take a nap while I mowed and grocery shopped. Ok, no card, no flowers, I’m the worst husband ever. Thankfully I have parents who sent my wife flowers. At least I called my mom and stepmother and had Rachel talk to them :)

Here’s what will really stick with me from today… I heard the best mother’s day sermon I have ever heard.

Our seminarian Ann did the sermon and just changed things up a bit, which created for a great message. She and another woman worked together and recited letters between a mother and her daughter.

When it started I thought she may have taken it from another sermon or story. It became clear though, that this was originally done by Ann and Martha. They composed something so moving, I found myself tearing up. I really did feel like it would be something circulated around the Internet.

If you missed it this morning, I’d recommend you give it a listen. Reading the sermon may be good, but listening to it will really make it move you.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get the mother’s slideshow up as well, but you really need to give it a listen (now in MP3). Check it out.



Ok, it’s caving for us plebeians. Yesterday 6 teens and three adults (myself included of course) headed out to a cave in West Virginia to go caving. This was one awesome trip. I wish more teens had come, but sometimes God gives us just the right mix.

We headed into the cave looking like this picture on the left. We shared a great breakfast of Milky Ways, Three Musketeers (the best candy bar ever), Sprees and Gobstoppers. So we were full and ready to go!

As we went through we all agreed to try heading down one arm of the cave where we had one foot to 18 inches of clearance. What it meant was that I had to literally squirm my way through three different sections of rock. One arm was pinned behind me, since there wasn’t space to have both arms forward, and my head was stuck to the side, since there wasn’t space to turn it over (the crawl back was much easier). I definitely got a bit spooked and didn’t look forward to going back out the same way.

That squirm was well worth it. We got to the end and were in a huge mud room. Some people had some pretty big mud fights. I got to scoop up big clumps of mud and smear them all over Bethany. Regardless of what SHE says, I definitely won.

We also got to drop down into a hole about 20 feet deep and could actually hear the water dropping against the mud. It was an incredible sound. Unfortunately it was too hard to hear when a lot of people came in the room. The climb back out was a bit tough, but so much fun.

We lunched next to a dead bat. Did you know a bat’s hands naturally are closed tight; they hibernate hanging on the wall (and apparently can die hanging on the wall too). It was pretty cool.

Michael and Tom got to sing the Indiana Jones theme song multiple times, as they slid down walls and explored. Bethany was crazy adventurous by leading the group almost all the time (she’s small enough to fit through anything). Then you had Christine, Maggie and Susan who were a bit more like me. Ready to explore and try stuff, but glad to have someone near.

I can safely say that for every wall we looked at, someone had a different view on what it looked like. I say this picture on the left looks like the inside of a larynx; other people had their own ideas.

Really, this was one great trip. We came out of that cave closer to one-another than when we went in. we shared stories, and I’m still learning about some of the people who went on the trip. As with every good trip, no one can stop talking about it.

Remember what we looked like going into the cave? Here we are just coming out. If that doesn’t make you want to go caving, I don’t know what will.

Thank God for the chance to see the inside of His great green earth.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Time Off

As I’ve mentioned earlier, work has been really, really slow. So slow in fact that one manager has sent my resume to people for FoxPro work or for a project which no one even knows what they do or what they need. While this woman is wonderful to talk to about family life and things of a personal nature, I have a hard time looking to her as a leader.

In any case, if you happen to be interested in looking at my resume and suggesting improvements, etc, please let me know. I am always excited to have people constructively criticize my things. It’s only through teams that we really get better.

So, this entire week I have taken off of work. My plan was relatively simple. Take the time off, do a few things around the house, put my resume together and get it out on Monster and really reflect on where God wants me to be.

Remember the movie Clue from 1985? It was awesome, and had three alternate endings. When you went to the theater you picked whether you wanted to see ending A, B or C. Thankfully the video (and DVD) have all endings. I always remember right before ending C they write up “But here’s what really happened”. A and B were good choices, and great intentions, but not what really came to pass. Often my life follows that same line, great intentions, not so great realities. But I have an awesome life that I would never give up, so I’m sure not complaining, just saying that I never quite live up to my intentions.

So, with my intention of focusing on a job search well in hand… Here’s what really happened.

I did errands, sprayed to kill weeds, got and spread mulch, worked on why I couldn’t burn TV shows to DVD, discussed the next sermon series and adding a service time, and updated the church Web site. Oh, I did at least get my resume up on monster.

I never did get that long walk I promised myself, nor that reflection time, and I don’t even have a written resume, though I have to hand it to Monster, they make it really easy to put up your information without needing a written resume.

This got me to realize that I really would love a job where I was the IT leader in a church (or technology pastor as National Community Church calls it). I spent a lot of the week preparing a talk for Wednesday night (which apparently I did well on, which makes me so glad) and updating our church Web site to support RSS feeds and sermon e-vites (both are pretty cool).

It ended up being a really productive week with church things, and you really do have to check out the RSS feeds and Web e-vites (once the e-vite sermon series text gets finalized by Rob.

So check out the updated St. Matthew’s site. It’s not very different, but those little orange syndication squares are the RSS feeds. So you can subscribe to our Newsletter, Sermons and Rob Recommends.

I really do love some of this work though, being able to make a difference in something that will really be used by someone and hopefully deepen their faith. Now, just pray for me that I’ll have some time next week to really begin reflecting.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brain Teasing

Over the past two months or so there’s been something teasing the back of my brain. Have you ever gotten that feeling? The feeling that you’re about to realize something that may change your life, but it’s just not quite coming clear?

I know that it has something to do with how we treat people around us. Why we should help people and speak positively to and about friends, family and strangers.

I think I’m coming to some realization about how to explain the practical reasons of why we need to think positively about the situations around us. It’s also that “click” I’ve needed to really begin recognizing that there are no problems, only opportunities.

I also think that when this teasing stops and really becomes understanding I’ll also be able to explain it to others. I’d love to be able to sit with people and be able to give them good, understandable reasons why they should be kind to friends that hurt us instead of turning our backs on them.

Maybe it’s growing up. I prefer to think its God passing along a realization I need.

In any case, I can’t wait until it all comes together.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Life After the Buzz

It’s been a few days after the closing of the Buzz Conference. While I like attending conferences, they almost always feel like brain washing sessions. I’m convinced this is because we’ve been immersed in one topic for days or a week straight, and just start accepting everything the speaker says as the ultimate truth. Because of this, I always like writing my notes immediately, but then reflecting for a few days before getting out and trying to change the world based on what I learned.

So, the Buzz has begun to wear off, and I’m still seeing the world differently.

First, let me say I was a bit surprised at what I got from attending. I had thought this would be a great conference to talk about creating a buzz about church and changing the lives of people. Ways that include using technology, scripture and old fashioned hitting the streets.

I got there and was surrounded by pastors. Have you ever been in a room and felt like you were the dumbest person there? Ok, this wasn’t that bad, there was a 4 year-old girl there with her parents, I’m pretty sure I know more about church and preaching than she does.

Seriously though, there are 300 people around me, and each one I talked to seemed incredibly interesting and incredibly intelligent. They pastured church which were multiple times bigger than our church. They were all staff. One was a great man from Australia who is currently planting a church.

Heck, the people I talked to were bloggers who you just knew had some really insightful things to say about church and life. People who must have a ton of people reading their blog regularly. Me, I have about 14 subscribers (and one of them may be me actually). I do have some friends reading, like Melissa who offered to help with sermon series graphics (she is creative and just and awesome person, I’ll be taking her up on that offer).

The conference ended up being more about how to give really good sermons, and how to focus the church on visitors and people who don’t know Christ.

So, what is the main thing I took away from all of this? It was simply this, “that’s how I’m going to do it when I become a priest”. I can do some of it now with youth ministry, and supporting Rob. Really though, I can’t wait to have a church of my own, where I can make some real changes, pushing the technological envelope as well as driving a parish to be open and willing to invite people in.

There have been two things I took away from this conference that keep sitting in my mind. I may write more on them later. Basically the four key points are:

  • I can actually be a priest, and could be a pretty good one.

  • Creativity isn’t simple, we need supporting people and supportive practices to make it happen. But, everything you can imagine IS possible.

  • We need to build the people up around us. Never speak negatively of someone, do you think God sees you in a negative light?

I know I’ll be writing more later. Especially about those top three items. Heck, I’m already in the middle of a blog entry relating to them.

I’m beginning to listen to more sermons online too. I’m also planning on setting up Rob’s sermons as a podcast, no more requiring people to use RealAudio.

For now I’ll leave you with this quote from Mark Batterson paraphrasing J.R.R. Tolkien

"Maybe a lack of faith is really a lack of imagination"

Do you have the imagination to believe?


Getting Sappy

Growing up I rarely cried. I felt for my friends and family when they were hurting, just as I feel for my aching family right now. But I don’t tend to cry very often.

Then… I got married… Then… I had a baby.

I’m thinking about this because Erin and I are watching Grey’s Anatomy (TiVo’d, so we’re behind) and I just watched two pretty incredible things.

The first was a premature baby gets delivered looking grey, and its mother passed away due to a car accident. When the baby started breathing and cried, I couldn’t help but cry myself. It lasted through the commercial break and on.

Then the second thing happened. The baby’s grandfather met with the man who hit their car. When the man said he was sorry, the grandfather went up with rage and sadness consuming him. He met the man and offered a gentle touch. I couldn’t help but think how hard this forgiveness would have been for me.

This is what it means to forgive. It’s not forgiving the family member because they made a small mistake. It’s not forgiving your wife when she misspeaks and hurts you. While those are important things, and should be forgiven.

What truly makes us followers of Christ is our forgiveness for those who have altered our lives irrevocably. Forgiving those people who we have no ties too, and may even want to smash their face in, is the true gift of Love for each-other.

Having Rachel makes all of these things feel so much more real in my life. I feel like I can imagine so much more, and recognize so much more pain that might come in my life. To lose Rachel, and look at the person who made it happen. I truly do hope I can offer the same forgiveness if my life was hurt so drastically.


Thursday, May 04, 2006


Work has been incredibly slow lately. So slow I’m seriously considering looking around at positions in other companies, finding a way to work from home, or really beginning this discernment process I’ve put on hold. So, if you have any job leads for Web developers, preferably in a Christian related field, let me know.

In the short term I get to go to a conference on marketing and making talks/sermons in church really interesting and interactive. It’s called the Buzz conference. It’s all about creating a Buzz in the world about God and your church community. I’m pretty excited about going.

It didn’t completely occur to me until recently that I’ll be going to the conference alone. Normally this would make me a bit uneasy. I mean, I’ll be around hundreds of other people without anyone I know to hang out with. Maybe I’m growing up or something, but I’m excited that this will mean I get to meet some new people. I’m really hoping to meet some people who are in the same boat I am, a somewhat small church (compared with a couple of church leaders going with 10,000 members or more).

But more than anything I’m hoping to come away with some ideas on how to share God’s love with other people. How to deepen the faith of people around me, and start the process for those who don’t know God.

I was just talk to Greg, a small group leader for the 40 Day Revolution. He mentioned the same thing that surprised me. These teens may feel uncomfortable, and may be doing things they’ve never done before. But they are all doing them, and excited about making a difference. I truly hadn’t expected that reaction. Some of the teens are really doing every event on every day, and making real commitments to those around them. Already they’ve brought 3 or 4 other people into the fold and have them taking part.

I can’t wait to hear what god has waiting for me to learn today and tomorrow. I’ll definitely be writing on it, in case you’re curious. I really do want to create a Buzz about God in everything I do... It's what Jesus wants all of us to be doing.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The DaVinci Code

We're going to be doing a sermon series on Exploring The Da Vinci Code: Seek the Truth at church. Lately for all of our sermon series' I've had the opportunity to make a graphic depicting the series. Often I'm way off base and it takes a few revisions. In the end I think I do all right, though not as well as some of the graphic teams I know other churches use. I'm still working on building a graphic team, anyone interested? You don't have to go to our (or any) church...

Anyway, I stole ideas from a couple of different logos, but I really am kind of happy with how this graphic came out. I also got to dabble in using a custom brush (I made the Seek the Truth text a brush to delete the black over-top the Mona Lisa). It was fun all around.

Sure, call it pridefulness, but really I just want to put up this graphic so that I remember one of the first series' graphics I'm really happy with on the first try. It means I'm getting a bit better at this (I hope).


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