Friday, June 23, 2006

Songs in the Key of Summer

At church we’re working on a new sermon series for the summer (ok, we’ve been working on it for over a month). One of the things I’m generally tasked to do for a series is to put together a graphic making it “interesting”. Of course, what I find interesting or catchy sure doesn’t mesh with everyone.

So, I’m turning to the general public (or the public that ready my blog anyway). Here’s what we’ve (I loosely include my wife in the We) come up with so far. If you’d be so kind, please let me know what you think and what you’d change.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Time Machine

It was completely by accident, but I stumbled across the creation of a time machine. It is in its very early form and has some sever limitations, but I am convinced I’ve created the world’s first machine which will warp time. Amazingly, it can all be done using absolutely no electricity at all.

I love to be open about my ideas and inventions. Here is how I made this invention, and even what you can do to make your very own. Hopefully you’ll be able to refine it so that people can jump forward and backward through time.

Here is what you need:

  1. One room. This can be any sized, but needs to have all windows covered and allow little external noise. A bed-room is ideal.

  2. One clock. This will show you just how slowly time moves from minute to minute.

  3. Carpeted floor. This is my preference. I believe time can be slowed even more by a wooden floor.

  4. One crib. Again, this is not a requirement. But you need something for a child to sleep on.

  5. One baby. This may be the hardest to procure. Parents are, of course, ahead of the game here. I have heard that e-bay no longer sells children, but possibly purchasing a mail-order bride will help. Another option is to borrow a friend’s infant, they’ll be glad to hand the child over and will often give you all of the above items as well.

The primary purpose of our time experiment is not to warp time itself. You must be focused on getting the baby to go to sleep. You’ll take the baby to its room and proceed to try to get it to sleep.

You can accomplish this in any way. Generally listening to advice from the parents does not work. This is because a child knows you are not the child’s parent and will behave far better and be very accommodating to you. Referencing observations, this has the negative result that the time warp effect will not last long. The effect seems to last only until the baby lays down asleep in its crib.

This effect does work for both yourself and people outside of the room. When you leave, others in the house will invariably say something like, “boy, that took forever” or “must have been rough”.

The time warp effect is best completed when you have other things to accomplish in the day. It seems that the more you need to do after getting the child to sleep, the slower time will go and the longer the effect will last.

If the child falls asleep on your shoulder while you are standing, but will wake up as soon as you lay it down, consider yourself very lucky, the warping effect may last for hours at this point.

The effect seems specific to the room I am in. Once I leave the room, time returns to normal. This means it only traverses time, not time and space.

A baby that should be sleeping is necessary. This often limits the times of day you can use the machine.

By far the largest limitation is that you can’t do anything during the time warp effect. You can not check e-mail, read or even listen to much music. If you try the baby will often get in the way and stop whatever you are doing.

This effect works for both the person in the room and people outside of the room. The statements made by observers clearly showed that while time seemed to slow for you, it raced along in the outside world.

Also, as the days go by and the child seems unwilling to sleep, the time slow-down effect gets greater and greater. I suspect a similar effect occurs within schools around the country. Further research should be done to see if students already benefit from this effect.

In case you have any doubts, my wife and I are willing to let you test my hypothesis. We will provide the room, clock, carpeted floor (more comfortable to lie on when banging your hands against it) crib and baby.


Friday, June 09, 2006


Tony Morgan from Granger Community Church has been working his way through the bible and offering his own observations. He took this (among others) away from Ephesians:
"God can do anything, you know--far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!" My vision is never too big for God.
Seemed appropriate at this point in my life, both personally and with our plan to add a new service and make them all better than they currently are. We should be bringing thousands to Christ, it’s time to realize God has grander ideas than even that.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Compliments from Strangers

A week and a half ago I got relatively sick. I was thinking it was hoof and mouth disease (sorry, hand, foot and mouth, easy mistake, hehe) since Rachel got it. It also seemed that Erin had it, so it only made sense. It doesn’t help that Erin, Rachel and I all share everything even when she’s sick.

So, a week later I’m worse than ever while everyone else is fine. Definitely not fair.

I bowed to peer pressure Saturday and went to the urgent care center (it took my doctor 3 hours to call back from my page, needless to say I don’t feel bad looking for a new doctor). The doctor diagnosed me with strep and I was given a great prescription which has definitely helped.

While I was at the urgent care facility the doctor looked at my chart around the middle and asked me if I was 31. He said I looked a lot younger. That got me to thinking about comments we get from strangers.

The doctor had no reason to say it, which made me hear it as a fact (it may have even helped that he was a doctor). When a friend pays us a compliment, we hear it more as an opinion. Needless to say, it made me feel pretty good when a stranger said it.

It’s pretty easy to compliment someone we know. We do it because we want to make them feel good, but also because we recognize those qualities which make them great.

It’s harder to compliment a stranger, but when we do, that person appreciates it a lot. They’ll often think of the compliment even days later. It’s been three days and I’m still thinking about what the doctor said.

So, when is the last time you complimented someone you’ve only just met? The check-out person at the grocery store, or that server at the restaurant? A simple thank you can make someone’s day. Letting them know just specifically why you appreciate what they did (and what made them stand out) will brighten their week. Why don’t we do it more often?


Monday, June 05, 2006


Tonight was one of those milestones in your child’s life which definitely needs to be remembered. Tonight Rachel asked the big question, Why? Every answer I gave her got another Why?

Now, I’m sure you’ll think I’m going to say something deep like… It got me to wondering, why don’t we look at the world and just ask “Why?” Why do I work at a place where I don’t make a difference? Why do I accept Jesus in my life? Why do I love leading people? You’d be wrong.

After just 10 minutes of it, I’d recommend not asking Why.

Ok, maybe that’s not completely true. But people who give advice on asking “Why” really don’t have any kids. Hearing that questions 20 times in a row does give you hope that she’s looking with wonder at the world, but it also can drive you to drink.

Truly though, it was a really neat night. I love when she does something new, and it seems like most of the new things she does are pretty big. She’s just smart and athletic all over. I’m told I should enter her in dance, but I think gymnastics will be her first class.

In any case, it does make sense to look at this world and ask the questions no one else is asking. Why isn’t my elbow double hinged? Why do I only get two opposable thumbs? Why aren’t I doing something that changes the world every day? Most importantly, why am I so blessed to have such an incredible daughter, wife, friends and family around to support me?


Friday, June 02, 2006


Our church has been interviewing different people for a full time youth minister position (if you happen to know of anyone, please I’d love to meet them). Right now Steve is visiting us and asked me an interesting question last night, “What do the teens do with their free time outside of school?” We asked a bunch of the teens and had answers ranging from swimming to dance to playing video games to mountain biking. The reality is that they have so many activities outside of school that I am constantly competing to get them to show up to youth activities.

If he were to ask me that question right now, I would have a much better answer. Outside of school each and every one of these teens are doing amazing things with their lives.

I just got home from seeing Seussical at Potomac Falls High School. I am constantly amazed at how talented people are.

Two of the teens I knew we re in the play. Stephen had a supporting role as the Grinch and one of three monkeys (quite appropriate if you know Stephen ). Briana (I found out when I recognized her) is in the dance chorus. While she didn’t sing very much, she was an incredible dancer (something I learned about her just two weeks earlier). This was easily the best play I’ve seen teenagers put on in the past few years.

Over the past 4 years I have gotten to see three middle school plays (with anywhere from 30 – 60 kids) and two high school plays. They were all great in one way or another. I liked the middle school plays mainly because I knew at least 5 to 10 teens that were in it. But the high school plays just knock your socks off.

While almost everyone had a great voice, The Cat in the Hat (Tali), Jojo (Paige) and Gertrude (Lara) were just incredible. I actually got goose bumps listening to Jojo and Horton sing “Alone in the Universe”. All around it was a great play.

Every one of us has some amazing gifts. I just love getting the chance to watch them exercise those gifts for the world. So, the next time someone asks me what my youth group does outside of school, the answer is easy.

They are making a difference in our world. They’re making us laugh, making us cry, and making us have hope for the future.


Thursday, June 01, 2006


I used to think I was good at multitasking. I could talk to someone on IM and still get a lot of work done. Well, I have definitely found one thing I can’t do at the same time.

I don’t think it’s possible for me to prepare for two completely different talks within the same week and keep them straight. So, for all those that were at bible study last night, I apologize for being scattered to the four winds and mixing up topics.


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