Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tammy Faye Messner has died

Tammy Faye Messner died yesterday at age 65. I won't say anything about her marriages to two different televangelists who went to prison for fraud (except for what I just said). I really enjoyed watching her on the TV show The Surreal Life alongside Ron Jeremy, whom she surprisingly befriended, and Vanilla Ice. I thought it was great seeing her humanity, as a real person, a side we never got to see during the PTL glory days. The Tammy Faye Messner we saw on The Surreal Life, unlike the other public memories of her, was a person we could take seriously and that we could identify with.

10 things I learned this weekend.

1. The same teenager who has been bouncing off the walls in anticipation of a youth group trip for weeks will completely forget about the event during actual week of the trip.

2. When you're a pastor, you're never really on vacation, even when you're on vacation (I already knew this, but I always find myself re-learning it).

3. When you bring home a brand new baby, your other children seemingly grow 2-3 feet overnight.

4. The ice cream truck will inevitably drive by, loud music and all, right when all the kids have begun their naps.

5. The music the ice cream truck plays seems even louder the second time it drives by during the kids' naps.

6. Waffle House (or should I say, "Awful House,") does not have comfortable seating for six.

7. When you've traded cars with your mother-in-law so that she can babysit for a while, you just might wind up performing repairs on her car.

8. It's not fun pushing a car home, especially when it belongs to your mother-in-law.

9. When something that seems really strange happens, wait a few days before blogging about it. It might wind up being not that strange at all...or it might wind up still being strange, just in a very different way.

10. My neighborhood's "fill-in" mail carrier has a much more regular schedule than our "regular" mail carrier.

Friday, July 20, 2007

They're leaving without me...

So the youth from my congregation are headed out this weekend to our denomination's General Assembly in Fort Worth, TX. And, believe it or not, I'm not going.

Several months ago we realized that Nathan would be arriving shortly before the Assembly dates, so we wound up in a bit of a predicament. There were a few in the group that wanted to cancel the trip altogether and plan a different trip on a different date. But after thinking about it for a bit I began asking myself, "Why do I need to be there?" We have some good leaders and adult volunteers who would be more than capable of leading the trip without me.

So we began to put things together and replanned our trip based on my absence. Two great volunteers from our church are heading things up and have been in on the planning process with me.

I must admit, throughout the process I've suffered quite a bit of anxiety. None of my anxiety was based on whether or not the volunteers could handle it. Instead I was anxious because if something goes wrong, more likely if I happened to mess something up in the planning, I won't be there to deal with it. I really hope I didn't mess anything up for them.

But now most of my anxiety has subsided and I'm feeling really confident about this trip. In fact, I'm actually excited about it because it will be a great opportunity for the kids in our church to bond with and learn from the people they need to be bonding with and learning from--namely other adults in the congregation besides me.

I think this could actually be a good model for doing youth ministry trips/activities in the future. I know there are some events that their pastor may want or need to be there for. But I think this is creating a really good opportunity in our youth ministry.

What about you?
Do you have any stories of doing youth trips/retreats without a "staff" person being there? I'd like to hear about your experiences.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Meme: Random Facts

Doug Jones tagged me for a meme. Here are the rules:
1) Players start with 8 random facts about themselves
2) Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts
3) Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged

My 8 random facts

1) I finished my undergraduate degree at Tabor College, a liberal arts college affiliated with the Mennonite Bretheren, after having begun my undergraduate work at Wichita State University. I then earned my Master of Divinity at Phillips Theological Seminary.

2) This past February I won an all expense paid trip to Super Bowl XLI. I got round trip airfare, hotel on South Beach, tickets, and private celebrity events all on Visa's dollar. Here's a link to the local news story:

3) I used to play the saxophone. In fact, when I began college I did so on a music scholarship.

4) I am a huge Kansas Jayhawks fan. In fact, televisions in my house have been known to spontaneously combust during the month of March.

5) I have been to 8 foreign countries and 22 US states.

6) In High School I graduated 3rd in my class (of 23 students).

7) I have owned an '86 Honda Civic, a '79 Chevy Fullsize Pickup, a '74 Mercury Cougar, an '86 Olds Calais, an '84 BMW 318i, a '96 Honda Civic, a '97 Chevy S-10, a '92 Cadillac DeVille, an '00 Saturn LS, a '94 Mercury Villager, a '95 Pontiac Bonneville, an '02 Pontiac Montana, and an '02 Ford F-150, all in 15 years!

8) I once was a singing waiter.

So now I tag:
Random person #1
Random person #2
Random person #3

Recent great findings on the blog roll

I wanted to share some things with you that I found while reading other blogs. There's some good stuff here.

Matt is wondering about a theology of children.

Doug is experiencing transformation.

Mark is digesting a list of the 50 most influential churches in America.

Dan Kimball is wondering if Jesus could get a job as a Southern Baptist pastor.


Monday, July 16, 2007


We're home from the hospital now. Nathan is doing great. Thanks for your prayers!

Poll results (OU trouble)

Ok, so I ended it a bit early. This week's official poll results are in.
The question: How do you feel about OU's punishment for NCAA violations?
The responses:
Should've Been Worse--67 %
Just Right--16 %
I Have No Moral Compass--16 %

Just so you know, had the poll feature been available at this time last year I would have done a similar poll about the University of Colorado and how they deserved at 2-10 season. Karma catches up with you.

Check out the new poll at the top right.