30 May 2007

Dr. Root on Lewis

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of sitting down with a couple of friends and Dr. Jerry Root from Wheaton College. We met up at the Billy Graham center. Dr. Root is a foremost expert on the life and writings of C.S. Lewis. Jerry was doing a podcast for a leadership team that I am a part of. He had some inspiring things to say. Obviously Lewis was an amazing man. We mostly discussed the book, Surprised by Joy. Here are a few highlights from the conversation:

• Lewis was fleuant in about 8-10 languages.

• Lewis had an incredibly difficult upbringing: boarding schools, family life, school difficulties and fitting in... all of these things shaped him for who he was going to become and what he would do in the future.

• Lewis refers to the Arthurian torso and discusses the one of the first problems of life... how do you fit stone in the shell? He takes the words from the Wordsworth poem called "the prelude". The stone represents reason/the head and the shell represents the romantic longings (for God).

How do you fit robust intellectual thought with a heart that has passion for God? There are a lot of Christians that have amazing passion, but their heads are in dishwater; they are just not thinking. There are also a lot of Christians that have hard thinking; but they they have no heart... no heart for others, they are just interested in correcting others, they are rigid. Lewis says you need to bring the two together; head and heart. He tries to bring head and heart together in Surprised by Joy, in fact, he thought that the Christian faith could bring head and heart together.

• Lewis is haunted by our human longings and wondering about their meaning. He reasons through the morass of atheism and materialism. Lewis writes quite about this journey. He comes to believe in the existence of the supernatural, he then wrestles with religious questions... which God, which religion... Lewis becomes a theist and uses rich images and analogies.

Prior to knowing God Lewis writes about how he didn't think he could know God personally; anymore than Hamlet could know Shakespeare. A few years later Lewis becomes a Christian. He revisits this analogy in Surprised by Joy (you have to read the footnotes). He realized that the analogy was a good one, but it could have never depended upon Hamlet the character. Hamlet the character could have never broken out of the play and met Shakespeare the author; but Shakespeare the author could have written himself into the play as Shakespeare the character to make the introduction of Shakespeare the character and Hamlet the character. Which, in fact, is what happened in the incarnation... the God who loves us did not abandon us, he knows us, but he forgives us and loves us still. He comes to us as a testimony of His great love for us. He does all for us and expects our all in return.

I am still processing the weight and magnitude of the hour spent soaking this all up.

Blog Break

Thanks to all the faithful blog-watchers. I have been on kinda an unintentional blogging break. While there has been plenty that I've been thinking of blogging about, I have kinda put a pause on blogging.

I was recently at a bloggers round table discussion where Mark said that one of his blog mottos (paraphrased) is "all positive". I have really tried to take that to heart. A positive outlook is rare in this world today, it is a choice... a difficult choice for some, but either way it is a daily choice. Your positive or negative outlook or attitude comes out in a plethora of ways in our lives. There have been many negative things that have happened to me and my family in the past year or so. These events have been great moments of learning, BUT by choice they haven't and won't shape who I am. That is the daily choice to make... do the events of life shape who we are or do we choose who we are.

I love the shirt from Big Dogs... attitude is everything.

13 May 2007

Happy Mother's Day

This is a great day. Glenda is a wonderful mom. She is everything a mom needs to be and more; she's caring, attentive, generous, loving, selfless, nurturing, gentle, wise, and so much more. There is no doubt that she is instilling Godly values in our kids. I love how she interacts and teaches our kids to honor God. She is an awesome mom. Today is all about celebrating her. For all she's sacrificed and all she selflessly does everyday, 24/7. Thank you for being the best. You are the best mom, you are a wonderful friend, and you are an amazing wife. Love you babe.

It is also a special day because we get to celebrate the day with my mom. I am blessed to have a great mom. She has always been there for us. I have great memories with my mom. She would come and get me out of school once a week to take me out for a special lunch. She made lunches for school everyday and would put a special note in my lunch just saying, "I love you". I love the memory of seeing her every morning praying and reading her bible. She's done so much to make sure that we grow up with Godly values. Thanks mom! I love you.

12 May 2007

Hiking words of wisdom

I had a great surprise phone conversation last night. A friend of mine is working one of the coolest seasonal jobs ever. He's a great guy with an adventurous summer ahead of him.

He was telling me about some job prep; some training he was doing. He told me about the team's first hike. He said that the team was really movin' and it was getting tough to keep up. And then came the hiking words of wisdom...

When you are hiking, you are supposed to focus on the heels of the guy in front of you.

Wow! What spiritual truth in this. As we follow God, how often do we try to look out in front of where God is leading. You see, if we focus on the 10,000 feet of winding trail ascent, your already worn out body and already exhausted spirit can desire to give up. In the same way trying to see what is ahead of where God is leading is really more than we can handle. If we are to keep up with the pace God has set and follow the path that God is leading, we've got to focus on his heels.

This leads to a lot of good questions...
• What are we focused on?
• What or who are we following?
• Are we trying to look ahead and plan our path or let God set the pace and trust the path He is taking us?

I am looking forward to this "hike"! It's gonna be a good one. I am sure it's gonna challenge me, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

10 May 2007

External hard drive

This has got to be one of the coolest external hard drives. I might have to try and make one.

The new chore

A study found that after kids take out the trash and/or mow the lawn, they now have to help their parents with the internet. Check out these stats...

• Almost half in the study (47%) help because their parents are "clueless" online.
• Almost one-third (29%) report they need to help mom online because she doesn't have enough time.

Some of the kids help their moms with predictable tasks like comparison shopping, as well as unexpected activities such as online banking, tax preparation and family travel plans. The majority of the kids polled believe they had a positive influence on family activities by helping their Moms with online chores.

The top five online chores for 8-14 year olds:
• 38% share pictures & emails with relatives
• 38% get movie listings
• 36% invitations & party planning stuff
• 36% plan vacations/travel
• 35% get driving directions
• 14% helped their parents prepare their income tax return

I fully understand the need for help in a tech-savvy world, but there is no way that a teen should be given the internet family responsibility. The internet is hard enough for adults to navigate safely, but to put it in the hands of your child? A great resource for internet help.

07 May 2007

Chapters, Laughter, BBQ and Bubbles

I am looking forward to a new, exciting chapter in life.

Thank you to all who have made the past two days great! There has been more laughter, more fun, and more BBQ... from lightweight beanbags to bubbles to wagon rides. The last couple of days have been a blast. A much needed time of family, friends, and fun. I am so thankful for our awesome group of friends! The last two days have been so fun just playing with my kids. Children are so refreshing. Oh to have the carefree wonder of a child.

05 May 2007

Chasing our tail

The more I am around the "Church" the more it seems that we have lost our sense of Godly adventure. Books are published; seminars and/or conferences are attended laying out how to find a Godly sense of adventure.

Adventure today seems to be more about watching someone on TLC or the Discovery channel. There are adventure tour and sight seeing events to relive someone else's adventure.

How sad is it that this is also true for the church. Why are more people sitting on the sidelines than engaging the adventure that God has called us to? I wonder what it would be like with more people pioneering new Godly adventures rather than reliving the days of old? It's kinda like a dog chasing its tail... moving a lot, but no progress.

Be Brave

2 Samuel 10:12, "Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what is good in his sight."

I came across this verse while reading today. Be strong... fight bravely... and the Lord will do what is good in his sight.

Will He? Is that good enough for our desires? Good in God's sight... yeah, but what about good for my sight? Is it enough for God to do what is good in his sight? Too often the fighting is there, strong, maybe not so brave, and sometimes some pretty lame. But do we trust what is good in God's sight? Are the battles we are fighting ultimately God's? Will we do what is good in his sight? When is the line crossed between our personal agendas in our "fight" and the Battle we are called to in God's name?

01 May 2007

Blog Addict

New blogs appear on the internet all the time. So, what is a blog and who are these bloggers? Blog |bl├Ąg| (n) a Web site on which an individual or group of users produces an ongoing narrative ( blogged, blogging). Origin: a shortening of weblog.

If there are any questions as to whether you are one of these "bloggers", this might help...

Top 10 signs that you are addicted to blogging.

1. Bloglines, Google Reader or some other RSS reader is constantly open on your computer's desktop.

2. You tell customers that you missed a project deadline because "some things" came up but in reality, you were blogging.

3. You periodically dream that you are blogging.

4. You get inspiration for new blog posts at the strangest times - at meals, sitting on the toilet, sitting in traffic, in meetings, they wake you up in the night, you get the picture...

5. Before blogs, you used to tuck the kids into bed at night. Now you check for unapproved blog comments before heading to bed yourself.

6. In order for your family to keep up with what's going on in your life, they have to read your blog. Furthermore, if they want to communicate with you, they have to comment on your blog.

7. You have actually considered setting up a blog for your pet of which you would post the entries pretending you are your pet (weirdo).

8. You can't remember dates for your wedding anniversary, kids birthdays, etc., but you know what your Technorati rank is.

9. You blog about anything and everything including spam, foam parties, spring activities, people that laugh too loud, etc.

10. Keeping a blog is no longer enough but you now have to record your every move on Twitter.

Mac app

For all those Apple computer users... one of my favorite apps. Transparent doc removes the "grey box" around the task bar.