26 October 2007

New Look

So, I have been looking for a new layout for awhile. Things are changing, I am tired of this old background, so it feels like a good time to change the layout. Anyone have any tips for me?

24 October 2007

Questions to ponder

These are from the NY Times...

• Why is Wi-Fi free at cheap hotels, but $14 a night at expensive ones?
• Wi-Fi on airplanes. What’s taking so long?
• Who are the morons who respond to junk-mail offers, thereby keeping spammers in business?
• Why don’t all hotels have check-in kiosks like airlines do?
• How come cellphone signal-strength bars are so often wrong?


This is a portion of the post that Perry put up today... one of their pastors, Clayton, who has a post about "shooting the wounded" that tells about an encounter with a pastor...
“I figured out who the power players were in the church, and a deacon told me to make sure I did not make any of them mad because they had the 2 things that mattered most; family and money. So I made every decision based on them. This brought short-term success, but I was burning out. I had no passion left.”

“I did not realize how much I had neglected my kids until one became a drug addict and the other one slipped into deep physical sin. I did not even know my own children, and it was my fault. Then one day I came home from a deacon’s meeting, and my wife had taken all of her stuff and left a note on the table that said she was tired of it. She hated me for ignoring my family and she blamed me for everything, for putting the church before them.”

You can imagine the lump in my throat as I stood there and listened to this grown man choke back tears over the family he lost. He was broken; a ghost of the leader, pastor, and shepherd I had met 10 years earlier. Then the saddest words to ever leave his lips landed on my ears.

“So what did my church do when all of this happened? The people I had served and pastored called a business meeting and they fired me. They said they could not have a divorced pastor with rebellious kids leading their congregation. They gave me 2 months salary and wished me luck.”

No grace. No counseling. No support. Maybe they felt he was unable to lead them any further. Fine. But not even a reception with cupcakes and coffee to say thanks for 13 years? This is way too common. I see it more than most anyone else because my calling carries me so many places, and when I hear these stories, I cry out to God to protect pastors, and the churches they serve, from shooting our own wounded. Of course not every church is like this and not every pastor suffers such a fate, but this man did. God help him, his wife, and his kids. And God help the Body of Christ to offer mercy and compassion to our own wounded who lay on the side of the road, in a ditch, waiting on anyone, even a Samaritan, to come to our aid.

There is a lot of conversations going on about "burn-out". I am trying to process the difference between being "burned" and "burn-out"... thoughts?

facebook and microsoft

It's reported that Microsoft and Facebook are close to a deal that could value Facebook as high as $15 billion. Confirmed here.

gmail and IMAP

this is going to make life a lot less complicated.

Toughest Part Of Leadership

Herbert has a great post on some of the tough parts of leadership... these are a few of his thoughts.

3. Dealing with criticism.
4. Being misunderstood but not having the opportunity to explain your heart and motives.
5. Being hurt by people you thought you could trust.

23 October 2007

Randy Pausch last lecture

I am not the biggest Oprah fan, but this guy's 10 minute talk is amazing. It is worth the watch.


An excellent post by Eric Bryant. He shares about a new series at Mosaic.
Too often we believe the lie: “It’s not my fault.” We may not be able to change what happens to us, but we can choose how we will respond. 2 Peter 1:3-7, reminds us that we have been given everything we need from God for life and godliness and even still we are to “make every effort” to become the people God created us to be... don’t have to succumb to a “victim mentality,” but I can live an original life.
It seems that conformity is more widely accepted than originality. Sometimes an origional life causes friction due to the fact that it is different than what others are being conformed into. I don't think we enjoy or were meant for "assembly-line humanity". Something within us fights against the pressures of legalism; sadly not everyone withstands the pressure to conform.
Somehow we've equated conformity with holiness. Spirituality is more identified with tradition and ritual than it is with a future and a hope. Too often discipleship equals standardization.

Live an original life that God intended for you to live!

22 October 2007

Little ticks

I read a devotional that had some great truths concerning the little "ticks" that threaten us...
Tick Bites
...Linda first developed a high fever, then muscular pain, and then excruciating headaches. It actually took several tests to uncover what had caused her debilitating symptoms, but the doctor finally concluded that Linda had contracted Lyme Disease, which is carried by little deer ticks. And as Linda thought back, she remembered noticing a big red bite on her body a couple of months ago. It occurred to her that it might have been a tick, but, you know, she didn't think much about it ... until now.

... there are "little ticks" that we get bitten with that can - if they're not removed quickly - cause us more pain and more problems than we could ever imagine. Small invasions; major damage. There's an enlightening example of that in Hebrews 12:15. In this case, the "bite" is something that makes us have some hard feelings toward another person - something we all go through. And Scripture warns us, "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."

Bitterness and resentment always begin as just this little root. But bitterness never stays a little root. It keeps growing into a poisonous plant that ends up hurting us and hurting others. A root of bitterness has destroyed marriages, churches, friendships, ministries. Because it wasn't pulled up when it was small. Because the tick wasn't removed immediately after it entered someone's system.

When the urge to respond sinfully bites you, you can't just let it go. You have to quickly, aggressively get rid of a spiritual "tick." It may seem like "no big deal", but if you don't deal with it now, it will do damage that will hurt you for a long time.

What are the little "ticks" you need to take care of?

Football and my boy

Watching the game tonight my son came in and sat down next to me. Every time an offense got set he would say "set, hike, go"... then as the play happened he would yell "go, go, go". As the offensive player got tackled he'd sigh and say, "oh, man". This went on almost half of the second quarter. It's great that my son is into watching football.

18 October 2007

Church Service

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names with small American flags mounted on either side of it. The seven year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, “Good morning Alex”. “Good morning Pastor,” he replied, still focused on the plaque. “Pastor, what is this?” he asked. The pastor said, “Well, son, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.”

Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex’s voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, asked, “Which service, the 9:00 or the 10:45?


These have got to be the coolest kid's utensils.


Growing up I loved creating and designing with Legos. Recently my parents found some of my old lego space station set. Last night I introduced my son to Legos... it was a hit. He loves playing with Legos. Looks like we are going to have a lot of fun creating.

15 October 2007

Optimus Prime

I just talked with Optimus Prime... try it. The DVD comes out tomorrow...

14 October 2007

Spelling 101

My daughter L - O - V - E - S school. One of her new favorites is to spell everything. Most of the time she will try to read the word, but occasionally she likes to spell the word and have me say what it spells. Today we were driving and she was spelling most of the business signs that we saw along the road... W-E-N-D-Y-S... M-c-D-O-N-A-L-D-S... C-H-A-S-E... it was fun having seeing her respond quickly to the signs and recognizing the letters. Just as we were settling into a nice spelling groove... "dad what does H-O-O-T-E-R-S spell?" My wife and I had a good laugh.


I ran across a great quote at Anne's blog...
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

12 October 2007

Deadly Viper

Deadly Viper is a great site... check it out. It's all about integrity.


This is a very cool site. It really opens some great questions and starts some great conversations.

Cool seating

Fully loaded with over 400 12 gauge shotgun shells.

09 October 2007

What kind of world do you want?

Five for Fighting has a great song that asks the "what kind of world do you want"? This is a thought provoking question. Whether or not you agree we all contribute to the world around us. I feel like there are people that take a victim or reactionary stance and believe that things are happening only to them, that it's not necessarily how they've contributed. We all have our role to play...

So, what kind of world do you want?
What are you going to do to make it happen?
What are you going to do to add benefit and not be reduced to one of the many critical onlookers?
What role will you play?

One of the last lines of the song is "History starts now". History is being made right now as you are stirred to make this world a better place.

Whether it is literally the world or the area that you influence, you can make a difference. This makes me think of two verses in the bible...

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:13-16

What kind of world DO you want?
Make History!

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Blogs on a roll

The blog world is really putting out some great content lately...

• The lifechurch.tv team continues with the Kingdom-minded series
Herbert Cooper talks about "what to do when you don't know what to do"
• Mark has two great post on measuring the urgent vs the important and three important leadership reminders

Be careful little mouth what you say

I love this article. Two reasons I like it: first, it further reinforces my stance on PC vs MAC; second, it also is a great example of how we all will, at some point, have to give an account for the words we say, whether public or private.

08 October 2007


How kingdom-minded am I? How kingdom-minded are you? Craig posted some challenging thoughts on the issue... (a couple of biggies...)
• If everyone did ministry the way I do, we would never reach the whole world.
• If you’re going to be guilty, be guilty of speaking well of the body of Christ—rather than being guilty of being divisive.
There are some very challenging points... check 'em out...

Battle at Kruger

A great example of "All for one and one for All".

Laughter, Cosby and chocolate

Saturday night was a night to remember... a bunch of friends went out to dinner at a great place and then headed to the Rosemont to see Bill Cosby. Cosby was so funny. One of the funniest moments was an impromptu moment with an audience member in the front. He asked where this person went to school... the audience member said Knox college. Cosby then asked what the Knox mascot was... the audience member slowly replied... the prairie fire. Cosby had a great time and the audience roared.

Dreams into reality

Mark posted some thoughts on their recent addition to the NCC family...
I have learned that the harder something is the more you have to pray and the less likely you are to take it for granted. We have prayed like it depends on God because it has!
So simple. So true.

07 October 2007

Ready for some football

A great day for football...
my highlights from today...

• Watching football with friends
Denver spanked at home 41-3
Seattle sea-chicken's pwned 21-0
• Kansas City losses 17-7
Bears squeak out a win in Lambeau 27-20
Raiders get a day of rest
Raiders take the #1 spot in the AFC West

This is enjoyable while it is here. I am not expecting it to last too long.

On a side sports note, a friend's sister ran in the Chicago marathon... and it was canceled! How crazy it that. The hottest Chicago marathon in something like 40 years.

06 October 2007

I am secure

Today I followed through with a promise.

My wife has offered for a while for me to join her in one of her classes at the gym. After each class she will come and tell me how great it was and that if I were to come with her I wouldn't be the only guy. Finally I agreed. For starters I will state that I was the ONLY guy in the class. To make things better my wife offered to set up my area with the necessary equipment needed to do the class. It just so happened that even though I was in the back of the class (yes, trying to hide out)... I was right in front of the instructor. Oh, and somehow it ended up that I was using PINK dumbells. But hey I am secure and I made it through the class. It was pretty ugly, but I made it... pink dumbells and all. Who knows maybe I will try it again...

Finding WiFi

Now you can find a WiFi signal with your shirt...

05 October 2007

Listen closely

The past couple of days I've had some great conversations with some close friends. We've been discussing what it means to hear God's voice in our lives. Many people feel that they are hearing the voice of God directing them when it's just last night's pizza giving them some crazy ideas. Many of these conversations about God's voice seem to surround how and where God is directing... His plan for our lives. This is something I've been working through; interestingly there have been a few others posting some thoughts about the way we talk with and hear from God.

Perry has some great things to say from a dad's perspective. One I especially connected with is how from a father's perspective I want my children to know my voice and hear what I am saying. God wants us to hear His voice more than we want to hear it! Another that seems obvious, but is so true... The voice of God will not lead you into sin.

Mark passes along great post from Catalyst about how listening to God's voice can mess us up... it can disturb us. Mark passes along what Craig Groeschel shared about practical atheism... it's scary how often this happens. One of practical atheisims is that we believe our effort is more important than God's power!

Answer this question that Craig presents...
If I REALLY believed _____________, I’d _______________.

Influence and power...

Mark had a great post from Catalyst... If we are following the example of Jesus, we need to leverage our power for others not ourselves! And that isn't a sign of weakness. It's a sign of strength. Insecure leaders leverage their power for themselves!

So here is the question leaders need to ask themselves: how can I leverage my power for the other people in this room?

01 October 2007

Clearly Prayer

It was in college that I first read this book. It had a significant impact on my prayer life, on how I communicated with God and how He communicated with me. Recently I heard Bill Hybels, the author of this book, mention four ways to hear God's voice more clearly. They were meaningful to me as I am striving to clearly hear God's voice.

• Ask God to help you hear His voice more clearly.
• Remove the ambient noises: this is anything that is a distraction.
• Read the bible: God speaks to us through His word.
• Get rid of sin. Sin blocks our hearing God's voice.

They seem too easy, but I think that is kind of the point. Too often we complicate talking with God... when it really is conversational and God really does desire to communicate with us. It is my responsibility to make sure that I am ready and in a place to have the conversation.