Thursday, December 22, 2005


I wouldn't know, but I hope that doing stuff this funny, even every once in a while, is rewarding for the people who create it for a living.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Go Sailfish!

Well, it's now semi-official (I met/interviewed with the dean of the business school, Bob Myers, who makes the decision, but the president officially sends the offer). I will be teaching Business Law at PBA starting in January as an adjunct professor. I am very excited, to say the least, especially after finding out what the school wants the students to get from the course. I'm pretty confident this is a God-engineered direction. A few high points in my mind:
  • The thing the dean was most concerned with was how I planned on integrating a Theistic Christian worldview into the learning process. For example, I am specifically required to deal with things like "what constitutes success", "social responsibility", "conflict resolution" and the like from a Christian viewpoint and not just teach the legal playing field in a business context. The very thing I want to do--point to Jesus in an assumed secular field. Awesome.
  • I am strongly encouraged to have fun, go crazy, experiment--if it works, great; if not, try again.
  • I get to communicate with college students, at least some of which really want to talk about Jesus and how to follow him in their careers and elsewhere. I could really mention this one twice it's so good.
  • It's a 3000 level (junior-level) required course. They fully anticipate not everyone will pass; they expect the course to be rigorous. I don't revel the idea of failing anyone, but it helps me to know that they (my dean, etc.) expect it to be hard, and accept the consequences of that. I get to structure the course however I want, so long as certain topics get covered. I'm thinking of what books to assign outside of the text. It might be The Challenge of Jesus by N.T. Wright.
  • Assignments, etc., can be given and posted electronically through "e-college." Will learn more about this, but not dealing with paper always excites me.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I'm excited, and humbled. It's a privilege.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

This is a test

This is a test. This is a pics test. I wonder where the pic will show up (if it will at all) since I've never done this, and I'm only doing it now for a friend, who shall remain nameless, who's stuck in his crazy Xanga ways.

Monday, October 31, 2005


"There are some things in life, and they may be the most important things, that we cannot know by research or reflection, but only by committing ourselves. We must dare in order to know." -- J.H. Oldham, Life is Commitment (1953)

I really dig this quote. I like it even more now than I used to. I am in the home stretch of this book, Colossians Remixed, and the authors (a husband and wife, coincidentally) make this off hand point about one of the traits of post-modern thinking is a desire for keeping options open (being more non-committal than the average Joe) and seeing value in various points of view and various paths. It is a special comfort to the postmodern mind to have, and to keep, all options open. Postmodern or not, I could immediately see how that desire plays itself out in several areas of my life and thinking—most for the better, but some not: I tend look before (and during and after) I leap; I can see some good in just about anything (and am equally convinced there's some bad in most things, too); I am convinced that there are several sides to every story (perspective is a powerful, powerful thing); I am good at many things, but great at nothing; and I tend to think that there are several solutions to any problem. This desire also makes me hesitant about committing full-force to anything, and even if I do, my eyes are constantly noticing should-be exceptions to my commitment or other paths (perhaps with greener grass, or at least with grass that's different in some way that I should experience); so I easily justify jumping ship and making a change of plans.

Like I said, for the most part, I like these traits in me. But when I read this "keeping options open" in the book, I immediately thought of how certain things (like marriage, for instance) require a total commitment to do them well. Basically, I saw how, despite making a decision (that I am happy with) to choose Jesus as my source, first, foremost and always, there is part of me that immediately feels threatened by even writing that—as if I'm going to miss out on something by making a whatever-it-takes commitment to Jesus. I realize that I've tried to live this out without being truly willing to permanently close other sources. I really want to keep my options open on the other stuff that I think must literally make me happy.

Being faithful to Kim is pretty easy for me for several reasons—I dig being married to her; from before I proposed I've had a deep conviction about it (whereby I strongly believe that both God and I were in agreement about me marrying her); I'm excited about where I believe our relationship is headed; I'm convinced of the gut-wrenching pain and heart-sickness of any alternative; and I tend to see the forks in the road that lead to unfaithfulness and tend to keep the heck away from even the forks. But with my marriage to God I don’t have the same watchfulness or care or honor for the marriage. I think it's a lack of vision of the value of the relationship, now and in the future. (It sounds silly and sad saying it, but that's what it is.)

To be committed in a marriage-way requires a permanent and ongoing shaping of your life cycles for and with the other; it forecloses certain options and paths (indefinitely) in order to make all kinds of joint options possible. Ruby is a perfect example of the kind of "things" that are possible for Kim and I together. Just as important, if not more so, there are innumerable "options" for Kim and I to model and explain love to Ruby that have our healthy marriage as a necessary condition. Anyway, this is exactly the way it is with God. He is the source of every good thing. Our exclusive union with Jesus is a prerequisite to having all kinds of options open to us—the kind of options that actually matter, the ones that give life to us and others. (Apart from him we can do nothing, according to Jesus.) But marrying God is just like marrying anyone--at least regarding the kind of decisions that give appropriate honor to the other and lead to fruitfulness in the marriage. I need to embrace this reality again, and happily and eagerly give up whatever it costs to have this marriage and honor this person, Jesus. I really feel like a heel, the way I guess you should when you've devalued a person you've said you love.

++ Lord, help me love you, honor you, as you deserve. ++

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Unsettled Dust

If I wait for things to settle down before I blog again, it might be a few years, SO this will be blogging with dust still swirling.

I'm going to be checking out this site that Kyle reminded me of. Specifically, I'm going to order and read some of their seemingly short (definitely cheap) publications about missional churches. I'm really excited about the path I'm on and our church is on, and I think some of this stuff will be helpful—we'll see.

On a related note, I've been thinking a lot about 'call' lately. Part of the problem with concepts like 'call' is that they have a tendency to become loftily narrow in scope and archaic in feel and, therefore, inapplicable to everyday life and people. All religious concepts tend this way it seems. It's part of our bent (as American Christians) towards deism. It's part of our tendency to think of God as distant to our actual lives. This is one of the things that I am so grateful to the Vineyard movement for working against. God is present. The reign of God is at hand; it's among you. It's God's presence on earth, not yours in heaven, that is the good news of Jesus.

How alive do I think Jesus is right now? This is a question I use to pull myself out of a mindset that doesn't think of God as present and working. The answer sets the stage for thinking about 'call.' Call is literally just a fully alive and functioning Jesus asking people to join him in millions of ways and places all over the earth, to remake us and others into humanity as God intended. He does this everywhere, constantly, because he is alive and well and has this good agenda for his world. We have the choice to follow or ignore his many calls to better relationships, a better mindset, a better humanity. Call is everywhere and constantly happening because Jesus is everywhere and always working, until everything here is done the way God wants it. 'Everything' meaning business, family, friends, money, art to name a few.

The issue then is how we as individuals, families, professionals and organizations grasp and nurture a way of thinking that helps us regularly listen for and follow the voice of the true Shepherd of this world into the plethora of callings he will have for us in this lifetime for the good of all the world. I'm specifically wondering how my little church can do this for our group and each other, and I'm hopeful about hearing Jesus . . .

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Giving thanks as a gateway to seeing Reality

I think the title is enough to think about.    

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Jesus Creed: Loving God and Loving Others

I just ordered this book from this guy and it should come in next week. I don't know if the book will be as fruitful as the title has been for me (just meditating on it), but I am mildly hopeful. I've been reading several of Scot's posts and have really appreciated his manner even more than the content of his thoughts. He seems like the kind of guy who I used to assume filled seminary faculties. I'm glad he exists and is helping people think about God and reality in largely better ways.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The message I'm sending

Evangelism is a great way to refine your theology and worship. When I start to actually talk to people about God, Jesus, etc., I have this strong desire to actually represent him accurately. Because of this desire, when the occasion actually arises, at the very moment I begin I become emotionally then mentally aware of all the gaps between the perception of reality that has been running my life and the perception of reality that takes Jesus into proper account (the one I want to tell someone about). What I'm saying is, I find out all the stuff I thought I believed about God but really don't when I make an effort to tell someone about it or even embody it. The reason I say that I find out emotionally and then mentally is that the first signs of believing anything like what God has done and is doing for the world through Jesus are (hardly containable) relief, hope, joy, love--basically all the fruit of the Spirit just come out all over the place at the moment you actually start to trust Jesus' power and intentions. It's when I've been pointedly called to talk about this king and what he's got going on that I realize (from the total lack of the above "fruit") that I've forgotten about him or dismissed him (practically speaking), and several of the implications of his existence, in my normal thoughts.

But that process, of course, gets me thinking better again . . . and the fruit begins to emerge . . .

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I almost named this blog "Blatantly Hopeful." (Maybe I'll change it?) Talk about offensive language. I feel like I'm getting angry stares as I type the words. "How dare you be hopeful" is a theme that the enemy of God and humanity is trying to get my generation to pick up. But I am hopeful, and I want to be more so, because it helps me become the kind of person I want to become, and because it's more realistic to be hopeful.

That's right, I said it's more realistic to be hopeful. I'm gonna let that hang. I'll be back.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sea of Grace (pt. 1)

Grace is hard for me. I don't want to have to be "forgiven" . . . or "accepted as I am." I instead work to become a person who should, who must, be accepted, and then get depressed that I am not that. There is such a strong sense of law in me. It keeps me from you.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Standing outside

I don't want to stand outside and evaluate people. I've done this--it's an interior posture--at various times regarding friends, my wife, a church, the church, and I think its wrong. I want to stand "within" at all times. Within relationship, within bonds of commitment, within them, whether I'm talking or even thinking. "We are part of one another." God connects us.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Lines in the sand

We need more supposedly crazy people. "Crazy" like Mother Teresa. "Crazy" like Martin Luther King, Jr. It's the only way to freedom for ourselves and others. Mother Teresa said that Jesus appeared to her early in life. Too bad someone didn't lock her up back then before she really started acting crazy and loving sick poor people. Maybe she just needed some medication. I have a friend from law school who knows that he knows that God spoke to him in the middle of the night and healed him--he hardly believed in God at the time. He hasn't heard voices before or since. He and his wife are some of the most generous people I know, and he's worked for a federal judge, and now works for a super-high-end law firm. It's supposedly crazy by some standards to believe that Jesus was actually God in the flesh, and that he is for us, and is using the same power at work in Jesus to transform people. It's supposedly crazy to think God is involved with people, constantly, and to plan lives on that. Sanity doesn't really allow for an active, all-powerful God, whatever form it may take.

How crazy is "turn the other cheek"? It's bizarre. Try giving it as legal advice (and it actually is good legal advice.) How many people do that--actually love everybody, even a guy slapping them, crucifying them, confident in God's ultimate care and redemption? I'm not talking about not fighting back out of fear--lots of people do that--but about not fighting out of love for a violent person and out of trust in God's good heart toward us.

What are our fears? The ones that decide our jobs, our giving, our emotional availability; the ones that keep us "sane" in a thousand ways? What do we really value? I guess I could have said "brave" instead of crazy, but can anyone not willing to be considered crazy be all that brave?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Gotta have a starter

This is just a warm-up. Hey, do these italics work real well? I guess so.

I'll be back.