August 25 - Headed up to our friends cabin near St. Mary's Glacier. Movies, tons of food, ATV's, BBQ, and games. Very relaxing and fun!
August 26 - Returned from the mountains in time for church. After church Carol and I did some pre-marriage counseling for a couple and then I watched this. Then I went to the airport at 11:30 PM to pick up my daughter Bethany. She was returning from a trip to Oregon.
August 27 - WHITEWATER! It was an incredible Sunday. For the weekend we had a total of 44 baptisms at Northern Hills. Of the 44, only 5 were scheduled. The rest responded to the message that day, or more accurately - God's call on their life.
Speaking of WHITEWATER, our average attendance through the first 5 weeks of WHITEWATER is 640. What a great ride WHITEWATER has been.
August 28 - It was time for some domestic chores. Some house cleaning, wash, a few errands, and then prep for this weeks message.
August 29 - Office Slam-a-Rama. Then off with some friends to the Bonnie Raitt and Keb Mo concert at Red Rocks. Great show and the weather was perfect.
Today - Planning out our next series. Correspondence galore. Meeting with my pal Lorne. Working on our year end stuff, since our fiscal year ends tomorrow. Writing this post. Now going home!
One year ago today I started my blog with this. Since that day I have had 2 design changes, 224 posts, 297 comments, 8013 visits, and 18192 page views. Of course 8012 of the visits are from my wife. I buy her a new dress for every 100 visits she makes!
I am not sure that more visits are on the way, but I do have some ideas on a new design. We'll see...
The Soviet Union has never existed and is therefore about as scary as the student union.
"Google" has always been a verb.
They grew up in a mini-van.
Professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics.
They have always been able to watch wars live on TV.
Reality shows have always been on television.
Madden has always been a game, not a Super Bowl winning coach.
They grew up pushing their own miniature shopping carts in the supermarket.
They have known only two presidents.
Ringo Star has always been clean and sober.
If you can handle the pain of feeling older, there is more. Each year, Beloit College, located in Beloit Wisconsin, releases it's mindset list. This now famous list gives a window into the world view of incoming freshmen, also known as the class of 2010.
Honest Tea. This beverage is awesome! Great flavors and the best thing is that it is not very sweet. Which makes this a sweet choice for me because I love tea, but I do not like sweet tea! Mint White Tea is my favorite.
My new pink Razr phone. Pink? Yep. It is in honor of having three daughters. I am considering making it mandatory for entrance into the very exclusive 3 daughter's club of which I am the self appointed president.
Dear Church. This site gives some great insight into the minds of 20somethings and what they think about the church. What makes most of what is written here so compelling is that it comes through as hope for what the church can be, rather than only complaints for what the church is not. This is a great place to gain insight and challenge your own thinking about church. HT Mandy.
Vietnamese Cafe. A couple of guys on staff took me here the other day and the food was great. I had the Lemon Grass Chicken.
Keb' Mo': Suitcase. The more I listen the more I like this CD. Nearly every song is about the highs and/or lows of relationships and consists of some very clever lyrics. The music is not "hard core" blues, but you can't help but sway and tap your foot as you listen. The bonus is that next week I will be listening to Keb' Mo' at Red Rocks!
Ready to Die made me think of the two types of death that exist. The type of death that we are most familiar with is physical death. And, at the risk of giving myself and all of you who read this too much credit, I believe that most of us would willingly die physically for something that we believe in or in order to protect someone else. It is hard to know if this is true of course until the situation is thrust upon you, but I believe that most people would lay their life on the line... physically.
However there is another type of death that is far more frightening. It is personal death. Personal death is where you are fine physically, but you experience death socially, relationally and, well... personally. Personal death is where you are isolated or singled out because of a stand you take or a way you live. Following Jesus will get you here in a hurry.
It's the kind of death that happens sometimes when we tell others about Jesus, when we choose not to participate in the offensive joke at work, when we can't compete with the Joneses because you have different values.
It's the feeling that I don't fit in, I'm different. It's feeling like a fool and like you just bombed in speech class. Remember that? Personal death is like peer pressure on speed! It's the kind of death that makes you look for a rock instead of a casket. It feels like shame and can make a person change direction. It can make a person stop a good thing and start a bad thing. When following God personal death is a beautiful, yet it often feels ugly.
The fear of personal death is possibly the greatest hindrance that we have to living out our part of God's story.
Thinking about and overcoming personal death gives a fresh perspective on Paul's words.
What are you doing to increase your ability to anticipate?
The art of anticipation is an essential quality for effective leading, parenting, and serving. A person who is good at anticipating what will happen next and what needs to be done, is a better spouse and usually more successful in athletic competition.
One of the many things that makes my assistant an awesome assistant is that she is great at anticipating. For those old enough to remember she is a bit like Radar on M*A*S*H, in that she takes care of things before I even ask or think about it. She is even from Iowa, however, she looks nothing like Radar.
In baseball for example anticipation is huge. It can lead to moving a step or two in the field that allows you to make the play. It allows you to look for a fastball or change up while hitting, and blasting the pitch out of the park.
Certain people seem to have an aptitude to be good at anticipating, but I also see it as a learned skill. It is more than guessing. People who are good at anticipating:
Learn about their subject. This is true for a church leader to a pitcher. Know the heartbeat and tendencies of those you lead or your competition.
Prepare. From an athletic standpoint this means getting in shape. If you can anticipate a curve-ball, yet have not developed the skill to hit the curve ball, then the anticipation is not worth much. As a leader if you anticipate resistance to an upcoming change, yet you are not developing skills to lead well through change, then...
Study History. It is amazing how often people do the same thing over and over again regardless of results.
Evaluate. Ongoing evaluations of yourself, others and projects internalizes "data" that increases a persons anticipation intuition.
Embrace Risk. Not moving with reckless abandon, but busting through the fear of being wrong, failing, or making a mistake.
There are probably other keys to being good at anticipating and feel free to add to the list.
OK, maybe Rob the survivor is more accurate. Despite not training for the event, I really did enjoy my participation in the Wild West Relay. I had a great team and we finished the 195 mile course in under 29 hours. Official standings have not been posted, but I am pretty sure we finished in the top third of the 93 team field.
My previous post stated what legs I would be running, and my shortest leg was actually the hardest. Mostly because of the 95 degree heat. Rob's body was not happy. The middle of the night run in Wyoming was awesome. Total darkness, stars, full moon, very cool! My last leg was run in the rain which is really good (cool) and really bad (heavy wet).
On my final leg Saturday morning here is the conversation that took place between me and my body:
Rob:OK body, it's the last leg. 6.7 miles slightly uphill in the rain. This is going to be cool. Finish strong.
Body: - NO!
Rob:No to finishing strong or no to running?
Body:No to any movement of any sort. In fact I am not real keen on breathing right now.
Rob:What kind of attitude is that? We can do this. We are part of the team. Come on.
Body:Listen, last night you had me running in the middle of nowhere and you decide to run much faster and harder than necessary. Do you realize that there are over 6 billion people on this planet that don't give a #$$%A@!! about your per mile pace.
Rob:Watch the language, I'm a running pastor! Come on, we start in about 10 minutes. Let's make it happen. It will be good.
Body:It will not be good! If you choose to do this I will cause you pain. I will force you to go slow and maybe even walk.
Rob:I will not walk, no matter how much pain I am in.
Body:That is what you think. I have given you so much over the last 18 hours. You on the other-hand have given me those crappy power bars, 46 bottles of water and a night without sleep.
Rob:OK, you are right, but we sure are creating a great memory. How about this. If you get me through this last leg, I will eat a giant bowl of ice cream when we get home, go to sleep, then wake up and take a nap. What do you say?
Body:Hot shower too?
Rob:By all means. No bath however.
Body:OK, it is a deal. But it will cost you. When you wake up Sunday morning you will be sore! As a result, you will not be able to walk without looking like a 96 year old constipated man.
Tomorrow at 9:30AM the Wild West Relay begins! I was so pumped for this way back in April, but now it does not fit very well in my schedule. I am not prepared. I am too busy. I will be running however, because I do not want to let my team down even though I may go down. While typing this I am eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and a Diet Dr. Pepper. Not good.
Here is the deal. I have the 6th leg, which means I will be running the following distances at these approximate times:
3.8 Miles at 1:30 PM Friday
6.4 Miles at Midnight Saturday (This could be much longer if I am eaten by a bear or get lost)
6.7 Miles at 11:00 AM Saturday
Yep - 16.9 miles! Again, what was I thinking. I like to run and all, but with WHITEWATER (convenient excuse) beginning I have not put in the miles I had planned. Feet don't fail me now. Heart hang on, and legs keep working!
My visit to hospital will probably take place at 1:00 PM Saturday! Stop by for a visit if you get a chance.
If I have the energy I will take some pictures of the carnage for your enjoyment.