Monday, May 30, 2005

back in the land of the living

Got back safely from our senior trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. and let's just say it was eventful. Mary Ann tried to warn me, and well, she was right. It was Black Bike Week 2005, that means we shared the area w/ 260,000 african american bikers. Our hotel had private security, cops on every floor 24/7, the National Guard had a presence and Federal Agents on the main blvd. It was pretty wild. Nothing like bringing the graduating class of Cincinnati Christian High School right in the middle of modern day Sodom. I couldn't even begin to explain to you the things we saw, it was Epic :)
Had a great time with the students though, great conversations about their passions and their futures. Im pretty stoked about the possibility of a newly birthed house church of some incoming college freshman. This was possibly my best year of teaching and I'm gonna miss these guys pretty badly. I'm giving the commencement address at graduation this coming Sunday so I have to make my thoughts more concise by then.

Exam week at school this week and then I'm done for the summer. Starting to put together some goals for the summer physically, spiritually and professionally. I'm ready to wrap up the year and begin the summer season. Hopefully I'll have time to be more thoughtful on my blog this week.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Staying up for the Sith Lord

Well I joined the freak show last night by seeing the 12:01 a.m. showing of Star Wars Episode 3 and now am running on fumes and 2 hours of sleep. I was met by Glenn Johnson and a myriad of present and former students of mine, some dressed in costume. A brief review would be that I liked this one MUCH better than the previous 2 that were released. I liked Episode 1 okay, if not just for the effects of the pod races and the epic battle at the end. I HATED Episode 2 for its incredibly poor acting, cheap thrills and the incredibly cheezy lovey dovey crap between Anniken and the queen.

Episode 3 opens with a battle scene that was actually the best scene of the movie in my mind. I was waiting for something like it later in the movie but nothing quite got there for me. Great sabre duels, a much better storyline to follow and much less of the mushy garbage. It was more similar to the original 3 episodes released than the last 2 mainstream ones. It did a good job of leading you right to the beginning of Episode 4 and the original Star Wars. In fact it makes me want to sit down right now and watch the 1977 original.

Oh yeah, and the freak show of people waiting in line in costume was pretty cool too.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005


If you haven't yet, check out Palmer's blog. Then push yourself away from the computer and let out a primal SCREAM! God is good.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

i've been thinkin' . . .

There seems to be a difference between positions of authority and power. When one focuses on their position, they believe that their followers and enviornment exist to serve them and there's no real power, just rules and regulations to keep everybody in line. Then there are those who believe they exist to serve their community, become deeply connected with their followers and thus exhibit real power for change and transformation.

Jesus seemed to prefer leading without a title, with the exception of "Son of Man". He knew how to connect with people and in turn they gave him "permission" to lead them. I call that "permission leadership" and frankly for those of you doing the missional community gig, its all you got. You have no position of authority, but if you love the people, if you serve them, if you cry out to God on behalf of them, if you confront the Enemy with some conviction, they may give you permission to lead them and the community.

"If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care - then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand." -Philippians 2 (The Message)

As people of the Kingdom, we do not seek positions of authority on this present earth. No, we lead from the back of the line. We seek to become irrelevant so that we can finally love our neighbor. And as we seek to serve first, we partner w/ God in his Creation of a new Heaven and a new Earth. It is coming and we are a part of that process. So come Lord Jesus in our servanthood today, come and teach us how to become irrelevant and thus truly powerful. Then every moment becomes pregant with the possibility of Kingdom Come.


Sunday, May 15, 2005

I can see the light at the end of the tunnell

Nothing personal about the blog hiatus but I've been consumned with many things.

1) Praying for Palmer. He is having no fun, in quite a bit of pain. We trust in you, Lord.
2) I have one last week of teaching for the 2004-05 school year plus exams, let's get this party started.
3) I will be chaperoning the senior trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. next week. I guess you can call it a business trip.
4) Had a great time at our denominational annual conference in Cleveland on Friday. Yes, you read that right, my wife and I had a great time. It wasn't without moments of cringing and shuddering. But for the most part we belong to a healthy, diverse spiritual family that supports us and seek to understand our paradigm. I got a chance to teach a seminar on challenges/opportunities of the emerging culture which went over well. I don't apologize for being part of a denomination.
5) 2 great bbq's this weekend at our house. I grilled for 50-60 people the past couple of days, my famous tyriaki burgers. Great time and always great conversation around the fire in the backyard, plus mixing in some iPod tunes.
6) My N.T. Survey course that I'm teaching for Indiana Wesleyan University on Wednesday evenings is approaching its 3rd week of 5. This class has been a blast. The small group of nurses are completely enveloped in the story of the NT and make teaching it a complete joy. They are taking it as an elective to their Masters program and our conversations have been annointed. The 4 hours of class seem to fly by. This is part of the beauty of education, particularly when the learners are motivated.
7) Preparing for summer break. Need to get my India/Germany trip together.
8) Mulling over the commencement address for graduation this year. I'm sure I'll change it 6 more times between now and June 5.

Come June 3, I'll be finished with my day job for awhile and be reminded of the 3 best reasons to be a teacher: 1) June 2) July & 3) August. : )


Friday, May 06, 2005

It's Prom Night

Tonight, my wife and I are chaperoning our school's junior/senior prom. Of course we are at a Christian school so there will be no dancing, rather its a banquet with some entertainment. Prom always brings back memories for me because 14 years ago, I rushed to ask a certain girl to my senior prom because I knew that she was going to be asked by another dude that night. I wasn't one to sit back, and thankfully she agreed to go w/ me. In fact she went to another school and her prom was the same night so we agreed to go to both of our proms on the same night. She looked amazing on prom night, we had a blast and 2 years later we got married :) I told my students to be careful who they are going with because you never know how permanent that date may be.

Palmer's surgery seemed to go well, check out his blog for an update. In fact he managed to get a 2 for 1 special. As they were removing the tumor they noticed his appendix was huge, so they removed that as well. He's 1/2 the Palmer he used to be, physically speaking.

peace to your weekend,

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Palmer needs our prayers today

As of 10 a.m., Palmer will be in surgery to remove the tumor and do some repair work. Abba Father, go and be w/ Palmer this morning. May your Kingdom be near to him and may the hands of the surgeon be your hands. Holy Spirit we trust in you.

I'm not afraid to admitt that I'm still recovering from the run last Sunday. The soreness is gone but the fatigue remains. I'm looking forward to gettting back to my training this weekend as I plan to run 2 more 1/2 marathons in the Fall.

I started teaching a college night course last night of New Testament Survey for Indiana Wesleyan University satelite campus here in Cincy. Its a class of nurses taking an elective course to gain credits towards their masters in nursing. There are only 4 of them, one is a Jehovah's Witness, 2 have left the Church and one is pretty connected to Christ. It was so much fun discussing the background to the story of the NT because they were so engaged. We ended the night reading through the Sermon on the Mount and making life applications. They were reading it for the 1st time and just soaking it in and feeling the tension of these hard teachings. It made for a long day of teaching but its these moments of why I teach.

Stop and notice the Kingdom amongst you today,

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Flying Pig completed

The race is over and the time I was shooting for was 2 hrs. 30 min., instead I ran 2:25. I felt strong from the get go, feeling the prayers and encouragement of all of you. The Cincinnati Enquirer did their story of Palmer and I today and it gave me all the inspiration I needed to get it done. Heres the link Article I'm off now to take a nap.