Friday, January 26, 2007

My brain this week

This has been one of those weeks when my brain has been all over the place. Here are a few of the meanderings of my mind:
  • Last Saturday afternoon, I went to Starbucks in Franklin to wrap up my Sunday school lesson and to do some reading. The only place to sit was at a long table where two people were already sitting. They were gracious enough to let me pull up a chair on the end. I had placed myself in the midst of a discipleship meeting. An older woman was telling a 20 something young woman that God had put it on her heart to disciple her. OK, as soon as I hear "God put it on my heart," my skeptic radar starts beeping pretty loudly. As I faded in and out of hearing their conversation, I kept hearing just about every altruism in the book: that's the devil making him thing that...God wants you to be happy...there's a whole in your heart that only Jesus can fill...blah blah blah. As far as I could tell, the young woman was voicing some doubts and some struggles, and all the older woman could do was throw altruism bombs at her and hope they exploded in the right spot. I wanted to turn and say, "You know, it's OK not to have all the answers and wonder if God is acting appropriately." Anyway, that was interesting.
  • On a lighter note, I caught myself laughing out loud (lol for short) at Taco Bell on Monday when I saw these two hot sauce packets:
I mean, come one, those are hilarious. The Hot sauce packet is sitting there totally annoyed by the Fire sauce packet who is saying stuff like, "Hey, I'm hotter than you!" "I'm en fuego" "I am soooo on Fire" Then, there's the whole notion of scratching and sniffing a hot sauce packet. Anyway, I'm still holding to my theory that Taco Bell hires 3rd and 4th grade boys to come in and write stuff for the sauce packets. I love it.

  • On Monday mornings, I spend a couple of hours at The Good Cup (my favorite local coffee shop) reading. I know it's a luxury that not many people get, but I wish they did. It's so nice to just sink myself into a good book and let new ideas wash over me. I'm currently reading The Secular City by Harvey Cox. I just read a chapter that discusses India and the prediction that by 1966, the country would starve to death. Then, just 10 years after the book was written, Norman Borlaug comes along and introduces high yielding dwarf wheat. I spent a good 10 minutes sitting there thinking about momentous events like that that totally change the landscape of the world and destroy all of our predictions. Anyway, I wish everybody could have time to just sit and read.
  • Finally, I've woken up every morning this week to hear a report on NPR about people dying in Iraq, or more troops going to Iraq, or continued hostility in Iraq. I didn't watch the State of the Union address, because I thought I might either break something or cry. I've honestly been on the verge of tears each morning as I sit down and go through the ritual of Morning Prayer. Today, I was asked to pray for:
    • those subjected to tyrrany and oppression
    • wounded and injured people
    • those who face death
    • those who may be our enemies
  • I heard that Bush and his cronies are asking for time for his new plan to work. HOW MUCH MORE TIME DO YOU NEED? We've been enmeshed in an occupation and now a civil war for five years! Thousands of lives, Iraqi and American have been lost. How can sending more people in harm's way be the answer? When does it stop? When do we realize that the Iraqi people may not be ready for the constitutional revolution that we want them to have? When is enough enough? I'm so sick and tired of waking up every morning and hearing that more people are dead. Sure, I could switch my clock radio to a pop radio station and hear about the latest hollywood breakups and makeups, but people would still be dying...people would still be wounded and injured and facing death. NO MORE! more.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday at Harpeth

No lie, this guy was outside Harpeth this morning filming a music video with some women who've recorded a song about looking for a guy like Goober...No Lie.

I made it back safely from the collegiate conference at Montreat. It was a great conference. I hope Montreat commits to doing it again.

This evening I'm headed out of town with the members of the session of's session retreat time. I'm pretty pumped about the weekend actually. I can't wait to hear what kind of dreams and visions these folks have for our church in the coming years.

I've been trying to observe morning and evening prayer everyday (with some midday prayer in there as well) since the new year began. I haven't been totally disciplined, but carving out some time for prayer at various times throughout the day has really changed my outlook. It's funny how often the readings for a given day seem to be so perfect for where my heart/mind/or soul is at that moment in time. Anyway, I'm diggin' it.

OK, off to the session retreat.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Collegiate Conference Episode One...Powerhouse Perks

I'm currently sitting at Powerhouse Perks, a relatively new coffee shop in Black Mountain, NC. I'm here with a bunch of college students from Vanderbilt.

We're up here at Montreat for the collegiate conference. We were all drawn here by the promise of hearing Donald Miller speak, but it ends up he's not speaking until Saturday evening. :( Oh well. So far, worship has been great. I went to a workshop this morning about emerging worship. I'll have more thoughts about the qualities of Experiential, Participatory, Something about visual that started with I, and Connectional. It all spelled EPIC. Anyway, more later.

So, we're currently playing Apples to Apples, as evidence by these photos...must go now and focus more on nouns and adjectives.