Wednesday, December 29, 2004

close to home

the tsunami news over the past couple of days is staggering, really. didn't find myself affected until i watched an abc report with Ronni tonight. slowly welling emotions right now. not sure if it's grief in the stricktest sense, as i'm not personally bereaved...sort of a displaced, generalized lament mixed with wonder/horror. trying to find the right word... plaintive? kind of hope there isn't a right word.

Ronni sponsors a young girl named Mary through Compassion International. Mary lives in Indonesia. we're praying she and her family are safe. Compassion sent an email saying that the base she attends for school is still intact, but they are going house to house to check on all of the children. not sure how long it might be until we know if she's o.k.

holding Elle in my arms while watching images of a distraught young mother holding her lifeless baby. how do i merit the blessing i enjoy? even less apparent reason for that family's encounter with the curse of death. makes me want to turn off the tv, but somehow that seems like the wrong thing to do.

God grows really large in my mind in situations like this. All 77,000 killed so far are beloved to him, not to mention the pain he bears with each survivor. how does he retain the capacity to care about the various mundane prayers i sent his way today?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

are titles really necessary?

got to use our new snowblower for the first time today.

our next door neighbor, sort of the alpha male of the neighborhood, moved away this fall. he always used to snowblow our driveway for us, making me feel both grateful to not have to break my back and somewhat gender diminished at the same time.

so after he moved, and a young married couple moved in to his house, i figured it was time to step up. the way i had it worked out, i was going to be the neighborhood hero, snowblowing for all the widows and pregnant women and girly men without snowblowers.

of course, just about every other man in the neighborhood bought a snowblower this winter, too, but probably for better reasons. upon waking and showering this morning, eager to redeem my manhood, what should i discover but my neighbor from across the street snowblowing my driveway (thanks Shawn!). what to be done? thankfully, the young couple next door still had a snowcovered driveway. needless to say, they now have a clear driveway, thanks to my ego issues. oh, and to top it off, they're expecting a baby this spring. cha-ching.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

good news

backing up a little: one of Elle's earlier blood tests had returned a red flag for biotinidase deficiency, a potentially life threatening (but treatable) genetic disorder. got news this afternoon that a subsequent, and much more accurate test, came back completely normal. good news indeed.

it's funny, when i heard the earlier news, i had a strong feeling that it was a false alarm. nonetheless, as the week of waiting passed, i still found myself anxious--mainly about all sorts of other fears: SIDS, car accidents, etc. what's up with that?

Jesus is good; that much i know. In this life, i will have trouble; that much i also know. fortunately the former trumps the latter, but life sure is messier (more organic?) than logic most of the time. relationship is proving both more flexible and stronger than reason.

Sunday, December 5, 2004

one week

Elle's sleeping on my chest right now, so I'm typing a little slow. of course, that shouldn't affect your reading speed, now that i think about it. oh well, brain's not functioning at full speed right now either.

it's been a great week though. very peaceful, all things considered. i was able to take most of the week off of work, which was very helpful. Ronni's feeling much better so far than she was was at the same time after Colin's birth. Caring for Elle has been very relaxed. not sure if it's because we feel more comfortable, or if it's just that she's really easy going. a number of veteran dad's have encouraged me by saying that she'll make up for it in her teenage years.

Colin's the kind of big brother i wish i had been with my first sister. doting, gentle, loving, eager, protective--the whole 9 yards, to really misuse the expression. Elle recognizes his voice and searches him out with her eyes whenever she hears it.

Eva, a friend from church, tells us that people from the church have arranged to make meals for us all month long. amazing. can't imagine having a new baby and not having such a great family and great church. we've had an extraordinary number of gifts and phone calls and cards and offers of help. my sister Amy stayed the night once this week just to take care of Elle and deliver her to Ronni when she got hungry, and take her back when she was full. thanks, Ben.

several cards we've gotten have included prayers for us and Elle. there's something cool knowing the blessing Elle is surrounded with as she enters this broken world. surely goodness and mercy are already already following her.

had to take her for a blood test earlier this week. forgot that i get faint when blood is drawn. thankfully, held it together and didn't pass out. that would have been really embarrasing. oh well, i'm sure i'll find other ways to embarrass her down the road...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Elle Veronica Wilson

6:11 a.m., Sunday, November 28th, 2004. 4 weeks early; right on time.

6 lbs 7 oz. 18.5 inches.

Speechless about Ronni and Elle.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

going in...coming out?

well, it's 12:30 p.m. saturday night. 5 minutes between contractions now. just got the "go" sign from our midwife. Amy's here to take care of Colin. Sweet. Woohoo. heading to the hospital...

Friday, November 26, 2004

thanksgiving, etc.

had a great time with family yesterday. we've taken to alternating years between my family and Ronni's; this year it was the Wilson side, at my parents house. judy was in from NYC, awesome to see her again. McGuigans were there too. Cousins Dave and Steve (17 & 19) or something like that) are really cool--they had a big snowball fight with Colin and Grace. Amy and Ben and Ben's parents and brother came later for desert. just missing Maja, Patrick and boys (Maja's birthday tomorrow, looking forward to talking to's been a long time!) and the Elkingtons (and my dad's sisters and their families--but it's a rare treat for them to come, since they live out east). great conversation, lots of laughter, delicious meal, foosball (beat Grace for only the 2nd time; she's got amazing reflexes and a good competitive instinct. Nick, Ben's bro, shut me out though, 5-0, and then he was trounced by Grace--way to go, Grace!) watched the lions get pasted by Peyton. alas. listened to some great tunes with Dad and Uncle Kit. praise God for music and music lovers.

took Colin to see his first movie at the theater today. we've been talking about going sometime for a while, so his excitement has been growing. announced that today was the day. he was overwhelmed with excitement. really. almost fainted overwhelmed. his eyes got huge, he looked a little pale, and although he was already sitting on his knees, he had to sit all the way down on his bottom to absorb the news. then he let out a big sigh and gulped a big "well golly gee" kind of gulp. it was all Ronni and I could do to keep from bursting out laughing.

the film was "The Incredibles." what a great flick. Colin loved it, of course. i thought it was an amazing animated film. captured my imagination visually, very funny, well acted and animated, and actually had me engaged in the plot. well done, Pixar.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

proud papa

this will be brief...

dinner at Chilli's with friends & kids. lively conversation. Colin pipes up, "Mom, the band!" We stop talking to listen.

"What band, Colin?" mom asks.

"The band on TV!" Colin responds, enthusiastically. We listen more closely, and pick out U2's "mysterious ways" playing in the background.

"U2?" we ask, indcredulously.

"Yes, U2...the band on TV!"

those vertigo itunes commercials sure are effective, eh?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

long distance relationships

Ed & Clare Evans (and daughters Bethia and Olivia) who pastor the Salisbury Vineyard (U.K.) have been here on holiday since the beginnning of november. Ronni, Colin, and i have really enjoyed getting to know them; they are a fab family. Ed and i took a two hour walk today, and the time flew by. we only met once while i was in England last year, but we clicked without effort; conversation is easy with him, and i find him greatly encouraging. i really admire his relationship with Jesus too--there is a genuine humility and contagious anticipation about it. he had a couple of impressions from God at church on sunday, and they seem to be spot on.

on a related but less serious note: why is it that british children sound so intelligent when they speak? Bethia (4 years old) can say anything, and it just sounds incredibly smart. clearly, she is actually a very precocious child, but her accent amplifies her apparent intellectual capacity by about 40 years or so. i'm wondering if there is a reciprocal dynamic--i.e., is an american accent in a child perceived as especially smart to a british person? i'm afraid to ask directly, because i suspect it's the exact opposite.

Monday, November 8, 2004

how to dismantle an atomic bomb

listening to U2's new album as i type. catch myself smiling, all by myself. occasionally a little teary. want to play it loud for Ronni to hear too, but she's watching a film right now. soon though. maybe in the morning when Colin's up - he digs U2. should be a lot of fun. there's no joy like shared joy. can't count on my fingers and toes the number of good friends i'd love to just sit down with and and crank the volume.

car's in the shop for new brakes. don't even care; great tunes cover a multitude of hassles.

had a good time at holy hoops tonight. cool group of guys there. my body's getting old though...Ronni laughs at how i limp around on mondays. no matter; great tunes do a body good :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


picked up Chris Tomlin's new CD, Arriving, tonight while Ronni, Colin, and I were out on our "date night." Had to have it after singing the first song, "Indescribable", at Cloud 9 this weekend.

There was a moment while we were worshipping on Saturday night when it occurred to me that very possibly, heaven might be even better than this. 600+ people, most of them teenagers, were worshipping, hands raised, jumping up and down, many with tears on their faces, voices straining from singing so loud for so long. One could almost sense saints long passed on into glory and angels and heavenly creatures joinging in the praise. The band seemed to fade into the background in my mind's eye, and Jesus himself was on stage, lit up in a bright spotlight that strangely and naturally emanated from him. I thought of the pastors and youth leaders and chaperones and churches that had sacrificed over the years to make Cloud 9 happen, and began to understand in a new way what Paul meant when he spoke of the people he preached the gospel to as an "offering acceptable to God". Jesus takes such delight from the worship of his kids, and there must be few greater joys than laboring toward and seeing an increase of praise in the hearts of those he loves.

entirely unrelated note: played one on one against a guy named Paul at the Rec center today. Probably about 20, although I'm a terrible judge of age. Younger than I am by a long shot, and in much better shape, that much for sure. Taller and quicker than me too. Dunked effortlessly (though, thankfully, not over me). Beat me 15-3 the first game. Huffing and puffing, I congratulated him, encouraged him about the excellence of his game and settled in to see if I am in fact so far over the hill that my future holds nothing but continued and increasing baskeball humiliation. Thankful to say that the scores of the next two games were more respectable, 15-5, and 15-7. In my favor. Praise God for insignificant but no less sweet joys.

BoSox just made it into the World Series, wow. Puts my comeback in perspective, I suppose...

just noticed all the capital letters. too tired to change them all for stylistic reasons. what is that all about, anyway? sort of pretentious in a trying too hard not to be pretentious way, now that I think about it...

Thursday, October 7, 2004


should have an interesting day tomorrow.

the milan chamber of commerce invited me to offer an "invocation" before their 8:00 a.m. meeting. i'm never really sure what the expectation is, as i imagine chamber members could be from any number of religious or irreligious persuasions. tiptoeing lightly and generically (theologically speaking) isn't really within my job description as a student of Jesus, nor really within my mental abilities at 8 a.m. i'm thinking about asking Jesus to exercise his influence on the business leader's hearts so that their talents and power would be used as an instrument of blessing for the people of Milan, especially the poor. maybe i'll just thank Jesus for the gift of work and the freedom to create and produce, and invite him to impart his creativity, wisdom, and compassion to the group. hmmm. don't think the book of common prayer has one for this sort of thing, does it? drop a comment if you've got any ideas...i'll probably have the chance to do this a few more times, God willing.

a friend from the ann arbor church invited me to speak to her middle school about my experiences in belfast after high school, the fun that comes from taking risks, the surprises God has in store when we let him lead, etc. should be a blast. love middle school students. they love you or tune you right polite nodding. been a while since i've addressed a group of them, though. kind of nervous. regardless of how it all goes, i know i'll have a lot to laugh about when all is said and done.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Mayor Diaz

had coffee with the mayor of Milan today, Owen Diaz. one of only two U.S. mayors originally born in the Phillippines (the other is mayor of Seattle, i believe).

found it very encouraging to talk with him. Jesus really seems to be paving the way for an infusion of his life and love in this community.

remarkable man. overcame a lot of adversity to be where he is today. really full of joy, humble, and genuinely loves the people of Milan. everytime he saw someone coming in or going out of the coffee shop, he sprung to the door to hold it open. we sat near a former "first lady" of Milan, and he sincerely asked for her critique of his mayoring: "how can I do better?"

loves Jesus wholeheartedly, too. he's donating his mayoral salary to bless different groups of people in the community, in cooperation with various churches. organized a concert for disabled citizens. put on a dinner for seniors. wants to put on an event for the youth.

all in all, found it very encouraging to talk with him. Jesus really seems to be paving the way for an infusion of His life and love in this community.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

home group

saddens me sometimes how many pastors have a difficult time finding genuine friendships within their church; i'm so thankful to Christ that my experience is different. our home group is about 5 months old or so, and already it's starting to feel a little like home. Roni and i really are starting to love the friendship and support we find there. refreshing, blessing, encouragement in abundant supply. one can't put a pricetag on that--it's like it comes straight from the hand of God.

tried playing guitar for worship again last night (vs. cd). stuck with songs that felt easy to play (satsify, be the center, here i am to worship). seemed to survive all right--no one walked out :) asked Ronni to sing really loud, which helps me stay in rhythm.

going to Comerica Park (the new Tiger Stadium) tonight for the first time with my dad, sister (Grace), and son. to say Colin is excited would be the understatement of the day.

speaking of Detroit sports, how 'bout them Lions, eh? 2-0 sure feels good for September. Roy Williams has impressed me...seems like a man among boys out there sometimes.

Friday, September 17, 2004

the evangelical outpost

stumbled across a thoughtful, provacative, intelligent blog today. called the evangelical outpost, i noticed it while googling "evangelical" for some sermon research. intriguging posts on all sorts of topics, and seems to be host to a vibrant community of thoughtful commenters, as well (much like this blog, too, of course). check it out here. for a sample that highlights the comments of the many-perspectived blog-followers this web log attracts, direct your attention to the post entitled "creation and differentiation: an interpretive framework of genesis 1 (part 1)"

naturally has a bit of a political bent (just like most people), but not as much as one might expect (from a blog entitled the evangelical oupost).

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

tripping the light fantastic

tonight was "date night", which really means family night until Colin goes to bed. it's the one evening a week that we preserve from any other commitments, church or otherwise. put on some remixes of U2 songs and danced the night away in the living room. Colin's got his own style: a disco / martial arts / gymnatics / ballet hybrid. lots of tumbling and kicking and punching and leaping and twirling. Ronni and I showed him a little bit of swing dancing (no tosses, mind you...probably not great for either the baby or my back, not to mention that we never really learned that part of the swing anyway).

discovered an added benefit to the new windows that were recently installed: much better sound insulation. we cranked the bass on "Mysterious Ways" to the point of picture rattling, and didn't get a single complaint from the neighbors. worth the investment right there.

Thursday, September 2, 2004


we snapped this picture a couple of weeks ago at a gas station in the mountains of Pennsylvania, on our way to NYC:

it's smack dab in the middle of the entrance to the gas station, requiring everyone entering the station to squeeze by it on the way in and out. after paying for our gas, i asked the attendant how the car came to be so mangled.

"trucks keep running it over," she replied, matter of factly.

"you're kidding...? you mean right here in the driveway, they run it over? or it was run over on the road, and so now you just use it to hold the sign?"

"nope," she said. the resignation in her voice was acute. "right there in the driveway. every couple of nights. it's like it's not even there. what can you do?"

move back to civilization, i thought, but didn't say. different approach to assertiveness there in the Allegheny's, it seems. new york city folk were positively meek, by comparison. needless to say, we were very deferential to the truckers the rest of our travels.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

i'll be back

been super busy, and don't have a home office (rearranging the house to make room for the new baby coming in december)--thus the lack of updates. i'll give more details on our trip out east, put up a couple of photos, and maybe even post more frequently when i get the home office up and running again...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

big apple

we're here in New York, staying with Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Nick. awesome place, 87th & 2nd Ave. got a parking space directly in front of the entrance. Uncle Nick made a delicious chicken parmesan last night - could've been a gourmet chef. walked to central park. saw a lady walking two dogs, pushing her baby in a stroller, and talking on a cell phone. made me feel very laid back.

Judy came over this morning. Colin, Ronni, and i spent the day with her: Staten Island ferry, ground zero, time square, wall street, battery park. met cousin Holly for lunch in the Chase Manhattan plaza. security asked me for i.d. after Ronni took a picture of us by a fountain. feel very secure knowing that all the suspicious types are under scrutiny this thorough. despite my fears that he would be afraid, Colin loves the subway. and the bus. and the ferry. and the eligator, too.

we're at Judy's new pad right now. spacious, hip, homey. hard to be all three, i know, but it is.

been to Starbucks twice today. getting Vietnamese for dinner tonight. feel very cosmopolitan.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

email from Bert

Bert Waggoner is the national director for the Vineyard USA, the community of churches with whom we are serving Jesus. what a remarkable man. i'm so impressed with him on many levels: wisdom, heart, passion, care, vision, etc. not to mention the fact that he continues to pastor his church in Sugarland, Texas while leading a growing movement of 600+ churches in the U.S.

thought some of you may find his most recent letter to Vineyard pastors interesting, so i've uploaded it to the web here if you'd like to download and read it. for those of you that don't read it , one thing of note that he mentions is that the Dwell worship CD won the award for best new album from i think i've mentioned this before, but i really like the new direction Casey Corum is taking Vineyard Music.

a couple of other notes, unrelated to Bert's letter...

worship was awesome at home group a couple of nights ago. just made a playlist on my ipod, printed out song sheets, and brought some portable speakers into the living room. Ronni and i really experienced Christ as we worshipped. maybe it's because we weren't focused on leading, maybe it's because the music was excellent. not sure, need to check with the others in the group to see what they thought.

oh, and my goatee is gone, so my mom and sister Grace should be happier now :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

matt redman

Matt Redman's new worship CD arrived today. love his music. nothing better than songs that emerge from a life captured by Jesus.

on a vaguely related note, going to try worship from Vineyard's new Home Again series at home group tonight. never worshipped with a CD (rather than a guitar player, for example) before, but i'm interested in how it works. the songs in this particular series are supposed to be recorded with a living room in mind; might be really cool. especially if it lets us enter into worship more deeply than we've been able to with my stumbling guitar playing. not that i won't keep trying to improve, but just that Jesus might be able to have his way with us more fully while i'm learning.

Friday, August 6, 2004


had an ultrasound yesterday with Ronni to check up on our growing child. amazing. wonderful. breathtaking at times. here's a picture:

we think the baby is a girl, owing to absence of evidence to the contrary. nothing conclusive due to the position of the umbilical cord, though. excited for a daughter. praise God.

Friday, July 30, 2004 does a body good?

on the off chance you remember our concerns about our cat aslan, i have some interesting news. he'd been throwing up daily, and we were sure we'd return from vacation to find a house full of cat puke, as we couldn't bring ourselves to ask our neighbor to clean it up each day. but upon arriving home, not a single bit of upchuck to be found. in fact, aslan was lithely moving around like he was several years younger. our brains began whirring (no, not literally) to figure out what had happened.

after a longer period of time than i care to admit, it dawned on us. milk is what had happened, or more precisely, not happened. while we were away, there were no cereal bowls on the counter with leftover milk for him to drink. no milk = happy cat who may actually have a few more years left in him.


no, just kidding. i actually have a soft spot in my heart for that cat, even if i have trouble finding it from time to time.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

ipod mini for Ronni campaign

alright, i could really use your help. here's the deal: i can get Ronni a free ipod mini (the pink one, the kind she really wants) if five of you sign up for this promo at there are several deals to choose from, but the best one i can see is [ignore the following and see edit number 2] the one. why? a couple of reasons. first, you can cancel within two weeks and your credit card will never be charged, but i'll still get credit towards the ipod mini. second, it applies to my account right away, no waiting period.

(edit: my referrer number is 7154053, in case you don't use the link above)

(edit 2: the ebay option, as don notes in the comments, is by far the best. no credit cards required, you can place a penny bid and away you go)

from what i can tell, it's risk free. might be worth going for yourself once you help me out (or even if you don't). seems too good to be true, but message boards are reporting success without cost from a number of folks. check out the gearlive forums for more info if you are interested yourself.

thanks for your help! i'll report back how it all works out...

Friday, July 16, 2004

let the caption contest begin

[edit: somehow, the picture wasn't showing up before...sorry about that!]

probably passed this sign hundreds of times in the last 23 years since we've been coming to Long Lake. just noticed it for the first time yesterday. thought of too many great captions for me to pick one, so i thought i'd let you come up with your best and drop them in the comments section. leave your name as well, so that i can award a $5.00 itunes gift certificate to the best entry. Ronni will make the final decision about the best caption (i'll tell her what they are without giving away your names, so she can judge without extra bias) when our vacation is over. have fun...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


here at the Surf Cafe in Alpena, Michigan. times, they are a changin'. wireless access in northern Michigan, who'd have imagined? $1.00 an hour, not bad. nice decor, cool atmosphere. especially nice on a rainy day. hope this place makes tons of money and stays in business.

Ronni, Colin, and i are staying in a cabin on Long Lake, about 15 minutes outside of Alpena. Mom, Dad, Grace, Judy, the Smith's and the Bairds (minus Brendan, who had to work this week) are all up here as well. a bunch of other people i've known since i was a kid also. the Conlin's, Paces, Swisses. hooped for a couple of hours when we got up here sunday night. sore now - i think it's been 2 or 3 months since i've played hard. golf the next morning with my dad and Linc. Linc beat us both with a 41, but i shot a 46 (for 9) which is a decent game for me. actually had a rare par on my first hole, with no mulligan.

listened to Bleachers by John Grishom on the way up. Grishom reads it too, which added to the interest. short novel about small town football. Ronni was pretty bored, but i enjoyed it. made me curious about what goes on behind the scenes in Milan football. reading the Confusion by Neal Stephenson, historical fiction set during the late 1600's. provides a window into origins of soft currency and the stock market in Europe. also listening to the Dream of Reason by Anthony Gottlieb.

Ronni's starting to feel the baby move a lot more now, especially after eating anything sweet. getting more excited myself.

Colin's been loving all the attention from adoring relatives. quite a charmer. "Aren't I amazing, Mom?" upon keeping his pullup dry through the night. no self-esteem issues need apply.

not sure if i'll do any more updating of this blog while i'm away or not...if not, catch you at the end of July.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Daniel & Johannes

got to catch up with two friends recently.

on monday, Daniel came over to the house and we spent some time playing with Colin and playing computer games. much fun. Daniel just finished directing a summer camp for middle school guys. sounds like God continues to be up to great stuff. love hearing tales of God at work. love hanging out a friend who knows me so well it's not even tempting to put on a mask around him. sort of how when you get married, at first you're trying to wake up early and brush your teeth and get dressed and all that just so your new bride doesn't realize what a horrible mistake she's made in marrying a morning monster. then eventually, you realize that even if she realizes she's made a big mistake, there's not a whole lot she or you can do about it anyway.

tonight, got to spend some time with Johannes, a friend I met when we were 10-12 years old. we see each other every 5-10 years, but it always feels like no time has passed. he didn't realize we had a son until he arrived this evening. i really need to get better at keeping in touch. case in point: my sister Maja called while he was here, and i realized i hadn't told her we were having another baby.

Johannes loves Jesus, is married, running a company, and just became a dad 7 weeks ago. hopefully, he'll be able to come to church on sunday. sweet to pray with him before he left tonight. i'm jealous because he gets to drive his car 170 mph to work every day on the autobahn. my prism would literally fall apart at those speeds, and would only achieve them, i'm sure, if falling from an airplane.

a bit rambling, this post is (sounds like yoda, eh?). oh well, i'm a little tired.

happy anniversary, Sunshine. 9 years and it still hasn't really sunk in.

Sunday, July 4, 2004

the 4th

talked with a man who lost his father on this day many years ago. happens to be his birthday today too. that, and independence day to boot. needless to say, it's a day of conflicting emotions for him. it was cool to see how much he loved his dad, though. less common than it should be to find a man who holds his dad in high esteem.

he was really sad his (the man's) kids never got to know him (the man's dad - the kids' grandpa). occurs to me they will, through him. sort of how we get to know the Father through Jesus. said something to that effect by way of encouragement. i always imagined pastors were the sorts of people to know what to say in those kinds of situations. truth is, i always feel like i'm guessing.

hung out with Colin after his nap so Ronni could go see Shrek 2. she loved it. i loved getting some qt with CJ. we flew (virutally speaking, or is it speaking virtually?) over Orca Island off the coast of Washington State in a single engine prop plane for a while. spent most of the time craining our necks to catch a glimpse of the elusive orcas playing in the shallow waters. eventually switched to Cessna Caravan (the amphibious variety) so we could camp out on the gentle waves and wait for the whales to break the surface. one of them almost swamped our plane - quite a thrill. Colin had quite a story to tell Ronni when she got back.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

time flies

wow, it's been a while since i've updated this.

went to the summer of service in cinci last week. awesome. good God stuff. had a blast serving, laughing, worshipping, siphoning off energy from young people. had a great time hanging out with Jon B, a man i continue to be more and more impressed with. got to observe Donnell really coming into his own as a youth pastor - leading the staff with grace, care, and vision, loving the kids, exercising wisdom and discernment in complex situations. reconnected with folks i've missed a lot from a2. love that church in cinci, too. lots of Jesus there.

on an unrelated note, cat's throwing up a lot, every day now, sometimes a couple of times a day. Aslan, the ornery one. pushing 11 years old, i think. probably not much longer for this world. i think i'll actually be pretty sad if we have to put him to sleep - he and i have a strange attachment, despite all the grief i give him. prayed for him not too long ago, that God would grant him a peaceful, happy last chapter. a little funny, laying hands on a cat, but felt right to do, being the one given care for one of God's creatures. all things great and small, goes the poem, the Lord God loves them all...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Uncle Jess

Ronni's Uncle Jess passed away last week, and we had his memorial service today. i had the privilege of leading the service, and speaking at it. thought i'd post an excerpt from the sermon, in honor of Uncle Jess:

It occurs to me that I owe Uncle Jess a debt of gratitude. In the early years of dating Ronni, it was always a bit of a mystery why I was welcomed so readily into this family. Over the last 14 years or so, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to give a fair share of the credit not to my own charm and good looks, but rather to Uncle Jess’ hard won good reputation.

[Drafting behind a faster vehicle, getting pulled along by the wake of a boat…]

When I came into this family, Uncle Jess was like that faster car or larger boat in front of me. I got to draft a little bit off of his good name. Everyone loved Uncle Jess: he was the big brother to Ronni’s mom who had filled in like a provider for her as a little girl when her dad had been unable to. He was one of her dad’s best friends for as long as Ronni could remember. He was generous hearted toward everyone who’s talked to me about him. Just by virtue of name association, I think all of you were inclined to give me the benefit of the doubt. So let me begin by saying, “Thanks, Uncle Jess.”

Jesse B. Hazel had a lightness to his being that belied the weight he’d carried in his life. I can’t forget how delighted he was with the simplest things.

Delighted by how Colin had grown, by the breadth of his burgeoning vocabulary, by his incomparable athletic prowess in relation to the other 3 year olds Jess had played catch with recently.

Delighted by Ronni, and Paula, and Becky. Delighted by their talents and success.

Delighted to see me. Delighted to hear I was a pastoring a church now, even though I could tell he didn’t know exactly what all that entailed. Not that I knew exactly what all that entailed for that matter.

Delighted with the movies we’d gotten him for Christmas. Delighted with those gameboy games, amazing what they can do these days.

He came over to our house and played with my flight simulator not long ago, he and Uncle Arnie. Wow, look at Los Angeles! Sydney, Australia! His face was filled with wonder at the wonders of the world on the screen in front of him, the wonder that the world had come to the point where he could be piloting a plane in my office, filled with the thrill of taking off, just missing the trees and telephone wires, wondering if the slightest tremble in his hand just might send his virtual airplane tumbling out of the sky.

Whatever or whoever was in front of Jess had his whole attention, his whole respect, his whole interest, his whole delight.

Sure, he could get perturbed. Something a politician had said or done. Something the Tigers had failed to do. Something he’d seen on the news. But you could tell it didn’t really get him down; he was just pretending because it was the socially polite thing to do, to be indignant about those things. A smile was always gliding just under the surface like a porpoise, ready to leap and splash across his face.

If you’d known Jess as a young man, you might have expected him to become bitter, withdrawn, cynical. He’d just gone to Florida, ready to make a fresh start on his dreams when he got the news of his father’s accident. I don’t know if he wrestled with God then, what sorts of internal conversations he had—maybe those of you who knew him then know—but the fact of the matter is that he came back to Michigan, got his old job back, minus the seniority he’d accumulated, and took care of the family his father wasn’t able to anymore. And then when his dad passed on, he stayed with his mom, caring for her until she passed into Christ’s care. For Barbara, the baby sister he helped support and raise, he was something more than a big brother. For her children, he became almost like a grandfather.

Jess let go of whatever dream had led him to Florida, and perhaps none of us but God will know the true measure of his sacrifice, the cost he paid to do what had to be done. It’s probably impossible to know the weight that Jess carried in his life, the dark nights of the soul that he certainly endured, but it’s equally impossible to miss the joy with which Jess chose to embrace each one of us. Each of us knows, in different ways, the immeasurable good that came to us through the man Jess became. We know the impact his generosity has had on our lives, the impact of the care and delight Jess freely, unbegrudgingly gave.

afterwards we went to eat at hometown (previously, old country) buffet, Uncle Jess' favorite restaurant. very cool.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Friday, June 11, 2004

feeling much better, thank you

as i lay in the hospital, oxygen tubes in my nose, an i.v. in my right arm, and sensors of varying sorts connected to my chest, i began to wonder if perhaps i was taking the piston's game 2 loss a little too seriously. sure, things looked bad, but heart attack bad?

not that i was actually having a heart attack, mind you, but it sure seemed like it. i'd been up all night, unable to sleep because of the pain and numbness radiating from my neck and shoulder area down my arm into my right hand. finally woke Ronni at 5, called the doctor, explained the symptoms, got my marching orders, woke up Colin, and all headed down to the Saline hospital.

after a full cardio workup showed a perfectly healthy heart, the doctor tried some potent pain meds in the i.v. 5 minutes later i felt like a new man. turned out to be a strained trapezius muscle.

probably from leading worship on the guitar at our home group on tuesday night. pitiful, eh? i sure hope the home group realizes how much i put into it for them. Clearly, Jesus wasn't all that impressed :)

turns out my concerns for the pistons were equally ill founded. their heart is in great shape, despite everyone's concerns to the contrary (mine included). championship shape, even. we'll see...

Tuesday, June 8, 2004


o.k., twenty minutes or so have elapsed since the piston's game 2 loss. thinking i'll stay at the shucks level for a day or so, and then start to get hopeful again.


need i say more?

Friday, June 4, 2004


suffering from a little writer's block as i prepare the sermon for this weekend, so figured it wouldn't hurt to ramble a bit about the pistons.

they're finally in the finals. Dumar's team. i like that. i loved Joey D. in the late 80's and early 90's. i think i especially liked the fact that he was the most unexpected bad boy. calm, self-assured, generous, even tempered, engaging. but there was a fire in his eyes and his belly. you knew he wanted to win. you knew he wanted to win not for himself but because anything less was less than his best, less than his teammates and coaches and fans and parents deserved, less than the game deserved, less, in some strange way, than his opponents deserved.

the pistons are desperately overmatched in terms of pure talent. but they've got heart, and there is something compelling about heart vs. talent. talent wins and talent's fans get bigger heads. heart wins and heart's fans get bigger hearts. talent loses and ego scrambles for protection. heart loses and heart resolves.

here's my fantasy for how the series begins. l.a. dominates first half, Shaq and Kobe light it up. detroit makes defensive adjustments, lock down the lakers in the third quarter, holding them to 9 points. l.a. starts to get frustrated, angry, payton gets a T. Tayshaun and Rasheed start to hit from inside and outside. l.a. mounts a bit of a comback during a detroit offensive drought at the start of the 4th. Hamilton starts to go crazy, hitting everything. but no one can stop Shaq going into the stretch, so Brown calls a timeout. subs in Darko. Darko's ready. he's been holding back all season, waiting for this moment. every piston knows it; they've been keeping it quiet, but during practice Darko's been a monster. first posession out of the t.o., Darko dunks over Shaq. stares him down. swats his next 3 shots. hits a three. goes coast to coast. fans are stunned. the series has just begun.

Joey D. sits back in the shadows, smiling.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


went golfing with Shane today. shot a very generous 48. Shane shot a 39 that could easily have been a 35 if i hadn't been distracting him with a) my poor play and b) my quizzing him about his time in Durban, South Africa. i'm really proud of Shane - he's holding nothing back from Christ, and i see him growing into a man i admire. and not just for his stellar golf game.

did have one drive of 300 yards, one chip that hit the flag stick, and one putt from way out that dropped, so i'll definitely be coming back for more.

our home group kicked off last night, too. 15 of us in the Georgiadis' living room. great group of people - mainly younger married couples and a couple of single guys - and i think a few more who wanted to be there weren't able to be. the size will make it take a while for everyone to get to know each other; just have to raise up some leaders quickly i suppose so we can multiply soon. exciting though. ronni and i are eager to see what Jesus does among us. had a sweet time of prayer at the end.

Saturday, May 22, 2004


spoke with a good friend this afternoon who mentioned to me that he reads this blog from time to time to keep up on events in my life. what a revelation...someone besides ronni actually reads this blog! daniel (the aforementioned friend) chastised me for my infrequent posting, so i'll see what i can do to increase my ppw quotient (i'll buy an itunes song for the first person to correctly identify the elements of the acronym "ppw" - just leave your answer in the comments section at the bottom of this post).

made a bunch of new signs for the lobby and basement of the church this past week, and put them up this morning. had a lot of fun using the creative side of my brain (is that the left? ...can't remember). maybe later, if i can figure out the technological aspects, i'll post a screenshot of my favorites.

brown out yesterday, so i did a bunch of sermon prep at starbucks. a friend sent me a starbucks card in the mail yesterday, and rich nathan sent me one for doing a workshop at the regional conference. putting them to good use, needless to say. amazed at how productive i am working on my new laptop at starbucks. somehow it's really easy for me to concentrate in that kind of setting. either that, or it was the caffeine rush from the frappucino :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

good day

i'm glad for days like today once in a while. nothing special in particular, but i find myself thankful to God for lots of good gifts as the day comes to a close. my wife is awesome; i can tell she really loves me and she really is happy with her lot in life. that's cool. our son is sleeping peacefully, and his peace gives me an indescribable joy. i met with another pastor today who is facing unfamiliar challenges with grace and faithfulness. i came away from the meeting both admiring her faithful service to Christ and at the same time extraordinarily glad for the incredible church God has placed me in. our board met tonight, and i realized how much i take for granted the opportunity to pursue and participate in Jesus' kingdom along with others as passionate for Jesus as i am (and moreso, even!). each person on our board cares nothing for himself, and everything for Christ. count me blessed.

oh, and i got to redesign our bulletin today. how cool to have a job that i get to do fun stuff like that from time to time, stuff that i can look at and hold and show off to patient people who take the time to appreciate the insignificant things that get me excited.

anyway, God's good and i've barely scratched the surface. the trick will be remembering this truth when i'm being tested. ah, well, i suppose that's what testing is for.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

conference audio

here's that link i mentioned earlier for the audio from the vineyard leaders regional conference in cincinnati. looks like only the first session is up so far (there's a funny apology, worth visiting for it's own sake). i'd especially recommend Rich's talk on perseverence. i'm thinking about making it required listening for every ministry leader in the church when they feel "led" to quit :) listen and you'll know why the smiley face.

also check out the talk my dad gave on community. it's awesome. inspired a miniseries we're kicking off at church this weekend on transformed community (in the middle of the series we're doing on organizing the whole of our selves around Jesus, this miniseries dealing with the social dimension of our selves).

Monday, May 10, 2004

new look

thought I'd try something new as a design...let me know what you think.

taught the large group program for children's ministry at church this weekend. what a blast! nervewracking though--you've really got to be at the top of your game to keep kids' attention. Tony led worship with them. he's amazingly gifted, completely authentic and engaging. don't think he even knew he had it in him until this winger. men filled all the minstry roles so the women in the church could relax and enjoy the celebration. they even put together an incredible spread of food for after the service. seems like a mother's day tradition may have just been born. Manny led worship with an all guys worship team--they did a fantastic job. Brendan preached upstairs. got great reports on his message. looking forward to listening to the cd.

had a great time with Colin at the park today. i'm really blessed to have mondays off, so i can give ronni a break and spend time with him. he was really adventurous today, jumping off the teeter totter at it's highest point, climbing and hanging from various pieces of equipment, talking and playing with the other kids at the park.

still waiting for the link to conference talks and workshops. i think stuff will be up at but i don't see anything there yet.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004


when we arrived at the hotel tonight after the first day of the conference, we were upgraded to a two room suite. very plush. and free wireless internet access, so i thought i'd do a quick post.

on the way to cinci this morning, we had to get some gas around dayton. apparently, the presidential motorcade caught up with us while we were filling up, so when we got back on the highway, everything had slowed to a crawl. still, it was pretty cool to be that close to the president. helicoptors and police cars were everywhere--pretty impressive.

the conference has been great so far. there was an interview with Bert (national director of the vineyard) this afternoon, and Rich Nathan spoke on persevering in ministry this evening. cool fact of the day: every day in China, 24000 people are coming to Christ. i'll have to find the source on that, but Rich tends to be pretty reliable with those kinds of details. we were told all the sessions and workshops are going to be uploaded to the net, so i'll post the address when i get for anyone who wants to check it out.

Monday, May 3, 2004

good news

on saturday we told Colin the news that we'd received confirmation on those important developments i mentioned a few posts ago. it went something like this: "Colin, we've got some big news. there's going to be a new baby in our family around christmas...(embarrased smile)'re going to be a big brother soon like Noah across the street...(smile changing to excitement)'s tummy is going to get bigger and bigger, and then your little brother or sister will be here...what do you think?" by now, Colin is rolling around on the floor, tyring to bury a sheepish grin in the carpet. a little later in the day he announces to a neighbor that "mom is going to have a baby shark". it's going to be fun seeing how he processes all this.

spent some time with my family yesterday after church. they came over to celebrate my sister Judy's birthday. she's was in town from NY, NY where she is teaching at powell middle school, the lowest performing school in harlem. part of the teach for america program she's participating in. we had a blast together; much laughter and love.

heading off with Ronni to cincinnati tomorrow for the vineyard regional leaders conference. should be great; i'll give a report later this week or early next. looking forward to catching up with old friends, worshipping without being concerned about the practicalities of leading a service, fixing my eyes on Jesus and his kingdom for a few days, even just hanging out with Ronni for a bit. leading a workshop with Don Bromley from the ann arbor vineyard entitled "how to be a great staff pastor". we lobbied hard for the title "how to be a decent staff pastor" but the organizers figured no one would be interested in that. alas.

Thursday, April 29, 2004


i'm sure i've mentioned my love of pc gaming. if not, let me mention it: i love pc games. i started playing a really enjoyable and challenging new game this week. it's called TOCA: The Ultimate Driving Simulator. so far i've spent most of my time spinning out, but i'll get the hang of it...i hope. i enjoy driving and cars as much as any guy, but i feel like a complete neophyte in this town of milan. most of the guys in the high school small group i led are genius mechanics and know everything there is to know about tractors, cars, trucks, gear ratios, nitro, turbocharging, etc. i've got the highest admiration for them; i think they know cars better than i know the bible. NASCAR is huge around here, too. there's a guy in the church who was part of the penske pit crew team. every restaraunt has got pictures of dale jr. or jeff gordon plastered on the walls. sometimes i wonder if my ignorance of the auto subculture limits my effectiveness at communicating the gospel in this community. maybe playing this simulator will help me learn the appeal of the country's fastest growing sport. i know it's not NASCAR, but it's in the same genre (at least, as far as i know...).

Now if I could only find a guitar simulator...

Friday, April 23, 2004

tales from the briar patch

i found a cool blog called "Tales from the Briar Patch". this post caught my attention:

I've started listening to worship music again...

For a long time I quit listening to worship music. Part of it was due to my own sense of disconnect and part of it was the increasing commercialization of VMI under the auspices of BMG (if it works let's find the formula and run it into the ground). And then several months ago several things happened to shift my thinking.

The Vineyard shifted control of Vineyard music from under the auspices of BMG and back to the church.

Their motto is: By the church, for the church....That resonates with me.

Heres the other thing that got me jazzed.

They gave away over fifty thousand dollars worth of music to Prison Fellowship and as a result the folks at prison fellowship are starting to incorporate worship into their ministry...awesome!

So I started listening to worship music again.

The bonus has been a marked increase in my ability to hear the Spirit's voice once again and a growing sense of clarity about what I'm called to do.

I really like what is happening in the Vineyard generally. There seems to be more of a responsiveness to pastors and an openness to change.

I like the fact that we have guys like Lance Pittluck, Rich Nathan, Bert Waggoner, Don Williams, and others involved in our direction. I like the fact that the Vineyard is steered by pastors trying to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and not by professional administrators.

I like the fact that these same pastors are continually growing churches and mentoring new pastors, the fruit of that is that, statistically the Vineyard as a movement is growing younger instead of older.

And ultimately that gives me hope for those of us in the Southeast that struggle to plant kingdom oriented churches in the Bible Belt.

amen. good stuff.

Monday, April 19, 2004


had the privilege of attending an adoption hearing today. what an awesome thing to witness. the judge was great - funny, serious, encouraging...loving, even. you could tell he felt the weight of his authority, and also felt the joy of making a decision that would forever change a young man's life for the good. plus, it was great to see the support and love that surrounded the family.

in many ways, it was like a birth, but without the ugly hospital gowns and physical exhaustion. i have a feeling the emotional exhaustion was even higher, though, what with a several year long labor, and the child conscious of the whole event as well as the parents.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

spring cleaning

it felt surpisingly satisfying to make major headway in re-arranging the offices at the church over the last couple of days. cleared out a large project workspace, another room that can serve as a meeting room, and set up a multi-purpose office. over the last few years, the office space had to accomadate about 50% more staff than it was designed to handle. When most of the staff was finally able to relocate to the ann arbor offices a year ago, must of the stuff stayed behind. the end result was clutter and chaos that we slowly became oblivious to.

wendy and i emptied the offices of about 5 car loads of obsolete equipment, useless books, outdated files, and dilapidated furniture. strangly, it was an emotional experience for me. i came across projects and equipment from my first days on the church staff as youth pastor and business manager. felt exhilirating to shot put into the dumpster an old compaq computer that had cost me tens of hours on hold with technical support trying to fix, all to no avail. somehow, it had stuck around in closets for 8 years before meeting it's end today. got choked up seeing the names and photos of volunteer youth leaders who pioneered the youth ministry with me, and of students who are now helping lead the youth ministry. almost lost my resolve to pitch stuff. persevered though, and only kept stuff that evokes especially significant memories, or still retains practical usefulness. the "clean sweep" team would've been proud.

lots of actual cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, etc.) and arranging yet do, but it feels invigorating to have some breathing room. sort of how the spring warmth is feeling now after a long winter. seems like an appropriate, if mundane, way to celebrate easter week. wendy's pretty artistic, so maybe she'll have a chance to add some personal touch to the space, too.

final note: developments today lead me to believe i may have some good news to report on an important project in the next few weeks. nothing confirmed yet, but when (and if) i have more to report, i'll let you know.

Sunday, April 11, 2004


celebrating easter. baptising six new followers of Christ, all of whom bear witness to God's astounding love. dedicating an infant girl who is blessed with a fantastic family and a loving church. worshipping with a passionate church led by humble, extraordinarily gifted musicians. surprising ronni with a simple gift that brought tears to her eyes. seeing colin enjoying life thoroughly. feasting with my family on a succulent meal prepared by my brother in law. discovering some great new music. heaven's got a lot to live up to after a day like this one.

not that there isn't room for improvement, of course: gave two invitations in a row now without anyone indicating they wanted to surrender their lives to Jesus. the red wings fought hard and lost. didn't get to see ronni's family this easter (rotating holidays thing to preserve our sanity). ronni's feeling under the weather tonight--she gave her all over the last week and i think her body decided it needed to shut down for a bit.

ah well, Jesus is alive. he'll take care of all that needs taking care of :) just very, very glad he lets me play, too.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

good stuff

sunday was a really enjoyable day, despite the time change. tyrone made a visit to the milan vineyard this morning...he loves to worship Christ, and it's contagious. saw him kneeling during one of the songs, and thought it might be a good idea to do the same. really experienced a longing for Jesus to return while on my knees, and tears started streaming down my face. haven't been moved to tears by that particular longing ever in my life. glad to discover it in my heart.

gave an invitation for people to embrace Christ as King of their lives after the sermon. asked people who wanted to respond to stand...first time I've used that particular invitation style. no takers. glad in a way. a pastor I respect once told me that if you never go fishing unsuccessfully, you're not fishing enough. either that, or I have to learn a lot about fishing. either way, didn't find myself discouraged in the least. sad to miss out on the joy of seeing people meet Jesus for the first time, but not discouraged.

after church took my dad out for a "boss appreciation day." for 7 years, or maybe longer, my dad was my boss. as long as I've been in full time service to the church, until novemeber when the milan and ann arbor vineyards multiplied, he's been my only supervisor. truthfully, nearly everything I've learned about pastoring I've learned from him, and learned because he's given me the opportunity. because of all the busyness of becoming two churches, I never had the chance to just say thanks in a practical way. our original plans of going to the piston' s game fell through, because the game got moved up to 1:00 p.m. so we went to damon's ribs, watched the game and ate a lot of food. the pistons romped over indiana--very satisfying. went to coldstone for some ice cream. amazingly good stuff. then went to see Secret Window...middling movie, didn't find ourselves attached to the characters. nonetheless, we had a great time.

meanwhile, Ronni and her sister went to see Bill Cosby perform in Toledo. I'd gotten her tickets for her birthday and valentine's day. seemed like they had a great time, too.

all in all, fantastic day.

Friday, April 2, 2004

april fools

no one tried to pull an april fools prank on me yesterday, from what I can tell. NPR ran a harmless news piece about people getting to keep their zip codes when they move from now on. apparently lots of folks got upset about the terrible chaos that might cause :)

wish I had been around to experience the war of the worlds bit in 1938. an interesting website about the event can be found here. the site's got scans of newspaper articles the day after, and lots of other fascinating info. apparently, some people believe an alien invasion really happened, and that orson welles tried to turn it into a joke.

if anyone can find downloadable audio from the broadcast online, email me with a link; I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

new homegroup

thinking about starting a new homegroup soon, feel like maybe Jesus is saying the time is right. mentioned it to ronni at dinner tonight, and she said she felt like Jesus had said the same thing to her at church this weekend. it's funny, we're pastoring a church now, but we've never led a homegroup. usually, home group leadership is like ground level pastoring - you get experience gathering, teaching, caring, counseling, equipping, leading prayer ministry, managing conflict, ministering to others while going through the challenges of managing your own lives, communicating vision, you name it. so leading a home group is the first step in learning pastoral ministry. we've led small groups of various sorts, ministry teams, high school small groups, etc., but this will be the first full-fledged (God willing!) home group, or kinship, depending on what language you like. worship-bible study-sharing-prayer deal.

I suppose we start by looking for someone in the church to serve as hosts and recruit a couple who can be assistant leaders who we can equip to either eventually take over the group we plant together, or plant a new group out of this one as it grows. maybe look for a worship leader to partner with too. we're thinking maybe tuesday nights, we'll see. anyway, kind of fun to start a new adventure and see where God leads.

on a completely unrelated note, shopping for a new laptop tonight. my current one is 3 years old and sadly too slow to create my powerpoint sermon presentations with. I'll never be able to afford it, but for kicks, take a look at this link . Over $7,000. unbelievable price, but an unbelievable machine too.

old laptop will go to compassion minstry, probably, so it can be used to help the ministry team check people in more quickly and manage the data. steve davis, who is on the core team for the minstry, sent an email out saying as of this last weekend, compassion has given away nearly 600,000 lbs of food in it's history. awesome!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

community beginnings

got a phone call early yesterday morning. i tend to expect someone in crisis with early morning / late night calls. thankfully, not this time. it was someone in the church who works for u of m with a chance to score tickets for the michigan - hawaii NIT basketball game. 9:00 tip off, so i can make it after my evening meeting. suffice it to say, really looking forward to going with him tonight. in a small but powerful way, these kinds of relationships are a meaningful indicator of health in a church. obviously, the big stuff matters: visiting people when they are sick, bearing each other's burdens, serving Christ together, praying and worshipping together, being there when the rubber meets the road in each other's lives. but i think a lot of that is the fruit of relationships that grow from the little stuff. at the very least the little stuff functions like glue, or grease, depending. i'm praying that people throughout the church are sharing their lives together this way. we'll be so much more ready for the big stuff when it comes along if we're enjoying the little stuff together.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

day's end

talked to a good friend tonight who is joining the catholic church on easter. really happy to see the impact a great parish and an extraordinary priest is having on his walk with Christ. another good friend called me up to play some command and conquer generals: zero hour tonight. excellent strategy game that's simple enough to play without overwhelming a tired brain and complex enough that it hasn't lost it's appeal to me. satisfying way to finish the day. about to do the night office (divine hours prayer on the website) and begin my personal sabbath with a good night's sleep.

guest from across the pond

rob clark, senior pastor of the bournemouth vineyard, spoke at the church this morning. great stuff about the fatherhood of God. simple and direct, annointed, seemed really effective. saw some people come up for prayer that i've never seen come forward before. some old friends were visiting this morning; feels good when that happens. rob's got a really fun church, has a knack for empowering others. want to learn to do that more myself. feel excited about what Jesus has in store down the road. went to cabella's with ronni, colin, and rob for lunch afterwards. absolutely packed.

piston's resounding victory over the cavs helped me unwind this afternoon. seems liked i'm always pretty "knackered" (british expression that's lodged in my brain) sunday afternoons--interesting since i didn't have to preach this morning. must be the relational energy expended.