Saturday, January 29, 2005

compassion & hoops

stopped by the compassion ministry for a bit this morning. can't help but feel like the luckiest pastor in the world to serve with a church that enjoys loving people in need. saw Kevin there helping, and he is signed up for our introducing Vineyard class next saturday. joy all over his face. Jess was there too, a friend from a small group of high school students i got to lead a couple of years ago. great guitar player who might have every reason to be full of himself, but instead was pulling wagons of groceries in the cold. humilty in action. Karen, a few weeks out of major back surgery, going in for more surgery on tuesday, was there despite her pain and physical limitations. "couldn't bear the thought that i'll have to miss seeing folks because of my surgery," she said. "had to be here today. just had to be." Maxine, sick all week, thrilled to be well enough this morning to come help weigh groceries and be blessed and a blessing amongst friends. Jesus, infusing the whole place with his love. nice to be near him for a bit.

then off to our basketball game, 3rd of the year. came away with a 10 point victory, but it got dicey there towards the end--our opponnents rattling off 15 in a row to bring it within 5. still undefeated. i couldn't play the second half - some kind of calf injury at the end of the first half. probably related to bouncing Elle so much in the evenings, trying to help her sleep. or just related to aging. either way, bummer. should heal up with a little rest, i'm sure.

Friday, January 28, 2005

mundane stuff

sermon prep day today; fridays almost always are. on wednesday, took the day for prayer and study, during which i jotted down a number of thoughts that made their way into the sermon today. part 2 (or 3, if you count the sermon on prayer that my dad preached at the end of the year, which served as a launch pad for this series) of a series on the lord's prayer. in particular, the "our father" portion. enjoyed working on it today...some at the home office, and then the later afternoon at Starbucks.

i like writing sermons in public, once i've had time and place to pray, wrestle with the text, get a sense of direction and inspiration. helps me remember that the words need to connect with the kind of people sitting around me, talking, drinking coffee, living lives in the real world. otherwise, it's easy to get caught up in the world of ideas and never really answer the "what difference might this make to that guy working over there who doesn't really get jazzed about theology yet, but has a knawing hunger for God and a nose for humbly delivered truth?" question. plus, maybe the caffeine helps too.

still have to put the multimedia stuff together tomorrow. thinking about a lyric driven presentation of "papa was a rollin' stone" for before the sermon, too. that always takes a long time to pull off, though. we'll see.

Grace hung out with us tonight while Mom & Dad were at a national Vineyard meeting in Salt Lake City. she's an awesome sister. Colin & Elle couldn't be luckier to have her for an aunt. plus, i know she reads this blog a lot, so thought i'd give her some well deserved props.

speaking of props, for what it's worth, my dad is on a serious preaching roll lately. the sermon series the a2 vineyard did on the 12 steps was extraordinary, and the current series on "prayer: improving concious contact" is really something else. excellently crafted and full of "aha" insights, naturally, but also significant i think. something that may end up bearing fruit for the whole vineyard movement. yeah, i know, who am i to have a sense for that sort of thing? no one really. and it is my dad, afterall. but still, as i listen to each of the sermons when they come out online, the feeling grows, rather than diminishes. Jesus is up to something good among his students.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

winter warming

we’re getting geared up to put on an event called “The Winter Warmth”, a free event for single parents in the milan area. some cool developments today. Margie Bovee, a feature writer for the Heritage Papers, came to the office to do an interview. she’s a bundle of energy and enthusiasm, that’s for sure. much fun. also, Steve Davis, called to let me know that Tim Hawkins has been booked for entertainment. he looks like a sure-fire hit. finally, built a web page for the event. Kurt & Jessica Smith did an awesome job with the flyer for the event (the photo is actually a picture that Kurt took of Jessica for the promo materials). the big job now is getting the word out to single parents.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


this post is mainly for me, so i won't forget this years from now.

Colin bursts into the office, finished with his quiet/nap time. "Dad! I was thinking about that I could do cartwheels. With no help! And I could walk on my hands. With no one helping me! And I was thinking about how I could ride my bike with no training wheels. All by myself! No one holding me!"

"sounds like fun stuff to think about, Colin, eh?" says i, amused.

"Yes! It was a lot of fun thinking about those things! I was thinking about them during my nap!"

then as quickly as he had entered, he's left. a whirlwind of optimism, hope, anticipation, contentedness with a good future.

inspired, i'm scheduling a little daydreaming session for myself tomorrow. 10 minutes to think about fun stuff that i'll be able to do, just around the corner, by the grace of God.

Friday, January 14, 2005

god's politics

first quote on the back of a book jacket that made me buy it without even cracking open the cover: "The Left mocks the Right. The Right knows it's right. Two ugly traits. How far should we go to try to understand each other's point of view? Maybe the distance grace covered on the cross is a clue." Bono, naturally. Desmond Tutu & Cornell West are on the jacket as well. So far, a great read. God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get it, by Jim Wallis. apparently he heads up Sojourners magazine, which i haven't read yet, and Call to Renewal, which I've heard good things about.

i suppose most of you who have interest in this topic have already read this, but it's fresh for me. nice to see someone with a national audience addressing issues that have been rattling around in my head and heart for a while. my dad and the ann arbor vineyard have been thoughtfully tackling these issues (ie, how to keep Jesus and his church from becoming a political tool, how to keep the church from being ideologically predictable or a loyal partisan, and most specifically loving across the political divide) for the last number of months.

not long ago a friend shared about someone close to her whose spiritual life has been in a tailspin triggered when his church's pastor announced during a sermon that Christians had a moral obligation to vote for Bush, and that he couldn't consider himself a true Christian if he voted for Kerry. as sincere and well-intentioned as that pastor may have been, i can't help but think that a sober reading of Exodus 20:7 would suggest such sentiments are better expressed with a great deal more caution and even equivocalness. (is that even a word, and if so, the right word? i'm not entirely sure. hopefully, you catch my drift, assuming, of course, it's a drift worth catching. which it very well might not be.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


oh yeah, almost forgot to mention... you can get to this blog now via,,, and so now if any famous jesse wilson's want to start web sites, they'll have to pay me big bucks for the domain names.

catching up

wow, long time no post. let's see...

spent new year's eve watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm", and then teaching Grace & my dad how to play half-life 2 while Ronni and my mom watched "Princess Diaries 2". Mom, Dad, and Grace left around 11. everyone else in the house turned in early, so when the ball dropped i silently made the rounds, kissing peacefully sleeping Ronni, Colin, & Elle in turn. got a little choked up, i was happy to discover.

Colin & i celebrated our birthdays earlier this month. 4 & 34 respectively. mine fell on a sunday. first time in my life that my birthday wasn't a "day off" for me, i think, as we had church. growing up through college, my birthday was always during christmas (or winter, for those among us with pc sensibilities) break, and for some reason since then it's always happened to be a day off too. it was a lot of fun anyway, as i actually enjoy church quite a bit, plus i picked a topic for the sermon that i mainly needed to preach to myself. Ronni threw a family party for Colin & me sunday evening. we are rich in family, almost embarrasingly rich.

Ronni got me the coolest thing for my birthday. a doo-hickey with a dorky baseball cap that lets me naturally look around the virtual cockpits of my flight simulator airplanes by simply turning my head. most of you who read this blog already know i'm a nerd--but if you didn't know it already, just click the link to the video above and you'll know for sure.

new season of basketball started on saturday. we played well as a team, despite showing signs of rust from the holiday layoff. beat last season's champs by 10.

our home group celebrated Kurt Smith's birthday tonight by playing Cranium and eating cake and ice cream. my cheeks are a little sore from laughing so much. my brightest moment? suggesting that we split into three teams of 4 by dealing cards out and making teams based on the suit of the card we were dealt. naturally, it didn't quite work out and while i'm scratching my head as to why it dawns on me...well you know the rest. further evidence that sleep deprivation causes stupidity. or at least brings it to the surface...