Monday Morning Brief 12.22.09 – Tuesday Afternoon Edition

What I’m Loving at the Moment …
–  Little Dylan has been doing great since he was released his hospitalization for the RSV virus.
–  Big brother Nathan is handling all of his sibling duties with excellence.  He puts his toys away when asked and is not biting Dylan.  What more could we ask from a 19 month old?
–  My niece Lina, sister Kim, and bro-in-law Tony are in from Phoenix.  My in-laws are up from FL and this is shaping up to be a very special Christmas. Later this week we are getting together with my cousin’s daughter Sophie. It will be the first time that these 4 are in the same room.
–  Relieved that another semester of seminary is completed.  Grateful that I get to study and work full-time.
–  That my Christmas shopping has consisted of Fair Trade coffee, magazine subscriptions to Relevant and Generate, a couple of books, Invisible Children merch and restaurant  gift certificates.  We are headed to Toys R’ Us to get something for the boys.  I know, where are the Fair Trade toys?

What I’m Praying for at the Moment ..
There’s a lot of illnesses and physical issues going around.
Our senior pastor’s dad is critically ill.
A father of one of cohort students is critically ill as well.
I have two uncles in and out of the hospital depending on the week.
And have a few sets of friends who have been on our hearts.

Disappointed …
– that we had to cancel our Second Mile service (monthly gathering on Saturday night targeted towards 20’s and 30’s). I had clips of Elf and Charlie Brown Christmas. Well, I’m ready for next year.
– that Christians still get so angry at Christmastime. Friends, secular culture can not take the meaning of Christmas away by not decorating or greeting you in a way that you want them to.  Jesus came for the redemption of all, that’s all you need to celebrate.
– that Ben Folds was on that Fox Sing Off.  I kid you not, if I see the Will Butler from the Arcade Fire or Ben Gibbard from Deathcab on American Idol, I’m hacking Pitchfork and Paste and saying some real mean things.  Like, “I’d rather listen to Christian music then these idie artists”.

What I’ve Been Reading …
Colossians Remixed by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat.  Excellent, 3 thumbs up. Required reading.  Especially chapters 6 and 7 on the nature of truth.

Paul, an Outline of His Theology by Herman Ridderbos.  Uhh, 562 pages is not an outline. Still, the book was better than I’d thought it would be.  Was pretty turned off after having to read The Coming Kingdom.

What’s on Deck …

Manifold Witness by John Franke
and The Young Evangelicals by Robert Webber.  Suggested by a someone I appreciate.

The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing & Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community by Tony Jones

What I’m Listening to …

Christmas music and nothing but.

Bob Dylan Christmas
Sufjan Christmas
Relient K Christmas (I really like that one song, “I Celebrate the Day”
and all the free stuff on Noisetrade
Podcasts like Relevant, Homebrewed and Mars Hill Church sermons and the Mars Hill Audio Journal by Ken Myers

What’s Been Going On in our Student Ministry …
– We’re getting into some real solid conversational moments.  They can be frustrating but I’m also finding them to be revealing.  The long and short of it is that many of our students care about their faith, maybe more than I give them credit for (It’s hard for youth pastors to get their hopes up you know ;-). But they are having trouble in demonstrating their faith outside the walls of our bubble.  Initially I was discouraged since we spent 4 months last year discussing the “Bubble” from Dan Kimball’s They Like Jesus But Not the Church. I now see it as a continuation of that conversation.

– Getting ready for our winter retreat.  Showing Bill Maher’s Religulous.  It’s not a “gloves are coming off” attack back at Maher or the views he represents.  It’s a “how do we as Christians respond?” type of thing.

What I Plan on Blogging About Soon …
– Christmas Reflections
– Our seminary retreat with Brian McLaren
– A couple book reviews
– Some youth ministry posts

Looking Forward to:
– Celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary!
– Getting more info on our seminary trip to Vietnam!
– 2010!


  1. I am a champion lurker and have been doing so on your site for a few months now, but I missed your previous posts about your son being ill – I’m sorry to hear about it, but so glad he’s doing better.

    I have been having a few rather large issues with my faith because of things I keep hearing and seeing some “Christians” do, and I let it pull me away completely once. But your gentle words never fail to remind me that there are so many more good people and good actions to share that title (and maybe remind me to be a bit more understanding toward the others).

    I just wanted to let you know that your words mean something to a random person in cyberspace, and that I always look forward to your posts. I do hope you enjoy having so much family around you for the holidays! Merry Christmas :-)

  2. Thanks for the real kind words Hillary. I appreciate the prayers for our little boy. We are so thankful that he’s doing well.

    As you know Christianity is a funny thing and Christians are even funnier. If it weren’t for Jesus, I would hardly be interested in any of it.

    Anyway, thanks again for your comment, it really was encouraging. Enjoy your Christmas and I’ll be checking out your site soon.


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