Monday Morning Brief – May 11, 2009

What I Enjoyed This Week – 1. Mother’s Day.  Last year was Susan’s first Mother’s Day and it was an incredible time as Susan and Nathan had just arrived from FL (where Nathan was born).  I was fortunate enough to preach that day, a lot of my family was there and my grandmother was just released from the hospital the day before (Mother’s Day was the only time she met Nathan for she was taken back to the hospital that night and she went home a few weeks from then).  There’s a lot of other significant parts to that day but this year was wonderful too.  Sitting in worship with Nathan on my lap and my 15 week pregnant wife, Susan, next to me listening to our new senior pastor in a church that we love being a part of was a great joy to experience.  2. Elliot James Hiestand was born.  3.  We spent some time with friends we hadn’t seen in a while.  We really miss them.

What Disappointed Me – Though I am a proud Yankee fan, I was disappointed by another MLB superstar testing positive for a banned steroid substance.  Manny Ramirez was one of my least favorite players to begin with.  He was a former Red Sox, I found him to be arrogant, and thought his antics were lame, unprofessional and complete lack of respect to his team (but they deserve that sort of thing up in Boston).  When there was talk that NY was interested in him, I actually changed the name of my fantasy football team to “Say NO to MANNY!!!”.  I believe this action was what led to the Dodgers being the only team dumb enough to offer him contract after contract this off-season.  But as a baseball fan, Manny is good for the game.  Kids love him, they think he’s fun and he’s exciting to watch if you could forget what you knew about him.  Anyway, baseball has been tainted for quite some time now and we have at least 102 names (that number fluctuates every time John Kruk or Peter Gammons reports by the way), that will surely remind us that this was the culture of the game and no one had the courage to stop it years ago.  

What I’m Listening to – new Bob Dylan, the Decemberists, Jars of Clay, all the same podcasts Homebrewed, Relevant, same, same.

What I’m Reading – The Reliability of the Gospel Tradition by Birger Gerhardsson, Leading with a Limp by Dan Allender.  Almost finished with Who Goes There?: A Cultural History of Heaven and Hell by Rebecca Price Janney 

What’s Goin’ on in Student Ministry – All is still well.  Almost fininshed with the Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus but Not the Church study.  This last topic is “Do Christians take the Bible too Literally?”.  We talked about gougging out our eyes (we told our students not to do that), the trees in the field clapping their hands, hell, lake of fire, the worms, bottomless hole and oh yeah, Jesus’ usage of Isa 66. in Mark 9, etc.  2. Was thrilled that our mission dinner/silent auction made about $6700 and our car wash brought in about $700 this weekend.  3. Still love our leaders and our other volunteers.  4.  Girls’ retreat coming up, Guys night out, Senior Sneak …

What I’m Looking Forward to – 1. Our seminary retreat this weekend to Harvey Cedars (Jersey Shore).  2. Our family trip to Aruba! 

What Made Me Laugh –