Monday, August 31, 2009

Tonight's Children's Story: Reeky and Dargon

Beck was begging for a bedtime story, so I had all the boys pile into his little twin bed and made something up. Knowing it wouldn't be nearly as good as the bedtime stories they get with Papa Jack, I gave it a shot anyway...

Reeky lives in caves deep under the ocean floor. He’s as tall as a 4 year old, but is really about 16 years old. He’s not a dwarf, and although he can breathe in the water or on land, he’s definitely not a mermaid.

One day Reeky was exploring the endless oceanic caverns when he heard the sound of an old man in the darkness,

“Help!” the struggling voice groaned.

Reeky always took his flashlight and dagger when exploring the caves, because one could never be sure what would be lurking in the darkness of the caves.

This was his chance! It was always his ambition to help someone, so he was delighted to hear that he could use his courage to help someone in need.

He shined the light deep into a crevice and saw the face of an old man, who uttered,

“Young lad, please save me. You can save me by finding the stolen treasure. Only, when you find it, you must not spend any of it on yourself. You must use it for the good of others.”

“Where is this treasure?” Reeky asked.

“In the depths of the Great Gorge of Darkness. Take heed, for the great beast, Dargon guards the treasure.”

At the name “Dargon” a shiver went up Reeky’s spine, for Dargon was the fire-breathing beast whose tail is sharper than any two edged sword. He is written about in many books, but no one has ever seen him and lived to tell about it.

At once, without hesitation, Reeky left for the Great Gorge of Darkness.

It was about a 3 day journey, and as he descended into the darkness, he heard heavy breathing. He knew he was close.

Out of nowhere, he was engulfed by a great ball of fire (goodness gracious…). He quickly escaped and drew his bow. As he was drawing his bow, the Great Dargon’s tail slashed the bow out of Reeky’s hand, nearly cutting his hand off. Reeky grabbed for his only remaining weapon, his dagger, and threw it at the head of the beast.

It sank deep into his skull, and with a loud groan, Dargon dropped to the ground.

Reeky grabbed the treasure that was hidden under Dargon’s magic blanket, and took it back to his home in the caves, deep under the sea.

pause for questions…

What do you think Reeky did w/ the treasure?

Was he sad that he couldn’t spend the treasure on himself?

What would you do with the treasure if you were Reeky?

Would you be sad if you couldn’t use any of that great treasure for yourself?

From that day on, Reeky found the treasure was not in the gold, but in the very act of giving it away to help make other people happy.

(My kids were eager to know what gifts he gave people and I just made up some stuff, like how he secretly sent toys to kids who were sad, etc. They also wondered about the old man. I forgot about him by the end of the story and forgot to weave him back in. Maybe tomorrow night we can do part 2...)

Chitty Day (formerly entitled "Adios")

Today I said goodbye to my trusted guitar case that I've had since
1994. It's been with me overseas, on camping trips, and has even been
used for collecting money while playing (i.e. peddling) at the Old Market in Omaha.

It's also an inadvertent advertisement for Chitty garbage.

We use them over their competitor-Waste Management. If you have the family name, "Chitty", part of your Karma is to own a garbage service.

A couple years ago when we were deciding which garbage service to use, I asked my friend Paul if he had Chitty garbage service, to which he wittingly responded,

"Actually, they do a pretty good job."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Remember This Day- What God did

Before you read this, you might want to click here first for some background. I left off with the question, "What will God do?"

But here's the quick recap in case you failed to click there:

It's pouring rain all day yesterday, all night, and the forecast is not looking good- Rain all day.
I read John 6, with Jesus' words resonating in my soul, "Well, Mark, what are we going to do?"
Stan and I prayer walk the courtyard at 9:00 AM (in the rain) and Stan concurs that the rain is not a problem, but an opportunity for God to show up in a special way.
The rain is off and on all day, and it's spitting rain until 6:40, when Jesse starts the opening song of worship.

The rain totally stops.

Not a single drop for the rest of the night.
College students poured onto the lawn from all directions. My guess is that there were anywhere from 800-1,000 students packed onto the Old RCA Courtyard.

Here are some pics...

This was Jesse during rehearsal (6:10) getting rained on.
This is right after... Our student leaders, all 140 of them, went to town waving their white signs in the air in an attempt to get students to join their connection groups.

The mass of people was organized by having six huge signs with living areas, so students could sign up for connection groups near them. Here is Kevin posing by a couple of those signs.

Mark D doing his best to recruit to his connection group.

Gabe is competing nearby...

We have about 1,000 students that we're trying to get connected and about 100 groups, so doing the math, well, pray for our leaders... Steffi had over 30 girls wanting to get into her group in Linden!

This was about an hour after TSC ended. There were still a TON of people just hanging out talking.
This was almost 2 hours after ending, and still people were hanging out talking in the dark!

These are the true heroes of the night... the guys who got there at 1:00 to set up the stage and finished tearing down and unloading back at Cornerstone at 10 pm. Bless you, servants.
Moreover, the guy on the left is a transfer student who had just experienced his first TSC. He's off to a good start!

I wish I had more adequate words to describe how clearly and powerfully God showed up on our behalf.

In summary: I've never regretted putting myself in a position where my plans were doomed to failure if God didn't supernaturally show up.

Moreover, I wish I could go on and on about the students I personally interacted with. Maybe I just will...

Two girls who wandered in
One freshman guy who wandered in and this was the first fellowship he's had since arriving
A sorority girl who showed up because she was invited by a friend
Two Chinese guys who gladly told me they were not Christians, but were studying the Bible to learn how to know Jesus.
A freshman I had prayed for this summer who showed up out of nowhere
A prodigal sophomore who just decided to start living for Jesus again. He desperately wants out of the partying scene but doesn't know how to get out of his living situation
Five guys from the same frat who are eager to see God bring their house to Christ
Another guy who wants to start living an authentic life, "Mark, I want to walk with God, can we meet weekly?"
Two female athletes
A guy who just became a Christian last year and is weeping over his lost dad.
A sophomore who prayed for his roommate for the entire last year and he came for the first time tonight (not grudgingly)
A couple who just got engaged
A guy who just got a date (you think junior high is full of drama...just wait 'til marriage and your life destiny is on the line!)

I made it through the night with only 2 blunders....

1. I announced to the crowd that I took my 4 year old for a leak behind a nearby bush during worship (c' was his pants or the bush. I opted for fertilizing the bush)

2. I ended my talk by saying, "Can I get an 'Amen!'" GASP...I could've shot myself. Where did that cheezy "I'm a southern preacher wannabe" hype come from? Just a simple "Amen!" is fine, but I don't think I've ever said that phrase in its entirety before. Unless mocking someone. What was I thinking? I still can't believe it.

Oh well.

Forget the fact that God held off the rain and brought 1,000 college students to worship, hear about Jesus and get connected with His people...

He even showed up in the midst of my trite rhetoric.

Soli Deo Gloria.

What will God do?

Below is the email I sent to all of our Salt Company leaders this morning. It's 2:50 and still raining outside. Hmmmm.

What will God do tonight for our TSC kickoff?

One thing I know: we're pretty jacked up if God doesn't show up. It's the perfect place to be, really.

I'll let you know how it goes down tonight.

TSC Leaders-

I woke up this morning to the rain and some time with God in John 6.

"When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, 'Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?' He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do."

Here's my journal entry from this morning:

"August 27, 2009. I woke up to the sound of pouring rain at 5:15 AM. It has been raining since yesterday. This is not good for our TSC kickoff- OUTSIDE. But I know there is a lesson of trust in this. Jesus, you multiply bread and fish, you walk on water...what miracle are you going to pull off tonight?"

We've decided to go for it OUTSIDE regardless of weather. God might bring rain, or he might bring sun, but either way we're putting ourselves in a position of faith where we're asking God to show up in a way that only He will get the glory.

So let's go for it. Come prayed up and expecting God to do something great tonight.

Soli Deo Gloria,


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Fair, TSC Kickoffs, and I-Cubs Game

This first picture pretty much sums up our experience at the Iowa State Fair... a mixture of happy, tired, whining, and grouchy kids (who won't smile for the camera).
Makai pretty much chilled in the stroller and ate non-organic, hydrogenated, processed contraband all day. Just call me: Sugar Daddy.
Ava is about to enter the Ole Ye Mill ride with her cousin, Kaela.
Jett is big baby, 1 month....
We have some friends who host various people at the Fair through the Blue Ribbon Foundation. I had the first bite of Senator Chuck Grassley's 55th wedding anniversary cake.
This is a cake I had permission to eat. Did I tell you about the time I ate my friend's anniversary tea ring while we were staying at their house? Sorry Despards.
I told the kids, "This is Vanity Fair, where Faithful was martyred in Dangerous Journey."
Then I sent them on some rides. I'm going to have some very confused kids.

This was at the Freshmen Group kickoff on Sunday night... they served about 600 students a free meal, followed by worship and the gospel. Here Stan is speaking to the mass of students on central campus.
Check this out from yesterday... Monday morning prayer at 7:00 AM on the first day of class. How cool to see well over a hundred students gathered to knock on the door of heaven for God to work on our behalf.
I thought it was cool to see this group of girls praying on the steps of Beardshear. It was symbolic, as they happened to be sitting in the only sunny spot on campus. May God shine his face on us this year!
We went to the Iowa Cubs game last night, thanks to Dick and Jean's (Leatha's parents) generosity.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Apologetics Jackpot

If you have a question about the faith, click here for the "Ultimate Apologetics MP3 Audio Page."

It's not a misnomer.

Thanks, for the vine.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The first day of home.

Did I just say that?

Do you hear something?

Quiet for a second...

Sounds like someone... eating...?

Oh wait, that's Mark (i.e. me), eating my words after deriding, mocking, slandering, berating all things homeschool.

It's only fitting that I would eat my words on the first day of school (for Ames, that is).

Here's the history...

I have posted a few times in favor of public school over homeschool. My posts regarding homeschool have stirred up quite a bit of emotion-filled responses. Although I made some facetious remarks about homeschool kids ("trading Lord of the Rings cards and playing games that require dice that have more than 6 sides"), truth be told, my intent was not to bash homeschool, just the idea that it's the "biblical" option. That was the whole point of the first post on the topic, as I was responding to the following quote:

Christians should have no part in the government school system. However, I would challenge any Christian to give me a Scriptural basis for sending young children away from their parents for eight or more hours a day to be indoctrinated by a system which is anti-God. You can search the Scriptures high and low, but it isn't there

So taking my own advice, last year we sent our daughter to public school.

I don't have any regrets. Ava had a positive public school experience: A knowledgeable and hard working teacher, a school committed to excellence, and she made lots of friends. What I loved most about the public school experience: the recess scene, where Ava was forced to navigate challenging social environments.

Here's what I didn't love about the experience:

- The limited time we had with her.

We would send her off to school in the morning, and she would get home around 3:30, exhausted. Then, we would send her to bed around 6:30 and do it again for the next 4 days. There was very little time to supplement her learning. Most of our effort went into trying to get her to process social interactions from the day. That part I enjoyed. (i.e. "Dad, Shruti brought in one of her idols for show and tell..." (We live in a very diverse part of town with many international students, which we love.)

- The math curriculum.

I helped out every Wednesday for an hour with "Everyday Math." I was not a fan. I think some researchers had too much time on their hands with this one. Of course, in our world of socially constructing new reality and throwing out anything that reminds us of Modernity, and with government grants on the line, we need to come up with new ways to teach kids how to solve math problems. Each person should figure out their own way to get to an answer. Do what's best for them. Flash cards, of course, will not suffice. That's too narrow. Too 19th century. Something Newton might've done.

And so this is the convo that may have sealed it for me...

Leatha: "Ava, what's 3+2?"
Ava: "6"
Leatha: "Don't you memorize math facts in school."
Ava: "I don't know. We don't do that kind of math."

Leatha went on to show her the ones and tens columns and how to add. It was revolutionary.

Both Leatha and I loved math growing up. I think there's an appeal to the objective nature of basic math- there's a right answer and a way you can remember to get there.

I'm sure I have some readers who have taught the "everyday math" curriculum. I know there's something I'm missing- there probably is something legit to the curriculum. I'm only speaking based on what I saw last year while working with the students, and with my own daughter. I thought she would've been much better off just memorizing math facts. That's just me. But as I've heard almost EVERY teacher who is familiar with the curriculum say, "It's not for everyone" or "It's all about repetition- they'll catch on next year" or "It's a challenging curriculum to teach correctly" (which is not a concern here- Ava's teacher did an excellent job with it).

Moreover, I'm not just responding to the curriculum, but the worldview that got us that curriculum. To be sure, learning has taken a major turn in the last 100 years... or 50...or 25. There's a new approach to almost everything. Are Americans smarter or dumber than 100 years ago?

There are so many factors, I know that's not necessarily a fair statement (put one tally next to "straw man argument" for me).

But my point is that I always downplayed the superiority of homeschool education, until my kid came home from school struggling with basic math skills.

Notice I don't have any comments about my issues with reading. I think that's because Leatha taught Ava how to read and write in kindergarten. Ava devours books, mostly because of Leatha's hard work last year. (click here for the book Leatha used). Leatha says that Ava might have taken steps backward after first grade. Yikes.

I have always said that I didn't want academics to be our overriding concern. I think one would be hard pressed to argue that a public school is a better education than homeschool ... but in this case I really want our kids to have a strong foundation with the basics... reading, writing, and math.

- The class size.

I felt bad for the teacher. As amazing as she was, it's just plain hard to teach 24 first graders all day in one small classroom. Two years ago Leatha sat down with Ava one on one everyday and with blood, sweat and tears, taught her how to read. I'm so proud of Leatha's investment. She deposited something into Ava that will be with her forever.

Even when the size of the groups gets broken down (in math, for example), I would still have a very capable kid getting pulled down by another kid who just wanted to squirm around in his chair and find excuses to get up (sharpen pencil, go to the bathroom, etc).

So here's where I'm at now...

Whatever side you're on with this, remember, I'm talking about my two school age kids, who are only 7 and 6. I'm not trying to make sweeping judgments about what's better. At this time, Leatha and I thought homeschool would be the best option.

I still love the public school environment for how it prepares kids for real world social environments. I also love the opportunities for our kids to reach out and show love to their peers. But for now, I think the focus for us needs to be building a solid foundation of "reading, writing, arithmetic." We're also doing a "Classical Conversations" class once a week to help with the education. More on that another time.

Anyone want to do a play date at our house? I just got the Lord of the Rings trading card game, and these dice to go with it...

Office Convo: Social Awareness

One of the more important life skills is social awareness.

Is it learned or something you're born with? A skill you can develop? A talent you're born with?

Ben Bradley, "It's a talent one is born with"
Lance Allgood, "You can learn it... well... I think you do need a foundation, but once you crack open your eyes, you start to grow in it."

But then Lance raised the question: Does it work in reverse? For example, someone is awesome at something, but they don't really acknowledge it.

My problem: I think I'm in that category.

Which means I have no social awareness.

How the class of 2013 thinks

With college ministry on my mind, this was a good read to remember my audience: Click here for the mindset of the class of 2013.

Props for the vine: Johnnie's email-> WORLD mag -> Ed Stetzer -> Smart peeps from Beloit College

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

With or Without You

This is the kind of stuff I find when I'm surfing around on youtube...

This dude is sick on the guitar... what a cool version of "With or Without You" by U2.

Here's the live version at Slane Castle...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

IT'S OUT!!!!!!

I reserve all CAPS and exclamation marks only for the most exciting of occasions (Did I do this for the birth of Jett? Hmm. This isn't that exciting, but anyway...)

The Anthem CD is officially released today!

15 songs. 10 bucks. What a deal.

Here are a couple places you can find it: Click here for OR Click here for

It should be available on iTunes soon, but you can also click here to download the digital version (from this site we get 100% of the profit, as opposed to iTunes). It will also be available through the Willow Creek Association website.

You can find chord charts and stream five full songs at

Soli Deo Gloria.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Good Time To Be Homeless

Best case scenario: Standing on the street corner near a church that just heard Matthew 25 (sheep and goats passage). BTW: As usual, great message by Paul Sabino and (no offense Paul) but even better drama by Jenni Sabino. The text could not have been brought to life any better. Brilliant.

Actually, I had a great talk with this homeless guy Michael. I got him some food from BK and when I offered him some money, he said, "I'd really like work if you know of any." I offered to help him find the homeless shelter in Ames, but he said he'd sit out awhile longer and then crash under the bridge.

I'm not trying to sound pious, because get this, the day before I drove by a different homeless guy on the same corner, and totally ignored him. I even had some disparaging thoughts as the person ahead of me handed him some cash out of her window, "Wonder what he'll use that for..."

God was good to give me a "re-do." I'm still not sure I passed, but I had no good ideas of how else to help Michael. We prayed together and I went on my way.

I never got his last name. It might've sounded fishy had he said, "the archangel."

As I was driving away he disappeared.

Just kidding.

Friday, August 14, 2009

An Open Thank You Letter

I just got back from a four day staff retreat at the Kuphal cabin. I've never been to a place on earth where the "spirit" of the hosts is present without their physical presence.

Love, generosity, joy, peace, kindness, the feeling of being blessed... was on us.

Jim and Sally,

As I think back on my life, I consider your family to be one of the greatest blessings from God. Especially your son, Joe, who I consider a best friend for life (26 years and counting...). It was so fun to see him (and Tom) on Sunday.
Someone could make a movie about your guest book coming to life.

It felt alive with memories. I just looked through it for about an hour, reminiscing about great times I had there with you guys. This guest book entry was from '93, apparently my first visit up (although I seem to remember being up there earlier???). That was the crew... Tom, Joe, Dusty White, Sam Nanfito, Jeff Thune
This entry, below, was the summer I caught my leg on fire and had to get skin grafts. My friends thought it was pretty funny (per Jeff's comment here: "Mark is naked and on fire.") Okay it was funny at the time, but the burn unit at Clarkson Hospital was not a laughing matter.
Here's a recap of our staff time...

Ben Jensen, enjoying some Philly Cheesesteak...
...cooked up by our very own grill/skillet master, Stan Hayek. (ask Abby about his pork loin...mmm!)
(below) Stan and I went shopping and set it all out on the table. We grazed on food the whole time!
Besides grazing, we sat around the fire and enjoyed prayer, sharing, stories, and times in the Scriptures. The stones around the campfire have been there since the 1930's and must contain so many great late night conversations.

If only we could get them to talk...

Here, Sarah, Mikaela, and Carrie enjoy the beautiful summer afternoon (perfect weather the entire time!)
(below) Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

We had jet skis coming out of our ears, and we gave them all names (Red Honda: Cadillac, Green: Ferrari, Old Purple: the Taurus)

This would make a great motivational poster...

TEAMWORK: Sometimes you need a friend to help you push through.

Also in the outhouse... Native Americans use every part of the animal they kill. Good thinking.
Late night games of RISK... Ben won with Europe Sunday night, and Stan with Africa Monday night. The stereo in the background was filling the cabin with Hillsong United's new album. Except the morning I woke up the guys with Keith Green's "Asleep in the Light."

This pretty much summarizes the cabin experience...Our staff says a big THANK YOU for your kindness. Bless the Kuphal family and all who will have the privilege of visiting the cabin!
The only sad thing about our trip was that it had to come to an end. A closing thought from C.S. Lewis is the only good way to end...

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same."
(p. 136-137, "Hope" in Mere Christianity.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New Blog

I just started a blog for those supporters, students, alumni, and others who want to stay updated on the ministry of the Salt Company.

It's basically the "work" side of my life. I'll update it at least every Friday following our Thursday night meetings.

You can find it at or just click here

Friday, August 7, 2009


This is a blog post where I talk to myself as I'm writing... so lots of these: ...

and these: ( )

It's like the ADD post. It's the junior higher in me about to come out

The Anthem Myspace is now up (click here). The album will be released August 18. We're very pumped for its release, but we're also hard at work on the next album. Physical CDs will be purchasable (c'mon spell check, are you sure no red squigly line goes under "purchasable" that really a word? "squigly" gets the squigly red line? Squigly has to be a word...) on (updated in the next few days), and also on itunes, emusic, Willow Creek Association, and wherever else you purchase music online.

More on Anthem in the days and weeks to come....

I'm leading worship at Cornerstone next week, and I'm considering introducing "What can I do?" by Paul Baloche. It's one of those songs that gets "in" you... it's bound to get stuck in your head throughout the day. And you'll be glad to have it stuck inside of you. (That's a cool, yet troubling thought... a song "stuck inside" me. What if the bad songs that get stuck inside our heads want out worse than we want them out? Those poor commercial jingles. They're trapped... in us) Click here for the story of the song OR click here for the song.

Here's what my depravity looks like: when I heard that the guy who wrote "Shine, Jesus, Shine" helped Paul Baloche write "What can I do?", I almost decided not to do it.


Speaking of snobbery in worship...

Was that me that just posted on that a few days ago?


...look in the mirror, marcus (that's how I refer to myself when frustrated...notice I don't even give myself the dignity of an upper case "m". I picture Chris Farley on the "Chris Farley Show" slapping himself.)

Just wait till I post again on homeschooling. Talk about eating my words.

On a music-related note... for good measure, why not throw in a little Brooke Fraser? "Shadowfeet" is almost too much pathos packed into one song. It fills me with longing and inspires hope in the deepest places of my soul.

Junior high was the dark ages of my life. I think I'll avoid these kinds of posts in the future.

Blogging neurosis? ...


But I remind myself that this would've been a half way decent post without all the adolescent craziness...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Unlikely Disciple

I just finished this book, "The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester At America's Holiest University". In a nutshell... in an effort to understand the "Christian Right" and mainstream evangelicalism, a journalism student from Brown University goes to study as an undercover Christian at Liberty University. It's a witty and generous take on his pilgrimage to the Mecca of Christian subculture.
I'm struggling with whether or not to recommend it. Maybe those of you who have read it can help me out here. One way of saying it... it's not a book that will inject more faith into your soul, but it will help you understand how unbelievers view Christians.

Here were some excerpts that I found insightful:

"At first, I was almost offended by the nonchalance with which people probed my soul...after answering enough of these questions, I'm starting to realize that in the evangelical world, prying can be an indicator of compassion. In Liberty's theology there are only two kinds of people: believers and non-believers, people headed to heaven and people condemned to hell. So Rodrigo's attempt to suss out my faith isn't intended to be obnoxious. He just want to make sure I'm safe." (p 73)

"At Liberty, unlike many secular schools, profs teach with the view that there is one right answer to every question, that those right answers are found plainly in the Bible, and that their job is to transfer those right answers from their lectre notes to our minds." (p 87)

"Two days later, I'm still in a funk about my roommate's gay bashing. I can't pay attention in my classes. Whatever spiritual momentum I built up over the past few weeks has gone down the drain...I feel like I did during orientation week- anxious, out of place, aloof..." (p 110)

"Claire's total linguistic isolation [while doing beach evangelism]...she speaks in long, flowery streaks of opaque Christian speak..." (p 155... that whole paragraph quoting this girl's Christian speak was hilarious- but it's stuff we have all said at some point)

[regarding his experience doing beach evangelism- he had some great things to say that led up to this summary of his experience] "There must be an easier way." (p 160)

"My roommate Eric, upon hearing my news [that I was really not a Christian], apologized to me. 'Wait, why are you sorry?' I asked, 'I'm the one who was hiding things from you.' 'I know,' he said, 'But if I had known who you were, I would have tried to show you a better picture of myself.' " (p 312... his roommate was a gay bashing, unhappy, judgmental Bible beater)

His final summary of his semester at Liberty: "But by experiencing your warmth, your vigorous generosity of spirit and your deep complexity, I was ultimately convinced- not that you were right, necessarily, but that I had been wrong. Thank you for the lessons you taught me, even when you didn't know you were teaching them at all." (p 319)

Kevin Roose, wherever you are out there... thanks for taking an honest look at Christianity, especially at Liberty (you are a braver man than me). And then to communicate it in a way that "both sides" could enter in. Good work.


This is my nephew Asher who lives in Eastern Turkey. We just saw him
(and his fam) briefly in Minneapolis. I just took this picture before
saying goodbye.

Asher, your name in Hebrew means "blessed". May God shine his face on
you in the spirit of Psalm 67.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

X Games

Last night was such an adrenaline rush watching an old friend from Omaha tear up the X games Vert contest. Danny Mayer is one of the only guys in the world that does a kick-flip Mctwist, and he nailed two in one run, but time expired on that run. He ended up with fourth.

It's amazing to watch on ESPN, but even more surreal standing on the deck of the vert ramp watching it up close and personal. It gave me flashbacks of being a 12 year old on those ramps, sitting through my elementary classes planning out new tricks I was going to try. Then getting freaked out all day at the thought of actually trying it at 3:45 when I would arrive at the skatepark. It still makes me nervous. I hope my kids don't skate.

Here's an example of a run you'd see Danny do, though not as good as the runs he pulled in X-games last night (There's no video up on youtube from Xgames due to copyright)