Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vacation, Naked Barbies, and Sex Talks

It was a long, cold January. And a challenging one for us, so I did what I haven't done in 11 years of marriage...

I took Leatha (without kids!) on a vacation. It was a week of sun, ocean, reading and relaxing. I was working my way through Leviticus and didn't expect it to be the oasis for my soul that it was. Leviticus 25 reminded me that it's my pride that keeps me from not resting. Workaholism is another manifestation of self-reliance and idolatry. God seemed to think there needed to be a rhythm to rest- 1/7 days, 1/7 years, 1/50 years, and a few extended vacation/parties in between.

I almost didn't post anything about our vacation because it's easy for people cooped up their rooms reading this to struggle with jealousy and perhaps get the wrong idea ("Why can't I...?"). At least that's what goes through my mind on occasion. But I went ahead and posted this because I think in general we need to hear that it's not a sign of weakness to rest...
There was something really funny that happened on the trip- you can read about it (click here for There was a popular shelling blogger that stumbled upon me stumbling upon this treasure on my first ever shelling exploration... (Don't get distracted by my muscles- I'm getting ready for a body building competition)
This sums up the last day of our trip, " day of the year"
Here's downtown Chicago from our plane. I was singing Rich Mullins in my mind, "We are not as strong as we think we are."
Last night Troy Nesbitt came to speak to Salt Company in the bar. The topic- "Sex". As always, he did an awesome job. You can find it here (it should be up sometime today on the website- click media). I also just finished listening to the brilliant Peter Kreeft on the topic of "Sex in Heaven". This is exercise and worship for the mind. Here's Troy at the Blue Moose...
I guess my kids could've used a sex talk. This is our junk drawer. At least someone colored a (Janet Jackson) bra on Barbie. She's getting ready for a half time show or something.
Troy joined us for our "Elders in Training" meeting this morning. Here's Troy in all his glory at 5:45 a.m. Troy is in a competition with a Cornerstone staff guy to see who will cave first on getting a hair cut. I guess we'll all get an idea of what Samson looked like (minus the muscles)
Here are the elders in training, minus Jeff Allgood and me (L to Rt: Jeff Thune, Aaron Hill, Dave Graber, Eric Bodin, Dale Mullikin, Rod Reinertson) on our first retreat.
Only 16 days between blog posts. I'm getting back on track to my 5x/week pace!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Difference between college and community

These two promo videos for connection groups illustrate the difference between ministry to college students and community people.

The first was made by one of our students, Andrew Lubinus. Lance had to do some editing because apparently there were some inappropriate graphic elements that weren't suitable for Salt Company. Andrew and his roommates feel like the art has been compromised. But it still shows the brilliance of college students with sharp minds and some time on their hands.

Andrew, if you're out there, send me the original and I'll post it.

The second video starts automatically, so you may need to pause it...

This next video was made in response to some smack talk from Jeff Thune, claiming he had the best connection group. They've got like 10 young married couples in their group. It would seem that numbers speak for themselves, but this smaller group took it personally.

Truth be told, I think it was me who put those words in Jeff's mouth. It was an innocent attempt to stir the pot to get people in a competition to have the best group.

Ours is the best.

More on that later...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Good Reason to Break the Blogging Slump!

One month between blog posts is a record for me. That's a record I don't want to break. It's time to break the slump. And what better reason than...


Ryan Seiler, my friend and favorite song writer has finally released his first solo album!!!!!

Here's a quick review and shameless plug for the album...

This is an acoustic driven album that combines catchy melodies with witty songwriting, all of which inspires nostalgia, hope and happiness.

"July"- track 1- is one of those songs that can singlehandedly pull you out of seasonal affective disorder in January, while making you reminisce during the summer as you listen with the windows down. This song highlights the catchy melody hooks and refreshingly unconventional songwriting that I love about this album.

Track 2, "Don't Leave", only gets better with an unforgettable hook that acoustic guitar players all over the world will be strumming around campfires and in their dorm rooms. Amazing work on this song, Ryan! Here's the youtube of the fully produced version that was on a Ministry of Magic album (Seiler's Wizard rock band):

The good songs keep coming...
"And we sing"- The true test for a skilled songwriter- make Jeremiah 8 into a catchy song.
The next two songs show the juxtaposition of happiness and heartache, with the wedding song "Our Name" preceding "Run Home", a song about a young boy who was killed in an accident.

"All Things New" gets me choked up every time, as it's the story of Pastor Tom Nesbitt, whose life story is about forgiving his father who blazed a trail of drunkenness, abuse, neglect, and marital unfaithfulness. The song, however, is so filled with hope, as it draws our attention to Christ.

The last two songs round out the album so well. The chorus to "Greener" causes personal reflection, "If the grass is greener on the other side, it's only because I'm not attending mine" while the last track leaves you with a nostalgic toast to good times... "To God, to friends, I hope I'll see you again..."

I commend this album to you... well worth the $10 on iTunes

Ryan, congratulations on a long awaited solo album! I've been begging for it for years now. I hope you make a living on your gift and passion of music.