Monday, May 30, 2011


This year my blog has been mostly neglected. Here's the pathetic stat... 12 posts in the last 5 months.

For the first time in a LONG time I felt like I had some "creative" space. No visitors, nice back porch weather with a perfectly placed breeze, and a thought provoking book (Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln) are the ingredients that led to this epiphany...

I love ideas, and I love the words needed to communicate them.

In fact, that's what inspired the metropuritan blog a few years ago. I started blogging to sharpen my writing skills, share excerpts of my life, and hopefully bring a little encouragement to others on the journey. I'm sure there was a little narcissism mixed in. Me and everyone else with a blog, FB and Twitter account.

As I read on this utopian day, some phrases jumped out at me, renewing my desire to read and write more...
"[Lincoln] read and thoroughly read his books whilst we played. Hence he was above us and became our guide and leader." (a childhood friend's recollection of Lincoln) p. 49
"Books became his academy, his college. The printed word united his mind with the great minds of generations past...It was through literature that he was able to transcend his surroundings. He read and reread the Bible and Aesop's Fables so many times that years later he could recite whole passages and entire stories from memory... With remarkable energy and tenacity he quarried the thoughts and ideas that he wanted to remember...once he obtained paper, he would rewrite it and keep it in a scrapbook so that it could be memorized. Words thus became precious to him, be lightly or indiscriminately used." (p. 51-52)
In Lincoln's own words, in some advice to a law student, he said, "Get the books and read and study them...The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places...Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other thing." (p. 54)

Well, hopefully I've found enough inspiration to churn out a few more than 2.4 blog posts per month for the rest of 2011.

In other news related to "words"...

I got my tweeterfeed updated and therefore these blog posts will be synced to my FB and Twitter (not sure why it ever stopped...). I had to tell the world on FB about this important news and nearly hit "send" when I noticed the "w" missing from "twitterfeed". As a pastor, I could've been fired for a status update with "ti..." Nevermind.

Another word debacle came when Ava kept leaving the "r" out when she was telling me about this new book she was reading, "Little Britches". She had no idea what she was saying, and I was left wondering what kind of books Leatha had put on the kids' summer reading plan.

Speaking of bad words...I'm determined that my kids hear every bad word in the book from my mouth before they hear it on the playground. That's another blog entry for another day...

For now, I'm resolved to get back to the basics... reading and writing.

Errrr...wait a minute... the NBA finals start tomorrow. Shoot. Go Mavs.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Huge Win for Veritas Church

I'm not spiritualizing here when I say "Huge win."

We're talking literal win for our church. 29-27.

The Veritas softball team was in a bad way. As I understand it, there are 4 city wide softball divisions. There's the A league all the way down to the church league. Scott Chandler, a guy in our church, cajoled me into rounding up some guys to play softball this summer. He assured me he would sign us up for the church league. The next day he came back with the good news that "we got signed up" and the bad news "the only spot was in the A league."

We were 0-3 heading into last Thursday's game against the undefeated dental students.

After some shuffling of personnel, manager Chandler put us in a position to win. The shuffling involved getting me into a position where my inept softball skills could cause the least damage.

You see, my greatest softball skill is that I take the game from being "fun" to "funny". The first night I threw the ball in from center field and literally hit the unsuspecting cutoff man. What's wrong with hitting the cutoff man- aren't you supposed to? Well, I was aiming for 3rd and hit the short stop (Thune) in the back. Some of you are thinking, "If you're playing center field, how would the 3rd baseman ever be the cut off man?" Softball is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. In that moment of possessing the ball as people are rounding the bases, my eyes blur, my mind is in a fog, and I just throw it... wherever. That's what I'm saying- it's terror out there- one percent of the time. In another center field debacle, I almost got hit in the face with a fly ball to center.

So Chandler moved me to catcher, where I'm known for occasionally skipping the ball back to the pitcher. The "yips" happens to everyone at some point in their career. As a fellow catcher, Mackey Sasser's inability to throw the ball back to the pitcher ended his major league career with the Mets. I tell myself I'm in good company. It happens to the best...or worst, however you want to look at it.

But Thursday was our moment of glory, and we chalked up our first win for the Veritas Church softball team.

Veritas Church, you can hold your heads high this week, knowing that your church has posted a win in the A division. And also rest secure that your pastors are hard at work, refining their skills on the diamond.

Here's to being thankful in all circumstances, especially after such a sweet victory...
In other sporting news...

I busted out the clubs and showed off my sweet skills on the golf course. Dale Mullikin commented on my clubs, "I haven't seen wood drivers in forever... wait... those aren't wood, they're plastic!" It turns out my Wilsons are a step way below TaylorMade and just above Fisher Price. But the clubs were hot... just ask Dale to tell you about my putting.
Here's Thune putting with an apple in his mouth.

Congrats to Jeff and Ashley with the birth of Kota Ryan... what a sweet baby girl!
Boom, I'm out.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It was- IS- worth it

Before we came to Iowa City, people would say, "If you go and only one person comes to know Jesus because of it... it would be worth it." I know that's a nice Christian thing to say, but I thought, "If only one person comes to Jesus... we should stay in Ames!"

But as Lance Allgood watched his friend Nick get baptized, he told me later, "If it was just for Nick, it WAS worth it!"

Below you can watch Nick's (and 6 other) baptism. But by God's grace he is not the only one...

Baptisms - May 1, 2011 from Veritas Church on Vimeo.

Some people from Veritas helped us host a graduation party for Jarryd Cole on Saturday. He's persevered through so much during his time at Iowa (3 coaching changes and multiple injuries). This past year God has done some cool things in his life, and it was fun to celebrate his strong finish to a great career at Iowa.

Once again, we say with gratitude and awe... Soli Deo Gloria