Jul 302005

Whew, what a weekend. EMME group photo I’ve left the retreat site and finished 5 talks to a wide range of about 110 junior highers to high schoolers from Austin Chinese Church’s Lighthouse ministry. I’m grateful for the warm invitation; my talks were well-received. I had to rest a lot during the weekend, b/c of a persistent cough and maybe chest cold, so I didn’t get to hang out with the teens as much as I’d have liked. A very fun bunch, and fun-filled retreat; lots of creativity and energy.

The technicians behind the sound board did an incredible job, and so did the worship bands. Incredible sounds; very Austin. I’ll be getting a copy of the audios to my talks, special thanks to John Mao for going the extra mile to record them. Now to recoup.

Jul 282005

The Emerging Culture Curriculum, an interactive resource kit edited by InterVarsity?s Blue Ridge Regional Director Jimmy Long, received one of the 20 Gold Medallions awarded for 2005 by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. It was the winner in the Christian Education category.

The Emerging Culture Curriculum is aimed at helping church and ministry leaders understand the social changes that are shaping the next generation. It addresses the implications for ministry leadership, witness and communication created by this emerging culture, which has been called postmodernism.

The Emerging Culture Curriculum is published by InterVarsity Press and was co-produced by InterVarsity?s Twentyonehundred Productions. The curriculum kit includes media presentations on CD-ROM, as well as a leader?s guide and participants? guides.

* from http://www.intervarsity.org/news/news.php?item_id=1850

Jul 272005

I’ll be departing the metro DC area in a few hours, en route to Austin, Texas, this time for a speaking gig. I don’t do a lot of public speaking, feel kinda rusty now that I’m not in the pastoral ministry vocation, nor on a speakers bureau or conference circuit. But I do occasionally take an invitation (when I get them, that is.)

retreat logoThis one is a 5-message series titled Extreme Makeover Me. I’ve got some good titles (below) and Powerpoints to frame my talks. I did not manuscript every word, tho’ that is the best way to prepare. I hope to stay relaxed and keep it conversational. And, my itinerary is below, if you’re on the same flight, please say hello! :)

[update: and I'll be moblogging now - instant photos from my 2nd cell phone]

1 emerging: inside out
2 the makeover: renovation of the heart
3 the rebuild: habits of grace
4 the reveal: the life you were meant to live
5 fully alive: telling stories

Flight: United Airlines flight 7111 (Non-Stop)
Depart: Washington DC-Dulles (IAD)
Wed, Jul 27 at 6:25pm
Arrive: Austin, TX (AUS)
Wed, Jul 27 at 8:47pm
Seat: 9D

Flight: United Airlines flight 7109 (Non-Stop)
Depart: Austin, TX (AUS)
Mon, Aug 01 at 11:30am
Arrive: Washington DC-Dulles (IAD)
Mon, Aug 01 at 3:58pm
Seat: 10C

Jul 232005

I just found out today that a pastor friend of mine is in transition. This was for what could be best and rightly described as irreconcilable differences. That happened in the Bible too, you know, with Paul and Barnabas. I didn’t know when it actually happened, or was blogged about, b/c I have to confess that I can no longer keep up with 600+ blogs a day in my Bloglines reader. So I found out through some secondary sources, in a conversation over brunch today. RLTBR (real life trumps blog reading), as they say.

What bugged me is that part of the deal was that he was to be silenced from blogging. Now, granted, some things in the midst of mediation or in the bedroom shouldn’t be blogged, out of Christian charity and Christian modesty, but can we not trust discerning people to refrain from blogging certain things, rather than being prohibited from blogging at all? Best wishes, Bruce, for your new chapter, and may the God of grace be with you for your new ventures and offer you healing and encouragement.

[update] local paper Gazette picks up the story: Church leader steps down

Jul 212005

Asian American Youthworkers Forum. November 7-9, 2005. Dallas, Texas. Sponsored by L2 Foundation. One-of-a-kind gathering for Christian leaders serving Asian American middle school and high school students. Presenters from around the country (collectively over 100 years of experience) + find encouragement and solutions for youth ministry + more! Register online before October 7th.

[update: okay, note to self: can't change the timestamp once I've made it sticky, messes with how I've got my WordPress setup]

Jul 192005

Trying to wade through all the tax verbiage (which is no better than legal verbiage) of IRS Publication 523. Lots of hoops and hurdles to reward and punish people’s transactions and behaviors.

I just need a simple answer to a simple question. A friend owns and lives in a house. He’s married, files jointly, and has lived there for 1 year. He’s considering a move to another state about a 1000 miles away.

Can he sell his old house and buy a new one, without getting penalized with gobs of capital gains tax? If so, how, and where does it say so in the IRS publication(s)?

Jul 182005

In the Big Apple for a couple of days on business, with my new role at ABS, which I hope to tell more about when I have more time. (Yeah right, where am I going to find more time?) Have a deadline this Wednesday. Had a great meal last night, so thrilled about it I want to tell the world. Starbucks now has a Caesar Salad with Grilled Shrimp! For just $5.95, I think it’s the best deal around, and it was quite tasty too! Good to see a few winners showing up with Starbucks. And spent my late night last night browsing at Fairway, happen to be staying right across from it; an excellent market! Giant cherries and other munchies!

As an aside… there’s lots of great nice new technology-based services, and while it’d be nice to have all of these, I can’t figure out how people afford it all. Think of all the things that the average American consumer allegedly can have, for a low monthly price, as they say::

Cell phone: $39.99 a month
Standard Cable: $49.82 a month
Broadband Internet: $42.95 a month
TiVo: $12.95 a month
Online DVD rental: $17.99 a month
Satellite radio: $12.95 a month
Napster: $9.95 a month

+ TypePad: $4.95 a month
+ 3 Magazines:
+ Newspaper:
+ Health club membership:
+ Xbox Live: $5.99 a month

That’s $186.60 a month, or $2,239.20 a year, plus applicable taxes and fees. And this doesn’t include all the initial hardware and electricity. Maybe this is where all people’s disposable income is going..

Jul 152005

Earlier today, there was Until 7:00pm (Eastern) tonight, you’ll get a message like this at the Religion & Ethics Newsweekly cover story:

It appears that you have tried to access a page that is not currently available on the Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly Web site. Please note that stories for the current week are not available on the Web site until 7 pm Eastern Standard Time on Friday evenings. Please check back at that time to read this story and access any related multimedia materials.

And as the large hand strikes 12 tonight, you’ll get toYou can now see (the video) and read (the transcript) Part 2 of the PBS segment about the Emerging Church.

Part 1 is online here, with sound bites from Doug Pagitt, Don Carson, Brian McLaren, Scot McKnight, Roy Terry, Diana Butler Bass, Tony Jones [in order of appearance]. Looked more closely in the footer, and there’s extended interviews with four of these.

[evening update] Don’t miss out on the video extra: sound bites from the 2005 Emergent Convention attendees! One of our favorite bloggers, Lilly Lewin, got in a few words! (for the record, I didn’t get interviewed, probably b/c I wasn’t attending most of the paid sessions, and wound up hangin’ out with people most of the time)