Nov 292007

I’m gonna drop by Saddleback Church this afternoon, where the 3rd annual global summit on AIDS is already under way.

My friend Steve Knight tells me that there were over 200 media passes issued for this event. Will meetup for lunch with him, and plan to mingle and meet other church leaders at the venue.

So far, there are 30 news articles according to, including this article at OC Register, Saddleback pastor calls leadership key to defeating AIDS, with live updates.

Amy Stevens (of OC Register) is live blogging from Saddleback about the AIDS summit. Other bloggers who are there include:

slide show of AIDS Summit at Saddleback

Nov 282007

One of the lower-priority, but more visible, projects I get to work on at Leadership Network is setting up blogs to more quickly communicate the things our Leadership Network staff (and, now, friends) are learning about things that impact the American church.

During my first year, I had been a part of launching the Leadership Network Books blog to exclusively focused on books published by Leadership Network in its partnership with Jossey-Bass and Zondervan. Now we’re expanding the scope to cover all kinds of books that Christian leaders are reading. Yes, one place where you can get a pulse on the books that are informing and influencing almost 2 dozen Christian leaders.

This week is our “soft-launch”, which I’ve described as being similar to the concept of a “preview service” in church planting. And we’ll officially launch it next week, when I’ll be in Dallas at headquarters, coincidentally.

Click over to and check out all the new activities already under way! Spread the word!

Lesson learned: Something that seems to be working well for us is the concept of team blogs, where we have a team of contributors pitch in once a week, once a month, or once a quarter. This is how we’re doing the blog, the Learnings blog, and now the Books blog. I think what keeps the team blog on track is a well-defined focused framework, so all contributors are blogging about one main topic.

I know of some team blogs that gather contributors that are more affinity-based, whether its a group of friends or a network of people with a common interest. Some of them have worked. Many of them seem to flounder. What may be missing for the ones that don’t work is a lack of focus, lack of content, or the topic might be too small and niche.

Did you know popular blogs like Engadget and Boing Boing are team blogs too? They were a part of our inspiration.

Nov 272007

Now that I am on a different coast, and have a different rhythm to how I work and where I work, I don’t think I need my mobile wireless Internet card any more. But I’ve got almost another year on the contract. So I’ve put it up for someone to take over the contract over at — or you can contact me directly to save me from paying the membership fee over there.

The hardware is a EDGE/GPRS/Wi-Fi PC card (Sony Ericsson GC89) and it works on the T-Mobile network. What’s great about the Total Internet data plan includes unlimited access to T-Mobile Hotspots at Starbucks + FedexKinko’s + other locations.

Far as I can tell, it’s for PC only, not Mac. And the contract runs $49.99 a month until November 19, 2008. I’m told that contract transfers are allowed. I hope so!

why I like spicy foods

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Nov 242007

One of my highlights in dining pleasures is eating spicy foods. I’m daring enough to try the spicy dishes in a Szechuan restaurant marked with 3 red hot peppers labeled “numb”, and venture right up to edge of the hot sauces that require you to sign a liability waiver form. The other night, I tasted a hot sauce called “beyond death” and I couldn’t eat much of it, only could bear to taste a dip with my onion ring. Whew that was hot! But it sure made me feel more alive. I’m happy to use Mexican hot sauces (Chuhala) and Tabasco, and ask for the 4-tray hot sauces at Thai restaurants. Hot salsa can be a very good condiment. Yes, I will kung-pao almost every chance I get, and warm up with hot-and-sour soup — which actually is often a good test of culinary quality, or lack thereof. Variety is the spice of life, eh?

The other reason is because I’m not the wild adventurer in real life. Some people are daring and courageous(?) and love risk taking. I had recent opportunities to lie on a bed of nails, to ride down a zip line. Other people did. I doubt I’d ever bungee jump, rock climbing, skydiving, hot air balooning, mountain climb with sherpas, parasail, pilot a plane, water ski, or go on Fear Factor or Survivor. Amazing Race and Big Brother maybe.

I would love to ride a motorcycle more often, but have family considerations. I do enjoy going 4-wheeling. Roller coasters are good, long as it doesn’t go twisty upside down too many times. I did learn to swim, albeit splashily, at age 36. So those are a few of my thrills in life. And, spicy foods.

leaving on a jet plane

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Nov 162007

Heading out tonight on a red-eye back to metro Washington DC, to visit friends and family for a week. Hope to decompress from life overload.

Nov 142007

Looks like Mosaix Global Network is gaining momentum and had just formed as an 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Just got word of this press release from Jim Spoonts:


Twenty-five multi-ethnic church pastors, educators, and investors from eleven states met at the Lazy J Ranch outside of Dallas November 7-9, 2007, to formally commission the establishment of the Mosaix Global Network (MGN) as a 501c3 non-profit entity in early 2008. The move seeks to build upon the growing relational connections fostered by MGN over the past three years of its informal existence.

In making the move, a “Founders Council,” representing partner churches making initial financial commitments, agreed to appoint an Executive Board to oversee the formation of the new entity. The board includes Pastor Mark DeYmaz, Dr George Yancey, Dr Willie Peterson and Executive Director Jim Spoonts.

For more information on Mosaix Global Network, see

I’d imagine they’ll use the new Mark DeYmaz book as a play book: Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church. I met most of the leadership team this summer, great people! Really love what they’re doing to connect and equip churches to learn from each other in serving more people everywhere.

Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church

Nov 102007

The ever-edgy and often controversial Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church (Seattle) made a public confession of his personal failure in having lacked humility, in his November 4th sermon. For some, especially critics, this was blatantly obvious. For others, maybe this is a sign that there indeed is a God. Justin Taylor has a transcript of his confession aka mea culpa, for those of you who want to skim read it + see the buzz with 65 comments (at the time of this writing). I was transfixed watching the video; his best sermon ever.

And a tech note: took me well over an hour to clean up this website, which was hacked last night at 9:00pm. All my index files were overwritten with spam or goofy Flash graphics. At least it wasn’t offensively obscene. It was apparently a security vulnerability in an older version of WordPress, now upgraded. Pardon the disruption.

time delayed email

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Nov 072007

So as to not appear too eager to reply to an email, I’d like to compose an email and have it auto-sent on a future date/time. And, I’ve been weaning myself to check email only once an hour or less. This should help with (increasing) my productivity, (minimizing) distractability, and (waning) energy level.

There is such a function, already! I found the instructions for doing this in Microsoft Outlook [via: my Digital Life] – (yes, a little known secret):

In Microsoft Outlook, to enable delay sending of emails at a specified time and date later than current time, or postponing the delivery date and time, use following steps:

1. In the Message window (where you type your email content), click the Options button. Alternatively, click on View -> Options.
2. In the Message Options dialog window, select and tick the “Do Not Deliver Before” check box, under the Delivery Options. Then choose the desired send date and time to deliver the email by using the calendar and time drop down list.
3. Click Close and then click OK.

Made my day!

Also, found an add-on for Mozilla Thunderbird called Send Later, that can send a time-delayed email. [via: technobuzz]