Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rare Breed

As a church, SUMC is about to start serving at Rare Breed, as well as provide dinners for the youth there. This is a video shot and edited by Zak Lampert.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Anyone who is a fan of Back to the Future, your dreams have come true. French artist, Nils Guadagnin, has done the impossible. Or so we thought. He's recreated the hoverboard from Back to the Future II. And it works! As long as no one stands on it.

To read more, click here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


If you've never been one to take the obvious path, then this blog entry is for you. When God created leaders, he equipped them with an unsettling urge to unpack, undo, and unearth methods. This explains the reason you question everything around you. IT's the reason you have such strong opinions - and such a strong desire to share them. God wired us that way as leaders.

Here are 5 ways to challenge the process in your organization without inadvertently challenging the people in your organization:

1) When an instruction is given, follow through now; debrief later.

You need to clearly express, "I am clearly on your team and under your authority." It doesn't mean you can't ask, "Why?" But you do so in the clear context of serving the organization at large. And in your own style and your own way, you must learn to communicate both: I am under your authority. Can we talk about it?"

2) Never verbalize your frustration with the process in front of other team members.

It's okay to think different. And it's okay to challenge. But the method you use, and the play you choose is critical. Everybody who has authority is also under authority. So we have to learn how to walk that fine line- not shrinking back from challenging, but at the same time not challenging in the wrong way and therefore losing our leverage with those that we hope to influence and bring change to. Support publicly; challenge privately. Reverse those two things and you surrender your authority as a leader within your organization.

3) Don't confuse your insights with moral imperatives

Sometimes when leaders are geared up and passionate about an area of ministry, there's a temptation to justify flat-out rebellion for the sake of the mission and the cause. God has you where He has you for a purpose. On one hand you can't shut down your leadership instincts. But on the other hand, you can't work against the authority God has placed over you. God is using you not only to do your current ministry, but also prepare you for whatever else He has for you.

4) If you don't learn to lead under, you probably wont' have as many opportunities to lead over

Your ability to lead others is directly related to your ability to follow others. Acknowledging authority means recognizing what it means to be responsible as well as what it means to be accountable. It's not simply one or the other. When you sign up to participate in authority, you automatically ascribe to the concept of following. As a result, your ability to lead will never far exceed your ability to follow.

5) When you can't follow, then it's time to get off the team

If you start to have these feelings, then it's a good idea to ask yourself if God might be prompting you to move on. There comes a time to get off the team. If you aren't listening carefully, you could expose yourself and others to temptations you'd rather avoid. Don't give opportunity for frustration or anger to lead you. Allow God to lead you in His time to do whatever else He has for you.

- from a Catalyst study -

Thursday, August 19, 2010

To Save A Life

Jake Taylor has everything. He has a beautiful girl, he's the champion in basketball and beer pong, and everyone loves him. Then, an old childhood friend, whom Jake used to be friends with, commits suicide. Jake begins to think. He wonders what he could've done to save his friend's life. A youth minister tells him that Jake needs God. So Jake becomes a Christian. However, things begin to spin out of control. His dad is cheating on his mom, his girlfriend is pregnant, and his former friends ridicule and mock him. During all this, Jake is going to realize just what it means to be a Christian and how, to save a life.

Angela and I watched this movie recently, and loved it! If you have time, go buy it, rent it, download it, whatever. Just watch it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ruins of Truth

As with many of the ruins in Rome, there are several layers of history in the same place. The Romans had a habit or building things on top of things. Some emperors would tear down their predecessor's palace and build their own palace right on top of it.

Recently, I can't help but wonder if our generation have conveniently forgotten how inconvenient it can be to follow in the TRUE footsteps of Christ. I can't help but wonder if we have dulled down the truths of Christianity and settled for superficialities. I can't help but wonder if we have accepted a form of Christianity that is more knswledgable but less powerful, more civilized but less compassionate, more acceptable but less authentic than what Jesus taught back in the day.

Over the last 2,ooo years, Christianity has evolved in a lot of ways. Theologians have given us creeds and different canons. Churches have added bells, steeples, pews, pulpits, hymnals, organs, committees, etc.

And I wonder if the accumulated layers of Christian traditions and institutions have obscured the truth that lies beneath.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

100 People

What would the make up of the world be like if it was reduced to 100 people?

Check out these thought-provoking numbers. More info can be found here.

50 would be female
50 would be male

20 would be children
80 would be adults
14 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be:
61 Asians
12 Europeans
13 Africans
14 people from the Western Hemisphere

There would be:
31 Christians
21 Muslims
14 Hindus
6 Buddhists
12 people who practice other religions
16 people who would not be aligned with a religion

17 would speak a Chinese dialect
8 would speak Hindustani
8 would speak English
7 would speak Spanish
4 would speak Arabic
4 would speak Russian
52 would speak other languages

82 would be able to read and write
18 would not

1 would have a college education
1 would own a computer

83 would have access to safe drinking water
17 would have no clean, safe water to drink

What response do you feel compelled to make?
If the world were more like the Kingdom of God, how would these numbers be different?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why Do We Worship

A video shown at Schweitzer UMC services this last weekend (8/8).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Who Do You Love?

Who do you love more?
Your girl or your bike?

I'll never forget the first time I saw you.
Bike Wife

I wanted you instantly.
Bike Wife

I often find myself daydreaming about you.
Bike Wife

There's more than 1 photo of you on my desk.
Bike Wife

I love showing you off to my friends.
Bike Wife

My friends often remark how attractive you are.
Bike Wife

In a typical week, we spend 5 or more hours of quality time together.
Bike Wife

When you're around, I look at you with adoration and longing.
Bike Wife

In the last three months, I've spent more than $250 on you.
Bike Wife

I desperately want to take you to Italy.
Bike Wife

You make my heart beat faster.
Bike Wife

You make me feel young again.
Bike Wife

You have taken me places and shown me things I never thought I would see.
Bike Wife

When I'm alone with you, I'm at peace with the world.
Bike Wife

You were made for me.
Bike Wife

I can't live without you.
Bike Wife

I will never upgrade to a newer model.
Bike Wife

Monday, August 2, 2010


People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives,

If you are successful, you win false freinds and true enemies,

The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,

What you spent year building may be destroyed overnight,

People really need help but may attack you if you help them,

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth,

-- Mother Teresa --