finish 05 REAL STRONG

New Years Eve means one thing - PARTY at the MANSION!

Come on over Saturday night if you'd like to hang with the boys of 884. We'll have plenty of food, card games, board games, an extreme ping pong tourney, an incredible dance room playing the finest tunes, Halo, Sega, Atari, Nintendo, and plenty of space to just relax and catch up with old friends.

Feel free to bring friends and if you are the kind of person who is inclined to bring something to a party besides other people, all of the boys of 884 (that's Nate England, Diddy, Jed, Jim Bartley, and Nate Young if you've lost track, along with our honorary roommates, Dollar Bill and D Money) are still accepting Christmas gifts.

See you Saturday at 10! comment if you need more info, directions, ect...


Christmas Weekend

So I'm about to head out to MI, it should be a good trip. My brother Ben and I will head up and hang with my Dad's family who all live in a little town just off of 69. MY Dad's sisters and parents and their families all get together every Saturday for coffee and doughnuts. It would be pretty special to have that kind of connection with family. Since I've been 9 I've never lived within an hour and a half of family, and now, forget it. I had hoped that moving to Ohio would make it easier to connect with my Dad's family, but 4 hours is still a decent distance.

Last night I had a great dinner with a few friends at the Olde Mohawk down in the German Village. We got there at 7 and shut the place down, not leaving until midnight. It's been awhile since I've had that good an extended dinner conversation. And the food...always fantastic.

I'll be back on Monday, then on Wednesday I'm heading down to a cabin in Hocking Hills with a Bible, notebook, and another book to simply be with God - I'm excited.


first tone - greek orthodox daily reading

"You arose from the
sepulcher in glory as God, and with yourself
resurrected the world. And mortal nature
extolled You as God, and death was
obliterated, and Adam is dancing, O Master;
and Eve, now redeemed from the bonds,
rejoices crying out: O Christ, You are He who
grants resurrection to all."


just smile back

8 miles and runnin got my seventh album dropping...
Jay Z's lyrics were true today, aside from dropping an album that is. Nate and I tore up 8 miles at Sharon Woods - We've been running at a pretty fast pace this week. The Nashville Marathon won't know what hit it come April 25th.

This afternoon was a pleasant surprise, the NFL on Saturday! So I celebrated by grillin out and feasting on some brats.

Tonight Ryder and I bounced down to the Exceptional Edward show They are getting their sound together. Dan is playing solid electric guitar and has given them a whole new level of energy. Tonight was a battle of the bands and they took first place over 7 other outfits.

While those three elements were great moments during the day this morning started off great with a good extended time in the word and prayer. IF you haven't had the chance to read Ecclesiastes 5 lately, it is probably time for you to break it out. My soul was stirred for myself and others.

Teaching middle school Sunday School tomorrow - it doesn't get much more fun than that!! Teaching middle schoolers will always be one of my favortie aspects of ministry. There is such freedom to be yourself when you teach with middle schoolers, goofy is an inroad to their hearts and believe me I can do goofy. Come Holy Spirit.




Late Night

"'This week in California, Arnold Schwarzenegger met with rapper Snoop Dogg to discuss pardoning a convicted murderer. Then Vin Diesel met with 50 Cent to discuss agriculture subsidies.' " Conan

full and good

6:30 - Bruce Hall and I had a great talk about hearing from God and how to best raise up leaders
8:00 - Testimony time with the pastors about "God IS," good for me to hear all God did through the program, I wasn't a fan of the actual program itself, but I love the way it involves so many from the church and is a great outreach. I just have to put aside my own personal taste.
9:00 - All Staff meeting, good as far as meetings go, they are getting slightly more productive
10:00 - Met with Ryder and Laura about the Central and North outreaches, it is great to have 2 steady interns really leading the way.
10:30 - QT, good reading in Ecclesiastes
11:00 - Met w/Root to talk about HSLT and the Student House remodel. I'm really excited to creat a cool space for the students
11:30 - TJ and I read up and took notes on the history of the Eatern Orthodox church as it relates to the Incarnational tradition within Christianity. Good prep work for our lenten season 40 days, "Joining the Journey."
1:30 - Met w/Ryder about Sunday Morning Live, the house remodel, 40 days and a whole host of things
2:30 - Spent time with Grant Lacy, a great sophomore from North who is really making some great decisions and submitting his life to God in tough areas
3:30 - Great time w/Matt Hamparian working through God's movement in his life since August and where he is headed as a leader.
4:30 - Returned emails, downloaded Wesley's 22 questions - a great resource for accountability if you've been looking for penetrating questions to ask or be asked. Worked on the new young adult life group I'm helping launch in January
5:45 - Ran 5+ miles with Nate England, I think my body is actually getting used to both the cold and the muscles in my legs getting worked.
6:45 - Jetted out to Wildlights with the Grove. Got to meet some great new folks with cool stories, Bill, Jordan, Julie, Lisa, Sarah, Nathan, Brady, Laura, and Matt were among them. It is neat to see the caliber of people that God is bringing to Heritage. I'm excited to see what He does in and through them. The Mexican wolves were pretty cool, I'm proud of them for staying out in the snow still prowling the grounds.. Good car ride with Laura Young, mLe, Kelly Young, and Caitlin.
10:20 - back home and rady to settle in for the night
11:15 - Great Conversation with Dollar Bill about our new life group, good stuff is going to be happening. He had some killer ideas, lets just say, Leggo my Eggo....more coming
Thanks God for a good day.


deliver me

learning "deliver me," by Crowder on guitar right now, good song....
it was quite powerful listening to it as I was standing out on the Hoover resevoir Thursday night while the snow was cascading down and the wind whipping out over the water. My favorite penninsula still stretches out far into the Hoover allowing me feel for just a moment I've escaped Westerville. It'll be sad when this snow melts and the water level rises. There are a lot of powerful memories from that point this fall.

the bottom of my boot detached on the walk home from the Hoover, I was still about a mile away, that made for a bit of an uncomfortable walk home. I am constantly amazed how in every sacred moment there is something breaking down - I need to tap into what God is trying to speak into me in this area right now.

Merry Christmas

Last night was one of the better evenings of the year.
My four roommates and I cooked a huge feast together.
We made a Turkey with a fantastic citrus herb basting, Sauteed Potato, Onion, and Mushroom in an extraordinary Garlic, Herb, and butter sauce. Sesame Ginger Broccoli from scratch, Cranberry Sauce, and Fresh Baked Rolls topped it off. We shared the meal over a nice bottle of wine or sparkling grape juice depending upon age or conviction.

After dinner we exchanged gifts by the Christmas tree and each guy got a gift that specifically fit him. Nate E. received wind pants for his attempt to run a 26 mile marathon. Nate Y. received a new golf glove and 15 Top Flight Balls, Jim Bartley took home a new ping pong paddle, Diddy got Johnny Cash's greatest hits and a Star Wars Action figure battle set, and I picked up "Unleashed," featuring Jet Li and 75 extra long golf tees. It was a sweet time.

Following the gift giving we set up around the kitchen table and played poker together for 5 hours. Sadly, Diddy took us to town and went to bed $50.00 richer. He paid back Nate E. for beating him up in a wrestling match earlier that night by going all in without ever looking at his hand and beat Nate's Jack pair with a 2 pair of 7's and 2's. Later Diddy outwitted me and got the best of my temper, it was a fiery game. Definitely a good time had by all, and a fantstic Christmas tradition to begin.

Oh yeah, keeping in line with the bittersweet reality of life, Nate Young's axle broke as he was pulling out of our driveway to go get Matt Hamp's poker chips. You can be praying that Nate can get it fixed soon and cheap. He had just taken it into the shop for front end work and they said it was fine. He's heading down there to let them know what's up today.



could you hear the quiet crackling
while sensing yourself stumbling
along the wintry road ahead
which will never be retread?

eternity beneath your feet
orange echo off the street
where time and space meet
another divine feat....

betraying Jesus

Here is a good thought from Jim Wallis;
SoMA Review - Betraying Jesus - Jim Wallis: "When the life of the church no longer raises any questions, evangelism degenerates. The phrases �Jesus saves� and �Jesus is Lord� have been so often used in the absence of any visible historical application that most people simply do not know what the words mean anymore. Perhaps never before has Jesus� name been more frequently mentioned and the content of his life and teaching so thoroughly ignored. One wonders what remains of Jesus in American culture except his name. Unless accompanied by a clear demonstration of what it means to follow Jesus now, the evangelistic message falls on deaf ears or, even worse, calls people to a conversion empty of real content. "


what's that you say? more miroslav

Theologian Miroslav Volf write an excellent article for Christian Century laying out the argument that both the religious left and religious right have abandoned Jesus and his gospel for their pet social causes. Social work on the left and moral living on the right. He has a simple yet strong word for each to begin to value Jesus over politics.

This is one area where I reallly appreciate Heritage's stand. Check out Pastor Jim's message, "Why I believe in Big Government,' to gain an understanding. Don't let the title scare you off.


getting it done in Nashville


"'One of the floats during the Macy's parade featured a performance by The Beach Boys. Because nothing says late November in New York like The Beach Boys.' "

taking it all apart

The Kingdom unshakable you have given us
In the midst of our unbelieving hearts
You placed the one who put it together
by taking it all apart

so here we are afraid and scared
not knowing how you’ll get us there
Father come, give us a sign
Something to hope for in these times
This is my selfish plea
Saying I can’t get enough of you in me

Your word your life seems to bring such strife
From those who are still blind to see
And convictions I have overlooked purposefully

get lifted

tomorrow could be a potentially monumental day in the history of our church. I am heading on a tour of an inner city neighborhood in Columbus which we might begin to partner with to bring social and spiritual transformation. Please be in prayer for discernment as we meet with neighborhood leaders and families and explore how our community can begin to integrate within this neighborhood and live out our calling to minister among the poor. I've been given freedom to make a call as to our churches future involvment and I so want this to be a God thing, not my agenda or opinion.

this gets me excited!

good for us old timers

"maybe your orthodoxy isn't part of God's future,"

this line has been running through my head all week - it has been fun thinking about God being dynamic and shifting throughout his creation project. kind of like a videogame, the end is the same, there is a framework he must stay within, but there are options throughout. freedom is beautiful......control = overrated.......reading the scriptures you see God even instructing his people to go against his written word. he is free to do whatever, i like that.

do we feel free enough to follow the leading of his Spirit when he speaks?


so I was just writing a friend and thinking about what my hopes were for her throughout her day tomorrow and from somewhere came the words, "I hope you get a taste of the divine." I like that.

May you taste the divine today and see that it is good,


Buckeye City

Welcome to Buckeye City!!

Go Bucks, while it may have been Friday, Sunday came in the form of a last minute comeback led by Troy Smith and Anthony Gonzalez! It was incredible to watch here while at the same time Vandy upset Tennessee for the first time in 23 years. An exciting afternoon of college football. It's getting crunk down here.

you are my joy

if you haven't had the chance to hear Crowder's, "you are my joy," download it from itunes right now, although I'm not sure anything could beat 7,500 youthworkers singing it together at the top of their lungs. It has been my favorite worship song for the last 2 months, so having the chance to sing it in unison with thousands instead of simply humming under my breadth while listening on my ipod was refreshing.

seminar magic

so I'm getting really good at picking seminars, so far, I'm 3 for 3!!!

Marko/Rant by a Runt - 7.5 out of 10
Tony Cammpolo/apologetics for student ministers - A Surprising 9 out of 10 (he really hit the new apologetic issues on the head, plus when you've been around as long as Tony you have this cache of great stories and quotes that you can pull from, and while everyone knows Tony's used them numerous times, they are incredibly powerful)
Chuck Bomars/Discipling College Age Volunteers - 7 out of 10

I learned a few things after last years 50/50 experience.

1. Send interns to seminars you think could be useful, but potentially boring
2. Stay away from seminars by guys who run a bunch of their own conferences and speak during 90% of the sessions.....and are self promoters beyond compare
3. Go to seminars that address issues in your ministry, not ones that pitch new ideas which maybe you could embrace.
4. If I think, "oh, thats something I'm good at, maybe it will make me better," it probably won't. It is going to be base level. That is how I make my decisions and it has worked out well for me.

elegant & tired

so, my internet accountability software was holding me up from connecting to the wireless network in our hotel, so I apologize for the silence.

we've been having a great time as a team down here. last night while the Laura's were at the "women in ministry," dinner us guys went to a pub, enjoyed some great food and then bought very, very manly cowboy hats. I'm gonna throw it out, you can take it or leave it...we look great in cowboy hats, pics are coming.

Furthermore, Doug Fields gave a good message last night on the importance of saying no and staying in silence, something that has resonated with me since I began taking a sabbath last May. I really appreciated his authenticity as well as the way he had no problem being a bit of a jerk on stage. He said what he felt or thought and it was quite refreshing. He definitely didn't play to the audience. I was a little surprised by PAgitt's message this morning. I was eager to hear him share and let me tell you, he taught the Word well. Acts 10-11, the story of Peter's conversion to God's plan. However, I was hoping he'd be a little more provocative. I wanted to have someone share that would push my buttons, cause me to question my faith, and stir the crowd. So I guess I want to hear Jesus. There were a couple good nuggets from Doug, here's one, "maybe your orthodoxy isn't where God is going in the future."

Crowder has been delivering each and every session - the musical creativity is as fresh as his lyrics....thanks David.

Watching the OSU/UM game right now, watching Laura Brown go through hell as her inards are apparently being ripped out.....tough game, but at least they are in the lead. Laura has a crush on AJ Hawk, it is sad.....



Well, we made it down safely last night. A bit of a tough drive, you can be praying for a friend of mine who is struggling with wanting to live. We had a good conversation on the phone on the way down, I'm amazed how the Spirit does speak when I'm at my weakest.
The call was a good reminder for why I'm going to get trained for this ministry.

I ducked into Marko's early bird session this morning (one of the blessings of getting up early was finding $4.00 parking right next to the convention center). He did a good job, Laura Y accompanied me to the session and appreciated the quotes, "our theology is colored by what it to do for us," and "if the questions doesn't fit into the theology we hold, we don't explore it."

YOu can tell his international work has informed his perspective on the church.


killing the natural man

I'm heading off to Nashville for the National Youth Workers Convention with Ryder, Laura Squared, Root, Diddy, and MR. Clean. It should be a sweet time praying, dreaming, learning, and worshipping together.

I'm realizing that all the things that I'm naturally good at are no longer part of my job. That both frightens and excites me. I'm frightened because it is going to take a lot of work to do my job now and it is in new areas where I can't compensate with natural abilities, so failure will come with the territory. I'm excited because I grow or die. What propels me forward is that this is God's call for my life and now I'm just at a place where I am going to need to cry out to him for his empowerment all the more, because I can't rely on myself. the natural man is dying.


whatever else wisdom can do for one, it can do nothing about the end of life. In that crisis the wise man is as naked as the fool and if his wisdom counts for nothing at that point, it is a pretentious failure. Derek Kidner

We are teaching through Ecclesiastes at CT this January so I've began my studies and I'm excited for the series we will be constructing, there are so many fun ways you can build through the passages.

bono, jess, Pinot Grigio, and J. Crew

I'm watching the new U2, live in Chicago dvd right now. Talk about soul stirring. Currently, an acoustic version of "Yahweh," is ringing out from my speakers. Their entire concert was the gospel manifested in their music and words, it was pretty beautiful to listen to. I can only imagine what a spiritual experience their show must be in person. I have found myself breaking out in prayer a couple times at home here.

Tonight I finished my first 9 weeks of classes, so the U2 dvd was a gift to myself. I pulled an A on my final tonight, so I also bought a nice bottle of white wine, a rotisserie chicken, loaf of french bread, and container of strawberries, crashed out on my couch and enjoyed the sweet sounds of the most enduring rock band still touring today ("40," is playing right now, it is the last song in their encore set, fitting song to finish with).

I got a call from Jess D. today asking how wide my shoulders were because she was buying me a Christmas present (presumably a shirt or jacket of some kind). Anyways, tonight I dropped by J. Crew for the first time since my sister bought me a coat from there in August of 04. I bought this nice green zip up sweater. Well, I was talking to Jess on my way home and told her what I bought tonight (mind you, this was honestly my first time going clothes shopping since January when I bought 2 t-shirts from Kohl's), and the sweater I bought was the same one she bought for me earlier in the day as a Christmas present. How funny is that? Needless to say, she freaked out.

Great evening....


connect the dots

so this is why it is incredible to work in student ministry.

Last April, a hyperactive freshman, Bryan, saw a new kid sitting alone during lunch at school. Bryan invited Grant to his table, then to CT (our HS ministry), Grant came and began attending small group led by Alan and Micah, two guys who grew up in CT and are now in college. Grant renewed his walk with God in May and invited an old friend to come to small group. His friend, Matt, declined. At the start of this school year Matt called Grant and asked if he could come to SG, then Matt came to our retreat two weeks later and was in a small group with the immortal 50 year old, Terry Bartley. While going through the, "Walk with Jesus Labyrinth," Matt chose to begin following Jesus. This Sunday, Matt brought his girlfriend Loren, who hasn't been to church in years and during worship she began weeping as God started to move in her heart.

I love seeing the way the whole body of Christ has been a catalyst for the Spirit of God to transform these students lives. God is.....


that girl grace

let's see what we can uncover

let's see what we can discover

could we be fate's two lovers

hidden in the midst of others

but the ghosts of morning rise

as I gaze into my eyes

the mirror speaks the name

of every act of shame

but here we stand bruised and scarred
amazed we've even gotten this far

which way is forward
how do we press onward
which way is forward

cause i know we're two of a kind
maybe we should just unwind
pop the cork on a bottle of wine
sit back let our bodies intertwine

The Strength of the Spirit

I had the chance to head down to Jimi's alma mater this weekend, Virginia Tech, where the university was on a suicide watch after their loss to the Hurricane's last week.

However, I was not heading to lovely Blacksburg for football. I cruised down 77 with Pastor Jim, Rich, and Matt B for a day long intensive Pastor Jim was giving on the Holy Spirit. VTECH participates in Pavi Thomas' nifty little "e4," equipping program. We had a real good time as brothers and leaders on the car ride there and back chewing through our lives, Heritage, where we head in the future, all in all it was a great time.

The intensive was a lot of fun as well. Our stream of churches hasn't traditionally embraced the manifestations of the Spirit in prophecy, tongues, and healing, so it was fun to be able to walk through the Scriptures, the history of Godly men and women's encounters with the Spirit, the theology of the kingdom, and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. At this point, everyone was tracking and excited, then we ventured into 1 Corinthians 13-14, broke down the cessationist argument and dug into Paul's admonition to the church at Corinth to see the things of the Spirit. It was encouraging to see the way the attendees acknowledged the scriptures and realized that scripturally you can't deny these works (important for us evangelicals), most hang ups came from bad experiences or labels placed on the idea of practicing the things of the Spirit because of Pentecostalism (which tends to say that the mark of a Christian is that thye speak in tongues). Pastor Jim did a good job easing folks into an understanding of how we can remain Biblical Christians and practice the things of the Spirit (which we have to if we are Biblical Christians). While Pastor Jim was sensitive, He truly urged the leaders there to engage with God and to ask for gifts of prophecy and tongues.. I feel like I learned a lot about leadership watching the way he stepped into these traditionally icy waters and helped ones move to a new understanding of the fullness we can have in our relationship with God by embracing the gifts of the Spirit.


Reckless Abandon

Check out my sister Ruth's Blog


Blogthings - The Birth Order Predictor

Blogthings - The Birth Order Predictor: "
You Are Likely a First Born

At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.
At work and school, you do best when you're researching.
When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.

In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.
Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.
You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.


good laughs

everyone needs a friend like Dollar_f_Bill

laughter is great for the soul


tomorrow morning I head off to Warren with my friend Michael for his Dad's funeral. Please pray for my time up there with his family. They aren't believers so pray that the Spirit will empower my words and they might begin to follow Jesus in whom a new beginning can be found in every end.


Corinthians 15:39-45

BRETHREN, not all flesh is alike, but there
is one kind for men, another for animals,
another for birds, and another for fish.
There are celestial bodies and there are
terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the
celestial is one, and the glory of the
terrestrial is another. There is one glory of
the sun, and another glory of the moon, and
another glory of the stars; for star differs
from star in glory. So is it with the
resurrection of the dead. What is sown is
perishable, what is raised is imperishable.
It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in.
glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised
in power. It is sown a physical body, it is
raised a spiritual body. If there is a
physical body, there is also a spiritual
body. Thus it is written, "The first man Adam
became a living being"; the last Adam became
a life-giving spirit.



Please be in prayer. My friend Michael's Dad just passed away unexpectedly. Michael is a freshman at University of Cincinnatti and has a younger sister who is a junior in high school.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on them. Give your peace that trancends all understanding. Surround them with the rest you give all those who come to you weary and brokenhearted. May they know the Father's love, the way of the Son, and the strength of the Spirit in this season. I come to you Jesus because you are able. Amen


MVNU and Honesty

I'm in class here at MVNU bored to death by a Computer Information Technology Prof. We just covered 15 minutes on Spyware. AAAHHH

If you don't understand viruses by this point you probably don't own a computer that runs.

I had a great conversation with a high school friend today. I appreciated her honesty, she willingly shared her doubts about God and the emptiness she often feels. It was great to have an honest conversation about where she feels God is coming up short and have the chance to search the scriptures and pray together. For me it is personally exciting that she felt safe enough with me to share these things.


emerging church

If you are interested in the Emergent Conversation I am helping to kickstart a Cohort here in Columbus.

I don't know who the invite will bring out, but it could be fun and I get excited about meeting other folks around the CO who are thinking adventurously about the theology and praxis of the church.


already, but not yet

I heard the best quote when it comes to the realization of the Kingdom of God in physical healing. "The ministry of healing is tantalizingly available, frustratingly out of reach."

Let us continue to pray for healing in great expectation as the coming age was moved forward in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and Judgment and New Creation have already begun.


for Matt and Tim

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
- PJ O'Rourke

Taken Care of

So, the middle school retreat has their leader.
Basically Kristin gets it done.

Come to the Scarlet & Grey

Women I need your HELP!!

The Middle School ministry is in dire need of a woman to co-lead a cabin at their Fall retreat this weekend. One of the leaders had to have emergency surgery the other day. If you are a woman over 18 (or guys if you know someone who might be interested), enjoy hanging with young girls, and want to have a great time at a beautiful camp, contact me or comment on this post asap.

You'd be commiting from Friday night at 4:30 til Sunday around 1pm.
You'd drive a group of girls and help another woman co-lead a cabin with 7 girls. The weekend in totally planned out, food is provided. You'd simply need to be a presence, have fun, and help the girls process what God is doing.


Exceptional Edward Show

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Come one, Come all !!!

At 10pm TONIGHT, Brian Gillis and Garth Heasley’s band, Exceptional Edward, will be rocking the Scarlet and Grey at 2203 North High.

Be sure to click on the link above, they have a solid site with music, pics, and oh so much more.

Hollah at me if you want to catch a ride down


smiles and cries

"Inadvertantly opening a doorway to another dimension, Maurice Clarett discovered he wasn't wanted there either." Gregg Easterbrook

the redsox play at 4 on ESPN, this is stupid! I have to work til 7 and I only have rabbit ears. Why aren't they the prime time game on network tv? First, on Saturday they aired the Indians game instead of the epic yanks/sox clash and now they relegate the most exciting team in baseball to 4pm on cable? sorry for my childish whining.


12 hours of earth as it is in heaven

from 9:30 last night to 9:30 this morning was better than Christmas. I honestly don't know that many 12 hour periods of my life have surpassed the beauty of what I experienced. First, Matt and I cruised up and saw Oasis at Blossom. Liam is one arrogant man and it is great on stage. In the words of Matt, "Noel is a consumate professional." Noel was appropriately decked out in a tie and he didn't even look like he was trying at the guitar, yet it emitted the most hauntingly gorgeous tones that sent my soul soaring. At the end of the show people started rushing the stage and Liam would shake their hands and hug them while the band rocked out in the background. Oasis is Rock'n'Roll at its finest.

Matt and I then travel home and crash out at about 1:30 only to wake up at 5:30, meet some friends and cruise down to Grove City to wait in line for the Augsburg Fortress Press Warehouse Booksale. LEt me tell you, it was worth the two hour wait in line until the warehouse opened and we descended upon it like a hawk screaming down upon its prey. Every paperback $1, hardback $2. I bought 70 books. I have 7 new Molmann books, the whole NT Wright trilogy plus "The Climax of the Covenant." I came away with a bunch of Brueggemann, Sanders, and many more NT and OT studies. I'm also real excited about 15-20 books I picked up on social justice, restoring the earth, and racial reconciliation. What a day, I can't describe the euphoria as I sit here and gaze at pile in front of me. I won't need to buy another book until their next sale in April and hat might even be too soon.

Now, on to watch the SOX destroy the yanks.

what's the story? thick beautiful guitar riffs and cocky brits

let's just say, Oasis gets it done.

Let it Be

ESPN.com: Page 2 : The Nation under siege: "During Thursday night's game, I was driving home from Worcester, Mass., with my father after yet another signing (this time, at Holy Cross). With the Sox trailing, 4-3, heading in the bottom of the eighth, we were talking about the signing during a commercial, forgetting to listen for the game coming back on. So one of us was in mid-sentence when we heard one of the announcers screaming...
'AND IT'S GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
Big Papi. Again.
You can't turn your back on him, not even for a second.
In the ninth inning, Ortiz came up with runners on first and second and one out. Stupidly, the Blue Jays decided to pitch to him. Apparently they don't have scouts. One RBI single later, the Red Sox were celebrating again, the season was still alive and Yankees were coming to town.
As my father and I exchanged awkward high fives, we were pulling into the city on the Mass Pike. In the distance, you could see the lights from Fenway shining brightly, one of those goofy, movie-like moments you don't forget. Big Papi hadn't just saved the season, he reinvigorated it.
Now it's coming down to one weekend -- the Yankees invading Fenway Park -- the latest chapter in a rivalry that grows more unbelievable by the year. If the Yankees ultimately prevail, their fans have a winter of 'you guys got lucky, normalcy has returned' barbs ready to go. If the Red Sox ultimately prevail, we have a winter of 'how are you guys enjoying the new status quo?' comments ready to go. Either way, I guess I'm never dying in peace, because this feud with the Yankees is much deeper and more personal than I ever imagined. I want to beat them. I always want to beat them. I will neverstop wanting to beat them. And everyone else feels the same way.

Hey, maybe they have a better team ... but we have Big Papi, Wakefield and a weekend's worth of "MVP!" chants up our sleeves. After 11 months of celebrating the first Red Sox championship in 86 years, it's time to finally defend it.

See you at Fenway.

Bill Simmons at Page 2



the chunky british power chords of Oasis echoing across the amphitheater will be filling my soul in 8 hours.

Coldplay and Oasis in a month, I just shivered.

More politics

So I believe that we needed to go to war with Irag when we did, I don't believe much foresight was given as to what we would encounter when we arrived. Despite the lies about WMD's I think it is a great thing that we were able to free the people from an unjust dictator who mercilessly took the lives of many. However, as we have continued on I keep hearing reports that the majority of our troops will be out by such and such date only to have that continue to be prolonged and more money requested from Congress. Do I believe we can just pull out? No. Do I believe we've done some lasting good in Afghanistan and Irag the last 4 years, yeah (much more than gets reported). that quote I posted the other day We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.- Francois de La Rochefoucauld, I feel like this has happened a lot with our situation in Iraq and we just keep uncovering more and more issues as we go along.

I will give Bush props for the clean air policy that is in place. The air is cleaner, it is a healthy balance of guidelines and some shoddy reporting has been done causing his administration to look like they actually want to poison the air when in fact America is in pretty good shape there right now.


Thoughts on George Bush

So what do you think of this? I've really been wrestling through Geroge Bush's presidency and how I should view/speak of him...

There are so many conflicting reports and opinions and it is hard to separate the two, but I tend to agree with Frederick's thoughts.

September 19, 2005

THIS SHALLOW, reckless, monolithically complacent man who touts his belief in the philosophy of Jesus but advocates tax cuts for the richest of the rich instead of succor for the poorest of the poor, who has entangled us in an unnecessary, unwinnable, and increasingly murderous war against shadows, who consistently favors the interests of big business over those of the imperiled environment, and appoints an official of the International Arabian Horse Association to be in charge of managing horrors like Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, surely the second George Bush is not the only one to blame for his insane and tragic chapter in our history, but it is hard to imagine a more appropriate symbol of it than the never-to-be-forgotten Mission Accomplished dance he did on the carrier's deck for all the world as though he really believed it.

Pawlet, Vt.

your weekly dose of O'Brien

"Yesterday, President Bush made his fifth visit to the area that received the most damage form Hurricane Katrina. In other words, the White House."


From the Greek Orthodox DAILYREADINGS - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2005

Greek Orthodox Lectionary

"With the rivers of your tears, you
have made the barren desert fertile. Through
sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your
labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By
your miracles you have become a light,
shining upon the world."

The Cyborg Name Generator: Part 2

If Pastor Zippay had a cyborg name it would be......

width="240" height="180"
alt="Zombie Intended for Potential Peacekeeping and Accurate Yelling"

The Cyborg Name Generator

This comes from the Cyborg Name Generator, discover your own!

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alt="Journeying Electronic Device"

quote of the day

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

I've seen this true in my life way too many times.....


solid: part II

so a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the encouragment that comes from sitting down with women of God who have walked with him for years.

another encouraging but hard element of being in the community of God is when older men sit down with you and challenge you. when they aren't afraid to call foolishness, foolishness, and leave you feeling convicted but still a man. I got that twice tonight. God knows what I need I guess and it was good. It makes me want to keep my eyes focused on Jesus all the more, because he is the author and perfector of my faith and there is nothing I long for more than to continue to grow close to him, to live in the love of the father, the way of the son, and the strength of the spirit.

if you don't have older men and women in your life, get them, now! and let them into your world , remove your masks - change will be inevitable.


teaser post

i just underwent the most ethically challenging night of my life.... more to come later when I get home from Maryland.


Ich bin ein Londoner

Chris' link in my friends section was wrong - I'll fix it soon, here is his first update from the Simon Community in London.

Ich bin ein Londoner


The Charity of Mr. T

Mr. T has announced that he's going to stop wearing his signature gold chains because it seems inappropriate after Hurricane Katrina. Mr. T's exact words were, "I pity the fool who wears bling in a time of national tragedy."


glory days

I got my new laptop

It is a wonderful thing to be back in action.


time to engage

could it be that as Americans we have always defined freedom as space?
We began because of a people wanting to overcome oppression, so they escaped across the Atlantic and have continued to move west ever since. Well now we don't have the same amount of open space to just run to (and it doesn't look like living in outer space is going to happen anytime soon), so what are we doing for freedom? We are esccaping into the world of entertainment. Anything we can do so that we don't have to confront the oppressive powers of this world and the pain which encapsulates so many even within our country. We can't just leave and start something new, now we need to begin something new here , a revolution built from within with an anticipation of God fulfilling his promises, a hope that He is living and active and desires justice now.

more moltmann

this is a good passage from Moltmann, you can definitely see the truth in his statement regarding the Islamization of Christianity.

We enter into the trinitarian history of Christ through baptism. It is for this reason that the first confessions of faith are baptismal confessions. The life "in the Spirit" and in "discipleship" is the practice of faith in the triune God. In both faith and in life, everything depends on the God-sonship of Christ. Those who lose sight of this lose their ability to be children of God. Those who forget this lose their future in God, which Paul states is a "hereditary right" of the future world. It is sonship that binds together God and Jesus and provides the foundation for trinitarian faith. If this connection were broken, then Jesus is merely one more good person and God is merely the unfeeling Lord of Heaven. In the 19th century, this led to a "Jesus-humanism." Today it leads to an "Islamization" of Christianity. It is only through the recognition of the triune God that Christian dialogue with Jews and Moslem’s becomes interesting and dialogue-worthy.

the dynamic, eternal dance of God

Been thinking a lot about the Trinity lately and why/how that theology developed and whether or not my concept of the trinity built mostly by reformed evangelical teachers is a healthy one that truly engages the scripture.

I've been starting to digest the works of J├╝rgen Moltmann...here is a smattering of his thoughts regarding the trinity.

Moltmann rejects traditional Western trinities as “modalism” or “monarchial monotheism” and instead adopts the Eastern conception of God as a perichoresis, or an enduring and mutually interpenetrating fellowship of divine love between three persons. For instance, the Holy Spirit is not merely the power between the Father and the Son, but is instead a unique subject (Moltmann strongly rejects the creedal addition of the “filioque clause”). One characteristic of Moltmann’s perichoretic Trinity is that of openness: the fellowship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is “other than” creation, but it is open to embrace creation into itself. Thus, Moltmann argues that all of history is actually a part of the Trinitarian history of God, and he also defends his own panentheistic tendencies.

Moltmann thus proposes a Trinitarian hermeneutic for all of theology. Contra Barth, who saw all of history the work of a single subject (Jesus and the crucifixion/resurrection event), Moltmann sees the identification of Jesus Christ as the “Son” defining his identity relationally. The history of God is not of a monolithic and unchanging Lord but the history of the living relationship between the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and all of creation. Moltmann goes on to argue that “monarchial monotheisms” – those that prescribe a hierarchical relationship in the Godhead and throughout creation – result in political and ecclesial dictatorships, with human monarchs and popes ultimately reflecting a dictatorial Lord. Instead, the political ramifications of the social Trinity are national democracies and small, communal, egalitarian churches...

ps - this may be my first blog that could match Tim's
propensity for unique vocabulary.


old friends

a lot of you know my friend Chris who just went to London to work with a homeless community, if you want to keep up with him his blog is now listed in my links section and right here


all falls down

"Yesterday a spokesperson for NBC said that Kanye West's recent comment that President Bush doesn't care about black people does not reflect the opinion of NBC. Actually, it's NBC's primetime line-up that suggests NBC doesn't care about black people." Conan

prayer and solitude

my cell phone is almost broken, I don't get my new computer til Monday now, and I am about to drive my car to the mechanic, your prayers for my patience and God's provision would be appreciated.

ps - we simply can't maintain a radical God centeredness under an unbroken barrage of human interaction. The depth and value of what you bring in your heart to other people will depend on what you do with your solitude. Piper



there isn't a whole lot in this world thats more encouraging than sitting down with women who have served God faithfully for many years who also share a heart to disciple young women.

the perspective older women of God bring to the table challenges me all the more to raise up Godly women from our high school girls at Heritage.

Thanks Jesus, and please help this to happen.


i'm going to start typing and see what flows, seriously.


woops, hit the caps lock, anyways - i am getting more and more excited about this year at CT and the team that is coming together. everyone seems to be really maturing and taking steps forward. I've noticed a real growth in the awareness of the adult leaders. awareness to the needs of kids, the church, parents, and me. there are some incredible servants on our team.

I need to begin to pray more for God's energy in my friendships, I have felt so tired at the end of each day that i am passing up opportunities to connect because I hate just doing it on a surface level, but I am too tired to really engage.

i am still horribly frustrated at the the last 4 months cinematic offerings.

butt kicking proverb of the day
....Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
but those who are righteous will go free

I need to look and see if Proverbs ever says "be sure of this," anywhere else.....

one more place, Proverbs 16:5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

that's tough


"...And Andre are here to stay and never go away....."

andre agassi is electric, I remember watching him on CBS in my Grandad's basement when I was 8 and being amazed. Today, it carries on...he is 35 and heading to the finals of the US OPEN! It must have something to do with marrying Steffi Graf. The match went 5 sets and his last service game was impeccable. It was great to watch him bubbling with joy after the victory like a little boy who just hit his first homerun or Poindexter after he came back from his first Coldplay concert. Watching excellence unfold before your eyes is an incredible thing, even his opponent knew it, the words he spoke of Agassi after the match showed his understanding of being in the presence of someone remarkable.


same old symphony

my laptop is dead, that happens when you spill a drink on the keyboard. I'll be back next Thursday at the latest. good stuff happening and hard things pressing in on me - bittersweet as always and I wouldn't want it any other way.


10,000 without their pillow

so as I lay here in bed on my comfortable pillow my heart is crying out for those 10,000 without homes in Louisiana tonight - as the church how do we respond? destruction is everywhere.The world is trapped within the book of Jeremiah as cities continue to be tore down and rebuilt. It will be amazing to one day see a great city built and have no fear of destruction.

and the ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
- Luke 1 (Zechariah's Song)

Jesus,I can't wait for your return and the great renewal of your creation. I look forward to celebrating with all created things which groan now for the next age to be ushered in. I know its been asked before but come quickly Jesus, restore the world, set things right, and in the meantime show us how we might prepare the way for you, that your arrival might be the cause for the biggest celebration the world had ever seen.

take a look around

today God decided to let me in on how he is working all over Westerville through a number of our different leaders and I can't wait to see the fruit that is going to come from the way the adult leaders at Heritage are pouring into students. But, I was also struck by how much more work there is to do and how many more students need a connection. I need to pray for workers, because the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. And boy is it fun to harvest....

Here are a couple good words that relate pretty specifically to my distaste for most "Christian," music.

The Lamb has triumphed, and all creation knows in its bones that the creator God is remaking the universe, and is groaning with eager longing as it waits for it to come about. The whole world is already filled with God’s glory; that is precisely why we feel the present horror and shame of creation the way we do. There is an unbearable tension between the two realities. But the whole world will ultimately be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea, on the day when God makes all things new, and binds up every wound, and wipes away all tears from all eyes. The Christian contribution to the worlds of the arts, not least music, is therefore neither to collapse into sentimentality, to murmur the easy half-truths which comfort for a while but wither in the face of the horror of the world, nor to connive at that brutalism which, under the guise of ‘telling it like it is’, denies the very possibility of hope. The Christian contribution to the arts must lie along the line of listening to the longing and groaning of creation, a longing which is itself multi-dimensional because it is the evidence of the Spirit’s groaning and longing within the world, and expressing and portraying that longing both in its present agony and in its certain hope.
NT Wright
I don't feel like much "Christian," music lives in the tension and thats why I'm drawn to songs like "Can't Stop," from the Chili Peppers, "Why," by the Roots "Let Go," by Frou Frou, or "Letting the Cables Sleep," from Bush. Lyrics in those songs that wrestle with our choices as we live in the beauty and filth which simultaneously surrounds us cause me to praise God and pray so much more than anything I normally run into on the River or RadioU.


ancient practices

there is (in my mind) a very silly little blog debate happening here...

It is in regard to Tony Jones' book "The Sacred Way" released earlier as "Soul Shaper."
The book explores ancient spiritual practices held by the Christian church that have been swept under the rug because of the orthodox/catholic split on 1054 and the Reformation. The idea is that there are disciplines which focus on Christ in a healthy way and have a good theology behind them, but have been ignored because of other theological positions held by the catholic and orthodox communities or the way the practices might have been distorted over the years.

This book has had a profound impact in my walk with God and I have integrated many of the practices finding them to be pathways to intimacy with God. This book is the reason I now keep a sabbath every Monday. Beyond the book, I've researched each of the practices myself and found them to have a rich history and a great testimony of leading ones into the presence of God. Jones writes of these practices being, "the effort to create some space for God to act," which I've found very helpful. I even shared a seminar (which is a lot tougher to give than a message) at HSLT in Myrtle Beach this summer based on the book.

I'd urge you to pick up the book quickly and if you want a good laugh to read the blog I linked to.


ron burgundy is a very important man

while in NYC 3 weeks ago I discovered the joy of "Anchorman," a movie I'd seen a year ago and not really laughed at. This time I couldn't stop rolling in laughter - It has quickly climbed into my top 10 all time comedy list with "The Man Who Knew too Little," "Nothing to Lose," "Big Daddy," "Best in Show," "Billy Madison," "Dirty Work," "Napoleoon Dynamite," "The Life Aquatic," and "Office Space."

The great elements of that movie were the costumes, the sweet cameos (Tim Robbins, Luke Wilson, Jack Black, and Ben Stiller), the little things that Will Ferrell did to make you forget Will Ferrell was in the movie (he became Ron Burgundy), the supporting cast was hilarious and all seemed comfortable in their roles (they weren't stretching or trying to steal scenes), it is an incredibly quotable movie, and of course, Fred Willard was involved which is always a good thiing. I feel like this is a movie I will be quoting with friends (or by myself) for years.

I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That's what kind of man I am. Ron Burgundy

elegant and tired

so, the name for my blog came from the Chili Peppers song, "Universally Speaking."
The song begins...
I saw your face
Elegant and tired
Cut up from the chase
still, i so admire
bloodshot your smile
Delicate and wild

I couldn't help but think of Christ during the week leading up to his death on the Cross and imagining that this was a perfect description of what he would have looked like. and it's my hope that people would see the same wild yet delicate smile on my face even in the midst of the trials which life throws at me.

This has been a week of trial in the sense of wrestling through issues at the core of my being especially the desires and expectations that I have of myself. I too often want to be 50 while I'm only 23. Gosh, it is so hard for me being young, some people wrestle with getting older but I crave it - if I could be 50 I'd love it. Sadly, I know that I don't get the attributes a 50 year old has without going through 23-49 and I know that at 50 I'll wish I was 60 and so on. I really need God to develop a patient spirit within me. I don't want to miss all that he has for me at 23 and the fact that being 23 gives me a unique perspective and opportunity which has incredible value.
The thing is that while I'll readily admit to God my failures and don't have a problem being honest before him, but I do not beg for his strength to overcome. I ask for his comfort and support with how I'm feeling, but not his strength to change. That needs to shift in my life.

Check out this sweet passage: Buy the truth and do not sell it
Proverbs 23:23 - A very appropriate reference for this year of my life


funny, yet I could be in trouble....

"Scientists announced this week that a diet high in soy beans and high in soy sauce may reduce fertility in men. Which finally explains China's dreadfully low population." Conan

bad box office leads to great flick

wow - saw this a month ago on DVD- definitely the best movie I've seen this year. (It is an intense film that is provactive with a purpose, so be discerning in watching it)
I've been really dissapointed with the offerings at the cinema this year, especially in light of the 2004 offerings - does anyone have a good recomendation for me, I can't find anything at the theater or Blockbuster so I've been having to reach back a couple years and thankfully found this PT Anderson masterpiece.

Think about last years crop of films:
Great Dramas:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Garden State, Mean Creek
Good Dramas:
The Passion of the Christ, Sideways, Spanglish, The Motorcycle Diaries

Great Comedies:
Napoleon Dynamite, Anchorman, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Good Comedies:
Saved, Mean Girls,
Great Thrillers:
Collateral, The Bourne Supremacy
Great Action:
Hero, House of the Flying Daggers, Spiderman 2, The Incredibles

Compared to this Years: 2 films make the list
Revenge of the Sith and Fever Pitch and neither of them are great.

The Chronicles of 8.4.05 - 8.11.05: Part 2


I woke up at 2:30am - armed and ready to go with my new ipod mini to the Greyhound Bus Station. I was supposed to be boarding a bus at 4:30 which would arrive in Indy at 7am just in time for Jess to get off her flight from Cali and come pick me up so that we could venture to the great white north, Minneapolis, for Tim and Brittany's wedding. However, much to my frustration, not only was the bus late, overbooked, and the next bus canceled due to the sickness of the driver, but I didn't get to board until 7:30.

Well, the girl in front of me, Hannah, and I were the last 2 not to make it on the overbooked bus, so we started talking and somehow we got on the subject of the Honduras trip I led and I had the chance to show off my pics (laptops are amazing) and that conversation led into us getting to share our stories with each other until I finally departed my voyage with Greyhound at 11:30 in Indy (poor Jess had to wait a long time). Anyways, Hannah believes in Karma - you get what you give and in the end you are recycled back into the earth. She did hold to the fact that there is something divine about us, so we explored what it means when the scriptures teach about us being created in the image of God and I had a great chance to share Jesus' message with her as we spoke. We spent most our time talking about the beginning and the end, either creation or eschatology. It was a great conversation, definitely challenged me, although I would have liked to hear more of what was happening within her heart. If Hannah didn't live in New York I feel like we'd make good friends. While holding different perspectives we seemed to be able to understand what the other was communicating. In the end, I think she was left with a whole different picture of what following Jesus could look like and probably more from the style of the conversation than anything communicated. Cool how God redeemed my time with Greyhound.

While on the subject of Karma, read this quote from Bono.

"It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma."
The interviewer asks, What's that? "At the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one," explains Bono. "And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that. . . . Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff."
The interviewer asks, Like what? "That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge," says Bono. "It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity."


The Chronicles of 8.4.05-8.11.05: Part One


In an attempt to remember this last week, I'm going to be spewing my thoughts out here because I tend to be bad at journaling. So I'll be going day by day with a lot of details and running items that might bore you, but are important for me to keep in mind.

Basically, the CT crew gave me coolest gift ever, a blue ipod mini at my 23rd bday party. This was definitely one of my favorite parties ever. Old friends from CT back in the day, folks from my life group which I have been sadly absent from all summer, good friends, and even several enemies (you know who you are) made it out for a raucous celebration.

I can't tell you how excited I am to have an ipod - how can 23 not be a good year, it was Michael Jordan's number. Although, Carl did make a wise observation that I probably shouldn't try my hand at baseball.

The first sign that this is going to be a great year was when I was able to beat my ultimate rival, Danny in 2 games of ping pong. He has had a NY Yankees like run of dominance over me in our competition the last year so the time has come for me to pull a Boston Red Sox type move and run off a string of victories.

Kim, Kelly, and Paige did an incredible job decorating the house, baking cakes, and apparently inviting the world to come hang out- they have a solid career ahead of them as party planners.

I put out "washers" for people to play and I believe the game is going to catch on big time. I need to make sure to catch up with Ethan son and see how he is doing.

The evening wound down with Dolla, Jim, and DMoney watching Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey - I'm glad we've left the early 90's.


as quick as a tick in a new york minute

I'm back........the summer travels have ended and with an exclamation point at that! My Sabbath trip was truly wonderful -- I have numerous phone calls and emails to return, sorry if you are included in that mix, I didn't accept incoming calls or check my email once. Quite freeing really.

I'm not even sure where to begin with New York -- I was moved by the Spirit of God while at a haunting mass in Saint Patrick's Cathedral, I tried to incite a riot at a Yanks game by wearing RedSox gear, I contemplated long and hard what it means to embrace the pain of the city as Jesus embraces our pain, I kayaked in the hudson river as the sun was setting over the city, I was treated to the most elegant dinner I've ever known by the most elegant woman I know, and wow, so much more to come.


are there better looking Student Ministry Leaders anywhere else in the world?

further proof.....best ever!

The Heritage guy leaders with a couple ringers we grabbed from the beach building pretty much the fortress ever at the sand castle competition during the guys day out.

a long time coming

so i've been out of it for a while.....after Honduras I jumped right into the message for Heritage which went great and then had the great privelege of being a groomsman in Cisco's wedding - heck yeah! It was a great wedding, the ceremony was a sacred moment. I could definitely sense God's presence. I loved being at a wedding where I knew the stories of each person involved. Being able to look around the room and recognize how God has worked was incredibly moving. Cisco's dad did a great job leading the wedding and his grandfather gave an incredibly powerful blessing. The cool thing is that when Andy Sanchez, Cisco's pop, accepted Christ, Andy's father was quite against Christianity, and through Andy and his family's testimony his father is now a man of God.

This HSLT was the hardest ever and the best ever....more to come...need to get back to real work.

ps - Friday, I drive up to Minneapolis for Tim's wedding and catch a plane to NYC out of Minny on Sunday morning. I'll be back in town next Thursday night, August 11th. If I don't see you before then, enjoy these beautiful summer dayz! I'll be living it up in Manhattan, taking in a Yanks game for my birthday on Monday and playing catch in Central Park. It doesn't get much better than that.


Isiries, he has a thumb and one finger on each hand and one toe on each foot. The cast is on his arm because he fell when a bully pushed him on the playground at the orphanage and he couldn't grab anything because of his lack of fingers. He has never known his parents. And the wild thing is that he overflows with joy. My trust in God grew incredibly when I experienced the joy that was flowing through Isiries. To know that God can supply a child with a happiness that doesn't make sense in his situation really assures me that he can meet all our needs. It is good to serve Yahweh.


so I walked out of the church office yesterday and the first four cars parked there were an Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, and Cadillac. Not quite sure what to do with that....



The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden. 1 Timothy 5:24-25

Haunting and Encouraging - any sins trailing you?


I'm back from Honduras and the beat goes on!
I have had a good opportunity to reflect on my time and review my journal, sometime when it is not 2am, I'll post those thoughts.

In the meantime, all you early birds should fly over to Heritage Sunday morning at 8:15 and listen to what hopefully will be a challenging message from yours truly. Check out John 6:60-71 if you want a sneak preview of the sermon. This is the young leaders weekend at Heritage, so 4 of us have the opportunity to preach from that passage, each at one of the services. Being the youngest, I got to draw from the hat first and yet I still drew the early slot. I can only trust that God wanted me to give him another chance to move in my weakness as I have quite the aversion to early mornings. I am excited to bring it, this passage definitely has a little hellfire and brimstone around the edges. It'll preach....

Here's the schedule for the weekend - Saturday Night (Jon Van Horn), 8:15 (Jed), 9:30 (Rich Johnson), 11:15 (Matt Bartley) - Some good men, should be some good messages, and maybe Matt or I's will include a raucous story from Cisco's bachelor party tomorrow night!


I'll be on mission in Honduras this next week (July 26-3rd), I'd appreciate your prayers (see 2 posts below for specifics). any calls or emails will be returned after July 4th. Stay Classy Columbus....


white, skinny, and so dang sexy....especially because this was taken after we'd hiked 4 miles on the beach in 90 degree heat carrying 30+ pound packs in 1 hour and ten minutes.

the last 3 weeks

it has been a little while, but since June 5th I...
1. took a trip back to MD with the graduating senior guys, a great time of hiking and camping in the mountains and on the beach as well as catching up with my family,
2. had the privelege of sharing at my first
wedding ceremony for a dear friend from back in MD (another cool part was my sister being the wedding photographer, her first time as well, I'll post pics when I get them)
3. giving the message for the citywide SIP kickoff at Linworth which was a blast, a great night of worship,
4. throwing a bachelor party which physically scarred my great friend Brian who I was a groomsmen for last weekend (the wedding was still beautiful, as was he).
5. sharing a couple messages with the Heritage summer interns including one on what it means to be "a church for the poor," which I was really excited about.
6. hearing Ryder give a great message at CT
7. traveling to Pittsburgh to visit Arian and her family before she jetted off to NYC for the summer
8. found out I'm preaching on John 6:60-71 at Heritage during the 8:15 service July 10th. (wake up early and come support a brother if you can)
9. Reading through the book of Luke and loving it, very challenged....
10. falling in love with my new roommates and the sweet classic video gaming room we set up which includes Atari, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and Sega CD. If anyone has a Super Nintendo they'd like to contribute, we'll gladly accept donations.
11. crying over the Pistons loss to the Spurs. (but the O's and Nat's are still in first place baby!!!! It is a Baltimore/Washington Renaissance)
12. Dissapointed by Coldplay's latest effort but completely rocking out to the Foo Fighters 1st disk from their new album.
13. not throwing up at Cedar Point for the first time in 3 years!
14. now I'm packing up to leave for Honduras Sunday morning June 26th through Sunday night July 3rd and trying to tie up all the loose ends with HSLT.

I'd appreciate your prayers, there will be a team of 15 of us going to build a tortilla factory, love on orphans, share the gospel, and provide for the physical needs of the people of Limon. thanks



Ephesians 5:11-20

Don't waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It's a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,

Climb out of your coffins;

Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

Don't drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.


soul coughing

There is more than I can handle on my plate, I'm about 2 weeks behind on emails and phone calls and somehow today I spent an hour working on a project not due for a month and a half. Welcome to my life.

God give me the focus and determination to struggle through the small tasks which present themself today that I may be free to dream again and not be consumed by thoughts of what I should have done or need to do. shine your light that I might just see the steps you want me to take today and no more. Help me to rest in the fact that this world has unending needs and I'm not Superman, but also move me to action on the things I have not been diligent in accomplishing. Help me to honor those around me by fulfilling the responsibility I have to them in a timely manner. Thanks for your grace - give me strength. love ya...


catch your breath

so tonight was a fabulous victory for the 4-0, A Squad, at "The Grove Broomball Throwdown." The A Squad consisted of ethan, suzi, ashley, nate england, laura Y., eric, and myself. We held it down with pride, Ethan coming through big in the sudden death finale versus the McCrone led squad and contributing an amazing full body stretch save, laura kicked in 4 of our 13 goals, Suzi was shutting down the wingmen on defense and shoving the boys to the ice, Ashley was attacking in her D, Nate all over the place, Eric smoothly maneuvering across the rink, and me chipping in where chipping was needed. After the Bartley/Frabot boasts on Tuesday night this was a much needed victory.

Competition definitely makes me come alive, I love the challennge of outthinking the other team, encouraging teammates on in their battle, exploiting weaknesses, and getting to work together with intensity towards a common goal. certainly a good night with a great team. I'm off to see Star Wars - Peace!



It is amazing the healing that comes from confession. It is one of those true tangible steps of trust that we can take to honor God but like honoring the Sabbath perhaps one of the hardest to understand how it will work out. (see 1 John 1) Tonight was a night where I had to confess something to a dear friend and I will see the effects of my neglect in their life, that will continue to hurt, but there is a real freedom that comes with confession and once again I'm amazed at my friends grace.

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
The life, the love
You die to heal
The hope that starts
The broken hearts
You trust, you must

Foo Fighters - The Best of You

the end is the beginning is the end

let it be....


back in the saddle

so it has been far too long since I've posted, strangely I've felt no draw to spew out my thoughts. It has been a whirlwind month since my last post in April. I've taken two trips home to Maryland which were both rich times with friends and family. Thanks to those of you who prayed for the memorial service, my Dad did a great job, God was definitely honored.

Lately I have been thinking about the Sabbath while reading the Sacred Way by Tony Jones. Last night our "Claddagh," group had a great discussion centered on the fact that honoring the Sabbath is a central command in the scriptures and yet we seem to toss it away. It is emphasized in the creation account, the ten commandments with 2 different and compelling reasons for honoring it given in Exodus (20:8-11) and Deuteronomy (5:12-15), and Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah all include it as a major tenet for God's blessing remaining on Israel. Listen to these words from Isaiah.

If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
The mouth of the LORD has spoken

I wonder if the combination of our high speed, task centric culture combined with the idea that we have to produce in order to feel significant has caused us to simply sweep this call of God under the rug.
We complain about not having enough time, but if what Jesus said is true that "the sabbath was made for humankind," should that affect our decision making and cause us to trust God and set aside a day simply for worship, prayer, family time, lovemaking, naps , and walks? (Jones) I think this is what it comes down to for me, will I trust God that he can provide the time and energy for me to complete all the tasks which surround me if I take a day centered on him, rejoicing in my release from sin and the worlds systems, enjoying his creation, and anticipating the season of peace which will come with his return?

"To act as if the world cannot get along without our work for one day in seven is a startling display of pride that denies the sufficiency of our generous maker." Dorothy Bass


the great divide

this is from an interview with Dan Haseltine, the lead singer of Jars of Clay. I thought he had an interesting thought in response to the question, "what's wrong with the Christian music industry today?"

"There’s a lot of different things that don’t seem to be working that should in the music industry. It’s a hard thing—selling the Christian message [in pop music], because pop music is telling people what they want to hear and packaging it in a way that’s familiar to them.

The Gospel is the most offensive thing anybody would want to hear. It’s telling you that apart from God you are nothing, that you need God in order to exist, in order to have life. And pop music would say, "Yeah, you’re amazing." It wants to build us up when the Gospel wants to tear us down in a way that says 'You need God. With God you are everything, without God you are nothing.' How do you marry that with pop music? It’s a contradiction in and of itself."



so I've been bedridden the last day and a half after eating some lethal hot dogs at Ryders place.......

being sick is so frustrating, especially this week as its already been shortened by my trip home to MD for my great grandmothers funeral. This afternoon I've been slowly reentering the real world. The only plus about being sick was that I got to watch a couple episodes of "Sports Night." It is definitely one of the best sitcoms ever. It is more a dramedy and I definitely was a little choked up after one episode which is surprising becuase I'm not that much of a crier. Some of it is probably feeling beat up physically and being sad about Grandmommy's passing but the show certainly moves me. I'd encourage you to watch it, you can find it on DVD.

you can be in prayer for my dad, Bruce, as he prepares for the Memorial service this Saturday. Most of my mom's side of the family are not followers of Jesus so this is a special privelege for my dad to be able to lead the service and proclaim the truth and love of God. Afterwards, folks will be coming to our house, so there will be a lot of great chances for us to be a comfort to an entire family that carries only fear at the prospect of death.


why two are better than one

so this morning I was turning onto Spring off of Nicole and I saw a guy riding a unicycle crash into a tree.

then he glared at me.

there is nothing less intimidating than a man in really short bicycle shorts picking up his unicycle off the ground.



so for one reason or another I thought of one of my favorite songs from the bleak era of mid nineties mainstream rock, "Sister," by the Nixons. I went and tracked it down last night. It is a track worth a listen and the acoustic version is pretty good as well.

my favorite line from the song...
Sister I see you
Dancing on the stage
Of memory


do the math

red sox + yankees = best rivalry ever
damon + renteria > Sheffield + A Rod
varitek + running grab nearing the stands with a catchers mitt = clutch
sheffield + excited BoSox fan = overblown media frenzy over nothing

screaming at the tv + Matt B + Jonny D + Dolla Bill = great times

ps.tax season has turned me into a math freak

death and taxes "literally"

its amazing how I'll wait til April 14th to do something that takes an hour, especially when I'm getting money back. I think I have a psychological disorder when it comes to doing paperwork.

I came home from taking care of my City of Westerville taxes, which they'll do for you at their office (how awesome is that, especially for someone allergic to forms) and my driveway had been chalked by the killer k's, Kim and Kelly. It definitely brought a smile to my face, it has been awhile since I've been chalked.

so after taking an evening to think through Grandmommy's death I came across this verse while reading in the Psalms the next morning. ...

Weeping may go on all night,
but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5

And it is true, it was a good day, a joyful morning in fact . Sometimes a good nights rest is just what you need to clear your head and steady your heart. Not that a new day brought forgetfulness but that it gave me the chance to think clearly without being caught up in the emotion during the day of discovering her death.


72 down: remixed

72 down
an old friend
lowered into the ground

72 down
a generation
lays beneath the mound

72 down
the godmother
sings without a sound

72 down
the hearts distance
from lost to found

72 down
a simple change
yet stunningly profound

72 down
we now consider
to what our lives are bound

72 down
time to untangle
the cords in which we’re wound

72 down
a gentle reminder
to treasure those around

72 down
a divine moment
for Yahweh’s love to abound

72 down

so my Great Grandmother passed away Monday night. she is the first person who I've genuinely cared for and who has genuinely cared for me who has passed away. The first person who physically cared for me and who I've physically cared for. There is something about touch that makes a bond so much greater. Whether it was her holding my hand hanging out in DC when I was 4 or me helping her up the stairs of my parents house as she entered her late eighties those moments of physically helping each other are vibrant memories which have really caused me to contemplate the end of this season of her existence. what is hard for me is the fact that she probably didn't know Yahweh. this has caused me to really consider Yahweh's justice and whether or not I trust in him and his goodness and fairness in light of the separation from Yahweh she might now be experiencing.

fever pitch

"It's better than my wedding ring. You can always get wedding rings."
-- Johnny Damon on receiving his 2004 World Series ring


the day after

Late night after returning home from Boston, I pulled up to the house with Jimi, unloaded my luggage, threw on my knit cap, ran down the stairs, out the door, and went for a jog. About 2 miles into the run as I was winding my way down Wake Drive I realized how amazing it is to live in a safe place. Without giving it any thought I left my house after 11 at night and went running through my towns streets and cutting through back roads and alleys. This is something I couldn't have done 24 hours earlier while I was in Boston. The thought of my safety never even crossed my mind last night, yet while in Boston we were in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city. Just hours before we arrived a high school boy was shot on a city bus two blocks from the house where we stayed. Only a few weeks ago my friend who we crashed with had been jumped by 5 guys while walking down a major street. It would have been a stupid thing for me to leave the house by myself and go running. I'm not even sure what to do with this just yet, but I do know that I am truly blessed to live in a place where safety is a given and I want to help bring that atmosphere to the inner city.



Boston was soul stirring, I'll need to chew through my thoughts tomorrow when I'm not so tired. One thing is for sure, my heart beats in rhythm with the city and the many followers of Jesus we partnered with.

on top of that our team was an A Squad!

I'm passing out now


on the east coast we ride until we die

I'm off to Boston with the Boston 11 in 6 hours, be in prayer for our trip. we're believing God for big things, I can't wait to uncover more of his faithfulness and power on this journey.


this is going to be good - you could end up watching this multiple times...
wow, must get back to work.
Revenge of the Sith Trailer


marathons and wedding bells

running is always a reinvigorating activity as much as I hate it at the time. I got out today after slacking off for a couple weeks and going for a run definitely changed my day. I really need to make this a consistent habit. I'm hoping to be able to run the Columbus Marathon in October. I think the most exciting thing about being able to run it would be the fact that it means I'll have disciplined myself in something, which is really a challenge for me outside of spiritual habits. Sometimes, I have a hard time taking care of myself, physically, financially, or just running errands or cleaning up because I get caught up in ministry. However, when those areas of my life are in disarray it profoundly impacts my personal walk with God and ministry. I need to remember this.

also, last night I felt more honored than almost any point in my life. Liz, my good friend from MD, who was basically my sister in middle and high school asked me to officiate her wedding ceremony in June. It is an incredible thing to be invited to help lead one of the most sacred moments in someones existence. Just to be part of this process gets me excited, nervous, and joyful. I can't wait for June 11th (although it means I have to miss Kyle's wedding, forgive me Kyle, but at least I'm not Jimi and missing everyones weddings). The wedding will be back in my hometown of Brunswick, MD, so I'll see a lot of old friends which will be great. Maybe its my pride, but honestly, it is kind of cool to have the chance to go back home and be officiating a wedding. I think for me it helps validates the fact that I'm no longer just a kid. Although, in some ways it would be nice to have the first wedding I officiate not be for someone who is so dear to my heart. That just ups the pressure., but thats the way I like it.


check out this pic Pastor Brian took in Sri Lanka.... while you do say a prayer for the people there, we can't forget them.  Posted by Hello


wow, this was a whirlwind weekend.
It was great to be able to truly surprise TJ for his 18th birthday. Enjoy the XBox my friend. Hanging with the crew from North that have been part of my life for the 4 years I've lived here was special. Its wild that they are all graduating this spring. A great season in my life is winding down. Speaking of that, the Destructo Machines Grand Finale is Monday, 4:30, in the Sports Barn at Easton. If you want to see a great indoor soccer battle you need to be there. This is Senior Night for a lot of the crew. It'll be intense.

Perhaps even as intense as the Jack Parker/Billy D concert at Brewsters which was a great collection of Zep, catchy pop riffs from the mid 90's, and badly sung love songs by Billy. Maybe 2 of the funniest and most authentic guys I know. Somehow I always feel at home with them, I've always appreciated the way they are just who they are in spite of what anyone may think, whether good or bad.

I really appreciate Pastor Brian (despite the fact he erased the episodes of 24 I haven't seen, if anyone has them recorded, for the love of all thats right, let me know!), he came out to Panera and shared with our adult volunteer team this morning his perspective on evangelism. It is just simple and healthy. I've been to thousands ofevangelism trainings but today I came away feeling empowered and comfortable with the role I play in the process. Sometimes I feel like we really intimidate people with all we throw at them when really they just need to be aware of God's story, how that story has impacted their life, and to be discerning of the right time and place to share pieces of both those stories within authentic friendships.

Thanks to any of you who were praying for the message at CT this week, I was real excited about what God laid on my heart and the interaction I was able to have with folks afterwards. This was definitely a meaningful message for my life, hopefully some others felt the same.

Countdown to Boston Trip: 4 days:9 Hours

East Coast here I come!

PS - I got to eat New China twice this weekend, always a blessing.


the main attraction

tonight my good friend Jack Parker is playing an acoustic set at Brewsters, the little coffee shop next to the theaters at Stoneridge. If you don't have plans at 8:30 you should head over there and support a brother. the man has skills.


this gave me a chuckle Posted by Hello

a new journey is beginning

Posted by Hello

the beauty of hope

so I get the cool chance to read Jim's script every Friday when I prepare the powerpoint for him and I just finished reading His message for this week. The title is "holding on to hope," hope is definitely one of my favorite words. it is a word that hasn't lost its power to me. Sometimes I'm frustrated because words like love, hate, and faith are overused and they become watered down and thrown into meaningless conversation. But somehow "hope" hasn't lost its edge.

Anyways, the last couple of week's messages for CT have been hard for me to prepare and deliver because I haven't felt like I could find the message within the text for our crew there. I felt that I was just teaching it because I needed to to keep us synced up on the Journey to the Cross. Not that there weren't many great truths within the passages but my heart wasn't driven to shout the message out. I was delivering messages not proclaiming God's Word from my heart.

But, this week I'm amped up. The passage is all about rejoicing in the great hope we encounter in our relationship with God. Hope has given me new hope and I can't wait to see what unfolds as I finish preparation tomorrow. I feel like our community at CT will really be able to relate to Romans 5:1-11 so I'm really looking forward to engaging with everyone this Sunday night! You can definitely be praying that God guides my time tonight and tomorrow because I'm very excited right now. Oh yeah, back to Jim's message, it definitely left tears in my eyes and I kept muttering "wow". God's gonna do something at Heritage this weekend. (again)