Thursday, December 30, 2010

#1 Down

Just got back from the LINK staff retreat. I'm walking away so moved and so stirred. I lead a real small group durring the weekend, which is something I don't get to do very often, but they are so awesome when they go well. Let me tell you, ares went well. It's funny because at camp, we work so hard at creating program, talks, fun things and yet almost always some of the best parts are small groups, which we have very little control over. Funny. God knows what he is doing.

Off to retreat #2.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I'll be spending the next 30 hours leading a staff retreat for some of our Summer Staff. Should be a really great time. Looking forward to hearing Darby McDonald share a talk with the group 3 times! Should be a good time of planning, praying, and being present with each other. That Wraps up Wednesday night and then I'll be up at my friend Justin's Cabin for 3 days with some of my closest friends. It will be packed with pond hockey, catching up, movies, games, lounging around, deep conversations and fireworks. I'm extremely looking forward to both events!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

There's no stoppin' a duck and his beat

Disco Duck! If you haven't heard the song disco duck, it's worth a play.

Next DJ dance I throw. Look out, cause we will be doing the disco duck!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

May your soul feel it's worth.

Merry Christmas! I am at home celebrating with my family. I love this time of year. One of the best parts is the Christmas Eve Service. Christmas services can be powerful moments. Just like candlelight service at camp, when done right, it's a very moving thing!

Open Door's service tonight was very cool! I walked away with my soul stirred. The sanctuary was decorated with 30 white paper lanterns. They had four intelligent lights on the stage edge that shot up to light the lanterns and then changed the colors of fixtures for each song. It was very cool and classy. Probably a variation is going to show up at camp next summer.

The major highlight is at the service they handed out well over 1000 candles to the worshipers. In about 3 minutes time, at the end of the service the flame from the Christ candle was transfered to every candle in the room. A powerful metaphor of how God working in one of us can quickly transform a community. Christ brings light to the darkness.

There is a lot of darkness, hurt and pain in the world. That was true before Christ was born, as well as after. Today we celebrate the fact that God did the only thing he could to rectify this situation, he entered the world as a person. Reflecting on the how and why of this only leaves me stupefied. All, I know is that when Christ was born, everything changed. The rules to the game became different and because of the consequent actions, Sin's curse has lost its grip on me, and you, and us.

Today I celebrate a God, who is big, powerful, mighty, just and loving. So, loving of his creation that he would sacrifice what was dearest to him to save us. God did not abandon his beloved. This is worth Celebrating that Christ is with us. Emmanuel indeed.

Ephesians 5:8-10 - For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hey DJ

This makes me laugh, smile, and know that two guys get what thrown' a dance is about.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

River Falls....

I spent today scoping out at the campus of UW: River Falls for camp. After spending well over a decade at UW: Stout we've decided it would be in our best interest to switch the jr. high location. I was accompanied by two great  summer staff, Kelly and Johnny. Both will be playing major roles this summer and I wanted them to get a feel for what camp will be like there. 

I had checked out the space two other times before today and it's unique space. Half lecture hall and half night club. Like any new space it will bring new character into the experience of club and ultimately camp.  There are many challenges when you flip a campus. One of the major ones is helping people figure out where to do things. We spent time just sitting and soaking in the new space. 

Very exciting. New changes always equal new challenges. Yet, I think changing locations will energize our staff, spark some new program ideas and help forward our vision. Both Johnny and Kelly affirmed that space and I think all three of us are really looking forward to having camp there. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hipster Potluck

My good buddy Dan had a hipster pot-luck last night. For those not in the know, a hipster pot-luck is where everyone brings a dish from a local take-out place and then you through them on a buffet and eat them potluck style. Great concept and it was a lot of fun. I brought a crave case from white castle; which includes 30 slider hamburgers. Stretching the term take-out for sure, yet it was still well received.

Darby introduced me to the slider a few months back. There is something about his genration that loves white castle. Maybe that originally they only cost a nickel. I don't have that nostalgia. I think the burgers are at best are just ok. However, to be able to bring 30 of them to a potluck seemed too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Dan had at least 25 people crammed in his mid-size apartment, which was great and had plenty of people to make conversation with. Things I learned last night: If you ever dj a wedding at the Zoo: the dolphins like to dance to Frank Sinatra, several places that give grants to one time theater projects, and a link to video of an atheist encouraging more religious education.

There is observation that I made last night that has confirmed a sneaking suspicion. That at a party where people are coming and going there is a small range of size that I don't do well with. Right around 10-14 mark. It's too big to have sucessfull small group of conversation with and successfully have everyone participate. There are just too many voices that want to talk, yet in a setting like that, there is not enough space for you to not be in ear shoot of the whole group, so other conversations get hijacked back into a big group. Settings like this give the talkers of the world free reign to dominate. Which I'm not complaining about, just observing that this happens.

Jesus had 12, 13 counting him. That's in that awkward group dynamics bubble described above. I wonder how he did it? Well he was God, so he had that part going for him. Has anyone else noticed the strange attributes of a mid sized gatherings of people in group genesis?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sorry, Mario, but the princess is in another castle

As many of you know, I enjoy video games. I wouldn't call myself a major gammer, but when I start playing a game I get hooked. I play it more hours then I should. Each new level and mission feed my burning desire to complete things. I yearn for that completion. For some sick reason it's always been a goal to play through entire video games in one sitting. It rarely happens, but when it does, I wear it like a merit badge.

One such experience in which I was very close to completing this goal of beating a game in one sitting was the year after college in Walden Hall. My friend Jeff, Witty Jeff to many friends, and I had started playing a game called Justice League Heros at about 10:00 at night. I say, as I often do at the start of video game sessions, let's not go to sleep until we beat the game. Jeff agreed and seven hours later we are starring at the last boss! We we're so close, but Jeff was tired and had to work in a few short hours. I knew that soon Jeff was going to need to leave and we needed to beat the game pronto. Finally we dealt the final blow to the last boss. Then it was the all too familiar video game plot, the boss we had just beaten was but a mere puppet in the empire of video game evil. Turns out we we're only 2/3rds done with the game. Jeff left and I went to bed. We we're tired, confused, negatively surprised and frustrated at that moment.

This is what happens to us. A wrench is thrown into our plans! Someone we thought we were going to spend the rest of our life with dumps us, we fail a class, we get laid off from a job, a good friend lets us down in a moment of need, a snow storm screws up our Saturday.

Our plans get screwed up. It sucks. It really does. The bigger question of how do you deal with it. I think it's ok to mope, pout and have a pity party for a short time. The key is it needs to be short. Then you need to get over it and move on. Yes, you need to deal with those feelings, but letting them take power over you for long periods of time is what will destroy you. You must see it as the crappy cliche analogy as one door closing means more opening. Anything less will put you in a place of danger and unhealthy destruction.

A few nights later Jeff came over and we beat the game at a reasonable hour. Things were better then. You get over those feelings and/or you learn to live with them and they loose their power over you. More game time meant getting to hangout with a good friend I don't see enough. Perhaps you have a little more game time left then you were expecting? My advice: Enjoy it.

Duet of a life time...

One classic DJ tune that I love spinning is the Grease song Summer Nights sung by John Travolta and Oliva Newton John. One of the Chillan Miners from this summer had the chance to sing it with her on stage at her recent concert in Chile.

"Pena often broke out in song to keep up the spirits of the miners trapped underground. And it turns out he also can sing duets." 


Sunday, December 12, 2010

That's new

haven't ever seen enough snow in one sitting to do this:

Snow Change.

Something odd happens in snow storms. For a few hours every winter our very inward focused selfs and the individual based society we belong to becomes somewhat communal. Those who choose to brave the roads are instantly transformed into soldiers of do-gooders. Drafted to help any and every standard driver make it out of the ditch. In this rank and file there are some that rise to the top of even the noblest of heaps. These brave souls just drive around looking for those in trouble and offer a tow out of the ditch, the use of the snow shovel or a ride to a warm refuge.

Besides this odd phenomenon of car compassion. There is a united state of adventure and a collective spirt of group survival. It's the instant ice breaker to the cashier who we barely treat as human sometimes. So, how about that Snow storm Huh? What's up with that?

Roommates band together to shovel the driveway so they guy who needs to get out the next day at 6am can. There isn't a lot of complaining or over thanking. Only a due diligence of what needs to be done and the instinct that it needs to be done together.

Text messages of well wishes of safety are sent. We all are forced to spend time with those in closest proximity because there is nothing else to do but share the expertise of those who are litterly closest . Plans are canceled and our over stimulated lives are forced to take a breath and slow down for a night.

I wonder if we would be a bit better off with a few more snow storms in our lives?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snow Storm Dance

I seem to have a knack for scheduling dances durring winter storms. However, I love it. It doesn't get much better then watching people dance to thriller, whip my hair, and neil diamond in the same night.

Also, I secretly hope that Bethel will be snowed-in tomorrow, cancel Christmas banquet and hire me to DJ in the Underground for a snowed in dance. That'd be epic.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lunch Meetings

Over the last 3 days I have had 3 lunch meetings. Each one has been great to break bread, have real conversations, and enjoy Christ at work in the eyes starring back at me. In contrast I've had dinner alone 3 times. Eating alone is comforting at times too. Something peaceful about being able to have time to sit and think while partaking in something some rhythmic. Interesting. I prefer eating with people then eating alone. But I'm ok with both.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Idea

I've been kick'n around a few ideas on how to provide community for the Summer Festival team. The one that has stuck is a late night half price app group after Wednesday night programing. It would be pretty organic. Probably a mixture of camp proups (prayer groups), Friday night hangouts and t-duck youth ministry 101. I think we'll kick it off in January and just start meeting to see who shows up. I think it would be a good environment to create.

Read for the day.

This hits home for me:
anyone else?

The things we do to rob us from our own humanity. I have a friend who won't ride escalators for similar reasons.

New Hobby: Kinetic Typography

One fairly recent style of video is called Kinetic Typography

Here is a awesome example:

I'm pretty enamored by the style. Earlier tonight, in order to get my mind off of work and other things, I started learning how to make my own Kinetic Typography. More like drowned myself in it for hours. The process is extra complicated because I'm also learning After Effects at the same time. AE very cool, very powerful but very non-intuitive software. Thankfully the all seeing eye of knowledge called the internet is teaching me one step at a time. More accurately one step over and over until I get it, but unlike my string of underpaid and under appreciated math teachers, videos don't care if it takes 10 explanations until you understand it.

My first project is to the song Love Like Woe by the Ready Set. I like the song, it's super catchy, fun to dance to and it speaks to being on the hook . Which is a subject so near and dear to my heart.

I'll post my project up here when it's done. Pretty pumped to have a new hobby.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Greek Night

We had a roommate dinner last night and the guys downstairs picked the theme Greek Night. They made Gyros which were quite tasty.  I took care of desert for the meal:

It was a stretch. But earned me creativity points.

Then we watched the movie Accepted. Also a bit of a stretch for a greek themed night, but our options were limited. The movie has a pretty absurd premis, Justin Long's character can't get into college because he is too average, so he through a comedy of errors starts his own college for average kids based on the ideals of bucking the normal system and college students teaching themselves.

The flick has some anti-ivory tower education stuff that I resonate with a lot. However, this time seeing the film I had some new observations. On things that struck me is that the "students" get better at their chosen craft without teachers. This is where the movie crosses the too good to be true line. There is a lot of things that could be changed about the education system, but I don't think you can get away with no teachers at all. I agree it could and should look very different, but there needs to be some generational  passing on of knowledge. Hard to stand on the shoulders of gaints, with out any giants.

I think a lot of this movie is about is about trying to deal with the extension of adolescences. Right now people who study this type of thing have pushed out the outer age of adolescents to around 28 or so. However, it's a bell curve, meaning not everyone who is 28 is still an adolescence, but it's still very common to see people in that age bracket there. (I won't bore you with all the details, however if you want to read more check out Mark Oestreicher book Youth Ministry 3.0)

The characters in Accepted very much fit into the "still in adolece" phase of emerging adulthood. Too old for high-school and youth group, not ready to take on adult responsibilities and don't fit into the typical next step of college. This movie portrayed an idealistic environment where they could live in a adolescence Eutopia of fun and parties without the burden of responsibilities  in the accemdia college world. Originally I thought I would love to be a part of the world of South Hampton, but these days I tend see responsibility as a blessing not a curse. As my good friend Spiderman says "with great power comes great responsibility" and I feel blessed to serve the ways in which I do. Which means no residency in the school of  South Hampton. How ever the ocasional weekend visit might be ok....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wet House --- Heart Breaker

Wow--- My friend Dan shared this over facebook. It's about wet houses...

That's so hard. I don't know what to do with that. If you are person of prayer, would you join me in praying regularly for those who are in these wet-houses...

Are they loving the unloveable?

Dropped Passes as a Call to Action

Those sports fans out there may off saw this already, but a Buffalo Bill's wide receiver Steve Johnson dropped a game winning pass last Sunday and then blamed God for it.

Check out this link for the video and the tweet:

I feel bad for Mr. Johnson. It's though watching your shortcomings be replayed and knit-picked to death week after week. Sports, celebrity and political stars live too public of a life for anyone's good.

His comments don't surprise me though. Nothing new under the sun. This is a classical discusion of how God intervenes in our world. Does he predestine everything as the followers of Calvin believe? Does he watch from a high heavenly stoop and jump in when things get particularly hairy or the prayers of the person are strong enough? Maybe he doesn't intervine at all and is just waiting for everything to go to hell in a handbasket and then end it all!

Truth of the matter is it's a mystery. Did God stop Steve Johnson for dropping that pass? I don't know. No one really knows. Oh sure -- there are plenty of answers on paper. Different points a view for us to argue back and forth on. At the end of the day -- we have to be ok with not knowing the answer.

At this point, I hope anyone who reads this blog has seen the movie Inception. If not, skip this post, copy the link in the web browser, email it to your self and reread the post after you've seen the movie. In the ending scene the audience is left not knowing if the main characters are in the real world or not. Most people were left with a frustration of not knowing. Yet, I think it's a nice metaphor for a way to live and an interesting approach to these type of philosophical and religious questions. It doesn't matter so much on what the right answer is, but what are going to do about it. What world are they in at the end of the movie? We don't know. Are we in a real world or dream world? We don't know and it doesn't really matter. What does matter is are you going to do to make the Gospel truth known in the world that you are in. Does God make us drop football passes? How about a bigger question... Why doesn't God make it rain in draught stricken countries where people just need clean water and die because of their lack of it?

We don't know. What I do know is I can take action as Christ calls us to do. So, when you get sick of the hub-bub of the lives of those who are famous being made into news or are sick of arguing what theological perspective is most correct --.Let those situations serve to both you and I as a gentle reminder to a call of action to help those who need it.

***On a side note, it must be hard to be Buffalo Bills fan, maybe even harder then being a Viking fan. The Bills are the only team to play in four consecutive super bowls and loose each and every time.***

Saturday, December 4, 2010


There is a trend on Facebook to change your profile pic to a childhood cartoon to help prevent child abuse. An interesting meme and brings attention to the cause, I don't think it does much harm, but not sure on the value either. Any thoughts?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Monopoly

I am always in charge of games for thanksgiving. Alex and I broke out the giant monopoly board and we made the family play monopoly blitz.... This is tucker, one of mom and dad's dogs, fulfilling the role of the dog playing piece. lol.

Singled Out

Two days ago we had our major camp fundraiser. Besides the hours of prep and people organization that go into that event before hand, I really don't have a ton of responsibilities that night. Mostly I go around and thank people for coming or thank people for making the night happen.  It's a lot of shaking hands, making small talk for brief moments, and being pulled a thousand different directions to try and say hello to everyone in a short amount of time. Then it happend again. By it, I mean something that has happend more times then I care to count. I get introduced to a middle aged friend of a big supporter of our ministry and she starts trying to get to know me:

How old are you? 25. 25 and working for the Lord.... oh that's great! Are you married? No. I am not. Have a girlfriend? No. Not at the moment. Ohhh that's too bad. Everyone in ministry needs a great spouse to partner with them. Someone to be their rock and the bread winner of the family. Then she winks at me. As if to say: Seriously there is something wrong with you. Why isn't this your top priority? Thankfully I am pulled away moments later.

How do I respond to these comments? Usually I just sit there and take it. Mostly because part of me does wonder is there something wrong with me? I went to a school that was 65% women and packed to the brim with the type of person who would be a good potential spouse candiate. Yet, I didn't meet that person. A lot of my close friends did find their special someone and now most are married or getting married and it makes me wonder, did I do it all wrong? Is there something wrong with me that has driven this person away from me? However the real problem is I buy into a lie.

My value is found in who I date and eventually who I marry.

I don't want that statement to be something I internally believe, but my thoughts and actions often tell a different story. This is a battle I will continue fighting because it is one that is real to me.

Usually I ignore these thoughts and feelings by pouring even more energy into the ministry and my work. I've often joked that Youth Forum should keep me in a constant frustrating pursuit of a mate, because it's when I am most productive. None of this is particularly healthy either, but I'll share those struggles in another post.

My point in sharing all of this is two fold.

1. Truth creates conversation, community and accountability.
2. I think this is a dangerous systemic value that we in christian communities reinforce.

In fact, I renfoced it the other day. I was giving a guy talk in coordination with an absestnsice speaker. The words There is someone out there for you came out of my mouth. I couldn't believe I said it. Much like a new parent is caught stunned in there tracks when they repeat a phrase their parents used that they swore would never come from their lips. Here I was, teaching something that I don't think lines up with scripture. Bad news.

The simple fact is God calls people to singleness and we as a church are not ok with this. We value those in a committed relationship as more complete then those who are not. Why? I am not sure... I do know that most christian absence until marriage speakers often paint it as a journey with a goal line and that goal line is getting married so you can have sex.

There isn't much I can do to fix systematic issues. However, I can take action steps in my relationship, friendship and ministry bubbles. Here are my action steps:

1. Be ok with being single
2. Be ok with others being single
3. Let others know it's ok to be single
4. In love, challenge the view that marriage is completeness and singleness is not

Let me tell you something. I hope to meet that someone special and I hope we fall hopelessly head over heals in love. I hope that person strengthens my relationship with the Lord and I am able to do the same for her. However that's not a promise of scripture. Some of us are called to be single. Personally that's not a life I hope for or one that I think I am being called to. But to say that a calling from God to be single isn't a gift would be a dangerous claim. So, if the Lord is calling me to that, I will fight my flesh and try hard to see it as a gift for anyone, including me.

Thought Provoker from NWYC

At NWYC  we had Ted Haggard as a keynote speaker, Here is some background info:
Ted Arthur Haggard (born June 27, 1956) is an American evangelicalpreacher. Known as Pastor Ted to the congregation he serves, he is the founder and former pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado; a founder of the Association of Life-Giving Churches; and was leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003 until November 2006.
In November 2006, prostitute and masseur Mike Jones alleged that Haggard had paid Jones to engage in sex with him for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine.[1] A few days later Haggard resigned from all of his leadership positions.
(from Wikipedia) 
This was a hurtful time for many evangelicals as it was like watching one of their kings fall. He also majorly condemned homosexuals from to pulpit. That added insult to injury. 
The talk we thought was going to be on forgiveness, the church coming around leaders who are broken, Christians not shooting our wounded, and not putting leaders up on a pedestal. It turned into more of talk on why Ted thought he deserved a second chance by the public. He reasoning was ok, but it wasn't the message people wanted the hear.  They wanted to hear him apologize. Which I don't think he needed to do. It does start an interesting conversation about the understating of sin in leadership. Which is a great dialogue to have and I'm glad that this opened up a way to have that talk. Dealing with brokenness in leadership is something that is very timely in Youth Forum and I think most ministries 

Then the wheels flew of the wagon:
Only a few blocks from convention center, a Tennessee Titans football game was beginning, as part of the game, some serious jets were doing a flyby and they flew directly overhead. It shook the convention center and was disruptive to Ted who was speaking. He paused and said something to the effect of “I hope this building doesn’t get hit by a plane of angry muslims”, I think he even said something about “ohh, there is the second plane” as well. We kind of all did a collective gasp, at this point, it would have been wise to take a step back and apologize for a dumb comment, that is not even close to what happened. Ted then said “I’d be mad too if I had to wake up at 5am to pray.” 
That was one of the those "did that just really happen?" moments. How hurtful. Many times from the stage the message of destroying the us vrs them environment was preached that that week. It was awkward silence and he made a joke. I get that. I make jokes too, sometimes inappropriate ones. Every once in a while into a microphone. Yet what needs to happen is an apology, right after. Just get it over with. It was clear that something was wrong as 1/3 of the arena got up and left. Yet, nothing. You're up on stage asking for people to move on and let you lead again and you can't apologize for a mistake you made right then and there. Scary.
It opens up a few new conversations.
How to you love people like that? This is someone I'd be dang close to calling my enemy, and Jesus is clear, you need to love your enemies. However, Jesus often said he didn't time to deal with people who can't realize their brokeness. I don't know, this is a good conversation to have.
Is their a spot for them in leadership? Who decides? We know everyone is broken, but when your personal sin is being dealt with publicly does it change the game? Should it? 
And it comes around to the full circle to the original conversation of holding broken people (read everyone) on pedestals and dealing with sin in leadership.
At the next session, Tic Long the moderator for the convention, apologized for not making space for an apology and the whole situation. It was classy and well done. I do tip my hat to youth specialties for that part. I hope that it doesn't tarnish their great reputation, because I think the way they've handled it has been Christlike and biblical. 
So... Those conversations are what I'm kicking around in my head.

Epic Fall: Weekends in Review

I had a run of really awesome weekends this fall.

Weekend of Oct 8th - Caroline and I went to Nebraska to visit Kelly. Theater, a haunted maze, coffee shops and driving the wrong direction 2 hours on the trip home.

Weekend of Oct 15 - YMN- Last Supper Party on Thursday. Kelly,  Phillip and Seth come up to visit Alex and I. We watch the husker game, they lost. Dance #1 @ St. Hubert's. Full Summer Staff all come and dance. 3 week staff reunion at our  place afterwards. Alex and I go to Trail of Terror on Sunday with P & K, I sleep with lights on afterwards.

Weekend of Oct 22 - MEA get-a-way at camp castaway. Was on the program team with Pete, Eddy, Mark and Katy. Took an RV up. Lot's of character on that team. Saw a kid get hit by a car. We did a crazy video project, then the hard drive crashed right before then event. Got it all to work, barely. Cessar shared the Gospel. Awesome. God moved. Dance #2 @ Castaway. Packed floor.

Weekend of Oct 29 - Roommates + Friends + Friends of Friends throw dance #3 @ Warehouse. An Epic Halloween rave. Crazy costumes.

Weekend of Nov 5th - Run game show blitz at a church on Friday. Do dance #4 @ Watertown for WAYM. It was a backlight dance. Awesome backlight costumes... so many teens. Do another game-show and dance #5 @ Owtonna for a Youth Rally

Weekend of Nov 12th - It snows a lot. We go out for Johnny's birthday to shout house. Dance #6 @ Rochester Church for a sr. high youth rally. Last dance for a while.

Weekend of Nov 19th - Johnny and I + other friends go to NWYC. Learn a lot. Think a lot. Dream a lot. Come back to winter. Grosse.

6 rock'n dance and 7 great weekends. What a fall. Winter is got a lot to compete with.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I've been thinking about applying to take a course at a local seminary...

What are they stereotypes about?

Bethel Seminary
Luther Seminary
United Theological Seminary

1.0 is lonely.

My friend Dan sent me this:

Some interesting thoughts for sure. In the world of camp program, we try to do this too. Shove one more thing in to make the week even better. However, if you try and do too much, none of it goes well. The problem is you don't know when too much is, until it's too much, at which point is too late to fix it.

Does the connect with anyone else

Who packs your parachute?

A friend passed this on.... I really enjoyed it! 

Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may
fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has
happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.

Charles Plumb, a US Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat
missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and
parachuted into enemy lands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese
prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came
up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk.
You were shot down!" "How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb. "I packed your
parachute," the man replied.

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it
worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what
he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: A white hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom
trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning,
how are you or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor."

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of
the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his
hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?"

Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb
also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down
over enemy territory - he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional
parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety. His
experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead. As you
go through this week, this month, this year... recognize people who pack your parachute!

So... Who who packs your parachute!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Patient 0

This is the first blog post of this new blog project. Bloject? Yes, bloject for now...

This blogject will engage in topics of ministry, engaging stories from Youth Forum, personal projects I am pursuing (sans relationships), things that make me think, things I'd like other people to think about with me and random things that make me laugh, cry or go "oh cool."

Maybe some of my friends will read some of my thoughts. Maybe a small community will form and it will be a way to engage in conversation or if nothing else maybe it will serve as an online chronicle of capturing my process of life, ministry, and theology.