Archive for the 'Randomness' Category


fatherhood, video games, and the outdoors

If you are the father of young boys or teenage boys you seriously need to read this article reflecting on the boys who have acted out so violently in our recent history. The application to fatherhood seems pretty straightforward: If you let your boys play violent video games more than you spend time with them outside, you are messing up. Kids need to be with their dads and they need to be outside.

My 3 boys love to go outside and dig for earthworms around our raised garden beds. Give my kids some shovels and they are good for hours…literally hours. They also love going to the beach, fishing, flying kites, riding bikes and scooters, playing soccer, squirting the garden hose at anything, jumping in mud puddles, playing tag, and swinging.

We have limited our kids involvement in video games mainly because they hinder cognitive development. We have also seen from the exposure they’ve had to video games that they become addicted to them quickly and playing the games changes their moods. I don’t need studies to prove this to me, I see it in my own kids.

My kids need to be outside and they need me to do stuff with them outside. I don’t remember much of my childhood. It’s almost weird how little I remember. But I do remember fishing with my dad. 


thinking about discipleship and missions

The concept of discipleship is one that I regularly reflect on, asking questions like:

  • How am I growing as a disciple of Jesus?
  • How am I helping others grow as disciples of Jesus?
  • How can I better help others grow as disciples of Jesus?

These questions and others like them are usually not far from my thoughts. So, when I saw a link to an article called “Why the Missional Movement will fail”, I had to read it. It offers some insightful thoughts about the interrelationship of mission, missional living, and discipleship. I also thought it was humorous that several associated articles are about the Missional movement. Even though, he’s really just repackaging in a more edgy way what others have said about the movement, the two-part article is worth reading: Part On and Part Two. I’d be interested to know what you think too!


My new favorite song

I found this song over the last month or so. I downloaded it from NoiseTrade for free, which was pretty great. The song is called Farther Along by Josh Garrels:


The ‘Busy’ Trap

I feel like everyone is busy. Some busy people are busy for obvious reasons, others I simply cannot believe they are busy. I am a pastor, so if I tell people I am busy, they aren’t going to believe me anyway. The question is, Am I busy with the right things? Sometimes we need to be busy resting. Other times we need to be busy praying, or thinking, or talking, or eating, or laughing. Some people need to be busy fixing, building, assembling and others need to be busy writing, speaking, creating.

Being properly busy takes a tremendous amount of discipline and self-awareness. Rarely are we to be busy watching TV, yet I find this is the source of why most people say “I just don’t have time.” If I am too busy with the wrong things, then boasting in being busy is an indictment against my morality, not a confirmation of it. Remember that the next time you say “I’m busy”.

What we need is perspective. We need to say “no” to some things so we can say “yes” to other things. We need to know how to make the important things take priority. If relationships with friends and family is the most important, then why do we not structure our lives accordingly? If worship, Bible reading, or church is so important, why are we so busy we exclude it? There are some good diagnostic questions we can ask ourselves: Does my busyness lead to profit/desired results? Does busyness stem from disorganization/inefficiency? Is busyness caused by the need to justify a job/position? Are we creating work to feel meaningful? As a Christian I believe the best perspective is found in knowing and following Jesus. We develop a hierarchy in our schedules based on what we deem most important and typically ourselves are that determining factor. Knowing and following Jesus means that he takes that position, not me. Our schedules will probably look vastly different, just make sure you are busy the way you should be, not the way you shouldn’t be.

Today I read an engaging article called “The ‘Busy’ Trap” that got my mental cogs turning. You should read this whole article, but if you are too busy, here are some excerpts:

It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

It’s hard to find anything to say about life without immersing yourself in the world, but it’s also just about impossible to figure out what it might be, or how best to say it, without getting the hell out of it again.

The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done

Perhaps the world would soon slide to ruin if everyone behaved as I do. But I would suggest that an ideal human life lies somewhere between my own defiant indolence and the rest of the world’s endless frenetic hustle. My role is just to be a bad influence, the kid standing outside the classroom window making faces at you at your desk, urging you to just this once make some excuse and get out of there, come outside and play. My own resolute idleness has mostly been a luxury rather than a virtue, but I did make a conscious decision, a long time ago, to choose time over money, since I’ve always understood that the best investment of my limited time on earth was to spend it with people I love. I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with Chris, another long talk with Megan, one last good hard laugh with Boyd. Life is too short to be busy.

He mentions Thomas Pynchon’s essay on Sloth, which is certainly worth reading. It can be found here. Now go get busy doing what you must do…or get busy not doing what you should not do…whichever.


words we love

In light of my other post, I thought I would write about words I love. Here’s my Top 10:

1. Phlegm (if it didn’t mean what it means,we would probably have a child named Phlegm)

2. Crack-a-lackin’

3. Stupendous (my son Zak laughs every time he hears it)

4. Viscosity

5. Diatomaceous (I learned this word last year when I bought some stuff for our garden)

6. Beef (it’s what’s for dinner)

7. Epidermis (Your epidermis is showing!)

8. Swashbuckler

9. Malbec

10. Anthropomorphic

I could probably come up with more. What would you add to the list? Why?


words we love to hate

I read a blog that gave my wife, Tara, and I quite a few laughs. It was about having an aversion to certain words. So, I was thinking about the words I really don’t like saying or even reading. These words make the muscles in my neck tighten up and cause me to get annoyed. I’m not quite sure why. I hope thinking about this will make you laugh too. Here’s my top 10 list:

1. Whimsical (and Whimsy)

2. Pus

3. Moist

4. Salmon (when people pronounce the “L”)

5. Gender

6. Dungarees

7. Icky

8. Pop (it’s “soda”)

9. Pimple

10. Pew

What words would you add to the list? Why?


Injustice, Martyrdom, and Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day’s origin is shrouded with mystery and myth, but some believe that the primary origin dates back to a man named Valentine in the 3rd century. He was martyred for his opposition to injustices imposed by Roman Emperor Claudius II. Also, there was the Christian reclamation of a pagan holiday named Lupercalia celebrating a fertility goddess named Faunus on February 15th.

Combine these two tidbits of history with some clever marketing by jewelers, Hallmark, and chocolatiers and you’ve got yourself a holiday! Like we need a reason to buy chocolates, lobster, and diamonds.


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