Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I love this behind-the-scenes blog from Elevation Church.
I love their intentionality about the small things that make a huge difference.
Today, their executive pastor was talking about how they set up chairs for Sunday morning.
I especially like this line:
"Most non-Christians understand packing a house for things like concerts and movies. These events tend to be crowded when they are worth going to but somehow church is supposed to be boring and you sit wherever you want because there are plenty of seats."
Posted by Allen Arnn at 9:18 PM
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Tonight I was converting a batch of about 15 videos totaling about 22 GBytes down to small web versions of about 300 MBytes. I started the batch converting and left the house. I later returned to find that I had forgotten to plug in the power cord, so the computer had gone to sleep.
I woke up the computer and it resumed that huge conversion without a hiccup.
Maybe other laptops work this well these days... but I doubt it!
Friday, May 25, 2007
It's a tradition in our house that I always take each kid out for birthday lunch. They get to pick where we go and it's just us.
Susie turned 4 this week. She decided she wanted a baked potato from Jason's Deli.
Susie took this one of me. I love shots from a kid-perspective.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 5:46 PM
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Tonight I had dinner with good friends Kerri and Dan.
Conversation with them is always good.
Biggest nugget of the night...
Coaching is much more powerful than just teaching.
Now I'm back at Kris and Tom's. Dog sitting until they return.
These dogs are crazy... SO jealous. If I pet one... man, the other comes running.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 11:18 PM
Thursday, May 17, 2007
My wife and I have always loved memorizing scripture. This video is a very cool version of memorized scripture. When you memorize scripture, it grips you and this kind of thing comes out.
Deb, we should still do something dramatic with a memorized passage like we've always talked about.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 9:32 PM
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The kids and I continue to talk about 'complaining' at the breakfast table, today we looked at 'complaining' as it relates to pride.
Pride is thinking of ourselves higher than we ought.
I think there are two ways we complain related to pride:
1) Sometimes we complain because we have to do things that we think are beneath us.
2) Sometimes we complain because we think we deserve better than what we got.
In his "Character Matrix" Erwin McManus says the first antidote for pride is humility.
Seeing ourselves rightly. Take a second, let pride dissipate, and do that thing we think is beneath us. Or if you're feeling like gosh darn I deserve more or better than this, think of Jesus. He deserved a way better life than to die on a cross.
Talked with the kids some more this morning about complaining.
As I mentioned yesterday, we're looking at 'complaining' through Erwin McManus' "Character Matrix" which says that character problems are rooted in three things: greed, foolishness, and pride.
Today we looked at how 'complaining' is 'foolishness'.
1) Complaining (especially about our lack of whatever) is foolish because it indicates that we don't trust God.
2) Complaining is foolish because it's just not good for us. As Christ-followers we live in light, not in the glumness of griping. We know the Prince of Peace. Our Father made everything and loves us immensely. Complaining simply has no place in our lives.
Erwin says that the antidote to counteract foolishness is faithfulness.
Faithfulness means: Just do it. Decide today to live right.
So we must be faithful today to just stop complaining. If we fail today (and we probably will) we get up tomorrow and try again to be faithful to stop complaining.
The bonus in all of this..........
If we stop complaining we'll feel better and we'll be brighter lights to transform a hurting world.
Monday, May 14, 2007
A week ago today, I started leading the kids through a 20 minute time either reading a Bible story or teaching a Biblical lesson before school.
This week we are working on how to stop complaining. I say we (not just the kids)... we are in this together!
Anyway... I'm helping the kids view complaining through Erwin's "Character Matrix".
Erwin sees character problems as rooted in three things: greed, foolishness, and pride
So the first question to ask is how can complaining be greed?
Common complaints around our house:
"It's too hot" - greed for perfect comfort
"Mom is taking too long" - greed for doing exactly what we want when we want to do it
"Aawww... I don't like that dinner" - greed for the perfect thing in our stomachs
The first antidote for greed? Gratitude. What happens to our complaints when gratitude is applied?
"It's too hot" become "I'm so thankful it's not 110 or 40 below"
"Mom is taking too long with grandma" becomes "I'm thankful that grandma is nearby"
"Aawww... I don't like that dinner" becomes "I'm sure thankful I have any food at all"
Sunday, May 13, 2007
So Debbie and I are trying to get back to eating right and exercising after a few months of craziness with our move, etc.
Deb found a website called www.sparkpeople.com. It's free and works great. We've both signed up and are on day three entering every food we eat and trying to stay in our correct calories, fat, carbs, etc.
It's funny how you eat less frequently when you know you're gonna have to go through the trouble of logging all that stuff in.
It also lets you keep track of cardio workouts and strength workouts. I'm tracking cardio, but logging every strength exercise is too tedious for me. So, though I'm doing some strength work, I'm not logging it.
Friday, May 11, 2007
We missed American Idol on Tuesday night and then missed the results show Wednesday night as we took our son to the emergency room. (He's fine)
So, last night we caught up on both shows.
It was tough to see Lakisha go, but it's the right thing.
We're still on track for my prediction of leaving...
and then... winner... Jordin
Posted by Allen Arnn at 2:24 PM
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Last night I attended an outstanding forum on race here in Little Rock.
Here were a few of the nuggets from the conversation:
-- We must be deliberate not to move apart from each other as a society. Think schools, churches, housing options, business deals.
--We are more the same than we are different.
--If we want to make a difference, we can't just have private compassion. We must have public action.
--Soft power is a better change agent than hard power:
::::::hard power is getting people to do what you want
::::::soft power is getting people to want what you want
--TV and movies perpetuate racism in innocent children who might not otherwise discover it
--"1957 is still palpable in Little Rock" - civil rights and Little Rock Nine historian
--Realtors can do a lot to help stop the segregating of neighborhoods, "white flight", etc. Realtors' suggestions to buyers are powerful - they can nudge society to come together instead of drift apart.
--70% of African-American children are born out of wedlock. We have got to step up and start taking care of children who are not our own.
--Lastly, there's the topic of "authentic blackness" and "authentic whiteness" and how it impacts choices and behaviors. This is something I'll have to think a lot more about. Maybe in another post...
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Steven Furtick's "copy of a copy" post has me thinking. Growth causes us to delegate out many things through creating teams. Maybe we need to have a select group of people, a team if you will, that we coach to cast the vision. I've heard of lots of teams in churches, but what about some sort of "vision casting team"? (This is not to be confused with a 'vision team' assembled to figure out what the vision is!) The more people involved in thinking with the pastor about how to convey the vision to others the more passionate and accurate vision-casters we'll have. And, if the pastor has to teach others how to cast the vision, his own vision will become even clearer.
Other things I think are important in spreading the vision among growing populations:
Small Group leaders teaching the vision to their small groups
Staff and ministry leader performance evaluations infused with discussions about whether they are getting the vision and living the values.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Last week, I saw a word in the following verse from the Bible in Philippians that I'd never paid attention to.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
The word I had missed is "fellowship".
In human relationships we know that we can have fun with people, hang out, "network", fit in, look cool in the clique without ever going below the surface. But, we also know that deeper, more lasting relationships are formed when we go through the hards times of life together.
It's the same with Jesus. We can draw on his power, his grace, the good things, the cool things, the fun things, but if we really want to go deep in our relationship with him we must go to the place of sharing with him in his sufferings. Not that he needs our comforting or counseling like a human friend does. But since he is a friend, we can have fellowship with him - that is, we can deepen our relationship with him - by attempting to understand the agony of the cross, by empathizing with his pain, by accepting his sacrifice so that all of that suffering he went through will not be wasted, and by sacrificing ourselves, our will, our desires, our comfort as he did.
Going through the deep stuff with him (his cross and my comparatively minimal trials) can make me closer to him.
Don't live just "on the surface" with people; and don't live just "on the surface" with Jesus.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 8:24 AM
Saturday, May 05, 2007
With Emmaleigh spending the night at Namaw and Papa's Friday night, Alex and I decided to get up early today and head back to Pinnacle Mountain. After some Krispy Kremes we made our way to the mountain and hiked up the West Summit Trail. Alex did great and we made it to the top. The last 10% of the hike was a big boulder field. While we were going up I worried about how Alex would do on way down the boulders, but he did fine.
More pix are here.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 1:02 PM
Friday, May 04, 2007
So I unplugged my laptop and took it with me to the bathroom of the library (where I'm "office-ing" today) to prevent theft. But, where in a bathroom is clean and perfectly dry to sit my precious MacBook? I thought about strapping it into here since it is kind of like my fourth baby. On second thought maybe that's not too clean or dry either.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 12:10 PM
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
So I'm checking itunes music store to check out all the old Bon Jovi songs seeing what the contestants are going to pick to sing tonight.
Phil - good
Jordin - pretty good on a difficult song
Lakisha - great but she won't go much further
Blake - really surprised me - good
Chris - not good... and the way he moves always makes me nervous... irritating
Melinda - fantastic singer but won't win... not young, cool enough to be Idol
Man... this is getting hard. I only want to lose Chris R and nobody else.
I think Chris and Lakisha might be gone.
If Jordin is gone this week just because of tonight's weaker perforance that's sad.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 7:50 PM
Let's just pretend for a second that I haven't attended church in a very long time, but have been thinking about it.
I'm driving home and notice this sign. It looks like this place has things going on at several times. That's good. But what the heck are SS, CH and EV? Do they have SS, CH and EV every day of the week or just certain days? Also, I know there have been a lot of mergers lately, but I hadn't heard that the phone company merged with the church.
Posted by Allen Arnn at 5:21 PM