Thursday, May 31, 2007

Does everything have to be put on ice?

I hope my oldest daughter doesn't hear about this...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Seating Arrangements

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."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Busy Week

Lots of video editing the last few days. No time to think or post much.

Are you watching "On the Lot"? I'm loving it. Which films were your favorites last night?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I love this MacBook Pro!

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!

Do they?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Susannah turns 4

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.



The last time we had flowers like this on the dining room table was when I bought them from for Deb on our tenth anniversary.

Proflowers is GREAT. But, these flowers weren't bought.


They are growing in our yard.

Love it!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

In Texas...

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.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Memorized Scripture as Spoken Art

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.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Now that's more like it...

After all the afternoon thunderstorms last week, I'm liking this...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How to stop complaining - Part 3

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.

How to stop complaining - part 2

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'.

2 thoughts:

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

How to stop complaining - Part 1

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 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.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

American Idol - Final 3

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...

then Blake
then Melinda
and then... winner... Jordin

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Forum on race in Little Rock

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

Headline we didn't want to see

In the New York Times today, front page above the fold:
50 Years Later, Little Rock Can’t Escape Race

Tonight, I attended an outstanding forum on the issue of race in Little Rock. I'll post some key thoughts tomorrow.

Vision Casting Team?

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.


I may have blogged this before, but this nugget from Erwin McManus keeps coming back to help me over and over:

Anxiousness comes from two things:
1) Minding business that is not yours to mind
2) Not minding business that is yours to mind

Monday, May 07, 2007

"Doing life together" with Jesus

Last week, I saw a word in the following verse from the Bible in Philippians that I'd never paid attention to.

Philippians 3:10
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.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

To the top of Pinnacle Mountain


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.

Friday, May 04, 2007

This struck me funny...

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.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hiking at Pinnacle Mountain

Last Saturday Deb and the kids, my dad, my niece, and I went hiking at Pinnacle Mountain here on the outskirts of Little Rock.

Pix here.

American Idol

I like the final four. I thought Phil was pretty good, but having him and Chris go is OK with me.

From here my prediction in order of leaving is:

Winner: Jordin

We'll see!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Lot

Can't wait for the new reality show on Fox called The Lot. Steven Spielberg helping choose the best filmmaker.

MAY 22!!!!

Blogging Idol Live

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.

Things that drive me crazy

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.