Monthly Archives: May 2008

Can We Go See God?

Malia asked me this today. We were driving down the road and she told me where God lived (in Heaven), where Jesus lived (in my heart), and then asked if we could go see God?

Later, she was driving with Carrie and asked if God slept. Then she said something else about God’s favorite color being green. Carrie asked why and Malia very simply said, “The grass is green. The trees are green. The sky is blue, but that’s Daddy’s favorite color.”

“And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”
— Matthew 18:3

The Interns are Here!

I’m a bit late on this, but excited that the summer interns have arrived at the Chapel. It’s great to hang out with them, and very fun for me being that lately everyone else has been leaving! :-)

Anyway, let me introduce them to you briefly:

This is Kristi Dorbritz. Kristi’s going to be a sophomore at Cedarville in Ohio and is is in training for competition in the mixed martial arts ultimate fighting world as the first under 4-foot tall competitor. She loves kicking puppies and wants to start kicking humans.

Next is Dave Baker.

Dave is also known as “The Big Sexy” and will soon be joining the Pittsburgh Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. All his life Dave has done jazz and tap dancing, but he’s recently felt a calling toward ballet. Be thinking of him in this endeavor.

Finally, we have our “unofficial” intern Erica Trier.

Erica will be a junior at Taylor University next fall and is spending her summer working with the worship ministries at the church. Though she often finds herself engaged in many long hours reading encyclopedias, she loves freeing up time to make fun of midgets. We’re praying that she gets a little nicer this summer.

Seriously, I’m pumped to have these guys this summer. Be praying for them!

Filming in Pittsburgh

This was one of the coolest days I’ve had in a long time doing work. Two great friends (both named Dave) and I went downtown to film a video for church. It will be broadcast on June 14… I can’t wait for you to see it. I’ll tell you more of the details of it after it airs.

Also, yesterday was great as well. Carrie and I and the girls drove down to Clarksburg to see my dad and family for his last day of work–EVER. He retired after 39 years of work with Kroger’s… 36 of those as a store manager. He’s been in the same store for 15 years and began there as an 18-year old bag boy, working his way up to management. I’ve learned a lot from him and his leadership in many situations. Now he’s off to the 90-acre farm I grew up on for a lot of time riding horses and playing with Malia and Pressley as their Pappy. So neat to see this all take place.

Crawling Over the Finish Line

Barely holding on to breath, he crawls over the finish line. Typing his final sentence and adding the period in a gasp of worn out triumph. The last paper is done. The quarter is over. Triumphant once again!!!

Okay, a bit dramatic indeed, but still exactly what I’m feeling… oh crap, I forgot the bibliography!

Grace in a Glass of Wine

Just thinking about a good memory tonight of a party my family held a while back (maybe two years) at a winery back home…

I played some simple worship songs from my acoustic guitar (I believe my Larrivee at the time).

Gathered in the room were my parents, my grandparents (it was their anniversary), my sister and her husband, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. The food was delicious, as was the wine, and it was an evening of magic and sentimentality, joy and remorse, healing and brokenness–all crammed in one room.

I sang and scanned the room. Sometimes its easier for me to lead worship when I know the stories of those I’m singing with–sometimes its more difficult. This particular night it was a little of both. I know my family well, even my extended family. I’m sure there are still some hidden stories. Doesn’t every family have them? But at least at this moment, in this room, we were gathered together and enjoying the community (family) God had placed us in. If for no one else, this was one of the most worshipful experiences I’ve ever had. Stone walls, candlelit tables, glowing faces, and my family–scars and all–singing songs together. We smiled, reflective on the history and survival of my grandparents’ many years together. We cried at the brokenness we’d all experienced.

And we savored the grace that sparkled in the glasses of wine.

Pandora’s Radio Station

Okay, so if you haven’t, you need to check out Pandora. This site is an online, self-creating radio station built on what is called the Music Genome Project. Apparently, the site uses complex algorithm formulas to create radio stations based on over 400 elements of music pertaining to a song or artist. I also found the list of some of the elements used by trained musicians to determine the formulas. I love the site… and beyond that I love the technology behind it.

Also, in the vein of recommendations for you, check out the FX show The Riches. I just netflix-ed the first season and have been blown away by the writing, acting, and entire story line. Not to give too much away, but it’s the story of a family of Gypsy “Travelers” who are also con-artists. Through some crazy circumstances they end up living in wealthy suburbia playing the part of a typical family. It’s a great show, but I will say it’s not for the easily offended. The language is strong as is the content, but it deals very well with the sin nature and consequences of humanity.

Worship Tonight

Tonight was a great night at church. This was the second time we’ve done the music after the message, and has really been great for me as a leader. I’m not sure ow the congregation responds, though it seems to go well. I think what’s great about doing the majority of the music set after the teaching allows people to respond to the teaching, not simply sing then listen. I really like that. I like the opportunity to challenge people built out of the teaching, not simply as a precursor to it.

Back to Blogging Soon…

I’ll be back soon… I’m 70 pages into the paper, and almost finished… at least with the first draft.

Final Paper

I’m rounding the corner on my big 40-60 page paper. It’s an assignment that asks me to look at how God has formed me as a leader over the course of my life. As I mentioned a few days ago, it is one of the most difficult things I’ve done in seminary simply because of the range of emotions that I feel writing it–sad because of lost relationships and joyful because of God’s sovereignty through the whole thing.

Anyway, I finished the first draft of the narrative tonight and wanted to share the last paragraph here. It may sound a bit over-dramatic out of context, but it comes after paraphrasing twenty-eight years of my life…

“So I conclude my narrative with more questions than answers. I stand with a great deal of hurt and fear, but also a pervading undercurrent of trust that says, “God, I will trust. I don’t know how… but I will trust… even though you may crush my spirit and start all over with a fragile heart of a little boy, I will trust.” On the second Wednesday of my last time in Minnesota I found myself in the hotel lobby of the Residence Inn weeping because I simply felt like God was fathering me again. I sat simply saying I would trust him all over again, and though at times I want out of what he’s called me to, I love it just as passionately and don’t ever want to stop serving him. Which phase of development that places me in I’m not sure, but it is the beautiful crushing existence that I call my own.”

Hockey Anyone?

Great night tonight watching the Penguins game at Todd and Christina’s house. Definitely a full-fledged Pittsburgh experience. I felt pretty remedial seeing as how I’ve never been a hockey fan, but I really enjoyed it. This might be the first Pittsburgh team I decide to root for…