Thursday, September 27, 2007


Expectations are a wierd, wonderful and sometimes wicked thing. When we envision in our minds how a thing ought to be and we strive toward it or wait upon it and it happens we have a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment but when that same anticipation or effort goes unrealized we slump into disappointment. Our expectations can mold our behaviours and others, they can shape the culture of our homes and workplaces, but when they go unmet that can unravel and destroy those same relationships. What expectations should we have and which ones should we be free of...that is really the tough question. The principles and values that are shared by individuals are a baseline for expectations, but if those values are uncommunicated or they are not shared then the very same expectations set us up for disappointment. Can you really expect someone to respond or events to transpire in a way that envision if the person or environment does not share the same set of principles and values that would lead to the shared outcome? Wierd, Wonderful and Wicked

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Free Floyd Landis

The verdict of guilty came down this weekend! A 2-1 vote by the cycling federation to strip Floyd Landis of his 2006 Tour De France yellow jersey. He maintains his innocence just like Tyler Hamilton, just like Lance and I want to believe. What is it about faith that in the face of fact seems so astounding? Is it because the humans handling the science are flawed? Is it because we are cynical about science because it so often is a moving target...even the dissenting vote in the Landis case pointed to the flawed procedures and the unlikely ability botched scientific process leading to a accurate result. Faith stands in face of all of rests on hope in the face of flawed science. It seeks prove by trust rather than prove in order to trust. Both the men who ride and the scientists who chase them are flawed. The motive to dope is to win...the motive to find dopers is to expose them. Cyclists dope, that cannot be denied, but is it possible that because they do that when one does something unbeleivable that he doped? Is it possible that science got it wrong? Is it wrong in the face of the science to believe?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Coffee, Caffeine and Wisdom

The longer you roast a Coffee bean and the darker it gets, the less caffeine that it actually has when it hits the cup. This makes for a complex dilema for those who want a bold taste and a high octane blend...thus "breakfast blends" it is an attempt to have it all. At what point can you maintain your youthful energy and have the sage wisdom that comes with age? Again it is some type of blend...The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom but that is only where it begins it is a long slow roast...but youthful energy (the buzz) comes from the brash lighter roast of living fast, thinking fast and loving fast....and it's fun; for a while. I'm not a big fan of breakfast blends because they provide the punch but compromise the tast...Having it all is a very elusive balance and ittakes the right could simply consume more of the bold, richer, darker roast. Never compromising the rich flavor of life and enjoying the sustained buzz of a slow roast. All of this is also a metaphor for great sex...Coffee is so versatile.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Things, The Mall and Jesus

I needed to go to the rare pilgramage to the merchandise mecca, and while I was there I walked into the Ralph Lauren store because a pair of pants caught my eye. After feeling the material and finding my size I tried them on. Now, I wasn't at the mall to shop for clothes...I was actually running a seperate errand. So after trying on this really nice pair of chinos I looked at the tag.....One Hundered and Seventy Eight Dollars. I ran...I ran because I loved them and they were what I wanted, I ran because they felt awesome, I ran before I could start down the trail of rationalization. On Ebay I found the same pair for Fourty Dollars...I'm watching them on to see what they go for...It's funny how temptation siezes us. God promises he will always provide a way this case it was the door of the store...and the realization that for me the Mall is an mirage of fulfillment for the discontent. Jesus went to the mall...but he took a whip with him. I'm not saying the mall is evil and you shouldn't go...I'm just saying you may need to be prepared to run.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dialed In

Have you ever had someone that was just "Dialed in" to you ? They knew when you were up or down in a very uncanny...sixth sense kinda way? I have a few people like that in my life and they are not the ones that I'm around all the time. Which is interesting because it goes against the conventional perception of intimacy. These few confidants have a sixth sense of knowing when to call, to pray, to fast, to exhort or encourage and it's like clockwork. They are not people I sought out but that were just there...people God provided who have a heart for me. We don't ride bikes, or go to the movies or hang out as families but God placed them in my life and I feel a deep connection and sense of intimacy...I know they are in my life because they are following God. Coleridge said " no exertion of the legs can bring two minds closer together" There is truth that proximity doesn't mean intimacy...nor does distance necessarily mean the lack of intimacy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Barry Bonds' Baseball

I voted to send Barry Bonds' record breaking 756 homerun to outer space. Designer Marc Ecko bought the ball for 750,000 dollars or so and set up a website where you can determine the balls fate. You can send it to cooperstown. You can send it to cooperstown with an asterik branded into it, or you can have is sent into space. I vote for space simply because I want to see if Ecko really will spend the money to launch the historic ball into outer space. The sad thing is that the most excitment over the biggest record in sports has dwindled to this. Cheaters have made us cynical and stolen the wonder from our lives. When I watched Floyd Landis in the 2006 tour come back on stage 17 and no one could catch him on that historic climb...I had chills and tears...only later to test positive for doping. The cheaters create skepticism and so we don't want to trust our "wonder" to their amazing efforts...the sad thing is we are left to the fashion designer and web geeks to vote to send their memorabilia to space. We must be careful who we turn into heroes! If we are not they can be abducted by fashion desingers who will steal their glory and fame and launch our "Wonder" into space.

Monday, September 17, 2007


last night I got a call from a good friend, his dad was being rushed to the hospital with chest pains. The classic signs of chest and arm pain and a general fatigue, history of family heart problems and high cholestoral. At 62 the nurse was amazed, she said you look so healthy...he is in excellent shape...but you can't out run heredity. Quietly while he exercised and ate right his body produced more bad cholestoral than good and every time a vein would scare from stress the cholestoral would do it job and go in and smooth out the vein until....boom... a heart attack. Sometimes you can do everything right and still not avoid your genes.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The exchange

My 5 year old McKenna announced in the car " I want to exchange my life". Jody my wife asked "Mc, do you know what it means?" She replied "no". My 7 year old Hadley chimed in " it means you give your life to Jesus". Jody asked " do you know what sin is?" Mc said "no". Again Hadley jumped in "it's all the bad stuff we do that seperates you from God". McKenna is on the journey to discovering Jesus and all that he has done and why he chose to die...Hadley already gets it and she has the confidence, clarity and most importantly conviction to proclaim it. Mc doesn't quite grasp it yet, but her roomate is leading the way.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Last Supper

We took Wesley out for his last meal/Supper. Not the last meal in the sense of a death row inmate, nor the last Supper in the Christological sense though Wes may have some Messianic complexes, but that is another blog. We took him out as a staff because he is following God's direction after 14 years to a new adventure. Fourteen years is a long time, a lot of water under the bridge...a lot of memories and yet God continues to stretch us and grow us. So we ate at a wicked Thai place which we will all pay for later and we laughed and reminisced, barbed as only friends who know each other well can do and we looked back and we looked forward. Change is inevitible and it is always painful. Pain strengthens, builds, and purifies. Our outlook, that is, whether or not we beleive God is working things to good or whether we got a rotten deal and the deck is stacked against us, determines how we navigate that change. We didn't get a picture with all of us on one side of the table but a this last supper the Lord was present and it's all good.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Our News Cast

I stayed up late to watch my brothers sports cast...he led with the miraculous story of Buffalo Bills Tight End who is miraculously recovering from a spinal cord injury. He led by saying it is not often that he gets to cover things that matter and spoke of the new technique using almost frozen saline drip immediatley might have changed this young mans life and be a revolutionary new treatment for spinal cord injuries. I was proud...and then after some ubiquitous coverage he ended his less than 3 minute segment with a story about an OU fan that got into a fight with a UT fan by grabbing his genetalia until it was nearly severed from lack of blood flow. The OU fan a 'deacon' would go on trial this week. I thought to myself that's news? That's sports? Our lives are a news cast. What we say and how we live are on display. Each of us has a choice what to air, each of us decides what is news worthy, what we are going to lead with and what type of editorials we are going to leave our viewers with. Most people want the sensational, and not the meaningful. Most people want the scandalous bad news and not the good. It's your news cast.....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I remember exactly where I was when I heard a scream and "Come Quickly". Several of my staff went out to the production booth and watched the horror unfold...just in time to watch the second tower fall. I was stunned, confused and angry. I remember the flood of calls and the desire to be with my family. The church was filled that weekend as people cried out to God to make some sense of it all, to be comforted. It seems so long ago now and yet our world is still shaped by those events. The airport security, the border tightening, the news of war and death everyday...and Osama Bin Laden speaking out against America. Ben Laden has recently said that America is not a Democracy because it is big business that runs congress, he said the american people have no voice because we voted in Democrats to end the war and the Democrats don't have the collective will because ending the war is not in the best interest of the lobbyist...What scairs me the most is I agree with him on those points. When corruption and deceit are what we expect from our leaders in creates cynicism... And then words of the Declaration of Independence ring loudly in my ear "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." The Men who wrote this are called Patriots!

Friday, September 7, 2007


He said " your right, we should encourage them to plant churches. They should be more evangelistic, send missionaries and plant churches". I said "Well, actually what I'm saying is that there is no distinction between evangelism, missions and church planting. If you look at the New Testament they are one and the same, all evangelism is missional and always results in a localized expression of believers.
We live in a compartmentalized world where we go to church, worship (corporate singing), do evangelism, go on missions and on and on. Integrity means wholeness where we live an integrated live not a compartmentalized life. I act like a christian at church and turn it off at work or on the ball field....Integrity means we wholistically live out our identity, rather than these little aspects of who we are in different settings. I want to put an end to compartmentalization....Like I always say...You don't go to are the church wherever you go.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Unstated values can guide a group or team right into the abyss. So many times we have unspoken expectations and people violate those without knowing and then it becomes personal. The thought is that they should know. I serve on a team where timeliness means respect and it was an unspoken value. A new person who is less time conscious joins the team and because the value is unspoken is disrespecting people without knowing it each time he or she is late. As soon as the new member learns that it's not about time but about respecting one another then the issue is resolved or at least the platform to discuss it is developed. Stating your teams values is essential without stating them you are setting eachother up to fail.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Change is inevitible

A few years ago we went on a cruise with friends and the first night we laughed, danced and wore ourselves out with fun. For the next 5 nights we tried to "repeat the Magic" became a slogan for us. Doing the same things in the same order trying to repeat didn't work for us! So we tried slight variations but it wasnt' the same. The expectation that we could 'repeat the magic' caused disapointment even though we were still having a wonderful time. So many of us are Change resistent and we have a formula in our lives, churches, jobs, marriages, weekends, holidays and on and on.....We want to keep the formula in order to repeat the some magic moment from years gone by....Change is constant and as we try to repeat the magic formula of yesterday we wind up missing out on all the transcendent moments of today.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Driving Lesson

Last Night I gave my 15 year old neighbor her first driving lesson. I asked her if she'd like to help me put my truck in the Driveway and her eyes lit up. I said okay but you have to exactly everything I tell you. As we got into the truck she began to ask questions and I said "now just listen, don't ask questions or wonder...just do what I tell you". I asked her to reach down with her right hand and move the seat forward, then find the brake and the accelorator, then I asked her to put the key in the ignition and turn the key over, then to turn the lights on, then to depress the brake and pull the lever into her and then down to "D" and on it went. Her heart was racing and she listened intently and did exactly as she was told. There will come a day when she will be able to drive without much instruction...there will still be speed limit signs and construction signs and the signals from other drivers along the way but first you learn by obeying exactly and then you grow in your ability to move through life with those first lessons as your foundation. But you still must listen to the signs along the way, they are fewer, but just as crucial.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I turned fourty recently and people were asking what I wanted? The truth was I really didn't want anything. Maybe a few hours to ride my bike, but as far as a gift I felt as though nothing was missing. As a result I got thing things I love the most, time with people I love and words of meaning. My kids wrote me notes and I will cherish them because they say the things that I have hoped to be and model. My mom and my sister wrote notes that touched me deeply knowing that the purpose of my life has not been missed by them. Friends wrote notes telling me of the impact my life has made on them...and my dad spent hours with me, and that was a gift in itself. The greatest gifts are free and they adorn the soul and there value exceeds what money could possibly purchase. As it turns out I was overwhelmed with gifts.