Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ski Trip Pictures

A couple of weeks back, Kinsey and I went out to Colorado with my sister and her daughter and my mom and dad to do some skiing and snowboarding. And we had a blast.

Kinsey and Katy on board the plane.

Kinsey getting ready to go out.

Kinsey coming down the slope. With poles this year.

Kinsey, my mom, and sister coming up the lift.
Me on the lift.

Kinsey and I at the top of one of the mountains.

My mom and dad with Kinsey at the top of the mountain.

Kinsey riding with me up the lift.

At the top of the slope before our last run.

Kinsey and Katy at the top of the same slope before we did our last run.

In the village on the day we left.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 30, 2009

Back Among the Blogging

Well, I gave all of you a break, but now I'm back. In the two weeks that I've been gone, I did some snowboarding in Colorado and some serious work on some projects at work. So as I ease back into blogging, I'll have some pictures and some thoughts about things in general, as per usual.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Off the Grid

Going to be off the blogging grid for a while. I'll be back when I get back (a couple of weeks probably...)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

YouTube Thursday: U2 - Magnificent

Last week, super-mega band U2 played every night on the Late Show with David Letterman. I would say, "To promote their recently released CD 'No Line on the Horizon,'" but seriously, did they really need to promote it? It was going to sell a million or 15 copies anyway.

At any rate, here's the band doing one of my favorite songs on the new CD, Magnificent. And as you listen, ask yourself this question... who are they singing about?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Designer's Dilemma

So let's say you're a designer. And you come up with a really cool idea for a design. Things expand and collapse as you click on them. You can move effortlessly from page to page. If there's further information needed on a question, you only see that if you click on a particular answer. It's pretty awesome.

Then let's pretend you get really excited about that design. And you want to show it off, because frankly it's the most excited you've been about a design in quite a while. So you show it off to your team members and they act appropriately impressed.

Then you decide, "I want to show the client for whom I'm designing this that I have initiative and I'm thinking in different ways about the application. So you show it to them and they really like it a lot.

So you're getting jazzed up about it. Getting excited. You're breaking new ground with the designs.

Until you show them to Development. And based on the timeline from the client, there's no way that they can do what you designed. And you like the Development team. You don't like putting them over a barrel where they have to say No to a client. And it's at that point that you realize your mistake. You got so excited about your design that you forgot to properly vet it with Development before showing it to the clients.

And now it's you who has to fall on his sword and tell the clients that you can't really do all the cool things you wanted and that they liked. And you can still do some really cool stuff, but just not AS cool as what you had before.

Not that anything like that has happened to me in the last 7 days or anything...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Ever been so busy that you couldn't even blog about your kids? Yeah, that's me today...

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Humor in Leadership

Friday, I talked about having transparency or at least translucency in church leadership. Another important aspect that was displayed to me this weekend was the ability to have a sense of humor.

Last Sunday, the elders at Otter Creek presented their ideas for the vision and priorities for the church, which you can read here. They taught a combined adult class, then three of the elders presented the sermon.

One of the opinions that came from those presentations is that while the information was good and most people were on board, how it was presented was not the most... exuberant. And recognizing this and having a sense of humor about it, the elders together with David Rubio produced the following video.

It's very, very good to serve under elders who know 1) when things have not gone over exactly as they might have liked and 2) who know how to use humor and poke fun at themselves.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Translucent Church Leadership

One of the things I like best about Churches of Christ is our denominational leadership structure.

We don't have one.

Each church is autonomous (pretty much) and has the ability to make decisions within itself. We're not bound to denominational strictures or fiats. Within a fairly loose set of doctrines, the individual congregations are not governed by a larger denominational body, but by elderships within each individual church. Which is where the fun comes in.

Through the latter part of the 20th Century, elderships were viewed almost as a board of directors. They were appointed for life (typically chosen by the other elders) and had basically unquestioned power of the church and its direction. This is still pretty much the case in more of the traditional churches of Christ. The shift that was happening in more progressive churches was from a director to a shepherd. And I think this is a very, very helpful shift.

Instead of being viewed from "on high," the elders lowered themselves into a position of guidance and counseling, while still acting as leaders. And the leadership styles went from being opaque into more of a translucent. As opposed to just giving directives, elders talked about why decisions were being made.

This is a style that I think really functions well, especially in the 21st Century. People like me (whether of my mindset or generation) don't want opacity from our leaders, we want to know why decisions are being made and that they've been thought through. We also want our opinions to be considered and heard, whether or not they're adopted or not. I think we would love complete transparency from our leaders, but recognizing that that's not always a possibility, we'll settle for translucency. We want to be assured that we're being led by people who love Jesus and want to be like him in their leadership, and will guide people to be disciples. I feel like I'm at a church where we have that, even if I don't always agree on how to do that.

I know our elders at Otter Creek are pursuing that and I am grateful for their leadership. I hope they continue be as transparent as they can be, guiding the congregation to look more like Jesus, both on a corporate and individual member levels.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The PostRestoration Podcast

Back in January of 2006, my friend Adam Ellis got it into our heads that we would do a podcast together, talking about issues related to faith, Christianity, and postmodernism (a fancy catchphrase back then). We call ourselves the PostRestorationists.

What's a "postrestorationist," you ask? Well, the name was kind of ripped off from Dallas Willard. Here's what I said 3 years ago...
The term "Post Restorationist" is pretty much stolen from an idea by Dallas Willard, but he uses the term "Post Evangelical" and defines it thusly: "Post-evangelicalism is by no means ex-evangelicalism... post-evangelicals are evangelicals, perhaps tenaciously so. However, post-evangelicals have also been driven to the margins by some aspects of evangelical church culture with which they cannot honestly identify."

Remove Evangelical and insert Restorationist and that's me and Adam. We love the Church of Christ and desire to see the Kingdom work through her. So we identify as participants in the Restoration Movement, but know that it is being shaped and evolving. We recognize a certain futility to trying to revive the 1st Century Church in Palestine and elsewhere as related in Acts and the Epistles in 21st Century America, but we recognize that there was a spirit/Spirit about those men and women that we can take inspiration from, as there has been in saints throughout the history of Christianity.
So that's what we consider a postrestorationist to be, and so we write from that perspective and we've now started recording the podcast again. I uploaded our first one back last night, and you can listen to it here: http://postrestorationist.podomatic.com/entry/eg/2009-03-04T22_01_43-08_00 In this episode, we discuss some of thoughts based on the Christian Chronicle article about Churches of Christ in Decline, found here http://www.christianchronicle.org/article2158685~Church_in_America_marked_by_decline.

If you listen to it, let us know what you think. You can also comment at the Post-Restoration Perspectives blog, where we have many other writers commenting and thinking about things along these lines.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss?

Just goes to show that the leaders may change, but a lot of the words can remain the same. Once again, the Daily Show plays court jester, showing the similarity of language between Bush and Obama on Iraq.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Reading to the Class: In Praise of Kinsey

Friday, I went to Kinsey's school as a part of Read-To-Me week to eat lunch with her and read to her class. It's always interesting to me to go do that because school is one part of her life that I'm not really a part of. Sheryl takes her there almost everyday and picks her up, she goes and helps in the class once a week and is the president of the PTA (no comment about vice-presidential aspirations). I will help Kinsey with her homework when she needs it (which isn't that often, except in Math stuff), but except for that, I'm pretty separated from school, so when I had this opportunity to go and read, I jumped at it. I read Dr. Suess' The Lorax to the class, which was fun because I got them to do sound effects for it as I was reading and that involved them quite a bit.

What was most interesting to me was watching Kinsey interact with her friends and classmates. Like any 2nd grader, well, any child, Kinsey can get pretty hyped up and excited around her friends. But what I also noticed is that there are some kids in the class who act out some. There had apparently been some kind of altercation in a bathroom with some boys before lunch. But what I noticed while there and Sheryl has confirmed this from her visits that even as a 2nd grader, Kinsey has managed to maintain a sense of herself and what she'll allow herself to get into and to be and not cross that line and I think that's wonderful to see from her. I know she's going to meet some challenges to that and constantly be redefining herself over the course of her maturity, but for now, I'm very proud of her and how she's able stay true to herself and to trying to be like Jesus.

And when I told her this Friday when I picked her up from school, she got the sweetest little smile on her face and I hope that even with the frustration that she and I can have with each other, that that will be something that sticks with her.
Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro