Friday, February 29, 2008

I hope Barak Obama will be running for reelection when the next leap year comes. I hope Barclay Press will be at a new level of ministry viability and productivity. My youngest son will be 21 by the time we see February 29 again. I hope (and pray) that the process of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual development will have moved him to a good place.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I’m feeling a little guilty. Real bloggers become part of an interactive community—they write and read. I do a lousy job of the latter. It’s not at all that I’m uninterested in what others are writing on their blogs. I cherish the people and the relationships, but it’s one more place where I’ve not yet learned how to allocate or stretch my time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I got a full page single-spaced letter yesterday from a busy professional on the east coast. His wife and two young sons were in Vermont with friends for a long weekend. He had a teaching commitment that kept him home.

Personal letters sent on paper have become rare in my world. The need for such far exceeds the supply, which escalates their value.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It’s Sunday morning and the faithful have gathered. Sitting in front of me is a young couple; married less than a year I think. They’re looking at graduate level education for her starting next fall. Right now the top two places on her list are Bard College (“a place to think”) in New York state and Brandeis University in the Boston area. I really feel good about people within Hometown Friends Church leaving the nest to develop stronger, broader wings in a bigger world. They won’t know for a couple of months where their exploration will take them, but I’m glad to be sitting behind people who are on this journey.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It’s Sunday morning and the faithful have gathered. Here in southeast Portland at Imago Dei the faithful wear jeans and t-shirts and most look to me like they are in their 20s. This is the third service and today the speakers are John Perkins from Jackson, Mississippi, and Paul Metzger (theology professor at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and part of the Imago community). I’m not accustomed to seeing this many people at church with the urban youth look. It’s a great experience and it makes me feel more hopeful. And John Perkins presenting the three Rs (reconciliation, relocation, redistribution) of Christian ministry is once again speaking to my mind and heart.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Did I come here this morning for the coffee or the people? The answer is a definite “yes.” If all I wanted was coffee, there are plenty of drive-thru espresso options between my home and the office.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It doesn’t make sense to me that evangelical Christians tend to have a certain look. A few minutes ago I was walking past the coffee shop meeting room as a group of men were coming out. I have no proof, but I’m sure this was a Bible study or prayer group. They had that “Joe Average” look. I’m painting with a broad brush and my assessment probably comes out of my critical/cynical streak. But as I walked across the street I was wondering why we don’t look more exceptional—as if we were leaders, as if we were confident. I’m guessing that when people saw Jesus for the first time the overall impression was that here was someone who knew who he was and knew what he was doing.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I’m thinking about failure this morning. It’s one of those looking back topics. But sometimes it’s hard to ignore—not meeting expectations, tasks undone, broken commitments, and the list goes on. In my leadership role at Barclay Press, it’s my own expectations that are the most difficult to achieve.

This morning I failed to bounce out of bed when the alarm went off. A couple of days ago I failed to get to an appointment on time (20 minutes late). My e-mail inbox has a bunch of items I’ve failed to respond to in a timely manner. On the big stuff, self deprecation is an effective defense mechanism. I generally prefer to describe my own shortcoming rather than have to listen to someone else telling me what a screw up I am.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I wonder if some people are more able to keep aspects of their life in compartments—job, family, community, friends, church (or spiritual life)… I’m also wondering what all the pros and cons are between compartmentalization and having it all thrown in one bag where it rattles around without partitions.

Location has a strong influence. The focused at the office is on work, at home it’s family, etc. But any one of the aspects of my life can (and does) show up at any location. For me it works best to let all the ingredients mix and swirl together.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

It’s Sunday morning and the faithful have gathered. The scripture today at Hometown Friends Church is Psalm 51. David is recognizing how badly he has messed up and is trying to do something about it. It was lust that had tripped him up, but then the list grew as he tried to cover up his mistake.

I’m reciting the seven deadly sins as I do a bit of personal assessment. I can’t cross off even one as not being an area for potential vulnerability.