Tuesday, August 26

Reflections on Olympic Joy

I love the Olympics! I don't know what it is about them - maybe it's the competition or the national pride. It doesn't matter what the sport is, I'll stay up into the late hours to watch Flatwater Canoing or Badminton. Kathi and I probably watched at least 4 hours of Olympics every day the past two weeks, and we loved it!

Beijing 2008 was particularly exciting. Michael Phelps is amazing. China is going to take over the world. American track and field is overrated. It was all here. The drama, the heartache, the triumph. It was sweet. I hate to say it, but when the competition closed on Sunday, I was actually a little depressed. I'm already looking forward to 2010.

Saturday, July 19

Reflections on Bad Blogging

I'm a bad, bad blogger. I've been getting kind of tired of keeping this blog up. I'm thankful to all of you who have continued to come by. I don't want to really shut completely down. But, I think I'm going to focus my blogging now at our Missio Colonia blog. I'll still post here when I get inspired to do so, but I'm not going to force it.

Anyway, Kathi and I were working at a youth camp this past week. Afterwards, on our way to the IKEA in Pittsburgh, we came across this sign off of U.S. 30.

Wednesday, June 11

Reflections on Our 3rd Anniversary

Today my bride and I celebrate 3 years! We think this is the first anniversary that we've actually where we weren't doing something. I say we think because we can't remember for the life of us what we did last year. So, to make sure that doesn't happen again, I decided to chronicle this 3rd anniversary.

We had a wonderful day today. We actually did have to do a little "work" at first - we met with a pastor in the area for lunch. But, this evening I took Kathi to one of our favorite restaurants in the city called Yats, which is cajun and creole food. Yum. The time also served as an opportunity to play with the Garmin that my dad got us. After that we took a lengthy bike ride on a path through the city. Then, we came home and watched Juno, had brownies and ice cream, and looked at wedding pictures.

I love my wife. Tonight as we looked a pictures, she asked me if I thought she looked beautiful on our wedding day. I told that naturally I thought so, but I can say beyond a doubt that she's more beautiful to me after three years. Happy Anniversary, Kathi.

(Incidentally, the picture I included in this post is one of our favorite wedding pictures. For one, we look great together, and also because Randy is giving us the greatest look! We love it!)

Tuesday, June 10

Reflections on Politics and Beer

Ugh, politics. Well, it's down to two candidates. I think both are good people, but they each have some unpleasant ideological baggage. I would totally vote for McCain if it wasn't for the beer issue.

Wednesday, May 14

Reflection on My 30th Birthday

Well, it was my 30th birthday today. I'm not sure how to feel about it all. In the grand scheme of things, it's just a number. I don't feel any different, and this day is just like the last one. But, there is something weird thinking that I'm entering my 4th decade alive! Yikes. I'm not one for mid-life crises, so I'm not really freaking out. I'm just a little sad that I'm no longer in my 20s. Everyone tells me though that 30 is the new 20. I don't know.

Despite all of this stuff, it was a pretty sweet day. The past couple of days we've been hanging out in Indianapolis doing some support raising. Today we spent most of our time with Brian and Karin. I got to eat steak, and I won at both Bohnanza and Settlers of Catan! So, all in all it was not bad.

On a side note, it was around this time 9 years ago that I accepted Christ. I remember that it was shortly after my 21st birthday. It's fun having my physical birth and my spiritual birth around the same time. Anyway, I'm 30 now. Society says that I should be an adult now. We'll see about that.

Tuesday, May 6

Reflections on the Kingdom

Last week, I was asked to fill the pulpit at our church in Dellroy. Even though I've done messages for youth groups and such, this was the first time I've ever done a sermon at a "grown up" church. The work and prep was pretty much the same, but some how it was different - it was more weighty. Anyway, I spoke on the Kingdom of God - what does it mean? What difference does it make for our lives? It was a good experience.

One of the sources that I used was George Eldon Ladd's The Gospel of the Kingdom, which is classic on Kingdom theology (and a great book to boot). Here's a great quote:
The Kingdom of God is a miracle. It is the act of God. It is supernatural. Men cannot build the Kingdom, they cannot erect it. The Kingdom is the Kingdom of God; it is God's reign, God's rule. God has entrusted the Gospel of the Kingdom to men. It is our responsibility to proclaim the Good News about the Kingdom. But the actual work of the Kingdom is God's working. The fruitage is produced not by human effort or skill but by the life of the Kingdom itself. It is God's deed.

Tuesday, April 29

Reflection on Voting the Image

So, I got a couple of stern comments a while back when I posted about my disillusionment in the election process in America. Basically, I have a hard time voting not because I think my vote doesn't count, but because I think that one votes not for a candidate but an image concocted by a political machine. Well, an interesting article in this weekend's Parade (yes, we read Parade, give me a break) verified my skepticism.

The most striking quote comes from an Nixon administration internal memo dated around the time of the 1968 Presidential Election. Nixon's image advisor wrote:
The response is to the image, not to the man...It's not what's there that counts, it's what's projected. [The selection of a President] has to be an act of faith...This faith isn't achieved by reason; it's achieved by charisma, by a feeling of trust that can't be argued or reasoned.
At the end of the article, the author cites statistics showing that campaign ad budgets no longer reflect who wins elections, which suggests, according to him, that Americans are beginning to move away from voting based on image. I think this trend reflects more a distrust in political advertisements, and I definitely believe that the image machine is still full functioning giving us nicely manufactured products that bear little resemblance to what kind of President the person will actually be. This is why I have a hard time voting.