Still alive…

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am alive, well sort of. After an amazing Campus Harvest conference, Jennifer and I are still in NC at the Every Nation Campus Ministries staff summit. We have been going non-stop since friday morning and it is starting to wear on us (and Asher… what a little champ)… Anyway, the summit has been amazing. The humility and sincerity of pastor Jim, pastor Ron, Pastor Bret… WOW! it has been so refreshing to hear from them and be strengthened, encouraged and released to serve God in our callings.

I wish I could write more, but I must go read a little bit before tonight’s session. To all the VCU readers, I miss you and can’t wait to be home. Have fun tonight with Pastor Robert. Grace to you and peace from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ… or Christ Jesus our Lord ;o)

thank-you NPR…

So, on my way home from work I listened to a piece on NPR about a new movie coming out called “Snakes on a Plane”… seriously… To top it off, it stars Samuel Jackson. I am thinking of Passenger 57 meets Anaconda. I can’t think of a lamer movie… However, it has already managed to get a cult following on the internet that actually led the producers to re-shoot the movie adding stronger language and nudity, bumping the rating from PG-13 to R. Let me get th is straight, you are on a plane full of snakes and suddenly you want to get naked… Hmmm, makes sense.

Seriously… in the words of the teacher from Billy Madison, “…we are all now dumber. I award you no points and my God have mercy on your soul.”

twocent vacation…

So, jennifer and I got away for a little R&R last weekend.
We snuck away to a little bead and breakfast outside of Charlottesville.
Here are a couple pics:

This is the bowling ally we almost went bowling in on Saturday night. We ditched it after waiting 20 minutes for a lane and tried to find and arcade… after that failed we tried to find a place the GPS system called “Planet Fun” unfortunately, planet fun must have been lame because it is no longer there… or anywhere… So, we went to dairy queen for blizzards.

Saturday afternoon we went to the Blue Ridge Parkway and went hiking on a fun little trail. The waterfall was worth the trip (and $15 that the us government extorted from us for entry to the park)

This is the fireplace in our room. We were glad that it was still cold enough to run the fire. We slept with it burning both nights… mmmmm, fire…

Man, we are goooood lookin!

This is where we ate breakfast every morning. Let me tell you, whether you like them or not, the grits were AMAZING!

Just a fun pic I took.

In case you were unaware…

lessons from coach freakley…

This fella here is Ben Freakley. For those of you who have had the opportunity to hear the a long version of my Christian journey, this is “the roommate” who came back from Texas all fired up about Jesus to live in a party house with 5 other college guys and “needed a ride” to church every Sunday. Thanks to this guy (and God’s grace) I got hooked up with some people who really helped me learn what it means to live a life committed to Christ. For that reason, he has always had a special place in my heart.

Well, over the years our paths drifted and I have tried to keep tabs on him from time to time. Today, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I discovered that he was named the head coach for the VMI (Va. Military Institute) mens soccer team. I am so proud of him…

I have not met many people who love the game of soccer as much as this guy. In college Ben attempted to walk-on for the GSU soccer team and was cut 2 times (might have been 3)… but he was passionate and tenatious and, despite the jokes from his friend (me included), he continued to work hard and eventually the coach asked him to join the squad. After a solid playing career, Ben was asked to join the coaching staff at GSU as he worked on his masters in sports management. From there Ben went on to be an assistant coach at Univ of South Carolina. Then he got his big break to take the head coaching job at Erskin (a small Presbyterian DivII school). When he got there he didn’t have much to work with and I believe he recruited something like 16 freshmen his first year. It was amazing the work he did in such a short time there. There is no doubt that he took his passion and knowledge of the game and poured it into those young men. In his second year, even with such a young team, there was a dramatic improvement.

So, now he is off to VMI and I am thrilled for him. On the school website Ben is quoted as saying, “VMI has such a great history and reputation of building tomorrow’s leaders. I believe soccer is another avenue of teaching the values of leadership, honor and integrity, which is a philosophy that I follow as a coach.” No doubt, this in not a PR major (he’s also the reason I changed my major to PR) just saying the right thing… he really means it, and that, I have no doubt, is what makes him a great coach.

So, what is the lesson to learn from coach freakley… Don’t quit, even when you’re laughed at. Work hard, have honor, have integrity… be passionate… and be willing to be a person that changes other people’s lives (personally, I’m glad ben was).

funny stuff for theologians…

There are three types of funny… Stuff that is funny because of what is said, stuff that is funny because of how it was said, and funny because of who said it… this one falls into the last category.

“After the reading of Scripture, which I strenuously inculcate, and more than any other … I recommend that the Commentaries of Calvin be read … For I affirm that in the interpretation of the Scriptures Calvin is incomparable, and that his Commentaries are more to be valued than anything that is handed down to us in the writings of the Fathers — so much that I concede to him a certain spirit of prophecy in which he stands distinguished above others, above most, indeed, above all”
-Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609)

OK, maybe this will help you see the humor:

twocent education…

Ok, I had a request that I actually follow through with my post about the education system that was brought on by 2 NPR stories I heard… While I heard the stories a while ago, I remember that one in particular delt specifically with the evolution vs intelligent design debate. After listening to the story I was annoyed in general because the issue, I think, is more about how we teach children. See, you can teach evolution all you want or you can teach ID all you want, but what I really want is to see a student who actually knows how to think about what is being presented and be able to wrestle with it and come to a conclusion on their own… I mean, lets be real, evolution is a theory. If that is true, then you must not only teach the student about the theory, but also how to analyze it and come to personal conclusions based on evidence given.

I think the problem is that we don’t teach children to think… we teach them to regurgitate. This pissed me off (best way to describe it) when I was in college… There was nothing I hated more that a COLLEGE student asking, “will this be on the test?” Who cares! You are at the university to THINK for goodness sake… god forbid you actually wrestle with an idea or concept just for the sake of learning something… Instead, we have classrooms full of people who are only seeing a piece of paper and are willing to accept anything a professor says, so long as it will be on the test. OH how I long for the day when students will fill their test with the “wrong” answers because they really believe they are right… not only that, but they can articulate why it is right and are willing to humbly fight for their conviction.

I could rant more, but here is the deal… if you are a college student stop being lazy and start to think, ask, learn, wrestle…

Less than 1% of the world population has a college degree… that puts you in a very elite group… DO NOT WASTE IT!

twocent art…

So, if you’ve ever been to our house, you have seen this print hanging gracefully above our fireplace. My good friend James Thomas Howell from Atlanta is the artist of this and several other pieces in our house. If you’d like to see more of his work, you can visit his blog. If you like his stuff, then hound him with emails to post more of it online… The kid can spit it out, I think he just needs some loving, ego stroking, motivation to get it online.

Jim, we love you! Feed us art!

another twocent book review…

2.895 out of 4 crockpots

Before I picked up this book I had never heard of James Philip or the church Holyrood Abey… However, by the end of the book I felt like I should have. The book is a collection of contributions from individuals who have been impacted by the ministry of James Philip during his years as pastor at Holyrood Abey in Edinburgh Scotland. Phillips passion and dedication to the expository preaching the entire scripture, prayer, and care for people in and out of his congregation has had an impact far beyond what human eyes can see.

The book is divided into 4 sections. 1) the making of the man 2) the holyrood years 3) the wider mission 4) perspectives: biblical, theological, church-historical. The first three section deal a lot with Philips and his impact on people’s lives. That last section deals more in depth with the principles that Philips applied in his life and ministry. As a minister, this book was an encouragement and challenge. As with the last book review (the supremacy of God in preaching) I was challenged to keep the scriptures and Christ at the center of my preaching. To deviate is to do injustice to the position and call of a preacher. Along with this conviction, it was great to hear the response of people to the preaching of scripture. Story after story was about how sitting under the expository preaching and teaching of the bible changed people’s lives forever. I found myself saying, “I’ve never heard of this guy, but I want to be just like him.”

While the book is great, it is easy to get lost as the writers often go from story telling to teaching/point making mode. The last section really throws you if you aren’t prepared to shift gears to strictly theological reading. That said, like any book, you just have to roll with it. While this book isn’t going to be one that everyone rushes to the store to pick up (since most stores don’t carry it) I’d still recommend it to those who have some free reading time to fill… Actually, it’d be a good beach book… Something to inspire, entertain and educate you all in one happy binding.