I am looking forward to Leadership Institute at Resurrection this coming week. We will welcome some 1,600 people from around the country, Jim Wallis will be with us as the keynoter, and it promises to be a great time of worship and teaching.
Heather and I are looking forward to hosting friends for the week as we’ll have a couple of friends from Indiana staying with us. I am also looking forward to connecting with others throughout the week. I am excited to connect with:
- A friend who we met at the first church I served in Indiana who has grown to be a very close friend
- A mentor who walked with me through the ordination process in North Indiana
- A pastor from Louisiana who I connected with doing Hurricane Katrina Recovery work
- A friend from seminary who is coming from Wisconsin with her church
Let me know if you’ll be here for Leadership Instiute – I’d love to connect with you as well!
In preparation for Leadership Institute, we spent a great deal of time in prayer in Staff Chapel last week. Each staff member was asked to take several bookmarks with the names of people who will be attending. We’ve been asked to be in prayer for those persons as they prepare to travel to and spend time at Leadership Institute. We also broke up into teams and spread throughout the campus to pray for the meeting space, worship space, and fellowship space where people will gather during the week. As we continue to prepare for Leadership Institute and take care of last minute details, your prayers for us would be greatly appreciated.
Yesterday was the Sacred Steps 5K at Resurrection. I’d never participated in an official race like that before, and I loved it! I started off with Andrew and Dagney; it was good to have friends by my side navigating the mass of people. Andrew and I had similar goals for the race and I felt like it would help push me and keep me on pace to run with him – boy was I right. Our first two miles were right about 9:30 and I was feeling good.
As I started to feel a bit winded Andrew asked, shall we pick a couple of people to pass? I told him to name our target and so he picked out a couple of people not far in front of us and we picked up our pace with the hopes of passing them. Just as we were about to pass them Andrew called out another target further ahead and just as we were about to pass them he called out yet another target and we set out to pass them. It was a brilliant strategy – we constantly kept setting and reevaluating our goal – we were never satisfied to have acheived a goal (sure it felt good, but there was another one coming to tackle) – we pushed ourselves but felt good doing so.
As we came around a curve near the end of the race we realized that the route took a turn we weren’t counting on and I had to slow down as Andrew went forward. Still, as I crossed the finish line the official race clock said 29:05 and we probably started about 30 seconds or so after that clock did. I haven’t seen an official time yet, but would guess that I ran right about 28:40 or so. I was thrilled!
Running the race yesterday illustrated for me some important principles of life:
- Training is vitally important (for whatever we do)
- Having friends by your side makes a huge difference
- Constantly setting (and resetting goals) is an important part of pushing yourself to perform your best.
I’m looking forward to my next 5K now – anyone running one in the KC area soon?
The other evening @andrewconard dropped a tweet that smacked of profound wisdom – “if people lived within their means many problems would disappear.”
It reminded me of a Saturday Night Live skit with a similarly profound message. I couldn’t find the video to embed, but you can view it here.
Yes my friends, it really is that easy.
I’m writing the GPS Insight’s for Thursdays and today’s is now up. These insights are some further thoughts and reflections on the day’s reading from the GPS. Several other pastors and myself are taking turns writing them. If you haven’t started checking them out, please do!
David Kinnaman, author of unChristian, was at Resurrection last night for two hours of lecture and discussion about his research that led to the publishing of the book.
The research Kinnaman conducted with the Barna Group uncovered six common perceptions about Christianity that are held by outsiders in the 16-29 year old age range, the top one of these was that Christians are anti-homosexual. This perception was held by nearly 95% of those surveyed. Kinnamam expanded upon this by explaining that respondants didn’t just see Christians as believing that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, but that they see Christians as being vehemently against homosexuality, having elevated it to a status above any other sin.
His ultimate conclusion was that we as the church have to learn to be more Christ-like. Even if we disagree with something, we are called to avoid harsh condemnation, and to engage others in a humble and relational way. These perceptions that people hold, Kinnaman observed, are not shaped solely by the media, but they are shaped by real life experiences and encounters that people have with Christians.
I appreciated Kinnaman’s call to humbleness and look forward to reading the rest of his research in unChristian.
Last year, after changing my general health habits, I ran a 5k for the first time in my life. I have not kept the training up this last year quite as I would’ve hoped; the move, the change in job, the expectancy of the baby – I’ve had some distractions. Over the course of the last month or two I’ve done an ok job of running and am now planning to run (along with some 1,400 others) the Sacred Steps race at Resurrection this coming weekend.
At one point in the last months I was articulating my goal to be a finish in less than 30 minutes. My runs for the last week or two have been kind of ugly and I’ve started to doubt that that will happen. This morning I ran three miles in 30:54. I’ve decided that my hopes for the race this weekend are two-fold: 1) finish the race without walking (I’ve had some real pacing issues these last weeks) and 2) finish it in less than 31 minutes.
Let me know if you’re coming out to run or walk this weekend and I’ll see you there!