Tuesday, February 28, 2006

RPON (Random picture of Nathan):
I would get up almost every morning with Nathan and spend time with him for a few hours while Heather got some much needed sleep. He was about the size of my arm during the first month and would just lay on my chest while I worked on my laptop and watched foxnews and top 20 videos on vh1. To this day Nathan still likes to hear U2 and Jack Johnson...I wonder why?

This next picture is Nathan in Orlando at the beginning of February.

You know those corny phrases on church signs that no one gets in the community except the church people and the ones that leave non churched people scratching their heads thinking "everyone's a little queer, church folks even more!"- Well I didn't know african american churches have their own versions:

God can make your haters into elevators.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Here are a few pictures from our recent extravaganzas:

This is our friend Kristy, from Maryland, and Heather. Next picture down is Neptune on Atlantic and 31st at Virginia Beach. Last picture is Nathan and Savannah, his cousin, playing in the kitchen cabinets.

Sports: I was able to watch the first 2 periods of the Gold Medal game between Sweden and Finland. I'm not much of a hockey fan but I enjoyed what I saw. Speaking of not being much of a fan. The next two weeks in sports is one of the most dreadful times of year only rivaled by the dog days of June and July where MLB doesn't matter and the NFL hasn't started preseason games. The AFL (football) starts up today and I actually might try to catch a game. Baseball has another month before real games start. March Madness is right around the corner in Mid-March but what until then...NASCAR? Help!

Two more pictures of Nathan. These were taken in early May when Nathan was 2 months old. This picture here is us sitting on our deck at our townhouse in Maryland. I also remember this being the month Nathan started reciprocating love by a little thing called a smile.

This botton picture is the first time I did something silly with Nathan. I enjoyed it as much as he did!

To Own a Dragon by Donald Miller

Dragon: I had aspirations to read two books this week, neither very long, but I thought this would be a good mark to get back into books like I have been wanting. As Saturday morning hit I was pretty sure it wasn't going to happen considering I had only read one book and hadn't started another.

But Heather and Nathan decided to take a marathon nap right at the same time I decided to pull To Own a Dragon by Don Miller off the "to read" shelf. It was a very fast read and for a pretty avid Miller fan it gave lots of insight into his life and again like a typical Miller book it is always asking how does my story help you out in your story.

The main crux of the book is the idea of growing up without a father and what implications that has on a man. Don Miller is always funny and witty and at the same time thoughtful and frankly in this book down right sweet. Even though I grew up with a father parts of this book really hit home and I'd recommend it for any one. It explores the fatherhood of God and the idea that God fathers us and explores this idea from a fresh perspective that I've never heard before.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Olympics: Well they are pretty much over and I have to say towards the end I believe then generated some interest. The Sasha Cohen story was exciting for a day or so and towards the end I think we were all rooting against Bode Miller. Ever notice how it's as much fun to cheer for someone to fail as it is for someone to win. Sick people! ESPN has an article highlighting 10 biggest bust in the Olympic games. A few of them I think are undeserved but the others...chomp away.

Ernie: I went to see my Grandma on Thursday. Granddad wasn't home so it was just me and her for a while. I took the time to learn about her life and her upbringing. My Grandma is 90 years old and was born in 1915. Every Monday she goes to the bowling alley and bowls in her Duckpin league, every thursday she goes grocery shopping. When I ask her how she's doing she tells me she's tired and then complains about the neighbors. She tells me stories about when I was a kid, stories I would never remember without her memories but after she tells me I can somehow dig them up. She tells me stories about her antics and for 90 she sure does get into her fair share. I learned that her friends call her Ernie (short for Ernestine). I also learned where I get some of my behaviors, like my generally cool temper that sometimes gets a little too riled up. Needless to say it was a great day!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tutored: George went to the vet today to get tutored.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Idol: Heather and I watch Karaoke Idol. I like it during the auditions because it's great to hear how bad people can actually sing and I find the antics pretty funny. Then comes when they go to Hollywood and I enjoy seeing the drama unfold and still lots of embarrassing singing that takes place. Then comes the America votes portion and I get pretty uninterested. I mean does American know what they want anyway? Since when have Americans know what we wanted?

Friends: So this story has actually been interesting...one of the few in the olympics. Shani chooses not to compete in a team event so he is rested up for his race...the one he has a good shot at winning. Hendrick, the one going for 5 golds including this one in the team even, gets mad at Shani for not competing with the team. Shani is called selfish, sports reporters blast him and in my opinion give Hendrick the easy way out. Turns out after they both fail to take gold in a seperate event Hendricks acts like the jerk that he seems to be. Here's a little more on that.

Olympics: While the olympics have been a serious let down they still make for some decent blogging action.

American?: I'm not sure how I feel about this one but what's the deal with athletes from other countries changing their citizenship a few months before the games and then competing for their new country. This seems to happen more for the United States resulting for more medals. From what I gather from reports President Bush even had to sign emergency legislation to get certain athletes citizenship in time to compete.

Bear: Just saw this article. When's the last time you fought a bear? Does anyone know if there are bears in San Francisco- maybe one will meet up with Barry Bonds and be hungry?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Here's Nathan's birthday invitation. Heather did a great job creating a nice looking invitation. I can't believe it's almost been a year. Nathan grows so fast and learns new stuff everyday but he's still the sweet little baby that made me cry the first time I saw him and the same little baby that I was so frightened to take home from the hospital because the world is such a scary place.

I think this week and nextI'll randomly post pictures of my boy in honor of his first birthday March 3. I forgot to mention this before but Nathan now has a blog. Crazy kid- www.accordingtonathan.blogspot.com

Here are the ladies with babies. From left to right Heather and Savannah, Annie and Reid and Heather and Nathan.

Fest: Two of our cousin's are visiting. Both of them have babies so right now there are three women and three babies in the house. 16 months, 11 months and 4 months are the ages of the babies respectively. I honestly don't think I've been around this much estrogen ever in my life. I like to call this week Estrofest.

But it's been great fun so far and it's neat to see Nathan interact with his two cousins.

Monday, February 20, 2006

an unSTOPPABLE force: I just finished this book by Erwin McManus and as I stated before it turned out to be a hard read but well worth the effort. Erwin loves people and he loves Christ and he loves to see people redeemed through Jesus Christ. His words are contagious and they cut right to the heart. The epilogue alone is worth the price of the book and before you read the epilogue you might as well read the rest of the book.

He talks about and apolstolic ethos that pastors must form and how the pastor is a cultural architect mastering both science and art to benefit the body of Christ and making christianity a movement rather than an instituation. Much of the book was affirming and encouraging to continue on this journey, other parts were guiding and correcting to my thinking.

I am not but I know I AM: I heard Louie Giglio speak two seperate times this fall. The first was at Catalyst in Atlanta and the second was while he was on tour with Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman. Both times I was both moved and challenged by his words so I decided to pick up this book. His opening metaphor challenges the way we think about ourselves and this life. Most of us view life as a play and we are the main character. Everyone else in this play is playing a supporting role. One day when the play is over the curtain will be drawn and the applause fades and we're going to step back and view how pathetic we really are and how much time we wasted thinking we were what it's all about.

In reality we are in a play where God is the main character. He is vast and mighty and what it's all about and miraculously we are invited to have a part, our small insignificant selves are used by God to bring honor and glory to him.

We'll see what the rest of the book holds.

Hand: On a personal note I think something is wrong with my hand. I fell down the last step about a week ago and hit pretty hard on the way down. I guess I caught myself enough to jack up my thumb on my right hand. It started feeling better but on saturday really starting hurting again. I'm going to give it a few more days and then I might need to go see a doctor.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

PostSecret: I was at Barnes and Noble today and I saw a book on the new releases rack that caught my eye- PostSecret. Inside is a collection of post cards sent anonymously to a guy in Germantown, MD the two criteria is that they have to have a secret that you have never told anyone and they have to be true. It started as a random community art project- it has turned into something much more.

Honestly...mostly it's depressing and shows the isolation and pain we have created for ourselves and those around us.

www.postsecret.blogspot.com for this weeks top postcards.

Friday, February 17, 2006

I've had a theory for some time. No, not my already famous 'theory of limited success' this is a theory that explores the area of human communication and behavior in communication. The theory began to develop in college, my initial research took place in the cafeteria where I had time to watch people, mainly member of the opposite sex, dialogue with one another.

I'll post it tomorrow...

Question: At Barnes and Noble or Borders how long are you allowed to read a book or magazine before you need to buy it? Possibly more ambiguous is- at Starbucks how long are you allowed to peruse the front page before you need to buy it? Opening is a definate tell right?

Skype: I read in the newspaper that Skype is the most secure way of talking. Evidently the encryption is so advanced that there is no way to decrypt it. Just seconds of conversation would take very long to decipher. I can't find the article online but Skype phone calls are better encrypted than credit card purchases over the internet...go figure.

Skype uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) – also known as Rijndael – which is also used by U.S. Government organizations to protect sensitive, information. Skype uses 256-bit encryption, which has a total of 1.1 x 1077 possible keys, in order to actively encrypt the data in each Skype call or instant message. Skype uses 1024 bit RSA to negotiate symmetric AES keys. User public keys are certified by the Skype server at login using 1536 or 2048-bit RSA certificates.

Group: Last night we had another get together/bible study. The night was good and we had 3 new people. The people that were new last time that didn't come this time made sure we know where they were and why they couldn't come.

The study has has become a bit of an anamoly and I'm not quite sure how to put words to it. The first thing the study serves as is a front door. This is the "church" that we invite people to that are interested in the church. This is also the front door of the church for our new and mostly non-christian friends. There is quite a difference for people stepping through the front door of the church for the first time as believers and as a nonbeliever.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Baby: My friend Jason will soon have or might already have a new baby girl. Last I heard things were progressing nicely with the delivery. My son Nathan is almost a year old (March 3) and hearing about Jason and Jenny having a baby brings back all the great memories and causes me to want to celebrate new life. It really is such a beautiful experience to see new life come into the world. If you've ever seen a delivery you will understand I'm talking about poetic beautiful. It is amazing to ponder on the idea of how God created us to create and to be creative.

Doing: What in the world have I been doing all week? I feel like the only thing I've been doing all week is working on my blasted newsletter, that's not true but certainly what it feels like. This newsletter serves as the main source of income for The Bridge Church while we are in our incubation stage so I see the value of it. I also want to do the best job that I can while making it but do get a little frustrated about the length of the process. I'm going to actively seek ways to make my life easier between this months newsletter and next months newsletter.

I don't have our website active yet or I'd post a link to the pdf of the newsletter. I guess I could post it here as a picture...maybe later.

Monday, February 13, 2006


I checked out this website after all the Bode hype going into the Olympics and then after seeing His commercial a few times. Make sure you look at some of the videos.

Agree: I have a group of college friends that I have kept in touch with since graduation. We generally keep in contact via email and the occasional phone call but we always work hard to see each other when we are in their area. We really are a strange brew of guys held together by certain other relationships within the group. We have reached a stage that some of the people that served as the intitial catalysts for the group have moved to the foreground.

What has emerged is relationships or one in particular that I would never have had generated on my own. The amazing thing is that I really enjoy the company and conversation with Nate. He thinks differently than me and what can be scary generally turns into something amazing.

Nate asked a question of me over a year ago and still to this day I think about it often. He asked "How often are you around people or read books that don't agree with your way of thinking?". I wasn't sure to answer but if he asked me now I'd be able to give and answer. My answer would be "more than I used to be but not as many as I'd like to be?"

I mean how many "christians" have read books on/about Charles Darwin, evolution or non-creationist theories on the existence of life? How many liberals sit down to the 700 club with an open mind? Fact is we don't do that. Maybe it's too hard, too much strain on our phyche, too hard to be willing to flex and adjust.

But what it's done is segmented our society and culture into these sects that don't agree and only listen to people that quote their same mantra. We don't this to the point that we can't even find common ground. What's more is that we do this out of what I believe is good intentions. We want to know truth and to believe in what is right and believing in what is right means everyone else is wrong.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

One Year: One year from tomorrow will be the first of four launch sundays for The Bridge Church of Suffolk, Va. A year sounds like a long time and that's probably a good thing because there is much that needs to be accomplished in the next 365 days. Originally our plans were to hold our first launch sunday in the fall of this year but after going through the training this past week it makes the most sense to give ourselves another few months to incubate.

We won't be idle during this time and in fact the largest obstacle mentally is to know that we are "Church" even though we won't be having weekly services. Currently we are recruiting and seeking potential Launch Team members. Starting in April/May we will begin our Small groups and for the 9 months until launch will be a small groups based church. During this time we will begin to preview to the community different aspects of The Bridge. One of my main goals for this time is to begin to meld ourselves into the community. We will also preview our children's ministry, worship style, service events, teaching style and discovery groups.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Generations: I've been thinking about generations lately. What started the process was The Rolling Stones doing the half time show for the Super Bowl. I think the fact that they picked a band with a 62 year old lead singer is pretty telling of the demographic they were trying to keep happy. Complete with last years Paul McCartney's performace I don't think I need to go any further in figuring out who they were trying to target. Boomers for years have dictated the flow of our society and even in our successful churches.

2006 is a big year for boomers. They are hitting 60 years old for the first time. In the next decade or so we are going to see a transition in the generations as the boomers leave active roles in society and in the church as they head into retirement and probably to some condo in Florida.

I can't even really speculate what this is going to mean. Hopefully positive things...

Olympics: Speaking of generations...am I the only person my age that watches the Olympics?

Absent: I didn't just neglect my blog for the past week. I was in Florida for some Church Planter's training. The training was excellent and I returned home equipped to do the job God has called us to. It was also nice to spend time with the other 2 planter couples in our District as well as some other guys around the C&MA. There were other denominations represented but C&MA had the majority by far.

Orlando: The training was in Orlando and I have to say...not impressed with the city. The traffic was terrible and considering it is January and I'm sure not a peak season for the attractions I can't imagine what it is like in the warmer months. But we did have a nice evening walking around Universal.

Airport: I don't fly a ton but I do fly to some odd places. So for a few years now I notice and note how each airport is and the ease of getting around in them and to your plane on time. Orlando has just surpassed Chicago-O'Hare as the worst airport I've ever flown from and keep in mind I've flown to/from both Mexico and Poland. The security line took us 45 minutes to get through and the whole process was just frustrating, from waiting in line to how things were organized to being given poor information on 3 different ocassions.

Well that's a whole lot of griping. Enjoy.

Monday, February 06, 2006

As promised here are the Mello Yello pictures. What I'm curious about now is why does this area sell Mello Yello and no where else in the country?

A google search gave some answers.

Wrong: Well I was way off on the Super Bowl prediction. What I saw of the game was good and Pittsburgh played very well. I thought a few times momentum was going to change but the Steelers never made enough consecutive mistakes to let the game shift. Still not on the Steelers bandwagon but they played well.

Party: We had about 25 adults at our party and about 10 more children. I was very pleased with the turnout considering I know about 25 adults in this area. What was most amazing was that we had a good number of neighbors show up and even some neither Heather or I had met before. The food was very good and everyone seemed to have a great time. Heather and I both had a very good time! It was a great night!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Well, I found your website because I had the same questions; so I googled "rob bell range rover." For the record, he drives it in 'Flame' too. My guess is that pretty much every camera angle, every location, and every other video tidbit has been carefully considered and mapped out by his crew (In 'Trees' he drives a groovy vintage truck). From that perspective, I think the Luxury 4x4 is a bad idea.

In pretty much any urban centre, you will find Soccer Moms at the mall with their top of the line SUV. As the tricked-out Cadillac Escalade has become the hip hop symbol of excess, the Range rover is an equally potent symbol of upper-class success. If he has his reasons for driving the same vehicle as the Queen of England, that's his business, but if he wants to show that vehicle off in thousands of churches, I think he has made a serious error in judgement.

Does Rob Bell think that Nooma videos will only be shown in richer-than-average yuppie churches? When a church or downtown outreach centre has a smaller budget than the price of his car, they might just miss out on all the other things he has to say. I just hope it's an honest mistake.

I just received this comment about my commentary on Rob's sweet choice of vehicle selection. I hope that the person that left the comment is ok with me posting it here. It's also pretty scary that my words were found via google search. I really respect Rob Bell and my original comments were more moment of reflection and self introspection rather than a critique of Rob's lifestyle. In the end I have to ask myself "how much STUFF do I have that I don't need?" Honestly quite a bit. I also have no problem with successful pastors having nice things. I think God's ok with it too. I'm not sure where I'm going with this...

Super Bowl: I'm having my very first Super Bowl Party tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to watching the game and since it's my party I know there is going to be good football grub there. I think the turn out is going to be pretty good as well so it should be a lot of fun.

Call It: 24-17 Seahawks. Sorry Steelers fans your dream season is about to turn into a nightmare.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ethos: I have been reading Unstoppable Force by Erwin McManus. It is a very good book but it has been a slow read for me. I'm not sure if it's because I have been distracted by other stuff and not dedicated much time for reading or like some books they just don't read very fast. Either way it has been beneficial and has caused me to rethink the idea of values. When thinking and praying through what is now been named The Bridge Church of Suffolk, Va I wrote down ideas that becam our mission, tagline, values and vision for the future. The idea of values are very important because they speak of the innate traits of a being as well an organization, such as a church. Values are essential. What's tricky about values is that they can be viewed as important but not actually valued, they are aspirational values not actual values. For instance I'm sure most people in American think that being healthy is important, but most of us are not. Health is an aspirational value not an actual value. McManus talks about ethos, not just the things we believe are true but actual things we care about. It might sound like just semantics but ethos vs. values is a question every person must answer. One that The Bridge Church must answer. I heard a quote "we do what we value not what we say we believe".

Prayer: At the prompting of the CMTC manual and leading of the Holy Spirit I set out today to spend a half day in prayer. While the full half day is something I'm going to have to work towards I did have an excellent time communicating with and worshipping God this morning. The park down the road from my house has excellent walking trails beside the water. The weather was cool but not cold in my black coat and the full morning sun. There is also a great little fishing pier that you can walk out over the water on. It was nice just to pray. That sounds silly but I find myself working and staying busy because productivity is like crack but this morning was time to pray. I did my fair share of talking but at time I just felt God say..."just be still and rest".

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,