Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Revelation

I'm currently reading a book called Four Views on the Book of Revelation. Four different positions are shared by four different authors. All of them are evangelical Christians, and all are convinced they are right. Here are the four:

The PRETERIST VIEW: Revelation was written to describe the destruction of Jerusalem which was accomplished by Rome in 70AD. All the prophecies in Revelation have been fulfilled in full.

The IDEALIST VIEW: Revelation isn't about historical events (except the Last Judgment and Second Coming described in the last few chapters). Instead it is about the struggle between good and evil that is continually going on. It was written to give hope to believers in all ages.

The PROGRESSIVE DISPENSATIONAL VIEW: Revelation is about the destruction of Jerusalem (the Preterest View), but it is also about future events. The events described will have a double fulfillment.

The CLASSICAL DISPENSATIONAL VIEW: After Revelation 3, the rest of the book is describes literal events which will be fulfilled after the Church has been raptured from the earth. Revelation 4ff. is a detailed description of the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ to establish a literal thousand year kingdom on earth, and then an eternal kingdom with a new heaven and a new earth.

Its crazy. I would love to figure out which one of these views is the "right" one. But all of these theories have holes in them. And they all sound pretty good at the same time. The view that I thought I would like the least, but which felt the best when I was reading it, was the Idealist View. I'm not sure where I'll come out. I might just wait until it all begins to happen, and then decide which camp I'm in.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

revised book completion outline

I worked ahead a little bit in the completion deadline and then found myself unmotivated because I didn't have a deadline for a couple of weeks. So I felt necessary to revise the book outline to keep the pressure on. I ask for you to pray for my steadfastness in this project.


REVISED BOOK COMPLETION OUTLINE

Time Line for Completion
Due Dates--------------Goals
Wednesday, 5-10-06 Outlines of Chapters 1-4 *
Wednesday, 5-17-06 Draft of Chapter 1 *
Wednesday, 5-24-06 Draft of Chapter 2 *
Wednesday, 5-31-06 Draft of Chapters 3 & 4*
Wednesday, 6-7-06 Outlines of Chapters 5-8
Wednesday, 6-14-06 Draft of Chapter 5
Wednesday, 6-28-06 Draft of Chapter 6
Wednesday, 7-5-06 Draft of Chapter 7
Wednesday, 7-12-06 Draft of Chapter 8
Wednesday, 7-19-06 Draft of Chapter 9
Wednesday, 7-26-06 Rewrite of Chapter 1
Wednesday, 8-2-06 Review full manuscript
Wednesday, 8-9-06 5 Publishing Options
Wednesday, 8-16-06 Publishing decision
Wednesday, 8-23-06 Publishing in progress

how media affects you

Today Brian Bill posted a link to a really good article about how the movies and TV we watch and the books we read affect the lens through which we see the life, the world, and everything. This article shares some very important truth. I encourage you to read it by clicking here.

Monday, May 29, 2006

dad


My wife and two children and I drove down to spend the night with my Mom last night, so we could be with her on Memorial Day and visit my Dad's grave. He died November 16, 2004. This picture would have been taken in March of 2004, when my son was around 4 months old. We visited his gravesite, my paternal grandparents' and my maternal grandmother's as well. My maternal grandfather went for the drive with us. I really miss my Dad.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

death by ministry?

Steve McCoy recently posted a link to an article by Mark Driscoll entitled Death by Ministry.

It included these statistics about pastors and pastors' spouses.
Pastors
- Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
- Fifty percent of pastors' marriages will end in divorce.
- Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
- Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
- Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
- Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
- Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
- Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are -preparing their sermons.

Pastors' Spouses
- Eighty percent of pastors' spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
- Eighty percent of pastors' spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
- The majority of pastor's wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

one of my all-time favorite quotes

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” - President Teddy Roosevelt

Friday, May 26, 2006

update on the book i'm writing

Here's an update on the progress with the book writing. You can see my completion goals. You'll notice that I'm jumping around a little bit. I was getting anxious to start writing. I decided to start writing drafts even though I didn't have all the outlines done.

I've added a chapter about staying steadfast in your physical life (chapter 6).

I'm thinking of changing the title to "Whatever You Do, Don't Give Up" and making the subtitle "(Staying steadfast in an Unsteady World)".

I would like to thank everyone for the continual encouragement and those of you who have read drafts of chapters and offered helpful editing and comments. Thanks also for those who are holding me accountable for working on it.

Time Line for Completion
Due Dates--------------Goals
Wednesday, 5-10-06 Outlines of Chapters 1-4 *
Wednesday, 5-17-06 Outlines of Chapters 5-6
Wednesday, 5-24-06 Outlines of Chapters 7-8
Wednesday, 5-31-06 Draft of Chapter 1 *
Wednesday, 6-7-06 Draft of Chapter 2 *
Wednesday, 6-14-06 Draft of Chapter 3 *
Wednesday, 6-28-06 Draft of Chapter 4 *
Wednesday, 7-5-06 Draft of Chapter 5
Wednesday, 7-12-06 Draft of Chapter 6
Wednesday, 7-19-06 Draft of Chapter 7
Wednesday, 7-26-06 Draft of Chapter 8
Wednesday, 8-2-06 Draft of Chapter 9
Wednesday, 8-9-06 Draft of Full Manuscript
Wednesday, 8-16-06 5 publishing options
Wednesday, 8-23-06 Publishing decision
Wednesday, 8-30-06 Publishing in process


“Staying Steadfast in an Unsteady World”
(Whatever You Do, Don’t Give Up)
by Jason Woolever

Chapter 1: Staying Steadfast in the Storms of Life
(Good reasons to never give up!)

Chapter 2: Staying Steadfast in Your Relational Life
(Don’t give up on your friends and family!)

Chapter 3: Staying Steadfast in Your Vocational Life
(Don’t give up on your life’s calling!)

Chapter 4: Staying Steadfast in Your Financial Life
(Don’t give up on managing your money!)

Chapter 5: Staying Steadfast in Your Emotional Life
(Don’t give up in the midst of depression!)

Chapter 6: Staying Steadfast in Your Physical Life
(Don't give up when your body is wasting away!)

Chapter 7: Staying Steadfast in Your Transitional Life
(Don’t give up in the midst of grief!)

Chapter 8: Staying Steadfast in Your Spiritual Life
(Don’t give up on loving God with all your being!)

Chapter 9: The Steadfast Love of God
(The reason why you need never give up)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

good flick

Last night my wife and I rented and watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I thought the first 35 minutes moved pretty slowly. But the second two-thirds of the movie was focused almost entirely on Aslan's strategy for redeeming Narnia from the curse of the White Witch. The most significant part of his plan included his substitutionary death to pay the penalty for the law-breaking of Edmund. Then he rose from the dead, defeating death for all who loved him.

I couldn't believe that Walt Disney would make a movie that so blatantly portrayed the gospel in a way that the world could understand it. I recommend this movie.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Da Vinci Code resources

A friend asked me if our church is going to do any Da Vinci Code stuff. I don't think we are. My friend, Brian Bill, at Pontiac Bible Church has been preaching on the Da Vinci Code and and gathering many helpful resources. If you are looking for excellent Da Vinci Code resources, click here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

should preachers stay in the pulpit?

Through the Methodist Blogs Weekly Roundup, I came across this interesting article by Steven Manskar about how preachers should always preach from behind the pulpit. Its called, "If It's Worship Then Stay in The Pulpit." Very thought-provoking article. Here's just a little of it - 3 reasons why preachers should stay behind the pulpit when they preach.

1) The pulpit keeps the preacher in her or his place. The preacher’s task is to help lead the congregation in worshipping God. He or she should not be the center of attention. When the preacher stands in the pulpit he or she is appropriately to the side. This prevents the temptation to walk or stand at the center of the chancel, in front of the Lord’s table which should always be the center of attention.

2) The pulpit represents the preaching office of the church. It is not intended to be a barrier. Rather, it is a symbol of the power and importance of the word. Preachers need to claim the authority, power, and responsibility of their office as heralds of God’s word and good news for the world.

3) The pulpit allows the preacher to use an outline, notes, or manuscript to guide her or his preaching. This will keep the message focused and minimize the tendency to wander and ramble and unnecessarily lengthen the sermon. Not only does the pulpit help to keep the preacher focused on the proclamation of the word, it also helps to keep the people focused on the word and not on the preacher. This is so because the pulpit minimizes the preacher’s movement and is less of a distraction. The word becomes more important than the preacher.

I'm not sure if I agree with him or not. I'd be interested to hear what other folks think.

leadership models

"In one sense, the leadership model that people often experience is summarized by the popular opinion: 'It's all about me.' In all kinds of organizations and institutions, the rewards of money, recognition, and power increase as you move up the heirarchy. Self-promotion (pride) and self-protection (fear) are the reigning motivations that dominate the leadership landscape. Many leaders act as if the sheep are there only for the benefit of the shepherd. In personal relationships, leadership expectations of mutual respect, loving care, self-sacrifice, and openness are often undermined when pride, fear, and indifference replace intimacy with isolation. That's the bad news.
"There is a way to lead that honors God and restores health and effectiveness to organizations and relationships. It is the way Jesus calls us to follow as leaders: to serve rather than be served." (Lead Like Jesus, pp.3-4, italics mine)

Monday, May 22, 2006

self-serving leader or servant leader?

"Self-serving leaders think they should lead and others should follow. Servant leaders, on the other hand, seek to respect the wishes of those who have entrusted them with a season of influence and responsibility." (Lead Like Jesus, p.47)

"Leading like Jesus means leading with humility, which requires knowledge of whose you are and who you are. You are called to be a good steward of your season of influence in service to a plan that was set in motion before you came on the scene. Your influence will extend beyond your exit in the hearts and minds of those entrusted to your care." (p.66)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Lead Like Jesus

Being a part of my friends' wedding this weekend was so fulfilling for me. It was a gift of God that he used to bring a sense of continuity to my somewhat scattered life. The bride, the maid of honor, and I were all in nursery school together, and grew up together. A few other lifelong friends were present. Truly beautiful.

Friday night after the rehearsal in Joliet, my wife and I went to Target to get diapers, and then to Barnes and Noble. I had planned on buying yet another Bible that I didn't need, but stumbled onto Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges' book, Lead Like Jesus. Blanchard got worldwide recognition through his early book, The One-Minute Manager. Then, after meetings with Norman Vincent Peale and Phil Hodges, Blanchard dedicated his entire life to Christ. This book represents the change in direction and leadership philosophy that took place. It is an incredible book that challenges the values of almost every other leadership book I've ever read, Christian or secular.

Get it and read it!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Da Vinci Code movie review

Christianity Today Direct has just posted a review of the new Da Vinci Code movie:
"The best-selling novel, despite its historical inaccuracies, was at least an exciting yarn that qualified as a page-turner. But the highly anticipated movie is a yawner that takes itself far too seriously."

weddings and friends

Today and tomorrow I will be involved with a wedding rehearsal and wedding for one of my dearest lifelong friends. I've known my friend Anne since we were 3 years old.

Not only will I be the pastor at the wedding, but my wife will also be singing two songs, accompanied by me on guitar.

This will be my third wedding for a childhood friend or family member. It's such a joy for me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

godly goals vs. godly desires

My wife was recently rereading a good book called Victory Over the Darkness, by Neil T. Anderson. I read this book a couple of years ago and really liked it.

One of the best concepts that I remember from this book was Anderson's comparison of godly goals to godly desires.

He says that a godly goal should be something that is God-honoring that we can achieve, and no amount of interference can keep from happening. For instance, a goal for me might be, "I will learn to preach concise 20-minute sermons." Or, "My goal is to be the best pastor/father I can be."

On the other hand, a godly desire is something that is God-honoring but that involves a number of factors outside of our control coming together for it to be achieved. For example, a godly desire could be, "I desire for my church to grow by 100 in the next five years." Or, "I desire to start a contemporary worship service in the next year."

He would say we need to set godly goals that we can achieve, which are not dependent on external forces, because:
1) Blocked goals result in ANGER.
2) Impossible goals result in DEPRESSION.
3) Uncertain goals result in ANXIETY.

I can relate to these feelings coming from unhealthy goal-setting in my own life. I'm trying to focus more on godly goals.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

kudos to truth-tellers 2

So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another.
Ephesians 4:25

I really appreciated the honest feedback I received from my friend Kara on my last post. I could tell she was careful in her phrasing, but was brave enough to give honest feedback which will lead to growth.

I know that we are often hesitant to give others feedback about the job that they are doing. For this reason, many people continue for years doing things that they are not gifted for.

In order for the Kingdom of God to flourish, we need to be courageous enough to speak the truth in love. Thanks Kara.

But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:15-16

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

how long should a sermon be?

I've been thinking a lot lately about what the appropriate length of a sermon should be.

In seminary we were taught that 12-18 minutes was a good length, and anything longer than that was pushing it. The style that I was taught in seminary usually involved the Scripture being read before the sermon. The preacher had selected one thought from the Scripture and then developed a manuscript which he or she read from the pulpit.

The style that I like the best is more of a teaching style sermon. I like to have people open their Bibles and follow along and turn to different passages. This style seems to take a little longer, at least 20 minutes, maybe up to 35-40. I know some people that use this style preach 50-60 minutes.

The preaching style of most growing churches that I'm aware of is the teaching style even though it takes longer. I don't know of any growing church where the sermon is less than 20 minutes long.

I'm also finding that most mainline churches are acclamated to the style of preaching that I learned in seminary. I'm praying about my approach to preaching and trying to listen to how God is calling me to shape my sermons based on the needs of my congregation.

I'd be interested to get other people's feedback about appropriate sermon length.

Monday, May 15, 2006

kids like Communion

Yesterday, we had "Children's Sunday" at our church. At our last worship service, there was a panel discussion where the Children's Coordinator and I interviewed five 4th and 5th graders. Some of the things we discovered were very helpful.

You could probably guess that most of the kids wished that the sermon was shorter. (I always wish that myself, unless I'm the one preaching, then I seem to be able to babble on forever.)

What most of them liked the most about church was taking Communion. And many of them wished we took Communion more often.

I thought the Communion thing was very interesting. Upon reading the New Testament, it seems to be clear that the believers met together and partook of the Lord's Supper (Communion) every week. It seems that was the main reason they did meet every week.

I'm not sure why we got out of the habit of doing it every week in many churches. Probably because pastors who thought they were very important thought they needed more time to preach!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

opossum update

We have not seen the opossum since the May 3 sighting. He is either dead, still on the loose, or playing opossum somewhere.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bible.org

My friend Brian Bill recently turned me on to this excellent online Bible resource. It's called Bible.org. I can hardly believe all of the free resources they are offering.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

it couldn't be done

It Couldn't Be Done
Edgar Guest

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

President of Iran attempts to hold President Bush accountable to Christ

Today at Christianity Today direct :
"The leaders of Iran and the United States have had no official communication since 1979. This week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad broke the silence and wrote a letter to President Bush, largely criticizing his actions in the Middle East as being inconsistent with Christian faith."

To read the rest of the article, click here.
To read the letter from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to President Bush, click here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Calvary Chapel - the denominalization of my favorite non-denomination

My favorite non-denomination is the Calvary Chapel movement, which arose at the beginning of the Jesus Movement in the late sixties/early seventies. When I was living in Texas, I would sometimes attend the Wednesday evening worship service at Calvary Chapel Austin. This movement was started under the pastoral leadership of Chuck Smith (one of my heroes), formerly of the Foursquare denomination.

Calvary Chapel churches are structured so that the full authority for church business and decision-making is given to pastor, who is also the head of the church board. This is often referred to as the "Moses model" of church government. Christianity Today has an article about how this leadership structure is causing major problems in one of the largest churches in the country.

Calvary Chapel has also begun a new bureaucratic structure, called Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowships, that looks an aweful lot like the denominationalization of this anti-denominational non-denomination.

When I get worn down with the top-heaviness of the United Methodist Church, I often daydream of being a part of a structure closer to Calvary Chapel's structure. Its healthy for me to see that sooner or later there have to be systems put in place for financial accountability, credentialling, and quality control even among those who have tried hard to avoid such a structure, and did so successfully for a long time.

Monday, May 08, 2006

strange action figures

My friend Bandlady went to a Leonardo DaVinci exhibit in Chicago a couple of days ago and there purchased a Leo action figure. On her blog, she says that the same company who made Leo also made an "Obessive Compulsive Man" action figure. Since I have OCD, I decided to check it out. Here he is:


To find more bizarre action figures, click on this link: http://www.accoutrements.com/actionfigures/index.html.
My two-year-old son has one of the Jesus action figures and is a very satisfied customer.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Confirmation Sunday

Today was Confirmation Sunday at our church. After a year of meeting with these kids weekly, it was really touching for me to watch them profess with their mouths that they believe Jesus is Lord. Two of the kids have learning disabilites and one is autistic. During the Confirmation service, after I share the gospel with the congregation by explaining Ephesians 2:8,9 and Romans 10:9, I say to the Confirmation students, "Please declare what you believe in your hearts."

All year long they have been memorizing the Apostles Creed. We spend the whole year discussing the doctrines contained in each line. The Sunday before they are confirmed, I tell the students that this is real. This is the time when they publically express that Jesus is their Lord. I tell them that if they don't believe any part of the Apostles Creed, don't say it. Leave it out. I tell them that they are welcome to make their own statement of their beliefs (with the understanding that it will satisfy the intention of Romans 10:9).

Last week, one of the guys with a learning disability asked if he could go first to get it over with. I said sure. He started off by saying, "I believe in the communion of saints..." He was really off track at first. Then he paused and started over and rattled it off. The autistic boy said something like, "I believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit, and in life, life forever."

When this guy was saying this, I lost it. I started weeping. For two years, his grandmother had been going over the Confirmation curriculum with him at home. He's not able to sit in regular classes with other kids. He gets very anxious and begins biting himself and screaming. Now, here he was, making his profession of faith in Christ. I felt incredibly unworthy to be his pastor.

The rest of the kids just rocked it out with confidence and conviction. When I laid my hands on them and confirmed them with our Senior Pastor, it really felt like the real deal.

I've never broken down in a worship service except when doing funerals for people I know. I was so overwhelmed with humility and brokeness and gratitude, I had a hard time making it through the service. Thanks God, for letting me play a small part in your big work of saving other messed up people like me. Thanks for letting me talk to really awesome young people about your love poured out for them on the cross of Christ.


The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,

And in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried,
The third day he rose from the dead,
He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the throne of God,
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy catholic church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting.
Amen.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

opossum trapping - day 3


My son and I were very happy this morning to find that we had caught something.
Here's what we've learned so far:
1) Trapping "animals" is much easier than one might think.
2) Trapping the animal you're trying to trap is strangely difficult.
3) It takes rabbits and raccoons quite a while to realize that the cage is open and they're free to go home.
4) Rabbits like tuna (preferably Fancy Feast).

Friday, May 05, 2006

new evangelical UM church just chartered

My friend Andy Adams planted a really cool, strongly evangelical United Methodist church in Champaign-Urbana. They began meeting in 2004, and chartered (became official) with a congregation of over 150 people on April 23 of this year.

To read the story (in pdf format), click here.
(He's the really ugly bald guy in the picture.)
To visit the website of Quest UMC, click here.
To hear his sermons, click here.
To send him an email of encouragement and congratulations, click here.

PS. FYI, the crack about him being ugly was only a joke. However, the baldness is no joke.

opossom trapping - day 2

Nada. Nothing. No coon. No cat. Definitely no opossum.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

opossum trapping - day 1


OOPS! wrong varmint! at least we know the trap works!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

opossum





This little guy (or gal), a member of the only North American marsupian clan, has been patrolling our backyard every morning around 6:15 am. Today I picked up the trap and cat food necessary to catch him (or her). Should be an exciting night!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I feel called to write a book

Lately, I've been really looking at my life and trying to listen to my heart and seek wise counsel about my calling and giftedness. As a part of my pastoral calling, I feel that God is calling me to write a book. I have to owe the general thrust of the decision to proceed with this project to my friend Lon. This morning at breakfast he convinced me that I should see this as part of my calling as a pastor, as long as I was doing it 1)To live out my giftedness, 2)To help people, 3)Not to get rich. So, here goes.


“Steadfast in an Unsteady World”
(Whatever You Do, Don’t Give Up)
by Jason Woolever

Chapter 1: Steadfastness in the Storms of Life

Chapter 2: Steadfastness in Your Relational Life
(Don’t give up on your friends and family!)

Chapter 3: Steadfastness in Your Vocational Life
(Don’t give up on your life’s calling!)

Chapter 4: Steadfastness in Your Financial Life
(Don’t give up on managing your money!)

Chapter 5: Steadfastness in Your Emotional Life
(Don’t give up in the midst of depression!)

Chapter 6: Steadfastness in Your Physical Life
(Don't give up when your body is wasting away!)

Chapter 7: Steadfastness in Your Transitional Life
(Don’t give up in the midst of grief!)

Chapter 8: Steadfastness in Your Spiritual Life
(Don’t give up on loving God with all your being!)

Chapter 9: The Steadfast Love of God
(The reason why you need never give up)


Time Line for Completion
Due Dates Goals
Wednesday, 5-10-06 Outline of Chapters 1-4 *
Wednesday, 5-17-06 Outline of Chapters 5-6
Wednesday, 5-24-06 Outline of Chapters 7-8
Wednesday, 5-31-06 Draft of Chapter 1 *
Wednesday, 6-7-06 Draft of Chapter 2 *
Wednesday, 6-14-06 Draft of Chapter 3 *
Wednesday, 6-28-06 Draft of Chapter 4 *
Wednesday, 7-5-06 Draft of Chapter 5
Wednesday, 7-12-06 Draft of Chapter 6
Wednesday, 7-19-06 Draft of Chapter 7
Wednesday, 7-26-06 Draft of Chapter 8
Wednesday, 8-2-06 Draft of Chapter 9
Wednesday, 8-9-06 Draft of Full Manuscript
Wednesday, 8-16-06 5 publishing options
Wednesday, 8-23-06 Publishing decision
Wednesday, 8-30-06 Publishing in process

Last week, when I was vacillating over Bible translations, I questioned my sanity. This week, I've accepted the fact that I'm crazy and decided that I better milk it for all its worth (not monetarily, but spiritually as God intended).

God wants you poor and miserable?

I just got my first free weekly newsletter from Dan Miller. Its called Does God Want You to Be Rich or Poor? Besides the primary article, The Root of All Evil, about faith and wealth, its got a lot of other really good stuff too.

One good article it links to is called Increasing number of Minnesota women are leaving work force.

There's also this great quote:
'Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.' -- Socrates (470-399 B.C.)

You can subscribe to his weekly newsletter for free. You'll find the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

P.S. Dan Miller is not paying me to advertise for him. I'm just excited about his ministry which I am finding very helpful.

Monday, May 01, 2006

positive step toward balance

After having our first child in 2003, I was forced to elimate activities from my schedule. I used to run a few days a week and read at least a book a week. Within a few months I had given up running altogether, in order to have time to at least pray and do a little reading. It felt like an either/or.

I mentioned Dan Miller yesterday. So, I was listening to a CD that he put out, and he describes how every morning, after a time of prayer, he goes into his workout room and listens to motivational tapes, audio books, or sermons while exercising. It seemed like a cool idea to me.

Last Thursday on my day off, I loaded my two little kids into their little red wagon and we took a hike to the public library. I checked out a few audiobooks, surprised at the large assortment that was available. Friday morning, I got up and stuck an audiobook in the boom box, and got on the treadmill for a 35 minute walk.

Today was my fourth day to begin my day this way. I offer it to you because I'm feeling positive, doing two things that are important to me, learning and exercising, all in one fell swoop. It feels like I'm redeeming the first hour of the day. Try it and see if you like it. I'm digging it.