Archive for October, 2006

NYWC So Far…

In case you are late to the party, Erin and I are in Austin right now for the National Youth Worker’s Convention put on by the fine people of Youth Specialties.  At this exact moment, we are in one of the general sessions listening to Rowdy Roddy Piper’s band tear through the finest music ever to come out of Scotland. I don’t know about you, but I love me some Scottish music!  (i thought I could do it, but there’s no way I can say that with a straight face)   WIthout further ado, here are the highlights
First and foremost: David Crowder*Band.  They are unbelievable!  They have led at two sessions now, and because Erin and I are so hip and well-informed, we went to a book signing they did at a  South Austin Borders.  I got my book signed.  I got a picture.  I teared up.  It was wonderful.
We had late-late-late dinner with illusionist jared hall.  Nothing is finer than an Austin IHOP at 1:00 am on a Friday night.  Getcha some.
Whilst at said late-late-late dinner, I got to experience something that dreams are made of (no, not the fantasy french toast).  I looked in the sky to see a police chopper with a spotlight shining somewhere a few blocks away.  I heard the sirens.  My pulse began to race.  I turned towards the highway underpass, when I saw a Suburban driving with 5 police cars chasing it.  That’s right, I was 200 feet from a high-speed chase!  That’s worth the price of admission right there!
The SpringHill Suites by Marriott is a fine hotel.  USA Today outside your door each morning, hot waffles for breakfast, and ultra-soft blankets.
Ryan Hall (Carpenter’s Way in Lufkin) and Lori Hatfield (FBC Round Rock) are both here.  It’s nice to see some Camp 121 folk.  Erin and I also ran into Jade Guerra-Payne and her crew.  Always good to see the ghosts of Zephyr-past!
I took Erin to see the Congress Bridge Bats.  How exciting can bats be, right?  Rabies infested rodents flying around just waiting to poop on your unsuspecting head.  You couldn’t be more wrong!  There are millions of these flying dudes roaming Town Lake at dusk doing their part to keep Austin bug-less.
Erin has found her favorite enchilada of the past few years.  The chicken-sour cream-cilantro enchilada at Chuy’s on Barton Springs Road had her breaking out in prayer and song.  Meanwhile, my cheesy-ranchero enchilada found me wishing I had gotten fajitas.  Oh well.
And last but not least…LEELAND.  Baytown-based-band rocked up the late-night concert on Thursday.  I was hooked from the first note.  You’ll be hearing them in a Refuge near you soon!
We are having a great time.  I’ll post more later today and tomorrow now that I know the Convention Center has the free WiFi.  Miss everyone!



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You Gotta Earn the Right

The other day, I was confronted.  I might have been accosted.  I definitely know that I was part of an intervention.  Basically, someone that I am acquaintances with got all serious and said this: "Alright, I’m going to pick on you for a second.  Is everything alright?  Are you having some serious problems?  I just sense that you are feeling pensive lately."  I’ve got a ton of issues with this, so come on an adventure with me as we discover the issues together!

A :: I don’t know why this question was asked.  The questioner said that I just seem upset.  I countered with the fact that I have introverted tendencies and so sometimes I’m quiet.  Why does quiet imply upset?  Just for the record, I’m not upset.  Well, I’m kind of upset about the incident, but before that I wasn’t upset.  And I’m not really upset right now.

B :: Pensive is a poor word choice.  If you are going to throw down a rarely used word, pick a good one.  Pensive means "thoughtful reflection, meditative, contemplating."  The only poor connotation of the word is that it can "include some sadness."  But other than that, I am delighted to be called pensive.  There are far too many times I’m not thoughtful or reflective, and I speak too quickly.  Again, I think there is a misunderstanding that being quiet equals being upset.  But here’s my real beef…

C :: You gotta earn the right to ask this question.  Even if I was having "big problems," I wasn’t going to tell this guy.  Don’t get me wrong, I like him, but the "big problem" conversation is reserved for people that I know and trust and have shared some life experience together.  It’s not for the guy you share a cubicle with or the person who bags your groceries. 
Earning the right to ask questions is an important concept to grasp.  As a minister, I would be a fool to think that I just have automatic credibility in people’s lives.  Those days are over.  If I want to be an influence, I’m going to need to be present and available.  I don’t need to march in with all of my knowledge and make people let me care for them.  Hasn’t someone said "People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care"
Before I got all Hallmark Card, I did have a point.  Not only do we need to earn the right to ask big questions with other people around us, I think we need to earn the right to ask our Creator big questions.  If you look at the story of Job, you see Job suffer and question and plead and suffer some more.  Only after he has suffered and endured and remained faithful does God respond to Job.
Our church has begun the WHY> study, a 40-day campaign about asking life’s biggest questions.  It’s good to ask these questions, but sometimes we are like kids at Christmas.  Forget about waiting, we want the present now.  The answers to questions like "Why is the world messed up" and "What does God want me to do with my life" take time.  You don’t get those in a day.  In fact, those answers may take a lifetime.


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