Archive for December, 2006

The Kite Runner

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Kite Runner-1-2I finished an incredible book yesterday. While looking through Brian McLaren’s “best books of 2006” I found this book listed, and I thought I recognized the title. Turns out, my wife had checked this out from the library and had read the book this summer. When it came in the mail, she was really excited (she loves to read books multiple times) and asked where I had heard about the book. She loved it, and now I understand why.

I finished the book in a day… not because it was short, but because it was so compelling and unpredictable. The Kite Runner is a heart wrenching story about two boyhood friends, Amir and Hassan, who grow in Afghanistan. I won’t say much more, except this. The Kite Runner is an exceptional novel that had me in tears by the end. I hope you’ll pick up this book this holiday season and enjoy this great narrative. It’s a story well worth reading.

Here’s an Amazon link.

Click here for more recommendations from Brian McLaren’s website.

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Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Click here if you want to see some Christmas pictures. I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season.

A few links

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

I have a few links for everyone this morning. First, our friend Mallory who is in Africa right now on a mission trip with the Invisible Children has posted a few updates. Here is her latest. Keep Mallory in your prayers.

Secondly, I just saw the website for this movie. I haven’t heard anything about it before today, but it looks pretty interesting. It’s about the Antislavery movement in Britain in the 19th century, and uses the famous hymn, “Amazing Grace” as the title of the film. If you’re wondering why, John Newton, a slave trader actually wrote Amazing Grace.

Anyways, the movie might be worth checking out, and don’t forget to pray for Mallory.

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Property Issues in the Episcopal Church

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Click here for the Washington Post story about six Episcopal parishes voting to break their union with the U.S. church because of their opposition to the confirmation of an practicing homosexual Bishop and the blessing of same sex unions. What might be the most tragic and sad part of the story is what is expected to happen next. A long and lengthly legal battle for the ownership of the properties associated with these parishes is expected to begin soon. Like the United Methodist Church, all local church property falls under the ownership of the larger governing body, the Annual Conference in the case of United Methodism, and the Diocese in the case of the Episcopal church. In a letter from the Bishop of the Virginia Diocese, all churches were warned (you might say threatened) that if they were to vote for separation, the churches ran the risk of losing their properties…

So now, these two entities will fight it out in the courts in a battle that will have wide repercussions for other denominations facing similar debates. I hope and pray that our church is able to avoid this fate. At this moment, I can think of nothing else that would grieve God more than seeing us in court fighting over the money and institutional power of the church.

To help us understand the issue: Estimated property value of Falls & Truro church = 25 million dollars.

Below are some links to two of the larger churches who have voted to separate. The Falls Church site has some additional press releases including the letter from their Bishop.

Falls Church

Truro Church

Jurisdictionial Event for Young Clergy

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

I received an invitation today to be a part of planning a Jurisdictional Event at Mt. Sequoyah this may for young clergy. They dates are May 23rd – 26th, 2007. Doug Pagitt and Tim Keel have been selected for the keynote speakers for the event. It sounds like an intriguing opportunity. Please send me an email to let me know if you are interested in attending this event.

Study Leave

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

I leave tomorrow for two days of study leave. I hope to plan out a great deal for the winter and spring seasons, but more than anything, I am looking forward to a break from the normal flow of life. I turned in a 23 page paper today that finally brought to a close the worst class I have taken in seminary. It’s a great burden that has been lifted, but I’m so run down right now, I haven’t yet felt the relief. Hopefully a few days of retreat will bring some refreshment.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11th, 2006


I may now officially be old

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

2-1Last night while trying to fight through some sermon block, I was shuffling around the iTunes store trying to find some music to inspire. I don’t understand how you can have 18 gigs of music and still feel like you keep hearing the same thing over and over again, but that seems to be the case for me right now. Anyways, I was looking to branch out a little bit and I came across a name that I recognized… Yo-Yo Ma. The only reason I recognized him is because he was prominently featured in several West Wing episodes during some of the earlier seasons of the show including one of my favorites which deals with Josh’s (Bradley Witford for any Studio 60 fans) recovery & post-traumatic stress from being severely wounded in an assasination attempt on the President… But I digress…

So I take a quick 30 second listen to some of his stuff, and it is amazing. It is heart-wrenching, inspiring, hope-filled music that makes you want to cry, sleep, and run 10 miles in the snow all at the same time. Sermon block has been officially cured… I just hope the message is half as inspiring as I felt while writing it. Maybe I’ll preach tonight with Yo-Yo Ma in the background… That’s emergent, right?

So to quote Donna from the West Wing, “Yo-Yo Ma rules!” Check him out on iTunes, listen to some great classical music, and come be an old man with me.


Friday, December 8th, 2006

This is pretty cool.

Blog Reorganization

Friday, December 8th, 2006

If you are a Typepad user and have not checked out Typepad Hacks, I highly recommend it. In response to one of their latest posts, I decided to redesign my blog structure in relationship to several other projects that I am a part of. Now, when you visit, you will find yourself at a landing page where people can then navigate here to the blog or to another site.


If you’re interested in settting this up on your typepad site, here’s the post from Typepad hacks.