February 8, 2016 11:13 am

For those who asked over the last two weeks, I expressed a quiet confidence that the Broncos would win Super Bowl 50. I wasn’t so quiet in my car talking back to all of the experts who bought into their own hype and picked the Panthers. (I’ll allow myself a few more days of sports radio to savor the victory, and then put it back in deep freeze until the next time one of my teams is streaking toward a championship.)

Two historical stats I found interesting that I shared with those who asked what I expected:

  1. Teams that have the #1 defense in the regular season were 9-2 in the Super Bowl. (And 9-1 before Malcolm Butler happened last year.) They are now 10-2.
  2. Teams that featured a QB who had accounted for 50 TDs (combined passing and running) were 0-3 in the Super Bowl: Marino, Brady, and Peyton. They are now 0-4.

February 6, 2016 8:39 am

Meals are daily celebrations where we meet each other around the same table to be nourished and share in joy. They are a particular delight for the body and the senses. So we shouldn’t bolt our food under the pretext of having more important or more spiritual things to do than sit at the table. A meal is an important community event which has to be well prepared and fully lived. It is a time when the joy of eating and drinking well merge with the joy of meeting — a marvelous human moment.

February 4, 2016

The blog description above says there is some occasional Dad stuff going to be showing up on here, so here you go.

February 4, 2016 9:11 am

“In the Middle Ages, the sin of sloth had two forms,” he said. “One was paralysis, the inability to do anything—what we would see as lazy. But the other side was something called acedia—running about frantically. The sense that, ‘There’s no real place I’m going, but by God, I’m making great time getting there.’”

February 3, 2016 10:51 am

I love the Day One app. I have it on my iPhone, iPad and Mac and I use it on all three. I keep track of meetings, readings, progress reports on projects, and general ideas. I have Goodreads drop my completed books in there. It pulls in an update when I post here.

A new version of Day One, Day One 2, is coming out tomorrow. It looks like a big and nifty update, and I’m cautious. Not because I don’t think it will be great. I’m cautious because the current Day One is so simple, and I hope the new one, even as it adds new features, can still offer an almost non-friction experience to track my doings and thinkings.

I’m Not Saying Blogging is Better

But its better for me

January 27, 2016 | Leave a comment

Late last month, this post popped up in my timelines: Iran’s blogfather: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are killing the web.

And yeah, I first saw the link on Facebook, so that might seem contrary to the title. But it resonates. And I saw the article circulate enough to know that I wasn’t the only one.

After being jailed for six years in Iran to silence his blog, was released to a world, and a world wide web, he barely recognized:

The hyperlink was my currency six years ago. It represented the open, interconnected spirit of the world wide web – a vision that started with its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralisation – all the links, lines and hierarchies – and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks. Since I got out of jail, though, I’ve realised how much the hyperlink has been devalued, almost made obsolete.

Since reading his thoughts, which I’d encourage you to do too, I’ve been thinking and mulling and remembering that blogging has been a good thing for me. And somewhere in my dormancy around here, I missed a ten year anniversary for this blog, so it’s been a good thing for me for quite a long time.

The apparent loss will be familiar to anyone who blogs, journals, or publishes regularly. Having space to form fractured inklings into mosaic thoughts leads to an enriched way of seeing the world. I’ve had outlets for this, whether blog posts for other places, my podcast, or sermons for our church community. But none of those offers the same opportunities to chase whatever notions may be stirring in this noggin.

But in my ruminations about the transforming state of the webernet, and particulary social media’s rise, I realized just how much it causes me to say. Or not to say.

With social media, be it Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram, I’m always aware of the audience. I have a general idea of who is following or friending or, most especially, favoriting. And so I’m tempted to write for that audience. Its not so much that I write for the likes —though they have their intoxicating qualities. Its that I start to write based on who I perceive that audience is. I start to mutter about what I think they will be interested in, rather than what I’m interested in.

There is an anonymity of audience when it comes to blogging. It’s like being on stage with the spotlights blinding you from anything beyond the first few rows. You’re up there putting it out there. Those friendly and familiar faces in the front row can be encouraging, for sure, but who knows who, if anyone, is in the rows beyond.

I’ve spent the last few weeks retooling and polishing up this old blog of mine. I’ve added the ability to post shorter tidbits without a title — asides as they may be known to you blog vernaculareans. I’ve modified the already added ability to post links to some of my podcasts, sermons, orther writings. Or to post links to anything else that I think worth directing people toward. Nope…to anything else that I find of interest.

I’m hopeful these simpler formats will keep some thoughts mulling and words moving. And along the way will come some good old fashioned blog posts like this one. Probably.

I still read RSS feeds, and this site still has one. There is the full feed which includes all the content types. But there is also a standard posts feed.

This feels good.

I’m not saying blogging is better. But its better for me.

January 27, 2016

Continued our four weeks of imagining a shared Common Life to lead us into 2016. We talked about Belonging, something that would be pretty easy to do if it weren’t for 1) you, and 2) everybody else. This week included some words from Jean Vanier (again!), Joseph Hellerman, the Paul formerly known as Saul, and Bilbo Baggins. Oh, and a lovely image montage of presidential candidates.

January 27, 2016 9:11 am

What is this maddening thing where iOS 9 often get stuck installing app updates with no apparent way to get it going again? And why has it not been sorted out even after multiple iOS 9 updates.

January 19, 2016 7:24 pm

This is my first go at publishing an aside to the new blog setup directly from Drafts via iOS. If all goes well, it will make its way through Workflow and on to be published.

January 19, 2016

My latest Sermonsmith podcast was with Felipe Assis, the pastor of Crossbridge Church in Miami, FL.

January 19, 2016

I continued our series on beginning to imagine a common life together. This week, we talked about how a church is a community that is formed around a common story, a belief about how the God has worked, and still works, in this creation. Mixed in some Flannery O’Conner and Jean Vanier along the way.

January 19, 2016 12:40 am

There is a part of each of us which is already luminous, already converted. And there is a part which is still in shadow. A community is not made up only of the converted. It is made up of all the elements in us which need to be transformed, purified, and pruned. It is made up also of the ‘unconverted’.

January 14, 2016

I enjoyed joining Brandon and Joe as their first guest ever on the Rookie Preacher Podcast. I’m so used to firing off the questions rather than answering them, but I think I prevented myself from taking over.

January 13, 2016 11:25 pm

If I were writing the script… Broncos beat the Steelers, then the Chiefs, and then the Seahawks. Peyton goes out on top.

Or he comes back next year and does it one more time.

January 11, 2016

I kicked off a series on a Common Life for our church community with words from Jesus, Greg Boyd, Jürgen Moltmann, and Lesslie Newbigin. Oh, and an animated foodie rat.

February 12, 2015

I write about once a month for The V3 Movement blog. This latest post explains why using a set liturgy for the Austin Mustard Seed weekly Sunday gathering has been so important for us.

February 12, 2015

With Lent approaching, we’re returning to the Lectionary. I cheated ahead a week to Transfiguration Sunday this past week because we won’t have liturgy on the real Transfiguration Sunday.

Before we got to the Transfiguration bit, I disagreed with the majority of believing USAmericans who think God helps Russell Wilson win football games…

The Only Proper Way to Eat a Bagel

Repent of your former ways

February 4, 2015 | 1 Comment

Our house is gluten-free. I am not. When I’m out somewhere and eating something that wouldn’t find it’s way into our home, I make the most of it.

Let’s talk bagels, for example. Here’s how you should eat them:

  1. The bagel should be sliced and toasted. This isn’t a donut. It needs some crunch, some crisp, and a doubling of the eating time and pleasure. If the effect of the toasting isn’t visible, it should be toasted some more until it is.
  2. The bagel should have some kind of savory something adhering to the top. It shouldn’t be sweet stuff — again, this isn’t a donut. I want to see onions or garlic on there at the very least. Really, it should an everything bagel or don’t bother.
  3. There should be a good spreadable cream cheese. It should not be light and it should not have any other flavors or specks of stuff in it. Cream cheese.
  4. Go ahead and spread the cream cheese on both halves. It should be evenly divided, but some variance is okay, up to 51-49.

The next steps get super important, so pay attention.

  1. Eat the top first. I used to think I was wise by eating the bottom first, so that the top with all of it’s everything sprinkled goodness was waiting for me. Delayed gratification, I thought. Those around me would admire what a good person I was. I was deluded.
  2. As you eat the top, take care to eat it over your plate, like your mother taught you. As you eat it over your plate, take care to eat it over the bottom portion that’s already smeared with cream cheese.
  3. As you are eating the top, take appropriate delight in noting how the everything bits that are dropping off as you eat are falling on to the bottom where they are being captured by the cream cheese. It used to be, in my former ways, that I would eat the bottom, and then the top, and be left with a plate full of bits of goodness. There was no proper way to eat these, and they were lost to humanity forever.
  4. Once you have finished the top, eat the bottom, again with appropriate delight, as you experience an extra measure of everything goodness with each bite.

You’re welcome.

February 4, 2015

A first for Sermonsmith as I grappled with two guests at once. Didn’t so much feeling like grappling though — they were a pleasure to chat with.

February 4, 2015

Enjoyed preaching this series so very much. Unfortunately, this recording didn’t capture the highlight of it, which was hearing people from our church community describe the ways they were exploring how to practice Sabbath in their life.