Hanging Out with Jesus

One thing I learned from our small group tonight was that Jesus liked to hang out. Throughout the New Testament he spends a lot of time just hanging out with people. He’s not doing anything productive, he’s just hanging out. That Jesus–what a bum.

But I think Jesus was intentionally modeling the value of relationships. In many ways I think our faith is worked out in our relationships with others. When I’m really close to people I don’t have to do anything with them. We can just hang out.

That emphasis on hanging out is repeated with the early church in Acts when we see them sharing meals together (another thing Jesus did a lot).

Contrary to what we may think, Christianity cannot be lived in a vacuum. No Christian is an island. We need each other. There’s value in just being with other people.

Too bad we spend so much of our lives isolated–alone in our cars, alone in our cubicles, alone in front of our computers (oops). Maybe we need to get together more often and just be together.

Make Your Life Matter

Over New Year’s I went to Anaheim, Calif., for the Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07, an event that challenged students to imagine how they could change their world, specifically by embracing orphans, stopping human trafficking and fighting poverty. At the same time I was reading the book Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. Both of these were work projects, but they fit together nicely.

Both had a powerful theme of doing practical things to make the world a better place. Both were about putting Christianity in action (is there any other way? Sadly, yes, the church seems to have found an inactive path).

And now I’m wrestling with what these things practically mean for my life. (And I’m really just rambling here, so don’t expect much to be coherent.)

Continue reading Make Your Life Matter

Closer to Adoption and Big Questions

On Friday three Priority Mail envelopes arrived with our passports. My picture makes me look creepy. Doesn’t help that Lexi and I had to retake our passport photos because ProEx screwed them up (don’t worry, we got our money back). But we have our passports, so we’re one step closer.

This week we go in to get fingerprinted for the Department of Homeland Security. Another step closer.

I’ve also started reading There Is No Me Without You, a book Abby already read. It’s the staggering story of orphans and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia and one woman who took in dozens of orphaned children, turning her two-bedroom home into a makeshift foster care center. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s already challenging and convicting, both because of the incredible indifference of Westerners to the plight of the poor and oppressed around the world, and the incredible need.

Continue reading Closer to Adoption and Big Questions

Post-Apocalyptic Stories & Jericho

Not too long ago I went on a sci-fi bender and confessed my love for post-apocalyptic fiction. So it was really only a matter of time before I checked out last year’s new TV drama Jericho (and thanks to the joyous world of glitchy online video, I can catch up for free). The show focuses on an isolated Kansas town after nuclear blasts (war? terrorism?) leave the United States decimated.

It’s basically the story I imagined again and again while playing G.I. Joe during summer vacations in Kansas. At one point I even plotted my own post-apocalyptic/Christian end times crossover novel. It involved turning the state of Kansas into a concentration camp for Christians and a young convert running supplies in a beat-up Mustang. The hero even had a bloodied Bible that belonged to his martyred parents. Not exactly my best work.

Continue reading Post-Apocalyptic Stories & Jericho

Stolen Purse

My wife’s purse was stolen today. What a pain. We spent the afternoon and evening canceling credit cards and getting her a new driver’s license (the ID is crucial since we have to get fingerprinted by the Department of Homeland Security in a week or two as part of our adoption process–and they require photo ID).

Everything is canceled and I don’t think we’ll have to pay any fraudulent charges, but it is a pain and we are out whatever cash was in Abby’s purse (maybe $50) and the fee for a new license. Doh. Thankfully her cell phone and her car keys (with the expensive key fob) were not in her purse.

Continue reading Stolen Purse

California New Year

I just got back from a whirlwind trip to California to cover the Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07.

I got out to Anaheim about 12 hours late thanks to the vomit-thing the rest of my family succumbed to. Thankfully my bout with it was the shortest and about 15 hours after I stopped throwing up I was able to jump on a plane. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but a job’s a job and it all worked out in the end. (Plus my new flight meant running into Josh and Steph at the airport–well, I didn’t actually run into them, more like caught up with them in security since they were slowed by dog and child and I skipped ahead in line thanks to flying first class–another bonus to buying a ticket hours before you go when all the coach seats are soldout.)

Continue reading California New Year