Apr 22, 2012

I Was There When the Mariners Made History

You couldn't have asked for a prettier day to go to the Ballpark.

It wasn't too hot. It wasn't too cold. I was a bright sunny perfect day in Seattle.

The seats weren't too bad either. We were directly behind home plate. 

My friend Jay and his wife Dana invited my wife and I to the game. Of course we were going. 

I love baseball.

There is no other sport where you can go and enjoy a game while enjoying the company you're with like in baseball.

One of my bucket list items is to visit every ball park in America (I'm about 1/3 of the way there), and also to witness a no hitter.

I've seen no hitters on television. But I wanted to be in the ballpark as it was happening.

Now, had the Mariners been the one to no hit the White Sox, the stadium would have been erupting with cheers.
But since we were the ones who were unable to get a hit, most of the game was actually pretty boring.

This little guy pretty much sums it up. 
It wasn't until the 5th inning that I realized, "Oh my goodness, this guys throwing a no hitter!"

Normally people start leaving when the home team is down after the 7th inning stretch. But not today.

Almost everyone who showed up for the game stayed to be witnesses to one of the greatest spectacles of sporting history - a perfect game. 

It sure would have been a whole lot more fun had the Mariners been the one's no hitting Chicago, but I am still grateful that I was there to see it happen.

Apr 21, 2012

I Want to Be a Part of God Changing the World

I have a simple dream.

I want to be a part of God changing the world.

Is that too much to ask?

There's way too much poverty, way too much violence, way too much hatred, way too much bigotry, way too much abuse, way too much wasted lives, way too much self-centeredness, way too much senseless purposelessness.

I want to be a part of God changing the world.

Is that too much to ask?

Is it too naive?

I don't care.

I want to be a part of God changing the world.

Apr 20, 2012

Thank You LCOP!!!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Change is never easy. Even if it's necessary and the right thing, changing is hard to do.
Thank you all for your willingness to put up with and adjust to the changes happening. 
One of the realities of the church in America is that we have somehow failed to communicate the incredible news of Jesus Christ to two generations of people. Most of our congregations are aging, and some have children and youth, but there is an absence of folks in their 20's, 30's, 40's, and 50's.
If there was an easy way, a sure fire way, of ministering to those who are not a part of God's church family then everyone would be doing it. 
The reality is that no one knows the "secret." 
The only thing we know for sure is that unless we discover and discern some new ways of connecting the good news of Jesus Christ with people who don't know Jesus, we will continue to fail the people of this generation.
The Prairie Hall Project and the Contemporary service changes are an experiment. The pastoral staff and the session are endeavoring on prayerful, strategic, and God-centered changes. Not all of our experiments will work. But we are praying that God will lead us together to make some Godly smart changes that will reach more people with the message of Jesus Christ. 
It is because of your willingness to do whatever it takes to be about the ministry of Jesus Christ that we are able to do what we do.
The simple reality is that there is no LCOP without you who are currently members of LCOP. You make LCOP happen. Thank you!
John Maxwell writes in his book Failing Forward:
Working artists David Bayles and Ted Orland, in their book, Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, tell a story about an art teacher who did an experiment with his grading system for two groups of students. It is a parable on the benefits of failure. Here is what happened:
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rated an “A,” forty pounds a “B,” and so on. Those being graded on “quality,” hoever, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A.” Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of the highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
It doesn’t matter whether your objectives are in the area of art, business, ministry, sports, or relationships. The only way you can get ahead is to fail early, fail often, and fail forward.
Little Church on the Prairie, thank you for your willingness to be bold with doing everything we can to reach people with the greatest news on earth: God loves you!

Apr 19, 2012

One of Those Days...

I got up nice and refreshed, ready to conquer the day for God.

  • Got the kids to school on time
  • Had a great quiet time and reflection time in the morning
  • Ate a good breakfast
Everything was going great.

And then I got in the car. I put my backpack on the passenger seat and turned the keys...and nothing. The battery died.

No problem.

I was having a great day. Wasn't going to let something like this get in the way.

I got out of the car, grabbed the keys to the wife's car so I could jump my car and get the thing started.

I got my wife's car just where I wanted, had her engine running, and began connecting the jumper cables.

That was me...except that guy in the picture isn't me
And that's when it happened. As soon as I made the connection between my wife's car to my car's batteries...that's when I heard it...that sickening sound...CLICK!

As soon as my car's battery had some juice, the first thing it did was to lock all the doors. This is great to secure the car. But this isn't so great when I left the keys in the ignition. Of course all the windows were rolled up. Of course all the doors were locked.

No problem. I'm not going to let something like this ruin my day. I will go get the spare key.

So I go searching for this spare key that I know we have. It's just that we can't find this spare key that I know we have. I searched all over the house. 30 minutes plus looking for this spare key that I know we have.

But nope. Couldn't find it.

After searching for 30 minutes, I gave up and called AAA.

Thank God for AAA.

So what's the moral of the story?

This is still the day that the Lord has made. Situations don't change that. I was going to sit around and wait for the AAA guy to show up and I could have a good attitude about that or I could have a bad attitude. Either way, I am waiting for the AAA guy.

So I chose to have a good attitude and be glad that there was a AAA guy who could help me open the door to retrieve my keys and my backpack and get going about the day.

I could end this story here, but that wouldn't be quite right.

You see, it took a while to arrive at this conclusion. I must also confess I uttered some choice words that I haven't used in a while and words I would never use in public when I heard that terrible sound...CLICK!!!

While it did take me a while to get there, I did get there. I did recalibrate my attitude.

Next time, Lord willing, it won't take me so long to get there.

Apr 7, 2012

Linchpins, Supporters, Leeches...

In his book, Insubordinate, Seth Godin says that there are three kinds of people:

  1. Linchpins
  2. Supporters
  3. Leeches, Advocates for the Devil, and Bystanders
  • the ones who make a difference
  • rare ones who truly make and impact
  • this group of people changes everything
  • eager, willing to help, admire the work the linchpin is doing
  • they supply leverage or money or just a smile to help get the job done
  • they challenge the linchpin to do more, dig deeper, and make an even bigger difference
  • pessimists, obstructionists, and the protectors of the status quo
  • driven by fear
  • they slow you down, whittle you down, and average you down
  • they don't learn because they choose to be where they are
  • they end up here because their lizard brain gets so freaked out that they don't really have a chance to be different
Godin says, "Avoid them (leeches). Like potholes in an otherwise smooth road, it's just easier to drive around them."