Walking the line between nerd and cool.

Personal Life

Christian Schlock: Jesus Loves Nerds

I’m not really a fan of Christian Schlock. T-shirts, posters, bumper stickers, etc. You know the ones, right? No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus, Know Peace. Or how about: In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned. Or maybe you prefer the cheesy replacement slogans like “Just Believe It!” (You know, like Nike? Just do it?) You also have great church sign content like: “C H _ _ C H. What’s missing? U R.”

The thing is, it cheapens our message I think. Some of them are useful witnessing tools, but too many just turn me off and I’m already Christian! What does it do to non-believers? I see some of the ones on car bumpers and feel like I was just the victim of a drive-by judgment.

Now, I like a good Christian T-Shirt from time to time. Half my T-Shirt/Relaxed wardrobe it seems is made up of just Cornerstone and Crossroads gear, our Middle School and High School Ministries at First Trinity. But some of the junk we’ve come up with as Christians isn’t even funny. It’s just plain dumb.

Of course, this is the exception that proves the rule. Every now and then, we come up with something great. Got this as a psuedo Birthday/Christmas gift from a friend. I’m not really one for laptop covers, but this one was perfect. You can buy it or see a clearer, more readable picture here. My favorite part? Tough, but I’d have to go with “Jesus has the newest iPhone before it’s even made.” Runner up? “Chuck Norris wishes he was as cool as Jesus.”


Moving

The past several weeks have been really chaotic as we get ready to move. Between work, packing and painting, I haven’t had much time for anything, including blogging. The good news is that we’re just about done with painting. Many thanks to the several people who came over to help with the project!

We’re going to be moving on November 21 and need lots of help doing it. We’ll be renting a truck and loading it with all our stuff. We’ll start at 10 a.m. at our current place (33 Cascade Dr, Amherst NY, 14228). We’ll load the truck and then head to the new place to unload it all. We’ve got boxes, couches, beds, tables, chairs and lots more to move.

If you’re able to help, it would be much appreciated it. If you can participate (or you want to volunteer a child/husband/wife), let me know you’re coming by signing up in the comments below or giving me a call.


Music I’m Listening To

Not too long ago, David Crowder came out with a new CD titled “Church Music”. It’s been a regular in my music listening since it came out. Now I’m grooving to Matt Redman’s newest CD. Not sure which I like more right now.

Two tracks from Matt’s CD that stand out to me:

This Is How We Know (YouTube Video)

The opening lyrics:

This is how we know
This is how we know what love is
Just one look at Your cross
And this is where we see
This is where we see how love works
For You surrendered Your all
And this is how we know
That You have loved us first
This is where we chose
To love You in return

You Alone Can Rescue (YouTube Video)

Some favorite lyrics from this one:

Who, oh Lord, could save themselves,
Their own sin could heal?
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your love is deeper still
You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

Any good ones you’re enjoying right now?


The Work/Play Divide

I know not every job is like this, but one of the interesting things about my job is that it is very integrated with my life. Here’s what that means. There aren’t a lot of clear boundaries as to when I’m working and when I’m playing (play here is defined as not work).

Now, generally speaking, I certainly major in work while at work and major in play when at home. But, largely because of technology, my work and play bleed into one another fairly regularly. Some examples:

  • Email: Despite the fact that you can email me at my work account (an @FirstTrinity.com email) or my play account (@gmail.com), it all goes to the same place. This means I process both work and play email every time I check my email. This is why you may get a work-related email from me at 11 p.m. or a play email at 1 p.m.
  • Blogging: Generally speaking, I read blogs when I have an opportunity to do so. It’s easier to divide work and play blogs, but I read both types in both places. I also do some play blogging at work and work blogging at play.
  • Twitter: One of the things about Twitter that I love is that I can get small bits of teaching wherever I am. I can also get Fantasy Football news and information. And updates on my friends’ lives. Work and play co-exist.

Sometimes it’s best to have a clear divide between the two things. For me, that’s often on Mondays, which is my “day off”. Very rarely do I respond to work requests on Mondays. Occasionally, but not often. There are also times where I need to erect a barrier so play things don’t interrupt me at work. Usually this involves shutting down my email/twitter/blogging software and focusing exclusively on work.

So here are two theological questions associated with this:

  1. Is your relationship with God integrated with your life?
  2. When do you build a barrier to keep out the world and focus exclusively on God?

Of course, God wants both: Life integration and moments of exclusivity.


Everyday Faith: Baby Blessing

Jaime and I got to participate in the very first Baby Blessing event as part of our Everyday Faith program at church this morning. Some of the information we already knew, but it was good to hear it again. Some of it was new for us.

By far, the hardest part was trying to come up with a blessing to use for Addison. It was suggested that you may be able to build it around the meaning of your baby’s name. Doesn’t work so well for us, since Addison means “Son of Adam”. So we decided to use some of the story behind her middle-namesake: Naomi.

We have a draft—which I won’t share quite yet—but we wanted to include this section of Naomi’s story, spoken by Ruth to Naomi in Ruth 1:16:

For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

It’s hard to write a blessing for our dear little Addison, but we’re praying it will be one that is meaningful to her throughout her whole life.


The First Win

After just nine years and three months, we’ve paid off our first student loan as part of the debt snowball we started back in August, 2008. It took 13 months and almost $1,800 in extra payments to get it done. Check it out:

Sallie Mae Paid Off

So, now it’s on to my student loan since that’s the next lowest in principle.


Routine

I’m told that children like routine. Truth be told, I’m a big fan of it myself.

Summer “vacation” was lots of fun, but it’s great to be getting back into a normal routine and rhythm. Between Workcamp, two weddings, National Youth Gathering travel and other stuff, it’s been difficult tracking when I need to be where and doing what.

If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve only blogged 3 times in the last month and a half, party because of the craziness of summer. This is your warning that I’ll be more regular about it again. So if you haven’t unsubscribed already, now’s your chance!

(Of course, I hope you continue to stick around…)