stream of consciousness

Here are some things I’m thinking this Friday morning:

  • It’s good to be back home and past the chaos of the holidays. Christmas is a wonderful time of year–especially with little kids. But the one-month marathon of chaos from Thanksgiving to New Years wore me out this year as I was sick for most of that time. Welcome, 2012.
  • The Mavericks don’t look like a real threat to repeat as NBA champs this year.
  • This Sunday at New Vintage Church is “Vision Sunday.” It’s a time to celebrate all God’s done over the past year, roll out some new initiatives in the year to come, and refocus the church on mission. All three components are vitally important to do at least annually: recount and celebrate God’s mighty works among you, looking forward to what He will do through new ministry, and refocusing on mission. This Sunday is always my favorite of the year.
  • The NFL playoffs begin this weekend. My mind says a Green Bay – New England Super Bowl. My gut says it will be a New Orleans or New York vs. New England Super Bowl with the NFC team winning the Super Bowl.
  • The Iowa caucuses came and went. Some say they showed the lack of a viable candidate for the Republicans. I thinks it’s more that fervor has manifested in a stew of fervor I suspect will find direction once a candidate is chosen.
  • No practical ministry foundation is as important for the long-term health and growth of a church than the character, competency, and chemistry of the staff. I know some will disagree with this…but you’re wrong 🙂 Hiring well, then keeping the staff together and focused is the most important thing any church can do at a practical level.
  • Nearly every minister I know would gladly take less money for more freedom in ministry. Too many churches offer sub-par salary and very little real freedom. Hence, they either attract mediocre staff or have high turnover. Both are terrible for the church.
  • I hope the new coach at Penn State tears it up. That school has a lot of healing to do, and everyone is saying he’s a bad hire. I hope he turns out to be the next Gipper.
  • Tim Keller’s book, The Meaning of Marriage, is a great contribution to the marriage literature sphere. I hope to blog about it in the near future. Other than Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage, I’ve been really disappointed in the self-centered perspective of much of the marriage literature out there–though there is some good practical stuff to be learned. Both Thomas and Keller are oriented toward theology and spiritual formation.
  • Emily and I have renewed our commitments to date nights. My dad told me before I got married to never stop dating my wife. Good advice. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It does need to happen.
  • We’ve started watching reruns of The Cosby Show with the girls on Netflix. Oh, how I wish Hollywood could give us a show like that again. While funny at times, Two-and-a-Half Men and Modern Family don’t cut it.
  • I’ve really enjoyed Bill Bennett’s new book, The Book of Man. Most today seem too afraid to declare what a man is. Perhaps that’s a good thing. In general, I think it’s a bad thing. The Book of Man is, essentially, an anthology of great moments in manhood. Thoroughly enjoyable and sincere effort at shaping men by celebrating nobility in men. I find this far more constructive than the tried path of constantly criticizing men for their shortcomings.
  • I saw Moneyball and the new Sherlock Holmes over the break and loved both movies–one for it’s plot, one for it’s action–both for their acting.

What’s on your mind this Friday?

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