stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this morning:

  • A few Saturdays ago I pitched for the first time in 25 years. I did way better than I thought I would, and injury (other than some basic muscle soreness) was kept at bay.
  • The best part, though, was seeing the guys from the 1993 squad at Poly. What a bunch of fun-loving dudes.
  • Athletic teams build camaraderie because everyone is united around a clear, common objective. And, there is plenty of “hang time” before, sometimes during, and after the game to have fun together.
  • Church really should be similar…and can be.
  • Our goals are supposed to be clear. Relationship is what makes it all fun in the doing.
  • I think that’s why half-committed Christians get so little out of the church…and think it’s no big deal. “Christianity” lived out that way IS no big deal.
  • It skews the goal (I’m here for what I can get out of it vs. I’m here to encounter Christ and connect with His people for the sake of Mission), and seems lifeless because relationships don’t happen or grow in quarterly or monthly passes in the lobby.
  • Good heavens, the media…
  • Much of the media has really compromised its integrity for ideological ends they believe are an, “end” justified by the means.
  • Yet, having gotten to know several members of the media personally over the years, I know there are honest, trustworthy members out there.
  • Isn’t this how many non-Christians feel about Christians? From a distance, they read nearly only of the worst stories out there. From up close, they know Believers who are not as horrific as “their kind” has been reported to be.
  • The Padres allegedly met with Bryce Harper yesterday. My guess is, they wished him a happy New Year…and not much more. Padres fans can’t have nice things.
  • The Grand Project (NVC’s downtown Escondido urban redevelopment and relocation project) is really, really coming together. I’ve seen the rough drafts of the first computerized renderings done to scale. They are really breathtaking. Once they are nailed down, and shared with the church–I’ll share them with you here. God is so good.
  • I’ve observed for some time Pastors moving away from attendance as a metric–similarly to batting average in the game of baseball or passing yards in football. We did so a while ago at NVC.
  • The reason is, average church attendance for self-professing “members” is down in many places–especially in warm weather states, while engagement is actually up. Translation: More people are involved with the church in some way, but they don’t come to weekend assemblies as often. So, a church can be (not is) growing, and not know it if they are using attendance to judge, “how many people they have.” A more nuanced series of gauges would be more helpful.
  • There are some fairly profound implications if this is a trend, and not a phase.
  • Larry Osborne, the smartest church “nuts and bolts” guy I know, said the average Pastor probably leads a church twice the size they think they have. It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but there is ample evidence to support it.
  • So, go to church, AND engage 🙂
  • While I’m opining…two other massively overrated church factors – sermon length and pastor age.
  • Manchester by the Sea and First Reformed, while brilliant films, are two of the most depressing movies ever made.
  • What’s the saddest movie ever made? That’s different than depressing. For example…Sad = The Notebook. Depressing = First Reformed. Throw your choice in the comments.
  • If we want better politicians, we will need to cultivate a society and process that convinces better people to run, allows them to flourish, and then elects them. Right now, the process is built to draw and platform…well, otherwise. I’m not saying all politicians today are bad. I’m simply suggesting we focus too much on the vote itself and not enough on what precedes Election Day. If you want corn, you plant and grow corn. We reap what we sow. So we need to figure out what kind of leaders we want, and build an atmosphere that draws them, builds them, and empowers them.
  • Good leaders (with both character and competency) are a cherished resource. Bold. Italics. All CAPS. Repeat.
  • I went to Spring Training for the first time last year, and it far exceeded my expectations. Now, I want to go every year…even if it is just for a day.
  • The Super Bowl is this weekend. I make my unbelievably flawless Super Bowl pic from the stage on Sunday at NVC, and, “the Oracle,” (me), is lacking clarity. Who you got? Call the score, too, so we know how true your pick was.
  • Don’t stay home from church to make sure your Super Bowl queso comes out perfect. That’s weak. Not queso. Queso is strong. That reason to miss church is weak. Go to church, and engage.

How’s your morning going?