Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:

  • Say it ain’t so, Lance. Lance Armstrong dropped his appeals of the U.S. doping agency’s charges, thus allowing them to strip him of all of his Tour de France titles. In addition, he’ll be banned from cycling forever. He still maintains innocence. It kills me to say it, but, “Come on, Lance.” You’ve done a good thing with Live Strong, but you have to do the right things the right way.
  • If I could only read one blog for the rest of my life, it would probably be Seth Godin’s.
  • I am a nerd for many reasons, including this: no matter how long I’ve been preaching, I still get totally excited about starting a new sermon series.
  • This Sunday at New Vintage Church, we start a journey through James we’re calling, “Everyday Gospel.” We’re inviting the church to participate in a congregational photography project. Anyone who wants to can email us a cell-phone pic a day. We’ll compile them each week and create a bulletin shell and, on occasion, some videos utilizing the congregation’s photos. These photos will chronicle the church’s daily encounters with the Gospel. We’re striving to learning to recognize and participate in the Kingdom every day. In the Spirit of James, belief and action to match. The image on the left is a message series graphic featuring such a collage.
  • Kids have a way of humbling us. After sharing with the girls what a special time I had with them at the circus last week, Anna (age 9) responds, “Wait, you were there?” Aaaaahhhhh… fatherhood.
  • Ed Stetzer and some other Christian leaders have signed a statement on civility in public life. Wow, is it needed. I love the idea and it’s content. Click here to read it.
  • With the NFL season fast approaching, I’ve got Packers vs. Patriots in my early Superbowl pick.
  • Our church is wrapping up it’s Bible in 90 Days campaign. It’s been a great journey I would recommend highly to every church. Our aim has been to develop the habit of giving God’s Word a consistent voice in our lives. A secondary aim has been to combat theological narrowness by exposing ourselves to the whole Word rather than just our favorite Word. It’s been great. Participation has been fairly strong throughout. Even for those who fell off the wagon early, some have made it through the entire Old Testament over the summer. That’s huge!
  • There is something extremely liberating and natural about swimming in the ocean.
  • Ditto for hiking.
  • In my next life I want to study Leaderphobia–the fear of leaders or leadership.
  • I’ve watched churches make massive decisions that impact their church for a many years over $500 or $1000. Often, that $500 is a hire that isn’t made, or $500 less on severance package. So the church will someone less qualified for worse work for lesser work for ten years. When it comes to a severance package, I’ve seen that $1000 be the tipping point toward a labor dispute, a damaged church reputation that limits future hiring, and/or the perception departing staff was treated unfairly.
  • I’ve never heard of a church receiving significant criticism over granting that amount of money ($500-$1000). I’ve seen churches make extremely poor decisions over that amount of money that cost them for years. Underneath the amount and poor decision, of course, is usually a sick system.
  • If Apple releases the new iPhone 5 at something more than about $649, I think they will give Samsung and the Android crowd some new customers. I love my iPhone, but at some point, it becomes like buying a car. Yes, I’d love to have the Escalade, but I’ll have to take the Pilot. I’m not arguing Android is better, I’m arguing it’s probably better for the money.
  • Interesting, as I was typing that last point, spell-checker just picked up “IPhone” as a misspelling of “iPhone.” Well played, Apple.
  • Focusing on our own health and personal behavior will do more good for our church’s health and growth than we can slaying any dragon.
  • It’s nice to assume that everyone means well. It’s also often wrong.
  • I have a Keurig machine and have come to love it. My favorite brand of coffee these days is Caribou. Given the amount of coffee I drink, this could be a good time to buy stock in Caribou.
  • Preaching still matters.

This week’s video is inspirational–on the theme of perseverance. After watching it, even the laziest among us will want to hit the weights. It’s a motivational video by GreySkale Media featuring the journey of would-be pro footballer Giavanni Ruffin and “Hip Hop Preacher” Eric Thomas. The song is Your Hand in Mine by Explosions in the Sky. Ruffin is still working for a shot at playing in the NFL.

What’s on your mind this Friday?