Archive for the ‘spirituality’ category

It’s a Mad World

November 17, 2008


“It is extraordinary to me that you can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can’t find $25 billion to save 25,000 children who die every day of preventable treatable disease and hunger,” the U2 lead singer told Clinton’s fourth annual philanthropic summit in New York. “That’s mad, that is mad.”

From Reuters article, “Crisis no excuse to ignore poverty“, Wed. Sept. 24, 2008

To help make a difference go to:


It’s Not Easy Eating Green

September 26, 2008

In an effort to feel better and loose weight, my wife and I began to drastically change our eating habits about 6 years ago. Our efforts increased 3 years ago before our son was born. We strongly desired for him to begin with a a pattern of healthy eating. It worked! He loves his fruit and veggies.

Over the last few years we have invested ourselves in being more educated about what we take into our bodies and how that food was prepared. My wife has read countless books and  websites, and has done an amazing job helping change the way we live and eat. We desire to live holistic, healthy lives… we’ve grown to care deeply about how the environment and animals are treated in the preparation of our food.

It has been encouraging to see a growing movement throughout North America for people to eat locally produced organic food. When we began this journey 5 or 6 years ago it was hard to find organic food outside of a limited (and expensive) selection at small health food stores. Now, virtually every supermarket provides a selection, helping make organic food more accessible and affordable. Click here to read an article on the befits of organic food.

This has not been easy. We still have “bad days” where we eat things outside of the norm. Often when I do eat something greasy or filled with preservatives, my body expresses it’s disdain in not-so-pleasant ways!

We have made a commitment to spend less in other areas in order to eat better. We eat out way less, pack lunches, and purchase more than 80% organic. We have also started trying to buy and support locally grown food. Recently we visited an amazing farm near our home called the Heritage Prairie Market, that  educates children and adults how to eat better and grow their own food. Very cool.

We want to start a garden in our neighborhood this spring, as a place to connect and encourage each other toward better living. This is something we have no experience with, but are excited to experiment and learn!

Tell me about your journey to get healthy and eat better… wherever you are at!

Stay tuned… my next post will be about kids eating better at school…  (subscribe if you like it!)

I Love the World

May 1, 2008

I needed a little optimism in my day. This is inspiring!

Shift Conference

January 3, 2008


The Willow Creek Association is completely refocusing on relevance in ministry rather than on a seeker model, and the Shift Conference is a huge step towards that goal. I am teaching a 3.5 hour point leaders track on Storying at the conference and hosting some “Cups of Coffee” to discuss story and learner-centered teaching. I would love for you to consider coming to the conference. In fact, I can help you get a $50 discount off registration by entering my code when you register: SMC8EMN (does not apply to Student/Faculty Rate). I do not get any money or credit for this, I just think this conference is going to be great!

Pancakes from Santa…

December 21, 2007


My wife took my son Angelo to play with some of his friends at the mall’s “kids zone” a few days ago. It is an indoor playground with foam flooring and objects for them to climb on. When they saw Santa there the other kids really wanted to talk to him, so Angelo got his first visit with a “Mall Santa.”

When Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas, Angelo said, “pancakes!”

In fact, he continues to tell people he wants pancakes for Christmas! My son may be the funniest two year old on the planet. He is the only toddler I’ve met that has true comedic timing! …but the pancake request is not a joke… he loves them!!

I am guessing this is the last year he asks for just pancakes for Christmas. I wish we could keep that kind of simplicity in our lives. This year we’ve made some huge changes in the gifts we give and the emphasis they take in our celebration of Christmas. We are trying to move to giving relational gifts of meaning. More on that soon.

Bye the way, I took Angelo out for pancakes this past weekend. Ummmm. He loved it!!

Help End Youth Homelessness

November 19, 2007


> 1.3 million youth live on the street

> 13 die each day

> many cite sexual abuse as why they’re homeless

> 1 out of 4 homeless people is a youth

November is National Homeless Awareness Month
go to these sites to learn more and do something now:

May I have the rings…

October 15, 2007


This past weekend I had the honor of performing my first wedding ceremony. The bride was a student in my youth ministry eight years ago! My wife and I have been mentoring the couple since before their engagement, and we have really grown close to them. They are great people who will have a great marriage.

Was I nervous? YES. I’ve been anxious about this opportunity for at least six months! It was no small occasion… almost 200 guests packed into the historic Baker Memorial Church in Saint Charles. I thought I might trickle down my leg… but once the ceremony began I was pretty comfortable, and made no mistakes. Amazing for me. I don’t anticipate too many of these opportunities… (and I am not looking for them)!

It was very different being on “this side” of a wedding ceremony… I have been in many weddings, including my own… but being the minister is really different. It is both gratifying and exhausting! This experience also gave me an even bigger appreciation for my wife – and a reminder of what an amazing and sacred privilege marriage is.