Monday, April 30, 2012

A tale of interns

One year-round program of Camp of Champions is "Parents' Night Out."  We hold this event at various locations at least once a month.  We give parents the night out, while we entertain, care for and love on the kids that attend.

Parents' Night Out is where I learned the lesson that it's eventually easier (and ultimately more satisfying) to equip others to do the work.

Five years ago, I would plan the night's schedule, search for staff to help, and lead everything the entire night.  My voice would usually be shot by the end.

Now?  I find four "Night Out Interns" at the beginning of the school year and let them do the planning.  Searching for staff to help is immensely easier (because my interns are already planning on coming.)  And I only need to lead one or two things during the night, thereby protecting my voice.  :)

The lesson here really doesn't involve me, Camp of Champions, or Parents' Night Out.  The lesson is:  While you can make a run at doing everything yourself, it's better (and eventually easier) to equip others to do the work alongside you.

Where do you need to do this?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

BOOR 2011: Money and Possessions in Proverbs

Last year at this time I read this post by Kevin DeYoung about Money and Possessions.

These lines caught my eye:
"You could make a biblical argument that God loves rich guys. Just look at Abraham, Job, and Zacchaeus. Look at the way he blesses obedient kings. Look at the vision of cosmic delight in the garden and in the age to come." 

"You can just as easily make a biblical argument that God hates rich guys. Just look at the rich man and Lazarus. Look at the book of James. Look at Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount."

The best part of the post is his look at Proverbs and 10 general principles about money.

It's worth a look at:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby and Blogging Update

I'm excited to announce the arrival of: Kelton Judah Lindell

He was born 11:55am yesterday and checked into his earthly life at: 7lb 4oz

I'm posting this both as an announcement and as a way of saying that I'm hoping to keep up with my twice-a-week blog schedule.

I realize that I could take a break guilt-free.  (Having a baby is about the only excuse you can use to get out of anything.)

But I don't want to do to that.  Because if I miss one post, its going to be easier to miss a second.  And if I miss a week, it's going to be easy to miss two.  And two weeks turns into a month just like that.

So I can't make any promises on quality, but I am going to make a run at continuing my posting schedule.

Here goes nothing.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sabbath: A Wrap Up

It's time to temporarily wrap-up my recent posts on the Sabbath.

Here is a quick recap: The Sabbath - What is it?, What makes a Sabbath?, The Sabbath in the New Testament

Sometime in the future I'd like to roll all of those (plus more) into one longer article.  In the meantime, here are a handful of resources on the Sabbath, work, and rest if you want to study more on the subject.
Blessings to you as you pursue a Biblical Sabbath rest.

Monday, April 16, 2012

_______ is coming tonight!

Another pregnancy related thought:

Adrian (our 4-year old) has been pretty excited about his new baby brother arriving.  Three nights ago, as he was going to bed he announced, "The baby is coming tonight."

When the morning came (and no new baby with it) I was prepared for disappointment, but instead, he was just as happy as before and announced "The baby is coming today."

And two nights ago, after the day gone by with no baby...   Again, no disappointment, just a confident announcement: "The baby is coming tonight."  (As I'm writing this it's the next morning and still no baby.)

Shouldn't our attitude be similar when we think of the return of Jesus?  He's coming and we're confident of that, but we're also resting in his timing and not disappointed if he doesn't.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
(Revelation 22:20 ESV, emphasis mine)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

When is _____ coming?

Today marks the day that our soon-to-be-born son reaches full-term in the womb.  Translation: He could literally be born any day now.  So sorry in advance if I don't respond to your phone calls or emails.  :)

I wrote this in my journal when we were at this stage in pregnancy with Espen (son number 3):

Is pregnancy a picture of anticipating Christ's return?  

I have to hold two truths equal:
1) Brittany could go into labor literally anytime.
2) Life needs to continue- food, sleep, work, kids.

This is similar to:
1) Jesus could come back literally anytime.
2) Life needs to continue.

I'd say that's pretty accurate.  The only addition I would make is that part of life is pursuing Jesus, making disciples, and sharing the gospel.  Thoughts?  It's what I'm thinking anyway.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Which church do you go to?

Here's an interesting observation from Camp of Champions' applications:

More and more, high school and college students associate themselves with multiple churches, and not just one.  

I make this observation in light of the fact that in my high school and college days, I had my church.  It was where I attended youth group and Sunday mornings, as well as small groups, quizzing and any other "extras" that were offered.  I did little to nothing with any other churches.  I could easily answer the question: "Which church do you go to?"  And the answer was singular.

But a quick review of some male COCUSA applicants reveals a lot more diversity today:
  • One guy counselor attends a church plant start up meeting one weeknight and leads worship for a different and unrelated youth ministry another night.
  • I recently interviewed a guy who had strong connections to three churches in two towns.
  • Another guy applicant lists one church in town as his home church, but none of his references are from that church, and his Pastoral reference is from another church entirely.
  • Yet another guy lists one church as his home church, yet when asked recently he told me that he doesn't attend there anymore.  The church he now attends regularly is not mentioned anywhere in his application.
What would any of these examples say if asked: "Which church do you go to?"

I've been noticing this trend for a few years at least, and while it's not quite the rule, it's not the exception either.

I'm not sure if I think it's good, bad or neither.  Right now I only wanted to make the observation and be the reporter.  Maybe I'll be brave enough to draw conclusions or take a position later.

What are your initial thoughts on it?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How I Read It: Great by Choice

A few thoughts and points from Great by Choice from Jim Collins and Morten Hansen.

Quotable:  "And yet if you'd invested $10,000 in Southwest Airlines on December 31, 1972 (when it was just a tiny little outfit with three airplanes, barely reaching break-even and besieged by larger airlines out to kill the fledgling) your $10,000 would have grown to nearly $12 million by the end of 2002, a return 63 times better than the general stock market." p3 (emphasis mine)
"Freely chosen, discipline is absolute freedom." - Ron Serino p39
"Pioneering innovation is good for society but lethal for the pioneer." p74

What I Liked:  First, Collins is just a great writer.  This book was a really enjoyable read.  Throughout it he weaves the story of two polar explorers racing to reach the South Pole; comparing and contrasting their traits with the leaders and companies that survive during tumultuous times.  Second, like his other books, Great by Choice breaks down some previously "undiscovered" concepts into memorable and usable ideas.  (I say "undiscovered" because, like previous books, these concepts are mostly common sense... even Biblical at times.  It's almost hilarious that it takes years of research to bear them out.)

What I Didn't Like:  Nothing comes to mind.  Overall this was a fun, easy read, but it also left me with a lot of practical concepts (that I'll at least try to implement in my life and work).

2012 Personal Impact Ranking
1. Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen
1. Margin by Richard Swenson*
2. Revolution in World Missions by KP Yohannan*

*I own this book and you're welcome to borrow it.  Just ask.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ways we should be more like Espen

Today is my son Espen's second birthday. In honor of his big day I wanted to offer a few areas we could all probably stand to grow in if we take the time to learn from him.

1) When you're awake, go non-stop and full throttle.  It's actually impressive that he can have such constant, never-slowing energy without caffeine.

2) But when it's time to sleep, sleep.  He has two settings: sleep and all-over-the-place.

3) Savor the good things in life.  No one can savor a good cookie more than Espen.  No one.

Happy Birthday Espen!