Monday, May 26

Erin got engaged over the weekend. She and Rick came down for the weekend and he proposed to her at the pizza place they went to on their first date. No wedding date has been set, but it will probably be early next summer.

It was a good weekend. They came down on Friday night. On Saturday morning, Rick and I went to play golf while the girls went shopping. That is when he asked for my permission to propose. (Good thing he asked before we played because who knows what I would have said after he beat me.) Then he took her out to eat and proposed. She didn't know it was coming, but the rest of us did. So when she said yes, he texted me and Gina, Stacy, and I joined them at Guido's.

I'm happy for them and I know that Erin is excited. But, as I told Rick, I don't know that any father thinks there is anyone good enough for his daughter. Erin will be 25 later this week and is such a special person - so caring and personable and energetic. I know she's in love with Rick and I know that he loves her, too. He goes out of his way to watch out for her and care for her and sacrifice for her. And I'm proud of the way that he has stepped up spiritually over the past several months. They have found a good church to attend in Omaha and are involved in a small group with some other young couples. That is one area that he and I talked about almost a year ago. He has responded well to that.

So please pray for Erin and Rick as they continue to grow together spiritually and emotionally.

The other big event of the weekend was the arrival of Stacy's new puppy. When Stacy moved home a couple of weeks ago, she came ready to by a puppy. She has been scanning the paper and online looking for one. And she finally found what she wanted - Rylee Dee, an 8-week-old yorky. Rylee is cute and playful and energetic and (at least partly) house broken! I think she's got a good one. I'm a dog person and I think it is good to have one around the house again. Even if it is a Yorky.


One final family note: Last weekend Gina and I, Stacy and Ryan, and my Mom got to share in our niece's wedding and reception. Anna is my brother's oldest and the first on my side of the family to get married. She and her new, husband, Milo, will be living in KC.

Tuesday, May 20

The SEC Track & Field Championships were held this past weekend at Auburn University. As most of you know, the Razorback head coach - John McDonnell - is retiring after this season so this was his final SEC Championship meet. And along the way, he just added to his legacy.

In the 17 years that John has coached in the SEC, there have been 51 championships awarded (cross country, indoor track, outdoor track). John's teams have won 46 of them. This was his 84th conference championship (SEC and SWC) to go along with his 42 national championships. At is was the 21st time that his teams have won the conference "triple crown" - winning the cross country, indoor & outdoor track championships in the same season.

I know that this one was special to him, as it was his last. And, from being around the athletes on the team, I know it was special to them. They were determined to win it for John and came through with some big performances to make it happen.

Through most of this semester, I have helped to lead a Bible study with some of the Razorback track team. There were three or four who were in and out during the semester, but there were four guys who were there every week. And those four scored 38 points at the SEC Championships. They are good guys and I'm proud of what they accomplished:

James Strang - 18 points (first in the 5,000; second in the 10,000)
Luke Laird - 10 points (first in the javelin in his first official meet as a Razorback)
Spencer McCorkel - 8 points (second in the pole vault)
Tyler Hill - 2 points (seventh in the 5,000)


Here is an article that starts off this way: "The stallions hang out in bars; the geldings hang out in church."

The point of the article is that the Church is not "man-friendly" - that real men aren't comfortable there. Mark Driscoll, a pastor in Seattle says the church has produced "a bunch of nice, soft, tender, chickified church boys. … Sixty percent of Christians are chicks," he explains, "and the forty percent that are dudes are still sort of chicks."

There have been several books written in recent years that address this issue, such as Wild At Heart and The Barbarian Way. I've not read all of the books written about this, so I can't speak to them all, but I'm not much of a fan of these two books. These two are more psychological theory or personal philosophy with some Scripture thrown in rather than books that look at the Bible first.

But I do think that there is a point here. It often seems that the church's goal has been to turn men into "nice guys" rather than letting them be who they are for God. As you look at some of the men in the Bible, I don't know that they would be very comfortable in the Church as it operates today - David, Peter, Paul, Samuel, or even Jesus.

Maybe I'll write more on this later, but I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

If you are planning your summer vacation, here are a couple of articles to help you out on that. The first talks about America's Most Sinful Cities and the other will give you the Nine Unhealthiest Summer Vacation Destinations.

Tuesday, May 6

We're in the middle of finals week at the UofA. This is a good time of year in campus ministry. The schedule slows down and time is given to hanging out with students and making plans for the summer and next fall. So rather than some deep spiritual thoughts, here are a few things I've read lately ....

Just when you thought our world couldn't get any more strange, here is an article entitled, "The Silent Scream of the Asparagus." It is about the Swiss government's efforts to pass laws protecting the rights of plants.

Here is Time's list of the 100 Most Influential People in the world. I was a little disappointed to find that I knew less than a third of them. How many names do you recognize?

Here is an interesting article on what Muslims in other parts of the world think about the west. Gallup did a poll in 35 Muslim countries that explored their beliefs and attitudes about us. It is an interesting read.

Finally, read about the man who attached over 100 helium balloons to his lawn chair and flew almost 200 miles. I'm not sure if that is crazy or brave.