Monday, September 29

God has blessed me far beyond what I have deserved through what he has given me in my family. Not only do I have a great wife who has patiently endured me for over 29 years, but he has blessed us with two wonderful daughters. We couldn't be more proud of either of them. They have done well in overcoming our imperfect parenting abilities.

Today is Stacy's 22nd birthday. She is living at home during this year, her last at the university. Gina and I enjoy having her back in the house (with her Yorkie, Ryley Dee). Stacy does well in school (a double major in business management and marketing), works a lot of hours during the week, and is actively involved with Christ on Campus, from worship services and Bible studies to the 2:00 AM Grill and Spring Break mission trips. Happy birthday, Stacy! Your mom and I love you more than you can realize.


Last weekend I went with some students to our annual Fall Retreat in sou
thern Missouri. We were there with about 200 college students from the region. It was a great weekend. The weather was beautiful and my friend, Tommy Oakes, did his usual great job in communicating God's Word to us. The highlight of the weekend was the decision of Kirstyn Day to be baptized into Christ on Saturday night. Sweet!


Austin and Amy Brown are now at Children's Mercy Hospital in KC with Malachi. They are doing some more tests there, so please keep them in your prayers. You can keep up with what is happening at Malachi's blog.


I'm sure all are aware of Paul Newman's death last Friday. In many ways, Newman seemed to be a model of what a star should be: Married to the same woman for over 50 years, created the "Newman's Own" brand (first with salad dressings and then other products) where all the profits went to charity, didn't seek the spotlight or media attention. And he was a gifted actor. At least three of his movies are in my "Top 25" or so - Cool Hand Luke, The String, and Butch CassidySundance Kid.

What was your favorite Paul Newman movie?


One last thing. Check out what has to be the greatest personal library in the world. I would love to spend a day - or a week or month - wandering around in there.
and the

Friday, September 26

I'm posting this on here because gmail says I have sent too many emails today ...

Austin Brown (who works with me) and his wife, Amy, had a little boy on Wednesday afternoon. Malachi Andrew weighed in at 9 lbs. and 11 oz. They had planned on going home from the hospital today, but Malachi had some seizures overnight. They are now on their way to Children's Mercy Hospital for some more extensive tests. Please keep them (and Olivia, who is 2) in your prayers.

Wednesday, September 24

Earlier this week, I attended a retreat down in SW Arkansas. I was a gathering of a few ministers from around the state, most of whom serve in churches that help support Christ on Campus. I have been attending these since the fall of 1982. It was a good couple of days with some lively discussion and a chance to visit with friends, some of whom I have known for over 25 years.

Though there are many ministers that are well known in our country, the men who were there aren't among them. They don't serve megachurches of several thousand. For the most part, they serve small churches in rural areas. They are part of their communities, loving the people among whom God has placed them. They perform their marriages and their funerals. They attend the junior high and high school football games. Most don't have youth ministers or music ministers. But they do their best to fill the roles that are needed and to live out the gospel in places like DeQueen and DeWitt and Dumas. And they faithfully do it without fanfare or notice or high salaries. And in their communities and corners of the state, they are far more influential and far more important than Rick Warren or Joel Osteen.


A couple of news items for you ...

Read about the postman in Germany who pulled a "Newman" (that's a Seinfeld reference) and didn't deliver over 20,000 pieces of mail.

Science proves that being a vegetarian or vegan causes your brain to shrink at a faster rate than those who eat meet. So go eat a burger!

Friday, September 19

Gina, Stacy, Ryan, and I had the opportunity to attend the UofA's tribute dinner for John McDonnell, the men's cross country and track and field coach who retired this past summer. About 800 folks gathered to honor him from around the country. It was a really good event. Several members of John's family came over from Ireland to be a part of it. There were a lot of the athletes he had coached over the past 36 years. Several "dignitaries" gave speeches. I was invited to give the invocation. Video presentations were made, including the preview of a documentary on John's life that will be finished by next summer. 

I've written about John's retirement in the past, so I won't rehash all that he has accomplished. But all the hoopla was well-deserved. I'm proud to call him a friend. Plus, anyone who still calls me "kid" at my age is OK with me.


I'm a big fan of the Ryder Cup, which is being played this week in Kentucky. If you're not a golf fan, you may not be familiar with it. It takes place every two years and is, basically, a team competition between 12 of America's best golfers against 12 of Europe's best golfers. Because it is a team competition and the format of play is different, it is always fun to watch. There is more emotion and a rowdier crowd than most golf events. I think that this would probably be one of the top two or three sporting events that I would most like to attend - up there with the Olympic Games and the Master's.


In case you need to be reminded, studies in Great Britain have demonstrated that sending text messages while you drive is dangerous. In fact, their studies show that texting while driving is more dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. So stop doing it!


And finally, for those of you like Guitar Hero but would prefer more "wholesome" music on the game, Guitar Praise is now available. Same idea but with Christian music.

Monday, September 15

Last weekend was a good weekend all the way around ...

On Friday night we got to babysit the "Carter kids" and had a good time watching Cinderella with them.

Later Friday night (Saturday morning) we had our 2:00 AM Grill on Dickson Street. We had a pretty steady flow of folks and gave away quite a bit of food. I also had some good spiritual conversations with folks who came by. Now just pray that the seeds bring a harvest down the road

On Saturday we had a good group of students serve lunch at the Seven Hills Shelter.

Later that afternoon Gina and I went to see maybe the "chickiest" of all movies and then to dinner at Herman's (thanks to Thomas and Kimberly).

On Sunday we had a good day at church. I asked students to put down in writing how Christ had changed their lives and/or how they needed Christ to change their lives. It was great to read the testimonies and to begin praying for those changes to happen. Austin and the worship team are doing a great job with the music.

Of course, Ike blew threw on Saturday night/Sunday morning. There was no major damage done around here, but (as of this afternoon) we were still without cable, internet, or phone service at the house.


It has been a little while since I wrote about the Olympics or track and field, so here are three articles that I've come across recently that I thought were worth reading ...

The first is Doug Logan's blog. He is CEO of USA Track & Field, the governing body of the sport in the US. In this post he writes about the US performance at the Olympics and some of the changes that are on the horizon.

The second is an article about estimates done by some physicists on Usain Bolt's world record in the 100 meters. According to their figures, if he had run all the way through the race, he would have finished in 9.55 seconds. I'm not sure I trust their work ...

The third is an interview with Carl Lewis regarding this past Olympics and some of the performances there. As Carl can be, he is controversial.


Finally, another Youtube video for your enjoyment. I saw this on my friend Jennifer's Facebook
page. Now you know why Gina and I took dance lessons.

Wednesday, September 10

On a university campus, you can find some of the most intelligent people in the world, as well as those with the least common sense. A case in point ...

You may have read or heard about an initiative by some college presidents in the US to lower the national drinking age back to 18. Their theory is that alcohol abuse is a major problem among college students (which it is) because it is against the rules. If we make it legal, then it will lose its appeal and students won't drink as much. Therefore, less students will get drunk, drive drunk, or have alcohol related accidents.


As you can image, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and others groups are against such a proposal. And, to his credit, the UofA chancellor has refused to sign on. Studies show that since the drinking age was raised to 21, alcohol-related accidents and deaths have dropped significantly.

What needs to happen is more consistent enforcement of drinking laws on college campuses and college communities. Parents need to take the reality of alcohol abuse on most college campuses seriously. Both need to get past the "kids will be kids" mentality and deal with a major social problem with serious ramifications.

To further this thought, see below ...


I have a new book sitting on my desk called Guyland. You can get the idea of the book in this article from Newsweek.


I hope you have been aware of the sweeping persecution of Christians in India over the past few weeks. If not, this article will fill you in a little bit. Please be praying for them, their safety, and their witness.


And for those of you who enjoy the more "unusual" things I sometimes post ...

Read about the man in Great Britain who saw his father alive and on television, even though he had been cremated in 2003!

Increase your knowledge of physics by watching this rap video.

Monday, September 1

Today is Gina and my 29th anniversary.

God has been so good to me and blessed me beyond anything I can imagine or deserve. I was raised in a great family, have two wonderful daughters, a "job" that I love, and good people to work with. But the greatest blessing he has given me in this world is Gina.

I'm not too poetic, but I do want all to know how much she means to me and how fortunate I am to have her in my life.


We got to spend the weekend in Ft. Worth, TX. We went down for Thomas Wolfe and Kimberly Forman's wedding and stayed an extra day to celebrate our anniversary. The wedding and all the festivities were great and it is always an honor to be asked to serve in such an event.

Ft. Worth was nice, but not the most exciting city to spend time in. But one of the interesting things we did was attend church at If you're not familiar with Lifechurch, it is a multi-site church based out of Edmond, OK. They have twelve "campuses" around the country, each with its own worship band, children's programs, small groups, and ministers. But the messages from from their senior pastor - Craig Groeschel - (or another teaching pastor) via satellite simulcast or video.

The service we went to was good and everything was done in an hour. Groeschel recently spoke at Willow Creek Community Church's Leadership Summit and I had heard that his message was great. The message at the service on Sunday was a shortened version of that talk, so I was glad to hear it.

Multi-site churches seem to be the current "in" thing right now. And there are some groups that are doing them very well. I think the live worship is important and the local staff can meet the personal ministry needs. And if we are honest about it, many (if not most) of those in ministry have great hearts for people but may not be the most gifted communicators. This model allows a gifted communicator to teach in a variety of places and, with modern technology, you don't really notice that he isn't there!


Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate. I can't decide if this is the biggest mistake in recent political history or a strange, genius decision. Right now, I'm thinking mistake. I don't doubt that she is bright and energetic and conservative. But her level of experience is so small - mayor of a town of 7,000 and governor of Alaska for two years. Plus, McCain admits that he had only met her one time before choosing her as his running mate. There goes any leverage John McCain may have had to make Barak Obama's experience an issue.