Archives For May 2011

  • Does anyone else watch Glee? My wife and I just finished up the second season on Hulu and now have to wait for the third season just like everyone else. Call me crazy, but some of my best memories in life came from high school. Glee brings those memories back in a fun way.
  • Speaking of, and I might get stoned for this, one of my favorite characters on the show is Kurt Hummel. Kurt is the show’s openly-gay character who deals with the perils of being different than everyone else in his school. The writers do a fantastic job of unfolding what is no-doubt a real-life struggle for many teens across the country. Great TV.
  • This painting stands tall at University Christian Church in Ft. Worth, TX. We visited there a few weeks ago and I’m still thinking about this painting. In the words of Napoleon Dynamite, “It’s just …. incredible.
  • Tadlock’s glasses.
  • Google Music works as promised. I’ve uploaded 12,000 songs in the past week. Sorry Apple, Google beat your iCloud and they did it for free.
  • Jim Tressel “resigned” from his post as top Ohio State football dog. I was stunned. I knew he was in trouble, but I never thought he’d leave the job. Just wish he would have done it last year before playing the Hawkeyes!
  • Speaking of college football, Nebraska joined the Big 10. You knew that already, but what you might not know is that my wife is a native Nebraskan. Big Red plays Iowa this year the day after Thanksgiving. Our house, for one day, will be divided.
  • My wife is back to blogging. Long time coming!
  • I just finished Heaven is For Real and went straight into a Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography. The former was a cute read, although I’m not sure how much stock I’d put into the theology. The latter, I can tell already, is set to rock my world. What are you reading these days?
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world?

Francis Chan is a one-man wrecking crew taking aim at the conventional and modern notion of the word “church”.

That’s why I want to introduce you to a new short-film video series developed by David C. Cook publishing and the good folks at Flannel entitled “The BASIC series”. The first film in that series is called “Fellowship” and it features Francis. You can watch it online, for free, right here. Here’s a quick recap of the film and the series:

In the coming year, the BASIC series evolves and asks vital questions about today’s church. FELLOWSHIP premieres this month and is the heart of the entire BASIC series. In this film, Francis answers the question, “Is church a place, or something more?” Too often, we identify church as a place we go to once a week to sing songs and listen to someone else talk about God. But really, the church described in Scripture is so much more than that; it’s a family loving each other, living and sharing all of life together. If we were able to practice that kind of church, what would that show the world about who God is, and how could that kind of church impact the world?

I’m a sucker for design, so I want you to take a look at the stunning visuals from this wonderfully produced film.

Solid teaching. Solid visuals. Solid film. Make sure you check it out while you still can.

If you want to find out more on the BASIC series, head over to their Facebook page or Twitter feed.

  • Self-promotion, self-promotion, self-promotion. This is what the social web has become lately. But, as Clay Shirky famously stated, “it’s not information overload. It’s a filter failure.” Time to snip, snip, snip some of my networks.
  • Speaking of self promotion, the reality is, in this gatekeeper-free economy, we all must do it to some degree. But I dare say that it can’t be the primary (or even secondary) source of your content. That’s just plain annoying.
  • We live in an opt-in economy. This is something crucial to understand. If people don’t like what you’re saying, they don’t have to listen anymore. The only way you can get from where you are to where you want to go is by getting people to opt-in.
  • If you ever get a chance to work from home, take it. There are downsides—mainly intentionally scheduling time to be with people—but there aren’t many. Telecommuting, yo. It’s the wave of the future.
  • Speaking of working from home, I got to take an afternoon break with my wife and son yesterday. We went to the play area at the mall. I went and grabbed a box of cheddar cheese popcorn and an Icee. Came back to my family, sat down to eat, and a little boy came and stole my popcorn. Stole it! Thankfully his mom was near by and yanked his mitts out of my snack. JUSTIN DOESN’T SHARE FOOD.
  • I giggled like a school girl when I got my invite to Google Music this week. I’m about halfway through uploading my 11,500 songs. Not bad.
  • I saw this story and blood nearly shot out of my eyeballs.
  • I’ll be at the LIFT conference in the beginning of June and the NRB Research Symposium at the end of the month. Any of you going to be there?
  • This is one of the best TED videos I’ve seen.
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world?
  • PS – Stop talking about yourself so much :) Not you, the person behind you.

This is a picture taken by Drew Goodmanson at University Christian Church in Ft. Worth, TX. We were there at the beginning of last week to lead web/social media strategy session for the church. Though the picture may not be Ansel Adams-like, it’s the story behind this picture that makes it worth sharing.

Drew and I traveled to Ft. Worth last week to meet with some incredible leaders from UCC. They called us in to help walk through some high-level vision questions for the church, questions that culminated in a strong and solidified online identity.

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These are pictures from an Afghani dance recital. Yes, that Afghanistan, where Westerners are not welcome by everyone. Danger lurks around the corner for nearly everyone living there. It’s a dangerous place, to say the least.

Yes, that's Kabul.

But something different is ever-present in the midst of the Afghani people. That would be our friends, Ken and Erin Jensen. Ken and Erin and their four adorable children live in Kabul to serve the people there with the love of Christ. Plain and simple.

I remember once when Ken and Erin were visiting us here in Des Moines. I said to them, “I have to be honest with you guys, I don’t know if I could ever do what you’re doing.” At the time, I was pastoring a young adult ministry, so imagine my surprise when Erin said, “Justin, we could never do what you’re doing! Young adults are crazy!”

Somehow, I don’t think it’s the same. Young adults, while hormonally charged and vaguely skittish, weren’t putting my life in danger. At least not intentionally. I hope to have half the faith and courage that the Jensens have.

Erin started a dance studio in Kabul and these are pictures from their most recent (and biggest) dance recital. They work at an international school, so the mix of teachers and students is varied. But take a look at what one creative mom is doing for the sake of being more like Jesus:

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