Extremely Productive Day

My friend Andrew Careaga (aka Cleopatra) correctly pointed out that being number one isn’t always a desirable thing, so I thought I’d give him some props. Check out his site.

Anyway, today was extremely productive. Tim Smith (the Chi Alpha @ Sacramento State guy who gamely tried to recruit Glen Cole to our Chi Alpha family) and I met with John Harris and Doug Reid of Capital Christian Center in Sacramento. Doug is the student ministries pastor and John works on his staff to reach college students.

Doug recently came on staff and commissioned a demographic study of all the students in Sacramento. He was floored when he realized that there were more college students than high school students (150,000 collegians) and that he only had 1.5 staff people focusing on them (out of a student ministries staff of 20).

Being a sharp guy, Doug realized that he needs to radically realign his ministry to touch college students.

We had a great meeting and I think that we’ve got some great ideas for synergizing their outreach with what Chi Alpha is doing. Alongside Noble’s model in Springfield, MO (if you don’t know I don’t have time to explain it) this could really be a huge stride forward for Assemblies of God college ministry.

Afterwards, Paula and I got to hang with Tim and Julie at California Pizza Kitchen afterwards. Good food and good friends.

If you’re a Chi Alpha person reading this blog, know that we always have extremely productive days in Northern California / Nevada that culminate in highly fun and relational meals.

Come west, young leader! There are over 80 sizeable colleges to choose from…

Harvard Porn?

I just learned that Harvard is launching a porn magazine featuring students download boondock saints the .

Harvard students. Nudity. One shudders.

Actually, they’re probably shuddering themselves. It gets cold in Boston.

Seriously, I can’t help but wonder how long it is until someone at Stanford tries to copycat Harvard (consider our copycat mascot as evidence).

Once again for the record, Chi Alpha thinks porn is bad. The fact that Harvard is now complicit only makes it worse!

Lies We Believe

John Stossel did a report on 20/20 that makes for fascinating reading, Lies, Myths, and Downright Stupidity, in which he explodes the most common media‐fed rumors that mess up our lives and our society.

Some of the myths he hits: that there’s a relationship between being cold and catching a cold, that we have less free time than we used to (we have a lot more free time than our parents did or than we did growing up), and the idea that money can buy happiness.

It’s good read and will give you fodder for late‐night dorm conversations.

Some February Thoughts

Last night’s episode of the West Wing was the first one in a while that wasn’t completely lame. The ending was a bit contrived, but I liked the flow of the episode.

That, however, is neither here nor there.

Also, I noticed that a Stanford grad joined Cirque de Soleil while at the same time becoming Ms. Fitness USA. I swear, those students can be such overachievers… I bet her mom has some funny conversations, though. “So your daughter has a grad degree from Stanford–what does she do?” “She’s performs in the circus.”

That also is neither here nor there (but I note that you’re still reading, and so it was at least interesting).

Paula is doing well–she’s got just under two months to go until she gives birth to our first child. The biggest item on our to‐do list now is buying diapers. Lots of diapers.

Things are going well with Chi Alpha, especially on a district (statewide) level.

Speaking of the district level, my district superintendent is retiring this April. This led Tim Smith, who leads Chi Alpha at Sacramento State to have some fun:

From: Tim Smith
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 1:24 PM
To: Glen Cole
Subject: Chi Alpha

Dear Bro. Cole–

I don’t want you to leave your current office, but as talking you out of it at this point seems unlikely, I am writing today to offer you a new job as an Associate Campus Pastor with me here in Chi Alpha‐Sacramento.

The perks of this job include:
–unlimited time off for “Plus One” concerts and/or tours.
–a more relaxed dress code when on campus.
–the opportunity to have direct involvement in shaping the immediate future of our world’s leadership, both domestic and foreign, on a daily basis.

I’m pretty sure I can get Chi Alpha and AGHM to waive the year‐long Campus Missionary Internship and Berean requirements, so we could have you on campus immediately after raising your budget. Also, if Mrs. Cole goes to work, they will count her income toward 20% of your budget, so that could help.

Anyway, you think about it, let me know if you’re interested, and we’ll schedule an interview over pizza and Coke.
Have a great day!
Tim Smith

To which the amused Glen Cole replied:

Dear Tim:

I knew God would speak to me about my future. Yours is the first offer, so we will be in prayerful consideration about this.



That’s a lot funnier if you know Glen Cole at all. Or if you know anything about how Chi Alpha ranks on the internal AG pecking order.

Religion and Economic Growth Linked

Here’s an interesting story from the New York Times: Research Around the World Links Religion to Economic Development.

Intriguing excerpts:

Since the German sociologist Max Weber wrote about the Protestant work ethic and the spirit of capitalism, social scientists have argued that culture including religious habits is part of the complex mix that determines a country’s economic health. What distinguishes the work of Mr. Barro and Ms. McCleary, some scholars said, is that it uses a sophisticated analysis of a huge set of data to quantify the arguments of anthropologists, sociologists and political scientists.

As the couple began their study, Ms. McCleary said, it was clear that the widely discussed secularization thesis the idea that a country becomes more secular as it becomes richer and more industrialized did not apply to the United States, one of the most religious nations in the world.

And over the last 30 years, many East Asian countries, including Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, have experienced both rapid economic growth and the spread of Christianity, Mr. Barro said.

“South Korea is a good example of that rapid growth and more religion,” he said. There the number of converts from Confucianism and other Eastern religions to Christianity is growing rapidly, he explained.

Some of the lowest levels of religiosity were found in China and North Korea. The lowest levels of economic growth were in sub‐Saharan African countries. The former East Germany (which includes Weber’s birthplace) was one of the lowest in both religiosity and growth.