Technical Glitch

For some strange reason, the MP3 encoding of last night’s message was completely blank. Not a single sound was captured.

Oh well, it wasn’t the best message I’ve ever preached anyway. It’s still frustrating.

We do have other messages for download, however.

On an unrelated note, is it just me or did everyone start wearing a lot less all of a sudden? I swear that some of the people on the Farm painted their outfits on, and didn’t use much paint in the process…

Great Week

Just a quick update. The wonderful folks at International Assembly of God up in Burlingame threw a baby shower for us Saturday evening. We got some amazing gifts and were truly blessed by their generosity. Unfortunately, I had to attend without Paula, as she was still on bed rest.

I did my best. I got really excited about the color pink and I didn’t throw away any bows. I think that’s what you’re supposed to do at a shower…

And my in-laws arrived for a month-long visit yesterday. They’ve already begun pampering Paula to death, but I think she likes it.

One more comment–I just learned that Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is going to be this year’s commencement speaker. Wow.

Side note–I just learned that she was in the same class as Chief Justice William Rhenquist. I bet the profs who taught that year are feeling pretty good about themselves.

Building On Negatives

In Food Porn, Susan Wise Bauer writes about the tendency of modern authors to critique culture without offering a viable alternative: The cover-model ideal is warped and twisted, but they can’t manage to unwarp it. I’m reminded of J. R. R. Tolkien’s orcs, who (according to the Silmarillion) were modeled on elves by the dark powers; they were fashioned “by slow arts of cruelty in envy and mockery,” because dark powers can only warp and twist, not create afresh. If you’ve never seen an elf, and you try to work backwards from an orc to its model, you’re darn well not going to end up with Orlando Bloom.

You can’t build on negation alone.

How often is our plan for being good to stop being bad? In the Biblical perspective, holiness is an addition equation, not a subtraction equation. We don’t merely seek to eradicate vices such as gossip and lying; on the contrary, we actively cultivate virtues such as love, joy, patience, and self-control.

Just some quick thoughts inspired by an absolutely brilliant Tolkien reference in an otherwise unrelated article.

Another Tolkien Perspective

I just ran across a great article that unpacks some of the differences between the movies and the books, and how it affects Tolkien’s message: The Return of the King: Best Picture, Perhaps, But Not Best Version.

In case you’re curious, we’ve got two other significant entries on Tolkien:
* Splintered Light (from Tolkien’s eleventy-first birthday)
* Saint J. R. R. The Evangelist

I’m the Video Blogger

At the Campus Ministers’ Conference in Atlanta last weekend, Curt Harlow stuck a video camera in my face and told me to be profound. You can see my best effort in a two-minute video at

Before you cast any stones–try being profound on the spot. It’s not as easy as you might think. In fact, it’s only due to the editing genius of Curt Harlow that I didn’t come off looking like a raving lunatic.

Anyway, I highly recommend that you poke around the video blog archives. There’s some good stuff there.

If you’re a minister, know that there are several outstanding sermon/sunday school ideas you can *ahem* borrow.

If you want to use one of these video snippets in your meetings (as a call to worship or to illustrate a sermon point) here’s how to integrate it into PowerPoint.

1) Upgrade QuickTime to QuickTime Pro. It’ll cost you thirty bucks and you can do it online in seconds.
2) Open the mov file in QuickTime Pro and click File/Export to export it as an avi file.
3) You can now either insert it into PowerPoint or edit it in Windows Movie Maker (free with Windows XP). Be sure to download the latest version.

If you’re using a Macintosh, you can probably just insert it into PowerPoint without dinking around.

I used the one titled “Gross Stuff phone booth dvdrip ” this week to open the meeting, and it worked really well.

I’m the Video Blogger

Check it out–I’m the guest video blogger on in a clip entitled “I Doubt It”! We filmed this while I was in Atlanta for the campus ministers’ conference this weekend.

Curt (the video blog king) did some major editing to make me sound more intelligent than I was in that section–I was babbling like a fool but through the miracle of iMovie I came out looking not totally stupid.

Also, they have added a video archive so that you can check out all the past video blogs.