Stanford Rocks At Sports (Again)

Scanning the news that backed up for me while I was away, I notice that Stanford was the best sports program in America for the 10th year in a row.


I honestly didn’t think we’d get it this year. Shows what I know.

Along athletic lines, I found Supreme Court Justic Sandra Day O’Connor’s comment at graduation pretty funny:

“I am expecting to see any day at the Court a ne exeat petition from Stanford for an order to prevent these departures. As I count it, we have at least four Stanford votes on the Supreme Court at present.” (referring to coaching changes–basketball coach Mike Montgomery and tennis coach Dick Gould are leaving)

Nothing Sketchy About That At All…

Aargh! In just a few hours I’m flying out to Baltimore for a week (I’ll be serving in a friend’s wedding, connecting with some ministry peers, and sightseeing).

Just one little problem… I lost my wedding ring. I sat down to check my email this morning and noticed that my hand felt odd. I glanced down and saw a ring of tanless flesh where the glint of gold ought to be.

All I can imagine is that it came off in the shower or something.

What a time to misplace my wedding ring. The phrase that keeps running through my head is minister travels without wedding ring. Nothing sketchy about that at all…

Rest assured that a frantic search is about to ensue!

Update: found. I was in my bed–I must have been playing with it right before I fell asleep or something. Whew!

Nate, Julia, and passages

One of the bittersweet things about college ministry is watching the people in your ministry graduate and move on.

That’s fresh on my mind because I bumped into two students who recently walked the line.

This weekend Julia Heng (who just got her master’s degree in Management, Science, and Engineering) dropped by for a few minutes to return some stuff she had borrowed from us. I hadn’t seen her since our graduating students celebration–she’d been gallavanting around the country with her parents (it was her mom’s first time in America). Then she headed back to Singapore.

And then this morning I had breakfast with Nate Flake. Nate just graduated from Stanford with a degree in linguistics. He speaks more languages than anyone else I know.

He wasn’t able to join us for the celebration that we hold right before graduation, and he’s been on the road since receiving his diploma. This was the first time since then that we’ve been able to connect.

And tomorrow he flies to China for a year. He’s not sure what he’ll do there, he just knows that he doesn’t want to teach English. He’s angling for a job as a translator or something.

Good luck and Godspeed, Julia & Nate! We’ll miss you.


I downloaded Groove Workspace today to see if it would be useful in our minstry training program.

Will it ever!

I persuaded Anthony to download it and give it a whirl. This software is absolutely amazing. We were able to talk over the net quite effectively and could collaboratively edit documents and do all sorts of other cool stuff. We could easily work as a team on sermon preparation or conduct web seminars or do just about anything involving ideas.

Free for personal use (with restrictions) and affordable for professional use. What a combo!

Now I just can’t wait until Groove 3.0 comes out…

Building a Professional Ministry Library On The Cheap

Yesterday I spent 10 hours in a meeting discussing training strategies for college ministers (most of whom come from secular colleges). While driving back I began thinking about the challenge a new minister without formal training faces in building a professional library. Books are expensive–the New International Commentary series on the Old and New Testaments retails for nearly $1,500 (OT, NT)! For some new ministers, building a quality library can seem so overwhelming that it’s hard to know where to start.

Inspired by a similar example, I decided to compile a solid (although basic) ministry library for under $200 (I failed by eleven cents). I priced the books (used) on on 6/18/2004. Books are listed in rough order of importance within each category.

The Reference Collection — $102.85

  • NIV Exhaustive Concordance $19.35
  • Systematic Theology, Millard Erickson $29.99
  • The IVP Bible Background Commentary — New Testament, Craig Keener $13.95
  • Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli $5.99
  • Chronological and Background Charts of the New Testament, H. Wayne House $10.15
  • Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament, John Walton $9.99
  • Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study, Fred Danker $13.43

The Personal & Professional Growth Collection — $97.26

  • Devotional Classics, Foster & Smith $6.65
  • How to Read The Bible For All Its Worth, Fee & Stuart $1.99
  • Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis $4.95
  • The Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard $9.60
  • The Challenge of Jesus, N. T. Wright $10.97
  • Prayer, Richard Foster $5.00
  • A Tale of Three Kings, Gene Edwards $3.85
  • The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges $2.49
  • Exegetical Fallacies – D. A. Carson $8.99
  • Between Two Worlds, John Stott $9.00
  • The Master Plan of Evangelism, Robert Coleman $0.97
  • The Purpose‐Driven Church, Rick Warren $8.00
  • Christian Counseling, Gary Collins $10.50
  • Solution‐Focused Pastoral Counseling, Charles Kollar $12.71
  • Take and Read, Eugene Peterson $1.59

Total Cost: $200.11 (excluding shipping & handling)

I tried to end each list with a book that would lead to more books, so that this would only be the genesis of a professional library…

I welcome suggestions for replacement volumes. What do you think important for a novice minister with little theological education to read?

Stanford Rakes It In

I get blown away sometimes when I think about how innovative Stanford is. I’m still trying to figure out which dorm room Google was founded in (I bet it’s in Escondido Village).

Anyway, I started thinking again about the incredible technological breakthroughs at Stanford when I read that the Farm raked in $45.4 million last year from royalties.

That’s a lot of money.

Wow. Wow backwards.

Email Bankruptcy

Stanford law prof Lawrence Lessig has declared email bankruptcy.

In a script‐driven note sent out last week, Lessig wrote: “Dear person who sent me a yet‐unanswered e‐mail, I apologize, but I am declaring e‐mail bankruptcy.”

He went on to note that he had spent 80 hours the prior week sorting through unanswered e‐mail built up since January 2002, and had determined that “without extraordinary effort” he would simply never be able to respond to these messages.

Evidently he gets an average of 200 non‐spam emails a day. I have to say that makes me feel better about my own email inadequacies. My next three days will be chiefly comprised of a concerted effort to whittle down my inbox. I started this morning at 387 non‐spam, non‐newsletter emails. I end today at 347. It doesn’t look like much progress, but I had two hour long phone conversations and a bunch itty‐bitty ones that kept me from the computer most of today.

My goal for tomorrow is to get my inbox down to 200…