Relevant Network Strikes Again

I’ve just received my third installment of resources from Relevant Network. I reviewed my first box, meant to review my second but got a little bit busy, and now want to tell you what came in my third (and also allude to the second when appropriate).

In both the second and third boxes I received 5 copies of the most recent issue of Relevant Magazine. Nice for handouts to students–I gave away the last ones and I’ll give these away as well.

In both of the last two boxes I received the little magazinelet Relevant Leader, which seems to be developing into something a little more than the annotated resource review it was in the first box.

As in the previous two boxes I received a good mix of books and CDs.

The CDs include:

The books are:

My criticism of the first box (that it contained almost no ministry resources) has been tended to, incidentally. The last box, for instance, contained a Highway Video DVD and a Blueprints CD from Crave Resources. I wasn’t as impressed with the Blueprints CD as I wanted to be, by the way.

This box carries on the resource trend with a DVD called That’s My King from Vertical Sky Productions. There is also a journaly kind of Bible‐study thing to accompany the Miles to Cross book.

All in all, I still think Relevant Network is the best bang for buck any ministry to collegians or twentysomethings is likely to run across.

College Folk and The Assemblies of God

This from the head of Chi Alpha: According to the 2003 ACMR Report AG churches report there are 245,912 adherents that are 18–24 years old that attend our church. This represents 9% of all AG adherents.

By way of comparison, 18–24 year olds comprise 14% of the California state population (I was unable to quickly find the equivalent national statistic).

A Quick Trip East

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but I kept getting distracted…

Having found my wedding ring I hopped a plane to Baltimore to serve in Jerry’s wedding.

I met Jerry back in college, when he had really long hair. He’s gone on to get his Ph.D. in statistics and now works for the Census Bureau. He now has much shorter hair.

Anyway, I flew in to Baltimore (arriving at some ungodly hour), tried to check into the wrong hotel, and finally got settled in sometime around 2 or 3 AM, if I remember correctly. It’s all a bit of a blur.

The next morning I visited the Edgar Allen Poe house, which was in the hood (this was somewhat fitting, as Poe wrote disturbing fiction and I was greatly disturbed after having had several people ask me if I was sure I wanted to be walking down the street). Interestingly enough, even I had to duck to get up the stairs. Poe must have been one short (or limber) dude.

After that I had the best crab cake I’ve ever had in my life at Faidley Seafood.

Then I headed down to DC. I looked at tons of historical and inspirational buildings/monuments/memorials. By far the coolest was the Library of Congress. No, really. If you’ve never gone on the guided tour you have to go and check out the reading room. It’s astounding!

Added to my before‐I‐die list: do research in the Library of Congress (anyone can do it, you just need to make time in your schedule).

By fortunate happenstance, Siew Ying (one of our Chi Alpha students) was in D.C. at the same time I was, so we got to hang out together for a bit.

I also had a chance to meet with Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church. He’s one of the most interesting and well‐read pastors I’ve ever met (which is saying something). Props to Scott Aughtmon for hooking me up with the meeting!

Anyway, I headed down to Waldorf, MD to connect with Jerry and Elvira (his bride‐to‐be). I helped Jerry, Elvira, their familes, and Tina (the maid of honor) do some decorating for the reception. I also relearned how to tie a slipknot, which was an unexpected bonus.

The highlight for me was meeting Jerry’s friends (especially my fellow servers Daniel, Tina, and Bethany). Bethany put some photos online, so if you’d like to see me in a tux this is your big chance!

Incidentally, I have to take full responsibility for this shot of Bethany planting her face in the cake. Drunk people are so much fun to be around–they’ll do anything!

Side note: the reception was pretty fun, but I was reminded of how silly the Assemblies of God can look to some people. People were fine with me not drinking, but the whole not dancing thing was hard for them to wrap their brains around. For the record, I think our policy is a bit quirky (and not in an endearing way).

On a related note, I enjoyed meeting the ECLA pastor who was conducting the ceremony. Nice guy. He and I are light‐years apart theologically, but I really enjoyed chatting with him.

Anyway, the wedding went off without a hitch (except the hitch that’s the point of the whole thing), and good times were had by all. I did make one faux pas, I didn’t realize that Elvira wasn’t changing her last name to Maples and said something like “How does it feel to be Mrs. Elvira Maples?” Oh well, worse mistakes have been made.

Before flying out I got to swing by D.C. again, visit the Daedalus Books Warehouse, and eat some more crab cakes in Baltimore.

Special thanks to Jerry for inviting me to share in his wedding, to Elvira for marrying Jerry, to Daniel for letting me stay with him, to Tina for doing such a great job with the decorations, and to Bethany for being such an entertaining person (even moreso when she’s sober). And a big thanks to Paula for letting me gallavant around the East coast like that.

Oh, while traveling I saw both Dodgeball and Harry Potter 3. They were both much better than I thought they would be.

You Know You’re From Louisiana

I got one of those forwards from a friend (Brandt Noel) this morning. He never forwards me stuff, so I decided to take a look at it. I liked it!

In abridged version, here’s a Louisiana primer:

  1. There are 5,000 types of snakes, and 4,998 live in Louisiana.
  2. Squirrels will eat anything. And folks in Louisiana will eat squirrel.
  3. If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites.
  4. It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy.
  5. “Fixinto” is one word.
  6. There ain’t no such thing as “lunch.” There’s “dinner” and then
    there’s “supper.”!
  7. Sweet tea is appropriate for all meals, and you start drinking it when you’re two.
  8. “Jeet?” is actually a phrase meaning “Did you eat?”

And you know you’re from LA (Louisiana, that is) if:

  1. You measure distance in minutes.
  2. You use “fix” as a verb. Example: I am fixing to go to the store.
  3. You “axe” people questions. Example: I got somethin’ to axe you ’bout.
  4. You only own four spices: salt, Tony’s, Tabasco and ketchup.
  5. The local papers cover national and international news on one page
    and six pages for local gossip and sports.
  6. You think that the first day deer season is a national holiday.
  7. You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit “a little warm.”
  8. You know all four seasons: almost summer, summer, still summer,
    and Christmas.
  9. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good gumbo weather.
  10. A carbonated soft drink isn’t a soda, cola, or pop…it’s a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor. Example: “What kinna coke you want?”
  11. Fried Catfish is the other white meat.
  12. You laugh out loud when you visit friends from other states and they complain about the humidity.