1,825 miles and 841 pages later…

Yesterday I flew 1,825 miles and read 841 pages. Yikes.

The last few weeks have been a blur. On Father’s Day I watched an astounding group of graduates celebrate as they received their degrees from Stanford. As I sat in the hot summer sun listening to Oprah Winfrey pontificate at commencement

, I thought about their lives and what God might do through them. I also got sunburn.

The day after graduation I hopped on a plane to Springfield, MO to teach at Chi Alpha’s Reach The U institute (that trip wound up being 2,278 miles due to weird routing – I didn’t think to keep track of the pages I read, but I will tell you that Augustine of Hippo

is a dense read). Training a new generation of leaders is fun, but exhausting. On the two worst days I taught 6 hours! I’m amazed I didn’t lose my voice.

One cool thing – I shared a bathroom with fellow instructor Pete Bullette, someone I had trained at this same conference years ago. He now leads a ministry of 250 students at the University of Virginia download the invincible iron man dvd . While I don’t think I can take credit for what he’s done there, I was happy that he mocked me for some of my actions those many years ago – it means I made an impression. 🙂 Who knows what the new ministers I trained over the last few weeks will go on to accomplish?

All that to say, I have one of the best jobs in the world. I get to help the amazing students at Stanford come to and grow in faith, and I get to train ministers who will multiply this on campuses around the world.

By the way, you can read about one of the aforementioned grads in “The Rhodes Scholar” download ocean s thirteen online (the article was published on Father’s Day, in case you’re wondering about the huge fatherly emphasis).download lars and the real girl movie

Earth Day, Jesus, and Christian Environmentalism

I’m in Springfield, MO at a Chi Alpha conference where I’ve taught approximately 12 hours in the last two days.

Yes, that’s as grueling as it sounds. It’s been fun, though.

Anyway, while here I got to hang with Darrin Rodgers

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, an old seminary buddy who is now a historian. He told me something that blew my mind: the founder of Earth Day (the first Earth Day, I should say – there are two) is a Pentecostal Christian. His name is John McConnell. If you are a pacifist you will find his story especially interesting – read some reviews of his biography.

I’m encouraged that a follower of Jesus was at the forefront of the early environmental movement. It is easy to grow disappointed in Christianity if you focus on the inactivity of the institutional church and forget that the faith, ultimately, is expressed in individual lives. But when you remember that the church’s business is to not to engage in activism itself but rather to release Christians to serve God’s purposes in the world, you can actually become quite giddy. We still have a long way to go, but we’re doing far better than the world or the church seems to think. When I peek deep into a positive situation I often discover a Jesus-follower (or even a few) at the heart of it.

So if you’re a fan of Earth Day (the original), then remember to thank God for it. And keep your eyes open – God is at work in unexpected places.

Unexpected Perspective on Worship

I’ve been preparing to teach some sessions at Reach The U (a conference for new campus ministers) and I just read one of the most unexpected little paragraphs while digging through some research:

Across the United States, Asian American groups are pioneering a revival of a cappella singing. On West Coast college campuses, Korean American evangelicals are known for their cutting-edge praise music. Students of other ethnicities commonly note, “Oh, the Koreans have a great worship team.” Indeed they do. Although Asian American evangelicals’ praise is largely similar to other evangelicals, it is often more cutting edge. They use the latest praise music coming out of the United Kingdom as well as the United States—before the other campus ministries do the same. They tend to use more modern musical instruments like electric pianos, bass, and guitar than some of the other traditionally white-dominant campus ministries.

Source: Rebecca Kim, “Asian Americans for Jesus: Changing the Face of Campus Evangelicalism download dragonheart divx

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This isn’t a thought I’ve had before. Interesting.west side story online

Evil Raccoons and Mendacious Students

wounded-whitneyA few weeks ago, Whitney showed up to Chi Alpha’s weekly meeting with a large bandage wrapped around her hand. I asked her what had happened, and she told me of a ferocious raccoon attack while walking along Lake Lagunita.

This was not surprising to me. Raccoons are evil. All right-thinking people know this in their marrow.

Sure, they look cute with their little paws and their masked face, but even Satan seems to be a beautiful angel

. No – raccoons are as evil as a subhuman mammal can be. And given that raccoons roam freely

across campus, something like this was inevitable.

Realizing that I was sitting on entertainment gold, I asked Whitney to keep silent until the announcement time, when I would interview her and allow her to regale the entire group with her story.

After worship, I called her to the front and asked her what had happened. As she held her bandaged hand high and said, “I was bitten by a raccoon,” Desirae cried out, “I knew those things were dangerous!” A hush fell over the room as she began to tell her tale.

She and her roommate had been walking around Lake Lag when Whitney noticed a raccoon moving about in the bushes. She turned to her roommate to point it out and saw a flurry of motion out of the corner of her eye. The next thing she knew, she was being lunged at by an apparently carnivorous raccoon. She fended it off, suffering a grievous hand wound in the process.

Her roommate, a pre-med student, gave her some quick treatment and then she headed over to Vaden health center for further medication.

At this point, you could have heard a pin drop in the Chi Alpha meeting. Every student there was thinking of the many times they had seen raccoons rambling across campus, looking at Whitney’s bandaged hand, and thinking, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

At least until Whitney burst out laughing and said, “And you believe me?”

I said, “Bwah?”

Whitney said, “I was making that up. I tripped and hurt my hand. My roommate said that was too boring and that I should make up a better story. So far everyone I’ve told has believed me.”

The room erupted in laughter.

For those keeping score:
Whitney: 1
Glen: 0
Raccoons: negative infinity

And that’s why people should always come to Chi Alpha in person rather than just watching our meetings online – you never know what’s going to happen when the camera’s not running.

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