On The Road

We’ll be in Washington, D.C. for General Council.

This one will actually be an important one–we’re deciding on some pretty vital internal legislation (how we plant churches, for example). Nothing should make national news, however.

All that to say this: if you send either of us an email, it may be a while before we get back to you. We’re not sure how solid our connectivity will be on the road.

Mom’s Visit

I haven’t been updating the site much lately because my mom has been visiting. It was a good visit–we went to some beaches, ate at some restaurants, and relaxed.

Of particular interest to my father (who stayed back in Louisiana) will be the fact that not only did we eat Dungeness crabs, but we cooked them ourselves (as good Cajuns ought). Here they are in the bathtub awaiting their fate!

Another Little Way Stanford Is Changing The World

I was recently informed by one of our XA students that 2 of the new 15 appointees to the New York Times editorial board are Stanford grads: Philip Taubman (deputy editorial editor) and Andres Martinez (Economics, Foreign Affairs & Federal Regulatory Issues).

You can read the full bios at http://nytimes.com/ref/opinion/editorial-board.html.

Why does this matter? Because everyone in politics reacts to and comments on what’s being said in the NY Times editorials.

Unexpected Support For An Obscure Biblical Aside

I noticed something odd when I was reading some news recently: [in response to claims of nigh‐immortality for humans in the near future] Outside the conference, many scientists who specialize in aging are skeptical of such claims and say the human body is just not designed to last past about 120 years. Even with healthier lifestyles and less disease, they say failure of the brain and other organs will eventually condemn all humans.[source]

120 years? Interesting…

Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, they will live no more than 120 years.” Genesis 6:3, NLT

Nothing conclusive here (we’re not talking about data published in a peer‐reviewed journal or anything), but I did think it was worthy of comment.

A Living Legend Has Passed

I just learned that Bill Bright died yesterday. Even though he and I would have probably differed quite strongly on some points had we talked in person (one of the reasons I minister with Chi Alpha instead of Campus Crusade), I still held him in the highest esteem possible and would like to publicly honor him.

In case you aren’t familiar with him, Bill Bright founded Campus Crusade for Christ, wrote an extremely influential booklet called The Four Spiritual Laws, and was responsible for the creation of The Jesus Film–arguably the most effective evangelistic tool in history.

Campus Crusade for Christ is a tremendous ministry, and the fact that it will continue strong is a testament to Bill Bright and his leadership.

May the peace of God be with his family and friends…

Moral Confusion

I’ve had a nagging thought for a while now, something about how our society is beginning to view risk (or lack thereof) to be a central part of morality (and how this is not a good thing). I’ve never been able to articulate it as well as I would like, which is why I was so pleased to run across this essay by Dennis Prager: Would You Rather Your Teenager Smoke Or Cheat?

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Here are his opening paragraphs, I encourage you to read the whole thing: Decades of lecturing around America and of speaking with parents on my radio show have led me to an incredible conclusion: More American parents would be upset with their teenage children if they smoked a cigarette than if they cheated on a test.

How has this come about? This is, after all, an entirely new phenomenon. Almost no member of my generation (those who became teenagers in the 1960s), let alone a member of any previous generation, could ever have imagined that parents would be angrier with their teenage child for smoking than for cheating.

There has been a profound change in American values. In a nutshell, health has overtaken morality. Or, if you prefer, health has become our morality.

Read the whole essay.

College Matters

I just read this paragraph in the Ivy Jungle’s Campus Ministry Update and thought it worth posting here: In her recent book, Hillary Rodham‐Clinton describes herself as a Goldwater conservative prior to her college years. The daughter of a staunch Republican, it was in college that she changed her political views. One catalyst for the change, she says, was the “MOTIVE” magazine published by the Methodist Church. The magazine, which ceased circulation in 1968, was designed for college students and helped her see the cause of social justice. Regardless of political your political views, this reminds us that college ministry matters. Press on.

Talk About Your Good Days

Yesterday was an astoundingly good day: I got up at 5am to drive to Sacramento for a meeting to appoint a new college ministries director for our district. The meeting went well, I offered some opinions and strongly recommended one of my peers for the position, and then I recused myself from the meeting (it just seemed proper since I was technically a candidate).

I waited out in the hallway for what seemed like an hour, and when I was invited back in I was asked to take the helm in an interim capacity while we seek someone full‐time for the position!

To clarify: this doesn’t involve Paula and I leaving the ministry at Stanford. This is an added thing.

Although I didn’t seek the position (and I actually mean that–this wasn’t one of those I won’t seek it to make myself a more desirable candidate sort of things), I was very excited to be selected. There are more than 500,000 college students in this zone spread across over 40 sizeable campuses (and many, many smaller ones), and I’ve got some ideas I’m eager to try out.

After that I drove back and discovered that our ministry had received a pledge from a church. Woohoo!

Following that I did some piddling work until the workday ended and played my current video game, Brute Force, and beat a level that was vexing me greatly. Also a cause for celebration.

Following that I headed into downtown Palo Alto to the Stanford Theater to watch The Forbidden Planet and the original Time Machine (two fine movies) with some of our Chi Alpha students. I just loved watching those wonderful films in that cool old theater, and I was pretty surprised to realize that Leslie Nielsen was the star of The Forbidden Planet. The whole movie I kept telling myself I’ve seen this guy in some other films but I couldn’t place him. I was shocked at the end credits! In fact, I didn’t even fully connect the dots until Lynette Garcia said something about it.

Finally, I came home and read very briefly from Daniel Boorstin’s engaging book The Discoverers. The only complaint I have about his book is the giant chip he seems to have on his shoulder when he talks about religion (any religion). I’m very curious to see if that theme continues through the end of the book. Other than that it’s excellent (and his comments about religions and religious communities are insightful).

Then I fell asleep–it was 11:00pm!

All in all an excellent day.