Monthly Archives: August 2008

Labor Day Weekend

It’s after 10pm on Sunday, August 31st. Labor Day weekend 2008. Once again, we spent the day at the annual Acker Family campout. It was a blistering hot day, even in the shade. The family sets up a “tabernacle” each year (a giant tarp/tent) where we spent much of the day under today. The girls swam at the pool, then later at the “lake” – a generous name for what appeared to be a big pond. Later on, my father-in-law planned an Indiana Jones themed game for the family to play which involved solving puzzles and performing various challenges – like shooting pepsi cans off a picnic table with a toy bow and suction cup arrows.

It was a two hour drive into places in Michigan I didn’t know existed. For instance, did you know there was a “Decatur” in Michigan? Yea, me either.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my huge disappointment in MSU’s loss to Cal on Saturday night. It was also hard to see UofM loose two openers in a row. Not a good day for Michigan football.

Tomorrow, we’re going to try and end the summer with the kids. We took Molly to go see Mamma Mia – sing along version on Friday and when we walked out, they handed us free passes to any movie we wanted! So, it looks like we’re taking Kailey to go see it tomorrow – or at least Mel is taking her. I don’t know if I can sit through it twice. I’ll be watching the Tennessee football game tomorrow as well. Hopefully I will watch a good game via the SEC.

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Porn, Cancer and Microsoft

Man, porn is the media today!

I just got done watching this report on CNN of a pastor in Aus. who lied about having cancer for two years just to cover up his addiction to pornography. (he also has a “hit” worship song that is being pulled from the market – am I the only one who finds it odd that there are “hit” worship songs?) Then, Microsoft announces a new feature in IE8 which will allow people to surf the web in secret, a feature being dubbed “porn mode.”

Isn’t that interesting? On one hand, someone has gone out of his way to hide an addiction to porn and at the very same time a computer company wants to make it easier for people to look at porn online in secret.

I am so sad that this pastor felt that it was “better” to create a fake diagnosis of cancer than to admit that he couldn’t control his own addictive behavior. Once again, we find an example of a ruined life (thank God he is still alive) from this. When are Christians going to do more than just create atmospheres of shame and guilt? I mean, this was not anyone else’s fault for sure…this guy purposefully and willfully hid this and lied about it. But imagine if he were in a place where he could honestly talk about this addiction and get help. Imagine how much hurt could have been saved if that were the case. I’ve seen porn ruin too many lives around me. I’ve seen good friends go to jail, get divorced and worst of all, die. I hold each of them personally accountable for their actions (I mean, just because things that are addictive and potentially harmful are produced doesn’t mean that we have to consume them) but surely there’s a better way for people with any addiction to get help.

Life ranting again

Listening to:

Metallica “The day that never comes”
Black Kids: “I’m not going to teach your boyfriend how to dance” (still – and you can get it free today on Itunes!)

Watching:

DNC convention

Reading:

The Parables of Jesus – Luise Schottroff

Feeling:

Ouchy, still

Days have been marred by storms up here in Michigan. We had two fronts move in over the weekend making for some brutally hot and humid days. Pray for my sister Tami and her family as they struggle with potentially loosing Chuck’s sister Mary to cancer. They went into the hospital on Friday morning and Mary’s had two blood transfusions. It doesn’t look good. The hardest part is truly figuring out how to tell my niece who has a form of mental retardation. Last summer, they lost our nephew Justin to a heart condition when he was only 2. This is going to really hit Rachie hard.

During a meeting last week, I heard it say that as “church planters” (a term I really dislike – I think at best we who are called to this should be known as congregation farmers as we just tend the soil and help work the harvest) our job is to grow churches. This was said by a dear friend of mine whom I really respect – which I guess made it harder to hear. I totally understood the point he was making, and yes there was a whole context behind this statement…but I want to address a point that we church people get wrong a lot of time. Our goal should not be to grow churches. Our goal SHOULD be to tend the soil that God has entrusted us and work to grow the Kingdom regardless if our personal congregation grows larger or smaller.

Do I believe that it is good to see numerical growth in congregations. Yes, sometimes and No, sometimes. As a friend of mine once said “a good fight draws a big crowd.” Just because there’s a lot of people attending something doesn’t make that thing a good or bad thing…it just makes it attractive. I don’t think we need to make Jesus attractive. In fact, if Jesus isn’t really ticking some people off we may not be teaching the real Gospel.

I totally understand that as denominations, they have a vested interest to see Churches reproduce and I support that. I want to see more and more people fall in love with Jesus and start living life like him. I just don’t want the ends to justify the means. I know that my friend who stated that churches need to grow agrees with me on this, I just had to get it off my brain.

Goodbye Leroi

LeRoi Moore of the Dave Matthews Band performs with the band at New York's Roseland Ballroom, May 9, 2005. (AP Photo/Michael Kim, File)
LeRoi Moore died yesterday from complications stemming from an ATV accident on his farm in Virgina back in June. I’d been following his condition on their site (www.davematthewsband.com), and saw that he was re-admitted back into the hospital but never suspected this! LeRoi was an amazing player. He’ll be missed for sure.

Why Twitter and Facebook are Killing Blogging

You may have noticed a sharp decline in my blogging lately. Yes, part of that has been due to school and my teaching schedule…however, that is only one slice of the pie. I blame twitter and facebook. They are slowly taking over my life. I can’t help myself. I love being able to twitter short little messages throughout my day to my friends and watch their lives vicariously. I love checking Facebook each time I log on to see how new and old friends are doing.

It’s an interesting, but not that far fetched. Basically, with this blog I can have a pretty one-sided conversation. I post my ideas, and if either Owen brother finds it interesting….they post a comment. On the other hand, I get real-time insight into the Owens’ lives (and the other 441 friends) on Twitter and Facebook. The interactivity has an edge. So what if I can’t waste your time dolling out useless trivia about how YYZ’s drum part is actually the morse code for Y-Y-Z (which is also the call letters for the airport in Toronto, but there it’s pronounced “Y-Y-Zed” which is cooler I think)?

I sit here at my desk typing this crap to some how shoot an arrow of information into cyberspace knowing that someone, sometime, somewhere will read it and possibly someday read it. On twitter, I simply tell my friends that I’m heading to a meeting and they can say “hey, I’m going to be near that meeting, maybe we can hang out after…” and thus create an instant, real-life conversation. So, maybe it isn’t the quantity of the information that we present but the relationship behind that conversation that matters…

Come back to life

I am feeling a bit like I’m coming back to life right now. Yesterday, Mel and I taught our last parenting class for the summer. They have been great, but very draining. We’ve met some interesting people along the way from all walks of life. I thrive on these interactions. I just love hearing other peoples stories and dialoging about where we’re heading in our lives.

The past week, I stayed up late each night to watch Michael Phelps swim. Amazing! That’s all I can say. Amazing.

It was fun because Kailey stayed up with me, so we got a lot of extra time to talk. I adore those moments in life when it’s just us talking/interacting (and yes, that goes for Molly and Mel too). Then, this weekend while we were up north, the kids went camping with my mom and brother/sister nearby at a campground. They had such fun! They went swimming each day, ate meals cooked over a campfire and met some new friends. Yesterday, they all went to our family reunion in Lainsburg. I guess there was like 75 people there this year.

After, my sister, brother and niece rachel brought the kids home and we shared some pizza while we watched the new Journey dvd I got last week (if you like Journey, go get it!).

So, I’m just kind of catching back up to life right now and getting my strength back.

See you soon!

Phelps Secret!

I just read an interesting interview with Michael Phelps. Apparently the secret to his winning 9 gold medals is: “I just eat a lot of pasta and pizza right now, then go to bed. It’s all about the carbs right now.”

So, if that’s it I should be ripped like a swimmer any day now.