the final draft … maybe

interested in reading what i have been working on for my d.min? well here is the final draft edition of the proposal for my dissertation. you are welcome to read it and if you see a typo or something that i missed please don’t hesitate to let me know. i will not send this in until sometime tomorrow. it is 73 pages long and it is only the proposal. truthfully most of it is pretty boring because it is setting the stage for the project itself.

bringing in the big bucks


i received my amazon associates report today and as you can see i am bringing in some major money from my blogging. 😉 the amazon associates thing is basically works this way. if someone ends up buying a book or resources from amazon via a link from my blog then i get a few pennies. for example, i am currently reading miroslav volf’s “exclusion and embrace.” if you decided to buy this wonderful book (which you should because it has been amazing thus far and i am only a third of the way through it) and you went through a link on my blog then i would get a little “thank you” from amazon. as you can tell from the report above you guys and girls like to buy things from my blog. 😉 based on my math i am making almost $0.11 a month from blogging. oh yeah.

this should help with adam’s college expenses. 🙂 “hey adam, look my blogging just bought you two cups of coffee.” that will win me some respect from my oldest child.

SIDE NOTE – the problem with loving theology is that most teens don’t want to hear anything about it (i.e my kids don’t usually care to have an in depth discussion concerning it). while waiting for noah to finish with the dentist this morning i was reading volf’s discussion concerning immanence and transcendence in paul’s new creation mentioned in 2 corinthians 5:17. i was so blown away by the implications of what volf said that i needed to share it with someone (this is usually how i wrap my brain around something). pam usually fills this role but she wasn’t at the dentist office so i decided to share and discuss it with adam. “mhem” was not exactly the response that i was looking for.

post world changers thoughts

speaking at the duluth world changers project

this past week i was able to do something that i have wanted to do for years … be the worship speaker at a world changers project.

for those of you who aren’t familiar with world changers let me briefly explain what one is. imagine taking a typical youth bible camp (worship gatherings, eating together, free time, meeting new people, etc.) and marrying it to a habitat for humanity project. kids go to a world changers project to join with other groups and work on houses that the local city says need work. sometimes it is painting other times it is roofing, and other times it involves special projects (i.e. ramps, etc.). as a youth minister i took kids to about 12ish projects. i’ve been the group leader at projects from houston, texas to murphy, north carolina and i have pretty much loved them all.

DSCN5312i don’t normally ask people to invite me to speak but i made an exception to that tendency when i heard that the minnesota/wisconsin baptist convention would have its first world changers project this year. i immediately asked if they would consider me as the speaker for the project. i am thankful that the world changers leadership decided that i would fit the bill.

i spent the week in dultuh getting to know some wonderful teens and adults, as well as the great summer staff and gordon davidson, the project coordinator, who worked out all the logistics of the project.

so here are a few thoughts from the project:

  • duluth is not meant to be as hot as it was last week. all the southerners that were there, except for me, thought it was great. i’ve become acclimated to the cooler summers. i was looking forward to what should have been cooler weather. in the photo above you will see sweat stains on my shirt. that is because the church we were using for evening worship gatherings has no A/C.
  • every now and then i really miss having a more active role in youth ministry. this past week was one such time.
  • every now and then i realize that i don’t miss the schedule that is required of youth ministers. this past week was one such time. 😉DSCN5317
  • this was the first project in duluth as well as in the MWBC. i think it went really well for the first time. obviously there are things that can be done better but i think it was a really good first attempt. i hope the project coordinator from this year comes back for next year because i think he will make it even better. things will only be better next year.
  • for some reason odd things happen around me in duluth. i had 3 odd interactions with police while i was there. 1st i went to a world changers work project only to see 5 police cars arrive because two people had OD’d in the house across the street. then i went for an early lunch at a wonderful local coney island place in downtown duluth right when the feds and local police decided to raid a “head shop” which made for an interesting spectacle while i ate two wonderful coney’s. finally i went running on the lake trail only to have to run down an ambulance for a man that had been found passed out on the trail. you probably shouldn’t stand too close to me in duluth.
  • the only real criticism i have of the project is something that everyone in leadership agreed with and that is that having the guys stay in a building 6 miles away wasn’t the best. of course, it wasn’t planned that way. it just worked out that way when the original plan went off the tracks.

SIDE NOTE – while i don’t ask people to invite me to be there speakers (there is more of this in the world of youth ministry than you would expect) i am definitely not opposed to speaking at youth ministry thingies. in fact i love it. so if you ever do want to invite me please know that i would gladly come and hang out with you and your teens.

ken burns story telling


pamela posted this video to her facebook page and i thought i would share it. i love how ken burns describes story telling. i especially like how he admits the manipulation involved in telling a story. it reminded me of something that i learned about from photography from brad wenner, a former youth ministry student of mine. during some conversation, i think it was on this blog, he pointed out that photography (as with all art) was never reality. i believe he actually said that photography lies in order to tell the truth because it looks like reality but is in fact the artists manipulation of reality to convey his/her message.

i think this is also when he recommended that i read susan sontag’s collection of essays “on photography” (which i really loved).

anyhow ken burns says some things very similar. you should watch it.

present history podcasts

every so often i post about the podcasts that are presently “floating my boat.” i rarely listen to the radio but i do listen to a ton of talk radio podcasts while i drive, walk my dogs in the afternoon, ride my bike, and run. right now i am loving three “new to me” history podcasts. they have been great for my training for the whistestop marathon in october.

here they are:

  • dan carlin’s hardcore history – carlin doesn’t go the conventional route with discussing history. he makes some amazing correlations to modern examples that really help to understand the history he is discussing. he spends 13 hours detailing the death throes of the roman republic and it is enthralling. 
  • the history of wwii podcast by ray harris jr. – when i finished the wonderful podcast “a history of rome” i realized that i had really grown to like its series based approach to history. so i went looking for another and found ray harris’s podcast. i have just started listening to it and i am really enjoying it.
  • conversations in history and theology by maxie burch – burch serves as an associate pastor at north phoenix baptist church and an adjunct professor at fuller theological seminary. he uses the site to distribute his courses and lectures. i just finished his 10 hours of lecture on the history of CHRISTianity in america and i thoroughly enjoyed it. i really liked the way he keeps focused on the dissenting nature of americans and how it is evident in both our history and present time. i think i will start on his course on early CHRISTian history next.

these three podcasts are really making the time i run very enjoyable.

here you go mom


for some reason my mom seems to worry about me running. so i figured i would post a photo of where i have been recently running on the green circle trail. this should make her feel better. this is for you mom. this is the most danger i have ever faced while running. that is except for the winter when there is ice on the road. the ice is much more dangerous.