**Has it really been 9 weeks since my last post?! Something tells me that isn't too good for one's readership (my statcounter, for one). My apologies. These last couple months of silence have been busy and have involved a lot of inner turmoil. I have been wrestling with expectations, confronting some of my own shortcomings, questioning whether or not I desire to be in vocational ministry again someday, (and just in case the answer to that question turns out to be "no") playing with some other possibilities, trying to figure out how to be a better husband, and engaging the age old practice of having fun. But all that to say that I think I have finally come out the other end – in a much better place than where I started – and ready to get back in the blogging saddle again.**
And just what would a triumphant re-entry into bloggerdome be without some snapshots of my last couple months? If you answered "lame", you'd be exactly right. So here goes…
In mid November we headed back to Lincoln for my brother Jake's wedding. The first order of business was the bachelor party. We rented a limo, dressed up in our finest pirate garb and headed out on the town for a night of pillaging and rock'n roll. For anyone looking for bachelor party ideas, I highly recommend this one. From the impromptu sidewalk sword fights, to the epic limo gun battles, to the autographs and stares at Yia Yia's downtown, this was one for the ages. (I am not liable for expletive gestures.)
The next night was the night of the rehearsal dinner. We didn't really have any ideas for an after party. Then we found out that the State Theater was at our disposal, if we wanted it. After a quick brainstorming session, we ran out and got a dozen assorted nerf guns and headed to the theater for an epic nerf battle. No would could have guessed this night would turn out to be even better than the previous one. Perhaps it was the drunk pub patrons pasionately cheering us on through the windows, the incredible layout of twisted hallways and bases, or the opportunity for all of us to be 12 again, but whatever the case, most of us agree it was one of the funnest nights of our lives.
The following day was the big one. It was a beautiful wedding filled with both moving and hilarious moments (the hilarious ones I can't really share on here, so you'll have to use your imagination).
After the ceremony, the wedding party hopped on a party bus to celebrate before rejoining everyone at the Lodge at Wilderness Ridge for the dance party to end all dance parties. We figuratively and literally tore the dance floor up!
It was a fitting way to celebrate Jake & Allie's new marriage and
it wrapped up what was easily one of the funnest three days stretches
of my life.
I spent most of the last week of November at beautiful Point Loma in San Diego for Strengths Coach training with Gallup. All I gotta say is that it is a good thing I didn't visit this school while I was in high school because it just might have inspired me to become a Nazarene. It also turned out that my good buddy Derick was in town celebrating his birthday, so I got to crash with him in a suite at the Hard Rock Hotel (easily the coolest hotel I've ever stayed at) and hang with some of his fellow firefighters (great guys) in SD's gas lamp district (which absolutely shames downtown L.A.) The training? Oh yea, that was good too. Really.
Last month I had the wonderful opportunity of spending some time with Dan Kimball while he was in town. He and his lead pastor, Josh (great guy!), met with us to talk about the protege program. (For anyone interested, they will be launching their own protege program at Vintage Faith in Santa Cruz this fall!) Dan has been an instrumental and influential voice of clarity in the emerging church movement for some time now. His Emerging Worship was one of my favorite resources for ideas and discussion when I served as a worship pastor. I have to say that I was so impressed and encouraged by Dan's kind and humble spirit, his hunger for understanding, and his interest in little people (like myself). Although he is a bonafide rock star in many circles, he still comes off as someone who is genuinely accessible and endlessly loyal. Spending time with him was truly an honor.
Since Megan is relatively new to her job and we just took time off for the wedding in November, we spent Christmas here in L.A. with my sister-in-law's family. It was a really good time and very relaxing. (Notice picture of me toting the video camera like a good dad.) Also, just in case you were wondering, Amy Grant was right: Christmas in L.A. does make for a warm holiday.
We had roughly a dozen people staying in our apartment for New Year's. It was filled with much dancing, rocking out, cranium (guy's won), and shouting at the church group camping underneath our balcony. The next morning we got up, watched the Rose Bowl Parade from our balcony (very cool), and then cheered on our Husker's as they beat out Clemson in the Gator Bowl! It was a great way to ring in the new year!!
Alright, I think I am finally caught up! Now, lets move on to some substance…