UPDATE: The only thing worse than ABC giving this stunt two hours of airtime is the fact that it failed. I just read this article and he didn't even make the 9 minute record. He lasted barely over 7 minutes. What is wrong with us?
This may be one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. ABC is advertising the heck out of this 2-hour special that runs next Monday:David Blain: Drowned Alive
The tagline: "Blaine Will Attempt to Hold His Breath Underwater Longer Than Any Other Human Being, After Spending Seven Days Living in a Spectacular Human Aquarium in Full Public View"
He is going to attempt to hold his breath underwater for 9 minutes. And they are going to use up 2-hours of primetime network television to show it. Don't forget to set your TiVo.
Thinking about dreams tonight. Not my own but those of the people I was around this week. Some I know. Others I will never meet. But they were all in Orlando.
One has a special place in my heart. Our history together includes a few years of intense discipleship as she navigated her early 20's. Seeing her life unfold in the sunshine state felt like a reward of those years. Her greatest dream has been fulfilled in the best way I could imagine. Yet she has other dreams too. She dreams of being a writer.
I attended a conference that was full of dreamers. Men and women who were forming and chasing the dream of planting a church. Their dreams are for people they haven't even met yet. They dream of people finding their way back to God and community and purpose.
I saw hope birthed in the dreams of two dear friends. Their road has been hellish over the past two years. They have been walking in confusion for so long...sometimes dancing on the edge of despair. But it seemed like God shifted the wind this week. Did hope just blow in? Did a dream begin the process of birthing? I'm praying that it did. I want them to dream again.
And I got to learn a bit more about the dreams of the leaders of my church. They have big dreams. Dreams of a movement. Missional dreams. Dreams to change the world. I am inspired by their dreams. They are certainly contagious.
Will all of these dreams be realized? I don't know. Chances are some might not. But I don't think that should be our concern. I think our job is to chase our dreams. To keep them before us as long as God places them on our hearts. To follow after them through every door that opens to their existence. God will decide where they lead.
I wonder...is gratitude an unrehearsed product of circumstance or a chosen path of existence? When someone truly lives from a center of gratitude is it because the boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places (Psalm 16:6
) or because they have learned the art of embracing the boundary lines no matter where they are drawn? Does the truly grateful person keep finding themselves in the best situation or does trust cause them to see the present situation as optimal?
All I know is grateful is my favorite emotion. It is pure beauty in the face of an elderly person. It melts me to see it in the expressions of a child. Its presence attracts me to the souls of my peers. And it is the essence of joy, peace, and hope when it is present in my own heart.
What makes a person competitive? Why is it that some people seem to have a competitive gene that permeates every area of their lives? I have it. Competition is fun to me. It's not that I want to beat another person down, but there's nothing like the adreniline rush of going head to head trying to do your best to claim victory.
Yesterday our whole staff went bowling for a fun team-building experience. One of my co-workers and I had been trash talking for several days about the event. We decided to bowl for pie. He now owes me two slices of banana creme.
Another co-worker, Eric, and I were talking about this competitive streak on the car ride over to the lanes. He joked that we should hire someone else and give them my exact position with some fake campuses to oversee (only I wouldn't know they were fake). He thought it might improve my job performance if I had someone to go head-to-head with in ministry. I think he was joking. Maybe.
Today my children's staff was planning the theme for our annual training conference. We were talking about having a race car theme and filming a video of our staff racing big wheels on a Nascar track. My first thought, "Short people will have an advantage racing big wheels. My legs are too long." As if it was really going to matter who won the big wheel race. I should be forced into pit row.
Funny that as I'm thinking about this tonight I came across this post
on a blog I've started to frequent. What do you think? Was Jesus competitive? I'd like to think that he could relate to this streak inside of me. And I'd like to think that I could learn to redirect my intensity for purposes that mirror his own.
After all, the only difference banana creme pie is going to make is to my waistline.
I normally post in thematic paragraphs. But tonight I feel like being random. Here are the first ten thoughts on my mind as I write this post:
1. ALIAS IS RETURNING TOMORROW NIGHT! There are only 5 episodes remaining in the series but I think they will be fantastic. This is the way a show should end.
2. I love wearing flip flops. I'm so glad it is getting warm.
3. Jon and I had turtle sundaes at Culvers at 4pm during our 1-on-1 meeting. Kind of ruins your dinner, but hot fudge is yummy.
4. The next few weeks are going to be a bit crazy. Between now and May 11th I will have attended conferences in Orlando, Atlanta, and Charleston, SC. In between those trips I will be entertaining a group of 15 from Ohio on one weekend and 2 children's directors from Champaign, IL on the other. On May 12th I will collapse. (But I'm really excited to have you visit, Steph!)
5. LOST better give me some answers soon. I'm starting to get annoyed with the whole "let's confuse you more" thing. I'm too far in to quit, but I'm getting a bit disgruntled.
6. I want to be a better friend. I want to reconnect with a dear friend who has fallen off the radar. I want to think about others more.
7. I love flour tortillas. I ate 3 of them and a banana for dinner tonight. And a Dove chocolate truffle from the Easter basket my friend Kerry made me. Yummy. I guess my turtle sundae at 4pm wasn't dessert enough.
8. My friend Julie from my yoga class is going to visit my church sometime soon. Very excited about that. It was really easy to invite her.
9. Still thinking about our Easter services. God was at work in an amazing way. The highlight was an 82-year-old man being baptized. I was overcome. It was the good kind of crying in church.
10. I'm still amazed people read this. When I started this blog I was nervous about writing thoughts where everyone could see them. Now I'm writing a stupid, random list and yet you made it all the way to the bottom. Thanks for stopping by.
Stopping this morning to remember...Jesus is alive. He is real. He is present.
I just finished memorizing the story script I will deliver three times this weekend to the 1st through 5th graders that attend our Romeoville Campus. I love getting to write and communicate these teaching moments because they ground me in the basics of what I believe. Want to remember what it means that Jesus is your friend? Try explaining it to an 8-year-old. Crafting language that is simple and understandable clears my own heart and mind. And yet vagueness and mystery are also acceptable. Kids have the ability to accept profound truth more readily than adults, I think. I feel more like them when I am teaching them. And I think that is a good thing.
Jesus loves me, this I know. Yes, Jesus loves me.
40 Years From Now...
Margaret Becker has been a favorite since the early 90's. At a time when my faith was really beginning to take root, her passionate lyrics filled with words of commitment, struggle, and longing seemed to emerge out of my own journey. She provided the soundtrack for my life.
In recent years I've experienced her ministry more through the spoken and written word than through song, and her latest contribution did not disappoint. Coming Up for Air
is an autobiographical narrative about one woman taking stock of her life. If you are a contemplative type, then I think you'd like this book. It gives you a lot to consider.
The question that hit me the hardest as I eavesdropped on her journal: "Who are the people I want to make sure are in my life 40 years from now?"
Have you ever thought about that? Maybe it is an easy question for you, but it has been harder for me to answer than I thought it would be. Family is obvious. It rises to the top very quickly (which also tells me something about the investment of time and energy I should be making now). But maybe I've moved around enough to realize that many of our closest relationships can fade with enough time and distance. A love and fondness remain, but an "inner circle" closeness can drift.
So the question becomes: "Who do you want to keep from drifting?" or "Who's drifted that you want to bring back?" Imagine your birthday party 40 years from now. Who do you want around the table?
When I figure that out, I want to make sure I'm preparing for that day.
Only 4 hours to go until this...
My nephews are coming! There will be zoo. There will be downtown Chicago. There will be tickling and popsickles and Shrinky Dinks. I'm ready to defend my title as 'World's Greatest Aunt.'
It's been so long since I've found a Christian artist I really like. When I was in Arizona, Blake and Sarah introduced me to Shawn McDonald. I am loving his Ripen
CD. I also really enjoy his Live in Seattle
So here's my question: Are there any other Shawn McDonald fans out there? And if so...what else are you listening to?!? I need more recommendations! I'd almost completely given up on Christian music, but Shawn has given me hope. Is there other great stuff out there? I'd listen to the radio but every time I turn on a Christian station the same song is playing that I was listening to when I turned it off 6 months ago. I can't handle that anymore.
Please, someone help me!
All Down Hill
Had my check-up appointment at the doctor yesterday. I didn't realize that once you hit 35 everything is destined to implode. Here I've been cruising along in perfect health only to find out from my doctor that I can begin to expect everything to fall apart within the next 24 hours. She wrote orders for multiple exams and lab work. She put me on vitamin supplements. She said we should monitor how I'm feeling over the next 6 months to decide if I should consider other medications. Whaaa?
Still, I left the office quite happy. Was it because I am in great health? Partially. Was it because I really like my doctor and her thoroughness? That could have an effect. But the number one reason I was happy is that she recommended that I take Flintstone vitamins with Calcium. Are you kidding me? I loved Flintstone vitamins as a kid. I drove right to Target and bought some. Nothing like eating a Sweet Tart that's good for you. This is medical advice I can embrace.
The baseball season is underway...with a rain delay in Chicago. I know this is my hometown now, but is it really smart to leave the big season premier to the wiles of spring in Chicago? Anyway...what are the chances my beloved Indians and new-found love Cubs will headline this year's World Series?
Oh my goodness, you're real!
It's been about a year since I started contributing regularly to this blog. I have no idea who reads it now, but initially it was a great avenue to connect with former CCH'ers. During my 6 years as a campus minister at Eastern Illnois University so many college students found their way into the deep places of my heart. As they graduated and left followed by my own departure from the cornfields of Charleston, it was easy to drift out of touch. Who knew we would find each other again years later in the prose of blogs and the comments of myspace?
But last night many of us came face to face. We gathered in Charleston for the Campus House's Annual Banquet. It was so great to see everyone but there was also some strangeness about it. Usually when you go years without seeing or talking to someone the common questions are, "How are you?" "What have you been up to?" "What's new in your life?" But as people began telling stories and even just describing random events of their week I found myself thinking, "I already know that. I read that last week on your blog." Blogs are a bit strange because they reveal a lot about our lives and happenings yet without comments we don't really know who's reading. You see someone you've followed in cyberspace and in that moment you realize you know more about them than they are aware of. And they might know all about you.
Still, it was great to discover that all my cyberfriends are indeed real.