Thursday, September 30, 2004

I Dropped The Ball!

Alright! I admit it! I made a mistake!

Yesterday when I posted my now famous (by "now famous" I mean that 3, possibly 4 people have looked at it - 2 on purpose!) I failed to include fellow blogger and all around good guy,

Greg Kendall-Ball

Please, Please, Please forgive me Greg.

And for the masses who missed out ... check it out.

Down and out,

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Read 'Em and Weep, Laugh, Think, Grow, etc...

I read 5 blogs quasi-religiously:

Mike Cope (daily)
Grant Boone (3-4 times a week)
Kim Quile (1-2 times a week - this is only because she doesn't post as much as Mike or Grant - something about getting 1,000 phone calls a day at work? ... slacker)
Brandon Scott Thomas (weekly)
Sam Middlebrook (weekly)

I read others semi-regularly including, Val Durington, Corey Patterson, Ty Lovell, Matt Ritchie and a few others.

So who do you read? Hey, while I'm at it ... who is reading me? (of course that begs the question - why?)

Speaking of reading ... I have like 180,756,276 pages to read for school ... peace!

Monday, September 27, 2004


I just finished watching video about Mother Teresa. Usually I have words to describe the experiences that I find myself in throughout life. Not so today. Here is what I do have: Go find a book about her. Do it today! Find a video that documents the desires of her life. Do it today. And above everything - Love others today. Labor in love. Serve with a sincere sacrificial spirit. And finally, go get among the poor. Touch them. Feed them. Serve them today. I’m done talking. It’s time to get quiet.

“God speaks in the silence of the heart.” – Mother Teresa

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Entertain? YES! Amuse? NO!

I jsut finished reading an amazing article by Rob Bell. For more on who in the planet he is click here.

Check out these tasty morsels:

"So my understanding in communication is you engage people right where they are; if you don't, they leave.
Sometimes I hear people say, "The church isn't here to entertain." To entertain means to hold people's attention, which is clearly something teachers throughout the Scriptures are doing. They engage and capture attention.
But we're not here to amuse. To "a-muse" means to "not think." And it's wrong to prevent people from pondering or distract them from thinking. I'm not here to amuse. But of course I want to engage people. I have something to say."

"Artemis: the goddess of fertility. Her world center of worship was the city of Ephesus. It was believed that if you were pregnant and you brought an offering to her temple, she would protect you in childbirth. Now in the mid-first century, one out of two women was dying in childbirth. This is a real terror. So what does Paul say to Timothy? "By the way, women will be saved in childbirth." But what about Artemis?
Paul, in a brilliant, subversive way, says Artemis doesn't save women in childbirth. God does.
Now how on earth do you understand that verse without knowing some history?"

To read the entire article (a great use of 5 minutes!) check it -

Friday, September 24, 2004

"Feed My Sheep"

Found this on the web tonight. Incredible! Check this out. Saddleback church in CA is doing what most churches only talk about - making a difference in their community. The following is a letter that Saddleback's pastor, Rick Warren sent to thousands of the church's neighbors:

What is “40 Days of Community”?

You may have seen 40 Days of Community signs popping up in our neighborhood and wondered what it’s all about. It is an effort to build the sense of community in our area, sponsored by Saddleback Community Church. Beginning Oct 2, nearly 3,000 neighborhood groups will be meeting in homes once a week for six weeks - all around south Orange County. The focus will be on deepening relationships and building community spirit. Together these groups will also share in a historic community project: feeding all 34,000 of Orange County’s homeless - three meals a day for 40 days. This has never been attempted before. Regardless of your church affiliation, you are invited to share in 40 Days of Community. Just ask someone with a sign for details or visit!

For more details on this amazing display of compassion and a church truly being light on a hill go to

Walker or Walker?

My wife is amazing! Simply amazing! Check out her blog! She is doing a 5 mile walk to raise money for the American Heart Association less than 7 weeks after major surgery. Let me be candid, if I am less than seven weeks out of that kind of surgery (of course there would have be a lot of surgery prior to me having the same surgery that Kim had) I'm not a Heart Association walker - I'm still using a walker.

A Lesson Well Learned

This morning my youngest daughter Emily (who will be a very big 8 yrs old in 10 days and counting) and I were playing our traditional "YOU'RE IT!" game while getting ready for school. On Monday's and Friday's (for September -- the days change each month -- always 2 days out of the week though) Emily and I try and sneak a kiss on each others face and then shout -- "you're it!" It is like the game of tag but with lips instead of hands. (Editors Note: I tried to play under these rules in junior high with girls that were not necessarily my girlfriend and the game didn't go so well as my broken finger can attest - "I can't believe she kicked me!" -- "I can't believe I tried to block it")

Anyway, Emily jumped on the sink while I was shaving and tagged me with a wet one and shouted gleefully, "you're it!" I maturely retorted, "That's not fair!" to which Emily calmly and wisely replied, "Dad, life is not fair."

I am glad that at the young age of 7 (almost 8 you know!) Emily "gets it." My other kids get it too. Why haven't I figured it out. You would think this would be a clue.

"In this world you WILL have troubles, but take heart, I have overcome the world." - Jesus

Yes, life is not always fair.

Which explains why I kissed Emily and shouted "you're it!" as I dropped her off at class this morning. I then proceeded to run down the hall like a junior boy running from a pack of vengeful girls.

I know, I'm mean!

But hey, she said it: life's not fair!

Sunday, September 12, 2004


There was this new bar in town that everyone was talking about because it had a robot-bartender. A man walks in to see this for himself. He sits at the bar and sure enough, a robot was bartending. The man orders a drink, and the robot asks him what his IQ is. The man replies that his IQ is 150. So the robot begins discussing nuclear physics, hydrogen power cells, and the current state of the global atmosphere. The man is amazed. He has to see how good this robot really is. He leaves the bar and comes right back in and sits at the bar. Again, the robot asks him for his IQ. This time the man replies "100." So the robot discusses football, basketball, and the proper way to grill a steak. The man leaves and comes back in for a third time. This time he tells the robot that his IQ is 50.

The robot replies: "So, are you democrats really going to vote for this
Kerry guy?"

Monday, September 06, 2004

A Day in the Life of Joel

Okay, for the hand full of people (granted, the hand might possibly be missing a few fingers) who actually care I have decided to let you in on the chaos and coolness that was my Monday. It is fairly typical and only the names, dates, and actual events have been changed to protect the innocent. Actually, this was my day. Enjoy.

5:40am Wake Up
5:41am Wonder why I'm up.
5:50am Read Psalm 90
5:55am Go to Powell gym and work out with my buddy Taylor Manning.
6:30am Watch guys half my age and weight lift twice as much as me.
7:13am Return home to get ready for the day.
7:55am Leave for office.
7:58am Stop by McDonalds and purchase a breakfast burrito and consume all the calories I burned during the workout plus tack on a couple a hundred extra.
8:10am Arrive at work at Crosswind.
11:35am Call Kim on the way home and ask her to whip me up a yummy hot lunch and have it ready for me to drive by and pick up and eat in my 12:00pm - 3:00pm class which she did. And yes, it was yummy!
11:55am Arrive at class. Check email for work before teacher starts.
2:55pm Class ends. Run back home and grab books for 6:00pm - 9:00pm class.
3:20pm Head back up to ACU and write a paper for above class.
4:10pm Prep for meeting with Highland Campus Ministry Leadership Team.
4:30pm Meeting for Campus Ministry.
5:15pm Leave meeting and go pick up Subway for Laura who has been away at a youth retreat and take it to her. We eat together and discuss the retreat in 9th grade girl detail.
5:48pm Leave house and go back up to ACU for class.
5:55pm Arrive at class. Class begins and so does my battle with staying awake for 3 hours of
9:00pm Class ends. Arrive home.
9:05pm Check email from work and catch MLB scores.
9:45pm Talk with my wife and listen to her day while I'm typing this blog.
9:49pm Stop typing and really listen. My wife is so amazing!
10:09pm Post.
10:30pm Hopefully go to bed.
11:30pm Probably actually go to bed because I had to read.
11:30pm Begin nightmares about reading.


40 Days Til The Blog-a-versary!

Coming Oct 18th to a monitor near you...

My blog is turning ONE YEAR OLD in just 40 days. Get ready for the Grandhootenanny of celebrations party people. You have no idea what I have in store for my little Bloggerite Community.

Stay tuned! We've only just begun!

A Paragraph in the Life of Joel

I just read a few pages in one of the 9 books I have to read this semester and then it hit me: "why should I keep all this good information to myself?" So, with that being said, here is a paragraph that I'm confident will change your world view, your life, and the way you order take out...

One frontier of the study of Christian spirituality, for which little has been done to date, is the relationship between the shifting styles of spirituality-i.e., the dominance in turn of apophatic/speculative, speculative/katphatic, kataphatic/affective, or affective/apophatic-and the nature of human institutions. The hypothesis is that a relation exists, just as it does in all forms of knowledge, and that this expresses itself in styles of devotional action characteristic of an age. Having stated the hypothesis any documentation must be offered very hesitantly. There are some tenative and partial correlations. Apophatic forms of prayer seem to be related to the collapse of social institutions. The fourth and fifth centuries and the fourteenth centuries were times of an emphasis on apophatic prayer. The decline of the Roman Empire and the shaking of the structures of feudalism, particularly as effected by the plague, coincide with these times...

Okay ... that is enough. I'll spare you the rest. Suffice it to say that my reading assignments don't always fire me up. I mean after reading that scholarly stuff did you feel more compelled to reach out to the lost or feed the poor or even to not want to yell at the guy with 18 items in the 15 items or less lane at the store? Me neither.

But hey, it's my blog right? If I want to e-bellyache then who is to say no?

Friday, September 03, 2004

This World Is Not My Home...

This can't be as good as it gets.

"Russian School Tragedy::Hurricane Frances::Scott Peterson:

Thursday, September 02, 2004


Just ran across a copy of Max Lucado's prayer at the Republican Convention from this past Monday. Check it out:

"Oh Lord, God of our fathers, You direct the affairs of all nations. You made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth. We echo the declaration of Job: "God makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them." Please guide us.

You are the supreme strength of the universe. We trace every decision and blessing back to your hand. Thank you for this nation. And have mercy upon her. Please unite our citizens. Nurture the poor, abused, and abandoned our children; keep our homeland free from harm. Remind us, oh Lord, that you do not exist to bless America. We exist to bless you. Remind us of your unquenchable, unconditional love. Affirm us when we seek your will, forgive and correct us, when we don't. Speak to us about the brevity of this life and the beauty of the next. And, most of all, prepare our souls for the moment we meet You face to face. We lay this election before you. And, in the end, your will be done. By the source of mercy we pray. To you be the glory forever and ever. Amen."

Now before any one drops "conservative" or "liberal" or any other stereotypical smack, do me a favor. Just read the prayer again. Read it close and slow. I thought it was both beautiful and brilliant. Your thoughts? (not on the election, politics, Max, churches of Christ, women's role, apartheid, the cutting of the rain forest in the Amazon Basin ... - just the prayer) What do you think about the prayer.