Thursday, September 28, 2006

Times Square and More

Times Square is crazy. Last night I stood in the middle of the intersection for about 10 minutes and just took it all in. Remind you the picture below was taken at 11:00pm on a Wednesday night. The view from our room was beyond belief too. I'll post a picture of that later. About to head out Carnegie Deli, then take the A down to the wharf to gaze at Lady Liberty and spend a little more time at Ground Zero. Tonight we visit the "house that Ruth built", Yankee Stadium. Before I go, let me just confess that if it is a food item that is sold from a cart hosted by a poor English speaking man, I've eaten it. I love New York.

Here are some facts about Times Square:

1.7 million people passing through Times Square each day including the 26 million annual tourists.

274,000 people working directly in Times Square each day.

13,200 hotel rooms are in Times Square.

Approximately $4 billion in private investment has recently been injected into in Times Square.

500,000 people come to Times Square on New Year's Eve. 1/2 billion people watch the festivities on television worldwide.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Words Cannot Explain

I write this from a 24 hr Starbucks in New York's Times Square. This is one of the few times in my life that I've been both awake and speechless. This has been the trip of a life time! I owe it all to my wife. She too, is also equally indescribable. The "Three G's" start to describe her: Godly, gorgeous and Giving.

I was in Boston yesterday with my best friends and today New York. How to describe sitting in the Old North Church on Tuesday and standing at Ground Zero on Wednesday is impossible.

Here are a few pictures.

Thank you so much Kim. You have no idea of what this trip and you mean to me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Putting the Cart Before the Horse

A lot of pastors are sincerely trying to grow their churches. (Acts 2:47)

Some are desperately trying to help their churches function like God wants. (Acts 2:42-47)

I'm simply praying for the Holy Spirit to fill me and my church. (Acts 2:1-12)

Some pastors want to be honored. I'm ready to be mocked. (Acts 2:13)

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" 1 Cor 3:16

Come Holy Spirit. Come.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Blarfing: verb. To blog about way too much stuff because you haven't blogged in a long time.

Okay, I just made up the above definition. But I didn't know what to title this post because I have so much to say about so many things. So blarfing just fit.

Be forewarned - this will be a long post.

- I have the best wife on the planet. Possibly in the solar system (not counting Pluto of course) the reasons are as many as the stars themselves but let me just drop one on you.
It comes in form of a story.

Last week my good buddy Alan (blind since birth, crazy as long as I’ve known him and a former roommate), Todd (a kid – now 25 – who used to be in our youth ministry) and I met my best friend Mitch at his parent’s house in the bustling metropolis of Quitman, Texas. Our plan was simple: relax, ride four-wheeler’s, eat red meat, and relax some more. Kim had our friend Leslie Miller call me before I left and ask me to take some gifts to Mitch’s wife Shannon. (Are you with me here?) But I didn’t know Kim put Leslie up to this and thought the gifts (two small, beautifully wrapped boxes) were really from Leslie and really meant for Shannon. We arrived in Quitman on Thursday night and came home on Friday afternoon. Well, a couple of hours before we were due to depart, Mitch & Todd gave me one of those gifts that I had given him and told me to open it. I said, “no way pal, Kim will kill me. Mitch assured me that Kim would not kill me and so I unwrapped the first box to find a miniature replica of Fenway Park. I then opened the second box and found a miniature replica of Yankee Stadium. I felt my body go limp as Mitch yelled, “We’re going on another Ball Park Trip baby!!!”

My smoking hot wife had been working with Mitch (and other friends like Barbara and Karen) to plan a trip for us (Alan too) to go to Boston to see the Red Sox play and then to New York to see the Yankees. But that’s not all – we are going to Cooperstown too! Is that not incredible! Mitch and Alan fly into DFW next Monday and all three of us fly to Boston that day. We will return home that Friday. I’ve never been to Boston or New York! I cannot wait! I still can’t believe it! And while I’m aware that this will sound cliché, what meant the most to me was not that I’m getting to spend a week with my best buddies or that I get to see two states for the first time or that I get to see two historic ball parks – no, what meant the most to me was the obvious love that my beautiful bride has for me to pull off a surprise of this caliber.

So be looking for live updates from the Eastern Seaborg next week!

Last week our church blessed us with a One Year Anniversary Celebration! It was so sweet! They cancelled the whole midweek line up and we all shared a great meal together and then a time of a true blessing. I’ll be honest with you: having a bunch of people go up to the mic and just speak words of love and gratitude in your behalf was both powerful and painful. I like to be on the giving side of encouragement not the receiving. I praise God that He has placed us in a spiritual family of loving, spirit filled disciples. We are so blessed. I am asking God to use us for another strong year of service and transformation with them.

I am currently at ACU for Lectureship. This is the first time they have been held in the fall and let me tell you that Mark Love is genius in my book! The weather is absolutely gorgeous! It seriously couldn’t be better. And the line up of speakers and classes is stronger than ever. But if I’m being honest, (and I usually am) the best thing about lectureship is seeing old friends and making new ones. So far I’ve been given the gift of eating lunch with Chris and Zen (stud ACU freshman from my church. Conner was out of town) at Harold’s, having a coke at McDonald’s (actually water and a yogurt parfait) with Mike Cope (former coworker and good friend), dinner with Matt & Chase (stud ACU seniors who used to be in my Bible Study here in Abilene and good friends) at Sharon Allen’s BBQ, breakfast with Phil Schubert (former college roommate and ACU’s VP and CFO and good friend) at Cracker Barrel, lunch with Steve Hare (former coworker at Highland and good friend) at Harold’s (yet again), and I’m meeting Luke Norsworthy (former youth ministry intern and good friend) for a bit here in a few. I got to see Mike & Holly McFarland’s new baby, Riley and he was just way too cute! I’ve ran into so many other wonderful people that have meant so much to me in the past and continue to be a source of wind behind my sails to this day. (Coach, Jan, Casey, Kasey, David, Janice, Matt, Doug, Michael, Tim, Alicia, Chris, and Dora to name just a few)

The classes and theme lectures have been so inspiring and invigorating! I could write so much about each one. But perhaps the coolest thing about being on “The Hill” again, was getting to see “Jacob’s Dream”, an art display, experience, place, ??? by Jack Maxwell. I am at a loss for adequate words to describe it. Just hear me when I say: If you are ever within 20 miles of Abilene, Texas, come to the ACU campus and find this sculpture/garden/holy ground called “Jacob’s Dream” It is absolutely amazing. Yesterday I sat in awe at this creation for almost a half an hour. Those of you who know me well, know that I’m not much of an “Artsy” guy. This is beyond simple art. It moved my soul. Just trust me and find a way to check it out.

Well, Luke will be here in a minute. For the two of you who are still reading this, thanks.

With love from beautiful Abilene, Texas,