Hooray for 100!

So I just noticed that I have reached 100 comments on my blog and I thought that was worth a small celebration. So put a bright hat on and dance around for a little bit. It’s the small things in life that are the best to enjoy… 200 here we come!

Into the Wild

I just read this book by Jon Krakauer and I found it absolutely fascinating. It is soon to be made into a movie so I’d read it before then if you have the chance.

It tells the story of a guy named Chris McCandless whose body is found dead in an abandoned bus in a remote part of Alaska (I’m not giving anything away here, it says this on the cover of the book.) It is the story of the last few years of his life as he hitchhikes across the US and Mexico and eventually into Alaska. What is so great about the book is that it’s a collection of people’s first hand experiences with him, exerpts from his own diary, and quotes from books that he highlighted that were found with his body. It speaks volumes into the idea of adventure and community, or lack thereof.

I don’t agree with his stance on everything, but I’ve learned a lot of insights from his perspective. Here is part of a letter that he wrote to someone:

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiaitive to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

Pour Your Heart Into It

My wife and I have had an ongoing irony in our marriage from day one. She has a passion for coffee and loves Starbucks and has even worked at at least three different stores in two states. But I never really “acquired the taste.” This has been much to the frustration of my wife and many others. Still, I have sat on the sidelines intrigued by the success of Starbucks even though it was never my thing. Recently, I read a book by Howard Shultz, CEO and Chairman of Starbucks, called Pour Your Heart Into It. It has changed my tune.

Like many other critics of Starbucks I always viewed it as a viral infection taking over the world one store at a time. Every time I sneezed I looked up to see another store even closer to me than before. But after reading Shultz’s book I realize that many people don’t know the true Starbucks story or just how great a leader Howard Shultz really is. The book tells all about the many oppositions that he has faced in the life of the company. The thing that stood out to me the most was just how passionate he was for what he was doing. And I started to reflect on what this would look like in the church. For example, read a few of these exerpts and then apply the thinking to church.

“I had never heard anyone talk about the product the way Jerry talked about coffee. He wasn’t calculating how to maximize sales, he was providing people with something he believed they ought to enjoy. It was an approach to business, and to selling, that was as fresh and novel to me as the Starbucks coffee we were drinking.”

“What we proposed to do at [Starbucks], I told them, was to reinvent a commodity. We would take something old and tired and common–coffee–and weave a sense of romance and community around it. We would rediscover the mystique and charm that had swirled around coffee throughout the centuries.”

The last passage is especially intriguing to me. Imagine reading something like this about the church. “We will take something old and tired and common–the local church–and weave a sense of romance and community around it. We will rediscover the mystique and charm that has swirled around the church throughout the centuries.” It sounds like the church in Acts 2. I wish half of the Christians today had the same amount of passion for seeing people meet Jesus and experience Him in community that Starbucks has for something as trivial and fleeting as coffee. Keep it brewing Howard.

Update in the 3F World…

We have recently added a video podcast in addition to our audio podcast of each week’s service. You can click here to find the link for both. Also, stay tuned for a totally new Third Format website.

When It All Goes Wrong

So I’ve been an avid supporter of Nixon watches for awhile now. I’ve had two of them and been quite happy with the quality and how cool they make me feel. Seriously, you should try it.

So the other day my nicer of the watches malfunctions and Nixon tells me I need to send it in. And then they give me the bombshell and tell me that they can’t get to it for 3 weeks! And so I wait…

A month and a half later they send me the watch back. As I excitedly opened it I quickly noticed that it wasn’t fixed. Six weeks and no results. I was on the phone with the company not long after and they promised to make it right. And then they blotched it up again. And then again. Seriously it was getting comical how many things got messed up but to their credit they gave me any watch of my choosing for free and hooked me up with some gear to say they’re sorry. So I’m back to being a Nixon fan.

My advice to you is this: buy a Nixon watch and wait for something bad to happen with it. Then send it in and cross your fingers.

To the Church in Thyatira

I preached all of the services at Central this weekend. Check out the video and let me know your thoughts.