Friday, February 29, 2008


I love leap year and, really, I'm not asking any of you to write to me and tell me why my theory is wrong.  To me, it feels like anything that is accomplished on Feb 29 is "bonus" or "free" somehow.  Like we all pay for 265 days in a year and every few years, God throws in a catch-up day.  (I know, there are all sorts of things wrong with that...theologically, scientifically. I don' t care.)

So, sometimes that prompts me to take it easy and enjoy a free day on which I don't need to check off dozens of things from the list that grows faster than it shrinks.

This year, I'm taking the opposite approach. I've made a very aggressive list for today and intend to conquer it. When I do, and then wake up tomorrow on March 1, it will be as if it happened magically. :)  

First, though, dad and I are going to McD's where they understand my theory and are handing out free breakfast if I just purchase a big enough beverage. With their iced coffee, I don't see that as a problem. FREE DAY!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"I'm holding in my hands no ordinary New Testament..."

It arrived today. The Kagayanen New Testament and Genesis. We'll be using it here as part of a set of displays that tell some of the stories of the translation and use of God's Word for and by the Kagayanen community in the Philippines.

I've written before about the group that will travel from the States to the Philippins to be apart of the celebration as these books are delivered to the Kagayanen.

As I travel, I plan to blog about it as I have internet access -- so you'll be hearing lots more about it. For now, I thought some of you might want to see this book that arrived just an hour ago.

(I love technology sometimes.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"ET - Phone Home!"

We are the Executive Team (ET) for Wycliffe USA. Recently we named ourselves because, while the four of us are a part of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), we also meet without all the VP's and we got tired of calling ourselve "Bob and the three SVP's" (though we might form a band and use that name, but I digress as usual). We try to meet weekly, but it's usually more like two times a month because of travel schedules and other obligations.

Some of you who pray for me have also often prayed for this team, even if you weren't calling us any of the names we've used. Now you have names and faces.

How can you pray for us? Let me give you a few suggestions for things that are constant opportunities:
  • Pray that we will listen well -- to each other, to those we lead, to those we serve and most of all to our Father who is over all and in all the works through all.
  • Pray that we will be constantly growing in our trust of one another -- able to conflict well (iron sharpens iron) and collaborate well (brothers who dwell together in unity) and work well (created for the works God has prepared in advance for us to do)
  • Pray that God will protect us from all sorts of distractions and derailments as we work hard, travel often (Bob more than the rest of us) and interact in myriad relationships for the sake of those who have not yet heard God speak to them in the language they understand deeply -- maybe not at all.
  • Pray that we will rest in God who is our refuge, rejoice in God who is our hope and strength, and be overwhelmed by the greatness of God who is almighty and gracious and good.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Spice Drops

I like them. Candy with heat. They are more interesting than fruity chewy candy which is so predictable most of the time. I like the minty green ones the least.  I have a jar of them in my office right now. I am even willing to share...most of the time. I found a 20 ounce bag at Publix for $1. No, I don't just like them because they are cheap, but that is an undeniable bonus. 

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Literacy as Mediator

While Wycliffe's heart beats to the rhythm of providing access to Scriptures for all people in the language and form they understand best, the music that accompanies this beat expands beyond a single task.

One the one hand, there are all the things that God's Word accomplishes in the hearts of individuals and communities as God's Truth becomes known. Disciples are made who in turn become disciple-makers and the church is born again and again.

On the other hand, there is literacy and mother-tongue first education, and all that comes with this empowering of people.

And God, by his plan and for his purposes, chooses to do this work through us. In us. With us.

(As always with images in Blogger, if you click on the image it will open full size in another browser window -- and, in the case of this "postcard," this will be more readable in that larger size.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hey! I like you!

Maybe next year...I will make handmade cards for my friends. Until then, I will have to find another way to find a balance on this Valentine's Day. So much of the stuff I found in "free e-card land" just didn't say what I have to say exactly. Not their fault -- they are serving (and influencing?) the population into making this day all about romance and (is this a recurring theme in our culture?) sex. There were some funny things there -- Hoops and YoYo always make me laugh...but...

So, in the spirit of the days when a small card and a bit of candy and a simple note scribbled sometimes with pencil gave me a chance to say to my friends, "Hey, I like you. I'm glad we both are here. The world is a better place for it" I'm posting this image (from this website) with this rambling (but relatively short) text.

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Cosbys on Oprah

Oprah Winfrey had a "retro" show today and her first guest was David Cassidy. I stopped my channel flipping to see him for a minute and then stayed when I heard that her next guests would be the Cosby kids.

Oprah's crew built a replica of the Cosby show living room set -- down to the last detail. Very cool. The five kids who were there -- all grown up -- looked like they belonged.

I've never seen a "reunion" of sitcom characters where ALL of them are every bit as articulate and engaging (if not more than) as human beings as they were as characters.

8 seasons (available in a box set this Fall they said) on Thursday nights -- 5 of those years as the number one show on television. I know we watched pretty faithfully for at least those first 5 seasons.

I remember when my grandma was having pacemaker surgery on a Thursday afternoon and her question for the doctor before they began was whether they would be done in time for her to be back in her room to watch Cosby.

This is the time I need to confess that I did have a crush on "Theo" -- particularly in the later years of the series.

Anyhow, for the next segment Bill appeared on the show by sattelite and was delightfully himself. Funny man.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mosquito Ring Tones

Oh, use the title above to link to a free ring tone download site that features these Mosquito Ring Tones (about which I would not have heard except Joel Hunter referenced them on Sunday morning).

I'm not sure if I'm more irritated that this is promoted as a way to be sneaky behind the backs of adults (parents and teachers, specifically) or because I can't hear the one labeled "under 49" and I AM under 49. Grrr.

What is the Mosquito Ringtone?
The short version, A tone outside the audible range of hearing of most people over 30. This means that you can get phone calls and receive text messages in class or school without teachers hearing it.

On Wikipedia it talks about origin of this "technology" -- you'll enjoy that if you are an adult. :)

Super Bowl Commercials - Coke and Balloons

I didn't like them all (no surprise there). In fact, I didn't like most of them. But there were a few that made me smile. This one, for example.

It's creative. It assumes that I (as the viewer) have the ability to also be creative (at least creative enough to add my own verbal story to the images). I'm thrilled that they didn't hype this with overpowering music or voice over.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Beyond Imagining

I've heard a few different people this year share more than typical New Year's vision -- more than campaign "hope" and "change" rhetoric (though it is echoed there, too). There is a kind of expectation in the air that I can't get away from and I don't really want to try. 

One person referenced the image of Aslan being on the move.

I do believe that God is always at work in this world. I also believe that there are some unique God-sized workings that appear to be colliding on a global stage -- things like the rise of the "majority Church" (last year we were calling it the "Church of the South and East" because we didn't know what to call it) in size and, more significantly, in a missional focus.

Am I predicting the end of the world?  No...but yes. REM wasn't all wrong with their statement that "it's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine."  

The point of all this isn't another end times saga, but a reminder to myself that when things begin to move like this all around us we come to a point when a spiritual status quo is no longer standing still but loosing ground. (When I start mixing up metaphorical mumblings, it's time to add the last period and move we're close here.)

And, with that said, I'll echo what another colleague said recently: we must be in prayer. ("If we've even needed the Lord before, we sure do need him now." Imagine that song playing to a swelling crescendo in the background.) Prayer -- not telling God how to make our weekend better or what new gadget we'd like next or which people to heal and which to sweep under some sort of eternal rug -- but prayer that listens and tunes our hearts to His Word and His way. Prayer that is about God far more than it's about us. 

Friday, February 01, 2008

Northland: A Church Distributed

Maybe you can't travel to Longwood, Florida to visit Northland: A Church Distributed with me -- to hear Joel Hunter (or one of our regular "sub" preachers, Steve Brown) preach and to worship with Vernon Rainwater and the team, but you can participate if you have the technology.

Click the title above to be linked over to the Northland website. From there, you will be directed to free podcasts (audio or video) of sermons as well as the live streaming worship. Saturday night, Sunday morning and night and Monday night (Florida time - schedule on the Home page of the website) when Northland gathers to worship, anyone with a computer (software you need to view the streaming video may already be on the machine -- if not, you can download it for free) and reasonable internet access can log in and worship.  

Northland folk traveling all over the world use this to stay connected -- including a number serving in the armed forces.  But there are others who log in and worship, too. I hear that there is a group in the Carolinas (3 or 4 people) who gather at a Burger King every Sunday and worship via webstream together. 

So...maybe I'll see you at Northland sometime. I usually drive to the Longwood campus for the earliest Sunday morning gathering. I'll look for you.