Many of the projects that I have been working on over the last several months are coming up on their finish lines.  I’m excited to be able to put these things out into the world so people can use them.  Of course these finish lines are really just new starting lines.  But isn’t that the case for every finish line?

Think about the Olympic athlete.  They train with that finish line in mind for years.  But once the race is over they are going to have to start something new.  They can start to train for the next race.  They can start to think about life after the olympics.

Think about professional athletes who are facing retirement.  What’s next?  They’ve spent all this time in their sport.  When do they start thinking about life after football?

It would seem that the people who end up being truly successful are those who look at their finish lines and are able to think about what they are going to do after their cross the finish line.


I love this song by Steve Taylor – Finish Line

yeah maybe it’s a little cheesy but the 12 year old me totally dug this tune, and when I got Steve Taylors autograph I was pretty stoked!

Simple Solutions

This week I’ve been working on a project that is more complex than I wanted it to be. I tried to come up with all kinds of solutions that all ended up being more complex.

So what did I do?

I took out a pen and a small journal and wrote down all the next steps that I needed to do to make this huge complex project easier. This is an incredibly simple solution to complexity.

I learned through GTD that my brain is not a reliable place to keep important informant for projects. When I start to feel overwhelmed by the complexity in front of me I were down why I’m so overwhelmed. I wrote down next steps. In doing this it helps me to think of other areas where I’m feeling complexity start to overwhelm me.

It’s so simple but we tend to think that because we are “smart” we don’t need simple solutions. If you are truly smart you will look for the most simple solution possible.

Don’t be too clever for your own food. Seek simplicity.

Read Something New This Year

Every year I start a new Bible reading plan. I try to use a different translation every year. This helps me to read these stories in a new way as each translation is a little different.

This year I am using the New Revised Standard Version. This version is even more different because it includes the Apocrypha. These books are not typically viewed as inspired in the Protestant church so I have not really been exposed to them. I don’t think they are expired either (just so you know).

This got me thinking about how important it is to read things that you may or may not agree with. Doing so helps you to see from other people’s point of view. It can also help you to better understand your own beliefs and world view. If you only read people you agree with then you probably aren’t growing as well as you could be.

My brother in law recommended a Manga book. And I said I would check it out even though Manga has never interested me. So I checked out Vagabond from the library. It has a really compelling story, well drawn art and continually developing characters. I would have missed it all if I didn’t take my Brother in Laws recommendation.

This year I want to read more widely so what would you recommend? Leave a comment.

Grace and Fairness

Read the story of Noah this morning. And in the story it says, “Noah found favor in the sight of the LORD.”

In the middle of all kinds of human depravity and wickedness, Moses somehow found favor, grace, in God’s sight. When reading stories like Noah’s we tend to put in all the reasons that Noah found favor in God’s sight. Somehow he was offering the right sacrifices, he was praying the right way, he wasn’t killing people. These are all good reasons to find favor in the sight of the LORD.

But the Bible doesn’t give us any reasons for the grace that Noah received.

A few chapters before we can read the story of Cain and Abel. The text says that God had regard for Abel’s offerings from his flocks, but not for Cain’s, which were from grains and plants. The Bible doesn’t tell us why God had regard for Abel’s offering. We put in the story well because Abel was offering the right kind of offering, and his heart was better, and so on. The Bible doesn’t tell us that.

When we read stories like this we want to justify God’s grace, favor, or regard. We want to give God a reason for being gracious, because if God has a reason for those people then somehow I can find that reason. Then I can work my way towards justifying why I deserve grace too.

But grace isn’t fair. It’s God’s gift to give. And when we turn the the New Testament, we see that God chooses to give that gift through Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Now this seems entirely unfair.

We want to be able to build a case why we deserve grace for the things that we do. But we don’t deserve grace at all. That’s why it’s grace. It’s God’s gift to give. It doesn’t seem fair to us, but for God to give grace, forgiving our sins at all, that is an incredibly generous gift. It really isn’t fair to God that he should give us any grace.

Grace isn’t fair. If it was fair it wouldn’t be grace.

New Year . . . Biggest year ever

I’m looking forward to several new and exciting things in 2013. This is going to be a big year.

First, we are relaunching Creekside Church. We have grown in significant ways over the last four years and this relaunch is an opportunity for everyone to get on the same page. It’s also an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to our community. Many exciting projects ahead.

Second, starting Feb 3rd I will be the primary preacher at the 6pm service. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to preach. This will also open up an opportunity for Pastor Don to lead in an area that he is passionate about as he launches a recovery ministry on Sunday Nights.

Third, I am being granted a sabbatical this year. This is an incredibly gracious and generous gift from Creekside. I’m really looking forward to taking some time to unplug and refresh. I’ll have to opportunity to learn from different churches, read a lot of books that I’ve just not had time for, spend a lot of time with my family, and ride my bike a lot.

Fourth, and personally the thing I’m most looking forward to, We are working really hard to make it possible for Kathy to go to per diem status at Evergreen. This means that she would only have to work a minimum of one day a month. We’ve been working really hard at paying off debts and getting to a place where this could happen and by God’s grace we are really close to making this happen. Hopefully we will be able to make this all possible by May.

Fifth, Judah and Joss are growing and surprising me with the things they are learning and discovering. I’m looking forward to an amazing year watching them be themselves.

That’s just a few of the things I’m looking forward to this year. It’s going to be a great year. There are many adventures ahead. Stay Tuned.