tonight's cafe

I'm really looking forward to tonight's LifePoint Cafe. We're hosting Gregory Page along with Dustin Shey. Page has worked with Jewel, Steve Poltz, Jason Mraz, AJ Croce, and many others. He's the first artist we've hosted that I haven't met first in person. I've only listened to his music online. It ought to be a great show!


a little shakey at shakeys

A new Shakeys Pizza Parlor opened near our house. It's the first one I've been to since growing up in Peoria. We used to go this Shakeys on University in Peoria. It even had a player piano and you could pick the songs it played. Nothing but fond childhood memories.

So you can imagine my excitement to have a new Shakeys nearby. The excitement had greatly dissipated during the 50 minutes it took to get two mini pizzas. The whole time I kept thinking about this article in USA Today that talked about the new ovens Papa John's is installing that can bake a pizza in four minutes. Shakeys must have running low on coal.

back from florida

Ok, I could have blogged last week but the simple truth is ... I didn't want to. Well, actually, I had things I wanted to blog about but I didn't want to take the time to do it.

I spent last week in Orlando at the National New Church Conference. It's a gathering of all kinds of nutty people -- people who have started a new church or who are considering doing so. Either way, you're a bit nutty.

It's hard to describe the conference's atmosphere, or mojo as the Seattle crowd would say. Electric. Passionate. Creative. Risky. It was either the Holy Spirit or the air conditioning, but I felt more than a few tingles.

Speakers included Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill in Seattle, Gene Appel from Willow Creek, Ed Stetzer, Dave Ferguson from Naperville, Larry Osbourne from North Coast, and a dude from Walt Disney Co.

There were about 100 people there who were connected to Stadia. I got to visit with Marcus Bigelow, Stadia's president and the guy who ignited my calling to plant churches.

All in all, it was an outstanding week.


to lake havasu and back

We left this past Monday to drive to Lake Havasu City to see friends from the Bay Area. For our Monday route, we chose the charm and beauty of Barstow and Needles. For our theme song, we chose Jay Farrar's "Barstow." "By the time we make it to Barstow, we'll be more than halfway to _____." Those of you who have been to Barstow and Needles can fill in the blank. Those of you who haven't been to Barstow or Needles, save yourself the trip and use your imagination.

We arrived at Lake Havasu on Tuesday and had a great visit with Curt and Kim Russell (and John and Jake). We knew the Russells from our church days in Walnut Creek. Curt works for PG&E and recently took an assignment in Needles. Needless to say, they live in Lake Havasu and he drives about 35 miles to work. He's overseeing the clean-up of a contaminated site.

Most people in Southern California think of Lake Havasu as a party town. Many western college students will head to Lake Havasu for spring break and I can see why. It's hot, sunny, and there's water. Lake Havasu also has a number of snowbirds; typical of Arizona. But there are people who actually live there year-round. It has a number of nice parks and family activities. It even has two Starbucks. (Though I committed a coffee faux paus and bought coffee at McDonalds on the drive out of town).

For the route home, we opted to go South to Yuma. This meant following the Colorado River along AZ 95 until arriving in Yuma. We stopped in Quartzsite, AZ, and enjoyed a fine dining experience at the local Carl's Jr.

Unfortunately, the air condition does not work in Tonya's van. As we travelled south to Yuma, the outside temperature peaked at 102 degrees. Of course, it only felt like 98 degrees to us. I think the girls did better than I did. After entering San Diego County, Tonya's van also decided to start cutting out. Three times we had to pull over, wait a few minutes, and then start back up. It didn't appear to be overheating. It may be time for a new van.

So ... we arrived back in San Diego around 5:00 and within minutes the girls were in the pool. By 6 PM, dad was asleep.


another good sunday

We fielded a full band this morning at LifePoint. It was good to have a full stage again -- we had bass, djembe, guitar, and keyboards. I also announced a new schedule change that we're making on April 30. We'll be moving to a one-service format with worship being at 10:30. This will give us the 9:00 time slot to do occasional classes, seminars, etc. It will also give us the benefit of having one larger service rather than two smaller ones. More to come later ...


the easter bunny

OK, I had about fifteen minutes of free time that I used to Photoshop a few pictures of the Easter Bunny. Actually ... I wanted to put something a little off-beat up on the LifePoint website.

one of my friends is almost famous

One of the elders from our church in Covington is featured on the ABC News website in this story. It's about "age-appropriate automobiles" ... I bet you didn't such a term existed. I've saddled up inside this particular car/truck/suv and can tell you firsthand it's pretty cool.

Jan. 3, 2006 — It wasn't until Jim Tudor got his new Honda Element that he noticed a quirk in its design. Why was the boxy vehicle's sunroof over the empty back seat instead of over his spot up front?
"I found out that it's supposed to be for my surfboard," says Tudor, who's 56, a grandfather of two who never surfs anywhere but the Internet. "It was really only after the fact, when I started doing a little reading on the car, that I found out I wasn't supposed to be the one driving it."


lifepoint sermon video

Here's a link to a sermon video a few of our media guys put together. They went to a local mall and asked people what they knew about Jesus. I've reduced it in size for quicker loading. If you'd like the the uncompressed version, let me know.


reconnected with a friend

Last Saturday I ran into a guy at Hannah's softball game. Our daughters were on the same team last year. What I really appreciate about him is the fact that he reads ... and I mean READS. He is constantly reading things for the purpose of stretching and growing. I'm always sure to ask him what he's been reading and he usually throws out three or four things I should read.

Last Saturday was no exception. We spent the better part of the game talking about a theology of governing. Fascinating stuff.

Too often Christ-followers bring a superficial line of reasoning to very complex stuff. It doesn't have to be that way. We should not be afraid of wading into the deeper waters because that's where the mystery (and truth) lies.

a tom petty sighting in la mesa

There's this guy who comes into Cosmos nearly every time I am there. He's always wearing a denim jacket and looks like Tom Petty. I'm expecting to hear "Free Falling" at one of the open mics.