podcast is down

We haven't recorded a podcast at LifePoint for the past three Sundays. On the first Sunday, the voice recorder attachment broke off. On the second Sunday, the lapel mic I bought specifically for the iPod didn't work. The iPod kept telling me no mic was attached. So ... one of my tasks for this week is to head to the Apple store and pick up the first voice recorder.

Stay tuned ...

pictures from camp

Opportunity Camp 2006 is now over and in the pocket. We had one of the best camps in recent years. With 100 campers and more than that staff, it was a great experience for everyone. Here are few pictures snapped by our camp photographer (scaled down for better loading).

Bobby ("Jack") interviews me on how campers can be on the evening show. One of my new responsibilities at camp is to serve as the "screener" for the evening program. All the little kids would come running up to me and say, "kenhensley, can I be on the show tonight"?"

Camp food rocks!

Bobby and Amy -- hosts of our evening program -- appeared this year as Jack and Janet from Three's Company. The week was spent looking for a third roommate to replace Chrissy. Bobby and Amy are both actors based in San Francisco. Amy and her husband just returned to the Bay Area from NYC.

Campers sing during morning assembly. Even though most of these kids are not regular church-goers, they pick up the songs really quick.

Jackie helps a camper on the ropes course. Besides being a youth pastor in Texas, he also doubles up as a ropes course instructor. And he grills a mighty fine BBQ brisket.

A camp tradition -- taking pictures with Mr. T at the beach. Chris is pointing, Eric is holding.

Spending a little free time together.

The green stick is known as the "spirit stick" and is given to the cabin or tent that shows the most spirit at circle time. Sporting the nice sweatshirt is Ishmael, a long-time counselor at Opportunity Camp.

I liked the picture but I have no idea what they're talking about!

It's either a fish story, a rap song, or sign language.


the journey to camp and beyond

I left San Diego yesterday around 3 PM and headed north to Los Angeles and then over to the 101. The 101 follows the Pacific Ocean for much of the northern route. Coming out of Los Angeles towards Santa Barbara is simply beautiful. It was a clear sky and the ocean was magnificent.

First coffee stop: Camarillo. Had to use my pocket pc to find the closest Starbucks. Second coffee stop: King City.

After leaving King City, my next intended stop was Salinas -- the lettuce capital of the world. Nearly bought the farm before making it to Salinas. A mattress fell from a truck in front of me, causing the first car to swerve off the road. The mattress then bounced over the hood of the next car and landed directly in front of me. I ran over it with my left front tire and dragged it for just a little while. Fortunately, I never lost control of the car and everyone was ok. This all happened while talking on the phone to Tonya.

I decided to spend the night in Salinas -- which turned out to be a good idea. Arriving about 10:45, I thought I'd see if I could find a spot to eat. Not a good idea. After driving down what appeared to be a crack street, I decided I wasn't all that hungry and returned to the hotel. Unfortunately, I had consumed mass quantities of coffee en route from San Diego and had trouble falling asleep.

The next morning I enjoyed a fine country breakfast just outside of Salinas in a little diner that reminded me of Covington, Georgia. From there I was at camp in less than an hour.

Gave my first talk this morning about Jesus coming to serve. The theme for camp is "The One-Liners of Jesus" -- looking at various statements of Jesus. The camp is smaller and younger. I believe we have 101 total campers and the oldest of them is only 14. A younger camp has it's challenges but getting beat up is usually not one of them.

I'm hoping to post each day but don't hold me to it.


awards and graduation

Hannah and Hope had awards day this past Friday and then on Saturday, Hope walked the graduation line -- for kindergarten. She even gave a nice commencement address in her cap and gown (no kidding).


techno demons

The techno demons reared their ugly heads today at LifePoint. We had no projection/multimedia whatsoever. None. Zippo. For whatever reason, we couldn't get any ouptut from the laptop to show up on our screens. This was the first time in nine months this happened. This was also the second week for using a new HP laptop with souped-up video capabilities.

Last week it worked fine -- just as normal. Today ... nothing! We rebooted, unplugged, replugged, twisted the plug ... nothing! All the settings for dual monitors, extended desktops, etc., were set the way they should have been ... nothing! Windows recognized two monitors were connected ... nothing! MediaShout recognized two monitors were connected ... nothing!

There were times I was wishing it was an Etch-a-Sketch so I could pick it up and shake it above my head. Come to think of it, I still might.


a pet peeve

I'm not sure who came up with the phrase "pet peeve" to describe things that really annoy you. And if what I'm about to share applies to you, then you need help!

Twice in the recent past have I gone into a restaurant's restroom only to find that previous "occupant" failed to flush. What type of person goes into a restroom and leaves a parting gift for the next person? I would expect this if I were visiting my elementary-age daughters at their school -- it's the type of thing an eight-year-old boy would do.

On encountering my first "gift," not only did the previous person refuse to flush, it also appeared he was never trained to aim. Perhaps we need to leave a few Cheerios in our public restrooms and consider it a civic duty.


monk email

I've found a new online diversion that's actually semi-productive. It's called "Monk Email" and it's hosted by careerbuilder.com. You can dress up your own monkey, type in a message, and it converts the text to audio. Then enter a buddy's email address and you have just created a world of fun.

Here's the link: http://www.careerbuilder.com/monk-e-mail/


church-mart revisited

In yesterday's message, I talked about how churches in the modern area began sterilizing their environments in an effort to create a non-threatening atmosphere for non-believers. This was in response to the Baby Boomer generation leaving church en masse and then beginning to return in the 1980's and 1990's.

Innovative church leaders began eliminating church-speak, that highly specialized form of church language only known to insiders. They began writing music that was actually enjoyable and somewhat resembled what a person could hear on the radio. Pastors began wearing normal clothes. Church services became programmed and produced.

The result was that a few of the churches began attracting and keeping large numbers of Boomers. New models for church planting were created.

One of the casualties, however, was that many of these worship environments didn't convey much of a sense of worship. They were designed to look like theaters and religious symbols and icons were hidden away. Rather than creating sacred space, they created sterile spaces.

In some ways, these churches inadvertently become Christian versions of Wal-Mart. Big box stores/churches designed for convenience and consumerism.

This might have worked well for the modern, Boomer generation but it fails miserably with the postmodern generation. The postmodern generation values experience and wants to feel like they have entered a sacred space when they come to worship. Being a visual generation, they are drawn to visual expressions of faith and spirituality. Architecture, environment, and atmosphere have become important again.

busy weekend

Hannah and Hope had their first piano recital at the Piano Exchange in Mission Valley. They've had other recitals but they have all been in the home of their teacher. This was their first "public" recital and they each did a fine job. The Piano Exchange has a great recital room, complete with stage and baby grand piano. Tonya and I were both proud of the girls.

And then later in the day we took the girls to see RV, the movie with Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels. All four of us enjoyed it. It's a bit goofy, but that's ok.

Sunday was a great day at LifePoint. Our band continue to gets better and it sounded good again yesterday. We also featured a painting by a local artist -- Estevan Gargost. People seemed to really enjoy that.

Sunday night I drove up to Rancho Bernardo for the Global Day of Prayer service at Maranatha Chapel. Doug Duncan, our keyboard player at LifePoint, was playing keys in the worship band for the service. It was a great experience.


new ads in local newspapers

We have two new ads for LifePoint appearing in this month's editions of the Good News, Etc. and the Christian Examiner. These are 1/8 page ads targeting mature, adventuresome Christ-followers who might be interested in helping a new church community. You can pick up a copy at any local Christian bookstore.