Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nouwen's Reflections on Christian Leadership

"In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership" by Henri J. M. Nouwen

I think it is amazing what the Masters can do in so few pages that take Amateurs ten times as many words and pages to do less. I believe Nouwen is one of these masters of Christian spirtuality and leadership.

On Leadership...
"...'burnout' was a convenient psychological translation for a spiritual death."
"...the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. That is the way Jesus came to reveal God's love. The great message that we have to carry, as minister of God's Word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life."
"The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? But: Are you in love with Jesus? Perhaps another way of putting the question would be: Do you know the incarnate God?"
"The central question is, Are the leaders of the future truly men and women of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God's presence, to listen to God's voice, to look at God's beauty, to touch God's incarnate Word, and to taste fully God's infinite goodness?"
On Spirituality...
"But when we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative."
"When spirituality becomes spiritualization, life in the body becomes carnality."
On Maturity...
"...Jesus has a different vision of maturity: It is the ability and willingness to be led where you would rather not go...the servant-leader is the leader who is being led to unknown, undesirable, and painful places."

A Few More Running Quotes

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you will be right."
"Go for broke but prepare to be broken."
"Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don't think about it, I just do it. The decision has already been made." --Patti Sue Plumer, U.S. Olympian
"If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough." --Steve Jones, former marathon world record holder [Note: Funny and inspiring? Yes. But that is not my policy!]
"...While a body in bed wants to stay in bed, once a body is in motion, it'll want to stay in motion." [Newton's Law of Running!?]

Praise God!

Psalm 100
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The King of Preachers

Jesus' preaching was attractive; he sought above all means to set the pearl in a frame of gold, that it might attract the attention of the people. He was not willing to place himself in a parish church and preach to a congregation of thirteen and a half, but would preach in a style that people felt they must go to hear him. Some of them gnashed their teeth in rage and left his presence in wrath, but the multitudes still thronged to him to hear and to be healed. It was no dull work to hear this King of preachers, he was too much in earnest to be dull and too humane to be incomprehensible.

Charles Spurgeon, Leadership, Vol. 2, no. 3.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quotes of the Day

"...professionalism without compassion will turn forgiveness into a gimmick, and the kingdom to come into a blindfold."
"Hospitality becomes community as it creates a unity based on the shared confession of our basic brokenness and on a shared hope."
"...Prayer is not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence."
"His appearance in our midst has made it undeniably clear that changing the human heart and changing human society are not separate tasks, but are as interconnected as the two beams of the cross."
"It is not the task of the Christian leader to go around nervously trying to redeem people, to save them at the last minute, to put them on the right track. For we are redeemed once and for all. The Christian leader is called to help others affirm this great news, and to make visible in daily events the fact that behind the dirty curtain of our painful symptoms there is something great to be seen: the face of Him in whose image we are shaped."
"The Christian way of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift."
" is the call of God which forms the people of God."
"A Christian community is therefore a healing community not because wounds are cured and pains are alleviated, but because wounds and pains become openings or occasions for a new vision."
"...ministry can indeed be a witness to the living truth that the wound, which causes us to suffer now, will be revealed to us later as the place where God intimated his new creation."
Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Creative Thanksgiving in Iowa

A creative Thanksgiving Day celebration watching "Fred Klaus" at the theatre
4 inches of snow the day before Thanksgiving in Iowa...que bonita!
Jadon and Audrey Ross, Youth Pastor at Middle River Friends Church in Carlisle, IA. We were all friends at Barclay, too. Thanksgiving morning - right before a 5-mile "Turkey Trot" at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. It was 25 degrees and icy.
I was cold only until we actually starting running.Post-race euphoria/freezing/frostbite/laughs
Thanksgiving Lunch at Cracker Barrell in Des Moines
Uh...well it speaks for itself

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Psalm 20:7

Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,
but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

The Message
See those people polishing their chariots,
and those others grooming their horses?
But we're making garlands for God our God.
The chariots will rust,
those horses pull up lame—
and we'll be on our feet, standing tall.


"Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire."

Epictetus, Discourses ~(2nd C)

Climate Change

Fall tripped and fell, but recovered smoothly. Summer temperatures have raged on here in Kansas. Record temperatures yesterday and today around 80 and all last week as well. We have the AC on at the office, can't ever remember needing that two days before Thanksgiving. But, we are excitingly bracing ourselves for the first real blast of winteresque weather. The low tonight is same as the high tomorrow. Besides, we are waiting for our first hard freeze in Wichita as well (probably Wednesday night). Normally it comes by the end of October. Bring on Winter! I'm dreaming of a white Thankgiving in Iowa! Likely!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Last Week

Last week I went to Haviland to visit Barclay College and to present some announcements about Project Recruit in chapel and also have some informal meetings with a couple students. (My best "meeting" was an 8-mile run with Eric, who was my roommate my senior year, and this is now his senior year and is preparing for church ministry after graduatinon in May. Scary!)

Anyway, it was a treat to get to hear Dave Williams (live!) in Chapel.

I wanted to recommend the link again, to hear Dave speak. His message was a great, clear, encouraging, affirming and exciting presentation of the good news about identity in and relationship to God through Christ. (Dave also referred to several of my favorite things like the Oregon Coast and the Haviland countryside in his message. Dave is currently getting his D.Min. at George Fox and was fresh off a 2-week visit up there for class. He showed a presentation of a bunch of pictures at the beginning of the message.) Bare with the first 5 - 10 minutes to get to the heart of the message - for which I was so encouraged and am thankful.

Click on November 6th "Listen Now!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What does it mean to me to be a part of the Evangelical Friends Church?

I love our rich heritage and history, going all the way back to the radical life of our founder, George Fox. I love the controversial stands we've taken, rocking the cultural boat throughout the last couple centuries. I love the attitude of theologically majoring on the majors and trying not to get bogged down by the rest. But what does it mean to me today to be a part of the Evangelical Friends Church?

I am reminded of the two core values we affirmed at last year's ('06) Friends Ministry Conference (formerly known as Yearly Meeting) in Mid America. The message that we have available for the world is that 1. You can have a direct, personal relationship with God and 2. Every Christian is a minister!

If we can learn to engage this message with a "go and tell" approach instead of the traditional "come and see" approach, watch out!!

- Adam Monaghan

Monday, November 12, 2007

On Becoming One's Self

"The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become-because He made us. He invented all the different people that you and were intended to be...It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own."
C.S. Lewis

The Evangelical Friends Church

Mid-America Friends in Wichita hosted Evangelical Friends International North-America/Evangelial Friends Mission meetings this past weekend. Friends leaders from all across EFI-North America came to Wichita for several days of important meetings. I am not on any of these boards but was able to sit in and observe and learn.

Among many exciting and encouraging things I learned, I found the "big picture of EFI-NA" particularly helpful.

Evangelical Friends International-North America is changing its name to "Evangelical Friends Church-North America", which more accurately reflects what we are together: the church! EFC-NA consists of about 300 churches, comprising of about 40,000 members, and together we give about $50,000,000 to the local and global cause of Christ among Evangelical Friends!

Singer's Song

(just get the whole Delirious: Cutting Edge Disc 1 & 2...they are all great! all-time favoritos mios)

Singer's Song

Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord

As your people Lord we now stand before your throne,
A sacrifice of praise will be our song.
As your singers Lord we will shout that "He is good
For His love endures forever"

Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
As your people Lord we will sing with thankfulness,
We want our lives to be a song of praise.
Banners we will wave to proclaim that "He is good
For his love endures forever"

Come on all us dancers dance that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us dancers dance that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us dancers dance that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us dancers dance that Jesus Christ is Lord

Help us Lord to realize that our lips
were made for praising You
Not for bringing others down,
but for boasting of Your love.
Show us Lord that when we meet we have
our feet on holy ground,
Come and purify our lives,
forgive us for the wrong we've done.
We desire to see Your face,
but teach us first to "Fear the Lord"
Let us not presume your grace,
for the sin we bring is our disgrace
In Your mercy send Your power,
demons go in Jesus name
Heal the sick and save the lost,
reveal the power of the cross
Open up the heavens Lord
Open up the heavens Lord
Open up the heavens Lord
Open up the heavens Lord
Open up the heavens Lord
Let us sing the song that Jesus saves us!

Message of the Cross

Message of the Cross
Delrious: Cutting Edge Disc1

This is the message of the cross, that we can be free,
To live in the victory, and turn from our sin,
My precious Lord Jesus, with sinners you died,
For there you revealed your love and you laid down your life.

This is the message of the cross, that we can be free,
To lay all our burdens here, at the foot of the tree,
The cross was the shame of the world,
but the glory of God,
For Jesus you conquered sin and you gave us new life!

You set me free when I came to the cross,
Poured out your blood for I was broken and lost,
There I was healed and you covered my sin,
It's there you saved me, this is the message of the cross.

This is the message of the cross, that we can be free,
To hunger for heaven, to hunger for Thee,
"The cross is such foolishness to the perishing,
But to us who are being saved, it is the power of God!"

You set us free when we come to the cross,
You pour out your blood for we are broken and lost.
Here we are healed and you cover our sin,
It's here you save us,

You set me free when I come to the cross,
Pour out your blood for I am broken and lost Here
I am healed and you cover my sin,
It's here you save me, this is the message of the cross.

Let us rejoice at the foot of the cross,
We can be free, glory to God. (repeat)

Thank you Lord, thank you Lord,
You've set us free, glory to God. (repeat)

Use Me Here

by Everybody Duck

Use me here
Where I am
I am not going to pray anymore that You'll change your plans
Despite my fear I place my life in your hands
The future can wait
Tomorrow might be too late
Jesus, use me here

I lay my heart's desires at your feet, O Lord
Take all the plans I've made and all my dreams
Blinded by triumphs of tomorrow
I've let sin control today
So many drowning within reach
Father, it's time you heard me say

Use me here...

I tell myself I want to know Your will, O Lord
Still I confess I've had plans of my own
But from now on I plan to listen to Your will and to Your way
No matter what the future holds, I'm gonna live for You today

Use me here...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Some Fun Running Related Quotes

"It hurts up to a point and then it doesn't get any worse." - Ann Trason
"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming." - Frank Shorter
"Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts." - Steve Prefontaine
"The polite term for those afraid to run distance is SPRINTERS!" anonymous

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Real Community

Sometimes brilliant Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of an excellent book on Church Health/Growth strategy (The Purpose Driven Church):

"The sooner we give up the illusion that a church must be perfect in order to love it, the sooner we quit pretending and start admitting we’re all imperfect and need grace. This is the beginning of real community."

Why I Love Kansas

I really do love Kansas. I've really enjoyed some other places that I have visited in the US and around the world. But I really do love Kansas, just for the record. I've been thinking a little bit more about why.

Top Ten Reasons I Love Kansas

1. November - enough said. Maybe November is like this in every state, I am not sure? But November in Kansas is incredible. The red, orange, yellow, brown, and greeen leaves started to fall and are falling fast within the last couple of days. The temperature is cool and crisp, though the sun is still warm and bright. You can run outside in the afternoon with a t-shirt only. But in the very same month as that, we'll have our first freeze (not quite yet) and then our first snow-storm sometimes right after Thanksgiving. October was still hot. November is great!

2. Kansas is flat which makes for good sunsets that you can see for miles and miles. Flat also makes for easy running/training. Though it is kind of hard when you have to look really hard or maybe even drive several miles to find a good hill to run. I have heard it said that scientifically Kansas is actually flatter than a pancake. You gotta love it.

3. It's home! I am a Jayhawker. I root for Kansas University in sports (when I care to root, and mostly just because my dad always does root for KU). I was born in Great Bend, KS and have lived every other (other than 2 lost to OK) in Hutchinson, Wichita, or Haviland. KU is one of the best BB teams ever, I think.

4. Haviland. It's one of my favorite places in the world, though it's one of the simplest, smallest towns in the world. No other state has Haviland, as profound as that is. I traveled to Haviland this week to visit some students at Barclay College and my best "meeting" was with Eric, during an 8-mile run in the country. I was reminded how much I love Haviland!

5. Wichita is only 8 hours or less from the Rocky Mountains. That almost seems like an insult until you realize that you really wouldn't want to live full-time in the mountains, but having them so nearby is great for visiting!

6. Fall evenings in Kansas are just incredible. The sun begins to set by around 5:30 and it is usually dark by around 6. The sky and the air and the feel is just so perfect.

7. Pawnee Prarie Nature Center. My new favorite place to run even though I've known about it and visited it for several years. It is on the edge of town near the airport in Wichita. I call it the Central Park of Wichita. It has about 7 miles of trails. Two weeks ago when I was running there I saw 26 deer in one hour! The woods and trail systems are a great retreat and quiet and just perfect for running! They also dual as horse trails so watch your step...

8. There is a lot about the mid-west that leave much to be desired (social and ethnic prejudice, etc.). But those things are not unique to Kansas, if anything they are better in Kansas than our neighboring states to the south. Progress is happening here but slowly. One thing that is starting to interest me is that property values here are so much cheaper than on either coast. That's good for the buyer, bad for the seller. Trying to buy in the city is way more expensive than in the country or in a small town in western Kansas. But still, the value and what you get for the buck, home and lots of land, is great compared to other states. And the good thing about Kansas is that there are enough people to have culture, but not so few to be sparse like Wyoming or North Dakota.

9. I don't know why but my favorite spot in Kansas is SouthWest especially in June when the wheat is about to be cut. It is so perfect. I also like to see the tall corn. October when the new wheat is planted and very green and just a few inches out of the ground is great too. Kansas has great variety: flat farm lands in the south west, desolate cold ranchlands in the northwest, green hilly wooded ranches in the southeast, and the flinthills in the northeast.

10. I found this one off a Why I love Kansas blog: "If you don't love Kansas, there is no way to explain to you why you should love it or want to move here! I can't imagine living anywhere else. I live in a tiny town of less than a thousand people. The BEST thing about it is that there is nothing here! No reason for anybody to move here, no reason for tourists to come here, just good quality of life." I guess that says it all...I guess? You gotta love KS!

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Savior, My God

by Aaron Shust (this is a typical song we sing on Sunday mornings at Crossroads; it happens to be one of my current favorites)

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at his right hand
Stands one who is my Savior
I take him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me this I read
And in my heart I find a need
For Him to be my Savior

That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior
My Savior loves
My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was
My God He is
My God He's always gonna be

Yes, living, dying; let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring
That Ge who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior

My Hope Is in You

To You O Lord I lift my soul
In You O God I place my trust
Do not let me be put to shame
Nor let my enemies triumph over me

My hope is You
Show me Your ways
Guide me in truth
In all my days
My hope is You

I am O Lord
Filled with Your love
You are O God
My salvation
Guard my life
And rescue me
My broken spirit shouts
My mended heart cries out

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Marathon with Marines

My Mom and I at the bottom of the Lincoln Memorial steps. I think this was about mile 16 or so. Despite the grimmace, I felt fine.
Yes, at last, the finish line!!
I was sure I saw Laura Bush...she does live there you know...but everybody thinks I am crazy.

Last Sunday was the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. My step-sister Alisha, mom, and I all went to Washington for the weekend of site-seeing and, oh yeah, running. The last time I was in the Nation's Capitol was when I was 13. So a lot of it was new to me or at least really fresh. I don't remember loving politics and American History as much at that age, so I wasn't quite as fascinated by everything then.

After arriving Saturday, we went to the Washington Momument, Lincoln Memorial, and walked the Mall Strip, by the Smithsonians and the War Memorials. Sunday afternoon we visited both views of the Whitehouse and a whole bunch of other big important buildings. Monday we visited the Capitol building, the Supreme Court (my favorite!), and some more big important buildings (FBI, Department of Treasury, EPA, Library of Congress, etc. etc.). I think we are all now experts in the Washington DC area subway system, known as the Metro".
Sunday morning I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, which started right next to the Pentagon in Alexandria, Virginia. The temperature was just about perfect for running - right around 52 degrees or so. I was able to start with a short sleeve shirt and never really get cold - other than waiting at the start - but then I was wrapped in a trash bag poncho. Normally, I would have felt really stupid wearing that but when tens of thousands of people all around me were wearing their trash bag ponchos to stay warm too, I didn't even think of it. The mass start began at 8:00 am. We ran through Alexandria and then made our way into DC. A great course map is available on the website. This marathon is nicknamed the "Monument Marathon" for good reasons - it runs right next to most of the major monuments, even getting a quick glimpse of the Whitehouse (which I missed).

I ran a 3:48:19 for my actual start-to-finish time. That's about 10 minutes faster than my last full marathon in Missouri on Labor Day, and certainly my personal best! I was thrilled! I felt great the whole way, never got off my pace at all, about a 8:40/mile pace, and actually got faster throughout the race and sprinted most of the last mile. There were hundreds of US Marines everywhere, handing out water and Gatorade, and also encouraging you into the finish line.

For a more complete summary and report, go to and click on the "Finishers Webpages" on the right under the Spotlight. My bib number was 10076 and enter my last name.