Monday, June 30, 2008
If all goes as planned, we're set to go home today. As great as this hospital is, it will be good to be at our house, sleeping in our bed. Mandy was able to walk around the third floor yesterday. When she had a c-section with Adam, it was day five or six before she was able to do this, so we were very pleased. Micah has been discharged, and we're waiting to see Mandy's doctor this morning so she can take out her staples.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
As the day wore on, Mandy's contractions were getting stronger, but the dilation was very slow. That, coupled with the fact that Micah's heart rate was occasionally spiking, caused the doctor to want to perform a c-section. Mandy's doctor was not there, so we didn't really have a choice, though we wondered if she would have done the same thing.
The bad news about all of that is that the surgery was pretty rough on Mandy, though once again she was such a trooper. It also means a longer road to recovery. The good news is that we had Micah a lot sooner than we would have had she continued laboring, and he was very healthy! Almost all of his family got to see him soon after his birth as well. Even Adam was there when it happened.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
When we arrived the nurse said that she only dilated 3 cm or so. An hour later this was still the case. Normally, they would probably send her home, but since she had a c-section with Adam, they wanted her to stay. Megan is here, and Mandy's parents will be here soon. I'm sure Adam is having a great time with his Nana (she is taking him to the Children's Museum this morning).
Her contractions have been getting stronger over the last hour, so hopefully they are doing what they are supposed to do. We may be here for awhile, but I'm glad we're here.
More to come soon...
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I guess I'm going to have to go to the grocery store and buy a bottle...or three.
As we watched, Mandy pointed out that all of my groomsmen now live outside of Tennessee. The funny thing is that while I was in California, most of them lived in Tennessee. Anyway, it got me thinking about the life stages we all go with, and the friends that we have as we go through those stages. At our wedding, our high school and college friends were with us, but we also had many of our newer friends from Nashville, where we spent our first year of marriage. During that time in Nashville, I began to lose touch with my college buddies. Then we moved to California, met new friends, and once again lost touch with friends.
Now that we're back in Tennessee, it's happening all over again, though we've been able to reconnect with friends here (facebook has a little something to do with that). I realize that I'm not very good at keeping up these relationships, especially when long distance is involved. I know that some of that is inevitable, but some of that is also just part of my personality.
In each phase of life, Mandy and I have been blessed to have some very significant friendships, and I'm very grateful for that.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
- Starbucks now has free wi-fi. Go here to sign up.
- Rolling Stone interviews Chris Martin of Coldplay. The title of the article: "Jesus of Uncool."
- Speaking of Coldplay, their new album is out today (yay!), and you can stream it in its entirety here. Note that you might have to download a plugin.
- Kevin Rains writes about positive deviance. Very thought provoking. Be sure to check out the Fast Company article as well.
- Great quote by Elizabeth Fiorenza on the relationship between spiritual formation, community & mission.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
One of the big changes is in our terminology. We're using the term "missionary" more than "church planter." The reason is that we feel it is necessary to take the posture of learner when we step into a new culture. We want to help them to better understand their culture before deciding what the church should look like.
- Mutual accountability and confession of sin
- Scripture reading
- Prayer for our friends who are not followers of Jesus
- The Gospel in All Its Forms, by Tim Keller (this article is the basis for the talk he gave at the Exponential Conference in Orlando.
- John Carroll reminds me why Memphis is such a great place to live (and visit).
- The Commercial Appeal reminds me why Memphis can be a scary place to live.
- Grand openings are not so grand according to Seth Godin (I kind of wish I had read this a year ago)
- Ed Stetzer gives his opinion on the multi-site church strategy
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Essentially, we wanted to help church planters consider how a missionary would start a church through incarnational means instead of throwing up a church service and hoping people would show up.
Friday, June 06, 2008
During all of this, I realized that I am far from ready. We went to one birthing class, and I've already forgotten how the breathing works. My reaction: I need to read something. I probably also need to chill out a bit, but I want to be there for Mandy during this time. I want to be a good coach. She has to do all the work, but I want to play my role with excellence.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
You might be wondering why we are behaving in this manner since we already have a child. We have an explanation: Adam was born via c-section. On the Monday morning that he was born, Mandy talked to her doctor and he asked, "Would you like to have your baby this afternoon?" After checking our calendars, we said, "Sure, that sounds good."
It's going to be a little different this time.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Bob Roberts writes about Missional Families
Southern Baptist Pastors think differently than the rest of America (no, this isn't a joke; very eye-opening; make sure to click on the photo gallery)
Alan Hirsch reviews Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath (I'm currently reading this book)
Helpful definition of Missional Community
Philip Yancey writes about brokenness. Check out the subtitle: "Why I Sometimes Wish I Was an Alcoholic."
David Fitch says that it takes 5-10 years "to nourish a missional community into a sustainable church."
Monday, June 02, 2008
This morning I woke up in a funk. Without going into two much detail, I felt very anxious and worried. It wasn't really one thing. It's more that when this happens, everything becomes a bigger deal than it probably is. I immediately knew that God was trying to speak to me, and I recognized that this was probably God's pruning.
Last Wednesday, on the way to East Tennessee (more on that in another post), Mandy and I began listening to John Eldredge's new book, Walking with God. It seemed timely as I listened to it, but I don't think I caught some of what God wanted me to hear. Today, though, I was beginning to get desperate to hear from God, so I went back to this book. This time I heard God speaking to me. Here's an excerpt from the book:
This story actually begins back in June, with the first day of summer vacation. I’m sitting on the porch of our cabin listening to the rain on the tin roof and watching it fall on all my plans for the day. I cannot hike. I cannot do chores. I cannot fish. The mud is so deep, I cannot drive anywhere. I’m trapped. Pinned down. With myself and God. There is nothing I can do but pay attention to what surfaces inside of me when I cannot charge into the day. I am paying attention, my journal on my lap, and this is what I begin to write:
I am tweaked again.
Royally friggin’ tweaked.
I’m so tired and wrung, my body hurts from being tired.
Or hurts at the first chance to let down and be tired.
Granted, it has been a hard year. So much going on, so much required. But God is after something. As I journal, I feel like a prisoner writing his confession.
And I know why I’m tweaked.
I’m tweaked from pushing.
Pushing, pushing, always pushing.
This pushing is such a way of life for me, I barely know how to live otherwise. I’m always working on something. Trying to make life better for me or for someone else. It feels like I heave myself at life. Always looking for some way to improve things. I come up here to the ranch to rest, and in the first ten minutes of quiet, here is where my mind goes: I ought to teach Sam how to cast a fly rod. We ought to finish that back fence. I ought to work with the horses every day we are here. I could paint the door now. Better look at that topo map for my trip with Luke in August. Make a plan.
Jesus, have mercy.
This resonated so much with me. Pushing, pushing, always pushing. Striving, striving, always striving. Why do I strive? I think part of it is that I want my life to count. I want significance. I want to work hard, and I want my work to be both meaningful and productive. It probably has something to do with my line of work. In the past two years I have started a church and a business. I create all of the time. What happens when what I have created fails? These are fears, and they are deep within me.
As I was processing this, I heard the whisper, "Cease striving, and know that I am God." That's Scripture if you didn't know it (Psalm 46:10).
The day is almost over, and though there are still some of the fears within me, I have encountered God. He has made Himself known. I said this last night, but I think I believe it even more today. Abiding isn't the end goal. We abide so that God can show up in our times of desperation and bring the hope, healing and joy that we need.
I have to learn circular breathing now!