Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Arrested Development meets Charlie Brown

Mandy and I have been watching Arrested Development for the past few weeks on Hulu. Last night was the best episode I've seen. I won't try to explain the humor. Check out the picture. Here's the link to the episode, as well as a clip. Enjoy!


A few days ago I started reading Culture Making, by Andy Crouch. I've been looking forward to this book ever since I heard him speak on this topic at Q 2007. It's actually better than I thought it would be. I was a little bogged down reading chapter 1, so I skipped over to chapter 4 (Cultivation and Creation). That's where it really starts to get good. Today I'm going to start Pt. 2: The Gospel. You should definitely check out Andy's site. You can download a few sample chapters there, as well as pretty much every article that he's written.

I ordered it here.

Weekly Links

  • Point guard C.J. Henry playing for the Tigers this year. Could little brother Xavier be joining him next year? Big news for Memphis

  • Unfortunately, this is bigger news: Memphis City Schools cutting ESL and counseling programs to help overcome their deficit.

  • Mark Batterson writes, "Vision is the cure for sin. One reason many of us get entangled in sin is because we don't have enough God-ordained vision to keep us busy."

  • Al Mohler comments on the Saddleback Civil Forum held on August 16 - it saddens me that he had such a pessimistic view beforehand, but I'm pleased that afterwards, he felt that it was "worthwhile." I thought it was great. I thought both candidates did a fine job, and my respect for Rick Warren grew as a result.

  • Steve McCoy on Hitting Refresh

  • Mark Driscoll on Activist and Contemplative Disciplines. And here.

  • Grizzlies trading for Zach Randolph???

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Infant Mortality in Memphis

I just finished watching 20/20's special on Memphis' high infant mortality rate. I can't sleep. God is examining my heart.

Here are some of the highlights of the program:

  • Among the 23 wealthies countries, the U.S. ranks #1 in infant mortality
  • Black babies die at three times the rate of white babies.
  • Memphis ranks #1 in U.S. large cities
  • A baby dies in Memphis every 43 hours
  • As of today, unwed mothers have given birth to 5847 babies. The majority are born at The Med.
  • Caring for a premature baby costs $55,000 on average. Obviously, prenatal care is key.
  • Nationwide, 65% of children grow up without a father
  • There are three zip codes in Memphis where babies die at the same rate as some third world countries (38108 is one of them).
I've lived in Memphis for almost three years now, and right now I'm in shock. I had heard that Memphis ranked high on this list, but nothing really sunk in...until now. What can be done about this? What is my role? I'm sitting right outside of Micah's room. He is sleeping peacefully. I praise God for a healthy baby boy, but it breaks my heart to know that many people in my city are not so fortunate.

The Kingdom of God is now...and it's not yet. All pain and suffering will end one day, but that day has not arrived. There is still evil, brokenness, pain and death. But the Kingdom of God is here now. It hasn't fully arrived, but it is here. Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to release the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor (Luke 4/Isaiah 61). Jesus isn't physically with us today, but that does not mean that this gospel work is not happening. Today he empowers His bride to take on this task of reconciliation.

I pray that God's Kingdom would reign in Memphis and would reign over this problem.

Here is an article about the show, along with video clips. Here is a list of organizations who are trying to make a difference. A couple of other good articles are here, here and here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Evangelism - the dreaded "E" Word

This fall our church is going to discuss what it means to live the Outward Journey. One of the topics we'll be discussing is Evangelism. I admit that my early attempts at evangelism were very awkward. My conviction now is that the gospel (good news) must be both declared and demonstrated. Both are necessary. Below are some of the resources I'm using.

Evangelism in the Early Church, Michael Green

The Celtic Way of Evangelism, George Hunter

The Tangible Kingdom, Hugh Halter & Matt Smay

More Ready than You Realize, Brian McLaren

Out of the Salt Shaker and Into the World, Rebecca Manley Pippert

The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, Mark Dever

Ancient-Future Evangelism, Robert Webber

My new job

One month ago I wrote that I was beginning a new job as a property manager. I had my first client and hoped to add a "few more this fall." Well as of today I am managing thirteen properties. It's cool how God has provided so quickly, but it's also a little overwhelming. I've had a lot to learn in a very short amount of time. I'm still doing mortgages as they come in, but I realized earlier this summer that with the market as it is, I probably could not depend on this as a good source of income, especially with Mandy transitioning out of teaching. By the way, that's going awesome. I am so glad that Mandy is able to stay at home with the boys. I know that it is going to be so good for them, but it's also freeing Mandy up to be creative. She's in the process of forming a parent's network for Cooper-Young. More on that later in a future post.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Men's Relay

Last night was the men's 4x100m relay race. The favorites were the French. Earlier the French team had said the following:

"The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for."

Watch the results here. You'll have to download a plug-in, but it's well worth it!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Gone Baby Gone

Mandy I watched this movie last night. I don't know how I missed this one, but I did. It's one the most thought-provoking movies I've seen in awhile. And did I mention that it was Ben Affleck's directorial debut!!! Nice!

I went to bed thinking about it and woke up thinking about. I won't say anymore because I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

Grizzlies Sign Josh Smith

I'm sure that Atlanta will match it, but this would make me very happy.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hosting the ESPY's?

My Name is John Daker

A friend sent me this clip last week. Kinda creepy. Very funny.

Weekly Links

  • The Junky Car Club - I remember hearing about this awhile back. I think my 1998 Nissan Altima would qualify. I've never had a car payment, and never plan to. It's free to join and you get a free bumper sticker. Awesome!

  • Walking with God, by John Eldredge - I finally finished listening to this book during our vacation. It's one of those books that I feel I need to continue reading; a few more times and maybe some of it will stick! I highly recommend it.

  • Ed Stetzer writes about apostles

  • Alan Hirsch fleshes out APEST - we are getting ready to form a leadership team at NC, so this is interesting reading. I've heard Hirsch talk about this, but this is the first time I've seen it fleshed out like this.

  • This guy asked 50 people to write about the term "missional." This guy summarized it here.

National Night Out

Last night was National Night Out. This was my second year as organizer in my neighborhood. This year the event grew from 14 parties to 21 parties. It's very exciting to see new blocks get involved with this. The only downer for me was that our party had a low turnout, but I'm sure much of that was due to the heat. I'm hoping that we move the event to October next year.