Thursday, June 12, 2008

Un-cool car in a cool place

I got off the plane feeling pretty cool with life: Got car reserved, a cheap hotel room waiting, and a presumably nice drive in the morning through a part of the US I’d never visited. Like a good vibe black hole, the rental car agent sucked all that joy away in a moment.

“We’re out of compacts, so I’m putting you in a Town and Country.” Somehow, my mind heard that as a bigger, nicer car than what I had reserved. Then it began to dawn on me, “A Town and Country is a ding dang minivan.” Ack. The movie in my mind involved me zipping around the great forests of the Northwest in a zippy little car. It just didn’t work if you took out the Focus or the Mazda 3 and replaced it with a minivan.

“Surely you have a car,” I implored imploringly.

“Yes, we do,” she answered hopefully. “It will cost you $10 extra.”

“Ten bucks for the whole rental period?” I asked stupidly.

“Per day,” she responded with triumphant finality.

Lacking extensive blogging experience, I don’t know if it’s good manners to say the name of the rental car company. Suffice it to say, even if you’re really trying to be thrifty (wink wink, nudge nudge), I’d still advise renting from Enterprise.

The next morning I drove my decidedly uncool car out of Seattle into some of the most beautiful geography I’ve ever seen. It inspired this photo essay called, “Un-cool Car in Cool Places.”

Daring white minivan at Deception Pass

Mild-mannered minivan with fierce fighter plane

On the ocean with a Town and Country

Monday, June 09, 2008

Another candidate for "God's country"

Sometimes it’s hard to believe I get to do this job. I’m writing this post from a ferry in the Puget Sound, going from a Perspectives class last night to my final Perspectives class of the spring tonight.

This part of the U.S. is unbelievable. I'm a hazard driving around, my head swinging back and forth as I try to drink in all the beauty. I can’t figure out why we don’t all live here. Sure it’s remote. Sure there’s a little bit of the weirdness that comes with living on a island (no, offense, Marti and Nanette). But God is at work here: Three healthy Perspectives classes and lots of people wondering how they can make their lives count for God’s purposes, how they can lovingly and respectfully invite others to follow Jesus.

It makes me happy to join in.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Big Time Fun this Summer

The coming summer promises to hold some fun and productive times for our family. Today was the first full day of summer school break for the kids and Ann. It was a little bumpy, resulting in the following challenge from the Mom and teacher: “Tomorrow will see improved behavior and a higher percentage of chores done or we go right back to school!”

Should that not happen, the kids have some fun stuff ahead. On June 23 they’ll start a week long service project with church. The older three will spend the whole week at the church, sleeping in class rooms and spending their days throughout the city building, tearing down, pulling weeds, painting, giving away candy and cleaning toilets. Ann and I will serve as coaches, doing what we can to help a couple teams succeed. You're welcome to join us on Friday evening for the big Party in the Parking Lot wrap up event. Look for me doing my staff duty, sitting in the dunk tank for the amusement of all!

I have two training opportunities in June. I’m excited about the Perspectives National conference that will be held in Dallas. It should be a great chance to hang out with some of my heroes and colleagues, and it may open some doors for new speaking opportunities. A couple weeks later, I’ll attend an Alpha training event in preparation for our church running that program in the spring.

We also have tons of family and friends coming in for visits. Ann’s brother and his family will fly in from Arizona because they heard in Indiana it’s a “wet heat!”

Throughout the summer, I’m teaming up with our Commonway pastor to host a training internship for several young leaders in our fellowship. We’re planning to help these guys take steps toward the roles of vision and influence that God has in mind for them.