Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Today starts the second part of the trip where I will be hanging with Nick (and Nick's son Elijah), Brad, Shawn, and Jake (hope I'm not missing anyone). Also going to the Cubs game on Tuesday night which is fantastic.
Unfortunately I woke up a little ill today which I fully blame on Kelli (I'm going to put her in a bubble when I get home). I do miss her though. It's been about 9 days, and I've got 5 more to go. I think we're going to make a new rule after this that the longest we can be away from each other is 3-5 days tops. 14 is way too long once you're married! The first two or three days you kind of go through a period of withdrawal and then start to feel a spirit of independence so it will be interesting what it's like to be back home. "Leave me alone, I want to watch tv and can do whatever I want!" Haha, just kidding.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
So in any case, I have missed quite a few class sessions, a few for good reasons, a few others for not so good reasons. Plus today as I was trying to study I just couldn't get myself to really focus on the material. I'm having a hard time seeing the point of memorizing a bunch of data that I'm just going to forget by next week. Plus, I don't think the Bible is really about memorizing facts, but it's about transformation. So, the test didn't go real well tonight to say the least. I answered one essay question (worth 1/8 of the grade) completely wrong because I misread the question (dumb). And another question worth about 1/10 of my grade I didn't have any idea as to the answer because I don't have the narrative structure of the book of John memorized (who does?) It was a frustrating experience in two respects. 1. I don't like the way we are tested on the Bible (not sure I have a better idea). But 2. I have really lost my desire to work hard in Seminary this last half of the semester. I have gotten lazy, I have done the smallest amount to get by and it's shown. I've been getting almost exclusively A's in the first 50 hours of the program but this semester I've just lost interest in getting good grades. I'm thankful that I've got a couple weeks before summer term starts to regroup for more classes. I think this last year will be much tougher than the first two. Mostly because there are other things in my life more important than academia (my wife and my church - especially since I'll be preaching a majority of the time at the new Evergreen campus). My passion has shifted to pastoring and preaching and it makes school hard to take at times. Which is unfortunate because I love reading and studying and school in general but it's hard to split my mind and my heart both ways. Somethings got to give and right now, it's school.
I think on tonight's exam I probably scored about a 70-75% which will probably give me a C in the class. Kind of disappointing but I don't deserve anything more than that for the time I put into this class, no doubt about it. But I hope to gain a little focus back for this last year. I don't want to be lazy and I want to put effort into my studies even when I know they aren't the most important thing in the world. Now sounds like a good time to watch some Seinfeld.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Good Sunday though, Devin played a song he wrote called "When Words Won't Do" which is very well written and is one of my favorite songs of worship.
We then had a core group meeting for the Hawthorne gathering launch tonight that will take place on May 18th! Only four Sundays away! Just trying to get ahead on sermon writing! Yikes! It's been a long day and I'm going to bed.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Two nights ago Devin and Larissa came over to have dinner and to celebrate Devin's 27th birthday. Because we now live within walking distance from the Belmont Station which is home to over 1,000 beers, I told Devin that we could walk there and I would buy him a six pack of anything he wanted. Now, let me make sure you understand that there are 1,000 different beers ranging from exotic IPA's to incredible ESB's to sweet Browns and delicate Porters.
We must have been in the store for 30 minutes, you could feel the tension in the air as Devin was trying to decide upon a beer in this glorious atmosphere of ale. This is where things go south.
What was his choice amongst all of this? That's a great question.
Well, I guess I should just tell you and get this over with.
Click here for the answer.
That's right. It was a beer with four things wrong with it:
1. It is brewed by Coors. (come on, we live in the NW, you can't drink Coors out here)
2. It has a twist off cap which is never a good sign.
3. It is a fruited beer, it has orange peel and honey in it.
4. It is a wheat beer which he doesn't even like.
Now, how could a person choose so wrongly? That's the question and this may always be a mystery to everyone involved in Devin's life. The point is, I have three left if anyone wants to come over and drink that garbage.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Kelli is leaving on Saturday kind of unexpectedly to visit her parents who happen to be in Florida right now. They called today and bought her a plane ticket down there for next week which is timely because she's been missing the warm weather and cozy beaches of Florida. I think she's probably a little excited.
I myself and leaving on Wednesday to be in my high school friend (well, he's still my friend) Josh Carr's wedding for the weekend and I will feel no remorse for acting like I'm back in high school. Then I'm going to go up to Chicago and hang with a few friends from college (Brad and Nick) the rest of the week (and hopefully catch a Cubbies game). I'll be gone for ten days so it will be a nice trip. Then it's back to Portland to start the Hawthorne Gathering. Starting May 18th, I'll be preaching almost every week which I've been preparing to do for the last 10 years!
Total time Kelli and I will be away from each other will be 14 days! So far the most we've been apart has been about 5 days. This will be tough. It may sound strange, but once you're married, being away from each other sucks big time. I feel like I'm missing my arm or something.
But I do have some good books to keep me company. This summer I've got a stellar reading list for myself (very few of these are for school!), although I do have a class with John Sailhamer and Walt Kaiser this summer (I'm bragging, although I'm not sure Gentry is sold on Walt, maybe I'm wrong).
In any case, on tap to read this summer and currently in my possession are the following:
Surprised by Hope - N.T. Wright
The Reason for God - Tim Keller
Reformed and Always Reforming - Roger Olson
Jesus the Jewish Theologian - Brad Young
Not the Way It's Supposed to Be - Cornelius Plantinga
Orthodoxy - G.K. Chesterton
The Idiot - Doestoevsky
A couple new good books, a few classic theology books, and one classic. I'm sure I'll read quite a bit more, but these are the interesting ones!
What's on your reading list this summer?
That's our President ladies and gentlemen. Have I said how excited I am for November?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Today, Doug Pagitt is in town and I'm about to go to a discussion about his new book with a few pastors and theologians from Western Seminary which should be interesting. While I have some large concerns about a few ideas in the book, there are also some things I very much agree with. One of those that I looked over again today was this:
"When I talk about contextualization, I’m not talking about using pop culture connections to make faith more fashionable for the masses. I’m not talking about telling the same story with updated language. I'm talking about doing what John did — developing an intimate understanding of both our context and the story itself so that we can live faithfully in our day."Amen to that! Many churches act as if they are doing something contextual to our culture because they do a series called "American Idols" or "Grace Anatomy" (which could be one of the more ridiculous series' titles I've heard for some time.) These sermon series that try to take contemporary pop-culture crap and make it into something spiritual is far from being contextual, but it does smack of desperation to be relevant. I always wonder when I see these inane sermon series ideas, "does Jesus suck that bad?" Seriously, must we come up with shallow gimmicks to get people in our doors? I'm glad that's not the truth! But I hope the church in America comes alive to the realization that contextualization is a much deeper concept than taking what culture has to offer and making it spiritual.
Sorry about the rant, something struck a nerve there :)
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The best brew pub in Portland is the Laurelwood Pub for these reasons:
1. Every beer they have is exceptional and stands out from the crowd. Their seasonals are especially fantastic (Kelli and I tried the Espresso Stout last night and loved it). Seriously though, try the sampler and tell me there are not three or four beers you would have a hard time deciding between when ordering a pint. You can't.
2. The service is excellent. The employees treat you well and are personable (unlike many bars in town who's servers (I believe) are trained to treat you like crap or are just generally mopey) and they really make an effort to seat you in good time. You can tell that the service matters to Laurelwood. I've never had a bad experience there.
3. Their food is fantastic. Everything we have had their has been great. Last night, we went for 50 cent wing night on account of Kelli's birthday and I was skeptical that their wings would be good, but I think their the best wings I've had in town so far. Have you tried the Spinach Artichoke Dip? Let's not forget their two happy hours every day.
4. The bar is welcoming. There is no pretense here folks. They have beautiful buildings (Sandy and NW) with some baseball on tv and a warm environment.
There are many other great pubs in town. Widmer brews great beer but seem to be slowly going the way of Sam Adams, but they do have a great tour and good seasonals available only at their pub. The New Old Lompoc has a nice small set up with some great stuff (most notably the C-Note and their seasonals). And the Lucky Lab pub wins the prize for variety and originality. Seriously, these guys have something new to try every week!
Most Overrated Pub goes to McMenamins who honestly has the most mediocre beer in the city and greasy, overpriced food. For once, the Willamette Week has gotten it exactly right with this pub chain in their "things we have about the city we love" segment. I can only think of one beer that has ever grabbed my attention which is the Nut Brown that they have about four months out of the year. The Hammerhead is ok, other than that, their red tastes like dish water, their IPA is middle of the road, their stout is bland. They don't really have any beers that make them stand out. The atmosphere they create in their pubs is very creative and I love what they've done with the schools, etc, but I honestly think they do way too much to do anything really well.
This is all obviously just my opinion, what is your favorite pub???
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
In any case, if anyone out there knows of whether she is ok or not, it would be great to know. I'm surprised they didn't make some kind of announcement or something or post it on their website. Someone called the Oregonian and they posted it, but didn't really know anything. Anyone got any news?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
That is what I will be with Hebrew after just five more classes! Finished!
I'm not quite as ecstatic as I thought I would be in the midst of first semester because it has gotten much easier this second semester, no doubt about it. But I can't say I'm going to miss vocab quizzes and translation tests, nor will I ever think again about filling out verbal paradigm charts.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
I think Devin is right when he said that this came out better than the Nut Brown. The Nut Brown had too much alcohol because of the brown sugar and it is a bit more of a strong ale than a nice sipping one.
We have a Red Ale that we have just bottled and am looking forward to seeing how that turned out in a week or so. Saturday, Ryan Moreland and I are going to brew a double IPA complete with oak chips in the secondary to give it a slight wood flavor. Hope that turns out!
Gosh, I can't get over how fun it is to have a hobby. I think that means my other hobby needs to be exercise!