Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"how far we are from where you are"

I think this is really fascinating and relevant for what I get to be a part of (Ridge Church).

A while back I read my 1st Henri Nouwen book = Life of the Beloved
The book was written to Nouwen's friends who were - "secular", nonreligious, unchurched, postmodern, and did not see the relevance of Jesus in their lives. He wrote it to try to help them see how awesome God is and to try to show them the relevance of Jesus to their lives.

So, he intentionally wrote the book with these unbelievers in mind = trying to speak on their terms, etc...

After writing it and giving it to them he followed up with his friends. This was their response and I think it is SO HUGE for any church concerned with reaching the people in our culture who don't follow Jesus and aren't really interested... 
although you express to us what is most precious to you, you do not realize how far we are from where you are. You speak from a context and tradition that is alien to us, and your words are based on many presuppositions that we don’t share with you. You are not aware of how truly secular we are.”

Wow. I wish all church leaders could hear that. That's what we don't realize so much of the time! we have no idea how far we are from where they are and we are speaking a foreign language that is alien to them!

Here were Nouwen's thoughts on that response from his "secular" friends:
"My attempt had been to be a witness of God’s love to a secular world, but I had sounded like someone who is so excited about the art of sailing that he forgets that his listeners have never seen lakes or the sea, not to mention sailboats!” 

I think that is such a great analogy and I think that's what we too often do in church world.
I'm stoked to be a part of figuring out how to contextualize a relevant message and package and present it in a way that anyone and everyone GETS.
*I'm stoked to be a part of a church that is trying to bridge that gap that separates "how far we are from where you are..."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


this is the last season of 24!? i thought those were just rumors!?!? 10 hours left...

i'm so mad. i'm speechless. literally.

Monday, March 29, 2010

planning on retiring 1 day?

then don't watch this video OR read Don't Waste Your Life.
I know this philosophy could be somewhat "controversial", but I honestly couldn't agree more.
watch if you dare...

I don't necessarily post this for peeps getting ready to retire, but for the sake of my generation - let's forget the plans that our culture says we have to make = retire at the beach & play golf and collect shells... let's just live our whole lives for one thing... God's renown!
Then we won't waste our lives.

What do YOU think?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

principles make life easy

I'm thankful for principles. I'm reminded today that I'm thankful for some financial principles. Because I am CONFIDENT that I am NOT smart enough to make good financial decisions on my own!

But, by God's grace & by following some principles of one of my heroes, I'm on a good financial track.

And I love Dave's principles. They're not boring. that I quote along with him every single day. My wife and dog (Jack Bauer) even quote them...
"debt is dumb."
"cash is king."

So, when I reread this today I was reminded of how thankful I am that God led me to these financial principles and somehow gave me the discipline to follow them like a blind man follows his seeing eye dog:

“I have heard every excuse, every whining reason, and every rationalization as to why you are different and you have a better way, but trust me, you don’t. The good thing about principles is that they make life easy. I have heard it said that when someone bases his life on principle, 99% of his decisions are already made.”

Thanks for all the decisions I don't have to make, Dave!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


“It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between grace and karma. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I have received much more than I deserve.” 
– Bono 

*Right on, Bono. He's my favorite rock star, but sometimes (like when he says stuff like this) he's my fav person to sum up BIG, incomprehensible things... like grace for instance.
I'm right with ya too, Bono. Grace DOES defy reason and logic.  
That's why it's so beautiful and so breathtaking!
And I think he speaks for all of us when he says "I have received much more than I deserve." we all have.

I am beginning to learn (and Chris Seay has done a great deal to teach me much more recently) that we can see grace and beautiful pictures of the Gospel weaved through things in our culture... even pop culture... even things like the TV show LOST. So in Seay's book, The Gospel According to Lost, after he quotes Bono he goes on to write...

⇒ “The moment we shift our focus from entitlement (getting what we deserve) to grace (celebrating the reality that we have received forgiveness and love that we could never earn and do not deserve), we become less like the older brother [in Luke 15] and are welcomed to a great feast at the Father’s table.”

God, let me grasp GRACE as much as my finite mind is able to. And let me simply celebrate in it... even though I don't deserve it and could do nothing to earn it. 


it's so good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

my wife is a genius [bracketologist]

My wife is proving her self as a genius and BRACKET GURU once again!

I wrote this very same thing last year after March Madness was all said and done. You can read about her 2009 Bracket expertise HERE. I also said I was going to COPY her bracket because she gets them all right!

Crystal (the bracket genius) has not disappointed with her 2010 bracket! She is killing it in the ESPN bracket, but I also learned my lesson and entered her in the Catalyst Bracket Challenge because they are giving away some awesome prizes for the top 10!

Here are the current standings:

If you can read that name that's in 1st place above... it's CRYSTAL MITCHELL. She is absolutely killing it!
EVERYONE seems to be complaining about their brackets this year, but not my wife! She has it nailed!

**She correctly picked the crazy upsets into the Sweet Sixteen like:
#12 CORNELL over #5 Temple AND #4 Wisconsin! (show me your bracket if you picked that!
#11 Washington over #6 Marquette AND #3 New Mexico!
#10 St. Mary's over #7 Richmond AND #2 Villanova!!! (How many of you had Nova in your Final 4?)

and other 1st round upsets like:
Missouri over Clemson
#13 Murray State (who?) over #4 Vanderbilt
#11 Old Dominion over #6 Notre Dame

+ She even picked Northern Iowa!!! (over UNLV, not over Kansas. She would have to be psychic to pick them over Kansas!)
*But she did want to pick Georgetown to get upset by #14 Ohio... I wouldn't let her.

She is pretty amazing. Go ahead and be jealous. She is brilliant. a bracket genius. I have got to remember to pick her brackets next season!
*So, if you want to know who is going to win this weekend... just ask my wife!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

pie in the face (in Upstreet)

One of our WINS for Upstreet (our elementary environment at Ridge Church) is FUN.
And a grid of Questions we think through as a creative team is "Is it BIG, MEMORABLE, UNEXPECTED?"

So, we do stuff like letting a kid smash a pie in his small group leader's face! Actually, we usually do way crazier, bigger, memorable, and unexpected stuff than this. This is just when I happened to whip my iPhone out and put this on YouTube... (it's only 16 seconds)

That was Logan throwing the pie in Pete's (his small group leader) face. (Sam, another SGL, also took a pie in the face for the team that Sunday!) I heard Logan walking out of Upstreet talking a mile a minute to his mom about the day in Upstreet.

The hope is that every kid goes home talking excitedly about the pies in the face which will transition to conversations about honesty and the story of Esther, Haman, & Mordecai. (Which it did accomplish this with several families and that's what we celebrate!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

World Water Day (Haiti update)

it's "World Water Day". you know how I feel about providing clean water for people who don't have it.
Check this awesome video from Charity: Water updating us on what they're doing in Haiti!

Unshaken - charity: water's campaign for Haiti from charity: water on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

take my life

that's my prayer, God. Take my life... it's ALL for You!

*God, You know these words have been my prayer to You for the last 5-6 years. How cool to have them sung as a prayer over us tonight as we were commissioned and ordained by our church to give our lives to You for You name's sake!
This is still and will always be my prayer to You, God!

"Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee

Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee
Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use every power as You choose
Here am I
All of me
Take my life
It's all for Thee


Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart, it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee"

(Let this be my prayer for my whole life... just like it was for David Livingstone, the original guy who prayed it to You.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

ordination tomorrow

Tomorrow I'm getting ordained at Ridge Church.

I had never thought much about being ordained until my pastor said something about it a while back.
*I'm humbled and honored to be ordained at Ridge & by my pastor.
I'm getting ordained along with my boy Spanky who is a missionary from Ridge.
honored by all this.

I'm humbled that God called me.
I'm thankful that for some crazy reason He is choosing to use me for His glory.

I'm thankful and humbled that my church and my pastor recognize the call of God on my life and support me in it. 
I'm thankful they want to encourage me moving forward.

So, I'm stoked about tomorrow...

*And as of tomorrow I need a cool nickname like "Rev Run" (formerly of Run DMC!)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

good to great!

I read Good to Great last year in the car. I posted about it being my #1 book of 09 HERE.

I took like 20 pages of notes on it, but lost my red notebook (which you can read about HERE) with all my precious notes, so I'm listening to the book all over again.

*This time I can't wait to post about my thoughts, notes and takeaways!
On my drive down to Atlanta today I listened to the 1st 3 chapters and part of chapter 4.

I am again inspired to do whatever it takes to become a LEVEL 5 LEADER! (humble and relentless.) And I also want to live by the "First WHO" principle and make sure we've got the right people on the bus & also have those right people in the right seats on the bus! I am challenged and inspired to be better!

Can't wait to get home and implement all I'm learning. (And write way more about my tons of notes later!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

leadership coaching thoughts #1

I'm coming up on the 2nd month of my 6 month stint in a leadership coaching network with Tony Morgan. I wrote a little about it yesterday - HERE.

This post is my first go at sharing my takeaways, thoughts, & action steps from the coaching meetings. (This helps me process what I'm learning & hopefully you might pick something up from it as well.)

Discussion on Influence
*Attitude is a really big deal! It’s easy for us to hold peeps accountable to morality and
spiritual disciplines, and their performance, etc… BUT difficult to hold them accountable with their attitudes. We say “that’s just who they are/ who God made them to be.” = [this is so true! Why do we do this?]
We need to have high expectations for our peeps’ attitude. Especially with the peeps closest to us! Because others associate their attitude with ME & my leadership! (it’s critical that staff & leaders have awesome attitudes.) this is HUGE! Church staffs have got to step up in this area!

*This is scary, but I'm glad someone warned me! = the more confident I get as a leader it’s easy to move from a servant leader to a powerful/pushy leader. I dread that & don't want to become that! God, please let me always be a humble leader & a servant leader!

*I want people around me who will tell me what my blind spots are! If there's a running joke around the office about a weakness/flaw of mine, then that's not cool. I need to have someone tell ME so I can do something about it! 

*We gotta lead by example. Let others see how to live life from watching my daily life. I want them to be imitators of me, so I gotta give them something awesome to imitate.

*"we gotta live out the gospel message if we want anyone to hear us saying it." that was an awesome statement, Tony!

*Some intense Questions I am going to consistently ask myself!
How am I influencing people around me? (1 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
Do I see myself in people around me? **Because that's what leadership ultimately is!
Do I like what I see? (i.e. is what's rubbing off on them GOOD?)

*Something I've already implemented from one of our discussions is to put time with people/relationships on the TO DO LIST! Some of my days are simply spent pouring into leaders, but none of the tasks get marked off the to-do list... so I get FRUSTRATED and feel like I accomplished nothing. I'm starting to put "people time" down on the to-do list, so I won't feel like I need to be accomplishing something different.

**One of the biggest things I took to heart was something Tony probably just meant to say in passing. He talked about how he kept thinking of himself as a "young leader" who had so much to learn and he was still in that growing phase... Of course, this will always be true of all great leaders = we'll always be learning and growing, BUT we can't let that hold us back from pouring into and leading others! My lead pastor has encouraged me to make this shift many times! I am trying to take it to heart... to pour out what's in my cup so others might be able to benefit from it if possible.

*Tony talked about the concept of "Killing Cockroaches" which was awesome! There were a lot of great takeaways for me & 2 big ones that I have started implementing already, BUT... I'm going to post about that another time since this post is already too long.

I'm stoked to meet again with the Coaching network this weekend. Excited to learn what God has for me to learn and GROW a lot as a leader!
 And of course I'll be posting my takeaways again!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

growing as a leader (leadership coaching network)

I've written a lot about how I am passionate to constantly get better as a leader! 
I want to do whatever it takes to be the best leader I can be. I want to remove any leadership lids I may have and maximize all the leadership potential God gave me for His glory.

So, I recently was fortunate enough to be accepted into a Leadership Coaching Network with Tony Morgan. Tony is a great leader with really great practical wisdom and insight when it comes to being a great leader. (Tony is also the author of some awesome books including Killing Cockroaches: And Other Scattered Musings On Leadership.)

The coaching network began in February and lasts for 6 months. You should all know by now that 1 of the best ways I process what I'm learning is to write about it...

*so this is your fair warning = Each month I plan to write about and process what I am learning in this leadership coaching network.I'll be writing about:
- how the coaching network is stretching me as a leader.
- Tony's insights into leadership and how they practically apply to my role.
- Leadership Principles that I pick up from Tony.
- Great thoughts and best practices I learn from the handful of other guys around the table.
- and anything else I am thinking through or maybe even wrestling with via this growth avenue...

Within the next 24 hours I'm planning to post my thoughts, takeaways, and applications from the past month. I'd love to hear any feedback you may have!

Monday, March 15, 2010

mentored by dead guys

A few years ago I heard a pastor say "I need to be mentored by more dead guys." I've remembered that and tried to implement it into my reading/learning habits and read several books from dead guys each year. That's definitely the case this year as "Dead guys" was a whole category on my 2010 reading list which you can see HERE.

Right now I'm reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. He was born in the 1300s and wrote this masterpiece in the 1400s. He was a medieval mystic - I have read those guys before and am always rejuvenated in my devotion to Jesus when I read what they have to say!

One of the greatest things I am reminded of is how crazy busy my life is and how much better I can connect to God if I simply slow down a little, take a deep breath, and create a little space for Him to invade my soul.

I completely understand where (Steven James) the writer of the intro to this translation of Imitation is coming from when he wrote: "I've been to monasteries several times on four-day silent retreats. After about twenty minutes I've had all the deep spiritual insights I can take. I start frantically looking around for a computer to check my email. I wouldn't make a very good monk."
Haha, that's totally me!

Thomas a Kempis says "he who does not try to become the least, the servant of all, cannot be at peace for very long."
I definitely need to hear stuff like that. Most of us know that climbing the corporate ladder and pushing our way to be on top doesn't really satisfy or make us happy... but we still do it anyway. We know it doesn't bring peace... just more stress. But, for some reason it's what we pursue. Those CEOs are the ones we imitate instead of Christ.

And I really love hearing a Kempis talk about "living it" over "learning it" = "What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity?... I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without the grace of God?"

I think my heart is already beating at a slower, healthier pace and I am satisfied resting in God. I'm stoked about being mentored by this really old mystic monk! (He would currently be 630 years old!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Madness for Kenya! (Tourney bracket challenge)

The last 2 years on renown we've had a bracket challenge for the NCAA Tournament. Of course we're going to have another bracket challenge. But this year's will be a little different.

Yesterday I wrote about Crystal and I going to Kenya! You can catch up on that HERE.

This year on renown's tournament challenge you won't only be filling out your brackets for bragging rights but also to help Crystal and I go to Kenya! So when you join the renown group and fill out your bracket you can feel free to donate some money to help Crystal and I get to Kenya!
You can donate $0 to whatever... just have fun!

Here's how you join:
Go to ESPN and join the Tournament Challenge by simply clicking HERE. (You can sign up for a free ESPN account if you don't already have one.) All you have to do is fill out the registration and then submit it. click the big button in the middle that says Create Entry. Name your entry (that will be your bracket) and click on Create or Join a Group.

Ok, now's the fun part - in the Search box type march madness for Kenya - that's our group name. you should see a pic of kids in Kenya (as seen to your right). Then you need to type in the group password = kenya  
Then you're all ready to go. Now you just have to fill out your picks for each game. Flip a quarter or use all your expertise to pick who will win each game. Fill out as many brackets as you want!
ESPN keeps track of all our points for us, so at the end of the NCAA tourney we'll know who won our tourney. Feel free to invite anyone you know. I think you just need to fill them out by Thursday morning this week. We'll have a lot of fun watching the games and our picks over the next few weeks. 
*If you want to fill out a bracket and donate to our trip - you can send a tax deductible gift to Ridge Church. Just mail the check to PO Box 1853 Indian Trail, NC 28079
**Don't write our name in the "memo" line of the check. Just put a note with the check that says it's for "Patrick & Crystal's mission trip to Kenya" or something like that!
The whole trip for the 2 of us will cost over $7,000. I'm kicking in $100 to the "Patrick & Crystal Kenya fund" as I joined just now, but remember, feel free to donate anything between $0 to whatever!

Ok, the selection show is about to start, so I've gotta run watch it!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

we're going to Kenya!

Back in 2003 I had the awesome privilege to live & work in Botswana, Africa for a little while. I lived with a missionary and helped plant a church in a village, worked in an orphanage, and lots of other stuff while I was there.

I went to Botswana because I felt like God was calling me to spend my life on mission in sub-Saharan Africa. My time in Africa confirmed that call and since then God's vision in me has grown exponentially. I want to be a part of a revolution that blows my mind!
That's what I want to spend my life doing. I want to reach unreached peoples through a church planting revolution, build orphanages and hospitals... just build the kingdom!

Crystal and I have been planning to go to Africa together this year. I can't believe it's been almost 7 years already since I've been to Africa!

*This September Crystal and I are going to Kenya!

I am so stoked. We're actually going through our church - Ridge Church. It's gonna be awesome. Me & Crystal + 3 others from Ridge have been at the 410 Bridge training all weekend. I can't wait until September!

On our trip with Ridge through 410 Bridge we'll be partnering with the Karima community near the center of Kenya. That part of the trip will be 10 days.
*(I plan on writing a whole post SOON all about 410 Bridge and how awesome they are! I am so impressed!)

Crystal and I are also planning to stay for a few weeks longer in Kenya!
  *We are planning to visit the children we sponsor through Compassion International (Peter that we sponsor personally and Erik who we sponsor through Upstreet at Ridge.)
  *We also want to hook up with RescuingBabies.org through Compassion and it would be awesome for Crystal to use her gifts of Baby-delivering as a nurse to serve!
  *I really want to use this trip to scope out some of the areas to see if God might be leading us to move somewhere here in Kenya and spread God's fame in an unreached people group. There are still 35 unreached people groups in Kenya.

I'm so stoked at what God is going to do while we're in Kenya this September (& maybe October!)
More info to come!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Forgiveness is a big deal. But kids don't really get it. Forgiveness is completely against our nature. Many adults don't really get it either!

But at Ridge we desperately WANT kids to live out forgiveness just like Jesus did. And we want to partner with their parents to help them get it!

(Here's a pic of the 3rd grade small group with their "playdough" forgiveness poster)

well, i hope they got it. We talked the whole month of February about Forgiveness. When we forgive it's really showing others what God is like because Jesus is the ultimate example of forgiveness. When we forgive others it's really a beautiful picture of the gospel!

All month long we talked about buckets too. When we DON'T forgive it's like we're carrying around grudges in buckets that weigh us down, slow us down, and stop us from enjoying life. We've gotta forgive and just dump those buckets so we can move on.

*So, we tried to partner with parents by sending a bucket home with every child in Upstreet. We told kids that every time someone wronged them and they wanted to forgive that person - just to write it down, ball up the piece of paper & throw it in the bucket.
Then we encouraged parents to talk about all of that stuff and forgivness each week with their children!
Then the kids brought their buckets full of "wrongs" back to Upstreet each week and to symbolize forgiveness in a powerful way they all dumped all the paper in an old wheelbarrow to be taken to the dump!

Forgiveness is a big deal. The world would be a different place if followers of Jesus forgave like we have been forgiven.

I pray that we sparked that kind of lifestyle in this next generation of kids so that the world will be very different in 20 years!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

thank you for conspiring (from Living Water)

If you have been around this renown blog at all the past couple years you've heard me talk about Advent Conspiracy. We've been a part of it the past 2 Christmases.

Here is a thank you video to everyone who has joined the rebellion to reject the Western consumeristic culture's version of Christmas for a BETTER story. One that is changing the world!

(Thank You for Conspiring! [AC 2009] from Living Water International on Vimeo.)

I see that and I don't miss a single Christmas gift! 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

what's in my iPod? - Awakening (from Passion 2010)

The new live CD from Passion released today! I am so stoked. This is the 1st Passion album since God Of This City way back in 2007.

My friend Natalie bought me the "All Access Pass" and I still need to pay her back! I bring her $20 every Sunday, but Sundays are hyper focused days for me and I can't think of anything else, so I always forget to give it to her. Anyway, my download came in today.

I wrote a lot about the songs from Passion 2010 HERE and HERE. The Track Listing is HERE.
I am loving listening to this CD today!

Here are my 6 fav songs on the album:
*OUR GOD from Chris Tomlin
"There's no one like You; none like You...
Our God is greater/ Our God is stronger
God, you are higher than any other,
Our God is healer/ Awesome in power,
Our God, our God...
And if our God is for us then who could ever stop us,
And if our God is with us then what could stand against..."

*a new kickin' song from David Crowder Band = LIKE A LION
"Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold
To see a revolution somehow
Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold
To bring a revolution somehow
Now I’m lost in Your freedom
This world I’ll overcome
My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion

Let hope arise and make the darkness hide
My faith is dead
I need a resurrection somehow
Let hope arise and make the darkness hide
Let Heaven roar and fire fall
Come shake the ground
With the sound of revival

*Also one I hadn't heard from Hillsong United... I'm guessing it's new = WITH EVERYTHING
"Name above names • Lamb that was slain • Beautiful God • King above kings • God of all things • Beautiful God • There is no other name like Jesus • Give You all of the praise • O, Lord Jesus //
Let hope rise and darkness tremble • In Your Holy light • That every eye will see Jesus, our God • Great and mighty to be praised // God of all days • Glorious in all of Your ways • The majesty, the wonder and grace • In the light of Your name // With everything, with everything • We will shout for Your glory • With everything, with everything • We will shout forth Your praise // Our hearts they cry • Be glorified • Be lifted high above all • For You our King • With everything • We will shout forth Your praise // Woah-oah-oah

*and of course my favorite song from Matt Redman's latest Album = YOU ALONE CAN RESCUE
Who, O Lord, could save themselves • Their own soul could heal • Our shame was deeper than the sea • Your grace is deeper still // You alone can rescue • You alone can save • You alone can lift us from the grave • You came down to find us • Led us out of death • To You alone belongs the highest praise // You, O Lord, have made a way • The great divide You healed • For when our hearts were far away • Your love went further still • Yes, Your love goes further still // We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes • You’re the giver of life

*Chris Tomlin's AWAKENING
"Holy Spirit we desire awakening
For You and You alone
Awake my soul, awake my soul...
Your will be done, Your will be done in me
In Your presence, In Your power awaken me
For this moment, for this hour, awaken me
Like the rising sun that shines
Awake my soul, Awake my soul & sing!
From the darkness comes a light
Awake my soul, Awake my soul & sing!
Only You can raise a life
Awake my soul, Awake my soul & sing!
I hear Your voice say 'This is my awakening'"

and Charlie Hall's KING OF HEAVEN (Isaiah 6:1)
"oh oh, oh oh oh,
King of Heaven come down
oh oh, oh oh oh,
King of Heaven come down
We come together in the wave of God
We stand together in Your great compassion
Pouring out our hearts and lives
Fill us up with an expectation
oh oh, oh oh oh
King of heaven come down...
We'll sing the news of all Your grace
We'll help the broken hearted praise
We'll put Your glory on display
King of heaven"

I am so loving this. Awesome morning of worship with these new songs from these awesome worship artists.

Monday, March 8, 2010

driving on the sidewalk @ Caribou

So, me & Jon (our awesome new student director) were walking into Caribou to have a meeting and here is what we saw...

Yeah. an SUV was parked up on the sidewalk and IN THE BUSHES! I was like "whoa."

At first I just thought it was some punk who likes to park up on the sidewalk... but it turns out it was an old lady who got the brake and the gas pedal mixed up!
This SUV hopped the sidewalk way back at Chipotle and rode the sidewalk past GNC and then stopped right here in front of Caribou! It is a miracle that no person or cars were injured! (just a few bushes...) 
I chalk it up to God in His soverignty protecting everyone. 

Jon and I arrived around 1 hour after the incident. too bad our meeting didn't start earlier. it would have been crazy to look out the window and see this SUV rolling up right outside the window!
Not something you see every day...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

home from an awesome cruise!

We're back!

Crystal and I have been in the Caribbean for the past week. It was amazing. Wow.
It was worth every penny. I feel so refreshed and renewed.

We went with some of our best friends - Jim and Sarah. It was good times all week long. 24/7 party. we got some crazy stories & some fun ones...

I'll probably write more about it later. For now, i just wanted to say that we're back!  
Home sweet home!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

props for my fav magazine

[I originally posted this on May 29, 2008]

If you've ever checked my listing of magazine links (to the right) you've noticed that my #1 fav is Relevant magazine. I love this magazine! It's a great day each month when I find one in the mailbox. I've been tracking with these guys almost since they started the magazine & plan on subscribing until I die. They recently celebrated their 5 year anniversary with a stellar issue looking back over some of the highlights from the 1st 5 years of Relevant.

What kind of magazine is Relevant? The title tells all - it is a magazine of all things relevant. I feel like it's a magazine made especially for me... which means they're hitting their demographic dead on = mainly early 20s - early 30s. It's definitely some of my favorite reading material. A Christian magazine that sees everything as spiritual (like myself) so half their stuff is considered by many to be "secular" (a genre which doesn't really exist, but more on that another time). Basically everything that me & my peeps (Mosaics & Busters) care about = spirituality, music, books we might like, entertainment, life stuff, and the pimpest (yes it's a word even if i did make it up!) interviews EVER. Interviewees range from peeps like Bono & Matis Yahu to Johnny Piper & Tony Jones. And most of the orgs you find linked to your right are commonly promo'd in Relevant as well. They even had an issue with an idiot's guide to the '08 election which I was lovin' because I'm a straight up idiot when it comes to politics. I guess my favorite thing about Relevant is I feel like (as far as my generation is concerned) they are helping lead the charge for the poor in the world. They're making a huge difference.

To sum it up, my fav magazine contains everything relevant in today's culture... pretty cool stuff. I HIGHLY recommend you subscribe! (only like $20 for 2 years. can't beat that.) At least check out their website which is money. Complete with sweet blogs, an awesome store, polls you can participate in, videos on relevant tv, and Ks of articles you can read.

Shortly (probably tomorrow) I'll start frequently sharing some posts with random quotes I think are baller that I've read that week from all different places & you can bet many of them will have originated in Relevant Magazine. Because this is one magazine I never leave home without... that's the truth.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

renown strikes back (Proverbs is pimp... repost)

[this was originally posted on April 16, 2008.]

(side note: the main title is partially borrowed from the title of the 1997 sophomore album of the greatest band of all time.)

(side note #2: no, the parenthetical title is not bad grammar. it would be "proverbs are pimp" if i were speaking of proverbs in general, or even of the Chinese variety, but since we're talking about the specific book of Proverbs it's "Proverbs is pimp".)

(side note #3: That's right, renown is back with a vengeance. I was gone from blogging for over a week in the Caribbean, but now I'm back and ready to hit it hard.)

(side note #4: it's this author's opinion that this author has used way too many side notes!)

When I was in college, a well-respected leader told us of a spiritual discipline he had practiced for a long time and it had changed his life. He read 1 chapter of Proverbs every day - # of the chapter corresponding to the day of the month. He said "after years... even a few months of this you'll be amazed at how the wisdom in this book becomes a part of you."

I had read Proverbs enough to know that it was all about wisdom and God said to "get it!"

So, I was like "I would love to be wise, I'll give it a shot." and I did. the cool thing was that I loved it and it stuck. Proverbs is like an Andy Stanley talk... practical & to the point. it's got stuff in it that will change your life today. After a few months all those passages were sticking in my head. They were becoming a part of me. They were helping me make decisions. It's stuck for about 6 years now. Still lovin' it.

It's probably my 3rd favorite book behind the Gospels (i put them together because just like the Die Hard quadruple, it's hard to pick just 1) & the Psalms. I could probably write at least 1,000 blogs about all I've learned from Proverbs over the years... it is literally an amazing book. I don't claim to be wise by any stretch of the imagination, but I must be further from being a fool than I was 6 years ago.

So, with all that background I plan to be able to blog on any random day about a buttload of stuff I learned from Proverbs on that day.

Yesterday was the 15th, so of course I read Proverbs 15 (at Starbucks). And there was SO MUCH good stuff in there, but i have to stick with just one phrase from verse 7...

"The lips of the wise spread knowledge"

now, let me say this again. I don't claim to be a wise man at all (maybe a "wise guy" or a wise something else, but that's totally different of course), but every time Proverbs mentions something that wise people do... I'm gonna go try to do it!

1 thing that Proverbs says wise people do is "get knowledge." I attempt to do that by reading books like a crazy fool (no pun intended). I always type out what I learn from the books and how they'll change how I live, think, act, do ministry, treat my wife, friends, etc... And this phrase just confirmed something that I've been wanting to do on this blog for a while - spread the knowledge I'm getting. This was actually a major reason I started this blog - to give me an outlet for all the knowledge I'm trying to stuff into my tiny brain. So, yeah, I wanna be wise & spread the knowledge I get, not just keep it to myself. I want to share it with all of you because it's benefited me & I hope it benefits you.

I've read a flippin' insane amount of books lately (last 6 months) and learned A LOT! I'm constantly telling people that they gotta read these books too! But then it seems like they'll always say, "but patrick, i just don't read as much as you." So, I'm going to try to flesh out the best stuff I learn right here at renown with the goal being for peeps to learn all the good stuff from a book in 10 minutes instead of 10 hours.

Monday, March 1, 2010

We're on a cruise!!!

that's right! me & crystal are chillin on the Royal Caribbean ship right now about to leave Tampa. we're heading to Cozumel & somewhere else with our awesome friends Jim & Sarah.

no more wi-fi, twitter or anything all week for me. see you when we get back!