Summer Update and Goals

In case some of you reading this blog don’t know, I am leaving for Minneapolis (MPLS) this Sunday, June 3rd for the summer to work at Children Desiring God (CDG).  While there, I will be doing some customer service type tasks, which basically amounts to something like helping churches implement the children’s Sunday school curriculum produced by CDG, as well as, writing and editing some curriculum myself.  I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in children’s curriculum writing (in my opinion) and learn a great deal from them.  I am blessed to be able to attend Bethlehem Baptist Church this summer and witness John Piper’s last sermons there as the lead pastor.  Pastor John has been a life-changing voice in my walk with Christ and I am excited to be shepherded by him for a couple of months before he turns the reins over to Jason Meyer in early August.  I will also have the opportunity to take a class at the Bethlehem Institute, a layperson’s school connected to Bethlehem College and Seminary on TULIP, the five points of Calvinism (maybe I’ll finally figure out if I actually am a full-blown Calvinist).  I will return home on or around August 11th, depending on how certain projects are coming.  While in MPLS I will attend an Owl City concert, and if I find a hundred bucks on the ground, maybe even a Coldplay concert right before I come home.  Needless to say, I am excited to work for Desiring God, a ministry that has certainly helped me in my walk with Christ, and to live in a major metropolitan area!  It is certainly a blessing to be able to spend a summer with these folks!

Also, I will continue my new job this summer that I began just a couple of weeks ago.  I have been ask to supply Foundry 59, a consulting firm, with my “blogging expertise” (boy do I have them fooled) by writing for and managing the blogs of a number of businesses they assist.  Blogging is a significant part of search engine optimization (SEO–basically, making your business pop up in Google toward the top), and they have asked that I help out in that area.  I’m really excited to be working for them.  You should check out their website if you have or know anyone that has a business that could use some consultation.

While in MPLS, I have four major “extra-curricular” goals, I suppose you could say.  In addition to working my two jobs and doing daily devos and the like, I have some other summer goals I’d like to accomplish.  They are prioritized here:

1) Lose weight.
2) Read at least one book per week.
3) Memorize one passage of Scripture per week.
4) Translate the book of Mark from the Greek. 

I know they are very substantial goals, but you know what they say, “Aim for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”  While the quote makes absolutely no sense, you get the point.  I am very task-driven, goal-oriented individual, and my hope is that even if I don’t accomplish all of these goals, I will accomplish a couple of them.  I know that if I make these goals for myself, I am less likely to find myself goofing around on the Internet or watching pointless television via Netflix–this way, I’ll always have something constructive I can be doing.

I am really excited for my summer reading list this summer.  I have never made one of these before, and I have never pushed myself to read this many books in this time span.  I have given it a bit of a test run by trying to read a book a week since about mid-April.  I’m getting there, but it takes a lot of work.  I certainly want my reading to be meaningful, so I have chosen a theme of sorts–I have a theological and recreational focus.  I am focusing my reading this summer on classic fiction and Church matters.  It works out to a book a week except for one week in which I will try to read two shorter books.  I have listed the books I am reading below along with a picture of them.

Week 1: The Fellowship of the Ring–Tolkien
Week 2: Nine Marks of a Healthy Church–Dever
Week 3: The Two Towers–Tolkien
Week 4: Reverberation–Leeman
Week 5: The Return of the King–Tolkien
Week 6: Church Membership–Leeman AND The Church/The Gospel Made Visible–Dever
Week 7: Lord of the Flies–Golding
Week 8: Adopted for Life–Moore
Week 9: Catch-22–Heller
Week 10: Fellowship with God–Lloyd-Jones

I do not yet have a system in place for losing weight, but it will most likely consist of running a mile a day, six days a week to start out with, and if I am able to do more miles at one time, I will ratchet it up as I feel comfortable.  This is difficult on my feet because of my lack of arch support, so prayer is appreciated in this area for sure.

Memorizing Scripture is always something I’ve been trying to improve upon in my walk with Christ, and with some help from the Children Desiring God Fighter Verse App for my iPad, I hope to accomplish my goal of one passage a week.

My theme verse for the summer is Psalm 119:9-11, which goes along with my desire to memorize Scripture.

[9] How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
[10] With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
[11] I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.

Please pray for me this summer as I attempt to accomplish these goals, and in turn, begin living a more Christ-like, healthy, and productive lifestyle.  Let me know in the comments if there is any way in which I can be praying for you this summer.  Also, if you happen to live in the Twin Cities area and are reading this, let me know so we can hang out!

Also, please be praying Susie and me.  After seeing each other at a wedding this Friday, we will not see each other for a good 10 weeks.  This is especially difficult because we are engaged.  We will have pretty limited contact (snail mail, mostly).  She is working Miracle Camp in Lawton, MI all summer while I am in MPLS.  Please pray that we would be content where we are at and patient to see each other again.  Thanks.



Remembering Kerry Wood

Hey friends.  Today, one of my favorite baseball players of all time retired: Kerry Wood.  He started his career with the Northsiders in 1998.  In only his fifth game in the MLB, he struck out 20 Houston Astros.  That’s 20 strikeouts out of a possible 27 outs in a game.  I remember watching when I was eight years old.  As a young Little Leaguer, I was in awe.  He won the National League Rookie of the Year that year, and I was very proud to be a Cubs fan.

Flash forward to 2003 when Kerry Wood (266 Ks) and Mark Prior (245 Ks) led the Cubs pitching staff to the playoffs, causing Cubs fans like myself to think that this might just be the year.  Wood won two of the games in the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, one of which was the series-winning game.  I still remember watching the fateful National League Championship Series with my dad when Steve Bartman robbed Moises Alou of that foul ball, nearly cursing the game of baseball all the way to Wendy’s afterward.  But we won’t talk anymore about that.

Perhaps the best memory I have of Kerry Wood is meeting him in person.  In 2005, he made rehab start with the Peoria Chiefs, a minor league affiliate of the Cubs. This rehab start was against the Fort Wayne Wizards (now the Fort Wayne Tin Caps).  My cousin is the assistant general manager of the team and got me into the tunnel where the opposing team’s dugout was located.  I went down and was anxiously awaiting to meet one of the greatest pitchers I had ever watched on television.  As a young future-bigleaguer, I was very confident scared out of my mind.  He’s big, he’s gruff, he can throw 100 mph, and he’s from Texas–I was a little intimidated.  I remember when he walked through the door, I was like, “Whoa… he’s huge…”

But then I met him, and the guy couldn’t have been nicer.  It was really awesome to meet the best pitcher I thought I had ever watched on TV, and one of my favorite Cubbies ever.  He had no reason to say yes to my cousin’s request to meet some fans; the guy was playing Low-A ball in the middle of nowhere only five years after he struck out 20 in a game–I wouldn’t have blamed him for being a little stressed or disagreeable.  But seriously, he was so nice and really seemed to enjoy talking to us for a few minutes.

It’s a real sad day when one of your favorite sports players retires.  I would love it if he became a coach or analyst or something.  I wish Kerry Wood and his family the best.  I have never met a nicer guy who has struck out 20 people in one game.


New Owl City video and EP

Hey!  Owl City came out with a new EP at midnight tonight.  I highly encourage you to purchase it here, although the same songs will be released later this summer (no word on when) on a full length album.  So, if you’re low on cash and plan on getting the new album (like me) you might want to Spotify this EP until then… unfortunately.  Great new songs.  Love new Owl City in the springtime, just in time for summer!

Can’t wait to spend most of my summer break in Minneapolis working for Children Desiring God.  I was pleased to find out that Owl City will be playing a show in MPLS on July 13.  I will definitely be in attendance–let me know if you will be as well!  Here is a full tour schedule for Owl City this summer.

Also, new cool video for one of the new songs, “Shooting Star.”  Not recommended for those with seasickness.