Here is my monthly offering of items that didn't make it to a full post. It is my Podge of Hodge and Bits of Tid, miscellaneous musings and notes.
ONE: Money Magazine, September 2009 had an article, 103 Ways to Trim the Fat, Not the Fun From Your Budget. Becky gets this magazine (she is much more astute on financial matters than I am). She read some of the ways out loud. They were interesting. And what was good to hear is that we are already doing most of them . . . which is probably one of the reasons why we live without debt. (By the way, the cover pictured is not the issue I am referring to.)
TWO: Les Paul died. Wow. An icon is gone from the world of music. An innovator and inventor who changed the world of guitars permanently and profoundly has passed on. I own several guitars, I listen to guitar music all the time, and the Les Paul guitar in all its varieties and incarnations is a truly great instrument in the guitar world. if you want to learn more about the guitar itself in its many versions, this gives a nice summary. And to read a nice and brief biography of Les Paul, here it is.
THREE: I have been reading and re-reading Ephesians in preparation for our Ancient Future Faith mid-size community this fall. For many years, Ephesians was my favorite letter of the Apostle Paul. It has been surpassed, for me, by 2 Corinthians. But it holds firmly to second place. It will be fun to walk with a community of Christ followers through this wonderful letter.
FOUR: Living Word Community Church continues to do simply profound and transformative work in the Village of Sendafa, Ethiopia. We have two teams a year that go to that village. We are doing holistic ministry that includes working with HIV/Aids patients, general medical care at a health clinic, working to provide clean water for the area, helping in the school systems (a tragic disaster), building churches, starting micro-enterprise and more. We are extremely blessed with Dr. Frew who is the Ethiopian physician and leader who had a vision and needed partners. I am truly blessed when I hear the stories of transformation and grateful to be a part of a church that has such a vision and a heart to touch one corner of the world.
FIVE: And speaking of Ethiopia, my friend, Dr. Melese Wogu is on a six week trip. He will visit Ethiopian communities in several different countries, but will be in Ethiopia for several weeks. His focus in Ethiopia is to do leadership training. Melese will teach hundreds of pastors, he will mentor a smaller number. And they have him scheduled to preach for a week to crowds that will easily number between 20,000 - 30,000 on a daily basis. Melese will preach several sermons and provide multiple teachings every day. Pray for him on this trip. Here is the website for EOM. Melese has a truly strategic ministry for one of the world's poorest and neediest peoples. (The collage is from a recent banquet EOM did.)
SIX: Pastor Steve Almquist, senior pastor of Living Word Community Church has many gifts and talents. One that blessed me (and the rest of our elders) recently was his interest (one could almost say - passion) in good food. In this case, smoked ribs. Steve prepared a feast for us. And in about two weeks, he is making pulled pork for the entire staff at LWCC. (The picture is not Steve's smoked ribs, unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me...just my appetite.
SEVEN: I spend an afternoon with a friend, Scott, who works in Mexico with CAM International. A major part of Scott's work is developing Internet delivery systems and resources for developing leaders in the Spanish speaking world. Check out this website - ObreroFiel - it is in Spanish of course. He is a visionary on resourcing Latin American leadership and it has been great getting to know Scott. I am fortunate since his home church is in nearby Carlisle and it was just a 40 minute drive to get together. Plus, I had the bonus of finally meeting his family. I first met Scott in Puebla, Mexico where he was doing the graduate program in leadership. By the way, the missions organization he is with, CAM, has gone through a remarkable transformation. As Scott has described this process, I deeply respect how CAM has responded to the massive change taking place in the world around us. They are truly a case study for how to do this well. Inspiring stuff. Mega-kudos to their leadership team.
EIGHT: I was invited by the local chapter of CBMC Network (Connecting Business Men in Christ) to speak on leadership at their August luncheon. My friend Chuck Blouse, who I have known for almost 30 years (gasp - how old are we getting) is part of the leadership team for the York group. He is kind enough to invite me to talk with the men about leadership. It is always a privilege to do this. I was impressed by how hard and strategically they are working to do leadership development for the men. Blessings to CBMC in their work with Christian business leaders. Here is the local chapter website.
NINE: Music . . . so much music and so little time. Lots of new albums this past month, but two groups I just have to mention. First is Blackmore's Night which is Richie Blackmore's celtic, rock band which almost can't be described. You just have to hear them. I had two of their CD's and just bought three more. Check them out on iTunes and.
Then there is a new artist for me, Neil Zaza. A virtuoso electric guitar player who is extremely melodic in his style. His website is under construction, but you can check him out here. Or better, just watch the video below. I have been struck that Neil does quite a few "religious" songs, some classics, and he has 2 or 3 albums of Christmas music. Again, check him out on iTunes.
TEN: Websites. Here are a few I highly recommend.
Presentation Zen. Maybe I mentioned this one before, but if you are a communicator and use visual media, we just have to do it well. I subscribe to the weekly column. It is always good, sometimes whimsical as was the one on the wrong use of "quotation marks" and apostrophe's. Plus, on the right hand column is a list of great resources.
Sacred Space is a website from Ireland where you can do lectio divina reflections and prayer by moving through a new daily devotional. It is quite good and available in a number of languages.
Kruse Kronicle is a very thoughtful blogsite that looks at global issues, economics, social problems and much more, from a biblical worldview. I just found this one and have enjoyed reading it. You'll have to do a little work.
ELEVEN: Business Elite. Okay, I have flown a lot over the last 25 years. I mean a lot. Long ago I stopped keeping track of my international trips. In all those years and on those flights, I have always flown Economy Class. I get on the plane and turn to the right and scrunch in for the flight. I had a super pleasant surprise on my trip back from Amsterdam on Delta. I was upgraded to Business Elite. Whoa. I mean this was the luxury section. I actually felt guilty just being there. The guilt lasted for about 30 minutes then I just enjoyed the luxury and pampering for the rest of the flight. The only problem is, that from now on, every time when I turn right when I come on the airplane, I'll glance up to the left knowing how the other 1% are flying. Sigh . . .
TWELVE: It was a refreshing month of August and in fact, the entire summer was a pretty refreshing time. I think I have as much energy as I have had in a long time. The fall is going to be great, I am really looking forward to it.
Blessings to all of you, Grace and Shalom, Beauty and Truth be yours.
Leadership ConneXtions International