Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch died today

Randy Pausch died today. That name might not mean anything to you... but I first heard his "Last Lecture" late last year through some of my connections at Toastmasters.

This guy found out that he had terminal cancer. When he received his diagnosis, he was given 3-6 months to live. Within a month, he gave a lecture that became known as "The Last Lecture" and took on a life of its own on YouTube.

You might expect that someone who has just been through the horrorof receiving a death sentence would be depressed and somber. You might expect them to be gloomy and pessimistic. And most folks probably would react that way. I think it's human nature for us to focus on the negatives and get "stuck" there. We dwell on thepast, worry about how things will play out in the future, and just generally focus on the wrong things.

Randy Pausch was different. Aside from just plain being an EXCELLENT speaker, the lecture itself is truly amazing. Rather than focusing on the negative, he talks about how to truly acheive your childhood dreams. He doesn't talk about how unfair life is. He doesn't focus on his negative diagnosis. He's not living in dread of the next thing that his cancer is going to take from him. He talks about how he reached some his goals, how he DIDN'T reach some of his goals, and what he learned along the way.

The lecture is posted in its entirety here:

It's an hour and 15 minutes... but definitely worth watching.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Twelve Nuggets

I feel like I got a glimpse into Christian Challenge's past last night at midweek service!

Bro Buddy led worship and gave the message... and that's pretty much the way it was when Christian Challenge got started 32 years ago. He sang some of the old songs that he had done way back then. I didn't know the songs, but it was neat to hear them. The style of the music that they do at Christian Challenge has certainly changed since then, but the message in the lyrics is much the same.

Here's the words to one of those songs that I'd never heard before:
I'm singing the songs of Zion today
And rejoicing in the Lord
For I have found out what life's all about
God's peace now is ruling my heart

The title of Bro Buddy's message was "Twelve Nuggets of Gold." He also posted them to his blog today. Every one of the "nuggets" is something that can help us live in God's peace.

They're all good, but here are a couple of nuggets that jumped out at me:

#2 -- Learn to live daily from God's renewing mercy and grace

I think that one grabbed me because it is so easy to do it... in short spurts! But living it consistently is difficult.

#5 -- Retake lost ground - Never underestimate the blessing of repentance and reconsecration.

This one got my attention because sometimes it's just easier to "write off" lost ground. Sometimes it is painful to revisit places where we've failed. But if we don't face it and re-take it, we'll allow ourselves to be fenced in by failures.

#11 -- Live by your last instructions - When you lose your peace this means you have crossed a line.

I like this one because I think I've crossed quite a few lines in my life... but I can still go back to the last thing that I really had peace about. And Bro Buddy shared one other thing last night that didn't make it into his blog: He said that if you *really* got off track, you can always go back to the cross. I like that!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I'm a little ashamed to admit it... but I set up my Wii console yesterday evening and stayed up past 3am this morning playing and exploring the different options.

I can remember playing the old Nintendo Entertainment System and SuperNES when I was younger and loving it. But a few years ago I tried to play one of the newer gaming systems. I found myself completely lost in all the buttons and graphics. I felt... well, OLD!

The graphics on the Wii are amazing, and the games are just as easy to play as the commercials make them out to be. I spend most of my time sitting in front of a computer, so having a game system that gets me up on my feet and moving around is really nice. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that many of the "classic" games from the 80s are available for the Wii. They're as cheap as $5 each and can be downloaded instantly to your console. I picked up a couple of my old favorites! You can download stuff instantly because this thing connects to the Internet. The console even has its own email address.

But... I didn't mean to create my own blog-commercial for Wii. I wanted to throw this out here in case anyone out there also has a Wii and would like to be "Wii Friends". Apparently, you can connect to other people's consoles and do some things over the Internet. I haven't figured it all out yet... but I'm looking forward to it! So if you're out there and also have a Wii, feel free to add me. My console number is 3944 9834 4370 9654.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

We had a great service yesterday at Christian Challenge. Pastor Nathan shared a video of a neat illustration from another church. He also posted it here on his blog. (Check it out! Really!)

I really like the idea of a short-n-sweet, one-liner testimony. I've spent a lot of time telling my story on my web site. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback, and the process of journaling everything has been helpful to me personally... but it isn't very helpful when you only have a couple of minutes to make an impact on someone.

So I've been thinking about how I could express the things God has been doing in my life in "cardboard testimony" format.

This is what I came up with:

Before - Isolated and lonely
After - Part of a loving church family

Before - God seemed harsh and distant
After - God was closer than I thought

Before - Caught up in legalism
After - Free in Christ

Before - Felt like I could never measure up
After - Secure in God's grace