Friday, October 31, 2008

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend

So remember to set your clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday evening.
This is one of the best weekends of the year. Of course, rather than getting an extra hour of sleep, we'll just stay up an extra hour on Saturday night.

Ever wonder where DST originated? According to this article - link - it started with some guy in England who wanted to play golf after work. It eventually caught on in the US during WWI, as an attempt to burn less coal during the evening hours.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thinking aloud about the election

In my message two weeks ago and with the document I handed out on Sunday, I challenged TFC to not just show up and touch a random place on the voting screen but to think through their votes from the perspective of Jesus' teachings.

Well, I found a few blog entries of people doing exactly that and I'd like to share it with you.

First of all, two posts from people voting for McCain.

Joe Kumor

Focus on the Family

I want to comment on those two links. First of all, Joe Kumor is one of my closest friends and someone for whom I have the utmost respect. Which makes it enjoyable to read Joe's thoughtful response.

I struggled with whether I should post the Focus on the Family link because of their use of fear to motivate. I decided to do so because you should think through the issues they raise. I do however, condemn their use of fear as a motivator. I do appreciate them finding a way to try to scare pastors of new churches that worship in school buildings, thanks for the shout out!
I remember reading a similar letter in 1992 about Hillary Clinton. I don't remember the details but I remember being scared to death. But since I'm not running for my life, I'm guessing those predictions did not come true.
While not all the things they're warning against are biblical issues (such as gun control), I believe that even if all the things FOTF is predicting did come true - the Church of Jesus Christ would survive! They seem to be looking for ways to avoid persecution while our picture of the early church is that of the Jesus movement thriving through and even because of persecution. I seriously believe that if Christians stopped worrying about government and stopped trying to protect whatever it is we think we have or need (the law's permission to talk about Jesus, peace on the home front promoted by war overseas or economic prosperity) we could get to the business of living out the Kingdom. The church stagnates in affluent countries with religious freedoms and it thrives in 'illegal' and 'poor' places like China. Are we about being comfortable and getting the government on our side or we about the radical teachings of Jesus? Sometimes those are mutually exclusive and we have to make a choice.

Now, here are some thinking Christians who have decided to vote for Obama.

Donald Miller (the author, not the pastor) - link

A lady who used to be in a small group with my sister - link

Now, I want to comment on the socialism promoted in the above link. I really struggle with this. I used to have a completely far-right approach to government and social programs. But during my last year in seminary, I took a class on the Old Testament prophets and it completely rocked my world. Over and over and over, the prophets (preachers) blasted the people of God (Israel and Judah) for ignoring and even exploiting the poor. Yes, their sexual ethics were blasted as well as their worship of false idols (which was really a money issue; worshipping Baal just to make sure they prayed to the god who was believed to bring the rain, so their family wouldn't starve - covering all their bases, so to speak). But it was mostly their care for the poor, or lack thereof, that was condemned. In fact, God told Israel to pass laws that would force rich people to give money to poor people as well as passing laws that would promote economic equality. The American-conservative idea that rich people should be allowed to get as rich as possible with no regard for the poor would be called a sin by the OT preachers.

Here's a quote from the book "God's Politics" regarding a seminary class' study of the Bible's teaching on money and the poor.
"We found several thousand verses in the Bible on the poor and God's response to injustice. We found it to be the second most prominent theme in the Old Testament - the first was idolatry, and the two were often related. One of every sixteen verses in the New Testament is about the poor or the subject of money. In the first three (Synoptic Gospels) it is one out of ten verses and in the book of Luke, it is one of seven."
The author goes on to talk about how they took a pair of scissors and cut out all the verses related to serving the poor. That bible was torn apart and full of holes. "Brothers and sisters, this is our American bible; it is full of holes."

You can argue whether this is the right way to count, but if you're only counting by the number of references in the Bible, the single biggest moral issue facing any government is how they treat the poor. For that reason, a truly "Christian" government would be a socialistic government.

However, the only God-ordained Theocracy (a nation where God rules) was the nation of Israel in the OT. No nation can be "Christian." Which is why I don't believe our government should pass laws based upon Christian scripture. The constitution enforces that belief. So, I really struggle with socialism because it's a secular government enforcing a Christian ethic, with all of the corruption and inequalities that happen despite all the talk of "equality."

But here's where I struggle with the Religious Right. The RR wants to enforce some biblical morals; allowing babies to be born, sexual morals, decency in entertainment, while ignoring the most prominent biblical morality - serving the poor.

I believe that inconsistency reveals the false god of the North American Church, our money. Sure, we want the government telling gay people they can't get married or a teenager she can't have an abortion, but we don't want ANYONE telling us what to do with our precious money. Can you see the inconsistency? It's why Jesus said, "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." My problem with the right is that they seem to ignore the "least of these."

I'm using broad characterizations to describe both the Right and the Left.

Now, I'll turn my attention to the left, mainly Obama. I love what Obama says about the responsibility we have toward each other. Here's a great article from Newsweek that explains how Obama became a follower of Jesus after reading the Sermon on the Mount - link.

Now at the risk of making a vicious personal attack, it must be pointed out that from 2000-2004, Obama only gave away 1% of his income. In 2005, it jumped up to 4.7% and in 2006 it was 6.1%. Source

That's crap. And that's my problem with the left - they want the government to bring about the change rather than the local church/ Kingdom of God. The left seems to ignore personal responsibility.

If EVERY person who calls themselves a follower of Jesus gave away a minimum of 10% of their income (and local churches didn't blow it on North American affluency, like expensive buildings) it would be enough to completely eliminate world poverty!!!! Of course, that also depends upon governments not hoarding the aid money, as so often happens.

But the point is that we don't need the government, we already have all we need to bring about the Kingdom of God RIGHT NOW!!! But rather than trying to bring about the Kingdom of God, we're waiting for the government to do it (the left) or we're fighting with Christians who differ from us politically (the right).

Here's my last thought
As I see it, followers of Obama are motivated by a belief in change. It's been Obama's mantra since the start, "change we can believe in." Sorry to burst your bubble Obama supporters, but while Barack may be a genuine Christ-follower who believes what he's saying, he's just another politician and politics can't change squat. Transformation does not happen through legislation. Our faith is not in our government.

It seems to me that McCain supporters are motivated by fear. Fear that Obama is "untested" or that he'll destroy our country. Sorry to take away your fear-induced adrenaline rush, but followers of Jesus have nothing to fear. Even if Obama outlawed Christianity and allowed the US' military enemies to continually bomb every single one of our homes (yeah, worst case scenario) the Kingdom of God would survive! While this life certainly matters, the Kingdom of God transcends this life as well as the comforts and "freedoms" of this life. "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" - Tertullian. Our security is not in our government.

Finally, this series of posts on this pastor's blog should be a good read - link. His blog entry is what gave me the courage to finally come out of my shell.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our DS brought it today!

Jeren Rowell, the Kansas City District Superintendent for the Church of the Nazarene, brought the wood today with his message. Jeren was at TFC today to lead our church in the official act of organization. To summarize, we've transitioned from being considered a church plant under the umbrella of our denomination to being a "fully organized church." As Jeren watched me scrambling to gather some stuff that got overlooked during our lighting-quick tear-down today, he might've wondered about the fully organized description. Basicially, this change in our status reveals that we're growing up as a church. The CON waits a few years to organize to make sure the new church has reached the point of being self-sustaining. It was also good for people who aren't real familiar with our denomination to hear Jeren's description of our church's mission. To summarize, the CON describes themselves as a Christian people, a Holy people and a Missional people.

I scheduled Jeren to preach on today's passage (Matthew 18:15-35) exactly one year ago. After sailing some rough relational waters last week, this message couldn't have been more timely. As I listened, God brought to mind some forgiveness I needed to be offering. Jeren told me afterwards that after 12 years of being a lead pastor he has some past wounds that still require conscious decisions to forgive. He described forgiveness as "a decision and a process." Today's message was probably one of the best ever delivered at TFC. Not only because of Jeren's incredible teaching ability but because of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; both in guiding me to schedule Jeren to preach on that passage on this day and in guiding Jeren in his preperation and delivery.

To listen to Jeren's message, click here.

Just one more reminder that this is God's church and he'll be faithful to guide, empower and lead TFC if only we'll listen and be obedient!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Trunk or Treat - year 2

Thankfully, the rain held off just enough to allow us to have another successful trunk-or-treat this year. I'm also thankful we chose to move up the start by a half hour from last year because by 7:30 it was freezing cold. I've gotta give Pastor Andy props again for making this a good event again. Being the incredibly wise and talented leaders that we are, we realize the importance of passing out info about TFC along with the candy. Of all the stuff they got last night, the "no perfect people allowed" flyer has the potential to lead one toward life transformation.

After spending 5 hours passing out flyers on Saturday and putting up all those signs, it was a good feeling to see all those people show up. It was also cool to see all the creativity that went into people's trunks. Two of my sister-in-laws, Molly and Casey put in a lot of creative work. Enough creativity that some of the kids were a bit freaked out by Molly's trunk! To see the entire photo album, click here.

The event was going so well that I was able to take off and drive to Aquinas HS for the showdown between #5 St. Thomas Aquinas and #1 (in Kansas 5A) GEHS. It was a hard-hitting, well-played football game in which GEHS came up short 12-6. But they'll meet again in the playoffs. I think I relieved a lot of stress cheering on their defensive and offensive lines. But the officiating (or lack thereof) got me worked up again. The tackles from Aquinas were holding on almost every play. At one point, I got a "70 is holding" chant going. The ref must've heard it and we all gave a good sarcastic cheer when he actually threw a flag. We obviously got in the kids' head, too (for which I feel a bit bad) because on the next play, he missed his hold (he wasn't even trying to block) on a run play and the GEHS d-lineman hit the fullback in the backfield. Really, really fun football game. Even though I wasn't 'pastoring' at trunk-or-treat, I love that I can 'pastor' at a football game because of all the relational contacts I've been able to build among the community.

Pastoring ain't for wimps!

There are those, who to quote Mark Driscoll, are attracted to ministry "because it's inside work with no heavy lifting." But I'm learning that if I'm going to be an effective leader, I've gotta 'grow a pair'. Part of growing in effectiveness is learning how to manage weeks like these. One of the ways I handle serious frustrations is talking with my good friend and fellow Church-planter, Russ Koelzer of Lifestream Christian. Russ is about 10 years older than me, so he can give me good perspective as he talks me off the ledge, which he's done several times. Russ told me at the GEHS game on Friday night, "well, the good news is that no matter what bad stuff may happen in the future, you can always say 'at least it wasn't as bad as that week in October of 08.'"

The week that Pastor Andy has christened "the week from hell" began on Sunday morning with some serious difficulties during set-up and ended with no one showing up for the service project on Saturday morning. In the middle of the week, I tried to mediate and navigate some very difficult interpersonal conflicts as well as handling some serious criticism that came from outside of TFC.

I have to share the one bright spot, though, it was Friday night's Trunk-or-Treat. We had a lot of families there and I heard several conversations about TFC. It almost didn't happen though, it was raining right at the beginning but thankfully, the rain stayed light and eventually let up.

I'm obviously not going into much detail but this week was emotionally and physically exhausting. I'm sure learning some things, though. 1) When you're serious about changing the world for Jesus, the enemy will fight like the beaten dog that the enemy is. As I was warned about by church planters my last year in seminary, the attacks always come from within. Misguided, but usually well-meaning fellow Christians who feel they need to correct your errors. Fighting amongst each other is the enemy's way of keeping us from what Jesus really wants us to be doing. I'm not, by the way, meaning from within TFC but from within the larger church community. 2) God uses these type of difficulties to strengthen my mettle as a leader. I'm learning how to navigate personal conflicts, learn from other's perspectives, own my own mistakes and how to 'grow a pair' and confront when necessary. 3) I'm guessing this week might be a 'worst case scenario' and since I've survived and even grown, I know I'll have the strength to face whatever may happen in the future. 4) I'm remembering to focus on the long term. The pastor who dedicated me as a baby retired last week. In the middle of this week, I was wondering how I could make another year let alone 35 more years. If I'm going to make it though, I need to find ways to de-stress my system and stick to healthy habits that strengthen me in holistic ways. Walking along the river and taking pictures helped me refocus on Thursday. Running, rest, prayer and scripture reading will give me the strength to get up every morning for 40 some years in a row.

As we keep doing the right thing, over and over and over, the positive results will continue to add up. It's going to take some guts of steal, though.

Atchison, KS

This week was my 2nd annual sermon planning retreat, where I study for and schedule my sermons for 2009. Just like last year, I spent my time at the Benedictine Monestary in Atchison. I was able to map out the entire year with the exception of 2009's Advent but I really wasn't able to study or pray much. Unfortunately, I spent half my time putting out some fires on the homefront. I was finally able to be decompressed, focused and in a studying stride by Friday afternoon. Since I'd been keeping track of potential series for 2009, mapping them out didn't require intense study.
I'm taking a bit of a different approach to my preaching for 2009, compared to 2008. I'm going to preach some series I got from other church's and authors for part of the year and I'll take about 16 weeks during the spring and summer to preach through Romans. I think it will be a 'balanced attack' for my preaching. About half the year doing some 'felt-needs' series inspired by other preachers much better than that than myself and about half the year preaching through an intense NT book.

I was able to walk around town and along the Missouri River and snap some pictures. Right after a difficult phone conversation, this helped me get refocused. Just like last fall, Atchison made me a bit homesick for my hometown of Fort Madison, IA. Both towns have beautiful old houses and trees, large cathedrals, brick streets and are nestled along a major river. I"ll post a few of my favorite pictures, if you want to see all of them, you can do so in this facebook album.

Gardner Community Theatre has resumed!

It doesn't seem that long ago we were lamenting the end of the Music Man but we've already started working on The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. At the last tryouts, I was wondering whether I even wanted to tryout for a part (and we know how that turned out) but today I was actually a part of the selection process - albeit a very small part. The director, Franci and the assistant director, Paula allowed me to sit in on their selection process and even wanted a bit of my input.
This show has two main parts for adults but all the rest of the roles are for kids. We considered casting me in a role with two lines, Reverend Perkins (that wouldn't be typecasting or anything) but instead I'm going to make a cameo as a fireman. I'm glad for it, as Franci said (because I kept telling her), "don't worry about practice, you can watch your football." Erin is going to be doing some speaking in this one, though.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has an incredible message! The Herdman's are the main characters; they're a dysfunctional and messy family that crashes the sacred Christmas Pageant. I'm going to strongly encourage my church to go see the show. The 'nice' church people are struggling with the 'messy' Herdmans' being a part of their church. Early in the show, the churched mom is listening to her son tell how bad the Herdman's are. She encourages him to simply avoid the family. The boy responds, "I do avoid the Herdmans. I go to church." The main question is whether 'messy' people can fit in at church. The show gets to the theme that Jesus was born into the world for 'messy' people. In reality, the only difference between 'clean' and 'messy' is that some are better at hiding their sin. We all need Jesus!

There's another line that gave me goosebumps every time I heard it. One of the Herdman girls (who bullies her way into the Mary role) is asking the church girl who's been Mary for years, "what's this play about it?"
The church girl responds, "Jesus."
The Herdman girl responds, "Everything here is."

Yep, that's what church is all about; messy people meeting Jesus!

To see the whole cast list, check out the GCT website.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oral Surgery

For the first time in my life, I was "put under" on Monday. I remember making small talk to the doctor and he gave me a shot, a mask being put on me and the next thing I knew, I was being walked into the recovery room. It was a really easy way to have all 4 wisdom teeth pulled.

I was pretty loopy after the surgery but I was just aware enough to enjoy my loopiness. The drugs removed my filter though, so I was more goofy than usual. As I lay in the recovery room, I was singing the drug-trip Beatles songs, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, etc.

My recovery has been pretty simple. I lay in bed for about 4 hours but was able to make an 8:00 meeting that lasted over two hours. I'm just about ready to eat normal food and I haven't needed any pain medicine. Of course, that could all change if the blood clots went out so I'm being careful. I did spend almost 5 hours today passing out flyers for Trunk-or-Treat, so I'm feeling pretty good.

Monday, October 20, 2008

How would a Christian vote?

Have you heard that Satellite Radio commercial that spoofs political adds? It basically says, "there are those that don't want you to be able to listen to more satellite stations... they also hate puppies and light flowers on fire." That's exactly what politics do, they paint with black or white, there are no shades of gray. One side pumps themsleves up as the savior of the world while their opponent is the devil. Since a person can only vote for one candidate, thus forcing them to vote against the other candidate, I guess that's a great political strategy. It is NOT however, the way the church is to work. It's sinful to allow the Kingdom of the World to dictate the rules by with God's people relate with one another. A person's political views do not deem them"good" or "evil." That's the way the world operates but the church rises above that game.

In the fall of 2004, when TFC was still in her infancy stages, the nation was being torn apart by Red and Blue states. I decided during that election season that TFC would never be labeled Red or Blue (which would exclude those of the opposite color), nor would we be torn apart by politics.

Now, we don't leave our commitment to Jesus outside the ballot box but neither do we claim that only one particular party is the "Christian" vote. We MUST base our votes upon the teachings of Jesus and we MUST trust our fellow Christ-followers who choose to vote differently than we do. That's a brief summer of Sunday's message. If you'd like to listen to or read my message from Sunday, you can do so here - link.

I'd also encourage you to read the following document. This was put together by Jeren Rowell (the District Superintendent for the Kansas City District) and Dr. Mark Hayse (who was on staff with Jeren at the time but is now a professor at MidAmerica Nazarene University). This is really good stuff! Jeren suggested I pass it out at church before the election.

Christians look out for the poor and powerless. God calls us to take responsibility for the hungry, the naked, the imprisoned, and the sick. The Christian ethic is not “every person for themselves” but “justice for all” and “compassion among all.” MATTHEW 25

Christians affirm the stewardship of creation. The earth is the Lord’s and God calls us to manage carefully its resources. The dominion God gives us is one of caretaking and tending, not of abuse. GENESIS 1

Christians work for peace, generosity and equality. God has greatly blessed America, and with our privilege comes a holy responsibility to bless and serve the global community. MATTHEW 5-7

Christians practice economic responsibility. This includes the avoidance of lavish and unnecessary spending, the reduction and avoidance of debt, and willingness to give to others. LUKE 12

Christians believe in absolute truth. God’s call to purity and morality does not change with public opinion. For example, the value of the marriage covenant is not subject to personal convenience or individual conviction. God has clearly established the nature of marriage as a lifetime covenant between one man and one woman. MARRIAGE: GENESIS 2, EPHESIANS 5. IMMUTABILITY: JAMES 1:16, HEBREWS 13:8

Christians affirm personal accountability. The image of God is stamped upon us all and gives us conscience. There is also validity in a community conscience and individuals within a society are accountable to this pervasive sense of right and wrong, or natural law. REVELATION 20

In the current political landscape, it is unlikely that one candidate or one party would embody each of these Christian principles in the measure that we might desire. But let us remember the words of Jesus to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.” There are some things Caesar cannot do which are the focus and work of the Kingdom of God as expressed through the church. We should never expect a secular government to do Kingdom work in place of the church. However, the church should always support politicians whose policy making and leadership will reflect Kingdom values. What are you willing to give (beyond your vote) that will help the Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven? As you have listened to the candidates, have your concerns merely been about your personal satisfaction, or have they been about the Kingdom of God?

Here are the two presidential candidates websites for you to do some research.
John McCain
Barack Obama

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Perfect Day for a Jog

I ran the Wadell and Reed Kansas City Half Marathon today. It was a beautiful day with perfect conditions for running. At about 60 degrees and no wind, I wasn't cold nor was hot; perfect weather. At one point, we made a turn slightly uphill and into the sunrise (it was about 8 AM at that point) and I could see dozens of wisps of breath vapor lit up by the sun, it was a beautiful sight.
The course was one of the most scenic jogs I've ever been on. Mile on went by the Sprint Center, mile 2 passed Union Station, mile 3 (after a nasty hill) passed the Liberty Memorial, miles 5-7 went through Westport and the plaza, mile 8 passed the Nelson Atkins, miles 9-11 went through gorgeous old neighborhoods with ponds, bridges and fountains, mile 11 took us right along the KC skyline, mile 12 went through the Jazz district and we ended in the freight house district. It was a great day to visit the beautiful parts of KC and I jogged slow enough to enjoy the sights.
The good news is I hit my goal of 2 hours (2:00:14 to be exact). The bad news was that I couldn't reach my secondary goal which was to hang with Josh Vance, Zach Pogemiller and Aaron Bonham. I gave up hanging with them by about mile 7. I trained really hard but I guess I don't have the speed to hang with those guys, they beat my by about 7 minutes. Of the 285 in our age group (30-34), I came in 171st.
I don't feel that bad but my leg muscles and knees are pretty sore. A half marathon is a great race; long enough to be a challenge but short enough to not make one completely miserable (as the Olathe Marathon did to me). If it wasn't so hard on my knees, I'd love to keep running halfs.
The best part of the race, as usual, was the training. I averaged 20 miles a week, putting me in good enough shape that I lost 10 pounds over the past 2 months while eating like a pig. Now, I need to eat like only a small pig to avoid putting all that back on. But that will have to wait until tomorrow; I spent this afternoon eating almost an entire pizza at the Other Place in Olathe while watching the Hawks beat up on the detestable Badgers.
A few different friends snapped some pictures, but I haven't gotten them yet, maybe I'll post them when I get them.
I'm going to bed early because my body is quite worn out.
I just posted this picture. It was snapped by a friend of mine whose wife was running as well. He had just taken his spot to watch his wife finish when he saw me. He was just able to squeeze into the crowd and quickly take the shot.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Life Motto

This is it, this is what my life is all about. This is how I try to lead TFC.
I'd heard this many times before, but I read it again on Saturday night and I was overwhelmed with emotion. The line that I highlighted toward the end lead me into a time of prayer for "the one of them, two of them, ten of them."

I Stand by the Door by Sam Shoemaker
I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world-
It is the door through which people walk when they find God.
There's no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind people,
With outstretched, groping hands.
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it ...
So I stand by the door.
The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for people to find that door--the door to God.
The most important thing any person can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,
And put it on the latch--the latch that only clicks
And opens to the person's own touch.
People die outside that door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter—
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it--live because they have not found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him ... So I stand by the door.
Go in, great saints, go all the way in--
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics--
It is a vast roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms.
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture in a little farther;
But my place seems closer to the opening ...
So I stand by the door.
There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them
For God is so very great, and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia,
And want to get out. "Let me out!" they cry,
And the people way inside only terrify, them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled
For the old life, they have seen too much:
Once taste God, and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving--preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door,
But would like to run away.
So for them, too, I stand by the door.
I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was Before they got in.
Then they would be able to help
The people who have not, yet even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God,
You can go in too deeply, and stay in too long,
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from people as not to hear them,
And remember they are there, too.
Where? Outside the door-- Thousands of them, millions of them.
But--more important for me-- One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it. "I had rather be a door-keeper ..."
So I stand by the door.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Our trip to East Lansing

Last weekend, Erin and I took a short trip to the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing for the Iowa-MSU football game. I say short trip because we got into the Detroit Airport at 11:00 on Friday night and had to back there by 4:00 on Sunday morning.
MSU is the 9th Big Ten campus I've visited and I have to say it might be the most scenic campus of all that I've seen. In fact, some of the MSU people kept bragging that they have the greenest campus in the conference. I don't know if they're proud of their foliage or simply want to promote their school colors (green and white) but it was certainly scenic.
A river winds through campus, the sorority houses were quite beautiful and the downtown area had a nice, college-town type of feel, with unique shops and restaurants. After walking around the campus after the game, we spent about an hour in a neat little shop called, "Unique Books." We love places like that. MSU also has one of the nicest stadiums in the conference. The fact that Iowa and MSU aren't rivals (they're one of my other favorite Big 10 teams) made it a bit more relaxed, too. Since it was homecoming, there was all kind of stuff happening on the campus.
The game much left to be desired, however. Once again, Iowa completly dominated the line of scrimmage but stupid turnovers cost us the game. There was a HS coach sitting behind me and he was dumfounded as to how Iowa could be the far superior team but manage such creative ways to give away the game. The Iowa fans were obviously down after the game but the MSU fans weren't too happy, either because they knew they shouldn't have won. At least the game was entertaining and we enjoyed doig the I-O-W-A chant after our lone touchdown.
While it was a short trip, it was good to spend the weekend with my sweet wife and to see a unique part of the midwest.
If you want to see the entire picture album, you can do so at my facebook account. link