Month: June 2009
I was talking with someone today about the fact that leaders are weird. A leader is someone who lives in the same context as others but thinks differently about it than most everyone else. Socially speaking, this can come across in awkward ways.
It was John Maxwell himself who introduced the whole idea of “leadership” to me. I studied it for my Master’s degree. I have tried to live it out in the past 10 years of ministry. I feel like I’m just now coming to grips with what practices are important, and why leaders act the way they do. It is because leaders are weird that it can never be about the leader. Amen? May God be honored by godly leadership that, above all personality quirks, points people to Him.
After 19 months of faithful service, finger taps, phone calls, e-mails, texts, pictures and a drop or 2, my iPhone has, sadly, bit the dust.
I watched it happen — slowly and painfully. First, the home button stopped working. This phenomenon actually started yesterday and was a hint that things were not looking good for my plans to have it hold on until January of 2010. Like a Windows user, I naturally chalked this up to the need to reboot. Alas, this did not remedy the problem, again, like a Windows user. Then I plugged it in to reload its system software, as someone mentioned that the 3.0 update was causing some 1st generation iPhones to overheat.
And overheat it did.
Upon plugging in my iPhone to my cheese grater Mac G5, I smelled burning. Yup– it was coming from ol’ iPhone. I unplugged it and, thinking that perhaps a piece of gum wrapper foil or something had become lodged, gave it a gentle thud against the desk.
This wasn’t a good idea.
I watched my screen slowly — painfully slow — go from a regular e-mail screen to a greyish/white screen. It wasn’t a blink, it was a gruesome moment of watching an old friend slowly slip back into the arms of Steve Jobs. It’s sitting on the desk now, on a sort of Universal Serial Bus Life Support, waiting for me to pull the plug.
It’s horrendous, I know. It’s also a little too much like real life. What can I say? It’s the best phone I’ve ever owned, an extension of my pocket and a harvester/keeper of all pertinent information. And here it is, staring back at me, comatose, waiting for the inevitable.
They make this look so much easier on TV.
And here I sit. I’m not sure what to do next.
Being at a camp gives you perspective. I didn’t even actually camp — you know, with the traditional tent, sleeping bag and interaction with horrible, horrible nature*. A friend and I merely showed up, ate camp food, talked to campers, sang some songs and left to go back to our non-camping themed homes. But I experienced some camping joy when I saw high school students fully engaged in Worship. I was pretty thrilled to have conversations with teens about God and living the life. There are a few who are going back home to situations that push against their faith in ways we couldn’t imagine. Their courage and commitment (and, in some cases, recommitment) to the Lord are amazing.
*Not all nature is horrible; just snakes and bitey squirrels.
I’m speaking/worship leading at a camp this week with a buddy. Last night was the kickoff, where 76 9-12th graders and their parents swarmed the campground, ate a meal together, and then said their goodbyes for the week. It is a ceremony which involves hugs, hamburgers, hot dogs and camp juice.
Mmmm… camp juice. So red. So sweet. So stainy to the upper-lip.
Don’t ask for it at a restaurant. No store has it in stock. You can’t even make it at home, since the ingredients for camp juice can only be gotten at a camp ground. It’s the definition of delicious, the concoction of camping, the liquid of life at camp — it is truly the flavor of the week, that mix of fruit, sugar and lake water that has (probably) been boiled. It is an energy supplement and an antibiotic, giving campers the needed strength to run the ropes course while, at the same time, fighting off the effects of Malaria.
I’m rejoicing because of camp juice, yes — but even better is the fact that some campers made some big Spiritual decisions last night — what a great way to start a week at camp.
A brief bit of audio following a sedation dentistry appointment.
I sat in a dentist’s chair for over 5 hours yesterday, though I can only remember bits and pieces totaling 30 seconds, thanks to a powdery substance placed under my tongue which was preceded by my signature on a release form. I don’t remember the name of the medication that brings about amnesia, but that’s okay. I guess it worked then, eh? I don’t remember the fillings, the crown, the bridge or the dental banter which, in the past, has always given me bad dreams. “Okay, Robert. We’re going to use the gouger here to make sure your nerve endings are still able to respond to stimulus”, etc. I go to an excellent dentist now, so I’m sure that this never came up, though, if it did, I sure don’t remember it.
From what I’m told by my lovely wife Emily, this sedation dentistry has its own side effects at home after the procedure is done and, well, forgotten. For example, she reports that I looked at our third child, Zachary, and asked aloud “now, which one is this?”. I guess I also declared –repeatedly– that I was way more aware and “with it” this time than last, so I should probably do things like drive a car, clean out the gutters, call distant relatives and go down to the post office and help them sort mail. I was like a 300 lb infant playing around the stairs. What would they have really done had I decided to put my weight into it and go get some Ice Cream? This is why I believe that some families should be given some sort of dart gun that they use when the zoo has a breach, just in case. Fortunately, Emily is a conscientious, wonderful and loving woman who I can trust with everything, including a forgotten Friday.
Now… if only I could remember where I put my keys.
A visit to WalMart before a much longer visit to the dentist. Recorded in a parking lot. Much to my embarrassment, the 1993 webernet term “chat room” is used.