Archives for category: health

The theme for the upcoming Idea Camp in Las Vegas is sex.

Oh boy.

For many of us in the church, myself included, this is a really tough topic. Talking about it can be awkward, embarrassing, or confusing. Throw on top of that the vast amounts of Christians who struggle with pornography and sexual-based sin, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for sweeping this conversation under the rug as fast as possible.

However, I deeply appreciate the leadership of Charles Lee (founder of the Idea Camp) in being willing to go there because these conversations need to happen. Sex shouldn’t be some shameful thing (no matter how badly our culture has skewed things); in the light of Christ and His redemption, it can and should be a beautiful thing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Eugene Cho, in a recent post, asks the question: Why is being a pastor so unhealthy? He quotes a New York Times article, which says, “Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen. Many would change jobs if they could.”  The picture in his follow-up post, death by ministry, looks even bleaker.

As someone who has been in vocational church ministry for awhile now, I can testify to the unique challenges faced by pastors and church staff.  However, I think it’s also pretty fair to say that almost every job is stressful.  Whether it’s unrealistic expectations, difficult co-workers, or burdensome bosses, most work environments have more than their fair share of pressure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Via the Seoul Eats blog, I just couldn’t resist re-posting this photo. So funny. So icky.

I know Swine Flu is pretty serious, but this quote is just too funny:

Plus I heard they feed the Korean pigs Kimchi. Kimchi is the cure all for everything. Apparently that’s what kept the Avian Flu away, so I don’t think the swine flu has any chance.

If we’re going to have to start wearing masks around town, forget those fancy-pants designer masks, I’m totally going to wear this one.

In the meantime, a visual to help keep us Swine Flu-free [via Joon Mo Kang]:

Part three of an ongoing series of reflections about my Idea Camp experience (feel free to check out part one and part two)…

After I came home from The Idea Camp, my wife commented on how completely my inner geek had been unleashed.  “I had no idea,” she said to me, shaking her head.  It’s true — I spent a good deal of the weekend bathed in the warm glow of a small army of MacBooks running TweetDeck.

I definitely experienced firsthand what Charles Lee wrote, “Social networking is more than a nice tool, it’s cultural architecture.”  For me, tech facilitated friendship.  In some cases, I was able to connect with friends who I had only known through the blogosphere; in others, I met people face to face and have since been connected online.  In both cases, the transition from online to offline friendship was pretty seamless.  Gives me some hope for facilitating online/offline friendship and community in our church.

In terms of participation, tech opened doors for people to be involved in many different ways.  As DJ Chuang observes, The Idea Camp was a great venue for connecting the online and offline worlds, “We had as many people online as in-person at the event, Q&A was interaction with both onliners and offliners, relationships initiated online came together in person, etc.”

On a personal level, it was so encouraging to gather with like-minded friends who are asking similar questions and seeking to build God’s kingdom in their local communities. Working in church ministry has an isolating effect, and sometimes it’s good to get together with people who are thinking in the same direction just to know that you’re not crazy. I heard that same refrain recently from Mike Bishop, author of What is Church?, in describing the close friendship he has built with a group of people around the country that started with the question, We’re not crazy, are we?

… and yet so far!

I recently heard this story on Morning Edition on NPR:

Scientist Douglas Prasher isolated a glowing jellyfish protein gene. When he lost his research funding, three other scientists built on that work. In October, it was announced that two U.S. and one Japanese scientists had won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

The crazy this is, after Prasher lost his funding he ended up driving a courtesy van for a living.  But, perhaps even crazier, he says he’s happy doing it.  According to him, research is sort of a lonely enterprise.  However, driving a van gives him the opportunity to connect with people all day long and hear their stories.  Then again, maybe that’s just the story he has to keep telling himself to keep from losing his mind over being that close to winning a Nobel Prize!

There’s sort of a happy ending to this story:

The U.S. scientists who won the prize this week invited Prasher and his wife to Stockholm for the Nobel ceremony. They will thank him in their acceptance speeches and will pay for the trip.

At the risk of simply turning headsparks* into a Jason Evans quote machine, I am feeling the resonance of these words more & more these days:

Ironic to some possibly, punk rock kept my spirituality alive over the years

I’m feeling church a lot more like an indie band driving a beater van for a short tour of neighboring states rather than some A&R guy looking to sign the next big thing for some pyrotechnic arena blowout (if that makes any sense at all).

I think I’m just glad that Jason went with me to see Jaguar Love recently. Despite my wife’s merciless teasing over my giddiness at seeing shows with Jason, it’s so much more fun to catch a show with a friend. While we could have done without some of the borderline Black Crowesish organ breakdowns, it did my heart good to relax, watch the show and then hang out for a bit with J.

I wish I was more literate and/or cultured. Most of the time, my reading consists of ESPN’s Page 2 and the back of the Apple Jacks box in the morning.

These days, however, I have a nice stack of books I’m working through. Here’s what’s on my nightstand these days:

Read the rest of this entry »