Monday, June 30, 2003

The Hulk, LA and Central Ohio

I saw the Hulk tonight. It was nothing like I expected. I think that it was good. Ang Lee took some bold chances with the editing. The CG looked so bad on TV, but seemed to work within the film. I'm not sure what the message of the film was, but I'm pretty sure it had one...which is a good thing for a comic movie.

Being so far away from home has made me realize how close I live to LA...does that make sense at all? So, I'm thinking about taking some acting classes in LA this fall once a week to see what its like.

Columbus, Ohio. That's were I grew up and where I am tonight. It is the twenty-fifth biggest city in America...just behind #24, Las Vegas. What has struck me this time:

The insane amount of restaurants per capita. Everywhere you look, there's another Chilis, Applebees, etc.

There are no movies after 10 pm, which is kind of odd to me.

There's a $50 limit to cash back at the grocery store.

The national gay pride march is here this week-50,000 people. It seems so conservative to be so...not conservative.

Baja Fresh is here now...another restaurant but a taste of home.

The movie theater that opened my junior year of high school looks rather aged and worn...what does that say about me?

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Notes from the Road

States I've been in since Monday:

Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Kansas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio...where I am tonight.

Miles driven since Monday:


Total miles on the new minivan:

2, 479

Today I buried my Grandfather. I was the "minister" but I so desperately wanted to be the grandson. I was able to help lots of people. That was good. I don't mind helping people. I just want to be a normal guy who loves Jesus and helps people. I'm tired of being seen as a professional pastor. I used to love it...not more than four years ago I was proud of it as a profession, but something has changed. Its more than a profession. Being a professional minister doesn't even make sense. A pro-servant? A pro-shepherd? A pro-missionary?

Don't get me wrong. I like working for Apex...I am so grateful for all of the people who sacrifice so that I can devote so many hours to church planting and encouraging church leaders. I just wish that I could explain to everyone that "my friends give me money so that I can devote my time to our common mission." Instead most people label me, for better or worse, as a pastor, or preacher (I got that a lot today in the hills of Kentucky) or a minister or whatever.

Speaking of pastor stuff, I was scheduled to speak at Central Christian in a few weeks, a big church in Vegas. I like speaking there because its fun to work the big room. It's a good dose of big church excitement and energy once a year so that I can remember why I like having church so much in Shad and Sherry's living room. I love being a part of a megachurch every 10-12 months. But...Central had to bump me for a prospective Sr. Pastor candidate. So, I'm both sad and relieved at the same time.

Ah life, one minute you're an up and coming minister and the next minute you want to spend your life with struggling minute you're packing your sesame street suitcase to spend the night with your Papaw, the next minute you're packing your family into a minivan to preside at his minute you are being strong at the funeral, the next minute you weep while typing a blog.

I love you, Papaw. I'm sorry that I didn't call you very often, but neither of us liked talking on the phone at all. I know that you stuggled with God...just like me. I hope that there is a literal heaven and I hope that you are there...I'm proud of you. You were a kind and gentle man. I don't know if I am that yet, but I want to be.

I conclude this blog with the exact words that my Papaw would say if he read the above paragraph...

Bulllllshit. (This was his way to say, "I love you too.")

Monday, June 23, 2003


My Grandfather, Clifford Maddox, died last night at 9:15 eastern time. Both my mother (his daughter) and I are only children, so I was his only grandchild and the boys were his only great-grandchildren. My grandma, "Nanny", is still alive. She has asked me to do the funeral. I would rather just attend...but I'm planning on doing it for her.

So...we are leaving today in the new minivan on an 18 day journey into the heartland of America. We had planned on leaving three weeks from now, but decided to go now to make the funeral. I will be flying back to Vegas in a few weeks to speak at Central Christian, then returning to Indiana to drive the family home.

We'd appreciate your prayers for travel and for both mine and Debbie's family. (We will also be seeing Angie, Deb's sister-in-law, who is battling brain cancer.)

Life is about to get very real. Love you all.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Joe's Crab Shack

Went there for dinner tonight. I hate it. I don't know why I go back. Too loud. Too extroverted. Too much of that "I-know-your-food-is-ready-but-first-let-me-do-a-ten-minute-line-dance-to-Wild-Wild-West" attitude.

Let's get crackin'

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

It had to happen someday...

Today I purchased a mini-van. I feel obligated to pretend that I hate mini-vans on the grounds that they are too suburban or too boring or too middle-agish...but my family could use a I bought a mini-van...

I hope you all will respect me in the morning.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Am I Behind?

We are all settling into the new house. Now four of the six of us grown-ups are blogging:

Me, Kelly, Kenny and Doug.

I feel behind. Behind at work, at home, with Saga, in life...I'm 30 and should be settling into a career or something, but I am remarkably less settled than I was when I was 23...I was 30 when I was 23 and now I'm 23 when I'm 30. My life is all bass-ackwards. But I must like it that way for some reason.

Going to have Cheyl's mexican feast now. Peace to you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Hope International University

I'm leaving on a jet plane (cue music) tonight to teach a class at Hope. The class concerns church planting in a post-modern culture. It should be fun. I'll be back late tomorrow night.

Friday, June 06, 2003


Jasper is a friend of mine from The Second City Training Center. We had lunch yesterday and it evolved into a very deep conversation regarding Christianity. What struck me the most about our conversation was one sentence that Jasper said. "I think the problem with modern Christianity is that the church is married to politics, and capitalism, and the American Dream." I was blown away at how obvious this was to a guy who hasn't been in the church system. I told him that when I say those things within the church I often get attacked. "Sounds like you're a prophet of sorts. Do they still have those? Maybe your a prophet with a little "p."

We talked some more about Buddhism. He's very interested the inward strength and peace associated with it...and so am I at some level. He encouraged me and said that he wished he had a rudder in his life like my faith was to me. At the end he told me that I was funny and should keep acting. We both seemed to leave a little deeper and more joyful than when we came into the restaurant.

I'm not sure, but I think we might have been to church without realizing it.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

First Normal Day

Today is my first day back to work after the big move. Overall things are going very well. Still lots of boxes and minor issues to sort out...but a great experience thus far overall. I have loads of e-mails and phone calls to return, so be patient if you are one of them! Peace to you and yours.