Chickens!

Our family has been pondering the possibility of a pet for some months now. Our children are getting old enough to be able to share in the responsibility and have brought up the subject from time to time. We all thought that a dog would be a good possibility, though Nicole and I could never come to an agreement about whether that dog would ever be allowed inside the house or not. Well, to clarify, I was the only one in our household who felt strongly about a dog being an outside animal. Our house doesn’t currently have a fence, so that was a bit of a sticking point as well. In any case, we had considered the possibility of chickens as a bit of a wild idea. As some ideas do, this one came into reality last Saturday.

We had a free Saturday as a family and there were a few items I had on a list to track down for our home. We decided to explore a bit as a family and headed out on a looking trip to Tractor Supply Co. where it was also Chick Days. It did not take us long to find the chicks in the middle of the store. One of the employees asked if we needed some help and we said we were interested in hearing more about chickens. It turns out that she was a big fan of chickens and shared a lot of information about how much her children enjoyed them, how low maintenance they were, and that there was a deal on coops at the other Tractor Supply Co. in town. It was a good enough pitch that we headed to the other store.

There we asked for the coops that were on sale and found ourselves speaking to the manager who took us to the back to show us the ones that he had on sale and even offered us additional money off so that he could clear out some space in the store’s back room. We took a few minutes to discuss amongst ourselves and came to the conclusion – This is it! We have talked about it for a while and this was a great opportunity. The manager helped us with the heat lamp, feed, feeder and watering equipment. We decided on the coop and paid for it all.

At that point, we thought that the equipment wouldn’t do us much good without the animals so we headed back to the other store where they had chicks for sale. We spoke with the same employee again who picked out eight chicks for us, recommended pine shavings for bedding and sent us off with some encouraging words.

We unloaded all the things, took a break for lunch, and then set about making a secure space for them in our garage. Some spare sheets of wood that were left in the home ended up working great to put an enclosure together. It was a family project from beginning to end (recognizing we aren’t at the end yet…). We have all enjoyed watching, taking care of them, and resisting picking them up so they don’t get too stressed out while they are still young. There are many next steps from here, but for today…

We have chickens!

Adventures in Ministry – April 23, 2009

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a part of a worship design retreat. It was a varied group of campus pastors, worship venue leads, pastors and others that came and went over the course of the weekend. It was time away from normal settings at Heartland Presbyterian Center – close to Parkville, Missouri.

The senior pastor had been brainstorming an outline of sermon series through 2010. For each of the series we took a look at unifying elements:

  1. Objective – aim of the series
  2. Hook – The ‘so what’; The thing that draws people in
  3. Tone – The feel, the emotional center of the series

I found it to be an overall effective exercise. We gained clarity around series’ through the end of 2009.

Adventures in Ministry – February 16, 2009

It has been an adventure leading the Vibe worship service on Sunday mornings in the Student Center at Resurrection’s central campus. I love the feel, the people and the music. Yesterday,  I had the joy to baptize the third infant in that service. It is great. To get a taste of the service, check out this video.

Adventures in Ministry – December 15, 2008

Today I am introducing what will become a regular part of my blog – Adventures in Ministry. There are all kinds of adventures that take place in ministry and from time to time, I am going to reflect on and share some of the more meaningful, wacky or inspirational adventures that I have had in my life in ministry.

This fall I have had several adventures being the on call chaplain overnight at Saint Luke’s Hospital as a part of my clinical pastoral education program. I am finished with overnight on call for 2008, but have five more in the spring before graduation. Part of this role is carrying a pager and responding if there is ever a trauma in the ER. This has sometimes involved a page while sleeping with the message that a patient will be arriving in three to five minutes, followed by me getting out of bed to the sirens of the ambulance arriving and making my way to the trauma room.

My main responsibility is to be a liason between any family, if present, and the medical team. Sometimes there is family, sometimes not. I am nearly always amazed at the teamwork of the trauma team working to address anything from a car wreck, stabbing, falling down stairs and others.

This has been a valuable part of my learning experience in CPE and helps put calls that I receive at other times and places in perspective.

Wild Goose Chase

“Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit – An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose'” (Mark Batterson). This is the story behind the title for Mark Batterson‘s latest book, Wild Goose Chase. About Mark from the back cover of the book:

Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of Washington D.C.’s National Community Church, widely recognized as one of America’s most innovative churches. Mark is the author of the bestselling In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and a widely read blogger. He lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Lora, and their three children.

In Wild Goose Chase, Batterson has created an excellent text seeking to inspire the reader to step into the adventure of chasing the Wild Goose.  The main thrust of the book is to address cages that we find ourselves in that prevent us from chasing the Holy Spirit and God’s dream for our lives. Batterson covers the cages of: responsibility, routine, assumptions, guilt, failure and fear. Batterson assesses each of these with a refreshing mix of biblical narrative, personal experience, perspectives from church history, and stories from National Community Church. Each chapter closes with hope, next steps and probing questions for self-reflection.

I thoroughly enjoyed Wild Goose Chase, finding it inspiring and encouraging. Batterson writes well and uses solid examples from both inside and outside the church world. I was struck by Batterson’s use of scripture throughout the book – both in narrative examples and subtle endnoted references. This technique was quite effective and it reminded me of the style of some of John Wesley’s writing.

Wild Goose Chase will be released on August 19 and you can pre-order a copy from Amazon here or find out more about the book including a free download, preview chapter and Mark’s 10 Steps to Setting Life Goals at chasethegoose.com.

I will go back to Wild Goose Chase in the future and I heartily recommend it to those seeking to find or rediscover the adventure of pursuing God’s dream.