Thursday, January 24, 2008

It may be a while till I am on the PBA tour...

Not a lot to write about this week, but I thought I would share something that struck me as funny this week.

This Monday was the MLK Jr. Holiday for most of us. My Wife and kids had the day off from school and Monday's are my usual day off so we decided to do some family things on Monday. One of the things we did was go bowling.

Vancouver Wa has a pretty large population of blind people, at least it seems so to me. I see more blind people here in the malls and in the community than any other city I have lived in. I assume that it is because for over 50 years the Washington State School For The Blind has been located in Vancouver. It's truly inspiring to see people without, or with very little eyesight overcome obstacles those of us with sight take for granted. Anyway... in the lane next to us at the bowling alley were three blind people bowling. Not all of them were completely blind. At least one of them could tell what pins were still standing by looking very closely at the scoring monitor at the table. (The days of scoring on a piece of paper are long gone my friends) It was fascinating to watch them bowl and help each other by saying "The # 3 and 4 pin are still up" and have them throw a ball and hit the # 3 and 4 pins.

Anyway... as in most bowling allies, now your scores are projected on a screen for God and everyone to see. When we were done, it dawned on me that I got beat at bowling by a blind guy. To add insult to injury our lane had the bumpers up for my 7 and 10 year old and I still didn't score as high as the blind guy in the lane next to me. I'm not sure if that is a testament to how good the guy in the lane next to me was at bowling... or how much I suck at it... or a little of both, but I just thought I'd share my public humiliation with you.

Have a good week friends!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Writing a good story...

Hi friends,

Well, as I write this, I’m sitting in the terminal of Portland Intl. Airport waiting to board a flight to Houston, and then to Fayetteville Arkansas to attend the New Congregational Leadership Institute. (cool name huh?) Since I am just sitting here watching planes take off and land, I figured I’d do something constructive, and add a little something to my blog since it has been a number of weeks since I have put anything up (Since before Christmas).

I have written a few things but decided not to post them up on the Blog (at least for a while) I need some time to see if some of my written thoughts are a little too personal to share with the world.

Anyway, I thought I would share a little bit of something I’ve been rolling around in my head for a while. I have mentioned before that one of my favorite authors is a guy by the name of Don Miller who lives across the river in Portland, I have met him once and he seems like a good enough guy in person as well. One of the things I appreciate about Don is that he has a pretty well developed theology of story. Even before I read any of Don’s books, or heard any of his presentations, I was working on this idea of God/story/life on my own. Don has given me a few more handles to grab a hold of on this topic.

It seems to me that every good story has some elements in it that make it good no matter what culture you are a part of. A Hero (or protagonist), a desire, passion or a goal of some kind, some conflict that causes change either for good, a comedy, or for bad, a tragedy, and then some climax that resolves the story. It seems that God kinda wires us to resonate with those elements. They reflect something in our own lives and story. I was talking to someone who said she thought the story of her life was happiness, I think we all want happiness, and joy, but that is a way boring story. It seems that the conflict is the place where the life is in any good story. The change that happens to our protagonist, or to us in our story.

I was listening to a podcast from Mars Hill church in Mich. and Don happened to be the speaker that Sunday. Lo and behold, he was speaking on this topic of faith and story. One thing jumped out at me as I was listening. Don commented that many good authors or screen writers will write the climax first, then figure out how our protagonist gets there. It got me thinking about story and life... What do I want my climax to be? Don joked about it, he said “Don gets a new Volvo... But that's a boring story” So I have been thinking a lot about what the climax of my story is.. and how am i getting there.

I hope your stories are full of life and love and spirit. Have a great week friends