Media Age Business Tips From U2

IN pop culture, nothing lasts forever. But U2 is coming close.

On the surface, the formula U2 used to send 20,000 fans into sing-along rapture at Madison Square Garden last Tuesday night was as old as rock 'n' roll: four blokes, three instruments, a bunch of good songs. Add fans, cue monstrous sound system, light fuse and back away.

But that does not explain why, 25 years in, four million people will attend 130 sold-out shows this year and next that will gross over $300 million and how their most recent album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," has already sold eight million copies.

For that, you have to look at U2 less as a band than as a multimillion-dollar, multinational media company, one of the smarter ones around.

Read more at NYTimes (Registration is required and free)


Interviews and Dreams

Johnathan Wendel has the dream job of professional gamer and he anticipates making $200,000 this year. (Full article on MSN) While that would be a very cool job it would not be my dream job.

Over the past three months I have been trying to figure out what the future holds. Since I don't play with or trust Tarot cards, it's been fuzzy at times. I am still pursuing the chaplaincy and I think it would be a very good fit for my gifts and what I emphasize in ministry. But even if all my plates keep spinning and I jump through all the hoops, it wouldn't start until June.

I talked with a friend the other day who said his church will begin looking for a youth pastor soon. We have been friends since fourth grade and it sounds like a good situation but nothing is official yet but he does want to give the search committee my resume when they begin looking. The current youth pastor will be leaving to become an official "Associate Pastor" at a new church, he seems to be on the road to a REAL ministry.

I've got a cool interview this Friday with the biggest homeless ministry in San Antonio for a new chaplain position. They received a grant from the Lilly Foundation to begin this position. This person would deal only with the spiritual needs of the people they help because there is an entire staff that provides physical help, money for bills, food, etc. I could see myself doing this and I'm looking forward to talking to them and learning more about the position.

I got a call from another friend, while writing this post, about some possible churches. We have a mutual friend who networks youth workers and is now consulting churches about their youth ministries.

I had my version of a dream job interview fairly recently. It seems I'll get to go the next step with them but nothing is officially in motion. It's kind of strange having your dream dangled in front of you. I have told a few friends some details about this job because it excites me and so they can pray for us. I e-mailed Tony about the fears and coolness of even being considered because he shared about his dream interview with his home church. He understood and it was good to chat with somone who's gone through it.

So we wait. Over the last few months I think I have surrendered my dreams as I consider the future and my family. It'd just be cool if the dream happened after giving up on the possibility but if it doesn't, God is in Control and I'll keep trusting him.

Any And All Prayers Are Appreciated.

Driver’s License on Internet

Well, the information on the Internet is getting pretty scary. Did you know you can look at your driver’s license ¯ or anyone else’s? Just put in your name and see your license, complete with picture. This may convince you to change your hair style. 48days newsletter)


C. S. Lewis' Last Letter about Narnia

Less than one month before he died in 1963, C. S. Lewis wrote the following letter to a young girl who wanted to know if any other Narnia books were going to be produced. It turned out to be a fond and fitting farewell to all of his devoted readers.

Dear Ruth,

Many thanks for your kind letter, and it was very good of you to write and tell me that you like my books; and what a very good letter you write for your age!

If you continue to love Jesus, nothing much can go wrong with you, and I hope that you may always do so. I'm so thankful that you realized the "hidden story" in the Narnia books. It is odd, children nearly always do, grown-ups…hardly ever.

I'm afraid the Narnia series has come to an end, and am sorry to tell you that you can expect no more.God bless you.

Yours sincerely,

C.S. Lewis

From PreachingToday.com


Quotes for Today

If you like quotes, I started a blog about a week ago and the goal is to simply post a quote a day.

Len's Quotes Blog


We Vant to Pump, You Up!

So for the past three months I've been working out and trying to get in shape for the chaplaincy so I can pass the physical test.

I don't have a gym membership but I do have a professional treadmill that a friend gave to us and a $350 dumbell set that another friend gave me.

I've been using both of those for the majority of my exercise. I went to a friends house yesterday who has a weight set and I was able to discover what my max benchpress is.

It was 230 pounds. I worked out in hgh school for my different sports and the best I ever did was 240. So I lost 10 pounds in 18 years. I can live with that. Now to keep losing weight so I can reach the required weight limit for the military. I've now lost 43 pounds total and I'd like to lose about 30 more.


Convention Envy

I miss not being at the convention this year. 7,500 youthworkers. What a party and what a great time of enjoying being with some of God's greatest people. The crazy ones who believe that students are important and worth the effort and incovenience.

I miss meeting friends from around the country and hanging out without the pretense and enjoying each other's company. I miss hearing "the rules" and being encouraged not just in youth ministry but in my love and passion for God. I have friends who do that for me locally and elsewhere but it's just different amidst the glorious madness.

I always loved watching the "surprise youth worker" arrive and hearing their stories. I'll have to live vicariously through those blogging about the NashVegas NYWC.


BodyPrayer Review

I must be honest and confess that I have been looking forward to reading this book. The concept intruiged me since I first read about Pagitt leading the National Pastors Convention in a silent prayer using only body postures.
The book shows us thirty different prayer postures along with brief instructions, a poem that can be used as a prayer or a guide for each prayer and space to journal your experience.

This book is a natural overflow of the "Church: Re-Imagined." My favorite concept of Doug's previous book was how he expressed that we should create new spiritual disciplines for our age and pass them on to the next generations. Tony Jones' "Sacred Way" looks back for developing spiritual disciples and Pagitt's book creates a spiritual discipline. It is the practical side of the church that is emerging.

The only thing that I'd like more suggestions on would be the prayer time during the prayer posture. Is the posture the prayer in itself? Is it a reminder of the attitude we are to hold to during the prayer? I think it is both and I don't think Pagitt would care, as a pastor I'm guessing he just wants people to develop a stronger prayer life in ways they are comfortable with.

I would be comfortable with most of the thirty different postures. The ones I wouldn't be comfortable with reflect my personal preferences rather than some theological rationale. I love the idea behind this little book, to incorporate our whole self into our worship and using the physical to remind us of the spiritual.

If you are fluent in the emergent conversation, this book should appear on your Christmas wish list because you will enjoy it and probably create your own prayer postures. This is not a "Prayer Meeting Activities" sort of book. You can incorporate them into your corporate woship settings or youth ministry meetings but you should practice them yourself before you make one of these prayer options your next "cool thing" or program.

Wierd Story from the NYPost

In other wayward-animal news, a sparrow knocked over 23,000 dominoes in the Netherlands, nearly ruining a world-record attempt, before it was shot to death.

The unfortunate bird flew through an open window at an exposition center in the northern city of Leeuwarden, where employees of a television company have worked for weeks setting up more than 4 million dominoes in an attempt to break the official record this Friday.

Only a system of 750 built-in gaps in the chain prevented the bird from knocking over most or all of the dominoes.

The sparrow was shot by an exterminator with an air rifle.


The Way My Life Feels

Trying to become a chaplain reminds me of this guy spinning plates.

Here are all of my plates that I must spin and keep spinning to become a chaplain.

1. Get 10 more Grad hours.

2. Be Ordained. Probably will happen in January at our new church. (I preached there this past Sunday. It was nice and I was able to help the pastor but it also gave the people a chance to know me.)

3. Get ecclesiastical endorsement.
Requires Personal Code of Ethics, Doctrinal Statement, Philosophy of Ministry, etc and takes around 3 months.

4. Lose 25-30 more pounds.

5. Run 2 miles under 18 minutes

6. Pass Physical Fitness Test (30 push ups in one minute & 30 sit ups in one minute.)

7. Paperwork and Essays for the Army once everything else is done.

I'm going to Austin tomorrow for an interview with the Office of Chaplaincy Relations Director for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

I'm enjoying reading Father Daniels So You Want to be a Chaplain? series.

What Youth Ministers Wish Their Senior Pastors Knew

Monday Morning Insight brings us another winner:

Pastor J writes...
After having been in youth ministry for over 10 years, I have had my share of great and not so great pastors to work with and be around. I have talked with many a youth pastor and shared over a table at Taco Bell (the ultimate YM hangout) the frustrations and laughs of pastors. Many just don’t “get” youth ministry and end up fighting us along the way. I have my top 10 of what Every Youth Pastor Wished Their Pastor Knew About Youth Ministry:

1. YM is not Adult Ministry – don’t expect it to act like it. YM is unpredictable as we deal with so many variables from teenagers, adults and school schedules.

2. YM is not about the numbers – true YM is about discipling and seeing teenagers lives changed for Christ. This is something that may not be seen sometimes for years to come. It is not about “How many we have”…

3. Because we are not in the office does not mean we are “taking time off”. We are out there in the trenches where the teenagers are.

4. Read the rest of the article


Yaconelli Flashback

Petty people are ugly people. They are people who have lost their vision. They are people who have turned their eyes away from what matters and focused, instead, on what doesn’t matter. The result is that the rest of us are immobilized by their obsession with the insignificant.

It is time to rid the church of pettiness. It is time the church refused to be victimized by petty people. It is time the church stopped ignoring pettiness. It is time the church quit pretending that pettiness doesn’t matter.

Pettiness has become a serious disease in the Church of Jesus Christ—a disease which continues to result in terminal cases of discord, disruption, and destruction. Petty people are dangerous people because they appear to be only a nuisance instead of what they really are—a health hazard.

The Wittenburg Door December 1984/January 1985


BodyPrayer Came Yesterday

Over a month ago Doug mentioned he was looking for people to review BodyPrayer : The Posture of Intimacy with God.

I'm happy that I was among "the chosen". Free books are always a good thing but I've planned on buying it since I first heard the concept.

The retreat in PA went very well. One of the talks was "Everyday Spirituality" and how we can and should turn everyday things into reminders of spiritual truths. So I'll be reading the book this week and then posting my thoughts. Since it's a book about BodyPrayer it'd be a shame to just read about the postures and not practice some of the postures.


Andrew inspired/challenged me:

Ten years ago
I was 26 and the associate pastor of youth ministry at Westerly Road Church in Princeton, NJ. The insider joke was you couldn't drop a hymnal without out hitting a Ph.D.

Five years ago
I was 31 and at the church in CT. It was the "golden time" of the ministry. For two years, nothing went wrong. Everything wasn't perfect but everything went well.

One year ago
I was enjoying the book being published with YS and after returning from the NYWC, where 5-6 people asked me to autograph their books, I was fired from my job at a lawn care company. Life is funny, isn't it?

Five yummy things
Toasted Garlic Bagel with Cream Cheese and Chives from Dunkin Donughts
Georgia Red Hot from Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield, CT
The Cheddar Cheezy from Chris Madrid's in San Antonio
Hot Wings from George's Roasters and Ribs in Princeton, NJ
Ice Cold Mellow Yellow

Five songs I know by heart
Elijah by Rich Mullins
All I Can Say by The David Crowder Band (Formerly known as The UBC Band)
Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2
When Love Comes to Town by U2
Hold Me Jesus by Rich Mullins

Five things I would do with a lot of money
Create a foundation to help youth workers.
Give money to friends who head independent ministries
Summer Trip to Euorope with Family
Live in New York City
Visit all 30 Baseball Fields in 30 days with my wife

Five places I would to escape to
Breckenridge, CO
Washington Square Park in New York City
Yellowstone National Park (Never been there)
The dream study in a future home

Five things I would never wear
Yankee's Gear
A Kilt with all due respect to Mike and Marko
An Old Navy Shirt (I try to avoid paying money to be a walking billboard for any company)
A Philadelphia Eagles Jersey
A University of Alabama Jersey

Five favorite TV shows
Boston Legal
Prison Break
Red Sox Games on NESN
Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Favorites of all time:
Hill Street Blues
Law & Order

Five things I enjoy doing
Losing weight
Snow Skiing
Playing Softball
Playing on the trampoline with my girls
reading books all day on a rainy day with my wife

Favorite toys
My Palm
Cell phone
Colored Pencils for my Bible
Green Arrow Mego (Favorite childhood toy that my wife bought for me off of Ebay for Christmas, last year)

Five people who get this ‘meme’
Friar Tuck
The Misfit


An Eternal Moment

I called the Army Chaplain Recruiter's office today to give them some basic information. My ACL surgery came up from 16 years ago. The Sgt. said, "That might be a red flag, it could keep you from getting in. I am not the one who decides but I wanted you to know that it could be an issue. We'll have to get your medical records and have someone look at them."

I was so depressed because there currently is no Plan "B". I had planned to walk a labyrinth today in San Antonio. I was angry, upset and weary of the ACL possiblity and not knowing what the next option could be for me and my family. I finally found the church, get out and I'm about to take my first step into the labyrinth when my cell phone rings.

It was the retired Army Chaplain that had called me over a year ago about the possibility of becoming a chaplain. We had talked last month as the Army was becoming the stronger possibility for me. He had planned to start calling once a month to check in on me and he felt like it was a good time to call.

It wasn't a good time, it was the perfect time and in my view, a divine appointment. He listened to my story and frustrations and he assured me that he would help me if the ACL ever became an issue, by making a call or two. He said if I was trying to become a paratrooper it would be an issue but as a chaplain, it shouldn't be.

I prayed the labyrinth and it was a great time of prayer and listening. This was the first time I had ever walked a labyrinth. Considering the timing of the phone call and the thirty minutes I had to be still, pray and listen, it was a good worship time.

I called a friend who I thought would appreciate my experience to share with him that Labyrinth's aren't necessarily evil. Maybe I should blame Marko and YS for my "dabbling" in Eastern Spiritual Practices.


Born in 1987

I graduated High School in 1987 so this years list makes me feel even older.

Millions of students entered college for the first time this fall. On average, these members of the Class of 2009 are 18 years old, which means they were born in 1987. Check the Beloit List for a wide-ranging view on the touchstone and benchmarks of a generation that has "...grown up with CNN, home computers, AIDS awareness, digital cameras, and the Bush political dynasty."

Here's the Beloit List

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