Consumer Quotes

Given that Advent Conspiracy is upon us, here are a couple of quotes to ponder:

“The commercialization of [Christmas] does not exemplify the secularization of society as is commonly assumed. Rather than a secular corruption of a Christian feast, the consumer activity around Christmas functions as the high holy day of a completely different religion, one centered on a consumer culture.” – Dell de Chant


“The people who are rebelling meaningfully don’t buy a lot of stuff.” – David Foster Wallace

Pray to Stay Awake

Over the years I have had times where it has been difficult to fall asleep. Not full on insomnia, but definitely long nights laying in bed wishing I was sleeping.

I prayed to help me fall asleep. Not because I am super spiritual and wanted to redeem the time. No, praying actually lulled me to sleep. Which has always made feel sort of bad.

But now I get up in the middle of night, every night, and sometimes I’m up for a while. My daughter seems to fall asleep best when she is walked. I walk around the house with her for 20-30 minutes until she is succumbs to deep slumber.

And I pray during those walks. Ironically, because it helps me stay awake now.

But also I sense the need to pray more regardless of sleep or no sleep. There are some big things to process through and some big dreams I/we have about the future. As a staff we reflected on this this week, and so I will continue to work on prayer even when it is not helping me stay awake or fall asleep.


I am tired. I don’t sleep enough these days. My left eyelid twitches uncontrollably most of the time (a sure sign of fatigue for me). I complain about a lot of things: traveling on the T, people who don’t get it, the frustrations of working for/in two organizations, mice, car trouble. I could go on, I’m sure.

But, life is good. I am so blessed. I am married to an amazing woman and we have a beautiful daughter. We live in a great apartment in a neighborhood we love. We have good friends. We are a part of a church on mission. We serve some amazing college students. We are extremely well taken care of by generous partners. We have a lot of great stories. We have an amazing extended family that cheers us on in so many ways. I could go on, I’m sure.




This year I spend most of my time at Boston University. I have loved every minute of reshaping our culture and community on this campus. I am especially proud of our leadership for the work they have done, for their faithfulness, and for their ability to lean into the future. Here’s some of my favorite pics from the year:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Shoveling Snow And Thoughts on Leadership Development

I’m not a huge college football fan. It’s probably 5th or 6th on the list of sports I care about. But my wife went to a big football school (USC) and so I’ve grown more interested over the years.

When it comes to the college game I lean towards the West Coast. I’d love to see Oregon win it all this year just because I am sick of hearing about the SEC.

But I’m fascinated by the Kansas State Jayhawks for two reasons:

  1. I like old guys. Their coach is an old guy. It sure seems like the K-State kids would run through a wall for old Bill. I hope to be half as relevant to college students when I’m 73.
  2. I love their senior quarterback. Collin Klein fascinates me.

He’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week and I was struck by several of the stories shared about him in the article.

Like this:

“When Klein was a boy, his mother and father expected him to shovel the driveway on mornings after it snowed. So he did. Neighbors driveway, too. Many years later, when he was a junior at K-State, he shared an off-campus house with four other students. In the midst of an excruciating 317-carry season, his faithful center, B.J. Finney, once had to carry him down to his bedroom in the basement after an especially violent game. But none of that had a thing to do with falling snow. Klein didn’t talk about it much, didn’t try to gain credit or leverage or anything. He just got up first and started shoveling.

The best leaders are servants first. They are the ones shoveling the metaphorical snow…stacking chairs, etc. Again and again, as you read about Klein, the thing that stands out is that he cares more about his teammates and his team than himself (even to the detriment of his health).

I believe that one of the primary roles campus ministry plays in the development of leaders, especially future church leaders. Some people can spend their whole lives in leadership positions and never “get” the servant aspect down.

Students who figure this out between the ages of 18 and 24 will become incredible assets to any organization, especially the churches they get involved with.

We need to pray for and work to develop more Collin Kleins.

Architecture and Spirituality

I haven’t had time to fully process the conversation I had recently with my brilliant friend Nate who is a graduate student in the realm of architecture (at this school). We spent a good long while discussing buildings and design and connections to spirituality. Here are some ideas that will require further thought (and perhaps further posting):

  • Adaptive Reuse: the truth that old things can be made new again…the incorporation of new design elements into an old building make a whole new creation.
  • Multiple Modes of Presentation: architecture (done well) engages multiple senses and calls forth a response from each of those senses.
  • Clear Narratives: architecture (done well) has a defined story that is followed all the way through the structure.
  • Questions: As an undergrad architecture students simply learn how to answer questions, graduate students learn how to ask the right questions, and more importantly learn the process of getting at the right questions.
  • Quote of the day (From a Wentworth Prof): “The person [the architect] who makes the most mistakes wins.”