Saturday, November 22, 2008

NYWC Session 2

David Crowder Band, Shane Claiborne, Andrew Marin, Tony Campolo

First let me just say that yesterday was the first time I have ever seen Crowder live. It was great! Such energy and passion for what he does...and he is absolutely hysterical. I think my favorite part was when he busted out the keytar and the modified guitar hero-esque guitar. A-Mazing.

Now, I have a confession to make. A lot of my staff, and just a lot of people that I know in general have read Irresistable Revolution and Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. They've talked about it, praised it as a "must read" and seriously contemplated selling all their possessions, and living with the poor and homeless. I have been skeptical of anything that seems like a "fad" book. I was skeptical of books like Velvet Elvis and Blue Like Jazz when they first came out. I don't know, I'm sure there's good stuff, but I kind of like the classics.

After listening to him speak last night though, I had to get his book and see what this is all about...Because he said something that resonated with me 100%, that I have been trying to articulate for 5 years, but haven't really been able to.

He talked about growing up in church, having all the "right" answers, and holding all the "right" beliefs, and all the "right" political opinions. And then he came to a realization:

"When I am faced with a 14 year old girl, pregnant and unmarried, how can I be pro-life without being willing to come alongside this 14 year old girl and help her learn how to become a 14 year old mother?"

That's about as close to a direct quote as I could get....I wanted to stand up and say thank you for putting into words far better than I have ever been able to figure out how to, exactly what has always bothered me. I get frustrated (with this issue specifically for some reason) that we seem to condemn young women and girls who find themselves in this situation....regardless of the choice they make...Make the "Pro-life" decision to keep the baby, and be ostracized and condemned for being pregnant out of wedlock...Make the "Pro-choice" decision to have an abortion, and be ostracized and condemned for having an abortion. These girls are in a no win.

Unless we choose to come alongside them and walk with them into and along a path that doesn't seem to have clear-cut, easy decisions.

I had to go to his late-night talk back session to hear more, and I am glad I did. He talked more about the community he lives in and answered some of the questions I have wondered: How do you just do what you do? What about issues of safety? Do you ever feel like you have been taken advantage of?

It was good stuff. Challenging stuff. And I am still thinking about it. I feel like I have so much more to think about and process. But it's been great so far.

And by the way....I love this city.

NYWC Session 1

As ridiculous as it may seem, the thing that stood out to me the most from the first session at YS was Joe Castillo. Joe Castillo is a sand artist. I had no idea what that even meant when they introduced him, and to be honest, I was a little skeptical about what he was doing. But then I sat and watched him tell the story of the Prodigal Son through sand art. It was incredible. It left me in tears.

You can watch it here

Not everyone learns the same, or is affected by the same things. What if someone has come to church every Sunday in their life and still hasn't really gotten it? There has to be a way to reach them. What if we started using the arts in different, out of the box ways? What kind of change might take place if we stop doing what we've always done, take a risk, and try something new.

It was incredible.

NYWC Nashville

This week I am in Nashville for the National Youth Worker's Convention put on by Youth Specialties. It has been a great trip so far with the exception of me being sick since it started (I go between sounding like a man, to no voice, to incredibly squeaky....It's been entertaining.)

I am so thankful that right at the outset, the first thing Mark Oestreicher said in the first session was "make this event what you need it to be." Don't go to all the sessions and seminars. You will be ragged by the end if you do. It's hard going into something like this with that mindset, because I am the type of person who wants to get as much out of it as I can, so to me that means "hit as much as possible!!!"

But after the second session tonight, I feel like already in just the few hours worth of seminars and sessions, I have so much to process and think about that I'm close to overload. So tomorrow morning, I'm processing. No seminar, just processing. Maybe I'll spend some time in the prayer chapel too....

I'm excited. I'm fired up. And my mind is racing (despite the fact that it's 12:30 in Nashville meaning it's 1:30 back home. I definitely have more to say about the sessions, but it will have to wait. I am going to try to shut my brain off for awhile and sleep. More processed thoughts to come.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Three Words: I Hate Turbulence

Flying is always an adventure for me. I feel like I never know what is going to happen. One time while boarding a plane, one of the crew members accidentally deployed the emergency lie. And those suckers don't just get rolled back up and stored away.... No no no. You deploy the emergency chute...maintenance is hunting for a NEW DOOR.

Then there was the time I unknowingly had a hammer in my carry on. SERIOUSLY. I thought the TSA dude was going to take me away (this was on a trip for work, and I thought my co-workers were going to die laughing. It was pretty ridiculous.)

The list could go on.

Today, on my way to my sister's in New York, I added another "What the heck?!?!" moment to my list of flying stories.

I was flying from Indianapolis and leave to drive there at about 6 this morning. That's a rude way to start the day anyway. But then I get to 465...and I start noticing signs saying "New Airport, Now Open," and "New Airport, take I-70 West to Exit 68." And I am going, "Did I miss something here?"

Turns out I did. Turns out there is a NEW Indianapolis airport...that I had no clue about. I'm still driving along thinking, oh they probably just put in new access roads, or redid the entrance. No no no....It's a whole new airport. Brand spanking new. Don't even get there the same way. Wanna know when it opened? Last night. Yep. Last night.

Pretty sweet right? Sure... but let's think about something for a minute. Had I flown to New York on, oh...say Monday of this week, and returned Saturday. I would have driven to the old Indy airport and left from there and returned at the new one. Here's what I want to know....How would I get my car? I sincerely hope someone in the upper levels of management thought about that little predicament. (If not, I would be willing to bet someone got fired fairly recently. Like maybe today.)

To top this all off, I got there and there are a ton of military personnel walking around, lots of flags, guessed it....a band. At first I about laughed out loud thinking how ridiculous it was that there would be a band at an airport opening. But then, as I am finding my way through the terminal, I hear, "Danni!" I turn around and it's an old friend of mine from High School! He is in the military and was working and informed me that there was also a unit of troops returning home from Iraq and that's why they, the band, and all the television cameras and reporters were there. It was pretty neat to see, I'm not gonna lie. And it was pretty great to see him too! An added bonus!

So all this to say....I never really know what to expect anymore when I am traveling. But I am always prepared for an adventure.

Sidenote: They used to not charge for checking any luggage, then recently it became you got charged if you checked more than 1. Today...if you checked any bags, you had to pay. Boo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reasons for not running

So of all the reasons to not run....I think I have by far THE BEST reason not to run and it is not:
  • being too tired
  • being too lazy
  • being too busy
  • being too sore
  • being unmotivated
or any of the other reasons that I would have thought I would have come up with by now.

No no. You ready for this?

It is Bigfoot.

That's right...Bigfoot.

Turns out there was an alleged Bigfoot siting at the end of my street (street is a generous term....let's try gravel road of death.)

Seriously. On Monday, I get all excited because it's so nice and I decide I am going to run outside rather than at the Y. I get all ready, iPod going, stretched, and off I go. I make it to the road when I remember....Bigfoot! So what do I do? That's right. Turn into a big ole SISSY and go running back the other direction and decide to run trails instead of on the road. NOT. KIDDING.

Now in retrospect, if I were Bigfoot, I'm pretty sure I would spend more time hiding out in the woods rather than on the main road. So if I was really worried about Bigfoot, I should have stuck to the road. But alas, there are simply times when I am not rational. Clearly this is one of them....on many levels.

But in other news....I am doing well and staying on track with my training plan and my body hasn't revolted yet. So I consider that a huge success so far!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mini Update

So last week, I decided to try to convince a friend and co-worker to train for the Mini with me. I badgered her a bit on Wednesday....and on Thursday she called me and said, "Danni, I am totally in!!!" Yahoo!

I had no idea what would snowball from just that.

So on Friday, I was doing a couple of things with some co-workers and idly mentioned that she had agreed to train to run the mini. And he looks at me and says "Wait! The Indy Mini?!?! My wife and I are running that too!" And I proceeded to tell him how I thought we needed to have an Impact cheering section. Well, he went a step further...sent out an email to the entire staff telling them who all was running and encouraging everyone to consider training to run or walk it. How great is that?!?!

The even better part??? As a result, another girl from the office has decided to train for it, and at least one other person is considering it.

This is so fantastic! What great motivation and camaraderie!

That is what I love. People "doing life together" in all aspects. Spending time together, eating meals together, sharing similar interests... And RUNNING together!

And now I have someone to run with besides whoever happens to be playing on my iPod. :)