Browsing articles in "Culture"
Jul
4
2012

Happy Independence Day

2011 Boat Race Trophy Handoff

Every year, on Independence Day, competitors from across the Mid-Atlantc region come together to engage in one of the most notorious sporting events the world has known: The Little Falls Radio Controlled Regatta Deathmatch.  What is it that motivates these warriors to stand knee deep in spring fed creek water for the four minutes required to pilot their craft through a treacherous course marked with rocks, submerged logs, and each other?  The cup: One of […]

Jul
3
2012

U-Haul, Social Media, and Proverbs 31:8

old truck

On Saturday, I got to watch something cool happen.  A guy named Dave Palmer was stranded in the desert by UHaul, and having a difficult time getting the company to give him any kind of help with the truck they rented him.  After several attempts to receive some sort of satisfaction from U-Haul by phone, he resorted to sharing his story on his blog, and leveraging social media to force U-Haul to behave in a […]

Jun
19
2012

Clarity and the Gospel

clarity

The idea of clarity, simplicity, and the gospel has been following me around lately: Last night in one our coaching cohorts (FYI, a couple spots are available for the next cohort) we were discussing the idea of clarity in ministry, and the need to refine our defining values before we can share them with those we are leading. A few weeks ago I took part in a training program that started off by asking us to […]

Jun
14
2012

Why Flag Day is My Favorite Holiday

flag day

Flag day is my all-time favorite holiday. On June 14, 1777 the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States.  This day also marks the birth of the United States Army. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14th as flag day, and in 1949 Congress made it official.  Even though Flag Day is not an official federal holiday (though it is a state holiday in Pennsylvania), […]

Jun
12
2012

The Stanley Cup and Other Prizes

the cup

I try to avoid sports metaphors on this blog as much as possible.  Now that I have the disclaimer out of the way, allow me to gush about one of the two sports that I have been told I get a little passionate about: ice hockey. Last night the Los Angeles Kings did something that they have never done before: won the Stanley Cup.  Those of you unfamiliar with the Stanley Cup (the big silver thing […]

May
28
2012

Pausing on Memorial Day

Military Graves

Eighteen years, and a whole different life, ago I began a journey as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy.  I spent two years at the Academy, and while I didn’t graduate, the experience changed my life forever.  During my two years at the Academy I learned a great deal about what I am capable of doing (and enduring), met Jesus, and received my call into ministry. This experience was a defining moment […]

May
22
2012

Little Pink Houses or What Color is Your Roof?

Bermuda Waterfront

Last week Theresa and I spent a wonderful week on a boat to Bermuda and back.  We spent the week playing, laughing, and learning about the islands that make up Bermuda.  On our first day in port, we jumped into a taxi cab and asked the driver to show us around, and tell us about his home.  It was a great trip and Weldon, our driver, taught us a great deal about Bermuda, Bermudian culture, […]

May
7
2012

My Name Is My Name

my name is

Proverbs 22:1 puts it simply: A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Every afternoon I receive a series of Google Alerts.  Some of them are looking for stories on the church and leading well, but some of them are based on my name, and variations of it.  Last week, one of my alerts unearthed something disturbing: Matthew Steen was the antagonist of a fan fiction story […]

May
1
2012

Reaching the Boomerang Generation

Boomerang

Last week, while I was in Florida, I had an enjoyable lunch with a pastor friend from a small church outside of Tampa.  Leaving the restaurant I took two things away from our conversation: my first sunburn of the season, and a nagging question about how to effectively minister to adult children living in their parents home. A quick search unearthed the term Boomerang Generation, a phrase that I am not entirely comfortable with… but does […]

Apr
30
2012

Is Starbucks Replacing The Church?

starbucks

Starbucks did it again. Over the weekend, I received an email from Starbucks thanking their customers for lending a hand as they have been working all month long to better the world around them through mobilizing the Starbucks faithful to contribute their time, talents, and treasure towards community service projects and financial contributions. The email made me think of a sermon I preached several years ago about how we are wired to do life together. […]

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