Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bucket List

35 is gone, and the start of a new decade seems well underway with a year under the belt. I guess before my life slips away some long-term goals ought to be laid out. Some have been around for a long time, and others, well they just are getting life in my brain now

Some things I want to do:
- Finish all 50 states visits (45 so far: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Alaska, South Dakota and Michigan are left) [bonus: territories - Like the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam]
- 7 Continents (I haven't left North America, except to hit Hawaii)
- Israel, Egypt, and Europe are particular travel sites I hope to visit
- Skydiving or bungee jumping or both (perhaps when the Bug hits the age where it matters to her, I'll go with her)
- Mt. Whitney (I'd like to hit the summit this time, even if it takes a couple of days)
- An archaeological dig (i'd probably be bored out of my mind in a day, but I want to say I've done it)
- Get rid of half my stuff, before I have to (with retirement, or a "home").
- Follow my call and run a camp (as manager or program director, possibly own it too) [Sidenote: I have run camps as a Dean, and this coming year as the District Coordinator]
- Be a life-long learner
- Take sabbatical
- Do something that as of right now has not been invented yet
- Grow a church
- Survive a church closure
- Nurture a new person into Ordained Ministry
- Teach some old dogs new tricks (could actually be a dog, but I was thinking of teaching a "tired" church some "new-to-them" activity and discipleship), every year of my life

Now, I admit this is not Jon Acuff's 40 by 40 list, but it is a start...and maybe it is 40 if each of the states and continents and places of notice are taken individually.

Musings from my Wife

Still wrestling with a thought from my wife who in a Bible Study the other day was asked about why Atheists were such a hard breed to crack.

She shared the thought that the problem Atheists face is the same problem Biblical Literalists face: namely that concretes are the imperative. Where the atheist sees no concrete answers to the "God problem" the literalist must hang closely to the "facts" of scripture, and find concrete evidence therein.

I bring this up as the latest news shares the discovery in Israel of a 40,000 year old set of remains of early humans, thus refuting the previous hypothesis that Humans started in Africa. I suspect literalists will jump on this very aspect as further "proof" that the creation story is accurate.

And in the end the Atheists will bring to light the major flaw of such thought that if we follow the Scriptural account closely 40,000 years ago is far beyond the age of "Biblical Creation" generally regarded as about 6,000-8,000 BC.

Suffice it to say, our faith is one of wonder and mystery, and looking at the facts, and the doubts, and questioning, and learning about the most important aspect of it all, relationship with God and one another

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Monday, December 27, 2010


Some thoughts that have gathered steam in my speech of late, and I need to worry:

"Hurt people hurt people"

"Deal with the diva, and forget the music"

Hope your life is easier!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

For Anna

Stuck Like Glue lyrics

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quote of the Day

The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity.
- Helen Rowland


Friday, December 17, 2010

Long-term Funding

A question for some of my friends and colleagues out there in the non-profit sector...

I saw this article recently, and was captured. I wondered what kind of success any of you have had in implementing such practice in the local church, and if anybody has templates of bequests.

Planned gifts are the pinnacle of donations. They represent a donor's ultimate desire to support a nonprofit organization. Essentially, a planned gift is any donation that is planned in advance, including bequests, annuities, trusts, life insurance and more.

Bequests are the most common planned gift. Typically, a bequest can be included in a will as a particular amount of money, a percent of the total estate, or a contingent gift that depends on certain circumstances.

Here are three simple ways to promote planned giving for your nonprofit organization.

1. Remember Us In Your Will. The easiest way to solicit bequests is to include "Remember us in your will" in your newsletter. Don't be afraid or timid about including this information. Other organizations are doing it and if you don't, you are missing the boat.

2. Provide some sample text for a bequest in your newsletter or on your website. It will make planned giving easier for some donors and at the very least, should help spark ideas for those who are interested in leaving your organization in their will.

3. Use prewritten materials. There are companies out there that write, design, and publish planned giving materials that you can add your logo to and give to your donors. The Stelter Company and The Sharpe Group are two great examples. You can get help with planning, internet-based solutions, and more, so it's worth your time to check them out.

Have some professional volunteers at the ready to help your donors make their planned gift happen. While most donors have their own advisors, offering your donors the names of financial, tax, and legal professionals who can help them can take you far.

Want more practical tips and ideas for successful fundraising? Get the twice-monthly "Bright Ideas for Fundraising" at

Sandy Rees is a nonprofit fundraising coach and speaker who shows small nonprofit organizations how to raise more money, gain more supporters, and strengthen their Boards.

(c) Sandy Rees, CFRE

Article Source:

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent Devotional

David Camphouse
December 5, 2010
Discovering Jesus
Luke 2:36-38
36There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Anna, too, discovers Jesus. Luke is unique in his revelation to both men and women, and the power that each side brings to the story. This is much of the controversy that the DaVinci Code stirred among the churches, was that it was bringing back the feminine aspects of the Gospel, and the story of Jesus, to the point that it was empowering women again. Now there were other controversies in the book and movie DaVinci Code, such as his child, and his marriage to Mary Magdalene, but both of those tie back to the power of women in the ongoing story and revelation of Jesus.
The truth is that we need to recognize the power of women in the telling of our own story of faith, the Gospel message and the hope for the nations.
The final discovery is the discovery of an imminent future for Israel, and if we are to be honest with Christ and the Gospel story then we too need to have an imminent future.
God, you meant for your son to come for all nations, for all peoples, of all tribes and station in life. You came for the priests, and the prophets, you came for the tax collectors and the prostitute. You came to men and women in your proclamation of the new world you were creating. Help our hearts to be moved to create your world here on earth as it is in heaven. Amen
What are we discovering about God, as it leads us to discovering how we will be church in the world today?


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Advent Devotional

Home Again

11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his fa-

ther, `Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.

13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country

and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a se-

vere famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out

to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach

with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 "When he came to his senses, he said, `How many of my father's hired men have food to

spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him:

Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your

son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20 So he got up and went to his father.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for

him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 "The son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no

longer worthy to be called your son.'

22 "But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a

ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast

and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So

25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music

and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 `Your

brother has come,' he replied, `and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back

28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded

with him. 29 But he answered his father, `Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never

disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my

friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes

home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

31 "`My son,' the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he


When we see the story of the prodigal son, we often forget the story behind the story. As we read

about in the Ten Commandments we are called to honor our father and mother. One of the ways to

dishonor parents in days gone by was to treat them as dead and claim the inheritance they would

leave. This is exactly what the prodigal son did. The penalty for such a claim was that the son would

have been stoned by the townsfolk upon his return to town.

It is the love of the father that kept watch for the son, such that when he saw the son, yet in the dis-

tance, he went running to gather him in, and reclaim him into the family, so that the son would not

be put to death. This was a true redemption, and it is the very love that God seeks to give to each of

us, that we might know love fully and completely, redeemed into the family and restored to the in-

heritance that we squandered without the guidance and surrounding of God’s powerful arms of love.

The main thing the Lord wants is to say: this is my son, daughter, child and this is the place that I

have prepared for them.

Home is where the heart is--have your heart in Heaven.

Home is Heaven, His creation-therefore all is Home.


Lord, when we were still waiting to find you, you were watching out for us. You ran to meet us on the

road to death. Thank you for opening your home and your life to us once again. May we never forget

such love, seeking to offer amazing love as this to many others in your name. Amen.


Where is your heart?

What makes something feel like home to you?

David Camphouse

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Pastor's Corner December 2010

Reflections on National UnFriend Day 2010

On his show November 11th Jimmy Kimmel called for a National UnFriend Day to be celebrated November 17th.
video here:

The basic principle makes sense. Kimmel says we need to get back to what friendship is really about, interpersonal relationships, developed with actual contact, emails, phone calls and face-to-face visitation. As one who lives in an industry defined by how many visits you make, and how many are making a personal relationship commitment to Jesus Christ (and by extension the local church, which is to be God’s visage in the world), this issue is before me all the time.

So, what do we do with all the people who are friends, acquaintances, and followers?

I have posited in the past the theoretical boundary of Dunbar’s Number. Wikipedia offers a quick definition as such:

Dunbar's number is a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person. Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar's number. It lies between 100 and 230, but a commonly used value is 150.

I consider too, the old adage, “just give me twelve committed persons and I can change the world”. I have to admit that as an introvert in a very extroverted position I tend toward the 12 for comfort, but I have found the value of friends that number into the thousands.

The truth is Dunbar’s number is theoretical, but it also pretty accurate for the number of deep meaningful relationships any one person can maintain. The semantics of such a definition leave room for many other tangential relationships. I was told of a school principal, who would pour over the 2000 names of the students coming into the school each year who would practice all summer long to learn the names.

I grew up in a town of 12,000 people, and I can recall that it was rare that I came across someone I didn’t know, at least peripherally, and at a little bit of effort, couldn’t get to know better.

I guess that’s what is so intriguing to me about Facebook, and in turn, the Church. We have so many peripheral connections. I wanted to be more intentional about those. I wanted to try to find out more about these great people. I have to admit, I have made some unusual friends on Facebook (and through the church for that matter), like the folks in the chat group for the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, my high school nemesis, fraternity brothers, and my family.

In some ways I look at it all kinda like Sunday mornings at church. There are a lot of people there. I may not get to meet or know them all, but I have a way to connect. When something comes up I have a chance to pray with them, or for them. I can encourage these friends across miles and lifetimes, with the hurts they experience, the joys they celebrate, and indeed the dreams they express.

Facebook is merely a tool, for helping to get my mind ready for a deeper relationship. The other pieces will have to follow, visits, talks, and written conversations. It is both the modern business card, as a means of introduction, and the Christmas card, as a way of keeping up with friends from years gone by.

As you might have guessed, because of these aspects of Facebook, I opted out of National Unfriend Day. I think relationships are important. And an understanding of the medium can help develop meaningful relationships. However, I do think Jimmy Kimmel got it right about this, Facebook does not stand for real relationship. Facebook is a bookmark in the lives of others, which needs nurturing and attention so that meaningful relationship can be made. Perhaps that is the truth of Sunday morning as well. And the truth is, I am in both places to make an impact, learn about others, and develop something greater, with an eye to another friend I want folks to know because of me, Jesus Christ.

David Camphouse

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Holiday Foolishness

Top 20 worst Nativities from

Merry Kitschmas on Flikr

Jesus Kitsch on Flikr

And just for good measure - ShipofFools kitschmas

So have yourself a merry little kitschmas

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