– got to meet with my home church last night after three months. we meet every other sunday night, and my travel schedule has perfectly align (or un-aligned) so that i haven’t been able to be with them for a quarter of a year. we met at our house last night (which was interesting, as we have 7 house guests right now), had dinner, shared about what we’re thinking, feeling, knowing. then one of the guys read a passage from a book about becoming more loving by drawing close to the loving heart of god (rather than just “trying” to be more loving), which we reflected on in silence, then talked about it bit. a few were missing, so i still haven’t seen them. and we don’t meet now ’til january, and the two times we meet in january are once again perfectly aligned with the two sunday nights i’m out of town.
– i grilled cilantro lime chicken last night. it was really yummy.
– in addition to the freese family living with us (great friends who are between homes — we have jokingly renamed our combined family “freestreicher”), jen and jay howver and their two beautiful girls, noelle and chloe, are staying with us for a few nights. it’s fantastic. we gave the howvers our master suite, and jeannie, max and i are sharing max’s room and the futon on the playroom.
– today and tomorrow, we have a crew of people coming into ys for two days of brainstorming on the national youth workers conventions. great peeps — it should be fun. bob carlton, brian berry, april diaz, jim hancock, mark matlock and a few others. we’ll have dinner together tonite, then all go to my house (because there just aren’t enough people there) for after-dinner hang-time.
– i need to be writing. scott rubin and i have a may 1 deadline for the middle school ministry book we’ve contracted. but it looks like i’m going to write up my nywc talk from this year (about a preferred future for youth ministry) as a little manifesto book first. i told them i’d try to have it written by the time i return from the holidays (which is january 3).
– speaking of the holidays: i think my shopping is done. we have a couple stocking stuffers to get for the kids still, but jeannie said she’d take care of that. everything still has to be wrapped.
– holiday plans: we’re having our freestreicher family christmas next saturday morning. then just the four oestreichers are driving up to orange county to go to cirque du soleil (this is a surprise to the kids). sunday we pack. monday (christmas eve) we fly to beeee-autiful deeetroit for a week and a half. five nights at jeannie’s parents, five nights at my parents. i’m hoping for some sleeping in, low expectations, and deep rest.
– i am massively pumped that we have hired a wonderful, gifted, fun, talented, brilliant new middle school pastor at my church (and i got to be a part of it). and i’m massively pumped that she’s a she. christina robertson starts in early january. i’m stoked to be one of her volunteers.
– i haven’t read many books lately, which bugs me. i finished one this past week, which i’ll blog about this week. i’ve also read a couple screenplays for friends, and a draft manuscript for another friend. so there’s been reading, but not of published works!
– saw “i am legend” friday night. ooh. i totally dug it.
– goal this week: clean off my desk.