Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I've been a delinquent blogger. I know. I've got my reasons: a major summer writing project.

A few years ago, I wrote "Ten Service Plans for Contemporary Worship," an educational and practical tool for folks who plan worship each week. It was a modest effort on my part, but its success was beyond anything I could have imagined. It was a best-selling smash. It sold out its first printing (all 50 copies, I think), and if the numbers are any indication, it is still riding the nation-wide wave of worship wonk enthusiasm -- (rank: 1,944,420 in Books).

Well, given the price the publisher charges for it, and their capital investment to get it written, it only made sense to come up with a sequel. Just like printin' money. So they begged, I conceded, and now here I am, slaving away till silly-o-clock in the morning tweaking and polishing 10 more service plans.

Of course, we're now officially more than a week past our "drop dead" deadline. My guess is that the publisher may therefore skimp some on production expenses: the picture attached here is my best guess at what they'll do for cover art.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I Miss Mia

My daughter, Mia, is away this week at soccer camp. And I miss her. I miss her helpfulness around the house and her creative sense of humor. I miss it when she exhausts her pleasant personality resources in an attempt to stay up past her bedtime. I even miss her pre-teen 'tude -- like when she gives me the look captured in this picture, and says, in a way miraculously full of both bile and affection, "Dad, you are SUCH a dork!"

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Seminar Preparation

I'm really excited about the next two weeks. I'll be busy every day at Calvin College taking a seminar on Christian Formation for Participation in Worship: How to Teach Worship in Congregations and Schools. My friend and most esteemed colleague, John Witvliet, is teaching it.

We had a great time yesterday preparing to make the most of these two weeks.

After the seminar is done, we'll probably need another chunk of a Friday or Saturday just to debrief.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Ooooh! Aaaaah!

Hmmm. Were there pre-visit fashion-coordinating phone calls?

We spent a fabulous weekend at the cottage for the holiday. We got off to a great start Saturday when our good friends the Keeleys came over. Our dinner featured animal flesh grilled to perfection (if I do say so myself), and the rest of the evening (including the Holland firework display) was marked by great conversation – funny and insightful and polite (in contrast to some conversations in which our children are the primary participants). It’s a mark of a good party when the good-byes take a long time, and on the way home you think of a handful of conversation paths not followed. And you think of them not with regret, but anticipation of the next get-together. This happens all the time with the Keeleys.

Sunset Fireworks

The best things too oooh and aaaah over were nature’s wonders on Sunday. After hearing my mom preach at church, we spent the rest of the day on the beach. Deb and I have often said that in the summer when the sun is shining bright, the and the water is relatively warm, there is no place on the planet more beautiful than Lake Michigan. Of course, given our weather, this concatenation of events only occurs once or twice a year. Fortunately, blessedly, Sunday was one of those days.

Sparkles on the water

Sparkles Near the Water