Thursday, January 31, 2008

moving on

I never figured out the M thing (see below post) I'm moving on.

It's good to move on in life. Life's too short. You've gotta grab the gusto. Actually I really have no idea what "gusto" actually is. I'm guessing I'll get a comment from someone who looked it up on wikipedia, so I can just sort of be lazy and content with my lack of gusto knowledge.

Here's how I'm feeling about the Super Bowl.

I think the Patriots are going to win it. I'll just say it. I don't really like them. I think I'm going to want them to win??? I just think they're the best team in the NFL, and even though I don't like them...I guess they should win it.

I still maintain that if you put any quarterback behind that line - they give him 7 minutes to throw the ball - and with those receivers - I've seen Tom throw ducks up to Randy Moss with three d-backs draped all over him and he makes the catch - you put any quarterback into that system and they'll be an All Pro. Having said that, I think Tom's above obviously he'll thrive in that system.

I found a new family friendly show that both of the boys like - American Gladiators. At some point we'll grow weary of the Hulkster saying "brother" and Ali telling the guy competitors that they'd better watch out or she'll knock them out - but it's fun to watch for now. I'm a big fan of the catapult thing that launches the Gladiators into the pool when their bullseye thing gets hit. It's the little things.

I've gotta admit though - I'm still wondering about that "M"

it's hard to move on...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

brought to you by the letter M

I just came home from a late night meeting. I'm thinking through my day tomorrow and trying to remember what I have going on. It seems like a busy week.

Here's the thing - I have some things I wrote on my hand tonight so that I'd remember them tomorrow. A few things are on my palm (my palm pilot...get it? like the....) and I wrote an "M" on the back of my hand.

I wrote the "M" so I'd remember something to do tomorrow.

I have no idea why. I just know that I write stuff if it's important and I really don't want to forget. This is my problem...

Maple syrup?
um... Mary Tyler Moore?
McDonalds - Miami Vice - Mickey Mouse - Mapplethorpe - Melchizedek - Marsupial?

I have no idea...and I'll think about it all night.

maybe it's a "W"?

Monday, January 28, 2008

an honest holiday

A lot of people I know get paid holidays. Most people actually. Everyone I know celebrates holidays. I'm just wondering how many people truly celebrate any holiday?

Here's what I mean.

I've seen tens of thousands of people celebrate St. Patrick's day. I've never seen one person celebrate St. Patrick's life or anything even close. I've marched in parades, been at events, parties and festivals and never seen even a hint at anything to do with Patrick. If you took an alien and brought them to a St. Patrick's day parade/party/event I'll bet the alien would guess that St. Patrick's day has something to do with green beer, regular beer, or singing. Maybe she'd guess that it had something to do with Irish people. The alien won't hear about Saint Patrick bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle. They won't probably have a long talk about how Patrick wasn't from Ireland and grew up a slave. At some point she'll hear Danny Boy though.

That's now even my point. I just think you should get to pick the things you really want to celebrate. It shouldn't matter to your boss. It might actually help productivity at most offices because there wouldn't be certain days that you just can't do business. On top of that, you could actually celebrate the things that are most important to you. You could make up holidays that revolve around things you really care about.

Don't care about flags? You probably shouldn't take one of your days and call it flag day.

You're not dating anyone? Would you mind not feeling extra lonely on Valentine's day? So that's not a holiday for you this year. Hallmark could still market a day where they could sell cards and just call it flowers and cards day. I still don't really know the history of that day...something about Saint Valentine?

Here's a decent way to figure out how important a particular day really is:

What do you talk about?

Do you talk about presents more than you talk about the God of the Universe coming to this planet as a little baby? I don't mean 41 mentions of the incarnation compared to 40 conversations about "what do you want?" "I haven't done my shopping yet". Do you mention buying presents or opening presents 100 times for every one time you talk about Jesus' birth? Isn't it possible that you could just pick a day of the year and call it presents day? That might be a bit more honest. It's not crazy to assume that the things in our life that are most important to us are the things that we talk about the most. So if you're a traditionalist, you can still pick the end of the year as a time where you go out and buy presents.

Are you really celebrating the presidents on presidents day?

Laborers on labor day?

These are just the obvious ones. I know people who take the time to honor Dr. King on his day. I know people who think and talk about veterans on their day. I know families that gather around their table and give thanks on Thanksgiving. It makes sense that you'd keep the ones that matter to you.

I'm not saying that we should get rid of the holidays - I'm just saying that we should just be honest about, and really celebrate the stuff that's most important to us.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I'm giggin'
I have a gig.
I'm one who gigs...

It just doesn't sound right. When someone who is in a band - even a really good band - says that they have a gig - I just sort of cringe. It never sounds right to me.

It sounds like something David Lee Roth would say. I should mention that I'm not using him as someone who is either cool, or in a really good band. He just always sounds like the morning DJ that tries way too hard to be funny or cool. "Hey this is D.L.R., rocking the rock and rollin the roll. Can you dig what I'm diggin for ya?!" that kind of thing...

Anyhow, I have a gig. I'm not sure if this is my first gig ever. I've performed before. I've spoken. I've done sketches, skits and even some one person on a stage telling jokes kind of things - but I'm not sure that I'd qualify any of those as a gig.

Side note - gig is an acronym for

Second side note - I just made that acronym up. You're allowed to lie when you book a gig.

So I was asked to be a part of an as yet to be named improv troupe (I'm thinking 3rd city, or maybe Dunder) These are five very talented people and I think they needed a sixth guy to carry the props. And now we have a couple of performance dates. I would normally say that we're doing a show, or doing improv, or we'll just be floundering on stage - but I'm told that it's a gig.

I'm just not sure I could say that with a straight face. Sure, I'm kind of dry and do deadpan like a younger, much better looking Charles Grodin...but you get my point.

I think it's just me. People who gig a lot seem very comfortable with the term, I just have a ways to go.

and I'm off to my church gig...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

delicious pelican

If you eat something out of the ordinary – it inevitably tastes like chicken. The guy tastes the pelican meat and says it tastes like chicken.

I say that we change things up. If Pelican tastes like chicken, then the next time I eat alligator or moose…I’m going to say, “that tastes just like pelican”

it’s my new thing

I’m taking this and running with it.
mmm... pelican

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Rut

The rut is something you get in by doing the same thing over and over again. It’s like when you’re riding your bike and you keep going on the same trail and pretty soon you have a rut that forms. The great thing about ruts is that you don’t have to pay as much attention. You can just sort of pedal through life and you barely have to pay attention. It’s almost like your wheels are on rails and you’re just sort of following the same ‘ol way.

You get up, do whatever you do in the morning…followed by that thing you do after that…and eventually you go into your wind down the day routine…and repeat the following day. It's nice to "get in the groove" of things, but soon it becomes debilitating.

Ruts are comfortable, predictable and safe.

Ruts are boring, life sucking and death.

It’s time to do a mini wheelie and head down a different trail.

Ruts are comfortable, predictable and safe.

Ruts are boring, life sucking and death.

It’s time to do a mini wheelie and head down a different trail.

Friday, January 18, 2008

give this one a try

I think I'd like to coin a phrase. I want to get one started and see if it'll ever make it onto 60 minutes or Lost.

This phrase doesn't have to make sense to everybody on the surface (like "coin a phrase" who says that?) but it'd be good if it did.

The thing is, I know that we already have a lot of phrases. You may be thinking right now, "aren't there too many phrases as it is Sean?" It's the old, why would you go out and plant a church when there are already a zillion of them out there? Good question. And one that deserves an answer.

You also have to understand the responsibility you carry when you start a new phrase. I can't imagine the sleepless nights of the guy who started, "don't go there".
Some day the guy who invented aspartame is going to find out that he gave millions of people cancer, and another guy is going to find out that he's responsible for seventh grade boys asking, "do you want tickets to the gun show?"

I'm just not sure I could live with that...

but....No risk, no reward

I'm going to take a crack at it.

I'm thinking, "gutter ball"

It immediately lets people know what you're thinking. It's a sports expression - but one that's not really used unless you're wearing polyester and smell of Pall Malls. I figure you start ahead of the curve when you pick a sports term or phrase.

For those visual learners - well you're out of luck because this is a verbal phenomenon we're starting today.

For those of you who need examples - please follow.

Guy asks a girl out, "Hey, shoes. I was just thinking that maybe you'd like to go out with me to the movie theater and then maybe we'd make out during the boring parts"

"yeah right"

"so you'll go!!?"



friend off to the side, "gutter ball"

wa wa...
and so it begins

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

simple math

Ninja + Anything = great

Accountant = boring

Math Ninja = awesome

Assistant = tedious

Assistant Ninja = amazing job

plumber = surprisingly well paid job that's kind of dull

Plumbing Ninja = the guy I want to fix my leaky faucet

cook = another meal

Ninja in the kitchen = the greatest dinner of my life

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


“Everybody deserves a second chance”

I’ve heard that a bunch. It’s the very definition of a clichĂ©. I’ve come to know it, accept it and move on.

For some reason I couldn’t move past it when I heard it yesterday.

Does EVERYONE deserve a second chance?

Are we saying that if someone does something bad once, THEN they deserve a second chance in life? If you’re saying that, that’s fine. The problem is that I know a one year old girl that’s done something bad. I’d say she’s done lots of bad things. She’s a baby. They yell and hit and scream and occasionally throw temper tantrums.

I’m guessing what you’re saying is that you or whoever you’re supporting right now needs a second chance. The second chance isn’t a second chance. It might be the first time they’ve stolen, raped, killed, lied, or cheated…but not the first time they’ve screwed up.

This isn’t really even what bugged me. I’m not sure we DESERVE a second chance. We deserve the things we earn.

If you live your life as if someone owes you something – then it just follows that you deserve a second chance. It’s owed you. You deserve it. You somehow have earned it.

But I’m not sure that’s right.

If you DESERVE it, forgiveness isn’t nearly as beautiful. Grace isn’t as powerful. Love isn’t as…love-ing.

Mercy is not getting something that you deserve…and don’t want.

Grace is not getting what you DESERVE, but instead getting something incredibly valuable…and Undeserved.

Grace is powerful.

If you deserve it…then it’s ordinary.

Monday, January 14, 2008

shiny and new

One of the better writers of this generation now has a blog.

And so does my friend Brad. (you see what I did there?)

I'm a fan of his style of writing. He's witty and subtle. If you like witty and subtle, you should check it out. If you don't, then you should check this out.

Friday, January 11, 2008


If you have a group/ministry/team that has as their web site:
you're not a great leader

If you were to leave your leadership position and things would fall apart
you're probably not doing everything you can to really lead

I keep seeing this trend towards churches using the Pastor's name instead of the church name on their web sites. So what happens when they leave? They're branding a product that isn't around any more...

I see leaders all the time that do EVERYTHING that they could possibly do up front. They're often very gifted, at being up front...but not in leading.

They're either not willing to let things slip a little, so that they can train or raise up other folks on their teams. They have appreciation lunches and send thank you notes to all of the folks doing the work of the team/ministry...but they're not willing to have the big meeting be led by anyone else.

One of the great things about the guy running things around here is that he's not afraid to put up other speakers. He regularly has one of two people speak on the weekends. He occasionally brings in guest speakers. He lets others run big meetings. It's not about him - and I think if he left - we'd feel it, but we'd also pull together and move forward. It's not about him.

When people point to an organization that went downhill after they left - proudly - I just shake my head.

They don't get it. They don't understand leadership.

You can see more about how someone led by how things progress after they're gone.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Some things that sound or seem a lot worse than they actually are:



-toilet paper


-light switches

-pop music

-fast food

-Bruce Willis/ Hudson Hawk

-the option (in football)

-brainstorming meetings

-disciplining children

-romantic comedies


-Jimmy Kimmel


Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Some things that sound or seem a lot better than they actually are:

-having your own swimming pool

-hockey tickets

-a trophy

-any handheld electronic gadget

-a pogo stick

-sugar cookies

-cuff links

-an Alan Alda impersonation

-crushed ice


-steel toed boots

-a pot bellied pig

-the first season of SNL

-Marilyn Monroe

-remote control cars



-play dough

-electric can openers

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

big day in sports...

There was a lot of buildup going into last night's game.

It wasn't that close, but there were sure some exciting moments.

The fun thing was that Griffin scored as many points as the other team. Sure it was just a scrimmage...and yes, he only scored two points...but he's in the first grade.

In other sports news - I hear there was some football game last night. Bummer, huh?

Ah well.

This hasn't been my best couple of days for watching football. Next week I'll watch my favorite wrestling team take on Iowa...the #1 team.

Pray for me...

Monday, January 07, 2008

no risk no reward?

Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?

I had a friend that would regularly tell me, "Yeah, I'm lousy at showing up on time. I'm just telling you now."

I don't think it's a stretch to say that being late is rude. It happens to all of us. All of us are rude at different points in our lives. When we show up late - it's because of traffic, conversations or meetings that went later than we expected...or whatever. But when we consistently show up late to meet with people - aren't we kind of saying, "Hey, I know I'm always late...but I'm just not that interested in getting here to meet you"? or "I'm pretty important, and if you have to sit around and wait for me...well, that's not that big of a deal because you're not that big of a deal"?

Anyhow, not the point.

This was just a way of setting low expectations for himself. By telling people what he was going to screw up in the future, that somehow made it ok for him to go ahead and do it.

I grew up with a guy that I would regularly play with or compete against. Often he'd beat me at whatever and then I'd obsess over the game or sport for the next couple of weeks. I'd keep practicing and then play him again. If I beat him he'd often say, "well sure you beat me, you always practice and I never do" He would have won the Olympic gold medal of 'I'd win this if I actually tried, cared or practiced'

I've seen this a million times in myself and others with sports. The rabid (fill in the blank) fans become the apathetic - we didn't ever really care - fans, once their team loses four out of their first five games. It's how many of us cope. I've seen a bunch of this living around Penn State fans when they were really bad - living around Bengals fans - and being a Pirates fan myself. It doesn't hurt as much when they lose if you just decide you don't care that much. The shift around this city this year of passion to apathy was startling.

So the Steelers lost the other day. As a friend was mocking me about the game, I couldn't help but think of the guy who got cut from the freshman basketball team and then made fun of the guys who made the team - but didn't win league. It seemed ironic or silly.

So my question is - is it better to be a playoff team that loses in the first round than a team that doesn't make the playoffs at all?

Is it better to make the playoffs if you don't make it to the Superbowl...or win it all?
Should I want my team to either win the Super Bowl or be the worst team in the league? This way I'll either experience the thrill of winning it all, or the thrill of getting the first pick in the draft.

Is it better to just not care than to deal with the disappointment of losing a big game?

I was steeped in the theology/life coaching/philosophy of negativism/pessimism from a very young age. I remember having it explained to me that things are better for pessimists because then they aren't disappointed when things inevitably go bad. I've since read several times that the pessimists experience drastically different levels of joy/elation/satisfaction in life. They also don't live as long...but I guess they could see that coming...

All this to say - is it cool if I really care if OSU wins tonight? I know it's just football. I know that ultimately it doesn't matter...and I can't really say my life is changed for the better because they won the national championship a few years ago. I just want them to win.

or at least get a good draft pick next year...

Friday, January 04, 2008

sports time

I love this time of year in sports. This is where wrestling season and football season collide.

Ohio State is playing for the national championship for the third time in six years. Their wrestling team is ranked #11 in the nation. The Steelers are in the playoffs again. I have tickets to the OSU Iowa wrestling match. Life is good.

The thing about football is that it's really the ultimate team sport. The Patriots might be the greatest team of all time, but their defense is ranked sixth in the NFL. They have some players that start for them that would be back ups on other teams. If you take out two of their offensive linemen, Tom Brady would probably have had a really good season...but not the greatest season of all time. And even though their defense is good, not great, they'll might be able to one day say they were the greatest team of all time.

Peyton Manning lost one of his receivers and a couple of linemen and threw 6 interceptions. With a great receiver or two and enough protection, Jim Sorgi would have been a really good quarterback.

So the Steeler's have the #1 rated defense in the NFL, but nobody is really talking about them doing much in the playoffs. You can have a great defense and even a pro bowl quarterback...and still just be an above average team. It's a team game and a couple of stars or even one side of the ball being exceptional doesn't mean you'll win it all. You need the whole package.

It's a lot like life...
ok, I'm not really going to roll this into anything that really matters...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

1/1,000th of a picture

a few words or phrases that I rarely use:


-symphony or sympathy




-irish cuisine





a few words or phrases that I'm bound and determined to use today:


-Carnegie Melon

-take a stab at it

-knuckle sandwich

-Brad Weisenheimer


-well groomed

-words that end in "izzle"

-Elfish Pressley

-Swiss Army Spork