Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lotion… how girly can you be?

It is kinda funny to peer around my cube to Becky’s cube (a female co-worker) and ask if she has any lotion. It is funny because I am a macho guy who, because of the pressures of society, needs to keep alive the “strong, manly, and brave” image of a Man. So in whispering that I need “girly” lotion I am in danger of ruining all my hard work at creating that persona in myself. It is just hard you know! Back here in the dry cold weather of Wisconsin you either risk looking like a girl with lotion or the walking dead because of your chapped and pealing hands. And another thing, how am I supposed to be cool when every other conversation I have with someone I am putting on chap stick? Same dilemma here! How do I keep up this “I can do anything” identity when I am dependent on the liberal application of a little stick of moisturizing balm... to my LIPS of all things!! I mean come on!

(pure satire, if you take this seriously shame be upon you… but don’t tell anyone that this small bottom line is on here or I will loose all that I have worked for in “Machoness”)

You know that Urbana thing...

Well Urbana is over and we are starting to see signs of post Urbana life. Hadn’t even thought about what that would be like.

During Urbana it felt a lot like being stuck in a crazy whirlwind. Non stop go, go, go. But the type that is fun to get up to, although harder each consecutive morning due to growing aching and back pains.

I had the fun job of lugging a heavy video camera around and capturing the general feel and look of Urbana. The most interesting time was interviewing students. After one “dinner opportunity” where students were invited to partake in a meal that World Vision put together to show students what people dieing of HIV eat to regain their strength, a group of us went out to talk to the students. Even the ones that couldn’t eat the entire bowl of corn and soy mush stated that this was an experience they would do again and that it had changed their view about the poor. You can see the summary video for that day at until they take these videos down. There are also several other videos on that site, take a look, you can see more than just daily summary videos that 2100 put together.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Reach Out and Touch God

I was struck this past Sunday by a sermon on Acts 17th. In that chapter was a verse I had never really seen before. "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth and he marked out their appointed time in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us" Acts 17:26-27

Maybe it's because we've recently moved, but those verses have gotten me thinking about why God has put me where I am right now. And is it all for the reason that I might "perhaps reach out for God and find him?" When is it that I reach out for God? When is it that I stop reaching out for God?

Urbana behind the scenes

Urbana has come and gone! And now that I've had a behind the scene's look at some of the inner workings of Urbana, here are a few of the funnier stories from my week in St. Louis.

During registration on the first day, a young woman approached us and said there was a sign on the Missouri Athletic Club (one of the more prestigious hotels Urbana used) saying it was closed! Heart attack and a half! We immediately called the hotel asking what the deal was and they said, "oh, we always have that sign just have to ring the doorbell!" Now how many hotels do you know of that you have to ring the doorbell to?

Another funny mishap (well it's funny now), was that a staff worker named David who was working with me checked into his hotel room a few days prior to the convention. David knew that a Tim Peterson, an older mature white staff worker, would join him when the convention started. Day one of the convention David goes to his hotel room to find a young Asian college student sleeping on the couch in the room. He thought it odd, but went to sleep anyways thinking maybe Tim had a student who needed somewhere to crash. Day two David stops by on lunch break and finds a girl sleeping in his bed and the same guy still asleep on the couch. Much later that evening, he finally finds the guy on the couch and introduces himself. Much to his surprise, the young college student answers back, "my name is Tim Peterson." After much going back and forth, it turns out there happens to be two Tim Peterson's. Tim Peterson the elder and Tim Peterson the younger. Both of who know each other. Somehow I managed to house the wrong Tim Peterson with David! Luckily for all parties concerned, neither David’s wife or Tim Peterson the elder’s wife called the hotel asking for Tim Peterson’s room when Tim Peterson the younger’s female friend happened to be taking a nap. That would have been interesting to sort out! It's going to be a while before I live that one down!

But perhaps what was the most fun of all was teaching 20,000 eager new consumers how to use hotels. There are now 20,000 young students who now know that if you check out early from a hotel, you get charged a cancellation fee...or that you must put down a credit card or pay in cash when you check in. Or my favorite, if you don't check out before the listed check out time, you will get charged for an extra night! And yes these were all real situation or questions that got asked multiple times during the week! But I can rest assured that there will be 20,000 more people prepared to enter the hotel world and survive!

Urbana overall was really great and encouraging! If you haven’t gotten a chance to see any of the speakers, check it out at