>> www.joshburnham.me

This blog has been moved from this .blogspot address to another blogging platform. You can feel free to click around and read what's here, but for any new content, please check www.JoshBurnham.me.


The Great Influvanza

Through intense research and diligent study, I've come to this highly scientific conclusion:

Church vans are nasty.

I'm off to Epworth/SSI for the Confirmation retreat with our middle school confirmation class this weekend. The church van was most recently used for our youth mission trip and a trip to Augusta for a Lynx hockey game (as well as a few smaller youth trips around town), so it needed some cleaning out before we hit the road this afternoon. I found, in no particular order: french fries, plenty of candy wrappers, a chewed piece of gum, empty cans and bottles, sunflower seed shells, a tennis ball, an onion ring, an open Reese's peanut butter cup, a pin with the initial 'C' on it, a can of Raid, a kid's journal, Dramamine, and an eye-liner makeup pencil.

Anyway, it's all much better now - maybe not sanitary, but no one should contract the plague on our trip.

Technorati tags: , ,


Banned From Church

Alright, so when was the last time your church kicked a 71-year-old lady out?

I just read this article (yes, it's from Jan18, but I just came across it), and some Baptist church in Michigan kicked this lady out of the church. A couple thoughts...

So, there's a need to have some order and church discipline, and I'm sure the WSJ didn't get all the little personal details that lie behind a story like this, but... Wow! Is this really what's best for that local church? or the broader Church? When does it come to a point that someone should be banned from a church? Adultery? Public drunkeness? Gossip? Bed wetting?

And not trying to rationalize anything that may have legitimately been an issue of conflict within that church community, but, according to the article, she'd been a member for 50 years, taught Sunday school, helped pay the church's electricity bill when funds weren't there, and even cut the grass. She's planning to have an image of the church building engraved on her freaking tombstone! I'm thinking, she was probably acting with what she thought was in the church's best interest.

Sounds a lot like middle school. With adults. In positions of power.

That is a funny mental picture, though: I'm seeing the lady from Driving Miss Daisy sitting on a cot in the jail cell, one of those general holding cells with like six or seven other people. Her nice Sunday church clothes, hair pulled up in a little bun beneath one of those small fancy hats, hands neatly folded in her lap holding her purse, with a stern, disgruntled look on her face. "You robbed a church?" "No, I just attended one."

That's also a sad mental picture: 'No, I was just attending a church!' Yeah, that's the church in action right there, baby!

This article certainly makes it sound like a total power-play by the people in charge. She got kicked out of the congregation, escorted out of a service by Statey, twice, and is now publicly shunned by members of the church... because she asked the new pastor to abide by church bylaws and appoint some deacons?!? I'm not even Baptist and that sounds ridiculous!

Warning: Don't disagree with that pastor-guy. And if you do, don't mention it more than once.

Those were just a few of my reactions in no particular order. I'd be interested to hear what anybody else thinks about something like this.

Technorati tags: , ,


What a weird, fun way to check out music. Try it!

Technorati tags:


The Now Habit

[Notes from reading The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. These notes may seem incomplete and scattered to you, but that's because they're just the notes I jotted while reading. So, if you've got questions, or something looks interesting, or whatever... just comment.]

! People want to produce, create. Some have associated certain pain/fear with work. More than lazy or undisciplined, but there's a 'why' behind avoidance.

QT: That is, we procrastinate when we fear a threat to our sense of worth and independence. We only act lazy when our natural drive for fruitful activity is threatened or suppressed.(p15)

! Why? fear of resentment, failure, success

+ Look for patterns in avoidance behavior: when? what types of activities? feelings? justifications? attempted solutions?

! Illustration of 'Raising the Board' vs 'Creating Safety' (p48-54)

QT: The successful person fails many times and bounces back; but "the Failure" fails once, letting that one failure become a judgment of his or her worth, and thus, his or her identity.(p55)

! "Have to.." and "Should.." vs "I want", "I decide" and "I choose" (p58)

"I have to." vs "I choose to."
"I must finish." vs "When can I start?"
"This project is big and important." vs "I can take one small step."
"I must be perfect." vs "I can be perfectly human."
"I don't have time to play." vs "I must take time to play."(p77)

QT: One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our window today. -Dale Carnegie(p78)

Pull Motivate: plan "play" times and "work" times, so work doesn't seem never ending and you have target rewards

Reverse Calendar: set deadline and work back from there, chunking the work into doable pieces at set intervals (p100-102) [think gtd project planning]

-seems like more work than it's worth
-limiting time for work to create
a)pressure to focus in times
b)know you have planned play
c)visualize work times and scheduled downtimes
-some helpful principles (p127-130)
b)day off
d)30 min quality work
e)don't end down

Flow state:
-little overboard self help talk
-take a deep breath and focus

QT: These statements combine the three elements of effective work imagery (when, where, and on what you will start) and imply choice, safety, and starting. [The other important piece of the process is focusing.](p158)

QT: If you are having extreme difficulty concentrating, quickly jot down any distractions on a separate pad.(p172)

QT: "Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." -William James (p177)

QT: To work effectively with procrastinators - and that means most people - managers must keep in mind the three main issues that are at the bottom of most procrastination problems: feeling like a victim; being overwhelmed; and fear of failure. Successful leaders and managers address these problem areas by communicating in terms that elicit commitment rather than compliance, by focusing on manageable objectives rather than on overwhelming expectations, and by providing praise for steps taken in the right direction rather than just criticizing mistakes. Their management style creates a pull toward the goal, focuses on starting each step, and provides adequate safety and rewards. (p186)

Technorati tags: ,


Hillsong United

For a week or two now I've been listening the heck out of a couple of new-to-me cds (courtesy of an iTunes gift card). I recently got Hillsong United's "All of the Above" and "United We Stand" and four songs from "Look to You". Obviously I'd heard some of the songs before, prompting my interest in buying the cds, but honestly hadn't listened to HU much or knew much of anything about them. I'm really liking what I'm hearing right now. I'm sure I'll say more about this music sometime. Until then, you should hear some of this. Anybody got some HU favorites from these cds?

Technorati tags:


Valentines '08

Nothing says "love" like taking care of a 7-1/2mo old with diarrhea.

It may not be the blissful romance some people dream of, but it works for me.

Technorati tags:


A Pocket Is No Place

Blues Traveler has a song called, "The Mountains Win Again." It's basically about somebody leaving somebody and that somebody being hurt by it, but I'm sure there's a whole lot more in that story than the lines tell in black and white. There almost always is more to a story.

But there's this line in there, "A pocket is no place for a smile anyway."

I think that's right. A pocket isn't a very good place for a smile. A smile is what your mouth does, and that's best left right there on the front of your face. But, aside from the physical humor, what I think the line gets at (and really the rest of the song) is that we are most human when we experience feelings. And those aren't to be concealed in your pocket or behind so many of the other walls we put up. Rather, we should let our feelings be felt, experienced, and even shared. When we hide our feelings, we hiding a significant piece of ourselves. It puts up a wall. It separates us from those relationships around us.

Maybe that's one of the things so many people love about babies. Their innocence in self-expression. They laugh. They cry. They wear it all out there for anybody else to see. I don't think it's so much a self-centeredness as it is an all out honesty of how they feel. Now, there's a part of maturity that is learning how to express those feelings properly, but I don't think "properly" means learning not to express them.

Technorati tags: ,


Report on Run Tybee

After meeting some friends in Savannah for dinner at the Olive Garden Friday night, Shannon and I stayed in a little condo on the beach with some of my cousins. We all stayed up a little too late for having to run so far the next morning, but I guess that's part of the experience. Saturday morning it turned out not to be as cold as I was worried it would be, but it was still pretty chilly.

I intentionally started at a nice, slow pace, not wanting to burn out before I covered the distance. I told myself that if I was feeling good, I could pick it up about half way, at the eight mile mark and push harder. The first mile and a half is always toughest for me, and then I settle into a rhythm. By mile two I was cruising and felt real strong up to mile nine. My left calf and right quad tightened up a bit as I got up near the light house, but I was able to keep going and it worked itself out. Somewhere between mile eleven and twelve, I cramped up real bad and didn't think I could breathe. I'm pretty sure it's because I missed the water table at mile ten - they didn't have any cups ready when I came by. I was able to keep up my pace, though, and only walked about fifty feet by the twelve mile water table as I quickly guzzled two cups of water and took a few real deep breaths. From there I finished the race strong.

I did listen to my iPod while I ran. I had emptied it and loaded only my 'run' play-list and put it on shuffle, just for the variety and surprise of what would come up next. First song as we started running: God Will Lift Up Your Head, Jars of Clay. Second song: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley. I thought both were probably appropriate for running thirteen miles, but for them to be the first two songs that came up I thought was humorous.

My goal was to finish somewhere between 2hr 30min and 2hr 45min. I thought that was a reasonable pace for me and would feel good about that. You have two times: guntime (when they start the race clock and everyone begins running) and chiptime (when you cross the starting/finish lines, a timing chip they give you is activated/deactivated). According to the stop-watch over the finish line I finished in 2:18:46, but on my timing-chip, I managed to finish in 2:17:59! I beat my goal by twelve minutes. Now, that's not a super fast pace (it's a 10:36mile), but I was happy about it. Shannon made her goal in the 5k, too. She wanted to finish under 30min and ran it in 28. I was proud of her for making her goal.

I think I could do something like this again, and could see myself doing a full marathon. Just not anytime right away!

Technorati tags: ,


SatAM = 13.1m

Tomorrow morning I'm running in the Tybee half-marathon. I'm pretty excited about it and a little nervous. Back around Thanksgiving, some of my cousins were talking about it and I said, "Sure. I'm in."

I've been working up my distance since then and feel ok heading into tomorrow. The half-marathon is 13.1 miles. Thats a long way to run if nothing's chasing you. (Heck, it's a long way to run if something IS chasing you!) Turns out, I think I kind of like some of the longer runs. I guess one benefit is that I've lost about 12 pounds. Not that I was that heavy to begin with, but I'm certainly healthier now. When I decided to do it, I felt like a needed a goal; something to look forward to and something I had to work to achieve. This provided that and we'll see how prepared I am tomorrow morning.

I'll update with pictures after the event. (Oh yeah, and Shanon's running the 5k.)

Technorati tags: ,

Back from Blogging Break

Well, I've finally returned from my blogging break. The end of '07 and beginning of '08 have been busy in many ways, so I told myself to take a break from posting through January. Guess the polite thing would have been to give anybody that checks this somewhat regularly a little heads-up on that, huh? Sorry. I'll explain more of my break later.

I didn't totally abandon the blog. I've been working on the look. There was too much on the page before, and I wanted to cut some of it out. I changed the layout to one of the blogger templates and just tweaked it a bit. I updated the subscribe options, moved the categories into a drop-down menu, and cleaned up the blog post format and the links I listed in the sidebar. You can still check my facebook, flickr, youtube, amazon wish-list, and librarything from the sidebar. I still want to tweak a few other little things (blockquotes and there's a header picture that I can't get to work yet), but overall, it's much simpler now. That's probably more than enough about the stuff that I care about more than any of you all, so we'll leave it at that and say the one thing you might would care about.

Thoughts will be posted here much more often now.