You’ve heard me say it before, but I love the conVERGE conference. The 2012 conference video is out and it features the music of Tim Timmons (who led music that week) and many scenes from the weekend. Held at Gull Lake Conference Center in Michigan, the 250 or so student leaders who attended experienced a high-tech and content-intensive weekend. I still hear comments from youth workers that it was the best event they’ve EVER taken their students to attend. So, while I’m looking forward to seeing what conVERGE looks like next year, I thought I’d post their highlight video so you can catch a glimpse of the spirit of the weekend.
Archive for March 2012
It was only a matter of time. Housing and real estate led the way in 2009 – and now it’s college education. The bubble seems ready to burst, the pins are sharneped, and what we hear could be both good and bad news. It’s good in that it will address some efficiency problems. It’s very bad in that our economics have forced us to take our eyes off of what the purpose of education is. Many still approach a college education with the goal of simply being able to eventually earn more money.
It used to be that one could ‘invest’ in home ownership, certain to get a return on his or her investment as housing prices rose and outpaced commodities and CDs. Banks gleefully approved people for loans to the limits of sensibility and we happily signed on the bottom line for the biggest home we could afford. “We’ll get it all back and we’ll always earn more in the future,” we said.
I just completed a weekend of travels across the Midwest and arrived back to my home state of Indiana. As I neared my home, I was able to gain a glimpse of Indiana through the eyes of other Americans traveling through. A much-maligned state, there are many good aspects to living in Indiana, especially when compared to states that seem to get a free pass on critiques (i.e. Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin). But Indiana has one glaring problem to visitors and it’s the elephant along the toll road that clearly (I think) kept our governor from feeling confident about his candidacy for our country’s top office:
Indiana’s toll road rest areas.
In my preparation for speaking at a ministers’ and spouses’ retreat this weekend, I ran across a game I once led at a marriage retreat for a church. It’s called the “Not So Newlywed Game” and it’s pretty tame (if you ever saw the original show, you know what I mean), but a lot of fun. You have to run it like the old Newlywed Game Show, which means you’ll need to act (and dress?) like a game show host…. and you’ll need an assistant writing down the answers in marker on decent-sized poster board. Once you learn how the game runs, this format is a great opening to have some fun, build repoire, and get to know some people from your group.
Oh, and one disclaimer… It’s quite likely that I borrowed much of these questions, so I apologize for any infractions. It’s been so long since I used this that I forget where I may have found the questions. But, the format ‘works’ so if you think any of these are lame, feel free to edit/add your own! If you want some more ideas, I have another set of questions here. read more…
Globalization’s most significant divide isn’t between countries, but the gap it grows between the have’s and the have-not’s within countries. One such gap exists between rural and urban youth, particularly in underdeveloped countries where roads and technology don’t allow for people to commute very far. Teens in cities have greater access to technology, to learning one of the world’s major languages (English, Mandarin, Farsi, Spanish), and obtaining a better education. Thus, they’ll likely earn more as adults and have better healthcare and so on.
The world recently reached a milestone when now more than half of its population lives in cities and less than half lives in rural areas. This has some concerned about the future of farming in the world. Farming is a difficult profession, with little prospect for significant ‘advancement’ or status in life. If you’re a dairy farmer, arguably the most demanding lifestyle in the world with little chance to see the world beyond a half day’s drive from home…. ever, that is more pronounced. And yet the world’s stomachs turn on the daily ability of farmers to produce food.
I am so fortunate to be a member of the faculty at this amazing and spiritually-vibrant Christian college. Building on it’s rich tradition and staying true to its Christ-centered mission, Bethel College keeps getting better and better and stronger and stronger. But that growth doesn’t come at the expense of continuing to understand that God has blessed Bethel and that it’s not possible for anyone to take credit for what’s happening here at Bethel College.
This week the college invigorated (my term) its message regarding what has been happening at Bethel College. As Bethel becomes more than a regional school and continues to draw students from across the nation and around the world, this new ‘brand’ will help identify the unique qualities of Bethel College and, well, give the school a more contemporary ‘look’ to its materials. For more about the process click here. These two videos below will help show what’s happening:
Political correctness keeps us from saying things that would offend what’s important to another person’s identity and well-being. We are keenly aware the certain groups ought not to be publicly mocked (and they shouldn’t!), that certain words are inappropriate to say (and they are!) at any time, and that we need to be sensitive to others (and we do!), especially other religions.