Blake Thompson daht Net

Like I was saying....

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Soma Communities


This video from Soma Communities moves me in many ways. First of all, it’s beautifully filmed. It makes me think living in Tacoma, WA is desirable. Maybe it is. I don’t know. But the subject is Soma Communities in Tacoma.

But the subject of the video is beautiful as well. It moves me. Now this sort of missional community really IS desirable to me. Sure, it takes effort and intention and vulnerability. But hearing about it. Watching it. Something deep within me resonates with it as well. Is it just me?

Take a watch and then answer me two questions:

1. Would you be willing to engage life with others in this sort of community?
2. What would be your biggest hesitations about being a part of a missional community like Soma?


Does Helping Sometimes Hurt? TOMS shoes

helping hurt

My kids each have a pair of TOMS shoes. They think they’re cool. I had a pair for a few days before I returned the gift to the store. Just didn’t seem my style. I’d rather have a pair of running shoes. Or maybe get some Vibram Five Fingers.

But that said, the concept of TOMS seems pretty cool. Buy a pair of their shoes here in the States and an impoverished child in Africa gets a free pair of shoes. Great system, right? Some think so, but some disagree. Here’s a push back below from David Stupay. He says:

“Of course giving a free pair of shoes to children in the developing world is a good thing, isn’t it? Maybe not.

What people at the bottom of the economic pyramid need is not only free products dumped into their communities, but also low-cost products that are sold to that sustain them and their local economies.

Development is tricky business, and there is always the potential for collateral damage.”

He also left a comment on Dave Ferguson’s blog that said:

Continue reading

The old suit and new changes

There is a wedding happening this weekend. And I’m a part of it. I’m honored to be a part of of the wedding because I think a whole lot of the two people getting married. They are each former members of my old youth group. Now they’re college grads. A nurse and a soccer coach. Ready to live life together and follow hard after God.

Bev and I actually have been doing some pre-marital counseling with them. And now, as the weekend approaches, we get ready to see them joined together before family and friends. And that means I have get to wear a suit on Saturday.

I had to find my suit. It’s really been forever since I wore it. And when I found it, it was only halfway found. It was the jacket only. So then I had to hunt for the pants. The jacket fit well. The pants? Well, lets say I’ve had the suit a while and haven’t worn it in a while. I got the pants fastened. But didn’t have a shirt tucked in. I may need to do a colon cleanse before the weekend, huh?

But it got me to thinking again about eating well, exercising right, and making healthy choices. I try not to think through these things in terms of vanity or hoping to impress anyone. But I really do want to be healthier, make wiser choices, and take better care of my body so I can be around to enjoy my children and future grandchildren. And the way I eat sometimes, I could make Twix bars be their own food group.

Here are a few sites I’ve been checking in on now and then that I think will help me make a few new choices about how I live.

Nerd Fitness: I recently came across this site. But want to eat it up. He talks about eating clean, exercising with simple movements, and setting goals to smash with a victorious shout. Check it out. You’ll like it. Plus it has a great forum too.
Marks Daily Apple: Mark Sisson lives by what he calls the “Primal Blueprint”. Basically eat/move/rest like our early, early ancestors. He lays it all out here, but his whole site is interesting and has an active forum.
The Paleo Solution: Robb Wolf knows his stuff. I’ve read his book. Now if I’d only put it into practice. But he eats Paleo style. And I really wish I could would as well. Peruse his FAQ. What do you think? [Oh, and he has a forum too]

If I followed the advice and lifestyle of these sites/books, I’m sure I’d have no trouble at all fitting into that suit of mine. And my Saturday would be much more comfortable while I’m actually “IN” the suit.

What sorts of changes do you want to make?

Things I’ve [re]learned w/ Baby #4 after one month


Yesterday marked my new baby’s fourth week of existence. Come Friday he’ll be exactly one month old. And I really assumed that being the fourth time I’ve brought a baby home from the hospital I’d be really used to things. But you really do forget some of the rougher parts of having a baby. I think your mind purposefully forgets some things as a coping mechanism.

Now don’t get me wrong. Having a baby is awesome. I mean, I’ve not birthed one myself, but welcoming a new child into the family…words can’t describe.

But after one month or so of having him home here are some things I’ve [re]learned:

  • People will tell you your baby is beautiful even if they only see a blurry picture from your phone on the internet. People think they must say it no matter what. But who can really tell? My friend Jeremy says they all look like aliens [but I didn’t know he’d seen an alien.]
  • When a diaper is really messy, the pooh seems to find every crevice/wrinkle it can to seep into. You can use a lot of baby wipes in a single diaper change.
  • A warm baby seems to think a room temperature babywipe is like a sloppy wet kiss from an arctic glacier breeze.
  • Sometimes a baby would rather sit in your lap in a darkened living room at 3:31 a.m. than lie in his own bed under a really soft blanket.
  • A wet belch can be the most  beautiful and eagerly anticipated sound of the day.
  • I don’t like close talkers in my space. And I don’t like close baby talkers in my kids space either. Especially when I’m holding him and they are in our space.
  • Babies fool you the first few days. They let you think they’ll be awesome sleepers through the night. In reality, they’re awesome sleepers all around at first. Then they have no clue what time it is and don’t care what you think about sleep cycles either.
  • Wet diapers have a weird smell.
  • Your wife nursing your baby is lots different than mixing formula and cleaning bottles.
  • Having older kids makes having a baby both easier and harder. Easier: they can help out in a number of ways. Harder: they still have needs for you to attend to, and sometimes you tend them with one arm while holding a [hopefully] sleeping baby in the other.
  • I’m still not sure if you can or cannot spoil a baby by holding him too much. Looks like we’ll find out.
  • I’m finally over being scared to break him. At first he seemed tiny. Changing a diaper or shirt was a big deal. Didn’t want to dislocate a hip or shoulder.
  • What worked to calm him down five minutes ago might not work again for another five days. SMH.

The newness of fall

So it’s usually spring when people talk about seasons of newness. But now we sit here at “his” two week birthday. Yep, the boy I’m referring to here is my new son. The one I’ve not blogged about ever here. The one I never mentioned we were adopting. The adoption process that I’ve not addressed here on this blog. Ever. Sure, I mentioned that we had had thoughts of adoption before. Had encountered people who had adopted and been challenged by them. But never really mentioned it here. At all.

Now I did mention it over here. Actually set up a new blog for my wife (and I) to use for more family centric things. It started off with a bang but it has suffered from lots of ideas for posts but not as much execution.

But anyway, here’s where we are now. My wife and I have adopted a biracial boy. He is awesome. He sleeps a lot, eats a pretty good bit, and cries and poops. His brother and sisters absolutely adore him. They’re big helps. And sometimes minor annoyances. But it’s all in love. I know that. And I’m glad of that.

Having a new baby changes things. Especially coming at a time when things are getting busy: soccer games started up this week for our girls, small groups start up this week for us, Oxford gets full and busy in the fall, college football (GO DOGS!) starts up this week, and Fantasy Football is gearing up as well. Lots going on with time, work, schedules, and life. But I really wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s been a joy so far to see the impact this little boy has had on our family.

Adoption. There was a time in my life when I never would have considered it. At all. And now, here we are. We encourage others to think about it, pray about it, consider it, and see where God leads.

I’m looking forward to the fall. And to the changes in life. And writing about it here.

It’s been two years

Well, it seems the flu bug is back on the prowl.

In the middle of the night Wednesday Ella woke up with a sore throat. After a second time waking up she ended up in bed with us. You know it goes, sometimes it’s gone by morning. Sometimes not. This was one of the “not” times.

Still hurting in the morning and a fever. So we went to the doctor and turns out it’s THE FLU! The dreaded flu!!!!

But she got a bit of medicine, threw up once last night, and now seems to be doing much better today. Has energy back to near normal. Eyes are bright again. But still the sore throat. So though we seem on the upswing with her, our prayer is that the other two kids do not end up with it.

Sometimes I almost want to give them all a big cup to share so they’d all get something at once and get it over with. Otherwise, if it does make the rounds through the family, then it could get spread out over a few weeks instead of just a handful of days.

Back to life. Back to reality.

Well the first of the year started off with a flurry. My alarm didn’t go off because of a software glitch. But my wife’s did and I hit the ground moving to get my shower and things in the van before leaving for Atlanta and Passion 2011. I’d been looking forward to it for a while. And I was again blown away. So good.

It was four days of deep teaching, powerful worship, meaningful conversations, relationship building, and lots of walking. It wasn’t much in the way of getting much sleep though. Our hotel rooms were pretty suite too (pun intended) but it was a hassle to check in and check out of them. I saw lots of people I knew from different times in my life. I even saw people that were in my youth group as middle schoolers now actually leading college groups. Maybe that should make me feel old, but it doesn’t!

It was a fantastic experience to hear teaching from Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, and John Piper. But it was almost too much to ingest in a short four day period. I plan to spend some time over the next week or so digesting it all. And in the mean time I’ll post some thoughts and reflections on them. But it seems that after I got back I got a little head cold that has zapped me of any/all energy. I’m almost over it now and on the upswing. So all is (almost) well.

Headed to Passion 2011

Back in 1996 my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to go to a college conference with her campus ministry. It was over in Austin, TX and was called Passion. Some guy named Louie Giglio had put it together and Dave Busby was going to be speaking. So was John Piper. I had no idea who these guys were. But I did see that a band named Caedmon’s Call was going to be playing. So I said, “Sure, why not.” and signed up.

Those four days really shaped my life. I was just starting my first full time ministry job in January of 1997 and this trip was January 1-4. And I’ve been a huge respecter of Louie Giglio and his ministries ever since. Beverly and I went to the first three Passion conferences (97, 98, 99) and to OneDay 2000. While in Clinton I carried a group to Nashville for Passion 2006 and tomorrow we leave with a group of college students headed to Atlanta for Passion 2011.

If you’re not that familiar with Passion or Louie Giglio, then you should be. Louie is one of my favorite communicators of God’s truths. He does it in a casual way, but will sometimes punch you right in the gut (or face) with exactly what you needed to hear. His heart beats most for college aged people to see how much they mean to God and the ways He can move through them to make a difference in the world.

I plan to tweet and blog a little while in Atlanta about Passion and our time there. We’ll get to listen to Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, John Piper, Davie Crowder, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Redmon, Charlie Hall, Christie Nockles, and more. But I hope that our group really catches fire for seeing God’s glory made known back here in Oxford and beyond. Pray for us while we’re away.

Anyone else going to be at Passion?

I Punk’d My Mother In Law On Christmas

So on Christmas Day my mother in law comes over to see the kids and bring gifts and eat a late breakfast with us all. She’s always a flurry of activity in the kitchen getting things ready to put in the oven or take out of the oven or something else of that nature. But she kept having to go grab her cell phone because she kept getting “Merry Christmas!” text messages.

But she says, “I don’t know who half of these are from. It just shows me their number but not their name. So I must not have their number in my phone, right?” I smile, tell her “Yes, you are right.” and hatch a plan in my mind.

Five minutes later I sent her a text message using a number I know she won’t recognize: “Hey, Merry Christmas! I can’t wait to see you in a little while. I should be to your house soon. Do you have the hot cider ready?!?” Her phone dings and she starts laughing. “Here’s another message. And this person is going to be disappointed because I’m not there. But I have NO idea who this is!” But she’s laughing about it. I think it’s genius

About twenty minutes later I leave the room and  send her this one: “Hey, no one came to the door. You must be running a quick errand. Is it okay if I let myself in?” He phone dings. I am glad I left the room because now she starts getting a little worried. So she calls my brother in law who was still back home and asked him if anyone had been by the house or knocke on the door. He says no, and the she tells him she’s been getting strange text messages about someone coming by.

I’m in the next room doubled up laughing about it all. I’d told Addie about it and she told Bev, so Bev didn’t let me continue the joke any longer. I had about three other messages already planned to send. But Bev ended up telling her mom it was me all along. Annette thought it was funny too. She was a bit relieved. She thought it might have been a thief trying to case her place.

We sit down for breakfast and then I purpose to send my brother in law a text. Annette is all for it. I sent: “Hey, you mom said it was okay if I let myself in. Just wanted to make sure you were dressed. About a minute away from your house!!!” I clicked send, and her phone started ringing about five seconds later. “Did you tell anyone they could come on in the house!!!???!!!” Annette tried to keep her composure but she broke when he was talking about “reporting” the texts to someone.

So, two good jokes that were over before they should have been. But fun while they lasted.

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