picture 11 – the hotness

This is a picture from NST today. It was our first theme dinner – retro night. Next to me is Jeff Bergeson. If you notice, you’ll see I’m wearing a new pair of glasses. This is becuase I lost my glasses on a boat last week… whoops.

Hope all is well.


wk ii pt i

This week marks the beginning of support raising, and it’s funny how a year can change your perspective on something as difficult as this part of your job.  When I started, I remember making phone call after phone call, and I was so nervous about it.  I kept thinking “dang, what happens if they say no?  What happens if they aren’t interested in what I do?”, and while I was blessed in the last year with the support I needed (which is a statement that can work whether I’m at 20 or 100%), I’ve found that this year as I’m working on support, it’s becoming a much easier expierence.  Here’s a couple reasons why – and for any of you who are starting your support raising, hopefully this will be a help for you, too:

  • I’m 100% convicted that this is what I’m supposed to do.  The CCO is an amazing organization, and I can do work that is making a difference in the world.  Shelby Black said she tells folks she talks to that she’s working with the most powerful people in the world – which is completely true.
  • If someone does not want to support me, that’s okay.  This is something much more easily done on the top than on the bottom of a support raising mountian, I realize, but I want to believe that regardless of where I was, if God isn’t calling somone to support my ministry for whatever reason, that’s just fine.  Becuase ultimately I’m not in the business of changing hearts and minds, just merely providing the opportunities to do so.  When God calls, He calls.
  • God is a God of abundance, not of scarcity.  Really beliving this makes me realize that I have no reason to beg, that God will provide for all of His people, as He has for a few millenia.
  • This isn’t my money, anyway.  It’s God’s.  Thinking about that more critically makes me realize that what comes, comes; and what goes, goes.  My responsibility is to steward what I’ve been given.  This stewardship concept really ends up permeating all of life, and might be one of the larger paradigm shifts I’ve had in the last year or two.

So, contrary to what some folks say, I believe that support raising gets easier.  Or, if anything, it becomes more acceptable, becuase it’s part of what one does as he or she is working on this staff, or most parachurch organizations, anyway.

A couple other things to leave you with, as well: one is the Eller wedding was nice.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  But two is I’ve realized for some reason this relationshippy datey thing has been on my mind waaaay too much.  I think it’s a mix of feeling more okay with thinking about those things more fully than I had felt awhile ago, and probably also just that I’m feeling older.  I said something today about being 23 and not married, and KTT was like “23 and not married?!  C’mon, that’s so silly.  You’re still young!”

 …23 and young.  Sometimes I forget that.  It’s something to be remembered more often.  The same as I should remember 25 and young, 27 and young, 30 and young.

ps- I feel like these entries aren’t as good as they should be.  If you feel this way, apologies.  If you don’t feel this way, ignore this sentence.

wk i

It's almost the end of the first week of New Staff Training, and I can think of a few quotes that were pretty funny:

  • Get that corn out of my face! (well, y'know, that's Nacho Libre, but funny anyway)
  • Cause… and effect.  There's a cause, and then, it makes an effect.
  • Get a job!

And the list goes on, but let's be honest, you don't want to see my inside jokes.

I've been blessed to watch these new staff form a community with each other.  They seem happy, attentive, and desiring to be here.  As excited as I am in a couple hours to be heading off to watch Aaron and Katie get married, I'm going to miss this community.  It's a blessing to watch these folks already care about each other so much.  They're beautiful people, and to all of you CCO staff who might read my blog – come out here.  You won't be disappointed.

Another great part of this time so far has been the affirmation I've received from people, new and current staff alike, that I'm called to this work.  Often, as I've discovered, campus ministry can be a lonely job and often thankless job, where appreciating the small things is paramount.  Anyway, yesterday Shelby Black was leaving NST to head back to Kent State where she has worked in ministry for 12 years.  She has developed countless leaders, and in many ways is considered an elder stateswoman in the CCO (more for her skills and gifts, less for the sheer amount of time and experience).  I saw her getting in her car, and said that I hoped she had a nice drive back to Kent.  She said thank you, and how it was a joy to spend some time with me, saying that the staff will be blessed by my presence this summer, and that she was pleased I was working at NST.  She then said "Adam, you're doing a great job".  This might have been one of the biggest compliments I've received since starting in ministry.  Here is Shelby Black saying I was doing a good job.  It seems to be analogous to a student's capstone professor saying that he was fully impressed by what the student did.

Without a doubt, this is a time of great life-giving and renewal for me, as well as a time for me to empty out for the New Staff.  God uses me.  And I'm so humbled by that.  But it's so wonderful to be reminded of it every once in awhile.

 much peace to you all.

i heart bf

Hi all.  I'm in Beaver Falls, PA, home of Geneva College and my home for the next five weeks.  I love it here.  It is a way to retreat from the world and do some things that I love to do constantly.  I look forward to doing some blogging for you all to let you know what life is like as a new staff trainer.  Obviously, it's as much for the history (I mean, you see, almost 5 years of blogging… it's my life there!) as it is for you, but if you enjoy it, great!

We've spent the most of the last couple days getting things ready for the new staff to come to campus – lots of unpacking, arranging, food purchasing, packet creating, etc, etc.  I love the folks up here.  What I enjoy the most is that the support staff I'm working with (Kelly, Austina, Matt, KTT, Lindsey, and Beth) are all folks I've known basically since I joined staff, so I feel really comfortable.

I'm also the youngin' of the group at 23… and, if I suppose right, the youngin' by a good 2 years.  Which is great.  I'm so rarely the youngest of a group, that when it comes, I can use it a chance to grow (…and get picked on.  But, y'know, it happens).

In case I didn't tell you, one of my big goals for this summer and my spiritual life is to become more disciplined.  That is to say I desire to work in the foundations of developing a good spiritual life and making it more consistent.  The seminal book on the topic is Richard J. Foster's "Celebration of Discipline".  I got back into reading it again today, and started on "The Discipline of Prayer".  I was so intrigued by the first even few sentences:

Of all the Spirtual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father… Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us.  If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives… In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God's thoughts after him: to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to will the things he wills.

As I grow older and continue to take a walk in faith, I'm constantly humbled how simple words, often repeated to me, but nuanced differently, will create a new plane of understanding of who God is and what He means to me and all of us.  This, I suppose, is the hallmark of growth – you look at the same thing deeper and differently.


the hit parade

Today I was in Pittsburgh for work in the CCO office.  I love Pittsburgh, by the way – as much as someone from Ohio can without feeling traitorous.  Anyway, it was a really nice time.  When coming from Salem, I come in through the Fort Pitt tunnels, and in Perks, Stephen Chbosky writes his characters feel "inifinite" in a scene where they go through them.  I think about that as I go through them each time.

But the odd thing was all the nostagia it brought it.  It, without a doubt, because the "Adam Anderson relationship hit parade": a large advertisement for the Mozart room at Heinz Hall; Heinz Hall itself; during a bottleneck back on the Fort Pitt Tunnels, I saw the nice Italian restaraunt overlooking downtown Pittsburgh; Ikea and the "mmmmmm-bop-bop-bop-baaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuu" came on (the Counting Crows version of "You don't know what you got until it's gone" song).  There were probably 2 or 3 other things I just kept thinking about past relationships I had.  It was never anything bad, just the bittersweet nostagia that comes with relationships past.  It's like I said before, you never get over them, you just attach them to your heart, and they're just part of you.

I prayed about it as I drove home, too, beacuse it was so smack-you-over-the-head, that I wondered if it was just what it was, or if God was trying to tell me something.  If anything, it was a good time to meditate with God.  Sometimes you have to do that.  Just say "hey, God, this is what's going on… help me understand" and just leave it at that.  It's much like Elijah in the wilderness – it's not always the earthquakes or strong winds, it's the whispers that God answers.

Also, here's my list of CDs I listened to while galavanting in the 412:

  • Nick Drake – Bryter Layter
  • Elliott Smith – Figure 8
  • Sondre Lerche – Two Way Monolouges
  • HHT's delicious mix

These are such atypical driving albums.  Usually it's The Roots, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Common.  It was so relaxing, though.  And I'd highly recommend purchasing the first three.  The last one is a one-of-a-kind, and you probably can't get it.  Sorry.

Maybe I've just become chill.  It's a possiblity.  Probably not.  I'm still a spaz.  As demonstrated by the last few sentences.

Also, I got a postcard from Tricia Dituro from LDW, and a card and picture from Bridget Eshe.  Both were welcome additions to my life.

peace to all of you.  NST starts tomorrow.  A+ Ax.

a little something more

  • Played golf today and played my best game ever at a 46 (+10).  This is only significant because of the fact that I think I'm finally starting to play golf through 9 holes, as my best shots were my last 4.  I almost birdied the 9th hole at Salem Hills (which might be may favorite hole of any I've ever played), had it not been for a bad putt from about 6 feet away.
  • The thing I want to leave you all with is a book I have.  A few weeks ago (well, the last time it was 90 degrees… I don't remember) I decided to head into the big used book store in Salem.  It, along with the Roastery, are the best things about the itty-bitty town I live near.  I decided to settle on a TS Eliot book containing his complete poetry and plays from 1909-1950.  It was originally held by a guy by the name of George L. LaNeve, who I was told was a pretty famous sports broadcaster here in Ohio, and apparently he had purchased it September 13th, 1958.  Today I decided to flip through it, and in Prufrock, there were two lines underlined:

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,

 I found this to be at the same time really intersting and sad.  Prufrock is one of my favorite poems of all time, and I think there is so much beauty in it, but for someone to underline those two particular lines paints a picture of Mr. LaNeve.  There are also a couple index cards where he wrote notes about The Waste Land and Four Quartets.  I feel like those'll be great things to read tonight.

Here's my schedule in case you wondered: tomorrow, Pittsburgh; Thursday, Beaver Falls; Next Friday and Saturday, Grove City; Until July 23d, Beaver Falls.

 I'll update soon.  Meanwhile, read some old stuff.  There's something like 400 entries waiting for you!


a couple things

  • I ran a mile today in 7:27.  This significant for two reasons: one, it's the shortest time I've ever ran a mile; two, a year ago at this time, I doubt I could even run a mile.  Thank you to all the Gannon folks who played frisbee each Sunday.  That was one of the biggest things to get me into shape.
  • I got my haircut today.  This, in and of itself is no biggie, but what did make it pretty interesting were the folks there.  Two mothers specifically – one with 4 kids, and another with 3.99, and she was due next Tuesday.  I just listened to their conversation about their first kids.  Apparently, pregnancies get easier in time – 18 hours, 9 hours, 3 hours.  The first time the water won't neccessarily break.  You begin to lose patience with your other kids as the pregnancy gets further along.  I learned more about pregancy in 25 minutes at the Famous Hair in Canfield than I have in ages.  It was great.

Much love.  This my end my streak of blog entries, as life will be upending soon.