hello. this is mike taking over blog duties for the 5 month post.

hopefully this entry finds some of our friends who aren't as active on facebook. it's way too easy to update on facebook and forget that not everyone is as addic-- i mean, interested in the facebook.

five-month picture

fall family festival

this is code for "halloween". in my house growing up, we never really made a big deal either way about costumes and candy during this season (i dressed up as dracula almost every year and one year even had my cape freeze in an unusually cold edmonton fall), but in a recent conversation i learned that my parents were a little embarrassed to see pictures of their children and grandchildren dressed up when their home church strongly discouraged people from doing so. oops!

anyways, in case you didn't see it already, this is our family dressed as batman, alfred (his butler) and catwoman. my outfit is basically just a suit with a mustache. i had to make sure to be with sammy at all times that evening - not only so the costume made sense, but so that people wouldn't think i was a super-creep.

S&L ministry update

i am thoroughly enjoying being the pastor of this group. i love walking alongside people of this age-group and i get to do all the things i love about being a pastor: teaching scripture (both in sermons and bible studies), counseling, doing life-together and brain-storming ways to be kingdom-minded in our local context.

if anyone knows me, you know that one of my passions while on staff with inter-varsity was teaching the gospel of mark. well, no surprise that our recent sermon series has been in the first half of that book. after doing a series on ephesians (a book that radically changed how i view church), a book series from The Good and Beautiful Community (by James Bryan Smith), and a series in the Lord's Prayer, I was genuinely excited to finally preach from the Jesus story.

you don't have to fancy it up or add all kinds of illustrations or stories - the story itself is just too compelling. my job is to give some context so that the message is conveyed clearly, but then sunday after sunday simply invite people to follow this Jesus that absolutely jumps off the page. it's fun.

what's next? an american thanksgiving banquet after service (they just call it thanksgiving here), a four-week advent series leading up to christmas, our first leader's retreat in december and a new round of community groups and bible studies in january.

pop-culture update

i know many of you depend on my vast knowledge of pop-culture to know "what's cool" in the world of tv, movies, music and books (okay, i'm obviously being facetious here), so here are a few recommendations:

must-see movie: ARGO

a surprisingly tense but entertaining movie based on historical events, but obviously hollywood-ed up to enhance the drama. especially fun because of the role of good-natured canadians in this otherwise america-centric tale about a hostage-rescue attempt.

must-see tv show:LOUIE (mike) and RUNNING MAN (min)

there was a time when min and i watched tv together. that is no longer the case. because of the baby and truthfully, our limited ability to just sit down and watch tv, we just watch what we can, when we can.

i like louie because it's short, funny (but in very subtle and often disturbing ways), and unlike anything else on tv.

min likes running man, a korean variety-comedy-game show because she thinks its funny. we disagree.

must-read book: GAME OF THRONES (fiction) and THE APPRENTICE SERIES (non-fiction) 

okay, game of thrones is violent and crass, but it's the first work of fantasy since the lord of the rings that i've actually been able to finish. i also like the tv show, though, so maybe that helps. people have called it "the sopranos set in middle-earth" - i think that's a fitting description.

the apprentice series (the good and beautiful God / life / community) is a series of books that focus on helping people become disciples. simply written, i've used it in many different ways at church (small group curriculum, sermon series, individual mentoring contexts etc) and the content is almost always met very favorable. it's like dallas willard and richard foster-lite. good stuff.

must-listen-to music: MUMFORD and SONS: BABEL

not as good as "sigh no more" but still listenable.

okay, that's all for us this month, friends. we miss all of you who are far from us. we are hoping to make some trips out west in the coming months. stay tuned.

here are some recent pictures of us (well, mostly of sammy).


mike and min.

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