Adventure in Trying

651) Pray boldly.
652) Give more than you think you can afford.
653) Always unplug it first
654) Never work at a job for which you must drive a car covered in the company name and logo.
655) Some of the hardest truths to tell are the ones people most need to hear. 
656) If you feel compelled to speak painful truth into someone’s life, speak it. It’s not going to get easier.
657) It’s “nuclear” not “nucular.” Don’t be that person.
658) Picnic. Every chance you get.
659) Keep a frisbee in the car.
660) Life is beautiful.
661) There is always hope.
662) Self-neglegence is not selflessness.
663) Satisfying needs in your life is not selfishness.
664) When you can, pick the house with the fireplace.
665) Be a coupon clipper. 
666) Take all of your antibiotics.
667) Read the paper.
668) Watch the news.
669) Discuss things you don’t understand.
670) Discuss the sermons you hear.
671) It is not the pastor’s responsibility for you to learn.
672) In fact, learning in any regard is a personal production.
673) The struggles of your heart are not easily overcome alone.
674) God only does what is good, right and best.
675) Do not just be in a small group. Participate.
676) But only as long as the focus remains on God.
677) Always replace the trash bag.
678) When the roll is empty, put a new one on. Don’t just set it out.
679) Taxidermy. Don’t. Unless bear. (from your Uncle Joel)
680) Friends are never burdens.
681) Your cellphone is not more important than the people you are with. Unless it’s your mom.
682) Some of the best empathy you will receive will come from a dog. 
683) Some nights you desperately need to sleep. Often those are the nights you are most needed to stay up.
684) You aren’t missing that much by not eating meat.
685) When you leave the room turn off the light.
686) Recipes are guidelines not rules.
687) Experiment when you’re cooking.
688) Frogs are fun to catch and play with, but they are not pets. 
689) Puddles are for walking through.
690) Don’t give Satan too much credit; he doesn’t need the encouragement.
691) Where you want to be is not always where you need to be.
692) Only take a loan out on things that will pay it back. (college, house)
693) If you can’t afford it in the long run don’t buy it now.
694) Cars are to be given names.
695) Dog not cat.
696) Eat breakfast.
697) Embrace change.
698) Call your grandparents on their birthdays.
699) There’s always a reason to celebrate
700) Some times your first instinct is not the right answer. In fact, it often is not.

Adventure in Venture

I was two when I met Josh Howard. I was 18 the last time I sat down and really talked to him.

For differing amounts of time over the last three years Josh has been in Slovakia working with Josiah Venture.  Teaching leaders about discipleship, teaching English and growing beautifully in Christ.

If I’m honest, which I try to be, Josh was once scattered in his storytelling and was hard to follow. In the last five years and more directly in the last three years he’s become someone so passionate about what he has to say he’s hard not to listen to. It’s beautiful to watch his eyes fill up with excitement as he tells the amazing story of Matco’s conversion from punk kid to leader. As he admits that he doesn’t care about English, but is growing in excitement each day as he prepares to work with fusion which incorporates arts and music and Christ.

It is a thrilling and powerful thing to see an old friend so marvelously changed and passionate about what God is doing. What it means to be pursuing God’s heart. How it looks to do that. And how the world is everywhere and how much of an impact each human can have on that, but only by the grace and power of God.

My words about it all are few, but my heart is overflowing with joy.

Adventure in Being Better

601) Be the kind of friend who is comfortable kissing your friends on the cheek.
602) Know how to jump a car
603) In a convertible: If the top is down so are the windows.
604) Don’t make out with boys you barely know or because you’re bored and he is there. 
605) Don’t be someone people can consider sleazy or slutty. Even a little.
606) Stand up for yourself.
607) Stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves.
608) Most of the people you talk to are the go-betweens. It is not their fault
609) People who work at the hospital deal with crappy people all of the time. Be a bright spot in a dismal place.
610) Clapping is a way of thanking a performer. Even if you didn’t like the performance clap; they have given you something unique.
611) If you are performing and don’t get applause don’t bow. Just like applause, a bow is a “thank you.”
612) No vanity plates.
613) Or sports team plates.
614) If you ask a boy out you are responsible for your own expenses at the very least.
615) Don’t ask a boy out.
616) Don’t sing along at the theatre.
617) Unless you are asked to by those involved with the production. Then you sing your heart out.
618) Recycle.
619) When walking, if you pass anyone, say, “excuse me.”
620) Never return an empty dish.
621) Appreciate the simple things.
622) Just because it isn’t your mess does not mean you can’t clean it up.
623) Do not give a standing ovation unless you feel it is deserved.
624) After a production be kind and forgiving with your compliments.
625) But don’t lie.
626) In an empty movie theater your feet may go up on the seat in front of you.
627) In any other theatre, full or not, your feet stay on the floor.
628) Saying “I love you” over and over doesn’t give it more value. It removes the value.
629) Do not be ashamed of your interests.
630) Vinegar on your french fries.
631) Don’t miss an opportunity to spend even seemingly frivolous time with people.
632) Electronics are not for the beach.
633) If you need an immediate response, call.
634) Go on, mix your cliché metaphors. They’re silly anyway.
635) A popular book is not often a good book.
636) Educational television, especially designed for children, is a powerful tool; don’t neglect it.
637) Not everything on a science or history-related channel is fact.
638) Non-fiction literature is not all truth.
639) Know the difference between a good actor, a popular actor and a pretty actor.
640) Gender-neutral language is a waste of effort.
641) If you must be a feminist do not rage.
642) True gender equality does not offer separate standards (tests, language, etc.) for men and women.
643) Always check the back seat.
644) Words will get stuck in your head and be used too much. Catch this and limit the use to three times a day until you’re tired of keeping track so you stop using it too much.
645) You don’t have to hear a song for it to get trapped in your mind.
646) Go ahead and try running. Even if you hate it. You’ll feel better about yourself.
647) Running is a good way to burn off some frustrations.
648) Most things are best made from scratch.
649) Fresh picked flowers are pretty in your hair for about 10 minutes. Then they’re gross.
650) He who honks rather than coming to the door is not for you.

Adventure in Constant Vigilance

551) The best form of crowd control is chanting
552) Angry mobs can come at any pace from any place
553) If you think someone should be sent a card. Send one.
554) If you have an urge to write an angry letter to someone. Write it.
555) Then read it and throw it away.
556) Sunscreen
557) Hats: when it’s cold out and your hat is knitted.
558) Hats: baseball hat if you’re on that team
559) Hats: no other time. especially “fashionable” ones 
560) Some relationships will require the extra effort.
561) Some require a mountain of effort, but it should never all come from you.
562) Gloves provide your digits mobility. Mittens keep them warmer.
563) Both make things impossible to do, but you wear them when it’s cold out, missy!
564) You don’t need tv.
565) If you choose to not have a tv, don’t be a turd about not having a tv.
566) Good shampoo is more expensive. It also lasts longer and doesn’t destroy your hair.
567) Avoid chemicals in your hair and on your skin
568) Take care of your fingernails.
569) And don’t bite them.
570) Stretch.
571) Running is not the only form of exercise.
572) Exercise.
573) Don’t live with your best friend.
574) If you like a book or movie buy it.
575) Loan the book to friends.
576) Watch the movie with friends.
577) Write in your books.
578) Take trips by yourself.
579) Take trips by yourself to go see your friends.
580) The safest place when you are alone is completely covered up in your blankets.
581) You are never too old for animal crackers
582) Watch movies from well-before you were born.
583) E-mails, texts once you send them you can never get them back. 
584) In the fall and in the spring a scarf counts as a full coat.
585) There are more things to make with the snow than snowmen
586) Play in the snow.
587) Be careful with the pigtails. 
588) Go on, talk to the people around you in line at the check out.
589) Discern what it is you need to be reading for classes.
590) If you have to abbreviate to make it fit into a text, call. 
591) Cuddle
592) Hold hands. With your friends and that boyfriend you don’t need to have.
593) People can say what they want; granny panties are not more comfortable.
594) Listen to NPR
595) Watch PBS
596) Support them both.
597) Don’t let all of your time spent with friends be spontaneous. Plan things and make dates.
598) As you get older television will get worse.
599) Don’t just walk callously passed the houseless.
600) If it looks like it will rain carry umbrella.