My Thoughts, My World, My Blog

I work in Community Relations for a Christian Non-profit organization in Idaho, where I live with my beautiful wife Amy and our 2 children.

Name:
Location: Boise, ID

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Moving to WordPress

I am shifting my blogging to chadhouck.wordpress.com, though I will be leaving this blog up for at least a little while...

I will also be redirecting the ChadHouck.com domain name there as well, but if you want to get back to here, it will be in the blogroll, so look it up as "My First Blog"

I have not yet decided if I will migrate the posts here over to there, but I am definately interested in some of the wordpress features and flexiblity.

See you there soon, and, Mark, if you are reading this, well done on sharing your word with everyone in your last post... I have been waiting for more!

My Thoughts, My World, My Blog: Ejection Seats of Divisiveness

My Thoughts, My World, My Blog: Ejection Seats of Divisiveness

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Its a small world afterall

The last several days have seemed so hurried that I realized I've not posted anything since Wednesday of last week. So much happening and so little time to write about it.

One thing, however, stood out today that I think worthy of comment. I was speaking to a friend in California about a concept ministry project that we have been working on for several months, and expressing my concern about finding the right programming know-how, platform, and people to pull off this project. I was shocked when he referred me to a website, and more specifically to a pair of guys right here in my own "backyard" so to speak as a potential next step for conversation. Ironically, I had just recently stumbled across these same names on my own.

My point, however poorly focused, is this: There are more Christians around than we either know of or give credit for, and some of them are doing some amazingly cool things. What would it take to finally get us together on the same page, working truely toward the same goal, pulling in unison so to speak? It doesn't seem like it should be that insurmountable of a task... I guess I'm due to find out...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ejection Seats of Divisiveness


The United Church of Christ has recently released their newest ad campaign zeroing in on growing their congregations by focusing on those rejected by the church. The ad is featured on their website, "RejectionHurts.com" and shows people being selectively "ejected" from the pews. Those ejected include a mother with a crying baby, the man of whatever ethnicity he is (at right), a homosexual male couple, and a handicapped person, among others, and then follows with the screen text: "God doesn't reject people". The site is supposed to have testimonies, of which there were only 8, (mind you that all 8 of these are valid and deserving of attention) however I was curious if they would post my opinion that I took the time to share with them. For editorial integrity, I have posted it below:

First, to all of those who have shared their absolutely valid testimonies and stories of how they have been wronged by the church, Thank you for your openness, and on behalf of myself and my family who call ourselves by the name Christian, we are sorry for your experiences.

That said, to the directors of the "United" church of Christ, can you explain to me how this website, this commercial, and this campaign is anything but divisive? You are not solving the problem, but merely propegating it by drawing the "Us and Them" line even further apart.

I am saddened by the fact that you have chosen to attack the ecumenical church as a whole in order to grow your own cause in the name of tolerance. Poor practice in my book. I am curious - since I disagree, will you have the integrity to post my opinion, or will you yourselves choose to play the role of that which you so disdain, and "eject" me? If you truely want to effect change, than engage in the dialouge that creates it. Otherwise, you are doing nothing more than adding to the noise. Lets see where you stand, as the ball is most respectfully in your court.
I will post any replies I receive to this blog, so check back.

Please feel free to do the same, and to comment. This was brought to my attention by Todd Rhoades on his Monday Morning Insights blog. Thanks Todd.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Creating THE PURPLE COW


Church Goes Monster Truck - Listen to the Radio Spot

Every once in a while, someone comes up with an idea that "scrapes the proverbial skin off the top of the pudding" and brings a fresh new stir to church marketing. Though this was "just for fun", I love the concept, and feel like we need to be able to have a little fun once in a while, even if it is ourselves that we are laughing at. Also, there are some interesting opinions on the Anglican Postmortem blog

Hats off also to Granger Community Church in Granger IN for their "My lame sex life" website and the Pure Sex series. Well done. If you haven't seen it, check it out. Apparently, these guys are also doing some church training as well to discuss the ideas behind the series and the motivation. Check out the training at wiredchurches.com, or go to Tony Morgan's blog, who is part of the team behind the concept.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Talking about The Answer Bank in San Jose

Enjoying dinner with Jeff Kays from Alliance Systems in San Jose, as he marvels at the fact that we have actually just posted his photo to the web from our booth at dinner.

Rounding up the first series of meetings on the Answerbank concept, our 3 day trip to San Jose was a great success. Thank you to all who met with us, and Jeff, thank you for sharing a meal with us and for your great insight.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Lost Children of Uganda


(additional information can be found in this BBC article from 2004, or by searching LRA, Night Commuter, or Uganda Crisis on Google)

Imagine a war that is fought by children, some as young as 7, against children their own age. Imagine being abducted and then forced under threat of death to kill or maim your own siblings. It sounds barbaric and obscene, yet it happens today. Organizations like World Vision, Save the Children, and others are engaged in center of a political and cultural war that is claiming the lives of thousands of children in Northern Uganda.

Take the time to look at the articles above. They are eye opening - or google the LRA or Ugandan Children

What do we do? The greatest travesty would be to sit idley by and do nothing. Spread the word. Talk about it at school and at church. Lets ask our politicians why something as inhumane as this can be allowed in our world today. Children by the thousands are walking up to 8 miles per night just to sleep in safe compounds to avoid abduction by the LRA, then walking home in the mornings to try to go to school.

Some excerpts from the Christianity Today article:
Even while LRA terrorism directed against children has intensified, the U.S. government has not made the conflict a high priority. Many believe that without U.S. involvement, the abductions, killing, and maiming will continue.

In August 2004, the U.S. government enacted the Northern Uganda Crisis Response Act, which essentially calls LRA terrorism a great tragedy, offers limited support for a negotiated solution, and warns Sudan not to support the LRA. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said, "I will remain committed to stopping the horror that has stolen the innocence of so many Ugandan children." The Bush administration has placed the LRA on tier two of its Terrorist Exclusion List, which means the LRA is judged not to be a threat to U.S. interests.

The people most familiar with LRA terrorism agree that the best hope for ending the carnage is putting it on the radar screen of the Western world. Akello Lwanga, a physician, spent two years treating LRA victims at an internally displaced persons camp in Pader. "If Americans saw this on TV as often as they see the Middle East," he said, "it would stop."

"There are a lot of sympathetic [members of Congress], but no significant leadership to move the issue to the point where there are congressional hearings, and hearings are one of the first important steps to focus administration and congressional attention on the severity of the issue," said Rory Anderson, senior Africa policy adviser for World Vision. "Hearings will not happen unless people contact their members of Congress and demand it."

Please... sign in with your thoughts.

Be your Kid's Search Engine

I had the pleasure of sitting down with a man the other day who likely has a greater personal understanding of evangelism than most people unfortunately will ever strive to obtain. He is the director of a national ministry that introduces the general public to their need for Jesus Christ, and has led thousands to a relationship with their Savior. One of the most poignant memories of the discussion, however, is a comment that he made with regards not to that relationship, but to his relationship as a father with his own son.

He told me about a scenario wherein he had been, as a good parent should, monitoring his son's activities on the internet. He came to find some history that suggested that his son (under 12 for the sake of discussion) had googled a term that led to him viewing some unacceptable explicit content. He knew he needed to discuss the situation with his son. Here is how it unfolded.

He sat down with his son, and started a discussion. He asked about what they were doing at school, and what they had been talking about at lunch. He took the time to ask the questions, and (important note here) they had enough of a history of regular conversation that his son was not put on an immediate defensive because of dad's "sudden interest".

After a little well-directed discussion, his son said that he and his friends had in fact gotten onto some "stupid" discussions, one of which had led the son to search for a term that he didn't understand by googling it. To understand it in context, he clicked the resulting links, and found himself in a place that he knew he didn't need to be. Just like that - a confession without an accusation! His response to his son, instead of "why did you do that" or "I thought I taught you better" was, quite wisely, "In the future, why don't you let me be your search engine first". Way to go dad.

A couple key notes for this story:
1. This would not have worked had he been a disengaged father. I think that too often we fail to take the time to have relationship with our children, and then we punish them for doing things that we should really be blaming on our own parental shortcomings.

2. We need to be keeping track of our children, not only to hold them accountable for what they are doing, but also to be there to safeguard them when things like this do happen, and to be ready to take these opportunities and turn them into positive learning experiences as we see here. This young man didn't get "punished" because he already knew that the space in cyberspace was the wrong place for him to be, and of his own volition, hadn't returned there since. He did, however, solidify that his dad was a rational person who he could trust to understand, and will be more likely to come to him as a result.

3. This dad took the time to calmly think the situation through. Simply reacting to the initial data he saw on his reports would have likely built a wall between he and his son that would have taken years to break. Instead, the situation drew them closer, and increased the son's faith and confidence in his father's interest in his well being.

4. The software that made this situation possible is called PCTattleTale, and is available online for $49.95. that's cheap for what it can do.

To the man who shared this story with me...Thank you for the fine lesson on parenting. You know who you are.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Time to talk

Stay tuned for some great insight I got from a parent about dealing with his children. I'm working on this one, and it will be coming soon!