Monday, September 29, 2008

Overcoming Inertia with a Barrage of Randomness

Time to get off of my blogging butt and write something again. There's so much to say. I wish I were a blogging monster like my heroes: Eugene Cho, Jeffrey Overstreet and Jonathan Christopher. I honestly don't know how they do it. Is it that they're more disciplined? Probably. More obsessed? Possibly. Nevertheless, their output is impressive.

I'm reminded of a post I wrote back in August. I was basically challenging myself to write more often rather than getting caught up in writing perfectly. I am definitely a perfectionist, so I always want these posts to be profound, funny, well-written...

Anyway, I'll do bullet points. Maybe we can get caught up that way. These will be wildly random.

  • Can you believe it? A hurricane? Are you kidding me? The worst in 25 years? After we've been here only three weeks? My friend Adam (from extol at Newport Cov, where we spent our summer before coming to Houston) keeps reminding me of Jonah and Tarshish, but I'm pretty sure it's a different story for us. However, I am glad it's over. It was a scary night and a long couple of weeks recovering. And it's not back to normal, and it won't be for a long time. Don't forget us here in Southeastern Texas. I know, I know, the Great Depression of 2008 is coming, but we're still dealing with the lingering effects of a natural disaster. Please remember especially the people of Galveston and the smaller cities along the coast. They are utterly destroyed.
  • So wow... Apparently we're in a big financial mess. I tend to think in terms of micro-economics, though, rather than macro-economics. As in, "When am I getting paid again?"
  • I've been watching a new show on Fox called Fringe, from the creator of Lost, J. J. Abrams. Anyone else watching this? What do you think?
  • Has anyone ever seen Sarah Palin and Tina Fey in the same room together at the same time? I'm pretty sure they're the same person.
  • Last Monday I turned 37. It's been an eventful year. In fact, it was last year - as I turned 36 - that I kind of woke up to new opportunity and the challenge of a new life. I never dreamed I'd be in Houston a year later, and my head is still spinning.
  • I've been working on Access's new website. What do you think? Seriously. I appreciate any feedback.
  • I'm going to be hosting a Dinner/Film Club for Vox Culture. What films should I show? Beyond, of course, my four favorites: Fargo, Magnolia, Memento and Waiting for Guffman.
  • Access is launching our public worship gatherings in two weeks... October 12, to be exact. Would love your prayers for an awesome day; for many newcomers to attend; for the Word of God to be proclaimed in a powerful, relevant way; for people to feel welcome; for people to truly experience the presence of God; for the band to rock (!) and for our launch team members to be bold in inviting people!
  • Pray for my bro Tony... His step-brother was killed last Tuesday. He was 19. Pray for his family. What a tragedy... but as Tony always reminds me, through pain and joy, God is so good. (A baby sister for Isella! Woo-hoo!) New reflections here.
  • Luanne has signed up to be a Creative Memories Consultant. Buy your stuff from her!
  • Got some Amazon and iTunes credit for my b-day. Picked up albums from Mates of State, Dar Williams, Sigur Rós, Suzanne Vega, Brandi Carlile, Anathallo, My Brightest Diamond, She & Him, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss and Jars of Clay. I love music so much.
  • Luanne has written a new post at our family blog, The Houston Adventure. Check it out.
  • I'm excited to be heading to Dallas in November for the LeadNow Conference... Hope you can join me!
  • Is anyone else as excited about this film as I am? I'm also really excited to see this one.
  • Presidential Politics. Obama thinks he's gonna win. Know what? I do too. He's got my vote. Of course, now that I live in Texas, it won't count for much.
  • Finally, what is M? Find out here.
Until next time...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Top Ten Reasons A Hurricane Is Like Christmas

10. Decorating the house (boarding up windows).
9. Dragging out boxes that haven't been used since last season (camping gear, flashlights).
8. Last minute shopping in crowded stores.
7. Regular TV shows pre-empted for 'specials'.
6. Family coming to stay with you.
5. Family and friends from out of state calling.
4. Buying food you don't normally buy . . . and in large quantities.
3. Days off from work.
2. Candles.

And the number one reason a Hurricane is like Christmas...

1. At some point you know you're going to have a tree in your house.

(This is on the street directly behind us...)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Emmy & Zach!

Our babies are SEVEN today! Happy Birthday, Emily Grace & Zachary Joseph. I pray that you will continue to grow in the love and grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. That He would be your light and your life. Your mom and I love you so much!

Look at these beautiful kids!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Power & Purpose

Electricity is back. We're home. Thanks for praying and caring.

And maybe someday this blog will get back to its original purpose... to explore culture and art and God... Somehow it got hijacked this year by "Matt's Midlife Ministry Move." Thanks for sticking with me, Faithful Readers! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On the Other Side

Well, we made it. Thank God! We appreciate your prayers and concern. Check out our photo gallery here.

And now... we pray for the electricity to come back on. Thanks to Ted and Amy for housing us for a few nights!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stormwatch 2008 - Live from Houston

We're taking down the silly video... We don't want to be flippant about something that has the potential to be so devastating.

God, protect us and give us Your peace as we weather the storm here on the Gulf Coast.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Waiting Game...

Ike's coming, and it could be big. We're all gassed up, and we've bought lots of bottled water and batteries. Now we wait.

Follow Ike with us here. Yeah, that's Houston, pretty much right in the middle of his path.

[9/11/08 EDIT: The mayor's evacuating certain ZIP codes now. We have been told to "hunker down" and not go anywhere, but we are expecting crazy winds and heavy rainfall. We need to be prepared to possibly live without electricity for a while as well.]

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad...

My dad is fifty-nine years young today. I love this man, and I'm profoundly grateful for his influence in my life. Here's a great shot of us many, many moons ago. Not sure where we were, but don't we look like we're having fun?

Dad's sporting a much more hip goatee these days, but he was a 'stache man for a long time. Sarah's looking sporty in her visor, Micah was just a cute little blond kid and I'm hauling around the mongo binoculars. This must have been vacation somewhere. Anyone know?

In honor of your big day, Dad, the Texas Nightingales recorded a little video for you. Happy Birthday!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Jesus Is a Friend of Mine

So much to say... I know, I know... I've been somewhat delinquent in my posting here.

But it's late, so tonight's not the night either. Instead, I'll share the latest viral video that's sweeping the nation. It's a gem. I love kitsch of all kinds (consider my deep love for this site), so this appeals greatly to me. Listen for the carefully executed "zap" toward the end of the song. Enjoy!

That's terrific, Sal! Thank you very much...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Access Houston - Nightingale Support/Prayer Newsletter #1

Last night I sent out the first support/prayer newsletter for our family here in Houston. We are gathering a group of people to support us emotionally, prayerfully and - for some - financially. If you'd like to be on this team, you'll receive a prayer/support email about once a month, and occasional snail mail as well. Just email me at mattnightingale (at) mac (dot) com, and let me know you'd like to join us in this way!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Launch Site

Ted and I went over to sign the lease last week. Ashford Oaks is the banquet facility Access is leasing for our launch service on October 12. I met the owners, Lalita and Jay, and their son, Jetinder, who is helping to manage their properties. Lalita kept talking about how religious their family is and how she loved it when Ted prayed for them and their business last time they met. Although they are Hindu, it was cool to see how we could share a common desire to serve one another and to join together for the good of the community. They are giving us an amazing deal on this place for our Sunday gatherings.

Ted talked to Lalita again late last week, and she told him that she would be attending our launch service! I pray that we can continue to grow in our relationship with the family and that they will be drawn to Jesus and God's amazing love for them.

Here is some video Ted took. Please join us in praying that God will do amazing things in this place...

[EDIT: To answer Meghan's question, we're going to be here twice in October and then weekly starting in November. We've signed a lease up through Christmas. Hope to outgrow it by then!]

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