Baby Sling. Not as Cool as a baby Slingbox. But Close.

So, I am hoping that my phone very soon becomes a baby slingbox (with Steve Jobs about the give a keynote speech at the WWDC hopefully talking more about iPhone apps, icluding my fantasy world where a slingbox could be added to it), but in the event that it doesn’t, I always have the baby sling to fall back on.

My wife Jacqueline (or Jacq for short—hence all the plays on the phrase ‘Jack in the Box’ found here and at our website) is amazing.  That is unrelated to the baby sling, but since she made the baby sling, I think it serves as evidence for the statement.

She made me a custom, UNC baby sling.  Now I can not only look like a hippie, (which is a secret desire of mine… refer to the hairstyles I have rocked over the past years…) but now I can pull off “appropriately wine-and-cheese-snobby” and hippie all at the same time.  Nothing says snob like a piece of UNC apparel.  We have a right to be snobs, we’re the best!

The baby sling takes some getting used to, and requires one hand over the baby’s head while moving.  I have yet to slap his head into anything of substance, but it has been a near-miss on several occasions.

Well, back to checking the macworld live feed of the WWDC keynote.  I’m such a dork.

Enjoying a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Jacqueline has gone to the Goodwill to procure some deals on clothing, little man is asleep in the other room, and I am having a glorious saturday afternoon, wishing I had a way to watch some college football.

But in the quietness I am confronted with my inability to rest.  I just listened to the song “Jesus I am Resting, Resting” and just sort of rolled around in the truth that Jesus is my true rest, and provides a way somehow for me to rest in the midst of all the chaos of life.  What a glorious truth.  In direct contrast to all the religions in the world, Jesus calls Christians to REST.  To rest. I am not supposed to diligently pray five times a day, not supposed to pilgrimage to Mecca, not supposed to work to assure that I am in right standing with God, not to meditate or chant or wrestle, but just to rest.

My western culture doesn’t encourage rest.  Even as I type these words, I can think of dozens of things I could be doing.  I have work to do for the fall getaway coming up.  I have students I could call to schedule appointments.  I have potential supporters I could call to line up appointments to raise support.

But I need to rest, to enjoy the finished work of Christ for me.  My worth is no longer tied to my performance.  It is wrapped up in the life He lived, in the death, burial and resurrection He went through for me.  What a gift. “Oh how marvelous thy goodness, LAVISHED all on me!”

So, before the hustle and bustle of doctors, surgeons, and campus, in the quietness of a house with only the sounds of a fan and soft baby’s breath coming from the other room.  I am resting, resting.

Manual Labor Day.

I just got done operating a John Deere tractor, tilling up the garden at my parents’ house.  We are here in Winston because Jenn and Clyde’s wedding yesterday got us about halfway here, and we have the consultation at the surgeon here (at Baptist Hospital) tomorrow.  Stay tuned, as I am sure I will be updating the blog as soon as we know more and are able to process it all. (as you may have found out, I process it by writing it down)

Yesterday at the wedding it was so great to see a ton of staff friends, and get to connect.  Being on staff with Campus Crusade is great, because you get to be a part of a big, messy family.  There are something like 200 people on staff in our region with the Campus ministry (as opposed to, say, the Jesus Film ministry or the Military ministry), and we get to see them all just a few times per year.  So a wedding between two of them is a great chance to get to see them an extra time!

It was an emotionally draining time, though, because many of our staff family are not as into blogs as we are, so many didn’t know about Benjamin’s health issues.  It’s funny having to discern here in the south whether or not someone is really asking “how are you doing” or just saying it to fill up air.  I do the same thing, so I am not throwing rocks, just saying that when “We are doing good” is not the whole truth (and at times an outright fabrication), it makes for an interesting answer to the question.  I just have to remind myself that, in Christ, I am getting far better than I deserve, in spite of the circumstances.  So I can say “I’m doing good!” and not be lying.  Because everybody doesn’t want to know.

I could just hand them a card that says “read the blog” when people ask me how I’m doing…  That’s a thought…


We have a filter system in place for our blog.  I write some posts without using it, and some posts with it.  It’s a very simple system.  I write a post in an email instead of directly to the blog, and I send that email to Jacqueline.  She then has filter power.

Last night I did exactly that.  I emailed her something that I was processing in life, and she exercised her veto power.  That’s not to say it is something that I wanted to post and she didn’t, but just that I needed to make sure it was ok with her that I post it.  It is not just Ben’s blog.  She is a great filter.  I have found that in this blogging process, I often use the blog itself as a way of processing things.  I don’t even know how I feel about things sometimes until I type it out.  So, the filter system works great.  I am able to process it, and communicate with my wife, and not share more than I need to wth people that don’t need to know.

The post last night was about something that I am currently running to instead of Christ.  It was telling that I was willing to broadcast to the entire internet a sin of mine that I was not willing (at the time) to take to the men in my life that hold me accountable and pray for me.  Broadcasting it to everyone is a false sense of community.  It is (as my wife helped me to see) a sad case of me trying to be real, honest, and humble, in a prideful and showy way.  That’s right… I am prideful about how humble I am.

What broadcasting it to the whole world does is enable me to skirt around the tough parts of real community.  The sitting across the table, looking at another person and having to spill your junk aspect of community.

So, instead of telling all of you where I am currently struggling, I have been (and will be) taking that struggle to Christ and to the men in my life that know and love me here in Asheville.  Then, maybe my real-life community can create a foundation for a flourshing online community, where we are able to be real and honest without sharing stuff that others don’t need to know.

Oh, and this post is unfiltered.


Some people sleep-walk.  Pretty amateur, if you ask me.  I take it to the next level and icorporate useful activities with my unconscious meanderings.  I am the Michael Phelps of sleep-activity.

Last night, for example, Jacqueline got up to take care of Benjamin at some point, and when she came back, I was taking the sheets off the bed.  Walking? that’s easy.  Try doing laundry in your sleep.  When she asked me what I was doing, I said “just trying to help…” and got mad when she made me stop “helping.”  Eventually I went back to bed.

I have a long career in sleep-activity.  In college, my roommate Matt woke up one morning to find me comfortably asleep on the couch underneath my lofted bed.  I had taken the sheets off of my bed (which was tough to do awake) and neatly tucked them into the cushions of the couch.

But the glory days of my sleep-activity were back in the mid-80s.  I would “wake up” and walk across the room to the “toilet,” which happened to be whatever random peice of furniture I got to in my bedroom, and pee in/on it.  This included peeing into a drawer full of my neatly folded clothes, and (on a seperate occasion) peeing onto the antique cedar chest in my room.  We’ve still got that chest, and it still has a spot on it where you can clearly see the pee-stains.  Good times.

I’m working on more extreme forms of sleep-stuff (incorporating flaming darts, penguins, and hot pockets into my sleep routine as we speak), and petitioning the X-Games to make it an official sport.  Then, the olympics.