Other posts related to highrock

Or maybe you’re just ‘Stage 3’

 | December 4, 2008 3:17 PM

While living in a Cambridge I witnessed the fantastic growth of a church from a few people meeting in someone’s living room and almost flaming out to its rapid growth as one of the largest churches in metro Boston.  Cambridge Vineyard bought a large Catholic church just a few blocks down the street from us, renovated it and had a grand opening which our family and others attended.  Soon afterwards they opened another service in downtown Boston and renamed themselves Greater Boston Vineyard.

We always remained loyal to our church, Highrock Church, but for a few weeks we had to attend Boston Vineyard because at the time, Highrock’s services were at 5 PM and Dylan’s sleep time had moved to very early in the evening.  I have always been fascinated with charismatics but what I remember the most about the Vineyard services were Pastor Dave Schmelzer’s sermons (funny how almost all the lead pastors of churches I have attended have the first name Dave).  Pastor Dave had a very engaging style, conversational and humorous yet intellectual.  He also captured his unique style in his columns which I used to read in the Alewife, a now defunct community newspaper and which you can now find here.

One of my favorite columns is Or maybe you’re just ‘Stage 3’.  I first heard about this from Pastor Dave at Highrock and Pastor Dave of Vineyard does a great job of explaining it.

His Stage 1 you might call criminal. This corresponds to the toddler years. The average toddler doesn’t do so well in caring for you. As they tantrum over a toy denied, not many will stop and say, “But this isn’t the most important thing on earth. And I haven’t asked once how you’re doing, Daddy? Has it been a good day?”
Peck says there are two primary settings for people stuck in Stage 1: jail (for obvious reasons) and the boardroom, where high-functioning Stage 1 folks can often be quite ruthless and successful.

His Stage 2 you might call rules-based. This shows up at about age six or seven. Now the child comes to care what Mommy and Daddy want them to do and they start to judge their criminal younger siblings. The best settings, said Peck, for those of us stuck in Stage 2 are the military (often a key transitional institution for those moving out of Stage 1) and, gulp, churches.

Peck argues that perhaps 90 percent or more of churches function this way. They help people sort out the rules of life. He’s at pains not to judge this, saying that this is the very heart of our country, that Stage 2 churches customarily develop good citizens and good parents, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But there’s a Stage 3, which you might call rebellious and which, as you’d imagine, corresponds to the teenage years. The healthy teen will invariably begin to ask what’s behind all these rules they’re being fed.

Often the best answer they get will be quit being such a smart aleck, and thus begins their war with all things Stage 2.
Universities are the best settings for Stage 3, filled, as they are, with 18 to 21-year-olds. Complaints from conservative quarters that universities are monolithically liberal, on this theory, just recognize what will always be true. They’re Stage 3.

You might guess that, along these lines, the Republican Party would fall pretty neatly into Stage 2. The Democratic Party, perhaps not as obviously, would be a hybrid of Stage 3 and Stage 1…

But what Stage 3 (again, rebellious) doesn’t realize is that there actually are answers to their questions, that there’s more out there than skepticism. Peck calls this stage mystical. The Stage 4 person realizes that many of the things they were taught in Stage 2 are actually true, but true in a richer and far-less certain sense than they once thought. The Stage 4 person has walked into a world where everything around them suddenly seems to be “Truth”—and truth that will take much more than a lifetime to explore.

The point of all this is that I think I have been “stalled” in Stage 3 for several years and I am hoping to break into the “mystical” Stage 4.  I want to connect to God in a real, concrete way and to love others without constraint.


Highrock Christmas Concert

 | November 28, 2008 5:42 AM

My former church, Highrock Church, in Arlington, MA is having a Christmas concert to benefit the Arlington food pantry.  If you are in the area please check it out. 🙂


Congratulations Celtics!

 | June 18, 2008 1:03 PM

Kevin Garnett (left), Ray Allen (center), and Paul Pierce (right) celebrated in the Celtics locker room after their NBA championship victory.

I am happy for the Big Three, aka GPA, especially Ray Allen seated below with his son.

Kevin Garnett (left), Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Doc Rivers (right) posed for photos during celebrations.

I am also happy for Leon Powe, below holding up his son. His story is truly amazing, growing up poor, sometimes homeless.

Leon Powe (0) celebrated with his son after the game.

One thing I really like about the Big Three is that they genuinely seem to like each other. They support each other and are committed to winning together as a team. This photo illustrates that.

After nearly 20 years of mediocrity, the Celtics are 29-4 (through Jan. 10) and flying high again, due largely to the play of the new Big Three -- Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.

Here are a few more. Notice something similar in each one?

The Celtics have the league's best overall record and also have the best record in back-to-back games.

Celtics stars Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen have developed chemistry off the court even as they are getting used to each other on it.

If you noticed the Asian dude behind the big three in every photo you win the prize! That dude is Bryan Doo, the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Boston Celtics. We both attended Highrock Church and even went on a short-term missions trip together. I always enjoy seeing him behind the bench whenever I watch a Celtics game. In yesterday’s post game celebrations I saw Bryan talking with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Congratulations to Bryan as well!

From left, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett enjoyed the final minutes of the Celtics\' romp over the Nets Wednesday.


Ilene getting Slimed!

 | June 2, 2008 6:10 AM

IleneThis is a video, Ilene getting Slimed!, of a fund raiser for this year’s VBS that my former church, Highrock, did last Sunday.

During Soul Food (the free meal time after service) Ilene set up four buckets with her’s, Dave Swaim’s, Josh Throneburg’s and Ryan Yi’s names on them (see photos of them here). People were asked to donate money and who ever had the most money in their bucket would get slimed. Ilene said it was a race between her and Josh but that Josh “was presiding and abused the pulpit” by “telling everyone to put money under” Ilene’s name. In the end Ilene lost or won depending on your perspective and slime (green oatmeal) was poured all over her by Dave and Josh.  Notice how Josh poured it all on immediately but Dave wanted to savor the experience and poured it slowly all over her. 🙂

The fund raiser was a big success. I miss Highrock, it is a fun place. 🙂



 | May 22, 2008 11:05 AM

Ruth 8

In the sermon, True Love Meets Needs, Pastor David Chae spoke about how Ruth had made herself available to Boaz. Then he spoke about how the single women, when they’re ready, should signal their availability to the single men. The analogy he used was the taxis with the blue lights, when you see the blue lights then you know the taxi is available. What’s funny is that Pastor David Swaim of Highrock, in a sermon on dating and relationships, used exactly the same analogy.


WordPress Themes

 | February 17, 2008 1:32 PM

One of the nicest things about WordPress are the themes.  On my business blog I am using the Connections theme.

On this blog I first tried the NewZen theme which has nice Web 2.0 features.  Then I tried others before settling on the vSlider 3.1 theme.

I like vSlider’s for many reasons but here are some reasons I settled on it.

  1. clean and simple design
  2. rotating customizable header images.   The two header images currently on this site are one of Sunday service at my old church, Highrock, (can you see me and my mother?) and the other is of Dylan playing.  Both were taken by friends, indiecowgirl and Jimmy Song, and I received permission to use their photos.
  3. ability to display posts as open or closed (i.e. only the title showing) with a button that toggles between
  4. easily customizable using web interface.  Some of the customizations I made include:
    1. changing sidebar width from 226 pixels to 186 pixels
    2. show all posts as open
    3. added credit for header images to footer

Isaac Has Been Replaced!

 | February 14, 2008 10:19 AM

Back at our old church, Highrock, Isaac was the favorite of one of the Sunday school teachers. As parents we of course loved the attention.

Today I learned through Facebook that Isaac is no longer this teacher’s favorite. I IM’d with this person and she verified that he has been replaced by a blonde, big blue eyed two year old!

We broke the news to Isaac but he seemed fine about it, he continued jumping on and off the arm chair. I think I’m the most upset about it. 🙂


Epicurious Messiest Dish Photo Contest

 | February 12, 2008 9:43 AM

A good friend of ours who works at Epicurious alerted us to the Epicurious Messiest Dish Photo Contest.

Epicurious Messiest Dish Photo Contest

I entered Dylan with this photo. It is from his one year birthday party and it is of him eating Miyeok Guk (Korean seaweed soup). It’s not actually very messy.

Dylan messy

I have a messier photo of Dylan eating JaJang Myun at Highrock but since this photo was taken by someone else I could not enter it. I suggested to the photographer to enter it but I don’t think he did.

Dylan really messy

Today I got an email from Epicurious.

Congratulations! You are one of our top 50 tailgating favorites from Epicurious’ Messiest Dish Contest! You have won a copy of the Epicurious Tailgating/Superbowl Tastebook!

From the email it sounds like Dylan’s photo made the top 50. But the official rules say the following.

6. SWEEPSTAKES PRIZE DESCRIPTION There will be fifty (50) sweepstakes winners. The prize is one (1) Epicurious Tailgating/Superbowl Tastebook. The approximate retail value of the prize is $34.95. The odds of winning the sweepstakes depend on the number of eligible entries received.

I then counted the number of recipients in the email from Epicurious and there were only 32. That means that in total there were 33 entries! Too bad we didn’t win the 50-inch flat screen TV.

Anybody want an Epicurious Tailgating/Superbowl Tastebook? 🙂


YouTube Famous

 | January 24, 2008 12:32 PM

I’m famous, or at least YouTube famous. This video was a promo for the 2005 Highrock All Church Retreat. They asked me to be in it as a representative of families with children. In other words I’m the oldest guy in the video. 🙂

You will see me right at the end of the video. One regret I had was that I did not bring in Dylan or Isaac (I don’t remember which) into the video at the very end.