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I have a beautiful wife, an infant son & a schnauzer. viva la tex-mex. Words that describe or excite: Missional, Glocal, Lead, Innovate, Initiate, Create, Risk, Community

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Remembering Spain

Slideshow of Madrid & Paris last Summer (Redux)
Current mood: freezing in my own house
Category: Podcast

Last summer I went to Madrid, Spain (with a sweet layover in Paris on the return flight home.) I took these pics (and others). The reason for the trip was to do some M work for the man upstairs. We have to talk in code hear because of the followers of a phalse prophet known to inspire acts of suicide and aggression among his phollowers. Any way we passed out videos to his followers discussing the son of the man upstairs and his life on this earth. We also passed out bottled water because Madrid was in the worst drought in many years and water was a valuable and appreciated commodity. J, the son of the man upstairs, was able to open up some conversation avenues amongst these people through our sharing of water and the boigraphical dvd we hand out all week.

I loved riding on the metro. I wish everywhere in America had such good public transpo. I loved trying new things, eating new phoods, and meeting new phriends. Most of all I loved seeing the Truth, Himselph, take hold of peoples hearts and minds. Especially among people that we might generally write off as having no hope of that ever happening. I want to go back right now. Since that is not going to happen I wanted to repost these pics and and remember the experience and share it with some who maybe were not around last summer to hear about it.

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Currently listening :
Into the West
By Pilot Speed
Release date: By 28 November, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Here Are Some Christmas Thoughts Spanky!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

RE:SOUNDING (i am resounding the joy i previously blogged of previously)
Category: MySpace

Earlier this morning I composed a blog entitled Repeat the Sounding Joy. Now I wanted to take some time to mention somethings that bring me joy not just during this holiday season but throughout the year.

My beautiful wife and awesome sweetheart Becky! Becky brings me joy.

My awesomely cool firstborn son Aidan Elijah Landry McMinn, Eli daddy loves you! Eli brings me joy.

The creator and sustainer of all things, including my crazy, off-kilter, warrior-wannabe, counter-culture life and lifestyle, YHWH. The LORD brings me great joy everlasting.

YHWH's son, Yeshua, for saving my sorry arse-life out of the muck and mire of an existence bent towards rebellion, creator-hatred, self-destruction, and mind-pollution. Emmanuel, God with us, provided for my joy to be made complete and for me to experience it in the first place.

The great ghost, the spirit of the living God, for putting in me power and boldness and authority replacing the fear and timidity and cowardice towards righteousness, justice and huminity that exists within me, in and of myself when seperated from I AM. Spirit, you make my joy continuous and everpresent.

Did I mention my hot wife and champion-warrior son, they bring joy. in countless ways but one way each is: Becky every Monday when you pan-fry me up some of my favorite chicken dinners and Eli when you look me in the eyes and then get a grin on your face that spreads into a full blown smile. Or when we put you on the changing table and you begin to laugh and smile, and giggle, and gurgle, and even grunt at us. Man that makes my heart feel like it will burst it cannot singularly contain the joy that wells within my heart during those moments.

Music, brings me great joy. I can not count the countless (hence the reason I can not count them) times music has lifted my soul out of the pits of deep or even just lifted it out of the drabness of a hum-drum day. All types of music, the hardcore of Focused or Unashamed or the Blamed that lifts to pump my fists and remember to be angry at the injustice and social-spiritual-political-economic unrest of the world.

The bouncy punk of MxPx or Value Pak or Squad 5-0 that reminds me to stay young and have fun and care about relationships.

Or the emo of Dear Ephesus, The Promise Ring, and Sunny Day Real Estate that reminds me that I can be sensative and share my emotions rather than bottling them up inside so that they might explode in my left ventrical or burst a blood vessel in my grey matter as I sit mid sentence discussing the day over dinner with my family.

What about opera and classical like the Pirates of Penzance or Vivaldi and TChaikovsky that reminds me that God created a masterpiece that is as large as the complex and incalcuable universe and also in the granduer and majesty of a single atom, at which humanity is the pinnacle of that creative endevour and He endowed us with His complex and creative sensibility.

The country of Cash, Straight, Jennings, Nelson, Jones, Lynn, and Yoakum that reminds me to never forget my roots, my home town Cowtown and my home state of Texas, to enjoy the twang in my talk and not hide it, to revel in my rugged ancestors who labored harder so that I could labor easier. That beer, boots, and belt buckles are not evil. To appreciate the feel of dancing on a well worn hardwood floor with a pretty lady. And never ever forget to treat people with respect and treat the ladies right and to feed the dog. New country has lost this heart but real country gives joy even to the discerning music aficionado.

The crooning, bleeting or stammering of jazz masters as varied as Basie, Connick, Gillespie, Blues Eyes, Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and even contemporaries, my favorites Medeski, Martin and Wood. Life is not confined to a formula or box, no simple 3 step plan and 7 stage system can solve every problem or answer every question. Jazz is the complexity and mystery of life put to music and you can't right it down or always predict where its going.

The joy of writing. I can say what I feel and mean what I say and share it with whomever. And tomorrow I can jot down the opposite because that is what the experience of the moment has lent itself to. Yet whether I say one thing or another it is a joy to communicate. To express, to share, to dialogue and to converse. The joy of writing is simply one form of the greater opportunity to communicate and be heard and to be heard and listened to is to be known. To be known is be accepted and/or rejected, to pre-judged or mis-judged, to be understood or ignored. Communication allows for connectivity to the community.

To be apart of a community is a pure joy because in community we are best known, best understood, and best ourselves. It is a joy to be in community where connection makes communication the most valuable. If I blog and some one out there misreads or misinterprets my words or intentions then so be it. But in community I can be given an opportunity to clarify, or codify, what I wish to communicate. I may even be corrected in my communication if it is false or misguided or misinformed but in community context that two leads to a deeper joy.

Joy, is it in you? Find it in the Christmas story and live in it all the year 'round.

Currently reading :
Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement
By Lauren Sandler
Release date: By 07 September, 2006

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Repeat the Sounding Joy! Repeeeeeat the Sounding Joy!
Current mood: cheerful
Category: Quiz/Survey

As I prepare for Christmas with a few last minute shopping trips and face long lines and puzzlingly mean spirited people willingly to run you over to get a parking space 3 cars closer then me I can't help but ask the question "How did we let it go this far and get this bad." The crass commercialism and materialistic gluttony of the Christmas season is antithetical to the whole origin of Christmas.

While I could dwell and rant about all that is wrong with Christmas I rather choose instead to take time to pause and remind first myself and then you about the true meaning behind Christmas. We celebrate Christmas not simply to celebrate a child born in humble manger but the whole of the life of Christ. The gift was not merely a baby rather the entire life and culmination of that life and accomplishments of Christ in total.

Jesus Christ was humbly born in a manger, but the must humbling fact was that He was God come in the flesh. He humbled himself to the utmost by not just becoming human, but coming into and entering humanity the same way you and I did: naked and bloody and hollerin for our mama. He came not into a royal family of privilege but into a blue collar, working class family. As a young man he learned a trade. He lived a sinless life of perfection and extended the most valuable of gifts to us all: His very lifes blood and breathe.

We celebrate Christmas not just to remember the fact that He was born and live. We celebrate Christmas because Jesus lived, did not sin, worked miracles, and then suffered and bled and died for OUR SIN and was buried, and was 3 days dead before Resurrecting. This substitutionary atoning death secured for us mercy, God on longer must punish OUR SIN by calling for our blood. This Resurrection secured for us grace, not only is our sin covered, our salvation has been secured for eternity, our destiny has been altered to include eternal community with God and his people. Christmas is the beginning and is inextricably linked with Easter as complimentary bookends of our own spiritual journeys.

Without Christmas, Easter would be meaningless because if God had not entered into human history, and merged with us in the space-time continium then we would not have had a sinless human representative to secure for us a life worthy of being sacrificed as a spotless Lamb of atonement. But without Easter and the actual sacrificial blood being spilled we would have no covering of sin and without the resurrected life of Christ we would have no hope of eternal life ourselves and could only look forward to death as an end to everything, rather than a portal into a resurrected state that John the Revelator tells us is to a place to indesribably beautiful and awesome for human comprehension.

So Merry Christmas. It is only because of Jesus that we understand the true nature of sacrificial gift giving. Give joyously but more than that remember what you were truly given and why. The one gift that we most desperately need is the same gift that we most assuredly cannot recieve on our own. No amount of money, no amount of giving on our part, no amount of goodness in attempt to make Santa's list nor earn salvation can secure this gift in our own power or of our own strength, wealth, or merit. God, gave to us, in the birth, life, cruxifixion, burial, and resurrection the one gift we all need.

So you can have your precious parking space and your cut in the check out line. But I hope ultimately you find true joy and happiness in the gift of salvation through the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. A relationship with God awaits you. Will you unwrap it this year? I truly hope so.

Currently listening :
Songs for Christmas
By Sufjan Stevens
Release date: By 28 November, 2006

On Being a Fighting Irishman: 03.30.1974

On Being a Fighting Irishman: 03.30.1974

Current mood: Fiesty, Firey, and Fine
Category: Fiesty, Firey, and Fine Parties and Nightlife

Stephen the Irishman in Braveheart: "In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God."

Currently listening :
Live on St. Patrick's Day from Boston, MA at the Avalon Ballroom
By Dropkick Murphys
Release date: By 10 September, 2002

Saturday, December 23, 2006


When Eli was born I posted these daily blogs on myspace but never got around to adding them here and I wanted to share them with you now.

Monday, August 21, 2006

On Being a Dad: 08.21.06
Current mood: Expectant
Category: School, College, Greek

Word for the Day: Expectant!

Monday was a day of expectancy and hope. It turned into just a long day at the hospital. Little Eli would not come until the next day. It was tough on Becky going through the process of getting her body ready for labor using a drug called Cervadil (don't quote on the spelling--I am not a doctor, I just play one on TV).

Our day was supposed to start at 3:30 AM when our alarm was set to go off so we could get up, and ready, and to the hospital by 5AM. GAW! Anyhoo, Sammey our 2 year old Schnauzer decided to wake us up at 3 AM sharp instead. Robbing us of a precious 30 minutes that would be all the more needed once the baby arrives.

So we got to the hospital at 5AM and began a long 12 hour process of that would take all the way into Tuesday morning at 4:45 AM when they finally began to give Bec Patosin (again I am no doc) which is the drug that actually induces labor. But that is Tuesday.

Currently reading :
Pooh and the Philosophers : In Which It Is Shown That All of Western Philosophy Is Merely a Preamble to Winnie-The-Pooh
By John A. Williams
Release date: By 01 August, 1996

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On Being a Dad: 08.22.06
Current mood: Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy.
Category: Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. Friends

Word for the Day: Elated!


Aidan Elijah Landry McMinn

He goes by 'Eli'

Born Tuesday August 22, 2006, at 9:32 AM.

Weight: 7lbs 14oz

Length: 20"

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

On Being a Dad: 08.23.06
Current mood: sleepy tiredyness
Category: sleepy tiredyness Quiz/Survey

Word for the Day: Tired!

Tired. With entering the labor and delivery room at 5AM on Monday and not actually delivering the little guy until 9:32

AM the next day it made for a long, drawn out yet wonderful ordeal. Becky is literally completely exhausted by the time Eli got here. Now with the addition of a feeding schedule bringing the little guy in every three hours or so we are both 'beyond' exhaustion. I don't know what you call this. Sleep deprivation just doesn't seem strong enough of a term.

Currently listening :
Awake Is the New Sleep
By Ben Lee
Release date: By 22 February, 2005

Thursday, August 24, 2006

On Being a Dad: 08.24.06
Current mood: flashy
Category: flashy Automotive

Word for the Day: Kodak

As a new father one question I have pondered is: How many sleeping baby pictures does one need?

The answer: infinitesimal. or is it infantesimal?

Anyway with a digital camera with a 2 gig memory stick I can hold approximately 1800 pix. He is 3 days old and the stick is half full.

I think that spells proud papa!

Currently listening :
Underachievers Please Try Harder
By Camera Obscura
Release date: By 20 January, 2004

He is a hairy little sucker isn't he?

Friday, August 25, 2006

On Being a Dad: 08:25.06
Current mood: Overwhelmed & Underprepared
Category: News and Politics

Word for the Day: HOME

We got home from the hospital Thursday night around 7:30 PM after arriving at the hospital 4 days earlier at 5AM. Man it feels good to be home. To bring this little guy home with us is so overwhelming and awesome. We love him so much it is amazing to think he is 3 days old and he has captured my heart like no one else. I just stare at him, kiss him, stroke his thick head of hair, touch his soft skin.

He is a gift from God along time in coming but he is so perfect. I can not, after knowing him only 3 days, describe the depth of my love for him. Yet something strikes me as more amazing than his little awesome presence in my life. God loves him more than I do. On top of that, God sent His very own, only son, to knowingly die for me, to knowingly die for Aidan. Simply to restore a broken relationship. A relationship I broke and a relationship (even as perfect and peaceful as he is at 3 days old) that Aidan will soon break in the coming years.

Aidan even now I want you to know that God loves you and stronger than our relationship, the Creator of the Universe has a desire to have a relationship with you one day. Since before you were born your mom and I have been praying that you will one day come to renew this relationship with God through Jesus. Isaiah 43:1 say "Aidan I have called you by name and you are mine."

Currently reading :
The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out without Selling Out
By Mark Driscoll
Release date: By 01 October, 2004

Saturday, August 26, 2006

On Being a Dad: 08:26.06
Current mood: What IS eating Gilbert Grape?
Category: Life

Word for the Day: Hero

Seriously what I am about to say is not sentimentality or sappy romantic pandering. After seeing what my wife went through in the delivery room to bring our son into the world she is now and will always be my biggest hero. You always hear what labor is like and even accidentally catch a glimpse of it on NOVA on PBS when flipping channels late at night--at which point you quickly avert your eyes and think out loud "Oh my God, what was that? Why would they show that on TV?"

Until you are there, present in that room, with personal knowledge of the woman going through it, you have no earthly idea what it is like. Even now nearly 4 days after the delivery her body is still paying the price in so many ways. I will spare you the detials but exhaustion, pain, soarness, inflammation, and the added effects of beginning the process of breastfeeding seems excrutiating beyond what you already know of childbirth itself. I want a dose or two of morphine just thinking about it right now. And everytime she agonizes over an ache or pain I am that much more grateful, fall that much more deeply and madly in love with her for her huge role in bringing Eli here after carrying him for 9 monthes on top of everything else.

Becky you really are my hero.

Currently reading :
Church Marketing 101: Preparing Your Church for Greater Growth
By Richard L. Reising
Release date: By 01 January, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

On Being a Dad: 08.27.06

What's in A Name?

Well many of you have noticed that our little sport has a big name to carry for such a small bundle. And you may (or may not) be curious as to what the heck led us to such a protracted appellative (long name--for those with a FWISD education such as myself).

Well names have always been important to me. Beginning with my own. McMinn the family name has always been a source of pride and a name that I have wanted to honor. I have tried to live my life so as not to make the name McMinn infamous or bring disrespect to those who have carried before me. Not that the name denotes nobility or a long noteworthy heritage. In fact part of my fathers goal (unspoken) and now my own goal is to in fact bring some redemption to the family name that has, maybe, not in the last few generations been estimable in the eyes of many, especially God.

They say that an ungodly heritage will bring judgment on the generations of a family for upwards of 10 generations. You can see this evident today as you look at so many families, sons and daughters, who as much as they hate the way their family raised them and swear never to repeat the same patterns inevitably end up doing that very thing. It is also said that a godly family heritage, especially coming from the leadership of the father, can bring Gods blessing on the following 10 generations. That is how much more powerful a godly legacy is and I think also shows God's grace to allow us to see that an ungodly heritage can be quickly reversed and set right while a Godly heritage is not so easily undone. Thus for the name McMinn I hold the responsibility seriously to create a long-lasting legacy for the preceeding generations of McMinn's. [No added pressure since I am the only son on my fathers side of the family right?]

McMinn is Irish. I am proud of that heritage and legacy as well, as seen in my avid support of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football, the music of U2, the potato, and Irish Spring soap (Lucky Charms, not so much). Seriously, watch Braveheart again and pay close attention to the character Stephen, the wild Irishman and tell me he doesn't steal the show. Remember his great line, "The Almighty says this must be a fashionable fight. It's drawn the finest people." More on the Irish in a later blog perhaps.

As for my first name, Michael, maybe I am just a bit anal but I have always been offended a skosh when I introduce myself as Michael and people automatically call me Mike from then on out. Now, that being said many of my closest and dearest friends call me Mike and it does not bother me in the least. However, they have earned the right to reference me more casually and as with friends we all have nicknames and less formal ways of referencing each other. Maybe I am just cranky but even as a kid I remember often thinking "My parents named me Michael for a reason and I don't think it was so you could call me Mike, you bozo." Are you really just too lazy to pronounce that extra sylabil?

My middle name Lee is the same as my dad's middle name. Just a personal attachment linking me to my father in more than the formal aspect of the last name. For whatever reason I take this name business fairly serious as you can see. Perhaps you find yourself thinking I just wanted to know what the kids name means 'Mike'! I did not expect to read a disertaion on the subject of monikers. And to you my good friends I say wait for part two which will be shorter and should follow this afternoon after a quick bite and a nap. Those who have had the pleasure of a newborn in the house will relate best and appreciate this allowance of time.

Currently watching :
Dog the Bounty Hunter - The Best of Season 1 and Season 2
Release date: By 28 March, 2006

On Being a Dad: 08.27.06 (b)
Current mood: Name Dropper
Category: Blogging

What's in A Name? (part duex)

Aidan is Irish for fire or fiery. (Some say we may be asking for it by naming a kid fiery!)

Elijah means The Lord is My God. He was an old testmant prophet that saw God reign down fire from heaven to destroy the prophets of Baal. And one of two mean in scripture to never die. God took him to heaven in fiery chariot drawn by equally as fiery horses. His protege Elisha is just left standing there holding Elijah's coat. (More with the fiery!)

Landry is for Coach Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys. Becky and I are huge fans on the Cowboys since childhood. Through thick and thin, win or loose, we support the Blue and Silver. However, the name Landry is important for its sports connotation but we chose it because of Tom Landry's strong Christian character. He served God faithfully and was a devoted follower of Christ and his faith showed up in the character and intergrity of his whole life. That is the legacy that we want for our son. And if he plays sports all the better! Imagine hearing that name called out on draft day and then draft analysts pointing out "Ya know he was named after Hall of Fame coach of the Dallas Cowboys Tom Landry."

So that is what's in a name. Oh and by the way we call him Eli for short. That is short for Elijah for those of you that work at Dunder-Mifflin.

Currently listening :
The Archive Series, Vol. 1
By Don Walser
Release date: By 14 July, 1998

Becky back in the hospital, so we celebrated Eli's one week birthday at WNJ. Becky spent about 2 full weeks in the hospital when it was all said and done. Eli is healthy as can be and if one of them had to get the worst of it Becky was happy it as her and not him. I am just glad to have them both home now and share all this with you now!

And as an added bonus it is great to have friends, family, and even kids from our student ministry be there for support.

Here are some of our students that stopped by expecting to meet Eli but he had not arrived yet.

My Theory on Wal-Mart

Current mood: Persnickety

Category: Politics and Government

Ok, Becky and I hate Wal-Mart. We think Target is wonderful. We absolutely loathe Wally-World. Everytime we must go to WM for any reason its always the same. We even have terms for our experiences at WM. Whenever you go to WM there are 'Vests' everywhere. However, once you get to the point where you find yourself needing assistance all 800 of the aforementioned 'Vests' that were crawling all over the store's ailses, shelves, back alleys, and registars suddenly have diappeared.

And don't get me started on what we call the 'Wal-mart Mom.' You know the lady that seems to have 4-6 kids none of which she has ever thought enough of them to bathe them or even give them a name. Seemly her only method of discipline is to yank them by the arm socket or scream obsenities at them. I am know you are not supposed to hit women but I just want to yank them around by their wrist and tell them to 'shut up stupid' and see how they like it. I get so pissed. I know parenting is going to be hard and at times frustrating beyond belief but come on! If I was 2 years old, sitting in an uncomfortable metal basket, having some lady with a cigarette hovering a few inches over the top of my head, dragging me all over tarnation, I would be pissed and tired and cranky and screaming and blowing snot bubbles TOO!!! Sorry I get worked up about 'Wal-Mart' moms. Let us move forward.

A bigger question is why do you never run into these ladies at Target? The prices I think are just as reasonable. The products are more dependable and well made (in my humble opinion). And for the most part you can find everything except the whole array of groceries at Target (unless God smiles upon your locale and blesses you with a Super Target.) When it comes to items they do share in common you can definitely find them easier at Target. Target is always cleaner, friendlier, faster, more well organized and it lacks that smell. What is the WM smell anyway, its universal to all WM. From Orlanda to El Paso, from Pipestone, MN to Pagosa Springs, CO, they all have that smell. Color me: filled with consternation.

Anyhoo, Becky and I have a theory. We believe it starts with the employees. WM makes their employees where those wacky vests. Who can have pride and confidence in their work when they wear one of those things? Its like an AWANA vest for grown ups. (If you aren't trackin' with me on that then I am not gonna unpack it for you here.) Target employees get to wear nice Khakis and the red polo. Target's attire is very causual and comfortable, yet classy and dignified enough for business. Their workers take a sense of pride in their job. Wal-Mart employees get a cheap vest which translates into little hope for pride in their work.

So next time you wonder why WM is dirty, stinky, and in disarray just look no further than the beat-down, begiled, vest wearing greeter. Stop right there and head over to Target. (I do want to pause here to give a shout out to one super cool, albeit vest wearing, greeter at our local WM, Herb, but he is by far the exception. Herb my man you are cool, but I bet Target is hiring.)

Next time maybe I will answer the question, "Why are there little school age kids here, on a school night at 2am. I am a youth pastor that explains why I am there, don't try and turn it around on me. Seriously, lady shouldn't your kids be at home in bed right now!?!?" -- on the next installment of My Theory on Walmart.

(editors note: Target did not pay me or have any overt influence on the writing of this blog. However, if after reading it they feel so inclined I would prefer target gift cards in increments of $25 and $50. Thank you and good night.)

Currently listening :
White Light, White Heat, White Trash
By Social Distortion
Release date: By 17 September, 1996