wow wow wow

much like a car accident in the median
you know you shouldn't keep watching
but you can't turn away...

now, who's willing to "sign the comments" as a petition for my father (The Reverend Doctor William Rudd) to learn this routine and perform it on Sunday morning in his church?


belated apology, and advice from a hypocrite

This December, I'll be spending the advent season with the good people of First Baptist Church. Their pastor is recovering from an operation, and I've always enjoyed filling in there (especially for advent).

Since I'm feeling pretty rusty in the pulpit (it's been 3 years since my early retirement from pastoral vocation) I thought I'd listen to a few old recordings of my advent sermons for some ideas.

When I was a pastor, I knew my sermons were too long. I'd always talk about it apologetically (probably hoping someone would be gracious enough to say -- "ohh..but *your* sermons are so interesting, I never notice the time...."), but I rarely demonstrated any progress in moving from 50 minutes to 30 minutes.

I'm sure I had an inflated sense of the importance of my words and the necessity for people to hear enough of them. I've since learned that every pastor has *someone* who will tell them that they aren't preaching too long. I guess that was all I needed. One person to stroke my ego while everyone else was over-informed, bored, or asleep.

From the age of 18 (part time youth pastor during college) until three years ago, there was no extended period of time when I was not in some form of church leadership (almost always vocational).

A "break" from that has given me some clarity on the matter.

And listening to my own sermons from 4 years ago, I'm once again reminded I owe lots of people lots of apologies.

If you were a victim of mine please accept my apology: I'm sorry.

PS. If you're a pastor, here's my suggestion:

Most sermons I hear actually contain 3-5 sermons.
Why not land on the first main idea that emerges?
Offer that idea from a few angles so that it connects with more of your audience.
Pose some questions to catalyze ongoing exploration.
Then give the idea some space to breathe.
Give it some time to find a place in the minds of the people who are listening.
Don't knock it loose with additional ideas.
Demonstrate your confidence in the text by resisting the urge to give it elaborate support.


Open Letter to President-Elect Barack Obama

I'll be brief. I know you're busy.

I suggest that you appoint Seth Godin to be:

"Secretary of 'Let's-not-try-to-build-a-New-economy-the-Old-way'"

Seriously. I think we'd all find ourselves knee deep in the types of ideas we need to be cultivating for a new world.

I think that some of the best and brightest minds could be engaged in dialogue and leveraged for a better and brighter future.

I think we'd have a national catalyst for rethinking some of the habits that get us stuck.

At the minimum, I suggest that you make his blog and books required reading for your staff.

And consider this thought very seriously (not just in thinking about the automotive bailouts):
'What to do about Detroit'

Sincerely, Daniel Rudd
Small Business Owner, Michigan

PS. Thanks for your hard work. Congratulations.



Lost Footagej from the Archives

So did I ever tell you about that time when I took Will and a big tank of helium to Philadelphia? It was a couple years ago but I just found the tape from my video camera.


the [happy] end[ing] of [my] political blogging

1. McCain finished well. I was impressed by his concession speech and his demeanor. I particularly appreciate his obvious disapproval of his supporters who would "boo" at the mention of the new president elect.

I'm obviously happy with the election results, but I recognize that John McCain is a person worthy of great honor. I don't think a presidential campaign is the most fertile ground for cultivating virtue, and I wonder how much control or awareness either of the candidates had for many of the poor campaign decisions that were made.

2. I voted for Barack Obama because I believed that (all things considered), he was the best (but not the perfect) candidate with the best (but not the perfect) plan.

The fact that he is an African American had (as far as I can be sure) little to do with my decision.

However, it seems that it has a *lot* to do with emotions I've experienced after the election.

Having lived a privileged white life, and not having been closely connected to anyone who has experienced racial injustice in its most powerful forms, there isn't really a great explanation for the powerful emotions that I have been experiencing since November 5th.

I'm just more happy than I can express. Not just for those members of my human family who are not white (although very much for them), but for everyone. Even those of us (myself included) who have been complicit (by the benefits we have enjoyed) in creating a world of inequality.

The work toward a more just and equitable nation/world isn't done.
Barack Obama is not the Messiah.
I'm sure he'll make mistakes.
And, I'm sure I'm still unaware of prejudice and bigotry within my own habits and assumptions.

But I'm feeling a lot of pure happiness about what's happened.

3. To those with different ideas about our nation's future and some of the critical issues in this election, I am sorry for any disappointment you may be feeling.

I'm also sorry for any ways that I, or the party I support, have been disrespectful or combative in this emotionally charged election.

I'm still just as interested in hearing your viewpoints even when they are different from mine. I'm optimistic about the future. I hope we can all find ways to move forward more cooperatively, and I believe that our government will ultimately reflect *our* posture in doing this.

-Happily returning to silly videos and cute pictures, I remain:


(it's a long speech (40 minutes); but it would not be time wasted, even if you've already heard it.