thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Tuesday, September 30


Finally got an issue of Newsweek in the mail today that I'm actually interested in reading...

Check this out.


Sunday, September 28


Today (Sunday) was a great day... The highlight for me was a conversation I had after one of our services with a woman who was telling me about her friend (we'll call her Vicki) who she invited to church a couple of months ago and has been coming every week since then. That's cool - but the fact that she has been "attending" is not the best part.

The BEST part is the "background" information - "Vicki" was raised Muslim and has become very curious about this whole "Christianity" thing. In fact, before she attended The Orchard (the church I'm on staff at), she was semi turned off at the little bit she knew about "Christian" churches.

Well, the past few weeks, Vicki has been taking several steps forward in her spiritual journey. A few weeks ago, during our worship time, her friend who invited her, looked over at her and there stood Vicki - with all kinds of doubts and fears about this "God" thing, and a tear streaming down the side of her face. God was touching this seeker's heart.

Today, her friend told me that she has begun "bowing her head" during the worship time. To someone who has been in the church for a long time, that might not seem like a big deal, but IT IS! This Muslim woman's heart is cracking open. The walls are beginning to weaken.

Vicki has also been getting involved in the life of the church - getting to know people, asking questions, etc... We're not sure if she has taken the plunge and bowed her knee to Christ yet, but she is seeking and every week drawing closer and discovering Christ in a safe environment where questions and doubts are welcomed and people are accepting her just the way she is.

Vicki is on her way to experiencing something that will change her life forever.

There is nothing that stokes my fire more than this. I can't even think about this person (and others like her) who are on the verge of "selling out" to Christ, without getting a little choked up with such joy. It's truly amazing.

What a journey for all of us...


Saturday, September 27


Have you seen those pop ads that has been using for a while now? They pop up like a regular ad, but they are games you can play. When you click on the game to play a new window opens up and takes you to Priceline, but you can continue to play the game in the window. The game looked fun and lured me into playing! I just minimized the new Priceline window and returned to my game. The games that I've seen are water dunking, baseball, golf, etc...

I guess for all of us "Gen X" 80's & 90's video game addicts this could be a somewhat effective approach. It got my attention and even got me to write about it on my site. So, I might as well go all out and direct you to the site of Here you go - click here to go to!.

These people should pay me big money for this...

P.S. Those other ads that companies are using that cover up the whole screen or float around on top of the page you are trying to look at (i.e. DRIVE ME CRAZY!! Can you say "INVADING MY SPACE?!?"



Just returned home from watching The Matrix Reloaded @ the IMAX. 2nd time seeing it, but this time much larger and louder! Went with a couple of friends who found it necessary to continuously poke fun at me during the movie in the midst of my attempts to mimic someone with narcolepsy. I don't know what my deal was tonight, but I was so TIRED! I must've fallen asleep at least 6 times. I guess I'm getting old...

Have you ever had a weird sensation in your foot or leg where you feel like it's so restless that you just have to shake it or move it around? I had that all night tonight. It was really weird. I think they call it "restless leg syndrome" or something like that. Just a sec - I'm going to Google that phrase... Ok - check this out:

Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome was described as early as the 16th century but was not studied until the 1940s. People with RLS complain of an irresistible urge to move their legs while at rest. A person with RLS will experience a vague, uncomfortable feeling while at rest that is only relieved by moving the legs. The symptoms of RLS may be present all day long, making it difficult for an individual to sit motionless. Or they may be present only in the late evening. Late evening symptoms can lead to sleep onset insomnia, which tends to compound the effects of RLS. Pregnancy, uremia, and post-surgery conditions have also been known to increase the incidence of RLS. And, surprisingly, fever seems to decrease it.

Although one study found RLS to be most prevalent in middle-aged females, its incidence increases with age.

Restless leg syndrome is estimated to affect 5% of the population. Approximately 80% of people with RLS have PLMD, though most people with PLMD do not experience RLS.

Oh Lordy!!!!

Ok - that's weird. I don't get that very often - maybe once every year or so. So, I'm going to ignore the symptom and just move on with my life.

Started reading a new book tonight - Patrick Lencioni's book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. I'll post a review about this when I'm finished. I heard Mr. Lencioni speak a couple of months ago and he was great. Part of the reason I enjoyed him so much was his apparent A.D.D. issue, which I can so clearly relate to. (If you doubt that, just read some of my posts...)

Well enough nonsense. I'm off to bed. I'm being interviewed tomorrow by a college student from Valparaiso University in Indiana for her theology class, so I better get lots of sleep so I don't look like the leader of a cult in the morning.



Friday, September 26


Another dog that needs a home!

We obviously can't take the dog, but maybe you know of someone looking for one. My neighbor is looking for a good home for a very special dog. He said it's really lovable and friendly with kids, but his wife said the dog makes her nervous when it stares at her and she wants it out of the house. Kind of weird, I know...

Anyway, here's a picture. Tell me what you think.


Thursday, September 25


You can now subscribe to my blog! Anytime I post anything new, you will receive an email letting you know! Just enter your email address in the box to the right and you will be set!

Attn: AOL & Hotmail users: Be sure to give permission for emails to come to you addressed by



Well, tonight is the "big" night for all of us "Friends" & "ER" fans!!! Season premiere for both shows. So please, don't call me, show up at my house (unless you want to watch with us!) or even look my direction from 7-8pm or 9-10pm Central Standard Time.

Thank you.


Wednesday, September 24


Ever feel like doing this to your child? Just kidding!!! :)



I've noticed that my "comment" feature is currently down. It appears to be an issue with the company who I use for my "comment" capability. Hopefully it will be up again soon. Save your comments somewhere and be sure to check back!



Tuesday, September 23


From the Brian McLaren article mentioned below. Check out the entire article here.

"Why, in a Christian subculture served by 24-hour Christian radio-TV, bathed in books and periodicals of unparalleled quality and quantity, instructed by a state-of-the-art seminary system, and inspired by a state-of-the-heart worship music industry … why are so few of our good Christian people good Christians?

Why is Prozac needed by so many? Why are the most biblically-knowledgeable so often so mean-spirited? Why are our pastors dejected so often? Why do our speakers (both human and electronic) have to blare so loudly to get a response, and even then, why is the response so shallow or temporary?

That discontent may be the ending point for many of us, but it is the starting point for our brothers and sisters of the emerging culture. If Christianity doesn't bear fruit in a way or rhythm or pattern of life that yields Christ-likeness in real measure, they aren't interested. Being "saved" is suspect if people aren't being transformed."

Oh man! I love this! It’s so stinkin’ convicting, yet something about it just seems right.

“Why do our speakers (both human and electronic) have to blare so loudly to get a response, and even then, why is the response so shallow or temporary?”

Could the answer to this be partly because the speakers are blaring the “right” message the "wrong" way? Or maybe the “right” message has been so heavily influenced by wrong thinking and/or the twisted opinions of man that it has become the “wrong” message? Or, maybe the problem is that the “speakers” have been doing nothing but “speaking”.

One of the things that I pick up from my readings and experiences with our emerging culture is a strong belief in the old adage that says, "talk is cheap". Lots of talking and little living. Or, our (referring to much of the church) actions have been blanketed with harsh, judgmental attitudes. Sort of the “get right, then you can join us” attitude. So opposite of the attitude of Jesus when He walked this earth.

It seems that people are not so much interested in the “proof” of the Bible, Jesus, etc… as much as they are in whether or not it’s "right" for them. For many in the 80’s & 90’s, apologetics were they key. "Prove the Bible is true, or prove that Jesus really was the Son of God and I will believe." Now it seems that our postmodern culture is not so much interested in the "proof" as much as they are interested in whether or not it is something that they believe will really need or want.

Which leads to this convicting question: When a seeker looks at me, do they want to become what I am?

One more thing... I think that what they want to see in us, as Christians, is not "perfection" or "unapproachable" living. It's authenticity, honesty and a willingness to admit that we too, as Christ followers, have questions and sometimes struggle too - while at the same time living in the grace and power of Christ.

Your thoughts?!


Monday, September 22


Click here!



I ran across a great article today by Brian McLaren, author of More Ready Than You Realize and The Church on The Other Side.

I am going to tear apart this article and comment on it over the next few days because I really think there are a LOT of great "nuggets" of truth for churches and church leaders who desire to impact our culture with a relevancy so rarely found in our hungry communities.

From the article:

Another moment came in the early '90s. I had left college teaching to pastor a church. A newcomer to our church, a spiritual seeker, highly educated, highly motivated, and highly skeptical of easy answers was asking tough questions, I was giving (thanks to C. S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, and Josh McDowell) my best apologetics-informed replies, and I wasn't getting through.

My linear Liar-Lunatic-or-Lord arguments, either-or propositions, and watertight belief system didn't enhance the credibility of the gospel for my new friend; rather, they made the gospel seem less credible, maybe even a little cheap and shallow.


I thought the word "missional" was awkward when I first heard it. My spell-checker still tries to correct it. But the word is here to stay, subsuming and replacing more familiar adjectives like missionary, evangelistic, and socially active. Mission in this sense includes missions, and more. It brings together evangelism and social action, "home" and "foreign." It integrates Christian concerns that range from racial reconciliation to ecological stewardship, doing good works and doing our daily work with goodness (which is an underrated fruit of the Spirit).

Old categories merge in what I believe is a radical shift in our theology, from a system in which "missions" is one department of theology, to a new place where theology is one department of mission.

I was once talking with Dallas Willard about Islam. He dropped this little thought virus: "Remember, Brian, in a pluralistic world, a religion is valued by the benefits it brings to its non-adherents." The virus has taken hold in my thinking, bringing to mind sayings of our Lord, like "the birds of the air" nesting in the branches of the kingdom of God, people seeing the light of our good deeds and "glorifying your Father in heaven," "by their fruits you will know them."

How different is this missional approach to the "rhetoric of exclusion" that worked so well in modernity: "There are blessings to being on the inside. You're on the outside and so can't enjoy them. Want to be a blessed insider like us?"

In contrast, missional Christianity says, "God is expressing his love to all outsiders through our acts of kindness and service. You're invited to leave your life of accumulation and competition and self-centeredness to join us in this mission of love, blessing, and peace. Want to join in the mission?"

I'm going to let that digest for all of us a little bit and comment on it later. But go back and read it - soak in it. It's saying some pretty important things to us.

Click HERE to read the article in its entirety.


Saturday, September 20


Good morning, late night or whatever you want to call it. Just got home from watching "Matchstick Men" starring Nicolas Cage. I made the automatic assumption that this would be a great movie because usually any movie starring Nicolas Cage is great. I guess I give the movie a thumbs down. However, Cage did a great job - especially with the ticks and gestures. (You'll have to see the movie to figure out what I'm talking about.)

On a more "Godly" note... We had a great evening of worship at The Orchard tonight. Our worship team did a dynamic job. Good turnout, great environment, good flow, etc... I'll give this evening a thumbs up. If you're in the area and didn't attend, you missed out! Next time...

Well to bed I go. Goodnight.


Thursday, September 18


In the "Word of Faith" circles, this has been a crazy week. The "father" of the Word of Faith "movement", Kenneth E. Hagin is hospitalized in Tulsa after collapsing at his home on Sunday. According the the Rhema website, he is in "critical, but stable" condition.

Yesterday, I received an email telling me that he had died. Today, I received an email telling me he is alive.

I'm confused.

It's my understanding that as of right now, 1:03pm CST, Brother Hagin is alive and on life support. He has been this way now since Sunday.

Attention everyone in Tulsa: Let's not make this a "circus". Don't worry, his legacy will live on.

So there's my .02 cents worth.

Thanks Bro Hagin for everything.

(If you don't know who Hagin is or Word of Faith, this post won't make much sense to you - in which case, just ignore it.)



Ok, here's the deal. I have hardly any time in my schedule to watch TV. Some would say this is good, I think it kind of stinks because I like to watch TV. Don't get me wrong, some people have a real problem with TV addiction. I don't. And it might be because I really don't have time to watch it.

ANYWAY... That is about to change as a new season of FRIENDS begins a couple of Thursdays from now. I'm also really into ER. 2 great shows that give me my necessary TV dosage every week in the fall/spring.

I was thinking about some of the shows I grew up watching. Shows like: The Love Boat, Three's Company, Fantasy Island, Dallas, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Happy Days, The Facts of Life, Little House on the Prairie and a bunch of others.

Of course, I was one of those MTV addicts who would find my way over to my neighbors house (who had cable tv) and become entranced (is that a word?) in front of the TV watching music videos and the Spring Break parties. Ahhh... What memories! :)

Not much has changed I guess. When I get a chance, MTV is one of the first channels I turn to (after Food Network). I had somewhat of an addiction last year to the Osbournes (Go ahead - blast away...) and the show Cribs. Cribs is the show where they tour all of the homes of different rock stars and celebrities. The highlight is when they open the fridge door and show everyone what's inside of it.

It really doesn't take much to entertain people, does it?!

What the heck am I saying here? I don't know and I better go to bed before this turns ugly.


P.S. What are you watching? Comment away!


Tuesday, September 16

The paomnnehil pweor of the hmuan mnid.

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the
frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses
and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos
not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?


IBM & MBI & BIM & MIB or whatever...

I'm back... after a day or two with no blog postings.

I began a new book today entitled, Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround by Louis V. Gerstner Jr. (former CEO of IBM).

This book has come to me highly recommended - especially since we are attempting a turnaround of our own. Of course, our turnaround is not on the same scale as IBM - our's is on a much higher one.

Here's what I mean... Bill Hybels said it best recently:

"If a company or business fails, they lose money. If we (the church) fail, we lose people."


I've said this statement a few times publically and each time I've said it I've thought to myself, "Oh great, now the business people in this room are going to think that I don't think that their businesses are important and that I have this narrow mindset about the world and business, etc..."

I guess I just really believe in the church and the potential it has to change our world. And of course I believe that business is important. It's also a great opporunity for people to influence others for Christ. But as the "church" (made up of a bunch of imperfect, grace-dependant Christ followers) we have an opportunity to truly impact our society with a message that crosses cultural differences, time frames, and anything else that might seemingly get in the way.

It's certainly not my paycheck or the "prestige" of ministry (LOL...) that gets me up and out of bed each morning. It's the simple belief that the church truly is, (again from the mouth of Bill Hybels) the "hope of the world".


Saturday, September 13


"The church is like manure. Pile it up, and it stinks up the neighborhood. Spread it out, and it enriches the world."
- Luis Palau


Friday, September 12


Ever wonder how rich you are or where you compare with everyone else on this small & tiny planet? Check this out and see where you land!



...FONT! After a few complaints, I have enlarged my font. I hope this is easier to read. If not, may I suggest bi-focals... Just kidding.



Y A W N...

Sitting in Starbucks waiting for a meeting to begin in about 15 minutes... I am so tired today. But it's more than just physically. I hit a wall yesterday mid-afternoon and felt so exhausted and tired - mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc... So, I'm going to take a 4 week vacation to Maui beginning next week.

In my dreams...

I have to stop writing. They're playing some seriously sad music in the background and I'm about to cry. Ok, well not that sad, but I do have to go.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, September 10


In his book, Post-Modern Pilgrims: First Century Passion for the 21st Century Church, author Leonard Sweet talks about a concept called EPIC. EPIC is used to describe the type of environment that the 21st Century church needs to work at creating in reaching our postmodern (pomo) culture.

EPIC stands for:

Image Driven

Monday night I had an "experience" which reminded me how well the "secular" arena creates EPIC environments.

Amanda, Elise and I were on our way (and I'm almost embarrassed to say this - especially living in Chicago where great food is on just about every corner...) to Olive Garden. On our way there, we started having second thoughts about the "Garden" and believe it or not, we were actually having a problem finding one in the area of town we were in, so we ended up going to Buca di Beppo in Lombard.

Now, I've been to Buca zillions of times (in fact, I ate at Buca when it was only one location downtown Minneapolis), but for some reason a few things really stuck out to me on this visit.

As soon as we walked in, we were seated IN THE KITCHEN. Yes, you read that right. We ate at the only table located INSIDE of the actual kitchen (click here)! It was great! Talk about EXPERIENTIAL...

In a way, we participated behind the scenes in what was happening by being right there in the middle of it all. And one of my favorite moments was how whenever they would bring out a new order, they would walk by our table and show us the entree and explain what it was. Too bad I drooled on a couple of them... Great way to PARTICIPATE!

Everywhere you looked there were images of old Italian people, Italian icons, etc... And I can't even tell you what I saw in the bathroom. It's just not right... But this place was definitely IMAGE DRIVEN.

And we felt extremely CONNECTED to what was going on. Every waiter and kitchen staff member stopped by our table to talk to us and actually made us feel a part of a small little "kitchen" community.

With all of that said, I thought it was a great experience and I think there is something that the church can learn from places like Buca, Starbucks, etc... They engage your senses and create a very comfortable place to partake of their product.

BUT, there is one thing that I didn't see them dishing up at Buca - GRACE.

Truly the church IS the hope of the world. So let's take advantage of our product and reach as many people as possible.



Tuesday, September 9


For all of us Homer Simpson fans... Click HERE.



I just took a short online test and found out that I am an intellectual worshipper. Don't get me wrong, I don't worship intellectuals, but apparently that is my "worship style". Like I needed a test to tell me that I am an intellectual. (Yeah, right...)

Northpoint Community Church in Atlanta is doing a new series (Andy Stanley, Pastor) called "You've Got Style" and it is all about different types of worship styles/expressions. They have an online "test" that you can take to help identify your worship "style".

You can take the short online test by clicking HERE.

I rated highest as an Intellectual (17 points) who draws closest to God through their minds. (Very surprising actually...)

Then, I was rated the following in this order:

Naturalist - Connects with God through nature. (12 pts.)
Ascetics - Connects with God through solitude and simplicity. (10 pts.)
Activists - Connects with God through bringing about social change. (10 pts.)

What do you rate? Try it out and post it in my "comments" section!


Monday, September 8


What a great example of how we sometimes communicate... :)




Tonight, I watched as President Bush gave a short speech to re-cast his vision for fighting terrorism. Although a bit overdue (in my opinion...), his speech was a good reminder to the American people as to why we are waging war on terrorism and making the sacrifices that are necessary to do so. I still have a few questions of my own, but those are for another time.

The thing that is really making my head spin is a simple (and probably obvious) observation. It baffles me how just two years ago, our nation put on one of the strongest united fronts ever witnessed in my lifetime. I can still remember the senators and congressmen/women standing on the steps of the nation's capital singing a patriotic song. At that moment, as strange as it may seem, it appeared that our nation was united in her efforts. We had made a decision to stand up to these cowardly acts and those who performed them.

So what happened?

One word: POLITICS. Ok, maybe 2 words, but they tie in together: POLITICS & PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

A couple of years ago, we all agreed that we had to wage war on terrorism. And that is exactly what this White House has done - in a very focused manner. Perfect? No. But focused? Yes. But now, as we scoot closer to election time, this has become a "personal agenda" war of Mr. President.

I don't believe it.

Do I agree with everything President Bush says or does? No.

Do I think that his administration is communicating as effectively as they should? No.

But do I think that the United States better cover it's butt and stand up for the freedom that we enjoy everyday and hardly even ever have to think about? Yes.

And last but not least, do I think that this is a new type of war that we are fighting and perhaps need to be willing to cut some slack to our government for not doing everything perfect? Yes.

So back to the capital steps. September 12th, 2001. What was that? Perhaps a bunch of crap. Perhaps sincerity. Perhaps a little of both. Or, perhaps it's just an amazing example of how easily people forget and lose focus.

So there is my political talk. Please comment. Make this blog interesting. Disagree with me.


Friday, September 5


...and busy studying all weekend for teaching on Sunday. Topic: Parenting. YIKES!

Click here for a new pic posted to my fotolog.



Thursday, September 4


Thank you for all of the cards and flowers... My tooth is feeling much better. I have a 4:30pm appointment on Thursday and I'm hoping to get this taken care of. I've been on meds. Last night and today I've been taking Tylenol with Codeine. Not good... That stuff messed me up royally. I felt drunk, tired, numb and high - all at the same time. Ok, let me back up... I've never been "high", so I'm not sure if I felt high, but I felt like what I would imagine it would feel like to be high. Pause... (After that last sentence, I'm sure you must think I am high.)

Just read that expert bodybuilder, Pat Robertson is endorsing Arnold for Governor of California. Ok, first of all, this articles quotes Robertson as saying that he a bodybuilder. Does anyone know if this is true? Not that I'm doubting him - afterall, he looks just like Arnold.

Speaking of Pat Robertson... I ran across this image the other day. LOL...

Britany Spears is supporting President Bush according to this news flash on

Well, before I start sounding like Paul Harvey, I better go to bed. Goodnight.


Wednesday, September 3


I'm not having a good night. It's 12:16am, I have to get up in 5 hours and I have one of the worst toothaches I've had in years. I'm sure it's an abscess.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I had a very bad abscess. In fact, it was the worst one the doctor had ever seen. When he drilled into my tooth, the stuff inside of the bad tooth sprayed him in his face. No lie! It was horrible. He even cussed.

I called a dentist office today (where family goes...) and he can't get me in until Thursday. I think I'll look for someone else in the morning.

In the meantime, I'm going to take some more Tylenol Codeine and try to get some sleep. Fun...


Tuesday, September 2


Click here to read a great article by Andy Stanley entitled, "The Uncertain Leader". I heard Andy teach this at a leadership conference a couple of years ago. It is excellent!



Monday, September 1

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS? (sorry - it's a mini-book...)

Have you ever heard someone say, “No news is usually good news”? I hear this frequently and have usually adapted to its theory. Until now…

I want to take a moment and address the “usually” part of this phrase. I would agree, for the most part, that “no news” is good news. But I think sometimes we shoot ourselves in the big toe when we ASSUME that just because someone is silent that they are supportive of a particular initiative – especially in a major organizational transition/change process.

In our change/transition as a church, we have seen all sorts of different people fly out of the woodwork. You can usually categorize them in one of the following categories:

1. The “against the change” group. These are those who are very clearly against the particular change of an organization. Their unhappiness with the change initiative is usually expressed the loudest out of all of the groups. They will either let everyone know how much they don’t like what is happening or they will just leave. (Note: some of these people can be salvaged – but not many. And in some cases, they are better left to move on…)

2. The “for the change” group. These are those who believe in the vision, support the leadership and are constantly finding ways to get “plugged in” to what’s going on. Unfortunately, this group doesn’t get listened to enough. (Group #1 is always the loudest for some odd reason…) Thank God for this group! They are the fuel…

3. The “no news” group. This is the group who everyone is sort of unsure of. We "hope" that they are excited and a part of the future, and we usually adapt the “no news is good news” theory to these individuals. And because of this assumption, we either back off of the vision casting with them because we think they are “on board” or we sort of think to ourselves, “Let’s not push it with them – let them be!”

Here’s the problem with that kind of thinking - I think that this group is often times silent not because they are bad people or "against" what is happening - but rather, because they are trying to process what’s happening and whether or not and how they fit into it. Because of that, I think we have to cast vision in even a greater way with this group.

This is a core group that can help an organization move forward, and we should never assume (break that word apart…) that because they are “quiet” that they are 100% “on board”.

One more thought – casting vision to people is not easy – it takes CONSTANT work. Casting vision one on one with people seems to be the most effective way to do it (not always manageable, however...). People are less likely to open up and be honest in a group – but if you can get them one on one and ask questions and let them talk, you will probably be able to cast some serious vision and find out how they fit into that picture.

Let me hear your thoughts/comments…