loren Eric Swanson

Monday, October 18, 2010

Innovation in Mission: Redefining Experts

Innovation in Mission: Redefining Experts

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Final Post on Blogger--I'm Moving!

At the urging and help of my good friend, Jay Lorenzen, I am moving my blog to www.ericjswanson.com (http://ericjswanson.com/)--my first name, middle initial and last name). As complex as this new site is (I'm climbing the learning curve), it will allow me to store /share more content and has a bit more flexibility than blogger. Jay did a great job moving all my blogger content over to new site. Thanks to all of you have accounted for nearly 50,000 visits over the past three years. I hope to come up with / link to valuable things that will help you on your journey. God bless you!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Birthday dinner at Efrain's

Nothing like a birthday dinner at Efrain's--undisputably the best Mexican restaurant on the planet with only possible contenders being from other planets or galexies! And of course, it's just not a birthday dinner without the Lambs and Wilcoxes.

We had dinner in the library where we've brought our treasures and souvenirs over the years--including one of three bound copies of my doctoral dissertation--where the odds drastically increase that someone will read it. I think we're safe on that one since over a year ago I put a crisp $20 bill within, and after checking tonight...yep it is still there!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Reek Sunday

Today in Ireland there are around 25,000 pilgrims that are climbing Reek Mountain--to commemorate Patrick's time when God told him to climb to the top of this mountain and survey all that the gospel did for Ireland. This is a day when I want to think about the same thing: What have I done to advance the kingdom this past year?

As I was looking for a few facts, I came across Bill Petro's blog. Bill's a good friend from college, and a quite-good historian. Link here to see what he's written about this day. http://www.billpetro.com/2007/07/24/history-of-reek-sunday-part-1-tradition/


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Leadership Network Team Retreat

Liz and I are in Stevenson, Washington at Skamania Lodge at a Leadership Network Retreat. LN has some great folks and it is always a kick to hang out with them. Today, during our free time some people played golf (you are never to say "golfed"....golf is something you play), some went to the spa while I and 4 others went on a two hour white water rafting trip--tons of fun.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Liz and I have been in Stockton the past couple of days--working in the mornings but hanging out with Mom and Dad in the late afternoons and evenings. This morning we went to Chuck's for breakfast. The breakfast below was eggs and cornbeef hash and hashbrown (note giant size) along w/ pancake (in place of toast). It was challenging even for me...but the type of challenge I enjoy. Chuck's is classic--it's been in the same place on Pacific Avenue since 1960--no being run by the 3rd generation.

My friend Mark

Yesterday I drove down to Berkeley to have lunch with my best buddy when I was in Junior High School--Mark Tanouye (http://ecnr.berkeley.edu/facPage/dispFP.php?I=640). Mark and I played football and wrestled together at Mango Junior H.S. in Sunnyvale and for one semester at Fremont H.S. in Sunnyvale before my family moved to Stockton. Last year Mark tracked me down via Cal's alumni association and I'm so glad he did. After High School, Mark graduated from Stanford, got his Ph.D. from Yale, taught at Cal Tech before accepting a teaching job at Cal. He is currently a prof in the Biology Department along with being the assistant chair of the department. Mark has received several awards for his research and teaching and is the type of guy one just enjoys hanging out with. Here he is explaining that my genome sequence and that of the fruitfly have a 70% match--barely above 2nd cousins once removed!

Because I wanted to learn more of what Mark did, he showed me around his lab and let me in on a bit of the work he is engaged in. It was facinating. Mark and his team are currently working on chemical combinations that raise the threshold of seizure, which is fundamental for breakthroughs with people who suffer from epilepsy. In this film clip one of Mark's graduate assistants is applying an electric shock to a fruitfly in order to trigger a seizure. Oops looks like THAT drug didn't work. Mark loves his work--the work of discovery--to figure out how God has structured life.

In past times Christians were at the forefront of science, believing they were discovering, through their research, the very manner, mind and methods of God. We would do well to heed the words of Saint Augustine set in fourth century:
"If it happens that the authority of Sacred Scripture is set in opposition to clear and certain reasoning, this must mean that the person who interprets Scripture does not understand it correctly. It is not the meaning of Scripture which is opposed to the truth but the meaning he wanted to give to it."[1]

More recently the great Presbyterian theologian of the 19th century, Benjamin B. Warfield wrote:
"We must not, then, as Christians, assume an attitude of antagonism toward the truths of reason, or the truths of philosophy, or the truths of science…. None should be more quick to discern truth in every field, more hospitable to receive it, more loyal to follow it, whithersoever it leads."[2]

[1] Meachum, Jon. “The God Debate” Newsweek, April 9, 2007 p. 57
[2] Collins, Francis S. The Language of God. Free Press. New York (2006) p. 179

In 1987 Mark and his wife Ellen began a spiritual journey with Jesus Christ and a couple of years ago attended a church-planter training and helped with a church plant in Lodi. (http://www.stpaullodi.org/mod/church-staff/about.php?staff_id=100005)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Do you want to change the world?

Reecently, as I've been speaking at externally focused events, I have asked those in attendance, "How many of you want to change the world?" Invariably, every hand goes up. And here's where the nickle drops; everyone wants to change the world but very few people are giving the opportunity to do so. The job of leaders...spiritual, visionary leaders, is to give everyone in their Bailiwick the opportunity to regularly engage in changing the world.

Liz and I have a son who lives in another country. When he shares his faith he tells college students, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life and part of that plan is to help change the world." Then he tells them about the compassionate good news of Jesus and his kingdom. "What do you suppose our campus would be like if every student was a follower of Jesus?
"Our campus would be an awesome place."
"And what if everyone in our city was a follower of Jesus?"
"Well, there would be no street children...no hungry people, no homelessness...there would be jobs and people would love each other, even those who are hard to love...and our city would be awesome...and everyone in our country would want to move to our city"

What if...
...we gave people the regular opportunity to do nothing less than change the world?