Posted by: randydunning | November 20, 2008

Catalyst One Day


Today I’m at the Catalyst One Day conference hosted at Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana (very near my home town of Niles, MI). Granger and Mishawaka were my stomping grounds as a kid. I even attended GCC once in its very early days. So I’ll know where to lead people for lunch!

The Catalyst conference features Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel, dynamic young leaders of equally dynamic churches (North Point and Life Church respectively). It will be a privilege to hear them speak. And, as usual, I get to spend time with my good friend and conferencing buddy, Steve North, minister at Jenison Christian Church in Hudsonville, MI.

Here is what I will learn today (according to the Catalyst site):

At Catalyst One Day, you will:

  • Discover the key to creating and sustaining momentum in your organization
  • Identify and break through the barriers to momentum and overcome personal leadership lids
  • Leverage the three triggers which ignite organizational momentum
  • Create a culture of continual improvement
  • Embrace a new approach to leading organizational change

Whoo, hoo! Sounds like everything I need to lead a culture change at my church.  Here we go!

Posted by: randydunning | November 7, 2008

Logos Coming to the Mac


If you own a Mac (like me), are a pastor (like me), and use Bible software for preparation (like me) then you’ve probably been waiting a good long while for Logos to release the Mac version of their Bible software with its library of scripture texts, commentaries, word studies and other resources.

Looks like the wait is almost over. Check out the video here!

Posted by: randydunning | October 28, 2008

A No-Foam Chai?


I’m sitting in Okemos at the Starbucks on Okemos Rd. working away, minding my own business, when I hear the barista repeat a drive thru order: “Venti, extra-hot, no foam chai.” And I think…

I like my drinks large.
I like my drinks extra-hot.
I like chai.
But a no-foam chai? Never would have thought of that.

And I thought I was a perfectionist.

Posted by: randydunning | October 22, 2008

The Four Year Wait is Over


After four long years Hannah had her braces removed today! She’s been a trooper during this whole time, complaining very little while going through many phases of orthodontic work.

To celebrate we went to the new Olga’s in Brighton. Each of us ordered Olga sandwiches (she with curly fries, me with salad – almost 40 you know) and we shared an Orange Cream Cooler. I hadn’t had Olgas in about 18 years. It was as good as I remembered! Hannah liked it too.

Congratulations, Hannah!

I wish braces were all done for the Dunnings but I fear not. Cullen is scheduled to start the same program in a few weeks!

See more photos here.

Posted by: randydunning | September 11, 2008

Vacation Wrap Up


The Dunnings were “on vacation” the last two weeks of August. But it was our trip up to Charlevoix Aug. 27-30 when we felt the most on vacation. It was there that we hung out at the beach, took in a concert at the new waterfront amphitheater, browsed the town shops, bought lots of salt water taffy and fudge, went back to the beach, watched the Olympics, ate junk food and didn’t drive anywhere!

As always, my favorite part of a vacation is watching the kids have fun. But on this trip I also enjoyed polishing off Patrick O’Brian’s “The Fortune of War” making it a two-book vacation. Woo hoo!

I’ve posted a gallery of photos and one short video here. Enjoy!

P.S. Thanks to our good friends, Papa Terry and Grandma Lynne who let us invade their world for four days. You guys are the best!

Posted by: randydunning | August 23, 2008

I’m On Vacation. Sort of.


By definition, vacation is not meant to be cleaning up the house, catching up on bills, installing gutter protection and the like. But that is what my vacation consists of this year. The good thing is that it is “an extended period” – two weeks to be exact, and two Sundays away from the work of sermon prepping and preaching, which is a nice break indeed.

My one overarching goal of vacation? Complete novel #5 of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series (Book #1 being Master and Commander). I am one chapter into Desolation Island and am traveling further away from home by the page. I guess, by definition, I might be vacationing after all!


Posted by: randydunning | August 4, 2008

The Randy Dunning Experience


Yesterday my church was treated to (more like endured) what I not-so-affectionately call “The Randy Dunning Experience” or RDE.

The RDE occurs when I have the opportunity to lead music and preach all on the same Sunday. This hasn’t happened for a couple of years at Hope but all the stars aligned just right yesterday. Our church has four worship leaders that rotate from Sunday to Sunday. Every single one of them was unavailable yesterday (three were out of town, one had four wisdom teeth extracted on Friday). And since I got the notice on Thursday, I didn’t feel comfortable asking someone to whip up a sermon on two-days notice. Thus, the RDE rides again!

The service probably went just fine and people were probably blessed by both the singing and the preaching. But I am terribly self-concious about the RDE. I feel it gives the impression that I’m a control freak (which I’m not) and that by the time I’m wrapping up my sermon people are so sick of my face and my voice that any challenge I give will be ineffective.

What I do enjoy about the RDE is that I get to craft a worship service with songs that fit the message (the perfectionist in me loves a tight worship service). I’m also glad to serve my church when either summer or holiday vacation schedules deplete our ranks. I even enjoyed leading singing again (it had been months).

But walking from one side of the stage to the other (even with the buffer of a communion service) is always a bit awkward. Perhaps a wardrobe change would help. I’ll keep that in mind for next time!

Posted by: randydunning | July 14, 2008

A Really Cool Black Box

I picked up my new 15″ MacBook Pro (MBP) today about 6 p.m. at the Briarwood Apple Store. A FedEx tracking email alerted me to its presence (arrived at 12:12 p.m.). When I went in the store, all the staff looked a bit hung over from the weekend iPhone 3G launch (Apple sold 1 Million of them over the weekend – not all at Briarwood, of course). Since the store hadn’t called me as yet the manager I spoke with indicated that the MBP probably hadn’t been processed yet either. But she cheerily went off to check. After about fifteen minutes (time well spent playing with the iPhone) she returned carrying a thin, black, rectangular box. I was in business!

Later this evening, when I went to set up the MacBook Pro, I wasn’t sure exactly how to port my data back from my external hard drive. Since I’d been using the clone of my old PowerBook’s HD and operating off it for a couple of weeks, I wanted the new MBP hard drive to take on the exact same state. Upon starting up the new MPB, I was given the option to transfer data from another Mac (Apple always gives you this option). I plugged in my external drive and selected it as the volume I wanted to use. The new MBP went to work and in under an hour (closer to 30 minutes) it was finished. After going through the registration process, the MBP completed booting and, voila, a perfect transfer! I sure didn’t expect it to be that easy. It was done in time for the boys and I to watch the MLB Home Run Derby on ESPN 360 (much better with a faster graphics card)!

Now I’ve got a notebook that is a bit thinner than my previous model and also a bit wider which gives me more screen real estate (a couple hundred more pixels doesn’t hurt at all). The screen also has LED backlighting instead of fluorescent, which makes it instantly bright (and extremely bright as well).

Thanks again to TIm Buck, who let me use his PBG4 12″ as a loaner for the last three weeks. It got me through with flying colors.

And again I want to acknowledge God’s abundant provision of this machine. Since it is effectively my mobile office, I am grateful for the upgrade!

Posted by: randydunning | July 2, 2008

Day #2 at NACC – Cincy

What an amazing day! I’m both exhilarated and exhausted by what I experienced today, Tuesday, at the North American Christian Convention. I can tell that some of you have been praying for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


The day started with an incredible message on having Dangerous Faith by Jon Weece, minister of Southland Christian Church in Lexington. This was one of those non-note-taking messages. You sit back and soak it in, then buy the DVD and process later.

On the heels of Jon was a Leadership Lecture by Bill Hybles (yeah, that Bill Hybles). He shared the four things he would challenge leaders to do if he was on his death bed with four breaths left. I took notes like crazy! So much to learn from such a leader and kingdom builder. And there is so much I have yet to learn about leading. This was both humbling and inspiring.

I could have been done with the day at lunch and been a happy man.

But after an out-of-this-world Reuben from Izzy’s of Cincinnati, I decided to take in a workshop on preaching. The teacher was Mike Breaux, who preceded Jon Weece at Southland and then went to work under Hybles at Willow Creek before leaving last year to serve a church in Rockford. I’ve heard Breaux before (10 years ago at a campus ministry retreat) and he just delivers amazing and authentic stuff each time I hear him.

Steve and I debriefed over dinner and took a needed breather.

The evening session speaker was Dr. Ajai Lall of the Central Indian Christian Mission–a man who has had threats on his life and preached at gunpoint. I am in awe of his passion and courage–he and his fellow pastors working in nations where persecution is a reality.

The night wrapped up with prayer for the nations and for pastors and church leaders. I didn’t expect it but each of us were surrounded by fellow attendees who laid their hands on us and prayed for us to continue to follow the dangerous call of leading for Jesus.

I’ve heard the call again in the last 36 hours. I’m still in!

Posted by: randydunning | July 1, 2008

Night #1 at NACC – Cincy

The first night at the NACC was simply outstanding.

Steve and I got into our rooms around 5 p.m. After cleaning up a bit we made it over to the exhibit hall around six, grabbed a slice of pizza and walked among the exhibits.

The first main session began at seven and it was a great start to the week. Cam Huxford of Savannah, Georgia (also this year’s NACC President) really lit the torch for the weekend with his “Living Dangerously” keynote from Hebrews 11 & 12 (also gave me some ammo for August sermons in Hebrews). My soul was really nourished by his message and challenge. It is great to hear great preaching and to leave having heard from God about your own life and ministry.

Can’t wait for more tomorrow!

Main Session Tuesday Night – we sat way to the side – the Jumbotron was really JUMBO!

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