Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - Top Ten

It's December 31 and want to review some of the top ten things that happened throughout this year. (Not in any order)

1. A visit from our friend/family - The Kitchen's. We enjoy our time with them and they enrich our lives deeply.

2. I kept my only resolution this year. To blog more than I did last year (35 entries total 2007). I cranked it up in December finishing strong with double digits. I plan to blog at least once a week this next year!

3. Joining the vision of The Crossroads. This time last year I was jobless and seeking God's direction. I learned much in the transition from CCV to The Crossroads one of which God's timing and direction really it best. We may think we have together. Ever so true: "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." - Prov. 16:9

God provided for us in such unexpected ways. Our house, a newer car given to us, various household furniture items, peaceful sleep were just a few of the many blessings.

4. I read many books. Two favorites were "It came from within" - A. Stanley and "Made to Stick" - C. Heath and D. Heath

5. Going to New Orleans on a short-term missions trip. Really put the need there in perspective.

6. 13 years being married to Melissa. She's the best thing that has happened to me. My love for her grows each year . . . I am grateful.

7. I don't like to admit it but . . . I am a MacSnob (as my wife calls me). I love my MacBook!

8. Our visit with the Cinfios. Gianna and Mikayla are cute together.

9. Going to the John Mayer concert at Glendale Arena with my bro! Good times, Good Music!

10. Playing in the worship band at with Joey, Andy, David, Gary, Steve, Mary J. and the rest. It stretched me once again . . . Good times to remember fondly. My favorite worship LP . . . (The only one I bought) my buddy Ricardo and His team rock!\

11. I recognized growth (physically, mentally, spiritually) in my boys this year. They are becoming great young men of God. Their personalities have really developed. Dangerous Boys Club, Rock Climbing, Swimming, Football in the rain, Our trip to Guitar Center, and the Rocket Launch this past Christmas were major highlights!

OK - that's it. I actually had 11. 2007 was a redefining year for me. I trust God deeper, appreciating my family members more and want others to know they matter to God!

30 Days

I spoke on 30 Days to Live: Living life in High Def. I really enjoyed it. I have yet to hear the responses from our iCare space. It was great having my parents with us in service. It was a great service to end the year.

I ended the message with Making Peace with your Relationships. I showed this video and had a great response to it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Me and My Drum

Being a drummer this has always been a favorite Christmas tune. Trent Austin and his team at rocked it! Great sample from "The Who" in the middle.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

We all want to belong | Fit in!

This came from the Director of Community at a church in the Midwest. It was a wake up call to be aware of the obvious - and aware that people matter and want to belong. It's up to us to help facilitate that.

"At 8:15 this past Sunday morning, I see this guy wandering in the area near staff mailboxes and the bathrooms. He doesn't seem like he's waiting for anyone. He doesn't stop anyone to ask for direction. (I was one of at least 3 people who walked by him.) He is definitely looking around. Yeah, he is out of place. I don't stop him. I don't inquire. I just noticed. (Not my proudest Director of Community moment!)

Less than 5 minutes later, I now see him in the atrium wandering but definitely uncomfortable. The only other people are a few staff and volunteer leaders setting up for the day, and some GCC regulars meeting early for coffee. He stood out again. He's looking around. Weird. What is he doing?

Wait. He's making a move. He starts walking toward the exit doors with determination. For whatever reason, I now decide that if he has just stalked the place, I should probably say something to let him know he was noticed.

Just as he's opening the second set of doors to reach the cold air, I reach him. "Can I help you find anything?" With a slight dialect of another language, "Well, I was supposed to serve today. It was my first time, but I can't find where I'm supposed to go. So..." Feeling like a complete schmuck, "Ohhhh. We can find the team. Let me help you." Within 2 minutes, we found the team leader, made the introduction, and poof! Connection made! I saw him later that morning serving confidently.

People are uncomfortable when they take a step. It's new. They don't know what to expect. They don't do what seems obvious to us who are already connected. Really! Yes, I know it doesn't make sense. Virtually everyone in the building at that time could have helped him. He only needed to ask. He did not feel comfortable to stop anyone.

Taking a step is a big deal. I want to be noticed - to be significant - to connect - to fit in. At the same time, I don't want to be noticed as different - as not fitting in. I am glad I had this glimpse into the experience of our people. It gives me passion to do all that we can to make it easy for them."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Bad Day!

I saw this on one of the streets in the French Quarter. Now that's a bad day!

New Orleans - Day Three

Today was a quick but hard days work. We worked on The Gathering - a new church that will serve the Chalemette area. It was completely gutted and needs a new roof. Our mission today was to tear off a portion of the roof. Portion was good cause it was difficult. It felt good finish it and know we got the renovation off to a good start.

We toured the Crossroads Missions Headquarters. It was a few blocks from Lake Ponchartrain (that overflowed so heavily). We also toured the 9th Ward again (in daylight). It was devastated. Harry Connick Jr.'s effort at Musicians Village was interesting too.

Enjoyed my time in New Orleans and hope others will get the opportunity to do the same. Next time, should I get to go, I hope to get to hear the stories of people Katrina effected.

Got home at 11:30 pm last night. I am a little sore today but glad to be home.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Orleans - Day One and Two!

I am here for a few days helping a group of guys restoring houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. I really didn't know what to expect. It amazes me that there are houses that have been completely abandoned with no guarantee the owner will come back and restore it. Many have and many haven't.

I like the helpfulness of the neighbors and neighborhoods - at least in the areas we are working in. It's a Three Musketteers "All for One, One for All" kind of tude. I would say that New Orleans is back on it's feet but it has a huge limp! I think the housing situation will be a huge hurdle. Businesses are coming in and the population is growing but the unclaimed houses will be an issue of when and how they will be occupied again.

Saw the Pink Campaign helped by Jolie and Pitt. 9th Ward is . . . . wow!

Matt Woodward is planting a church called The Gathering. We are helping him renovate a claimed bowling alley tomorrow. He will do a great work here in Chalemette.

I enjoyed touring the Quarter tonight. Bourbon street was narrow and dirty. I liked the antiquity of the city, the history. Definitely would not want to live here. That's me. Looking forward to coming home tomorrow.

Dinner Conversation

This cracks me up. I love how it intensifies as is progresses. Good Times!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Leaving on a Jet Plane . . . . going to New Orleans on a short term missions trip. Not sure what to expect. I am hoping to get some good footage for missions promotion. Also, I am looking forward to meeting some new people and get to know some of the Crossroaders (already there serving) a little better.

I will miss my family... I have a lot to look forward to coming back home!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Know yourself

I read this recently from the Pastor's Coach Newsletter and it really resonants with me. Steve and I recently had a discussion about knowing what you are good at and knowing what you are not gifted at - and being OK with both.

"The heart of a good coach is honest about personal strengths and weaknesses.
Maturely embracing the phrase “know thyself” is core to good coaching. A good coach is self-aware but not self-absorbed. There is a huge difference between the two. When you are self-aware, you know what you are good at and what you are not good at, and you are comfortable with that. When you are self-absorbed, you obsess over what you are not good at and seek attention for what you are good at. When you are self-aware you have a solid appreciation of yourself as you are. When you are self-absorbed, you have a selfish (or even narcissistic) love of self. This is often a false love based on personal insecurities.

John Maxwell has coached me for many years. And though John is highly gifted he will quickly admit what he is not good at. For a general example, when it comes to coaching someone in something that is very intuitive to him, something that comes as natural as breathing, he doesn't coach others in that very well. For a specific example, he knows that counseling or therapy is not his gift! So, he's comfortable saying he's not able to coach you in that skill. Far too often people attempt to coach in an area they know very little about and therefore the coaching is ineffective."

Friday, November 16, 2007

He took my cookie!

I was at the park with Gigi today. This boy stood in front of us as we enjoyed our Chocolate Chunk Cookie. I asked his dad if I could give him a pinch, which he devoured. Two minutes later, he came back over, and as I was talking to his dad, the boy reached in my bag, grabbed my cookie and shoved it in his mouth. Gone!

I think he may have taken a drink of my Mocha when I wasn't looking too . . .

Little sucker!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

YouVersion | Dashboard

YouVersion | Dashboard

Heard about this new tool to engage God's Word with all our other media tools. Sounds intriguing and peaks my interest. It's beta version now but early adopters will dig it's capabilities already. I expect this to be a great resource for many.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Guest Services of the future

I saw this on the internet and thought how cool to have more of these roaming malls, churches, amusement parks. Having a set place is good for map purposes but . . . I know which one is more inviting for me.

What about you?

Friday, November 02, 2007

To Twit or not to Twit

I don't get technology sometimes. Sometimes. Sure I've drank the Apple cool-aide, I carry a cell phone, and can shoot par golf on the Wii. But Twitter has Tweeked me.

At first, I thought it was a step beyond blogging into the world of "I am soooo important that you will want to know what I am doing throughout my day" - kind of a blog on roids! I was kind of resenting those who Twit.

Today I turned over a new leaf. I read this article and have a greater appreciation for the Twitter Nation. I have yet to sign up, but if I decide that I have a following that may care . . . . the two of you that may or may not read my blog will be the first to know!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What a story to tell

I saw this on Snopes. Here's the story:

Wow and I thought my childhood mumps and chicken pocks at the same time story was a good one! Not compared to this one.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Seth Godin on Creativity - "99% of the time, in my experience, the hard part about creativity isn't coming up with something no one has ever thought of before. The hard part is actually executing the thing you've thought of."

Isn't that the truth.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What inspires you?

I recently asked this question to my coworkers. I decided to jump in and let my inspirations known: (As of today....)

:: I admire my sons (Jack and Nate). They have a real love for life and more spunk than a pack of Mentos in Diet Coke

:: My wife makes me think about things that I may not other wise. She has a great perspective on things and her Godly heart shows through. I am a better man for marrying too numerous ways to count

:: Gigi is such a joy. I love her inhibited passion to sing at the top of her lungs, even when nobody is listening

:: Wes O'Haire's creativity in design and music

:: My brother's resilience

:: Walking into any Apple Store. Inspiration and imagination flood my creative soul.

:: Stories like Rocky (the original). Overcoming all the odds stepping into a God-design. The character Rocky was born to box ... Note to self Sly: Keep us wanting more.

:: Groove in 5 or 7 (Meter). Listen to St. Augustine in Hell, Seven Days - Sting

:: Hebrews 12:1 - Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Well, that a few to start with. I am sure there will be others to follow.

We like me ... and others like me.

I saw this picture from a friend's blog today:

It's just another reminder of how businesses work hard to find things in common with their audiences. How can a church or should a church work harder at it, too?

It can be done in the most simple milk?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Plano vs Tyler Comeback

You have to watch it to the end. . . . "I'm about to throw up"

Friday, October 05, 2007

We're better and thoughts like it

I've thought about for the last three or four years. It really bothers me when well-meaning people ask me or others what kind of church one attends. Now don't misunderstand, I've never been asked because someone actually thought I was going Mormon or Hindu. They were mainly concerned if I was at a "seeker" church or not. I think it's silly to think that way. It's funny cause those in ministry have been around and have aligned themselves with the style of church/ministry that best suits them and their perspective on scripture. Most seem to do it and don't think twice about placing their vilified label.

I read this today - about a panel talking to thousands of ministry/church leaders on leadership and other church related matters. I found it an appropriate thought for what I've been feeling but not articulating:

"One of the panelists stated about his local church: "We're a discipling church" I'm wondering, what does that even mean? What's a church look like that's not a "discipling church?" Does this comment imply that the rest of us aren't discipling churches? I think, often, in leader's efforts to activate Christ-followers to live out their faith, to reach out to poorer people, to engage the environment as good stewards, they/we tend to attach a word like "discipleship" to the conversation and somehow suggest that the "right" model has finally been discovered.

Our labels - seeker church, teaching church, discipling church, (worshiping), (Spirit-filled/led)reaching church – risk alienating us from each other. These labels suggest that some churches are somehow better, somehow enlightened. Seems to me that in a conversation intending to point out that we've created a poor image of ourselves and our Lord (which is a great observation), we spark divisiveness among us and in doing so, we counter our own objective. (Dlake Editorial: Are the labels we put on ourselves and others for other Christians or for those who are non-churched, dislike the church, and could careless what it's called.)

How about we just be the church (or Christ-followers). What if we – together – focused on caring about those who have not experienced the truth about how God sees them, how much they matter to him. What if… "

I would love to hear someone ask me. . . Is your church about God's Kingdom? That would be refreshing!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Maturity comes with pain . . .

I grew up hearing that . . . "Maturity doesn't come with age but with the acceptance of responsibility." I really believe that. Not just in life but in my Christian existence. Here are a couple of other thoughts regarding mature Christ-followers from an article I recently read on the subject.

"The marks of maturity? Self-sustaining in spiritual devotions. Wise in human relationships. Humble and serving. Comfortable and functional in the everyday world where people of faith can be in short supply. Substantial in conversation; prudent in acquisition; respectful in conflict; faithful in commitments.

Take a few minutes and ask how many people you know who would fit such a description. How many? Apparently, Paul, pondered the question when he thought about Corinthian Christians and said, "I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ."

Additionally, mature Christians become mature by suffering, facing challenges that can arouse fear and a sense of inadequacy. Mature Christians learn to wrestle with questions that defy simple answers. They learn to say strategic and tactical "no's" when others are indulging themselves by saying "yes."

I suppose it can be said that maturity doesn't come with age but with the acceptance of . . . a Savior. That's where true spiritual growth begins. What a great basis on which to grow.

:: Welcome to Collide Magazine ::

:: Welcome to Collide Magazine ::

Came across a cool site today. I think it will help . . . me!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

You said what?

I read this today and thought, "Man, I could be better!" Is what I have to say more important. I'd have to say yes. I am going to speak less and listen more!

Good Questions Show Good Listening
Learn to understand people and help them understand themselves.
by Doug Self

Editor's note: This material was originally written to help pastors improve their listening skills while visiting church members in their homes. It has been adapted for small groups.

According to Robert L. Montgomery, author of Listening Made Easy, the ten most common characteristics of a good listener are:
• Looks at me while I'm speaking.
• Questions me to clarify what I'm saying.
• Shows concern by asking questions about my feelings
• Repeats some things I say.
• Doesn't rush me.

• Is poised and emotionally controlled.
• Responds with a nod of the head, a smile, or a frown.
• Pays close attention.
• Doesn't interrupt me.
• Keeps on the subject until I've finished my thoughts.

I'm impressed that two of the top three characteristics have to do with the ability to ask questions. A good listener, it seems, is also someone who asks good questions. So over the years I've worked on asking good questions—ones that will both keep the discussion on target and help me know more about the person with whom I talk.
Subject-Changing Questions
In a small group, there simply isn't time for everyone to conduct a lengthy conversation. So sometimes, when it seems appropriate, a leader must gently nudge the conversation toward spiritual concerns. That must be done naturally and non-intrusively, of course. A good rule of thumb is to change the subject only when others begin to run out of steam on their original topic.

For example, John is excitedly telling me about a remodeling project, going into great detail. I grow restless and want to get on to spiritual matters. While he's between sentences, I may be tempted to insert, "That's great, John. But how's the remodeling of your Christian life going?" That would be jolting and inappropriately timed. If I can't gracefully move the conversation along, then I'd just as soon hear people out on subjects that are dear to them.
At the right time, however, directive questions can link spiritual matters to the person's subject of conversation. For example, if the other person is talking about childhood, I might ask, "What memories of church do you have from childhood?" and "What did you most enjoy about your childhood church experience?"

Subject-Probing Questions
I use gentle, subject-probing questions to discover background, feelings, attitudes, interests, questions, and needs. These questions help people focus on the subject under discussion. They allow people to sort through their experiences and analyze their reasons and feelings. They also help me learn key facts.
These questions are not that difficult to formulate. I simply ask, in one form or another, the classic journalistic questions: "Who?" "What?" "When?" "Where?" "Why?" and "How?" For example, if I'm talking with someone who expresses hostility about something, I might ask one or more of the following:

• "When did you begin to feel this way?"

• "What experience has most influenced you to feel this way?"

• "Why do you think you responded that way to that experience?"

• "Who has been helpful to you in this situation?"

• "Where do you think all this is heading?"

• "How have you tried to handle this so far?"

Such questions help me understand people and help people understand themselves. As a result, people often discover previously hidden inconsistencies or underlying assumptions.

Think about this:
• Which signs of a good listener do you demonstrate well? Which need improvement?
• How long should a leader allow the group to discuss trivial things before changing the subject to deeper matters?
• In which group situations would subject-probing questions work well?

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Marathon Begins . . . Again!

I started training for my second marathon today. Just got back from my first run and my legs ... jello. After running I realized I've got to get a little internal motivation. In 2002, I had the newness of the training, the journey. This time I am going into this eyes wide open.
:: I know how the miles are going to wear on me.
:: I know the aches and pains. I know how my body will tighten up a bit - in a good way.
:: I know how my energy will increase.
:: I know how good the discipline of running four times a week will do me.
:: I know what a great feeling it is to cross the line after logging hundreds of miles over sixteen weeks of training wearing out two pairs of Adidas Supernovas.
:: I know this is going to be good for me! I have to remind myself this is a marathon I'm in, not a sprint. Ain't that the truth!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Kimmel breaking it down. . . .

Many have seen the YouTube Vid of Miss Teen (South Carolina). Her answer was a bunch of nothing. Jimmy breaks it down.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Loving Life!

I am pretty happy with my weekend experience. First, we had friends from Chicago come visit. Their daughter Mikeyla was Gianna's crib mate for their first eleven months of life together. What a bond with someone! I enjoyed seeing them play with each other, appreciate each other, love each other. It is a one of those things you hear about where you can be away from someone in proximity yet close to them in your heart. I believe in that with certain people in life. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. With others it is . . . out of sight out of mind, unfortunately.

Secondly, we at The Crossroads had our first in service baptism. The message about baptism was the best I've ever heard bridging the OT sacrificing of lambs for sin removal to the NT and Jesus our ultimate sacrificial Lamb. We had five people decide that they wanted to make a public profession of their faith and on the spot change into clothes we bought for that occasion. Man I respect that! Putting aside all fears, all uncertainties, and stepping out in obedience. In all 12 took the plunge and I had the privilege to dip nine of them. God gets all the credit and I was honored to be a part of such a great experience for them, our church . . . and me!

Lastly, I really enjoy my family. I know I've blogged about them in the past and may sound redundant but I enjoy their company. Yeah, the boys have been at each other a little more lately and Gigi's screams have been a little higher but when it comes down to it . . . they are the closest part of me and visa versa. Really enjoyed my moments with Jackson this weekend especially. He and I are connecting well lately, whether it's playing the Wii together, short trips to Wal-mart, or talks about life lessons.

I adore and am so proud of Melissa. She is the love of my life!

I've got my issues . . . but despite them, I'm loving my life.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Are you ready for some Football?

I went to my first Fantasy Football draft today. It was pretty fun. I could have got more into it but I was asked to pick for a guy who couldn't show up. I was picking for both of us which I think he got the better team. I am happy with a few of my picks: Brady - QB, Mulronney and Willie Parker - RB, Harrison and J. Walker - WR, and Nate Keading - K . . . . I think I will be competitive. We will see.

After being in the ministry for numerous years, tomorrow I will teach my first baptism class. Looking forward to it. I will be baptizing the candidates next Sunday (Sept. 2). Good times!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Over my head

Just had our 23 day of 110 + day temps. The humidity is increasing due to Monsoon Season here in AZ. Think Sahara Desert with a splash of Rain Forest! Never been to either but I can imagine.

Enough about the weather. I've been talking to several people the last few weeks about how God puts us in situations for growth, development and ultimately to serve His purpose. I feel that is where I am. I woke up a couple of times with The Frey's "Over My Head" song in my head. That is how I feel these days. I know I cannot do the job I am doing without His intervention . . . daily! I am humbled that God has saw fit to use me in the capacity He's chosen.

"Over my head," . . . it's a great place to be.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Settling In!

We've had a whirl-wind month! Here are the highlights:

... We moved to the "WESTSIDE" of Anthem. Living the dream in our downsized house. God completely orchestrated the timing of the move, a quick and favorable response from the leasers, among many other things. The pool is a God-send in triple-digit Phoenix summers.

... I started my position at the Crossroads on June 1. As the resident "Ministry Catalyst" - as Steve has been calling me - I am responsible to make sure the vision (AIM) of the church is carried out in each ministry. I aslo help leadership development with other staff members and bottom line connect people to the church.

... Really enjoying my family. They seem to have adjusted to the move incredibly well.

... Got to see Ben Folds open for John Mayer. My second time seeing Jmay . . . he rocked and hit on all cylinders. Enjoyed hanging with my big bro Toe! He's really cool.

... Got a MacBook for work. Boy do I like it. Just need Adobe CS3. I really don't need it . . . just would like it.

Gearing up for fall kickoff - September 9th . . .

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Better late than never . . .

Not sure who the "better late than never" quote is attributed to but I could imagine them to be a procrastinator. It's defined as one who delays or puts off action or to postpone doing something (I am into definitions these days). When you think about how God answers most of our prayers . . . "He' never early or never late, He's always . . . . wait for it . . . . . wait for it . . . . . not yet . . . . hang in there . . . . wait . . . . . RIGHT-ON-TIME!" I am grateful either way he decides (early or on time). I am just glad He answers!

I meant to post this pictorial a while back. It's of Gianna and her cribmate from the orphanage in China (who was also adopted), Mikeyla. They had a good time when the Cinfio's came to Phoenix to visit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My, how time flys

So here it is, middle of May 2007. I have met my goal this year of blogging more than I did last year (twice). I'm feeling pretty good about it. Also, feeling pretty content these days. God has really refined me and Melissa in the last two years. Refined . . . defined as: to remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance. Another definition is to improve something by making small changes, in particular more subtle and accurate. Boy . . . that has been us.

I feel things are shifting for us - in a way as if things are falling into order. Not that life has been out of order, it's just been redefined. Anyway, I am looking forward to see what will be the next adventure for our life. God is never boring. It's just a matter of how I am perceiving Him.

Here are some random thoughts I am having these days:

:: I felt a little guilty that as a life long Laker fan, I was rooting for the Suns to win it all . . . even when the Suns beat the Lakers in the first round.

:: I've been "Bicing" my head these days. Smooth crome-domious. Not really my favorite but with my head of hair or lack of it . . . it's the lesser of the evils.

:: I had an incredible time with my extended family (Brian and Joy Kitchen) the last weekend of April (See picture above). They are some of my favorite people to be with. Just typing this about them makes me smile.

:: Really enjoying playing the drums lately. I am feeling like I am really hitting my stride. I am playing more simple these days and it just feels right.

:: Would like to see a concert this summer. The Police would be great!

:: I love being married to Melissa. She makes me think, she loves our kids, she is beautiful, and makes me laugh!

:: My boys are getting big. I really feel like I have a brief window of time where my influence is really strong. I know it won't always be there and don't want to blow my opportunity. I pray for God's grace to fill the gaps. They are growing up to be respectful, character-filled, and Godly. Man I love them.

:: Gigi is my little love bug. When I am working on the computer, she climbs in my chair and lays her head on the back of my shoulders. She told me today that I was a good pillow and then proceded to peck me with countless kisses. It really made my day.

:: Graduations and Weddings are overrated. I know they are big for the people going through them but looking back at mine . . . all the hype . . . . yeah, their overrated. Looking forward to Micah's big day and Danny/Jen's wedding.

:: I don't like the middle east troubles. Gas prices suck! God bless and protect Israel.

That is it for now. My intent was to post something quick. I suppose I've blogged enough to last me til next month. We'll see.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Adventure in LAKEland

I like to mess around on the Mac. I am not proficient at everything but it's fun. Here is my latest creation. I plan to make these periodically ... for what it's worth!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Birthday Week

I had a great week. Started the week (or ended last week) playing drums at CCV. Great weekend, great set, I am starting to get in the groove of playing again. It is great to be reaquainted with the pocket! After church on Sunday, we went camping in Sedona . . . the place where the vortex of the universe exist according to some! I don't believe that vortex stuff but there was some pretty scenery! We camped (tent and all) by Oak Creek. The forecast said lows in the high 40's. They were wrong by about 15 to 18 degrees. We were so cold that first night! 32 degrees! Didn't get much better at 34 the next night after making some necessary sleeping arrangements.

As a family we had a great time. A little bit of hiking, bouldering with Nathan's "near death" experience, some card playing, some smore making, and Melissa out did herself for camp dinner making! She's good! Taught the boys how to start a fire. Great skill to have in the wilderness or in 32 degree temps! Really enjoyed being with the family.

Turned 38 on Wednesday. Feel a little bit older. I know "they" say age is a state of mind and you are only as old as you act or feel or whatever! I need to get in better shape, in every way! More on that in a later post.

I am currently doing some contract design work for the John Wayne Cancer Institute. It was a very productive week this week. My client is really enjoying my work and I am enjoying the working relationship. Could lead to more work . . . which is good. I must interject . . . God incredibly faithful. He has opened a great door and for that I am grateful.

Had a belated B-day dinner tonight with family. Good time and I ate too much Costco Chocolate Cake! Did I say I need to get in better shape? Note to self . . . no more Choco Cake!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Long time no post . . .

Well it's about that time of the year to look back and see how the new year's resolutions are doing. My one and only was to blog more than I did last year. I've met my quota but I haven't in a while. Not sure why. It's not that don't want to . . . I guess I am still working out my blog style and purpose.

Part of me thinks there is something a bit self absorbed, egomaniacal about blogging. You know, that someone else would care what I would think. I get it if your mentoring others, or have written a book, or want to get information out to the masses. I am blogging about the fact I haven't blogged in a while.

I have been thinking a bit lately about the purpose of difficulty in our life. I do all I can to make sure my kids don't have difficulty. I don't like it when their sick, when another kid makes fun of them, when they get hurt. Most have this figured out but without those difficulties we don't grow as people. Our character is never tested. I think difficulty exposes what's inside and sometimes it's hard for me to be exposed to me!

I read I Thes.5:18 yesterday . . . I am grateful for the good times and the bad times. Both serve a purpose . . . . Heck, it tells me "I'M ALIVE!" For that I am especially grateful!

Saw this and this on the net today . . . Creative and funny ways to expose truth!
Got a free dog yesterday. It's a one year old male Maltese that was given to us...did I say free! Anyway, we named him Rocky, or as Gianna calls him, "Froggy", sometimes "Frosty".

Friday, January 05, 2007

Transactions or Relationships

I am reading a book to my boys (bedtime reading) called "You don't need a title to be a leader" by Mark Sanborn. They seem to like it although they drift to sleep rather fast. In the book Mark discusses the imporatance of the daily exchanges we have with others. Here is a condensed thought that was rather provoking:

"Differences between Transactions and Relationships

Much of what we do each day as businesspeople and speakers is transactional. We focus on our interactions with others to achieve specific outcomes. In many exchanges there simply isn’t the need for relationship beyond common courtesy. But for those people we value, in business and life, we need to distinguish between the transactional and the relational.

If you value the person, don’t ever waste his or her time

Ultimately, time, the raw resource of life, is all we have. That’s why purposeful interactions prove we value the other person. In a time-compressed world, most of us can’t devote time to those who are simply “staying in touch.” I prefer “keeping in relationship” as a philosophy. That means I don’t need to engage in mindless contact to keep myself in someone’s awareness. Instead, I can devote time to meaningful exchange."

I struggle with this. I want my exchanges to have some meaning. I really would like to add to others more than I take. I'd rather have my relationship be mutual instead of a lopsided self interest. I'd rather inform rather than keeping in touch. I don't want transactions I want relationships. I think God is say the same to me.

To read the full length version of Mark's article, here's the link:

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

To me this depicts a Happy New Year! Her biggest concern for this year is to keep from screaming when brothers pester her! I know as adults our lives are more complicated than that but this smile helps me keep life in perspective.

By the way, to keep myself accountable I am "resolving" only to try and blog a little more this year. I only blogged twice last year . . . so I am well on my way.