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."