24 December 2007

Merry Christmas ...now go home

This was too good to pass up. 72 hours in a Wal-mart and all she gets is a police escort home? It has to be a world record. She should at least get a cookie on the way out for being able to survive Wal-mart shopping for 72 hours. I love why she said she did it... "I was just shopping".

22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It was a great day being thankful with family and enjoying a spread of great food. My son was most excited about having "smarshmallows", but there is a rule around our table that if you eat the "smarshmallows" you have to eat the yams also... no "smarshmallow" stealers.

This year my daughter initiated the table conversation of having everyone share what they are thankful for. I am super proud of my little girl wanting to hear what others are thankful for and share what she is thankful for.

I have so many things to be thankful for...
• An amazing wife: she's the best, she's hot, I admire her godly spirit. She rocks!
• Beautiful, smart and healthy kids they are SO much fun.
• A tight-knit family. We've had quite the year.
• Friends that have been so wonderful, encouraging and loyal.
• Fresh starts...

All in all it was a great day. After a late night of driving and defrosting locks, sleep finally came around 3AM. I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving meal and delicious pies, naps (yes, more than one) and playing in the snow with my kids. There really is so much to be thankful for...

21 November 2007

Winter fashion

I am totally into this new winter fashion...

14 November 2007


Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
- Einstein

Apple ads

I love the mac ads... it looks like "someone" has had enough...

13 November 2007

12 November 2007

Warren Miller - Playground Trailer

Went to see this movie Saturday night with Aaron at the Pantages Theater. I am still pumped a day later. I'll post more on it later.

08 November 2007


Elements of Success

Seth posts some tips for being successful as a small business. These are also great tips for life and for churches. I would guess that churches would highly benefit in accomplishing the mission by implementing these tips...

1) the ability to abandon a plan when it doesn't work,
2) the confidence to do the right thing even when it costs you money in the short run, and
3) enough belief in other people that you don't try to do everything yourself.

05 November 2007

Fresh look

Thanks to Cory, I think I am convinced to go with a clean look... It's also somewhat due to the fact that I am not a programmer and can't install the other fancy layouts available.

Now I just need to figure out how to post a picture in the header...

01 November 2007

Costume craziness

So, yesterday was Halloween. I know, the blog is starting off with real breaking news. But Halloween caught me off guard. Driving down the street, I looked over and saw Pippi Longstockings working at a local coffee shop. I thought, wow that job must suck, having to dress up like that for work, just to sell coffee! About a block down the road it dawned on me that it was Halloween... whoops. Then, I was filling up an extra large tank of gas and went in to pay and was surprised to see a witch behind the counter. My personal favorite was ordering my French Onion soup and cup of coffee from the "Ask a Ninja" character at Panera. Maybe I have missed it in past years but I was surprised to see so many adults dressed up for work. It was cool.

26 October 2007

New Look

So, I have been looking for a new layout for awhile. Things are changing, I am tired of this old background, so it feels like a good time to change the layout. Anyone have any tips for me?

24 October 2007

Questions to ponder

These are from the NY Times...

• Why is Wi-Fi free at cheap hotels, but $14 a night at expensive ones?
• Wi-Fi on airplanes. What’s taking so long?
• Who are the morons who respond to junk-mail offers, thereby keeping spammers in business?
• Why don’t all hotels have check-in kiosks like airlines do?
• How come cellphone signal-strength bars are so often wrong?


This is a portion of the post that Perry put up today... one of their pastors, Clayton, who has a post about "shooting the wounded" that tells about an encounter with a pastor...
“I figured out who the power players were in the church, and a deacon told me to make sure I did not make any of them mad because they had the 2 things that mattered most; family and money. So I made every decision based on them. This brought short-term success, but I was burning out. I had no passion left.”

“I did not realize how much I had neglected my kids until one became a drug addict and the other one slipped into deep physical sin. I did not even know my own children, and it was my fault. Then one day I came home from a deacon’s meeting, and my wife had taken all of her stuff and left a note on the table that said she was tired of it. She hated me for ignoring my family and she blamed me for everything, for putting the church before them.”

You can imagine the lump in my throat as I stood there and listened to this grown man choke back tears over the family he lost. He was broken; a ghost of the leader, pastor, and shepherd I had met 10 years earlier. Then the saddest words to ever leave his lips landed on my ears.

“So what did my church do when all of this happened? The people I had served and pastored called a business meeting and they fired me. They said they could not have a divorced pastor with rebellious kids leading their congregation. They gave me 2 months salary and wished me luck.”

No grace. No counseling. No support. Maybe they felt he was unable to lead them any further. Fine. But not even a reception with cupcakes and coffee to say thanks for 13 years? This is way too common. I see it more than most anyone else because my calling carries me so many places, and when I hear these stories, I cry out to God to protect pastors, and the churches they serve, from shooting our own wounded. Of course not every church is like this and not every pastor suffers such a fate, but this man did. God help him, his wife, and his kids. And God help the Body of Christ to offer mercy and compassion to our own wounded who lay on the side of the road, in a ditch, waiting on anyone, even a Samaritan, to come to our aid.

There is a lot of conversations going on about "burn-out". I am trying to process the difference between being "burned" and "burn-out"... thoughts?

facebook and microsoft

It's reported that Microsoft and Facebook are close to a deal that could value Facebook as high as $15 billion. Confirmed here.

gmail and IMAP

this is going to make life a lot less complicated.

Toughest Part Of Leadership

Herbert has a great post on some of the tough parts of leadership... these are a few of his thoughts.

3. Dealing with criticism.
4. Being misunderstood but not having the opportunity to explain your heart and motives.
5. Being hurt by people you thought you could trust.

23 October 2007

Randy Pausch last lecture

I am not the biggest Oprah fan, but this guy's 10 minute talk is amazing. It is worth the watch.


An excellent post by Eric Bryant. He shares about a new series at Mosaic.
Too often we believe the lie: “It’s not my fault.” We may not be able to change what happens to us, but we can choose how we will respond. 2 Peter 1:3-7, reminds us that we have been given everything we need from God for life and godliness and even still we are to “make every effort” to become the people God created us to be... don’t have to succumb to a “victim mentality,” but I can live an original life.
It seems that conformity is more widely accepted than originality. Sometimes an origional life causes friction due to the fact that it is different than what others are being conformed into. I don't think we enjoy or were meant for "assembly-line humanity". Something within us fights against the pressures of legalism; sadly not everyone withstands the pressure to conform.
Somehow we've equated conformity with holiness. Spirituality is more identified with tradition and ritual than it is with a future and a hope. Too often discipleship equals standardization.

Live an original life that God intended for you to live!

22 October 2007

Little ticks

I read a devotional that had some great truths concerning the little "ticks" that threaten us...
Tick Bites
...Linda first developed a high fever, then muscular pain, and then excruciating headaches. It actually took several tests to uncover what had caused her debilitating symptoms, but the doctor finally concluded that Linda had contracted Lyme Disease, which is carried by little deer ticks. And as Linda thought back, she remembered noticing a big red bite on her body a couple of months ago. It occurred to her that it might have been a tick, but, you know, she didn't think much about it ... until now.

... there are "little ticks" that we get bitten with that can - if they're not removed quickly - cause us more pain and more problems than we could ever imagine. Small invasions; major damage. There's an enlightening example of that in Hebrews 12:15. In this case, the "bite" is something that makes us have some hard feelings toward another person - something we all go through. And Scripture warns us, "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."

Bitterness and resentment always begin as just this little root. But bitterness never stays a little root. It keeps growing into a poisonous plant that ends up hurting us and hurting others. A root of bitterness has destroyed marriages, churches, friendships, ministries. Because it wasn't pulled up when it was small. Because the tick wasn't removed immediately after it entered someone's system.

When the urge to respond sinfully bites you, you can't just let it go. You have to quickly, aggressively get rid of a spiritual "tick." It may seem like "no big deal", but if you don't deal with it now, it will do damage that will hurt you for a long time.

What are the little "ticks" you need to take care of?

Football and my boy

Watching the game tonight my son came in and sat down next to me. Every time an offense got set he would say "set, hike, go"... then as the play happened he would yell "go, go, go". As the offensive player got tackled he'd sigh and say, "oh, man". This went on almost half of the second quarter. It's great that my son is into watching football.

18 October 2007

Church Service

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names with small American flags mounted on either side of it. The seven year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, “Good morning Alex”. “Good morning Pastor,” he replied, still focused on the plaque. “Pastor, what is this?” he asked. The pastor said, “Well, son, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.”

Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex’s voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, asked, “Which service, the 9:00 or the 10:45?


These have got to be the coolest kid's utensils.


Growing up I loved creating and designing with Legos. Recently my parents found some of my old lego space station set. Last night I introduced my son to Legos... it was a hit. He loves playing with Legos. Looks like we are going to have a lot of fun creating.

15 October 2007

Optimus Prime

I just talked with Optimus Prime... try it. The DVD comes out tomorrow...

14 October 2007

Spelling 101

My daughter L - O - V - E - S school. One of her new favorites is to spell everything. Most of the time she will try to read the word, but occasionally she likes to spell the word and have me say what it spells. Today we were driving and she was spelling most of the business signs that we saw along the road... W-E-N-D-Y-S... M-c-D-O-N-A-L-D-S... C-H-A-S-E... it was fun having seeing her respond quickly to the signs and recognizing the letters. Just as we were settling into a nice spelling groove... "dad what does H-O-O-T-E-R-S spell?" My wife and I had a good laugh.


I ran across a great quote at Anne's blog...
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

12 October 2007

Deadly Viper

Deadly Viper is a great site... check it out. It's all about integrity.


This is a very cool site. It really opens some great questions and starts some great conversations.

Cool seating

Fully loaded with over 400 12 gauge shotgun shells.

09 October 2007

What kind of world do you want?

Five for Fighting has a great song that asks the "what kind of world do you want"? This is a thought provoking question. Whether or not you agree we all contribute to the world around us. I feel like there are people that take a victim or reactionary stance and believe that things are happening only to them, that it's not necessarily how they've contributed. We all have our role to play...

So, what kind of world do you want?
What are you going to do to make it happen?
What are you going to do to add benefit and not be reduced to one of the many critical onlookers?
What role will you play?

One of the last lines of the song is "History starts now". History is being made right now as you are stirred to make this world a better place.

Whether it is literally the world or the area that you influence, you can make a difference. This makes me think of two verses in the bible...

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:13-16

What kind of world DO you want?
Make History!

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Blogs on a roll

The blog world is really putting out some great content lately...

• The lifechurch.tv team continues with the Kingdom-minded series
Herbert Cooper talks about "what to do when you don't know what to do"
• Mark has two great post on measuring the urgent vs the important and three important leadership reminders

Be careful little mouth what you say

I love this article. Two reasons I like it: first, it further reinforces my stance on PC vs MAC; second, it also is a great example of how we all will, at some point, have to give an account for the words we say, whether public or private.

08 October 2007


How kingdom-minded am I? How kingdom-minded are you? Craig posted some challenging thoughts on the issue... (a couple of biggies...)
• If everyone did ministry the way I do, we would never reach the whole world.
• If you’re going to be guilty, be guilty of speaking well of the body of Christ—rather than being guilty of being divisive.
There are some very challenging points... check 'em out...

Battle at Kruger

A great example of "All for one and one for All".

Laughter, Cosby and chocolate

Saturday night was a night to remember... a bunch of friends went out to dinner at a great place and then headed to the Rosemont to see Bill Cosby. Cosby was so funny. One of the funniest moments was an impromptu moment with an audience member in the front. He asked where this person went to school... the audience member said Knox college. Cosby then asked what the Knox mascot was... the audience member slowly replied... the prairie fire. Cosby had a great time and the audience roared.

Dreams into reality

Mark posted some thoughts on their recent addition to the NCC family...
I have learned that the harder something is the more you have to pray and the less likely you are to take it for granted. We have prayed like it depends on God because it has!
So simple. So true.

07 October 2007

Ready for some football

A great day for football...
my highlights from today...

• Watching football with friends
Denver spanked at home 41-3
Seattle sea-chicken's pwned 21-0
• Kansas City losses 17-7
Bears squeak out a win in Lambeau 27-20
Raiders get a day of rest
Raiders take the #1 spot in the AFC West

This is enjoyable while it is here. I am not expecting it to last too long.

On a side sports note, a friend's sister ran in the Chicago marathon... and it was canceled! How crazy it that. The hottest Chicago marathon in something like 40 years.

06 October 2007

I am secure

Today I followed through with a promise.

My wife has offered for a while for me to join her in one of her classes at the gym. After each class she will come and tell me how great it was and that if I were to come with her I wouldn't be the only guy. Finally I agreed. For starters I will state that I was the ONLY guy in the class. To make things better my wife offered to set up my area with the necessary equipment needed to do the class. It just so happened that even though I was in the back of the class (yes, trying to hide out)... I was right in front of the instructor. Oh, and somehow it ended up that I was using PINK dumbells. But hey I am secure and I made it through the class. It was pretty ugly, but I made it... pink dumbells and all. Who knows maybe I will try it again...

Finding WiFi

Now you can find a WiFi signal with your shirt...

05 October 2007

Listen closely

The past couple of days I've had some great conversations with some close friends. We've been discussing what it means to hear God's voice in our lives. Many people feel that they are hearing the voice of God directing them when it's just last night's pizza giving them some crazy ideas. Many of these conversations about God's voice seem to surround how and where God is directing... His plan for our lives. This is something I've been working through; interestingly there have been a few others posting some thoughts about the way we talk with and hear from God.

Perry has some great things to say from a dad's perspective. One I especially connected with is how from a father's perspective I want my children to know my voice and hear what I am saying. God wants us to hear His voice more than we want to hear it! Another that seems obvious, but is so true... The voice of God will not lead you into sin.

Mark passes along great post from Catalyst about how listening to God's voice can mess us up... it can disturb us. Mark passes along what Craig Groeschel shared about practical atheism... it's scary how often this happens. One of practical atheisims is that we believe our effort is more important than God's power!

Answer this question that Craig presents...
If I REALLY believed _____________, I’d _______________.

Influence and power...

Mark had a great post from Catalyst... If we are following the example of Jesus, we need to leverage our power for others not ourselves! And that isn't a sign of weakness. It's a sign of strength. Insecure leaders leverage their power for themselves!

So here is the question leaders need to ask themselves: how can I leverage my power for the other people in this room?

01 October 2007

Clearly Prayer

It was in college that I first read this book. It had a significant impact on my prayer life, on how I communicated with God and how He communicated with me. Recently I heard Bill Hybels, the author of this book, mention four ways to hear God's voice more clearly. They were meaningful to me as I am striving to clearly hear God's voice.

• Ask God to help you hear His voice more clearly.
• Remove the ambient noises: this is anything that is a distraction.
• Read the bible: God speaks to us through His word.
• Get rid of sin. Sin blocks our hearing God's voice.

They seem too easy, but I think that is kind of the point. Too often we complicate talking with God... when it really is conversational and God really does desire to communicate with us. It is my responsibility to make sure that I am ready and in a place to have the conversation.

28 September 2007

Take me out to the ball game

Thursday night we had the opportunity to go see the White Sox crush the Royals 10-0. Attendance was very low. On a side note... I love how during the game they play highlights from the 2005 season, as to say, "hey remember when we were good?" Either way we had a blast! My kids LOVED the baseball experience! Especially the end of the game... my daughter and son went down by the dugout, mostly to get an up close look at the field. As they were there, one of the field attendants noticed them and tossed them each a baseball. They talked about it the whole way home. My son has not let it out of his sight, he is sleeping with it. On the way home my daughter asked, "why don't the bears give out footballs?"

Mountain bike speed

Bike Hits 130.7 mph. On Snow! Wired news has a story about a 33 year old that smashed the World Speed Record for series mountain bikes. Austrian Markus Stoeckl broke the 8 year old record on a 2000 meter, 45 degree run in the Chilean Alps. Because of the extreme cold, he had to hold his breath for the 40 second duration so his helmet didn't fog up.

Now that would be a rush!

27 September 2007

Holding Patterns

We flew back in from an amazing week away. I was at a wedding of a college friend. The wedding was in Hood River, OR... an absolutely beautiful place. So, we were about an hour out and the pilot announced that we were going to enter a holding pattern. I could sense a collective sense of "get me off this plane". About 20 minutes later the pilot announced that we'd be starting our descent. Ten minutes passed and the pilot announced that we'd be entering another holding pattern. People on the plane at this time were getting restless. An hour after we were supposed to land, we finally touched down. I do NOT like holding patterns.

This is a picture from the lunch that the groom had for the guys. We were at a golf course in Hood River overlooking Mt. Hood. The wedding had the most unbelievable food, the most beautiful scenery, and great friends. At this lunch we had fruit that tasted more like candy. At the wedding reception I had the best steak I have ever had in my life!

18 September 2007

Use your head

Fox news reported a Georgia man died after an armless man headbutts him during fight.
Police are investigating the death of a man who collapsed after being headbutted by an armless man in a fight over a woman. Witnesses told authorities that Redfren, who has no arms, kicked Teer, and Teer struck Redfren. Teer complained of feeling dizzy, collapsed, and died.

17 September 2007

Great Days

The last couple of days have been great. The gym we go to was closed for two days for some "updating" (even though I can't tell any difference). So, I had to find some alternative forms of getting my exercise in... day one: an 8.5-mile run, it was great, I had the chance to bring my son in our jogging stroller; day two: a 16-mile ride, again I was able to bring my son in our burley trailer. It doesn't get much better than having your own cheering section as you run or ride... when all you hear is "go faster daddy" you can't go slow. My favorite parts were at any feel of speed or descent (which isn't much of either) I would hear a little voice saying, "Whee!" It's hard to feel like exercise with a childlike element of fun. The other best moment was somewhere close to mile 12 of our ride I hear singing and realize that it is my son belting it out from the burley. We also had the chance to hang out with some new friends this weekend... all in all a good couple of days.

15 September 2007

Leave Nothing

I love this commercial. This presents a great question to the church... Are we giving our all, leaving nothing, serving wholeheartedly? It would be sad if a Nike commercial represented this better than the life of a Christ-follower.

Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Ephesians 6:7

One of a kind

Trek put together a one-off Madone for Levi in honor of his recent win at the US Pro National Championships. This is an amazing bike!

14 September 2007

Geico hillbilies

This one is for Glenda...

Geico Flintstones Commercial

It's funny how just about anything seems believable...


Weakness of attitude
becomes weakness of character.

-Albert Einstein

11 September 2007

Starbucks and Kids

Starbucks, in a recent article admits to rethinking their marketing. As of now, they say that they haven't marked intentionally towards teens and kids, but that segment of their customer base is growing. I have to admit, my kids know and like going to Starbucks, they even have a favorite drink.

08 September 2007

Miles and Miles

It has been busy lately. We've been putting on many miles... In the last few weeks I've driven through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

15 August 2007

Chicago Bears training camp

My family visited Bourbonnais, IL this week for the Chicago Bear's training camp. It was great! I could not believe how close to the practice we were. The other amazing thing was how closely the practice schedule resembled the practice schedule I remember from high school coaching.

The most fun was not on the field, but watching my son pretending he was playing football. Once he grew tired of that, he decided (with some prompting) to roll down the hill. His aim was perfect... he rolled right through a muddy area in the grass.

There was one element that was specifically impressive. You have to know how a practice runs to know why this is impressive, but before "team time", there is a time for "individual break out" time where specific positions practice their individual roles. I saw the linebackers practicing and noticed Urlacher. He was not in his position but he was running the scout position. Here is one of the most publicized players on the team, easily expected to have a huge ego, running drills on the scout team. It wasn't just once, he continued to get back in line and run scouting drills. Team... pushing your teammates to succeed to their best, not just getting your best.

White Sox game

We had a great time with some great friends at the White Sox game Saturday. The Sox came so close to winning with a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th.

14 August 2007

Mario Tattoo

Thats commitment to Mario. Read about his sleeve...

Einstein quote

Anyone who has never made a mistake
has never tried anything new.

- Einstein

13 August 2007

Erik Mongrain

This guy was at the Willow Leadership Summit. What he did was a great example of innovation with the guitar. Something we all need to do as leaders is to be innovative. Besides, he spells his name right.

11 August 2007


Summit Quote II

“Strong leaders submitted to an almighty God is powerful,
Strong leaders submitted to no one is trouble,
Weak leaders submitted to an almighty God is trouble."
Bill Hybels

Summit Quote

We can accommodate changing times with unchanging principles.
-Jimmy Carter

Bella the Movie

A movie coming out this fall that was recommended at the Leadership Summit. The director gave his testimony about being at last year's Summit and God touching his heart. It looks like a great film.

10 August 2007

Colin Powell

Thanks to a buddy of mine I was able to head up to the Leadership Summit today at Willow. The highlight of the day so far was the interview with Colin Powell. He shared some of his "Powell principles" with us. Here are a few of them:

• Reward your best performers, get rid of non-performers.
• Optimism is a force multiplier.
• Be prepared to disappoint people.
• Leaders promote a clash of ideas.

Probably the coolest thing was when Bill Hybels asked what he was really passionate about right now ... he said teenagers. The highest ranking military official is a student ministry volunteer! He said that he trained 17 and 18 year olds to be soldiers for the U.S. and now he teaches 12, 13, and 14 year olds to be soldiers for God.

It's been a great time of learning. This afternoon is going to be great... John Ortberg and Richard Curtis!

09 August 2007

Common Sense

Some people seem to have a harder time making "common sense" decisions than others. I guess sometimes "in the moment" there are some things that seem to be a good idea? This guy evidently suffers from a bit of a common sense deficiency?

Priest Nabbed While Running Nude
FREDERICK, Colo. — A Catholic priest faces an indecent exposure charge after jogging in the nude about an hour before sunrise.

The Rev. Robert Whipkey told officers he had been running naked at a high school track and didn't think anyone would be around at that time of day, a police report said. He told officers he sweats profusely if he wears clothing while jogging. "I know what I did was wrong," he said in the report. Read the rest of the story...

05 August 2007

Forgive or Forgiven

that is the question... I would love to hear your thoughts.

Which is more difficult...

To ask for forgiveness from someone you've wronged?

- or -

To forgive someone that has hurt/wronged you?

'Bourne' clobbers Homer

I am looking forward to seeing the Bourne Ultimatum. We are currently watching the first two again before going to see the third installment. What makes it even better for me is that, according to CNN, Bourne clobbered the Simpson's. I'm not the biggest Simpson's fan.


Steps to be able to truly forgive...

Ask yourself these questions:
• Who did I hurt?
• What did I do?
• Why did I do it?
• What were the results?
Romans 12:17-20
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

04 August 2007

Wake up!

Successful people are busy people that wake up in the morning with an agenda... a God-honoring agenda.

Check this out from T.D. Jakes...

Years of mediocrity is what causes people to be bitter. If you want to be around bitter and complaining people get around people that are not seeing much activity. They are bitter, they are complaining, they are jealous because nothing is happening. If you want to be around less gossip and less jealousy, get around successful, busy people. Busy people don't have time to care what's going on in your life. I have no need to investigate what's going on in your life; I have so much going on in my own life, that I'm not interested in what I heard, that they said, that you thought, that if I thought what you said that I didn't mean if I heard it.

The only people that have time for that is people who aren't doing anything and they watch your life like it's a soap opera. They are living their life vicariously through you. What is going on in your life intrigues them because nothing is going in their life. If you want to stop that from happening to you, then get up out of the bed with an agenda.

03 August 2007

Great Verse

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

It would be great if this happened automatically for everyone.


Lark News reports a new way pastors keep ahead of church troublemakers.

When Brent Libby started attending Green Valley Baptist church, he was surprised at the icy reception he received. The reason: the pastor knew all about Libby. He'd read about him on WolfWarning.com, a website which chronicles bad behavior by local church-goers. Libby's file included a photograph and comments written by his former pastor that said, "Argues with me over minor doctrinal points after every service. Thinks he knows Greek. Not interested in maturing, just debate. Wolf rating: 3."

Read the full story.

Discovery Channel Tour de France

These guys are amazing. If you have ever ridden in a race you know how tough it is.

35W Minneapolis

The collapse of 35W in Minneapolis hits home. Glenda and I spent some great years in Minneapolis while we were attending NCU. It's especially wild to think that I just drove over this bridge only a couple of months ago when I visited NCU to teach at their center for youth and leadership. My family and I are praying for our friends that live near there and those impacted by this tragedy.

01 August 2007

25 July 2007

Going downtown

Someone was thinking when they combined Toronto's telecom fiber optics with citywide internet access... I wonder if this can happen in Chicago?

Milk in a Bag

Oh Canada...

07 July 2007

iPhone Test Drive

For about 5 minutes I was able to hold and test out a new iPhone. From the short time we had together... I think it likes me. Now comes the hard part... waiting. I think I will wait and let a few of the kinks get ironed out. It sounds like there are a few future apps that will be added to a new and improved iPhone.

04 July 2007

4th of July

Happy 4th of July. Here is the grand finale of the fireworks display where we were.

It was a nice night. I found that the bathrooms were over the river and through the woods...

My favorite part of the night didn't have to do anything with the fireworks. My daughter skinned her knee on the way back to the vehicle. On our drive home we were discussing how her knee would heal. In a flash, she attributed the healing to Jesus and asked if we could pray that he would continue to heal her knee. About two minutes go by and my daughter exclaims, "Jesus is healing my knee"... "I can feel it!" The amazing faith of a child! How sad it is that as adults we have lost this awe inspiring faith. I am so proud of my little girl! As young as she is and she has such a grasp on God's love for us. If she only knew how awesome her faith is.


03 July 2007

The Big 5

Leadership Wired has a great post on the Big 5 challenges in life...

Successful people do not have less challenging lives than those who do not succeed. In fact, they may go through even greater challenges. What causes the separation? Successful people respond to difficulties differently. It’s easy to have a great attitude when things are going our way. Attitude doesn’t become the difference maker until challenges arise.

1. Discouragement

Every leader gets discouraged. However, not every leader responds to discouragement the same way. Attitude dictates whether a discouraged leader will give up or get up.

2. Problems

Every leader runs into problems. When facing problems, adjusting your attitude can be a precursor to adjusting your situation. Remember: change on the outside always follows the change on the inside.

3. Change

Change is an unavoidable and often unwelcome part of life. Change pushes us away from comfort by refusing to let us settle.

4. Fear

Fear has the ability to exaggerate itself and spread throughout our life. When fear grips us, we are frozen and incapable of action. Worrisome thoughts fill our mind with distractions, and we are powerless to be productive.

5. Failure

I have seen many leaders with self-sabotaging traits stemming from an unhealthy perspective toward failure. Some leaders live with a nagging sense of impending failure. They don’t believe they are good enough to succeed, and sooner or later they fulfill their self-expectations of failure. Other leaders refuse to take risks. By sticking to safe paths, they assure themselves of failing to have significant impact. Still other leaders allow failures to derail them. They see failure as a personal indictment rather than a step in the ongoing process of their growth as a leader.

29 June 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks 11 wonderful years. How lucky am I - that I get to spend my life with my lovely wife! We had a great night remembering back to the days when everything seemed so simple. As hard as life gets at times I am blessed and honored to be able to face each day with Glenda. For some reason I have been thinking back, way back to our college days. Wow! How we've grown. I am so proud of my wife! She is truly a godly woman; full of character, integrity, wisdom, grace, love and passion. Those that are lucky enough to truly know her as a friend know that she is the BEST friend ever. She is loyal, she is there through thick and thin. I am so thankful for God's blessing of an amazing wife. So, today I celebrate us! Babe, I love you! I am so excited for our future... it's gonna be a good one!

27 June 2007

Fun with Oreos

Tonight was a good night... a relaxing, summer dinner... grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. The best part was after dinner. We busted out a fresh package of double stuff Oreo cookies. The kids loved 'em. They were totally into dipping them in milk. If you are a dipper then you know the trick is not too long in the milk or the cookie gets too soft and not to short in the milk or the cookie doesn't absorb enough milk. One of the highlights was when I dropped my cookie in my milk. Emma thought it was hilarious. Sam's highlight was using his finger to dig the cream off the cookie. He had Oreo all over his face. It's funny when you eat an Oreo it's hard not to sing the Oreo song... at least hum it.

23 June 2007

Over 30

I have a few thoughts on being over thirty and my wife encouraged me to post them. Also a college roommate of mine and I were exchanging emails about life before and after 30.

Here's a few things guys should NEVER do after turning 30. I am guilty of doing a few of these.

The list does make life after 30 look pretty boring. Although, the source isn't too credible... it was in a magazine.

• Use the word party as a verb.
• Do impressions of Austin Powers characters, especially Dr. Evil.
• Crash on a friend's floor or couch.
• Experiment with facial hair.
• Let your underpants show above your jeans or below your shorts.
• Apply paint to your face for any reason at all.
• Know the names of the current Real World cast.
• Remove your shirt in public--unless there is sand and a large body of water nearby.
• Use the word dude, except when referring to a ranch or a well-dressed Englishman.
• Use the word dawg in a sentence when referring to a friend or, worse, yourself.
• Sleep past 10:30AM.
• Cook exclusively on a George Foreman grill.
• Wear a jersey with the name of a professional athlete on the back.
• Use Internet acronyms, especially ROFL and LOL.
• Shave any part of your body except your face.
• Pick a fistfight by thrusting out your neck, flexing, and screaming, "It's go time!"

22 June 2007

bicentennial blog

I don't know if it's much of a celebration, but I just passed the 200 mark. It's been fun.

21 June 2007

Coffee Talk

Most people know that I really enjoy a strong, dark, hot, ... did I say strong, cup of coffee. Occasionally, I will add a shot of espresso to my cup of coffee, just for the added umph.

I ran across a great proverb in Leonard Sweet's book, The Gospel according to Starbucks. I've had the book for a while, but I just got to reading it now.

Coffee should be black as hell,
strong as death,
and sweet as love.

Turkish Proverb

Home again

We made it back just one day before the United computer crash. I am so thankful that we didn't get caught up it that mess. There was plenty of excitement with out computers crashing. A gentleman that had way too much to drink flipped out. Seriously, this guy lost it! His insanity lasted about 2 hours. There was talk of an emergency landing in Hawaii. Instead we were bumped up to a nicer area on the plane where it would be more conducive for the kids to sleep. It's been quite a project getting back on the right day and time. We got ahead of ourselves for a minute... we landed in LA earlier than we took off in Sydney. When we landed the pilot said, "it's Tuesday, again". Ten days and 400 pictures later... we are home. There was so much more to see in Australia, but it is good to be back.

17 June 2007

Hillsong church service

What an amazing service! This evening we had the privilege to be apart of the worship at the Hillsong city church. From the second that we stepped foot onto the curb I was absolutely impressed.

The mate that we met walked with us literally from the curb to our chairs. He was so helpful. This was true hospitality. It was so how excited everyone was. This seemed more like a group of... oh ... a thousand old friends just hangin out.

We could hardly make it into the sanctuary because there were so many people exiting from their earlier service. There is a side room that people wait in so that the earlier service can exit and the hosts (what they call their ushers, I love it!) can turn the sanctuary around for the next service. We were barely able to find seats! The place was packed and electric!

We get inside and people were jacked up and ready to worship. The band hit it and there was a people make dash for the front; some climbed over chairs. Those that were already up front were jumping, clapping, and singing. It was unbelievable. It was what church should be.

They then introduced the speaker for the evening, Paul DeJong. This guy was amazing. He spoke out of 2 Kings 4. He used the story of the woman that built a room for Elisha to translate into our live and the need that we have to make room for God's plan in our lives. So often we pray for God to move in our lives but rarely do we make the necessary room in our lives for God to even have an opportunity to move. He referenced a great quote from A.W. Tozer.

We have prayed for revival, but we've substituted praying for obeying.

They closed the service with salvations and baptisms. What a great job this church is doing to make an impact down under and all over the world. A cool tidbit that I learned tonight... the Hillsong United album most recently released is number 3 on the secular charts in Australia.

Happy Father's Day

We had a great father's day in Sydney today. It was a relaxing day with just the family getting to hang out. One of the high points was getting to attend Hillsong Church. We attended their Sydney location, but more on that later. It was also great to get to talk with my dad today. As I am ending father's day here in Sydney, he is just beginning father's day in Illinois. It is difficult to make the connection with the 15 hour time difference. We figured out that it is only the second father's day that we can remember that we have not been able to celebrate as a family.

I am so thankful for my dad. He is a man of integrity. He is full of the strongest character. He is kind, loving and gracious, strong, confident, and godly. I am so thankful for the example that my dad has set. I have seen my father face many obstacles. He always shows such character, strength and integrity in every situation. My dad and I have some great memories, from braving the cold in the badlands of the Dakotas to the waves of the North Shore of Hawaii. I could always count on my dad to be there in the best of times and the toughest of times. We have really gone through a lot together and look forward to our future.

Dad, I am proud of you! You are the best father! Thank you for living out God's model for what a father should be. Happy father's day dad.

14 June 2007

lions and tigers and bears oh my

We started the day with a little Starbucks... of course. Then made our way down to the Circular Quay (pronounced "key"). The first highlight of the day was taking a ferry ride across the harbour to North Sydney. North Sydney is home to Taronga Zoo. This zoo was unbelievable! The animals were so active. Some of the pictures taken today could seriously be in National Geographic. Glenda was an unbelievable photographer. At the tiger enclosure we were 6 inches from this tiger that walked by and "marked its territory". The elephants were mud wrestling. But I think I was most surprised to see how interested my kids were to see the reptiles. I have to admit I was pretty excited also. We all thought abou Caleb a ton today. We saw the most venomous snake in Australia, the fierce snake, it has enough venom to kill 200, 000 mice in one bite! We were inches from a diamondback rattler and some huge boas. As we were leaving it started to rain, so we headed to the next adventure for the day... the Sydney Opera House. We had a guided tour through the 102 million dollar structure. It is quite a site. I think our guide was less than excited that there were two small children on the tour, but the kids were great; they had a blast today. Sam was making all the noises of the animals and Emma was so excited and so interested in learning about the animals. By the time we made it back we were all spent.

Highlights from today:
• getting a cab in Sydney is hard to do.
• diapers in Australia are nappies.
• child-like wonder is so cool. adults really need some of this.
• I am blessed with the absolute best family.
• pizza and a movie sure is fun in a hotel.
• my wife is a great photographer.
• a flat white is a latte with no foam.
• you say "I like your house drip" when ordering a cup of regular coffee in Australia.