Saturday, February 24, 2007

Some great news and upcoming events

Patty and I were asked if we were interested in leading a team in Northern Ireland for a 3 week mission trip. So it looks like we will be doing it sometime during the Summer of 2008. The planning and preparation for it will begin right after the Summer of 2007. We are looking forward to it.

Some upcoming events for Amadeo Youth. March 3rd we will be going paintballing with the VCCG youth. I've never done it before so I guess I'll have to learn pretty fast. On April 21st-22nd we will go with Hannah down to the CDE orphanage for a weekend mission trip. I will finally get to meet the boy that I sponsor down there too. We will be taking a team of Amadeo Youth and their parents with us and I believe that Hannah said we would be doing a painting project. This orphanage is Hannah's passion. I am glad that we will get to help serve the kids that she serves on a regular basis.

I have some work trips scheduled coming up too. The week of March 19th through the 23rd I will fly to Salt Lake City for a week long conference. April 2nd through the 4th I will do the Interstate 10 portion of my routine semi-annual inspection which will take me as far West as Blythe California and as far North as Parker AZ along the Colorado River. I'll stay the first night in Parker and the second night in Blythe. Then on April 18th through the 20th I'll do the Interstate 8 portion which will take me as far West as Imperial and El Centro CA and down into Calexico right on the border of Mexico. I will stay in Yuma both nights. Then immediately after this trip I'll go down to the CDE orphanage for the mission trip with Hannah and Amadeo Youth.

Then there's Patty's birthday on the 17th of March and Shannon turns 18 on the 28th of March. Oh and also, don't forget the Chevelle concert on the 18th of March. We are also going to see Gaelic Storm with Ben and Mandy on March 24th.

We had a wonderful time this evening at Randy and Janet's house with all of the servant leaders and Amadeo staff. Just praying for one another and talking about areas of ministry. Awesome awesome time.

Amadeo is definitely being moved by God's love.

Be moved!

Youth Night with the Roadrunners

Last night was Church Youth Group Night with the Roadrunners. A band called Ever Stays Red played before the game but we missed them because Patty got off work later than usual. Obie knows some guys in this band and was telling me last night that they are signed to a major label now.

The game was good. The Roadrunners won in overtime. There were some good hits, some nice shots and some nice saves but on this night, no fights. A nice crowd turned out for the weekend game. Obie brought a nice group. He found us at our seats early in the first period. I wandered over to chat with him at their seats in between periods. It was great to see some folks I hadn't seen in awhile. Leo and Sarah, and Andre.

After the game we went outside for the concert. There was some band that was pretty good warming up the crowd. I don't know who they were but the music was pretty good. Then John Reuben took the stage. He is a white Christian rapper. Good stuff man! Got to hang with Obie and company for awhile and bang around a little bit in the pit with the kids (and some of us grown up kids too). Then we had to cut out early because Patty's sister had to get up early in the morning.

Today is house cleaning day and both dogs get a bath today. Fun fun! Then we get to hang with some Amadeo folks tonight at a servant/staff get together. Looking forward to it. We have a very busy schedule coming up and I have some exciting news to share in my next post. Stay tuned!

Be moved!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hockey goons

I took Stephen B. to the Roadrunner's Hockey game again last night. The Alaska Aces, the defending Kelly Cup Champs from last year, were in town. They were huge man. I seriously think they will take it all again this year. They were bigger, faster, and their passes were crisp and they finished their checks.

Anyhow, they have a guy on their team named Hans Benson and he is the ultimate classic hockey goon/enforcer/fighter/bad guy. You know what I'm talking about...the guy that comes onto the ice and everyone just hates him, or loves him.

Well needless to say, they won the game. But the second perioid was very entertaining as Hans gooned it up for the crowd. About a minute into the 2nd period the teams were lined up for a faceoff at center ice and he was having a little conversation with the Roadrunner's enforcer Greg Hornby. I told Stephen to watch and that they were gonna square off as soon as the puck dropped. So as soon as the puck dropped, they both shed the helmets and the mitts...squared off...and proceeded to beat the crap out of each other. After they were done, the linesmen stepped in to separate them and they smiled at each other for a job well done then went to the penalty box to rest for 5 minutes.

Here's where the funny part comes in. Have you seen those Geico commercials with the caveman? At the game, there were some fans with posters of the Geico caveman and at the bottom of the poster was Hans Benson's name. While he was in the penalty box, some fans handed the posters to him over the glass with a marker and he autographed them for them. How cool is that?

Monday, February 19, 2007

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
- Martin Luther King Jr.

The Religious Right's Era Is Over

Something to think about

I am reading a book by Spencer Burke called A Heretic's Guide to Eternity. This excerpt is from pages 118-119.

The business of religion is the sacred in all its forms. Christianity's part of that business is grace. The church wants to put a copyright on grace and seeks to hold power and control over it by making itself the only mediator. "Grace is available only through us, and you must come to us to gain access to it," declares the church. Determining who is in and who is out is the primary way that the church as institution tries to control grace.

Jesus told a story about this in the gospel of Matthew. It concerned a wheat farmer who had spent a hard day planting. While he was sleeping, his enemy crept onto his land and sowed weeds among the wheat. When the wheat began to sprout, the laborers noticed the weeds growing, so they went to the landowner and asked him if they should pull up the weeds. "'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling up the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

This story reflects the tendency humans have to want to do God's business. Institutional religion usually aspires to do the landowner's job-God's job. They want to determine who is wheat and who is weed.

Churches assume their role is about eternity when in fact eternity is God's business. The landowner in Jesus' story is very clear that his workers cannot separate the wheat from the weeds, for they might pull up perfectly good wheat in their zeal to remove the wayward weeds. When explaining this story to his followers, Jesus makes it clear that the task of determining who is in or out is not the responsibility of humans, no matter how qualified they believe they are. I would likewise argue that the church should not be so focused on eternity. The church's task is to help people follow Jesus here on earth.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I thought this was an awesome post from Keith Giles blog. Check it out. It includes about a 7 minute clip on youtube from The Big Kahuna. How often do people try and shove Jesus down people's throats instead of loving them like Jesus does? Developing a relationship with them first before throwing "fire and brimstone " at them?

A great post from Keith Giles

Tony Campolo: Are Evangelicals Fixated on Homosexuality?

In many instances, those in this new generation are even reluctant to accept being called evangelicals. They sense that the label “evangelical” is commonly thought to be synonymous with right-wing politics and suggests a gay-bashing, anti-environmentalist, anti-feminist, and pro-war mindset. Instead, they are increasingly calling themselves Red Letter Christians. This name, of course, associates them with those verses in scripture that record the words that Jesus spoke, which in many Bibles are printed in red. That I affirm this designation and promote this new label in my book often greatly disturbs my interviewers. They quickly remind me that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. “That’s right!” I respond. “He most likely maintained ancient Jewish laws on the matter, but condemning gays was not on His big-ten hit list, while attacking judgmental religious people was.”

I love the last sentence in the excerpt from Tony's post.

click here for the entire post

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tattoo t-shirt followup

Remember a few posts back when I talked about the heavily tattooed guy behind the counter at the convenience store I frequent? Well today on my way home from work I dropped in and gave him the shirt.

Patty and I have been searching and searching for the exact same shirt and came up empty. I found a lot of shirts online that said "Jesus Loves Me & My Tattoos" on them, but the design was not like the one I have. So I ended up giving him mine. He was very appreciative and shook my hand and thanked me. He also kept offering me money for it but I would not take it. His name is Mike. Pray for him as I continue to build a friendship with him. My next step will be to maybe take him to lunch or something. He is really a cool guy.

I had the pleasure of going to lunch with Ben today. I never realized that his office was so close to mine. We definitely have to do it no less than once a month. It was awesome just to talk to each other and enjoy fellowship and lunch together.

Make sure you love on your valentine today and everyday. Be moved!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thank You Amadeo Youth

Just got back home after a wonderful evening with Amadeo folks. Mark and Susan B. came up with a great idea of the youth providing a candlelit dinner to their parents and we also included all couples.

The youth decorated the room, served the food, babysat the little ones and helped cleanup afterwards. I do believe the event was a success and it seemed that everyone had a great time. We gave door prizes out to the couple who was married the least amount of time (a year and a half) and the longest (36 years).

A super big thank you to Susan B. for all of the extra hard work she put into this and to Mark B. who was already there when I got there and did a lot of the setting up.

Patty and Susan B. directed the servers. Youth who helped serve the food were Marc, Andy, Mac, Sharaya and Cameron.

Keith and Mark B. directed the babysitting. What an experience man! heh heh...There were over 25 kids (most toddlers). I have a newfound respect for teachers or daycare workers that work with large groups of young toddlers. Youth who helped babysit were Shannon, Meredith, Jaret, Madison, Robbie and Stephen.

If I forgot someone I apologize. Also thank you to Mandy for picking up the pizza for the kids. I was blessed tonight and I am sure many others were too.

Be Moved!

Dear Legalism..............

Found this over on the BWC site. I thought it was a great piece. Enjoy!

Hooray for Legalism

Obama launches campaign

Many of you know, some of you don't, and some of you could care less. I am impressed with Barack Obama. I watched his official campaign announcement yesterday from Springfield Illinois. It was broadcast live from his website and you can watch it yourself if you like at

This is a post that Brian McLaren posted today on the God's Politics Blog on the Sojourners website. Check it out if you have time. I think he hits the nail on the head on this topic. Be Moved!

Brian McLaren: Advice for Barack Obama

Sunday, February 11, 2007

So we went to the show last night. Fantastic concert man! A band called The Attitude opened the show with a high energy 30 minute set. They closed their set with Billy Idol's Rebel Yell. The crowd was now officially warmed up.

If you've never been to the Marquee Theater before, it's a great place to see a live band. There are no seats. Just a cement floor that slopes up gradually from the stage to the rear of the venue. It holds about 1000 people. The stage is high enough for everyone to see the band and the sound system is clear. Last's nights show was about half full so it was even more intimate.

After the opening band played, the band Red came out. We saw them at the Ragefest and they were even better on this evening. They hail from Nashville Tennessee and entertained Tempe with their brand of melodic hardcore music.

After Red left the stage, Patty, myself and Meredith B. went straight to the front. Just to the right of center stage. We just stood and held out spots until the houselights went down and Lacey Mosley and Flyleaf took the stage and opened with Sorrow. They then proceeded to play their entire CD and then some. They did a couple of songs I was not familiar with, so I don't know if they were new or really old. But we got our money's worth. The crowd was rowdy but not too bad. I thought we were going to have to move away from the front because sometimes it gets a little too crazy down near the stage. There was some pushing and jumping up and down but no hardcore moshing or anything so we were able to watch the show instead of worrying what was going on around us. It was a tad warm at the venue last night though. I was drenched in sweat by the time the night was over.

Took my sweetie out to Black Angus for our Valentines dinner after church today. It was scrumptious. Robert spoke at Amadeo this morning from the Book of Jude. Very good sermon. Tomorrow night, Mark and Susan B. and Patty and myself are going to lead the Amadeo youth in serving a special Valentines Dinner to the couples of Amadeo. This will be a special time.

Until next time...Be Moved by God's Love!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Flyleaf-I'm So Sick

Less than 5 hours until concert time. Wanna bet they open up with this song?

Flyleaf -- Sorrow

less than 12 hours away now.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Flyleaf - Cassie

I believe this song is about the girl killed in the Columbine shootings when one of the killers shot her because she said she believed in God. Anyhow...the concert is tomorrow night at the Marquee Theater. Doors open at 6:30. Be there! It's gonna be good!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I found this over on Jeremy Del Rio's blog. I agree with Jeremy, one of the most courageous posts you will ever read.

Here is an excerpt from it followed by a link to the entire post. Enjoy!

My hope in writing this is that in some small way, by sharing my story, Christians will begin to engage this issue with a sensitivity that this is a real issue that effects real people very personally. This is true for those who very publicly attack homosexuality as wrong, but lose sight of the fragile and precious people for whom this is a daily reality. It is equally true for those who seek to be cautious about making moralizing judgments or absolute statements, but can add terrible uncertainty for those who are desperate to understand what to believe and what to do.

Homosexuality: A Personal Reflection

I had a very interesting thing happen today on my way to work. We had gone to Amadeo for church then home to eat and I had to leave right away because I had to be at work by 1 pm.

I needed gas so I pulled into Desert Rose and filled up then went inside. The guy working the counter was heavily tattooed and also had several piercings. He looked to be around 20 years old or so. I have seen him there before because I go in there all the time. He has always been polite and converses well. I had the black T-shirt on that says "Jesus Loves Me & My Tattoos". He said that he liked my shirt and said he wished he had one. He said he would buy it from me on the spot. He then told me about how his uncle was a Jesus freak and was always ragging on him about his tattoos. I told him that it is what's on the inside that Jesus cares about and I told him that God loved him too. He thought that was awesome. There were some other guys standing around the store that appeared to be friends of his and he called them over and said "Hey, check out this guys shirt". They all came over and we just chatted a bit. The tattooed guy then said to me and I quote "Sir, do you even have any tattoos?" He called me sir! heh heh! I guess I'm getting old but hey, at least the guy respects his elders and like I said, he has always been polite to me when I'm at this convenience store. I then showed him all 3 of my tattoos and explained the story behind each of them.

The first one is 2 nails forming a cross with blood dripping off of them on my upper left arm. I got that one 6 years ago when the Lord healed me from my drug and alcohol addiction. I have a tribal pattern on my upper right arm just because I wanted it and thought it looked cool. I got that one about a year after the first one. The third one is my favorite one. It is a tribal side profile of Jesus and a crown of thorns with blood dripping off of his head. This tattoo is on my left upper chest right around the heart. I then had the opportunity to tell him what that represented to me.

You never know when God will use you to speak into someones life. I made a few new friends today, and guess what? I'm going to go find another shirt just like mine, buy it, and give it to him.

We finally have that 3rd car. We had been looking for awhile and Patty is now driving a brand spanking new 2007 Mazda3. We had been researching them and got a pretty good deal on it. Shannon now has her own vehicle now. The Ford Escape is now hers as an early graduation present. This will certainly make things easier for us as far as everyone getting back and forth to work and school and church etc.

Tomorrow I have the day off, then Tuesday I will get my work truck packed up. Wednesday I will head out to Blythe California to install some weather equipment. I'll get there by lunchtime, start the job, stay overnight and finish the job Thursday and head back home. Evening shift on Friday, then it's FLYLEAF on Saturday night at the Marquee Theater. Whoo Hoo! Can you tell I'm really looking forward to this show? Oh yeah, and tomrrow is also dropin center night at Power Ranch and loving on those kids. Be moved folks!

Emerging vs. Emergent

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Flyleaf - Breathe Today

one week from tonight. Be there!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

“But when religion teaches us that God loves the wounded soul, the chastised soul that has learned something of its own fallibility and its own limitations, when religion teaches us that being human is such a complicated challenge that all of us will make mistakes in the process of learning how to do it right, then we can come to see our mistakes not as emblems of our unworthiness but as experiences we can learn from. We will be brave enough to try something new without being afraid of getting it wrong. Our sense of shame will be the result of our humility, our learning our limits, rather than our wanting to hide from scrutiny because we have done badly.”

Kushner, Harold S. How Good Do We Have to Be - A New Understanding of Guilt and Forgiveness, Little, Brown and Company Boston, MA Ó Copyright 1996 by Harold S. Kushner, p. 39