Sunday, April 29, 2007

On the Road Again

Had a fantastic weekend so far. I actually had to work evenings last night but we actually had some weather too so that made it less boring and a lot more interesting. I arrived at work at 1 pm and it was hot. We hit that magic century mark that the media here in the Valley of the Sun loves so much. There are also always numerous contests that people enter picking the date and time of the first 100 degree temp in Phoenix. We've hit 99 twice this year so far but that was back in early to mid March. So now it's official. We hit 100 degrees yesterday at 1:38 PM. The official high for the day was 101. Thunderstorms developed to our East and Southeast and these storms pushed a pretty strong dust storm into the metro area. They usually don't hold together that long but this one came in from the East and Southeast and went clear across the entire Phoenix Metro. The peak wind was from the Southeast at 51 MPH and visibilities went down to less than a quarter mile. They even grounded air traffic at Sky Harbor Airport for 30 minutes. So enough about work.

Went to church this morning and it was just awesome. I had not been in a couple of weeks. It's very nice to finally "miss" being away from church. It wasn't that way a couple of years ago. I love Amadeo and the folks that lead it and that attend there. Robert brought the message this morning and it was about Freedom from the Law! Excellent topic and Robert did great.

While we were in Mexico last weekend I got the chance to get to know Briana a lot better. After the service the Youth went to the back for their own ministry time. Bri had brought this up to me and we implemented it this morning. She did an awesome job and the kids responded well. How cool is that, that the Youth are being moved by God's love and wanting to minister to each other? The entire worship team this morning was ALL Youth by the way. Marc and Andy, Bri and Sharaya, and Robbie filling in for Mac on bass guitar. This Youth Group rawks man! That's all I can say about them. They are all great kids and I can't wait to spend an entire week with them at Camp up in the Pines in Prescott this June.

Patty and I had a chance to minister to a young girl this afternoon that has a substance abuse problem. She has some great people around her that really care for and love her. Father, I just ask that you flood this young lady with your grace and your mercy and that you will do a miracle in her life. Take the desire to abuse these pills away from her. Continue to encourage her friends and family while they are in the midst of this struggle with her.

Tonight Patty and I are going to watch The Sopranos. Not too many episodes left and I am still waiting for the big shocker that we are all expecting. I thought it was going to happen last week on the boat, but apparently it was just a teaser.

Tomorrow I am off on another roadtrip for work. I'm leaving in the morning and will be back Wednesday night. Then a special surprise for a few folks is coming on Thursday. Stay tuned!

Saturday we will be ministering to the folks in Sonoqui Village for an event we are calling Cinco de Amadeo. We brought bags of graceries to this community about a month ago. Well we're doing it again, but we'll also be doing more. We will be out there from 6 am to 12 noon and we'll be blessing this community with a cookout, clothing, free bags of groceries, and a huge inflatable jumber for the kids.

Be moved, be blessed, receive His grace and His mercy!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The person who speaks most directly about her faith is Jane Fonda, in an interview with DeCurtis (who has written several articles for Beliefnet):
Somebody very hostile said to me, “Have you been saved?” I tap-danced around that, but later I asked a friend of mine who teaches Bible study, “What does that mean?” And she said, “What it meant to me was taking the next step.” Well, that’s all anybody had to say to me — I’m always ready to take the next step [laughs]! So I became a Christian.
And I remain a Christian, but I’m still on a journey to define what that means. I very much feel the presence of God. And then this person Jesus — I am utterly fascinated by this man. I feel that what he preached was revolutionary, and it’s totally what we need now. The most revolutionary statement anyone could make is “Love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Whew, man. If we could live what he taught, everything would change. But it ain’t what goes by the name of Christianity right now.

Friday, April 27, 2007

A very bizarre story

I wonder how much of this is real and how much of it is in her head. There are some doctors backing up her story though. I found it bizarre and interesting at the same time.

The woman who needs a veil of protection from modern life

A failure in generalship

A very interesting article written by Army Lt. Col. Paul Yingling. Pretty long, but I found it very interesting and informative if you like that kind of military stuff.

■ARMY LT. COL. PAUL YINGLING is deputy commander, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment. He has served two tours in Iraq, another in Bosnia and a fourth in Operation Desert Storm. He holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Chicago. The views expressed here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the Army or the Defense Department.


An excellent article by Keith Giles that I read on the ooze website today. I hope you like it. Enjoy!

Raging against your own machine

Bono, discussing the radical nature of God’s grace

“It’s a mind blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between grace and karma… Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff… I’d be in big trouble if karma was going to finally be my judge… It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.”

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What would Jesus REALLY do?

When did it come to the point that being a Christian meant caring about only two issues,­ abortion and homosexuality?

Ask the nonreligious what being a Christian today means, and based on what we see and read, it's a good bet they will say that followers of Jesus Christ are preoccupied with those two points.
Poverty? Whatever. Homelessness? An afterthought. A widening gap between the have and have-nots? Immaterial. Divorce? The divorce rate of Christians mirrors the national average, so that's no big deal.

The point is that being a Christian should be about more than abortion and homosexuality, and it's high time that those not considered a part of the religious right expose the hypocrisy of our brothers and sisters in Christianity and take back the faith. And those on the left who believe they have a "get out of sin free" card must not be allowed to justify their actions.

Martin: What would Jesus really do?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Power (and Peril) of Praising your Kids

"Just War" or "Just Do Nothing"?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Answered prayer

I asked folks to pray for a family situation the other day. I just wanted to let everyone know that this situation has taken a turn for the better. Thank you for praying.

Also, my grandfather made it through his surgery successfully and is recuperating well at this time.

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! I am also giving a Skywarn Spotter training session in Tempe tomorrow evening in Tempe at the Police Department Auditorium. Anywhere from 50-100 people may be there.

Another work trip is coming up for me also. I'll be travelling west on I-10 leaving Monday morning and returning Wednesday evening. I'll be going as far west as Palm Springs CA and as far north as Parker, Bouse and Alamo Lake. I'll stay in Parker the first night and Blythe the second night.

Then a special surprise for some certain folks on Thursday the 3rd. Won't say who, what, where or when. But I'll tell you about it after it goes down.

On May 5th, Cinco de Amadeo will be coming to the trailer park in Queen Creek that we brought groceries to a few weeks ago.

And the thing I am most excited about, is going back to the orphanage to see those kids the weekend of the 19th of May.

Be moved!

A little something to make you think

Massacres, Foreign and Domestic

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mexico Trip April 21-22

CDE trip this weekend

I can't tell you how blessed I was by the trip we took to the orphanage this weekend. Those kids are so special. I immediately connected with Jesus Guadalupe, the boy we sponsor, and it was so great to finally meet him and hangout with him. I spent a lot of time throwing the baseball with him and my right shoulder is feeling it today. I can't wait until we go down there the next time in May. Patty and I are going to go down on a regular basis now and help Hannah with all of "her" kids. You do know that she is a soccer mom to about 85 kids don't you? It was awesome to observe her over the weekend and see it in person. She is 100% devoted to loving those kids.

I was also proud of all of the Youth that went down there to serve this weekend. Each and every one of them did an awesome job. Thanks you so much to Marc and Andy Cornejo, Brianna Lee, Steve Bogumill, and Jaret and Madisen Shipman. You guys ALL rawked it down there and brought Christ's love to those kids and it showed.

Also thanks to Jeff and Trish Fields, my good friends from VCCG who went. You guys did an awesome job and a huge thanks to Jeff for the AWESOME breakfast Sunday morning.

A special thanks to Hannah for allowing us to minister to those kids and I am sure this is the beginning of a great partnership in serving those beautiful children at CDE. Your love for those kids is evident and God is using you in a very special way to bless each and everyone of those kids.

Thanks also to my wonderful wife Patty for her devotion to those kids. I knew when she got back from the trip the weekend before that God had a specific plan for her in serving those kids. She was just a totally different person when she returned and she so wants to be involved. She hates leaving them when it is time to go and she loves each and every one of them.

Patty has the photos on her camera and when she downloads them I will post some of them.

We are dealing with a family problem at the moment and I would ask each and every one of you to pray. It is too personal to give the details on this blog but please pray for us as it is not a good situation.

Also, please pray for my Grandpa Kincaid. He is having some major surgery today and he is in his 80's.

Be moved by Gods Love!

Friday, April 20, 2007

I just got back from a work trip to visit some of my sites and I drove almost 1000 miles. Then I dropped my work truck off at the office and drove home. Hit the shower and am ready for a good nights sleep before we head out to Mexico over the weekend.

We are meeting at 5 am. I think I may let Patty drive tomorrow since I'm actually sick of driving. Thursday I was out in the field from 8 am to 7 pm. I spent both nights in Yuma. My next work trip is April 30th to May 2nd. This is my favorite trip because I spend a lot of time along the Colorado River and I like the scenery out there. But again, it will be lots of driving. but I'm not complaining. It beats being in the office.

I am so excited to finally get to meet Jesus Guadalupe at the orphanage this weekend. He is the child we sponsor. Patty fell in love with him immediately. She is already talking about going down on a regular basis with Hannah now. Patty has a real heart for Missions. I'll update some thoughts I've been having after we get back. I also have a few words to say about what happened at Virginia Tech and all of the copycat threats that have been happening since that day.

Be moved!

Monday, April 16, 2007

How sad that this has to happen in the U.S.A.

Pick: Health care or marriage
Couples face divorce for Medicaid benefits

CDE orphanage photos from April 13th-15th

Patty, Shannon and the boy we sponsor at the CDE orphanage in Mexico, Jesus Guadalupe

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dr Alvin Jones interviews Dan Gilliam

Taxes done

So I procrastinated this year and waited until the last minute to do my taxes. Patty and Shannon went to the orphanage this weekend in Mexico along with Hannah, Jaret, Meredith and Susan B.

This left me the house to myself and the time, uninterrupted time mind you, to do the taxes. Thank God for Turbotax. Anyhow, the taxes are done and already filed electronically.

I have been battling allergies this entire week. I've never been bothered by them as much as I am this year. But it is just miserable man. There were several articles in the newspaper this past week saying that those that are bothered by allergies right now, will have to suffer until the temps reach the century mark. Bring it on, if it will make me feel better. I don't like the heat either but I'll deal with it.

Busy week coming up. Road trip to my coop sites for work Wed-Fri. Then heading to the orphanage in Mexico over the weekend with Hannah and some of the Amadeo Youth.

Gonna kick back today and watch the second episode of the Sopranos final season. I think there are 9 episodes total. Great show man!

be moved!

Jason Whitlock interview on CBS

Jason Whitlock

Friday, April 13, 2007

An excerpt from Terry Moran that I found right on.

The rapper Snoop Dogg put it a little more pungently:

“It’s a completely different scenario,” he said. "[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We’re talking about ho’s that’s in the ‘hood that ain’t doing sh–, that’s trying to get a n—a for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain’t no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them mutha—-as say we in the same league as him."

All this is pernicious nonsense. "Horsefeathers," as Grandpa Walton might put it.

Most Americans seem to believe--rightly, in my judgment--that you don't get a pass on civility in this country because you're a black man who raps; that you aren't entitled to call women "ho" or "bitch"--whether they're in "the hood" (an exegesis I simply do not buy from Mr. Dogg) or in my family; that just because you claim that a repugnant slur comes from your "mind and soul" does not give you a license to hurl it at people.

And many Americans ask: How is it that so many parents are supposed to tolerate the bombardment of our daughters with the most degrading imagery and language? Because it's promulgated by black artists? Huh? A white man says stuff like that, and he must be fired--but a black man can degrade women and himself, and it's "art"? Where's the real racism there? Which man is being treated as beneath our shared values and standards?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

There's a deep need within each of us, male or female, to unload hurts and feelings in a healthy way, and to take to heart sound counsel. And the best place we've seen for this type of sharing is in the energizing, strengthening process of a small group.

Gary Smalley and John Trent
The Hidden Value of a Man

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:20 NKJV

The Don Imus fiasco

I am soooooooooooo sick of hearing about this. Now before I start, let me explain that I in no way agree with what he did or said and I am definitely not an Imus fan or supporter.

He made a very racist remark, and he apologized for it. As I heard him say in the media reports, lets move on now.

What I have a real problem with is Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson. It is sort of reverse racism if you ask me because to them, it's always about race and they always play the race card. I don't hear either one of them apologizing to the Duke Lacrosse players.

But the one that gripes me the most is Snoop Dog. This guy was all over Imus for what he said. Have you ever heard the lyrics to any of Snoop Dogs songs? Well, all I can say is that they're not appropriate to print on my blog. But he says a lot nastier things about black women than Don Imus said.

Nuff said!

My brother Carl sent me an interesting article this morning from The Kansas City Star written by Jason Whitlock. I loved it. Here it is. Imus isn’t the real bad guy

Navel Gazing, Too Much Self Reflection and the EMO church.

I really like this post that Pastor Ben put on the Amadeo Blog. Check it out here

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ron Luce is bringing Battlecry to a major city near you to raise up a nation of "culture warriors". I'm not so sure I like what he is doing. Shouldn't we go into our culture and develop relationships with these kids instead of bringing them all a bunch of anti-this and anti-that rhetoric? It seems to me that it is a bunch of emotionally driven hype bordering on cult-like brainwashing.

I read a lot of Jeremy Del Rio's blog and I guess I lean more towards missional evengelism like he does. I personally would not attend this event and it sounds to me like Jeremy is leaning towards that when Battlecry comes to NYC. Read what Jeremy says here.

Rolling Stone magazine also wrote about it. Check out what they had to say. Teenage Holy War
Jesus is really, really pissed -- at Hollywood, at the media, even at most Christians. But BattleCry, the nation’s largest and most radical youth crusade, is recruiting a new generation of Christian soldiers to fight back.

So what do you think about this?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A followup to what to do on a Saturday night post. I never made it down to the Easter Pageant at the temple. I was a bit miffed after reading the article and really wanted to go down there. But I think that it was wise that I didn't because I was angry about what the street preachers were doing over there. I should have just gone down there and handed out water to the folks arriving to the pageant.

All this to say, I probably would have been confrontational and that would have been wrong.

Be Moved!

A cool post I found on the ooze written by Elizabeth Potter.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bill O'Reilly vs Geraldo Rivera

I would have to give the win to Geraldo in this one.

What to do on a Saturday night?

I just may have to go to the Mormon Temple in Mesa tonight for their annual Easter Pageant which I hear is very good. Our family doctor is actually in it.

But the main reason I want to go is to witness these so called "evangelicals" (they call themselves that but they sure are not acting like it) that stand outside the perimeters of the Temple spewing out damnation and hellfire to the people going to the program. Is this really accomplishing anything? I myself believe that the Mormon's have some very strange doctrine and could probably be classified as a cult. But what are these street preachers doing? Are they spreading the love of Christ to their neighbors? I think not.

So I think I may be heading down there this evening because I have never attended this program. And I would also like to chat with some of these street preacher folk, but in a non-confrontational way. Don't worry Ben, I won't wear my Amadeo shirt :-) and I promise to be nice. Seriously though, I am going to be loving and kind to the street preachers, and if it gets confrontational then I'm just going to walk away.

Faith, fury mix at Mormon temple

"It seems to me that standing outside of a person's church or worship center, be that the Mormon temple or a synagogue or a mosque, and use that location to condemn people because of the way they believe, because of the way they approach God, I think is totally, totally inappropriate in our society," Eppinger, a former Baptist minister, said.

"Christians, whoever they are, need to follow the teachings of Jesus, and when Jesus was asked, 'What's the most important commandment?' he replied the first was 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart' and second was 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

A very steamy sweaty Sevendust show

So...we went to the Marquee Theater earlier this evening to see Sevendust. We got to the venue around 8 pm and were told that the parking lot was full. They told us to go over the bridge to Mill Ave and park there. Yeah right! On a Friday night? Are you kidding me? So we opted to park in the SRP parking lot which is where my office is and then just walked the mile to the Marquee. When we walked in the place was the most crowded I had ever seen it. Diecast was in the middle of their set and they were actually very good. We got to see them perform about 4 songs. We made it to the middle of the venue and stayed there for the next band...Red. Red is a christian band from Nashville TN and the have a song called Breathe Into Me getting heavy airplay on all of the rock stations. They were very well received by the Sevendust fans and we enjoyed their set. Oh, before I forget, four of us went to the concert tonight. Myself, Patty, Shannon and Meredith.

We opted to stay where we were for Sevendust when they hit the stage, but that didn't last long. The place was a steamroom and it was just way too crazy in the middle. The pit was pretty big and rough, but that is to be expected at a Sevendust show. So we headed towards the back and off to the side but it was still way too hot in the venue on this night. There were a lot of heat casualties being carried out, and I think alcohol and the heat had a lot to do with it. You can only fit so many people inside so much space and in my opinion, this show was way oversold. It was jam packed from front to back and side to side. I mean you could not stand anywhere without being right up against someone. Sevendust was great as usual. But the experience, at least for me, was just too uncomfortable to the point that I felt very claustrophobic.

After my ears quit ringing, I'm heading to bed. Nighty night folks.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Second Commandment Republicans

But there is a striking change in the 2008 Republican presidential field. There are two candidates with strong religious credentials, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas and former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and both spend far more time talking about good works than about sin, although each has the requisite positions on abortion and gay marriage. Indeed, it was Huckabee who reminded me of Chesterton's lament. "I'm a 'grace' Christian," Huckabee told me over lunch recently, "not a 'law' Christian. The Second Commandment--do unto others--is the basic tenet of my faith. And so I believe that life begins at conception, but I don't believe it ends at birth. I believe we have a responsibility to feed the hungry, to provide a good education, a safe neighborhood, health care ... That's why I talk so much about the need for music and art programs in our schools. I know some conservatives think it's foolish, but I just believe it's necessary to build whole, creative individuals."


Gonna go let off some steam tonight. Check out Sevendust tonight at the Marquee. See ya there.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

If we're going to keep sending more troops in, then doggone it, at least give them the training and equipment that they need for crying out loud!

America's Broken-Down Army

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Amadeo Fight Club

We had a very interesting situation develop at Drop-In last night. As I arrived at the Clubhouse I was parking my car and there were a group of about 10 guys that were arguing in the parking lot. Teenagers about high school aged. It didn't seem all that bad at first, just verbal jabbing at each other. We had Corn Dogs and ice pops last night and we planned on handing the ice pops out to people hanging out in the park.

About 630 pm the Amadeo Youth started arriving and heading over to the cabana by the volleyball courts where we usually hangout every Monday night.

I wandered back over to the clubhouse and noticed a large group of teens hanging out right between the pool and the clubhouse. As I got closer I noticed that it was the same group that was hanging in the parking lot earlier. But one group had brought some enforcements, bigger and older guys. I just kind of wandered over and observed what was happening and what was being said. It was then that I knew they were getting ready to rumble so to speak.

But.................lo and behold...........out come the Amadeo Youth with the freeze pops and they walked right between the two rival groups just as they were squaring off to fight and they just started handing them out to everyone. A fight never happened. I had a chance to chat with a few of the folks that were still hanging around after the other rival group left. God is good man! He even uses freeze pops to stop fights. How cool is that?

Be moved!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Giving to the needy

I had an awesome time Saturday morning. I went with some Amadeo folks and we headed out to a trailer park in Queen Creek to hand out bags of groceries to this needy neighborhood. The people living there were predominantly hispanic, but we had two spanish speaking people with us. Also included in the bag of groceries was a flyer about Amadeo and why we were doing this. It was printed in English on one side and spanish on the other so it didn't really matter if you spoke spanish or not. I would just pull out the flyer and show them the side printed in spanish and it was all good man!

Two things stood out for me during the hour we were going door to door. I approached one trailer where two little girls answered the door and then their mother was right behind them. She spoke english and I told her what we were doing and who I was with. Most of us had on our Amadeo Church T-shirts anyhow. This kind lady told me that maybe we should take it to other trailers because she knew that there were people in the trailer park that were much needier than her family. How cool is that? I gave her the bag of groceries anyhow and she accepted them after I told her we had more than enough.

The second thing that was awesome was when I approached another trailer and a young father was outside working on his car with his young son watching him. The boy was probably about 10 years old I would guess. They spoke great english and I told them what we were doing. The father took the groceries into the trailer and the young boy asked me if he could help us deliver groceries. I told him to ask his father first but his father must have said no because he never came back out. We were strangers though to them and the father was only protecting his boy I am sure. But how cool is that that this young boy wanted to help us?

One area of the trailer park had raw sewage flowing through the street and the smell was nauseating. Ben thought that maybe we could help them build a septic system. Hey, I'm all for that.

We are going to visit this trailer park monthly now and establish relationships with these people. We were even able to pray for a few people. One of the things we would ask after giving them the groceries was if we could pray for anything for them. we aren't necessarily wanting them to come attend our church although they are very welcome. We just want to love them and bless them because they live in the community with us. We want to show them what God's Kingdom is really about.

Saturday night Patty, her sister, and myself went out and saw the Sprint Cars in action at Manzanita Speedway on the half-mile track. What a show those guys put on. That has to be some of the most exciting racing to go see live.

Then we went to Amadeo for church this morning and I was blessed man. I told Robert about a family problem I was dealing with and he just offered some very great words of advice to me and spoke to me and prayed with me about the situation. Thanks man! You rawk Dr. Howard!

Back to the grind tomorrow but I get to go out to the field tomorrow and Tuesday to do some inspections at some of my coop sites. Looks like I will be heading up to Globe tomorrow and hit Punkin Center on the way back. Then Tuesday head out to Carefree. Wednesday is an all day meeting that may get heated at times but we'll deal with it and the sun will rise the next day.

Also tomorrow I will be getting a final head count for our Amadeo Service trip to the CDE orphanage with Hannah on April 21-22. I am so excited to finally meet the boy I sponsor, Jesus Guadalupe, and to visit with and serve all of the other kids there.

be Moved!

I definitely think it is time for a change. And it will be coming soon.

Ex-Aide Details a Loss of Faith in the President