10 years Running Blind
Friday, August 31, 2007
Going South of the Border
I get the priveledge of going to the orphanage this weekend and I am so looking forward to it. Patty is going to stay home on this trip so it will be a bit different for me. We don't really spend time together when we're down there anyhow, we spend time with the kids. We have bonds with certain kids that grow each time we go down there. They always ask Patty where I am when she goes down without me. I think it will surprise them to see me down there without her.
Anyhow, I am looking forward to this trip and we get to spend an extra day due to it being Labor Day Weekend. The group going down will be small. Myself, Hannah, Maddy and her friend. So to my friends and blog friends, have a great Labor Day Weekend and stay safe out there.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
A mothers call to action
I read this today on Sojourners blog. I happen to agree with what this person is saying. Pass it on or delete it. I myself plan on looking at the petition to congress and may sign it if I like the wording, or write my own.
A mothers call to action
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
I am just now finishing Jim Palmer's book Divine Nobodies Shedding Religion to Find God (and the unlikely people who help you).
It has been a great read. Each chapter he describes someone he met who he says showed him God. A waffle house waitress, a rapper, a gay guy, etc etc.
A brief excerpt:
In chapter fifteen he talks about his friend Rick who is a tire salesman. Rick has no Bible degree, never served in any vocational ministry, does not attend a local church. He likes a good cigar, enjoys a beer every now and then, and you could often find him on the lake in his boat. But by far his greatest passion in life is knowing God. Not just knowing about God, but actually knowing God personally and intimately. His life is an example of an ordinary guy depending on Christ. I'm familiar with Christians who talk a good game but don't live it. I'm familiar with Christians who talk a good game and play at it enough to project and protect their image. I'm familiar with Christians who talk a good game and are paid and expected to live it. What I'm not familiar with are people who just live it. Believe it or not, there are actually people like this. Like Rick.
He goes on to explain how he was having coffee with Rick and a raggedy guy walked in and Rick just started talking to the guy and letting the guy tell his story. He bought the guy a hotel room so the guy could get cleaned up and have a decent nights sleep. He was down on his luck and was trying to find his estranged daughter who he thought was in Oklahoma. He had been bumming rides from truckers. Rick offered to pick the guy up the next morning and take him to a truck stop or he would buy the guy a bus ticket to Oklahoma. Jim thought to himself that the guy probably would not be there in the morning. He was and Rick took him to the bus station and sent the guy to Oklahoma.
He then wrote this paragraph:
Hebrews 13:2 advises, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without even knowing it" (NIV)Sometimes I wonder if John was an angel in a beaten-up baseball cap sent to a coffee shop in Tennessee because God knows my own salvation will never be complete until I am free to love when no one is looking or offering anything in return. God didn't want me to start a program for homeless people, launch a volunteer recruitment campaign at church, or raise money for the local mission-all things I'm inclined to do. I think God just wanted me to see what would happen one cold night if I found myself face-to-face with a desperate stranger in need.
God used a tire salesman and a homeless guy to show God's love to Jim Palmer. I hope and pray that I can do the same. I will keep trying. It's what it's about. God's love for ALL people.
A wild hot weekend
I attended the Family Values Tour at Cricket Pavilion with my wife Patty, her sister Maureen and Maureen's co-worker Yessie. It was a great show and not as insane as it was last year. I didn't actually fear for my life this time.
It was freaking hot though. There were a lot of heat casualties in the crowd. I never understood why they have outdoor concerts here in the summertime, but they do. And people go, and some get overcome by the heat. I think a lot of it is the dangerous combination of heat, alcohol, and whatever illegal substance they ingest. I'm just glad I'm clean and sober now. I actually remember the concert this way too, go figure. I stuck to plain old water, with the exception of a couple of diet cokes through the day and into the night.
This was Maureen's first "hardcore" rock show. The concert started at 2 pm and we got to the venue about 4 pm. 20,000 hardcore rock fans, and two stages. We stuck with the main stage. Trivium was on when we arrived. They were okay. But their style is thrash metal and I'm not a big fan of that. Next up was one of the highlights of the show for me, the current supergroup Hell Yeah. It is a side project made up of guys from Pantera and Mudvayne. These guys blew me away and Phoenix treated them well. Flyleaf came on next and they did some new stuff I had not heard which only tells me one thing. Maybe a new CD in the near future? They had major sound problems during their set which was highly disappointing because Patty and I love this band from Texas fronted by Lacey Mosley. Patty and I wandered around for a bit to get a bite to eat while Atreyu was playing. Missed most of their set, but what I heard was pretty good. Evanescence was next and the sun had gone down by this time. They had a wall of mirrors behind them with a bunch of lighting effects for a blinding light show. Amy Lee was in perfect voice and her haunting vocals were, well, haunting. I had never seen them before live but man am I glad I did. Excellent performance.
Korn ended the night with a heavy rocking 2 hour set and they played a lot of old school stuff. I was kind of hoping for some more of their new material but all in all they rocked the house. The fans were much better behaved this year than they were at last years show. But security was out in force this year so it was all good.
There was a guy sitting next to me that was older than I was and we chatted a bit in between bands. Nice guy that likes to rock, just like I do :-)
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Tonight I'm going to veg out on the couch and watch UFC 74 Respect. I love the UFC and it is much better than boxing is these days. Too bad I can't hop a plane to Vegas and go see it live. Unfortunately it is sold out and I don't have the time or the money to do it anyhow.
Tomorrow we teach the little ones at church.
After church we are heading to Cricket Pavilion for the much anticipated tour of the summer. The Family Values Tour featuring Korn, Evanesence, Atreyu, Hellyeah and Flyleaf. We have reserved seats too and I am really looking forward to this show.
Monday night they are have an appreciation dinner for the childrens teachers. I need to get ahold of Ben or Robert to see about cancelling the dropin center that night since we have a pretty large group and we use the same building they will be using.
Labor Day Weekend we are heading to the orphanage to see those kids again. I always enjoy my time down there just hanging out with all of them. They give back 10 times the love that you show them and it is always a blessing to serve them.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Ted Nugent Rants on Hillary and Obama
I am a big fan of Ted Nugent, but NOT his politics. Ted Nugent was very popular when I was a teen and I saw him in concert many times. He still performs today and I saw him at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix a few years ago. The dude's still got it man. He can shred the guitar. He has also been a sober performer, even back in the day. He was known to kick people out of his band if they showed up drunk or stoned.
I was watching Hannity and Colmes this evening and they had a lefty and a righty on as guests to talk about the Nugent rant the other night. It was kind of funny how Hannity was talking about free speech, yet when the Dixie Chicks ranted about GW he was appalled. Good old political debates man. You gotta love them. Of course the lefty's were upset with Terrible Ted's rant. But hey, it's free speech. Even though I lean more to the left than the right these days, I still thought it was funny.
Here it is on youtube. Check it out for yourself. But use caution, there are a few choice words he uses that may offend some.
Ted Nugent rants on Obama and Hillary
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
YESTERDAY TODAY AND TOMORROW…
I don't know who wrote this but I read it on a blog and it was stated that it is read at AA meetings in Toronto. I thought it was awesome and can be applied in everyday life too. So enjoy!
YESTERDAY TODAY AND TOMORROW…
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is Yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds – but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
This leaves only one day – Today – Any one can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities – Yesterday and Tomorrow that we break down.
It is not the experience of Today that drives us mad – it is remorse or bitterness for something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.
Let us, therefore, live but one day at a time.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
An overflow crowd and REAL friends
This morning, the church I attend, Amadeo Vineyard Church, hosted Contemporary Christian Artist Jeremy Riddle. It was an awesome time and it was advertised well and we had an overflow crowd. On top of that, a lot of folks from our mother church Vineyard Community Church of Gilbert were there to see Jeremy Riddle. Jeremy Riddle writes a lot of the worship songs that you hear in churches around the country and it was an honor to have him in our service this morning. He was kind enough to go out to lunch with our entire youth group after the service before he caught his flight. How awesome is that?
The friend I spoke about in my previous post was there this morning also. I think this person found out who their real friends are today. At the conclusion of the service people can go up to the front to receive prayer for whatever they need prayer for. This person walked up to Patty and myself, and we began to pray for them. I looked up, and the entire youth group was around this person and each of them prayed for the person. I think this person knows who the real friends are now, and who is not.
We all make mistakes. You can beat yourself over the head about it, or you can take steps to correct the mistakes. I think this person is headed in the right direction.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
A letter to a friend
I talked to your mom today. Your mom and dad had to go to the hospital and see your drunk ass there. Your friends (at least you think they're your friends) abandoned you when someone called 911 after your erratic behavior and incoherence. It seems you consumed enough alcohol to warrant a hospital visit. It seems you were puking all over the place and acting like an idiot. You were also probably so dehydrated because of the heat.
I've spoken to you before about your drinking. Number 1...you're only 16. It's illegal. Number 2...I've seen this pattern in you that is not good. You're young. You can still beat this demon before you waste half your life on it like I did.
I will be talking to you tomorrow. In the meantime, sober up and start thinking about some changes in your life. You're a smart kid. Don't waste everything for a cheap thrill. I think you're beyond cheap thrills now. Addiction will creep up on you and bite you on the ass before you even know it.
Be well my friend. I'll always be here to encourage you and talk to you.
Your REAL friend,
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I just ordered this book and can't wait to get it. I have heard great things about it and I have a feeling I may even like it better than Blue Like Jazz. This is based on what I have read about in the reviews and some excerpts I have read. The author is Jim Palmer. He allowed Next-Wave to post a chapter from the book.
Here is an excerpt I particularly liked:
God has been trying to free me from the burden of doing something spectacular for him. It has a way of distracting you from the opportunities to be salt and light right where you are. I’m starting to see that the “cup of cold water given in Jesus’s name” sometimes means running the register by yourself during lunch so your heartbroken coworker can cry in the break room, or volunteering to reshelf all the returns in your area so a worn-out coworker twice your age won’t have to. A kindness shown here, a listening ear offered there, a caring hug as you go might be the case for Christ a cynical waitress most needs. I’m starting to recognize that I am immersed in a sea of hurting people every day. If I simply pay attention and follow the promptings of the Spirit in all these little ways, my life is “ministry.” One of my spiritual gifts is teaching, but I don’t need to stand on a stage before a crowd to use it. God uses it in conversations with people like Wanda to help unravel the complex, far-off, unattainable version of Christianity she heard at church.
Here is the entire chapter and link to the Next-Wave post:
Book Excerpt, Divine Nobodies: Waffle House Theology (Wanda the Waitress)
By Jim Palmer (published by permission)
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Would your church hold a funeral for the death of a gay loved one or friend?
This article really appalled me. I read John O'Keefe's blog at Ginkworld and you can check him out in my links section. I stumbled upon the article Church Nixes Memorial For Gay Veteran today from his blog.
Now keep in mind that the article has a lot of He said/She said stuff in it. So I can't really say who is and who is not telling the truth in the article.
I still think it was wrong for this church not to conduct a funeral for this guy. It is even harder to stomach that they did it at the last minute.
The stuff in the article about the tribute video showing affectionate kisses between the deceased and his partner? I probably would have asked them if we could not show that part if indeed it was on the video. Other than that, I am somewhat offended that this church denied this man's friends and family a funeral.
This could be a very controversial subject. But what are some of your thoughts on this?
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
This is just so wrong
Usually I am sticking up for the gays when all of the gaybashing is going on, and I will continue to do so. But when I heard about these firefighters in San Diego that were forced to attend the annual Gay Pride Parade I have to stand with them in their harrassment claim. They should not be forced to participate in it and I do believe they have a good chance of winning their case in court.
read the article about it here
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
What am I?
This is an excerpt from a short book called One-Trick Pony written by Phillip E. Long.
From page 57:
When the charge of hypocrisy is leveled at the Church, some embrace it too willingly. They already know we are sinners "saved by grace" (Ephesians 2:8). They are secure in the possession of true words and, apparently, impervious. Within her ranks, though, are many who realize something is wrong.
The best argument for the truth of Christianity is always a Christian. Unfortunately, so is the best argument against the truth of Christianity. When enough people have become smugly complacent, when they have all the right answers but don't bother to live them, when the only face they show the world is judgemental, self-righteous, intolerant, and arrogant, the verdict is in.
"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8)
"For the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." (1 John 4:20)
Yes there are a lot of churches and Christians that are intolerant and judgemental of others. At least that has been my experience. Phillip Long gets it right I think.
We can stand on a street corner and shout out fire and brimstone to the masses and hand out the "Four Spiritual Laws" tract that will tell these folks to say a prayer and all is well.
Or we can serve people (and yes I mean all people) and develop relationships with them and show them Christ's love through our actions.
Here in my town we have a lot of Mormons. I do not believe in Mormonism at all but I do find that their actions are a lot more Christ like than some of my Christian brethren.
The Mormons hold an annual Easter Pageant at the Temple in Mesa. Every year there are some "Christians" that try and convert folks to Christianity by spewing fire and brimstone to those walking into the pageant. The news media caught some of it this year and it just made me sick. Why not hand out food and water to those walking in instead of screaming at them? Why not hand out water at the annual gay pride parade instead of holding posters that say "God hates fags". Believe me, God does not hate anyone.
Just something to think about. I am not perfect, but I try to live a Christlike life. I'll never perfect it, but I will keep trying.
So what am I?
Monday, August 06, 2007
Patty is going to CDE this weekend with Hannah and the gang. Unfortunately I will be working this weekend so I can't go.
Patty and I are both going during the long Labor Day Weekend which is cool because it means we'll get to spend an extra day with the kids.
We need to start planning for the Northern Ireland mission trip this month. The trip will be the last two weeks in July and the first week in August of 2008. Patty and I get to lead our group this year which will be very fun but challenging too I think. This will be Patty's second trip and my first to Northern Ireland.
A Great Weekend and then some
So Patty and I got away for the weekend to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary which is officially tomorrow. We headed up to the higher elevations, stopping at Payson. There's a nice little place there called The Majestic Mountain Inn and we've been there before. They have some rooms that are very romantic with a hot tub in the room and everything. The weather was very nice and stormy. Saturday it just thundered and rained most of the afternoon into the morning hours. We just had a great time of being alone the entire weekend and it was very refreshing for the both of us.
Pray for my nephew. Without going into detail, he is in a lot of trouble and needs some changes in his life. Say a prayer for him. I spoke with him briefly today. He is only 16 so he can turn this thing around before it really gets bad.
The youth of Amadeo continue to amaze me. These kids show up each and every Monday night. We had another amazing group tonight. I was in charge of planning the fun tonight so I went and bought some baby food, baby bottles, and pepsi. Paired up girls with guys. The girls had to feed the baby food to the guys and then feed them a full baby bottle that was filled with pepsi. After that they had to burp the guy. Fun was had by all, except for some of the guys who said it was a lot harder to drink out of a baby bottle than they thought.
I then had them wander through the park and hand out cold drinks to the folks that were enjoying the park. They always do good at doing the servant things like that.
Then Susan taught the video series we are going through and Mark set it all up on the computer.
All in all, it was a very successful night as it always is.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Our 20th Anniversary
This upcoming Tuesday, Aug 7th 2007, my beautiful wife Patty and I celebrate 20 years of marriage. Those 20 years were not all good, but she has stuck it out with me through all of the bad too. To be honest, there was a time where it didn't look like we were going to make it. But we did. Our marriage has only grown stronger in the last 7 years. That is because I have been clean and sober for almost that long. (The exact date of my last drink was Sept 28th, 2000)
Patty had good reason to end the marriage. But instead, prayed for me and for whatever reason (I believe it was divine intervention by God) she held out hope that I would remain sober.
All this to say that Patty is my confidant, my lover, my best friend, my partner for life. I love her with all my heart and am so glad that God provided me with such a wonderful wife. I love you Patty. Thanks for being who you are.
We are getting out of town for some couple time tomorrow. It's gonna be a GREAT weekend!